It’s Business As Usual,


Compiled by Josh Frank and Sunil Sharma
Updated: November 23, 2003

(updated frequently, check back often)

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 "The joke among a lot of Vermont Republicans was that they didn't need to run anyone for governor because they basically had one in office already," said Harlan Sylvester, a conservative Democratic stockbroker and longtime adviser to Dean.

(St. Petersburg Times, July 6, 2003)


* * * * * *


In Vermont, said John McClaughry, Dean was such a centrist that some in his own party considered him "a Republican in drag." McClaughry, a Republican who heads the Ethan Allen Institute, a public policy think tank in Kirby, Vt., said: "A lot of people in Vermont look at Howard Dean today and they don't see the Howard Dean who was governor. He has reshaped himself to appeal to a faction of the Democratic constituency." (Los Angeles Times, June 1, 2003)





* Editors’ Note About this Compilation

* General Articles About Dean

* Dean and Campaign Finance/Corporate Supporters

* Dean on the Middle East

* Dean’s Nuanced “Anti-War” Stance
* Dean on Criminal Justice and Civil Liberties

* Dean on the Environment

* Dean on other Domestic Issues

* Dean vs. Kucinich (issue comparisons)




Editors’ Note About this Compilation: The curtain is raised, and standing in the spotlight alone is Presidential hopeful Howard Dean. A virtual nobody turned star attraction, Dean’s ride to the top has been nothing short of remarkable.  He has long held ambitions of one-day gazing out over the plush White House lawns in his royal bathrobe.  And he may soon have his wish.  The American Left has all but crowned this Democrat king of their Party -- buying his anti-war posture with superfluous ease.  But how progressive is Dr. Dean?  Is he worthy of such support?  


The following collection of articles helps to expose the doctor for what he is -- a typical politician whose record is crammed full of sleaze and controversy. These articles -- ranging from his Israel position, to his qualms with the Bill of Rights -- prove that we should not have the illusion that Dean is a liberal savior, strong enough to pry the Right hand now strangling this country.  


Like our widely read compilation of articles on that other current liberal savior, Wesley Clark, the point of this page is to emphasize that the “anybody but Bush” mentality pervading many American opposition movements is short-sighted. While Bush Inc. represents an unusually extreme segment of the American ruling class, its policies in reality fall within a very narrow political space subscribed to by both Democrats and Republicans. Neither political party questions the right of the US to overthrow governments (often democratically elected); back some of the most repressive regimes or movements on the planet when it serves elite interests (Saddam Hussein in the 1980s, Pinochet, Suharto, the death squad regimes of Latin America, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, Mobutu, Jonas Savimbi, the Nicaraguan contras, and many more); or to commit unilateral acts of aggression (Iraq, Panama, Grenada, South Vietnam, and many Latin American and Caribbean nations throughout the 20th century). Both parties put the interests of the rich and powerful above the rest of us. Disagreement tends to be on narrow tactical grounds, not on the moral and fundamental level.


Long before the first primary, there are Democratic candidates, like Dennis Kucinich, who are advocating genuine alternatives to business-as-usual politics, and yet they are largely being ignored because they are defined as “long shots.” Howard Dean was once a long shot, but now he is a Democratic front-runner because of the hard work of activists (lots of family money helps too). There is no reason the same can’t be true for the more progressive candidates. If one truly identifies him/herself as a “centrist” (in a constantly rightward moving landscape) or “conservative Democrat,” then Howard Dean (or Clark) is your man. But those seeking a real alternative will not find it in Dean. Further, fear of the Bush Administration doesn’t mean that challengers for the presidency are above criticism, whether the opponent is a Kucinich, Ralph Nader or Noam Chomsky. In the end what really matters is not who the winner of a horse race every four years is, but the relentless pressure We as active participants in the political process put on the politicians, day in and day out, to make them work in the interest of the Common Good. The history of positive political change in America makes that clear.  Uncritically supporting a business-as-usual candidate because he/she appears to be a lesser evil achieves nothing. Our hope is that progressives find these links and reports informative and useful.


