Response to Republican Attack of Vermont Milk Company
Statement by Dexter Randall, Organic Dairy Farmer and Vermont Milk Company Board Member:
As a Vermont farmer, I am disappointed, in fact angry, though not surprised, that Governor Douglas and the Vermont Republican Party would attack the Vermont Milk Company as part of their political campaign. They have run the Vermont Milk Company through the manure spreader for their own political good. This move smacks of desperation and we cannot allow it to go unanswered.
Farmers, like all Vermonters, are tired of negative campaigning. Rather than spend tens of thousands of dollars attacking others, candidates should tell us what they are going to do for us.
It is absolutely wrong to say that Anthony left us high and dry." Anthony did what we asked him to do - help us establish the Vermont Milk Company. We then encouraged Anthony to run for Governor so we would have a Governor truly committed to doing the right thing for Vermont farmers and all Vermont families.
Years ago, we asked Anthony Pollina for help in looking for ways to regain control over our milk and create a Vermont dairy brand
Anthony founded Rural Vermont, helped lay groundwork for the Dairy Compact, helped found the Vermont Milk Company, advised Bernie Sanders on farm policy, served on the board of Vermont Northeast Organic Farmers and more.
As Governor, he will establish a real Vermont State buy local program - something Governor Douglas opposes - saying we farmers would raise our prices to take advantage of it. Anthony will get Vermont milk and dairy products into every Vermont school, something you have not done. We know Anthony is committed to these things and we trust him because he has a proven record of working with farmers, and because he is our friend.
We look forward to the Vermont Credit Card Anthony proposed. Instead of supporting big Wall Street banks that take our money out of state, the Vermont Credit Card will be part of Vermont and invest in Vermont agriculture every time it is used. It is frankly almost unbelievable to us farmers that anyone would oppose this fabulous way to invest in Vermont agriculture.
As far as we know, Governor Douglas has been a full-time politician virtually all of his adult life. As far as we know, he has never been part of a start-up business and may not know that all start-ups struggle. They struggle with high costs of fuel and transportation, workers comp and raw materials. And sometimes they even fall behind on their bills. The Governor does know many Vermont businesses are struggling even big ones like IBM, Rock of Ages, Tubbs and many others. And yes Vermont Milk has struggled and may continue to struggle, although we are close to turning our first profit.
The last thing any start-up needs is to be dragged through the manure by a politician who would risk our future for their own political gain. Shame on you Jim Douglas.
Statement by Rupert Thouron, Vermont Milk Company Investor and Board Member
I am an investor and small business owner. I joined the Vermont Milk Company to help small farmers in Vermont. This type of propaganda does not help the Vermont Milk Company establish a brand or place in Vermont. I am deeply saddended by this political move.
Statement by Anthony Pollina
It is really sad that Vermont politics has stooped so low. There are so many important issues and difficult struggles Vermonters are dealing with and this type of political manuvering does nothing to address them. I want to keep the important issues on the table but also feel I must respond to this attack.
Targeting a small business in an effort to make me look bad shows how out of touch Douglas is. It appears he has no sense of what start-ups go through. Big and small businesses struggle to make ends meet. For the Governor and the Vermont Republican Party to stoop so low shows how nervous they are about the coming election. I also find it remarkable that the Vermont Republican Party would spend over $48,000 to a company in Utah to carry out this attack. The Vermont economy and farmers could really use that money. I think Vermonters understand the challenges of running a business in Vermont and will not fall for this misdirected attack or negative misinformation.