Howard Dean called the governorship “the greatest job in Vermont” when he took the state’s top post in 1991. In the decade since, Governor Howard Dean has led Vermont with a firm fiscal discipline, an unwavering commitment to children’s health care and education, and a keen environmental awareness. Governor Dean is a physician who previously shared a medical practice with his wife. He received his B.A. from Yale University in 1971 and his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City in 1978. He served in the Vermont House from 1982 to 1986, was elected lieutenant governor in 1986, and became governor in 1991 with the death of then-Governor Richard Snelling. A common-sense moderate who firmly believes that social justice can only be accomplished through strong financial management, Governor Dean has cut the income tax twice, removed the sales tax on most clothing, and reduced the state’s long-term debt. Not only did the governor pay off an inherited $70 million deficit, he worked with lawmakers to build “rainy day” reserves to help the state through any future economic downturn. During the Dean tenure, more than 41,000 new jobs have been created, the state’s minimum wage has climbed twice, incentive programs have expanded to help downtowns attract new businesses, and tax incentives were created to attract and keep new companies. If fiscal management is Governor Dean’s trademark, improving the lives of Vermont’s children is his passion. A physician, Governor Dean strengthened the Dr. Dynasaur program to guarantee health coverage to virtually every child in Vermont age 18 and under. Vermont has one of the lowest uninsured rates in the country and one of the highest rates of immunized children. Governor Dean has expanded programs to help seniors afford prescription drugs, and he signed into law one of the toughest managed-care consumer protections in the United States. It is the preservation of Vermont’s precious natural resources and landscapes that the governor considers his legacy. Governor Dean worked with local communities and the federal government to preserve more than one million acres of farmland, shorefront, working forests, and wilderness. Under the Dean Administration, 76 of the state’s leaking landfills were safely closed, and Vermont became a leader in the move to reduce mercury pollution and stop power plants from polluting the air. Governor Dean has created bikeways, led the effort to restore commuter rail service in Vermont, and led a strong, coordinated attack on sprawl. Working with lawmakers, prosecutors, judges, and law enforcement, Governor Dean has cracked down on violent crime in Vermont and ensured that violent felons spend time behind bars. He has fought to protect family farms, increased the number of women and minorities in judgeships and other prominent positions, cracked down on domestic violence, and put Vermont in the forefront for child welfare.Dean on President Bush’s Environmental Policy ” I’m gravely disappointed that the President is once again planning to protect the profits of a few energy corporations rather than safeguarding the health of our children. Scientists estimate that 137 million people live in areas where the air is unhealthy to breathe, and the President’s relaxation of clean air rules will only exacerbate that problem. ” President Bush’s plan unfairly penalizes companies that build newer, cleaner power plants by relieving older power plants from their obligation to meet the same standards. We should end the exemption for old power plants entirely. When Congress exempted these plants from stricter emissions requirements a quarter-century ago, no one anticipated that they would still be spewing out a disproportionate share of pollution early in the twenty-first century. ” I urge President Bush to reverse course. On his instruction, these rules can be strengthened, not weakened. Protecting the environment and safeguarding public health should be universal values that we all agree on, not an issue used to benefit private interests.”-Howard DeanHoward Dean on IraqGovernor Howard Dean issued this statement on Iraq: ” Since last April, I have been calling on President Bush to internationalize the reconstruction effort in Iraq. I repeat that call today. ” Expert after expert has returned from Iraq stating that the window of opportunity is closing faster than anyone expected and that our chance to successfully stabilize and rebuild the country is quickly passing. Despite this, the Bush Administration refuses to seek a UN mandate so that our historic allies and friends can join us in this effort and speed up the reconstruction process. “I call on the Bush Administration to take the following steps to encourage our proven allies and friends, including France, Germany, India, and Turkey to join us in Iraq and to accelerate the reconstruction process. We must: *Work with the UN to build the largest coalition possible to help us succeed in Iraq;* Prioritize restoring law and order and the resumption of electricity, water, and sanitation services — they are fundamental to success in all other areas; *Focus on developing Iraqi capacity to undertake key functions as soon as possible; *Decentralize the operations of the Coalition Authority and make money more forthcoming and flexible; *Employ the sizable number of available Iraqis with short term public works projects and get state-run enterprises up and running, even if they must be downsized and privatized later; * Push for UN oversight of the successor to the Oil for Food program; * Award reconstruction contracts to the best US or foreign bidder in a transparent and open process. ” Yesterday’s bombing of the UN headquarters in Iraq appears to have been an effort to dissuade other members of the international community from assisting us. It is vital to our chances of success that the Bush Administration redouble its efforts to internationalize the military and civilian presence and to speed up the stabilization and rebuilding process.