-- Josh Frank and Sunil Sharma



General Articles about Dean



* Is Dean “a Liberal”? (posted 11/12)

by former FCC Commissioner Nicholas Johnson, July 10, 2003

But for those Democratic activists who are looking for the most liberal or progressive choice, and believe that to be the Party’s best strategy, most are narrowing their selection to Dean or Kucinich. And in doing so they really deserve, and need, to know Dean’s record and actual positions – with citations to sources. That is what his paper is designed to provide....Even today Dean describes himself as “to the right of Bush” on some issues (balanced budget and radically increased spending on homeland security), and rejects the label “liberal.” Those who know him best, or have written about him in depth, agree. Says Robert Dreyfuss, “He’s a hard-nosed, penny-pinching fiscal conservative who seems to delight in sticking his thumb in the eye of the Democrats on the party’s ever-shrinking left wing.” In fact Dean clashed so “often with [Vermont’s legislative] Democrats over taxes and spending [that he drove] many liberal-left Democrats into the arms of the Progressive Party and of Representative Bernie Sanders, Congress’s lone socialist.” (One can assume, given the Democrats’ attacks on Ralph Nader following the 2000 election, that what Dean produced in Vermont is precisely what the Party seeks to avoid in 2004.) Economist Max Sawicky says Dean “often turned his acerbic words on the left wing of his own party. . . [He] supported Vermonters’ right to carry concealed weapons and resisted many spending proposals.” And, quoting political scientist Garrison Nelson, “His born-again liberalism has caught a lot of us by surprise.” Elizabeth Mehren of the Los Angeles Times quotes Dean’s “determination to ‘make sure this party comes back to its center.’” . . . (read more)


Vermonters see a new man in former governor
By Dick Polman, Knight Ridder News, November 23, 2003
Mention Howard Dean to the folks who know him best, and they shake their heads in awe, marveling at how their very own "Ho-Ho" has muscled his way to the forefront of Democratic presidential politics. They see him on TV, firing up the liberals, and they're dumbfounded, because they always knew him as a tightwad governor who spent 10 years excoriating liberals. They see him wowing the "flatlanders" (that's everyone outside of Vermont), whipping them into a frenzy, and they can't square that with the little guy who wore frayed shirts and goofy ties and delivered speeches that lulled listeners into a stupor. As Kurt Wright, a Republican who serves in the part-time Legislature and runs a Kwik Stop convenience store, said, "It was always a joke in the hallways about how bad his 'State of the State' speeches were. So wooden and robotic. And I'm not being partisan, because I think President Bush is terrible, too. But these days, whenever I hear Howard, I find myself thinking, 'Is this really Howard, or am I watching "Invasion of the Body Snatchers?" ' " And whatever happened to the Howard Dean who, when asked to render an opinion about the governor of Texas back in 1999, always gave the same answer: "I like George Bush. He's a good guy." . . . (read more)


* The Dean Deception
(Excellent overview of Dean’s record as Gov. of Vermont)

by Keith Rosenthal, International Socialist Review, November­-December 2003

"When Dean was governor, he was a staunch supporter of NAFTA, the WTO, the IMF and World Bank. While he is now distancing himself somewhat from certain aspects of these institutions (most likely a calculated move to win in the primaries), he still fundamentally supports their spirit -- ­free trade, open markets and the pursuit of profits. And he still maintains that NAFTA was good for Vermont even though the state suffered 6,000 trade-related job losses in the 1990s"... (read more)



* The View From Vermont Is of a Different Dean (posted 11/12)

 Washington Post, August 17, 2003

The tone of the current race for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination was set 12 years ago last week when a little-known Republican governor of a state with fewer people than Baltimore dropped dead of a heart attack while cleaning the filter on his swimming pool. . . . Truth be told, the former governor never aspired to be a liberal maverick because, well, he wasn't one. The good doctor -- born, after all, into a solidly Republican family with a homestead in the Hamptons -- could never have been a flaming liberal and remained at the state's helm for very long. . . . As most close observers of Vermont politics note, Dean the Democrat continued to pursue much of the agenda established by Snelling the Republican. Dean worked at balancing a deficit-plagued budget, resisting urgings from the left to abandon Snelling's tightfisted ways. As he told Vermont Public Radio in an interview two years ago, "I think there was an expectation among some of those on the farther liberal ends of my own party that I was going to come in and now things were going to be different, and the facts were that we had a big serious financial crisis and somebody had to deal with it and that somebody happened to be me by chance." In other words, Dean was trying to be true to his pledge to govern as Snelling would have -- as a progressive Republican. . . . (read more)

* Howard Dean: the Progressive Anti-War Candidate? Perspectives from Vermont
by Donna Bister, Marc Estrin and Ron Jacobs, Dissident Voice, September 6, 2003
Howard Dean the liberal, anti-war candidate? The laughter rings most loudly in Vermont. As Dean's candidacy caught fire over the summer, a number of articles have appeared on the net examining his history and current stance on important national and international issues. They all point to a Clintonesque Republicrat whose stances are not far from that of the current administration… (read more)


