Bernie Sanders, the only independent in The House of Representatives since 1950, has been involved in Vermont politics since 1964 and is currently campaigning for a Senatorial seat. As a member of the Progressive Party he favors expansive government, universal healthcare and worker rights. Backed by Democrats in the upcoming election his opponent, Republican Richard Tarrant, is the former owner of the multi-million dollar Vermont software company IDX. Mr. Sanders will be coming to UVM this week, accompanied by Senator Barack Obama (D-ILL). This past week The Cynic conducted an email interview with Congressman Sanders and following are his answers.
1) Who would win in a game of trivial pursuit between you and Barack Obama?
I don’t know but maybe I can challenge him to a game once I reach the Senate.
2) What type of Music are you listening to these days?
Classical, Motown, Country
3) What is your favorite place to eat in Burlington?
Too many to name.
4) Do you think Democratic senators perceive your current bid for office favorably?
I am very pleased to have the support of virtually all of the Democratic Senators including Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Barack Obama, Senator Russ Feingold, Senator Harry Reid, Senator John Kerry, Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Chuck Schumer and many others.
5) What is the biggest problem in the US today?
The collapse of the middle class in this country has left millions of American families unable to pay rising housing, health care, and college educational costs. Meanwhile, while ignoring the needs of the middle class and working families, the Bush Administration continues to give huge tax breaks to the wealthy and special interests, driving up the deficit and national debt – which the next generation will be inheriting.
6) What is the number one issue in Vermont today?
Vermonters are deeply concerned about the war in Iraq, the loss of good paying jobs, high taxes on the middle class, the assault on a woman’s right to choose, the loss of family farms and the refusal of the Bush Administration to protect our environment.
7) What was the best thing you did to make UVM students’ lives easier this year?
I successfully helped stop attempts by the Bush Administration to cut a number of proposals that would cut financial aid to college students. It is very bad for UVM students and for our country that many young people leave college deeply in debt. We should increase financial aid for college students, not cut it.