3 WCAX-TV "News" - Pollina: Douglas Failed to Help Farmers
Out on the campaign trail Monday, independent candidate Anthony Pollina was advocating for farmers. He says Gov. Jim Douglas, R-Vermont, needs to practice what he preaches when it comes to the state's agriculture industry.
Pollina held a press conference Monday afternoon and accused Douglas of failing to invest in Vermont farms. Particularly, he says the governor talks about the need to buy local, but Pollina says state government often uses out-of-state vendors instead.
"They also, a number of months ago, I feel insulted Vermont farmers when the Administration said if they had to buy local -- they were encouraged to have the state buy local that in fact Vermont farmers would in fact raise their prices in essence to take advantage of the state's need to buy local. So I think that was insult to Vermont farmers, but I also think it showed a real lack of understanding of the importance of buying local and how when you do that you are in fact supporting the local economy," Pollina said.
Pollina supports a host of initiatives, including a Vermont Credit Card that would use a reward program to fund agricultural projects.
In response, the governor's office said the state has increased its investment in agriculture by about $8 million since 2003, and they cite the governor's efforts to push an $11 million agricultural rescue package through Legislature two years ago.