* Dean’s “Ambition” Cited As Reason For Gubernatorial Records Seal: Dean’s Seal Request Termed “Extreme” By Vermont Deputy Secretary of State

Judicial Watch, October 23, 2003

"Vermont State archivist documents concerning the negotiations and decision to seal former Vermont Governor and Democratic Presidential candidate Howard Dean’s records show Dean’s personal political ambitions for the presidency were the reason Dean wanted his gubernatorial records sealed for an unprecedented 24 years. Ultimately, they were sealed for 10 years." …  (read more)



* Dean feared a 'Horton' scenario (posted 11/12)

Boston Globe, October 9, 2003

In the course of negotiating an unprecedented 10-year period for keeping his official papers confidential, former Vermont governor Howard Dean through his legal counsel explored the possibility of making the privacy period contingent on whether he was running for president, according to newly released documents. Discussions between the counsel and the state archivist about a potentially longer sealing period centered around the possibility that a future political opponent of Dean's might seize on a document and use it as ammunition, according to the correspondence. State archivist Gregory Sanford noted that in the talks a primary concern was "the `Willie Horton' example," referring to the furloughed Massachusetts prisoner whose crimes surfaced as an issue in the 1988 contest between Vice President George H.W. Bush and Michael S. Dukakis. . . . Shortly before he left office, Dean told Vermont Public Radio, "Well, there are future political considerations. We didn't want anything embarrassing appearing in the papers at a critical time in any future endeavor." . . . . (read more)



* Democrat laces up a liberal exterior: As Howard Dean lays claim to the left in 2004, many in Vermont recall a more conservative governor.

St. Petersburg Times, July 6, 2003

"Most Vermonters I know chuckle about Howard Dean as the most liberal presidential candidate," said Zuckerman, a pony-tailed farmer and Vermont state legislator. Customer Laura Brown, after unfavorably comparing President Bush's I.Q. to one of Zuckerman's beets, recalled the fiery, populist speech Dean had given to announce his candidacy recently in Burlington. "He sure wasn't giving those kinds of speeches as governor," said Brown, a professional herbologist. "Howard Dean's a different creature than when he was here." In the capital of Ben and Jerry's and Birkenstocks, Vermonters are a tad perplexed as their former governor makes big waves in the Democratic presidential race. At times they don't recognize him. The fellow delivering stemwinders that bring roaring crowds to their feet was known in Vermont for dull speeches. The darling of liberal activists nationally repeatedly snubbed the left wing of his party during nearly 12 years as Vermont governor. He rails against President Bush's tax cuts, but in Vermont he twice fought for state tax cuts and repeatedly bashed Democratic spending plans as irresponsible. "The joke among a lot of Vermont Republicans was that they didn't need to run anyone for governor because they basically had one in office already," said Harlan Sylvester, a conservative Democratic stockbroker and longtime adviser to Dean... (read more)



* Dean's No Wellstone

by Jim Farrell, The Nation, May 26, 2003

While Dean may share some measure of Wellstone's passion, his record and his agenda are very different. As governor of Vermont, Dean targeted for elimination the public-financing provision of the state's campaign finance law--a law similar to the one Wellstone pushed in the Senate. In February 2002, Dean said his big donors are given special access. While Wellstone fought for people on welfare, Dean said some welfare recipients "don't have any self-esteem. If they did, they'd be working" and scaled back Vermont's welfare program, reducing cash benefits and imposing strict time limits on single mothers receiving welfare assistance. Dean advocated sending nuclear waste from his state to the poor, mostly Hispanic town of Sierra Blanca, Texas. Wellstone called the proposal "blatant environmental injustice" and fought to delay the measure in the Senate. It ultimately passed but was later determined unsafe. Just last year, Dean proposed deep cuts in Medicaid, which were blocked in his own legislature. Now he calls Representative Dick Gephardt's healthcare proposal, which would roll back the Bush tax cuts in order to provide a tax credit for employers mandated to deliver health coverage to workers, "a pie-in-the-sky radical revamping of our healthcare system." Dean has said that a constitutional amendment to balance the budget "wouldn't be a bad thing" and that the way to balance the federal budget is "for Congress to cut Social Security, move the retirement age to 70 and cut defense, Medicare and veterans' pensions." In the name of fiscal conservatism, Dean's final-year Vermont budget also cut portions of the state's public education funding. (read more)



* Who's the Real Howard Dean? As Vermont governor, the liberal firebrand was a fiscal conservative with close ties to business

