Professor cracks open a new campaign

English professor Philip Baruth asked UVM to give him cheese and eggs to fuel his race for the Vermont Senate.Baruth’s new Senate campaign commercial — soon to hit UVMtv — stars and was made by UVM students and aims to encourage students to vote using a “cheesy” joke about eggs.  “Every year I’ve had seniors come up to me and say they want to stay in Vermont but can’t find jobs,” Baruth said. “Half my campaign is about creating good jobs so we can utilize our graduates.” In the race for Chittenden County State Senate, people get six votes.  Baruth worked this idea into a script he called “Half A Dozen” where the role of a “stereotypical but likeable brand of UVM cool” smashes half a dozen eggs, leaving six which have Baruth’s campaign points.”I’m assuming it will be cheesy,” Baruth said, “but watchable as cheese.”While the commercial might seem quirky, Baruth said he is focusing on serious concerns about jobs for students.He cited All Earth Renewable — a local company from Williston that developed a solar panel that follows the sun like a flower — as a model of a cutting-edge local company.”We should work to create strong, more specific links between the University and startup businesses — funnel graduates in while the businesses are small and growing,” Baruth said.Baruth wanted to use some of UVM’s own talent for making his new commercial.    “I wanted something that was ‘Youtube-able,'” Baruth said, “something not boring that would introduce people on campus to my campaign.”Senior Mark Bateman, Baruth’s deputy campaign manager, plays the lead role of egg-smasher, while freshman Chase Martin filmed and edited the production.  “I don’t know if I’m exactly the ‘UVM cool’ Philip was looking for,” Bateman said, “but it was a lot of fun, and I hope it helps his campaign.”The commercial, shot on Wednesday, March 23 at Mercy Hall, will be seen on UVMtv as well as Vermontdailybriefing.com, Baruth’s political blog since 2005.Martin said he is a self-trained filmmaker with nearly six years experience. “It’s been three years since I started Dayzed Productions,” he said. “That’s when I started to take it seriously.”While Martin said he tries not to get involved with politics, he liked the unique script and the idea of getting paid for doing what he loves.”This will be one of my most abstract projects,” Martin said. “I’m trying hard to stick close to his vision.”With general elections scheduled for Nov. 2, and Democratic primaries for Sept. 14, Baruth said he hopes this ad will encourage people to vote.