Hogan Shows Insight and Dedication

This past Tuesday evening, I had the privilege to attend the discussion sponsored by ENVS-195, a class about politics and the environment which featured gubernatorial candidate Con Hogan. While I consider myself a Republican, and rather conservative on most issues, I was pleasantly impressed by the ideas and performance of the politically Independent Hogan. The discussion focused on environmental issues, but Hogan emphasized the interconnectedness of issues and the importance of issues such as strong economic growth toward our protection of our environment. Hogan was open to the ideas and questions that the students presented, and differen from most candidates, did not try to assert that he knew everything. He was rather candid in admitting where he was out of his area of depth. What was very impressive from the discussion was his broad vision for Vermont, and while it may seem simple, it seems that many of the state’s leaders have failed to grasp this idea. He emphasized the fact that Vermont is “special,” and that this will be one of our key assets in the 21st century. I would find it hard to try to categorize Hogan’s ideology, except to say that he has a very strong commitment to this state and that his primary concern is doing what is in the best interest of Vermont, socially, economically and environmentally. He displayed a depth of thought that I have not encountered in other politicians. While talking about the environment, he stressed the need to find new ways of bringing people together around key issues and the need to deal with the friction and stress between rural and urban populations. He also addressed the issues of the scale of bureaucratic structure and protecting communities and preventing sprawl. Additionally, he noted the importance of technology in the future of the state so that we protect our environment while attempting to advance and compete with the rest of the world. Hogan brings a wide body of experience from both the private and the public sectors. While he is a “flatlander” from New Jersey, he has operated a horse farm in Vermont for 26 years. He displays a passion for this state which is very impressive. I do not know what kind of chance Con Hogan has for winning the office of governor, but as he said, the majority of Vermonters are political Independents, and I think that we should give him a chance. The man has some good ideas.