Business Week, August 11, 2003

Howard Dean has fought his way to the front of the Democratic pack jostling for the 2004 Presidential nomination partly because he has won the hearts of so many liberals with his antiwar rhetoric and shoot-from-the-lip style. But who is the real Howard Dean? Is he the left-of-center insurgent being portrayed in the press or the business-friendly fiscal conservative and pragmatic moderate who governed Vermont for 11 years? . . . Conservative Vermont business leaders praise Dean's record and his unceasing efforts to balance the budget, even though Vermont is the only state where a balanced budget is not constitutionally required. Moreover, they argue that the two most liberal policies adopted during Dean's tenure -- the "civil unions" law and a radical revamping of public school financing -- were instigated by Vermont's ultraliberal Supreme Court rather than Dean. [editor’s note: Dean repeatedly claims credit for these policies] "He was not a left-wing wacko," says Bill Stenger, a Republican and president of Jay Peak Resort, who says he supported Dean because of his "fiscally responsible, socially conscious policies." … (read more)



* Dr. No and the Yes Men

New York Times Magazine, June 1, 2003

If Dean ever belonged to the ''Democratic wing of the Democratic Party'' before this year, he must have kept his membership secret. During his five two-year terms as governor, Dean was proud to be known as a pragmatic New Democrat, in the Clinton mold, boasting that neither the far right nor the far left had much use for him.... Then, last fall, Dean opposed the Congressional war resolution that Kerry, Joe Lieberman, John Edwards and Dick Gephardt all supported. And it didn't take long for Dean to see that he had stirred something powerful in the depths of the Democratic Party. Liberal resentment had been building since the mid-1990's, when liberals had to swallow Bill Clinton's strategy of ''triangulation'' on issues like welfare reform....In the space of a few weeks, Dean became the antiwar candidate, the new Gene McCarthy. Dean, an instinctively shrewd politician, recognized an opportunity when it presented itself. He began using the ''Democratic wing of the Democratic Party'' line and broadened his attacks on Bush and his fellow Democrats.... Dean is clearly aware of this predicament, and he doesn't want to be seen as a peace candidate. ''It's kind of a sad commentary that I'm the most progressive candidate running, out here talking about a balanced budget and a health care system run by the private sector,'' Dean told me at one point. During another conversation, he said: ''I was a triangulator before Clinton was a triangulator. In my soul, I'm a moderate. I know no one believes that.'' I asked Dean whether he is worried that his liberal supporters might be disillusioned if they heard him talk this way. He shook his head. ''I've met people in the peace movement, and I've said, 'Look, I appreciate your help, but you have to take a hard look at me, because I'm not a pacifist,''' he said. ''In fact, I'm far more hawkish than the president is on terrorism.'' … (read more)



* Dean Hopes and Green Dreams: The 2004 Presidential Race

by Norman Solomon,  Dissident Voice, August 25, 2003

Dean does not give much indication that he wants to challenge Uncle Sam’s imperial capabilities. On the contrary: Dean has opposed cutting the budget for routine U.S. military expenditures that now add up to well over $1 billion per day. And while his campaign kickoff speech stated that “there is a fundamental difference between the defense of our nation and the doctrine of preemptive war espoused by this administration,” surely Dean knows -- or should know -- that much of the Pentagon’s budget has absolutely nothing to do with “defense of our nation.”… (read more)



* Short-Fused Populist, Breathing Fire at Bush

Washington Post, July 6, 2003

Garrison Nelson, a professor of political science at the University of Vermont and a frequent Dean critic, says the Different Dean has been fascinating to watch. "Howard Dean pounding the podium taking back America is a new Howard," he says. "Now, whether the new Howard is the real Howard is a matter for speculation. Is he taking the left as a campaign strategy?" Dean says he doesn't mind being called a liberal and welcomes progressives to the campaign. ("I'd be delighted if the Greens supported me!") But he chuckles at the liberal label, considering that "I am probably the most conservative of the candidates when it comes to gun control." It's a states issue, he says, and his state, with its low crime rate, doesn't need it. "I think it's pathetic that I'm considered the left-wing liberal," Dean said. "It shows just how far to the right this country has lurched." Over and over on the campaign trail, he tells audiences that he is a fiscal conservative who believes balanced budgets serve the cause of social justice. "Here's why," he'll say. "When you balance the budget, you have money in hard times to pay for the things you need." Yet if he generally sounds more like a Paul Wellstone progressive than a Bill Clinton centrist on the stump, even borrowing the late Minnesota senator's line about representing "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party," well. . . . (read more)



* Mean, Mean Howard Dean: He's Regressive, Not Progressive

By Josh Frank, CounterPunch, August 9, 2003

Media pundits have been rattling their cages over Howard Dean's so-called progressive agenda, but how wrong they've been. Dean's back seat criticism of the Bush Administration's case for war should enlighten us to the fact that this ex-Vermont Governor's leadership skills are lacking… (read more)



* Dean Losing Support on Left For His Stances on Its Issues

The Forward, August 22, 2003

Many single-issue activists who work on Middle East peace, gun control and drug policy reform --including some who say they were initially attracted to Dean -- are becoming increasingly vocal in opposing him. Some are speaking about a "reassessment" on the left and warn darkly that Dean's stands are already costing him support among core Democrats… (read more)



* What Liberal Messiah? Howard Dean, left-wing impostor.

