Vermont Officials Mostly Duck Accountability
Leahy, Sanders, and Welch have not explained why they have so little interest in factual discrepancies that could have such a detrimental impact on so many of their constituents. Beyond reflexive support for the Air Force, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger have been similarly AWOL on the substantive questions raised by basing nuclear-armed offensive weapons in Vermont. With the silence of legislators and other city councils, City council president Col. Greco is the highest ranking elected official to address the issue seriously.
The proposed F-35 base at Burlington International Airport in would have the severest impact on Winooski and South Burlington (where it's located), even though it's owned and operated by the City of Burlington, creating conflicts of interest in all directions. The people living closest to the proposed F-35 base are the most opposed, not surprisingly because that will suffer the brunt of the physical and psychological impact of the noisy fighter jet; because houses in their community are already being destroyed by the federal government since current aircraft noise already makes them unlivable; and because the economic impact on their communities is likely to be devastating, with lost jobs, houses, tax base, and services.
There is a class warfare element to this as well, since these communities are relatively poorer than the surrounding area. Greater support for the F-35 comes from Burlington and other more affluent communities, and they're perfectly willing to let Winooski and South Burlington bear most of the burden for an F-35 base whose economic benefits will mostly go to others.
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