By Michael Bielawski
RUTLAND – In a recent speech at the Castleton Republican Breakfast “Taking Vermont Forward,” the lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Meg Hansen challenged Republicans to stick to strong principals of freedom and economic growth, and not buckle to pressure from moderates to appease the opposition party.
“In our Republican politics, we hear a lot about compromise and consensus,” Hansen said. “They place great virtue in belonging to the center. But let’s be real here, being in the center means staying as inoffensive as possible to the far-left.”
Hansen is best known for her former role as executive director of Vermonters for Health Care Freedom and these days she’s a TV host on Dialogues with Meg Hansen.
Her campaign frequently critiques the cost of living and cost to do business in Vermont, and she consistently emphasizes lower taxes, pro-economic growth policies, and personal freedoms.
She’s been a vocal advocate for a competitive health insurance market and school choice for education.
Her candidacy has been under criticism much from Republican moderates.
Recently Sen. Corey Parent, R-Franklin, expressed to VTDigger, “I don’t think there is a viable Republican candidate at this point,” dismissing not only Hansen but also businessman Dana Colson of Sharon, who is running for the same seat.
Senate Minority Leader Joe Benning, R-Caledonia, said there is no “competent” candidate to run against Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe, D/P-Burlington, who also seeks the seat.
Hansen meanwhile emphasized that now is a time for challenging establishment norms.
“Do you want real change in Vermont?” she asked. “Real change is time-consuming, it is difficult, it is frustrating, and it is conflict-driven. Not conflict for the sake of conflict, but conflict when arises when you have the courage of your convictions and the will and determination to act on them.”
She said that Vermont’s current economy is not ideal especially for young people.
“For those of us under the age of 40, there is no sustainable future in Vermont,” she said. “I’ve had many, many conversations with Vermonters who want to own homes, want to own private businesses and farms, and cannot. I’ve heard from so many who want to be able to afford to have kids here and raise them here, build careers, save for retirement, and grow old here but cannot.”
She concluded that her platform should appeal to the majority of economic and freedom-minded Vermonters, regardless of party affiliation.
“How can we be in the minority when we are fighting to get everyone the ability to create greater prosperity and live freer lives?”