By William Saletan, Slate, June 23, 2003

For months, Dean has accused his Democratic rivals of caving to the right. He scolds them for supporting the Iraq war resolution, accepting $350 billion in additional deficit-era tax cuts, and voting for President Bush's underfunded education bill. Dean claims to stand for "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party," unlike Bob Graham, who purports to represent "the electable wing of the Democratic Party.” But how exactly do Dean and Graham differ on the war resolution, the tax cuts, and funding the education bill? Not at all… (read more)



* A Progressive Case for Dean? Not Yet, Kucinich Is Still Our Man

by John Turri, Dissident Voice, August 26, 2003  

To Dean or not to Dean: that is the question. Should progressives be supporting Howard Dean? In a recent article on Common Dreams News Center, Nico Pitney argues that they should. Pitney's article has been reprinted on left-leaning and progressive websites. His case is being repeated on discussion boards and across the blogosphere. We probably all have progressive friends and acquaintances who share Pitney's view, if only tacitly. It is worth our time, therefore, to carefully consider Pitney's intelligent and energetic "progressive case for Dean." I will argue that Pitney fails to make a persuasive case…(read more)



* From Tweedle Dick to Tweedle Dean: Ho-hum Democrats Get Ready to Blow Another Chance

by Daniel Patrick Welch, Dissident Voice, August 22, 2003

One would think that enough has been said in the realm of blowing Howard Dean's liberal cover. An outpouring of research and truth-telling from the left has left, at least on my own palette, a distaste for Dean rivaled only by that I feel for Joe Lieberman. The fury has been so relentless, that even the Nation (original source of the Dean is No Wellstone warning shot) has felt it necessary to issue a revision of sorts, noting, among other tidbits, that a surprising number of Nation staffers, some self-described leftists, are still stuck on Dean despite his having been successfully outed -- or so we thought. One new mantra is that Dean is being "picked on." The Nation points out that, despite seemingly favorable coverage, the press just doesn't seem to like him personally. It seems a bit disingenuous, though, to fault the media, whose obsession with Dean, and in particular, whose collusion in sculpting Dean's image as a liberal has catapulted him to the forefront. And yet the mislabeling continues. Hugo Young writes a brilliant analysis in the Guardian ("American Voters Have Two Choices: Bush or Bush-lite,") However, even Young mischaracterizes Dean as "the most lefty of the candidates." This is demonstrably untrue. Many candidate's positions are exactly along the lines of what Young seems to advise: that Democrats need to "abandon their backing and filling, and their belief that being a Democrat no longer adds up to anything more than a milder version of their enemies." . . . (read more)

Dean and Campaign Finance/Corporate Supporters



* Dean raises money from energy sources

Associated Press, February 27, 2002

When Gov. Howard Dean wanted to raise money for a possible presidential bid, he followed the example of a former governor of Texas and called on his friends in the energy industry. Nearly a fifth of the roughly $111,000 collected in its first months by Dean’s presidential political action committee, the Fund for a Healthy America, came from people with ties to Vermont’s electric utilities, according to a recent Federal Elections Commission filing. It should be no surprise. Dean and utility executives have had a long and friendly relationship. . . . A top Dean aide emphatically denied that the governor has ever let campaign contributions influence state policy. Kate O’Connor, secretary of civil and military affairs, used the word absurd to describe that notion more than a half-dozen times in a recent interview. But the governor himself has said the donations buy access. “People who think they’re going to buy a contract or buy some influence are mistaken,” Dean famously said during the debate over a campaign finance reform bill in 1996. “But they do get access — there’s no question about that. ...They get me to return their phone calls.” Over the years, the governor has sided with the utilities on many of the most pressing issues, including the push for deregulation of the electric industry, and later backing away from that as a goal. Among other major decisions: . . . . (read more)



