Letter: Doing battle with the left, on a limited budget


Editor of the Reformer:

Gerald Hiam's letter of April 13 points out, correctly, that Paul Krugman has a different view from mine about Bernie Sanders' charge of "grotesque inequality," in which Sanders points to the Walton (WalMart) family as a grotesque example .

Then Mr. Hiam, offering no evidence whatever, tosses out the usual left wing counterattack — that the Ethan Allen Institute is funded by sinister right wing corporations and greedy plutocrats, to peddle their reactionary views.

Only one of the more than 600 columns I have published in Vermont papers over the past 25 years was the result of a request, suggestion, hint, or command from a right wing corporation, organization, or individual donor. That one exception was a column in 2014 criticizing the state's treatment of a personal friend and modest contributor, whose small business the state hammered for six years because it was on land once contaminated by a municipal (government-owned) gas plant that closed in 1959.

With very modest annual budgets — about one-tenth of VPIRG's alone — EAI has joined the battle of ideas with the VT-NEA teachers union, VPIRG, VNRC, Conservation Law Foundation, the Sanderistas, and the subsidy-sucking renewable industrial complex. We do this not to win favor and contributions from some shadowy right wing conspiracy, but because the Vermonters who support EAI want a voice on behalf of Vermont parents and schoolchildren, property owners, taxpayers, ratepayers, and just plain citizens whose rights and livelihoods being overrun by too much government. We intend to keep it up.

John McClaughry,

Ethan Allen Institute, April 17


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