* Governor Howard Dean Pulls the Plug on Democracy

Vermont PIRG, 2002

Governor Howard Dean has proposed to permanently gut Vermont's campaign finance reform law eliminating our landmark public financing option for governor and lieutenant governor. VPIRG opposes removing any money from the Fund because it sets a dangerous precedent for undermining democracy in Vermont and limits the legislature's options to strengthen the law in the future. The Governor's move will simply open another door for access by corporations and other wealthy donors seeking generous tax breaks, permission to pollute our air and water, boondoggle electric rate contracts and other special interest perks. As Lieutenant Governor Doug Racine said at a public forum on December 11th "I do believe money is corrupting the political process." . . . . (read more)



* Vt. campaign disclosure gets ‘F’ grade
Rutland Herald, September 25, 2003

Vermont does one of the worst jobs in the country of providing campaign finance information to the public, according to a new study that looked at the disclosure practices in every state. The study, “Grading State Disclosure 2003,” found that only nine states make it harder to find accurate and timely information on the amounts and sources of campaign contributions. . . . (read more)


Dean on the Middle East



* Dean Does Damage Control  

Jewish Week, October 3, 2003

"I was a little surprised because people who know me know very well I am a strong defender of Israel," he said. "But after I thought about it for a while I wasn't surprised. I think that the connection of the Jewish community to Israel is so strong, and the feeling in Israel that someday they may be abandoned is enormous." . . . “I’ve been very clear, I support the targeted assassinations,” he said. “These are enemy combatants in a war; Israel has every right to shoot them before they can shoot Israelis.” An earlier statement to that effect got Dean in trouble when in a CNN interview, he referred to Hamas terrorists as “soldiers,” a statement that produced a sharp attack from a top rival, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) Dean was unrepentant, saying he used the word deliberately because “under international law, you are not allowed to assassinate terrorists. … That was not a naive gaffe. It was to keep Israel’s policy within the bounds of international law.” (read more)



* Howard Dean: Hawk in Dove’s Clothing?

by Stephen Zunes, Common Dreams, February 26, 2003

In his major foreign policy address to date, a February 17 speech at Drake University in Iowa, Dean blasted the Bush administration’s foreign policy regarding Iraq and several other areas, but when it came to Israel and Palestine  the former Vermont governor declared that, while the United States should become more engaged, he did not have any fundamental objections with President George W. Bush’s policies. Dean called for an end to Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians, but he did not call for a cessation of Israeli violence against Palestinian civilians. Similarly, there was no call for an end of the Israeli occupation, for Israeli compliance with UN Security Council resolutions, or a withdrawal from Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied territories or even a freeze on the construction of new settlements… read more here. . . (read more)



* Dean Not Progressive on Mideast

By Ahmed Nassef, AlterNet, June 30, 2003

In a major foreign policy speech earlier this year, Dean, while calling for an end to Palestinian violence, did not call for an end to Israeli violence, let alone an end to the illegal Israeli occupation.  And when asked whether his views are closer to the dovish Americans for Peace Now (APN) or the right-wing, Sharon-supporting American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), he stated unequivocally in an interview with the Jewish weekly The Forward, "My view is closer to AIPAC's view." . . . Similarly, Dean's official campaign position on solving the Palestinian-Israeli problem is that "terrorism against Israel must end," but there is no mention of the Israeli violence that has resulted in over 2,391 deaths since September 2000 . . . (read more)



* Howard Dean's Israel problem: When he said the U.S. must be "evenhanded" in the Middle East, rivals and critics accused him of selling out the Jewish state -- even though his position is similar to Bush's and his campaign co-chair used to run AIPAC.

By Michelle Goldberg, Salon.com, September 23, 2003

Last Saturday, John Kerry gleefully predicted that Democratic rival Howard Dean was "imploding" over Israel. A meme was spreading in the Democratic Party that the former Vermont governor is insufficiently Zionist, that his views represent the antiwar fringe that's said to constitute his base. An Israeli newspaper had predicted that Jewish donors would shun him. Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote him an admonitory letter. Political strategists waxed catastrophic. What made the uproar so odd is that Dean's Israel policy hardly differs from that of Bush and his main Democratic challengers… (read more)



* Contemplating Unacceptable Evenhandedness

by Kim Petersen, Dissident Voice, September 13, 2003

Now that Howard Dean is emerging as a frontrunner in the battle to nominate a presidential candidate for the Democratic Party, he is increasingly subject to intra-party sniping. Associated Press reports: “Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman is hammering former Vermont governor Howard Dean over remarks he made recently about the Middle East conflict. But Dean maintains that he has not retreated from the strongly pro-Israel positions he articulated early in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.” ... Mr. Dean chalked it up to trouble-making by Mr. Lieberman and notes: “The position of every Democratic candidate is the same as mine.” . . . Mr. Dean avers this position is the same as the failed position of former President Bill Clinton -- a bizarre position to stake a claim to.  This position backs former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s “generous offer.” The corporate media failed to elucidate that the generosity of the offer was only to be forthcoming from the Palestinian side. A look at a map of the proposal reveals that Palestinians would be left with a Bantustan-like patchwork state with Israel in effective control…It didn’t take long for Mr. Dean to drop the hot potato of extending fairness to Palestinians. Nedra Pickler quotes Mr. Dean on his climb-down: “I believe the position that I take on Israel is exactly the position the United States has taken for 54 years.” Mr. Dean instead says he has nothing new to offer other than a dog-eared tendentious policy that has been an abject failure as far as peace and human dignity in the Middle East is concerned… (read more)



* In Prexy Bid, Vt. Gov Taps AIPAC Vet

Married to Jew, Courting Others

The Forward, November 22, 2002

Dean spoke with the Forward shortly after naming Steven Grossman, a former head of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and ex-chairman of the Democratic National Committee, to a top campaign fundraising post. In addition, Dean said he is traveling to Israel for a week at the end of the month with the American Israel Educational Foundation, AIPAC's educational arm, to meet with Israeli officials and Arab leaders…Asked if his appearance at the Peace Now event should be read as a signal of his views on the Middle East, Dean said, "No, my view is closer to AIPAC's view." (read more)



* Democratic presidential hopeful to 'Post: I back loan guarantees

By Caroline B. Glick, The Jerusalem Post, December 5, 2003, p.1 (Full Text)

Howard Dean, the Democratic governor of Vermont and a 2004 presidential hopeful, visited this week and voiced support for the US providing $10 billion in loan guarantees.


His visit has consisted of visiting various trouble spots in the country, like Jerusalem's Gilo neighborhood and Beit Jala, and meeting with leaders like Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and PA Finance Minister Salaam Fayad. On Tuesday, he participated in the Herzliya conference, where he spoke at length with The Jerusalem Post about his views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and on the US goals in the region.


Although Dean's wife, Judith Steinberg, is Jewish, this was his first visit. "I came here to better understand the situation, and there is no doubt that seeing the country for yourself is the best way to understand," he said.


While Dean explained that his trip has "not changed my overall perspective on the situation, it has deepened my ability to understand the reality here. The other night on the ride to Jerusalem, my guide pointed to lights on our left and told explained that we were passing Ramallah. I was amazed by the proximity. You always get the feeling that when they talk about Ramallah that it is at least 35 miles from Jerusalem, but it's right there. I am amazed by just how small this country is."


Dean said the Bush administration should honor Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's request for $10 billion in loan guarantees to improve the economy that has been damaged by the two-year war against Palestinian terror.


"Israel is a democracy, the only democracy aside from Turkey in the region. Israel has incurred severe economic damage as a result of being forced to fight this war. I believe that by providing Israel with the loan guarantees and thereby enabling Israel's economy to grow, the US will be advancing its own interest," he said.


"As a fellow democracy that shares our values, that is fighting a war against terrorism, Israel is a friend, a strategic asset, and an ally for the US. A strong Israel is essential for advancing the US interest of building a stable world."


Dean also believes it is important for the US to play an active role in shepherding a negotiated settlement of the Israel-Arab conflict. "If elected president, I will be much more involved in this conflict than the Bush administration. I think it is a mistake for the president not to be sending the secretary of state here to mediate between the parties. I would be sending my secretary of state here all the time - like Henry Kissinger - in order to engage the sides in dialogue."


He believes that eventually, these negotiations will lead to a two-state solution. Dean does not believe that it is possible for the international community or the US to impose a settlement on the parties or to launch an international trusteeship of the territories.


"The sides will never agree to the imposition of an international settlement," he said.


He also rejects the notion of a US-led international peacekeeping force. "It would be bad for Israel, and it represents a departure from our principles," he explained.


Like President George W. Bush, Dean believes that for a Palestinian state to be established, the Palestinians must change their leadership.


"I believe it will be impossible to make peace for as long as [Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser] Arafat is in charge," he said. "There must be a fundamental change. There needs to be democracy. The test must be performance based. We need to see, for instance, an empowerment of women in Palestinian society. I believe that the best defense is built not just on troops, but on building societies. An indication that such a change is occurring can be seen through the empowerment of women."


He gave conditional support to Bush's policies toward Saddam Hussein's Iraq. "I am an internationalist and a multilaterist at heart. I would have spent more time trying to build a coalition. I would have gone first to the UN Security Council and our allies to get their support. I think the president was wrong not to do so. The polling data also shows that the public prefers that the US fight such a war as part of a coalition and not on its own," he said.


From his perspective, Iran is a larger danger than Iraq, and Dean believes that the US should provide direct support for the Iranian students protesting against the Islamic regime.


"I think the notion that after Iraq, the Iranians will just overthrow the mullahs is wrong. I think we should be giving direct support for the students in Iran that want to be liberated from that regime," he said.


In the event that Israel were to experience a mega- terror attack, Dean said he believes the US would understand if Israel were to enact radical measures to defend itself.


"Obviously in such an event, we would send any humanitarian and military aid that Israel might need. It would also be clear then that any obstacle to forcing Arafat would be removed. Beyond that, it is clear that in the event of such an attack, Israel would have to take all necessary steps to defend itself," he said.


Although Dean believes that if prior information exists regarding terror attacks, it is reasonable to preempt them, he thinks declaring preemption as a policy, as Bush did recently is wrong.


"There is no doubt that if we had known of the September 11 attacks ahead of time, we would have done everything to prevent them. At the same time, I would not have made [the president's] speech on preemption as a declared strategy. I would use quieter diplomacy," he said.


Dean echoed Teddy Roosevelt's adage of "speak softly and carry a big stick" in his view of diplomacy. In dealing with US adversaries, he said, "I would smile politely and inform them of the consequences and not bluff."  [End Article]



Dean’s Nuanced “Anti-War” Stance



* Howard Dean is no McGovern: There's a big difference between his antiwar critique and the one offered three decades ago in the Vietnam era (posted 11/23)
By Robert Kagan, Washington Post , November 23, 2003
In this respect, at least, Howard Dean is no George McGovern. He opposed the Iraq war, he says, because it was "the wrong war at the wrong time," not because it was emblematic of a fundamentally misguided American foreign policy. Dean has not, in fact, challenged the reigning foreign policy paradigms of the post-9/11 era: the war on terrorism and the nexus between terrorism and rogue states with weapons of mass destruction. "I support the president's war on terrorism," he told Tim Russert this summer. He supported the war in Afghanistan. He even supported Israel's strike against a terrorist camp in Syria because Israel, like the United States, has the "right" to defend itself. (European Deanophiles take note.) Dean does not call for a reduction in American military power but talks about using the "iron fist" of our "superb military." He talks tough about North Korea and at times appears to be criticizing the Bush administration for not addressing that "imminent" threat more seriously. And he especially enjoys lacerating Bush for not taking the fight more effectively to al-Qaida, a bit like John F. Kennedy criticizing Eisenhower in 1960 for not being tough enough on communism. . . (read more)


* As Baghdad Falls Howard Dean Folds Back into the National Security Establishment

by Charles Knight, Common Dreams, April 14, 2003
On April 9, 2003, the day that most American newspapers headlined the "liberation of Baghdad", Howard Dean, a Democratic presidential candidate notable for his opposition to Bush's war against Iraq, gave a speech in Washington which went a long way toward endorsing the Bush doctrine of preventive war…(read more)

*  Defining Dean

by Fred Hiatt, Washington Post online, August 25, 2003
That last charge -- that he can't win because he's too liberal or dovish -- is obviously one he's giving thought to. "I don't even consider myself a dove," he told me and my colleague Ruth Marcus during a conversation before the rally. It's "not possible" to fix him on the liberal-conservative scale, he said. "Where I am on the political spectrum is a convenient way to avoid talking about issues." It's true that he opposed the war in Iraq, he says, but he supported the 1991 Gulf War and the Bush campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan. More interesting, at a time when many politicians are shuddering at President Bush's ambitions to remake the Middle East -- conservatives, because they are skeptical of such grand reshaping ambitions; liberals, because they see resources being diverted from social causes at home -- Dean sounds if anything more committed than Condoleezza Rice to bringing democracy [sic] to Iraq. "Now that we're there, we're stuck," he said. Bush took an "enormous risk" that through war the United States could replace Saddam Hussein and the "small danger" he presented to the United States with something better and safer. The gamble was "foolish" and "wrong." But whoever will be elected in 2004 has to live with it. "We have no choice. It's a matter of national security. If we leave and we don't get a democracy in Iraq, the result is very significant danger to the United States." And "bringing democracy to Iraq is not a two-year proposition. Having elections alone doesn't guarantee democracy. You've got to have institutions and the rule of law, and in a country that hasn't had that in 3,000 years, it's unlikely to suddenly develop by having elections and getting the heck out." Dean would impose a "hybrid" constitution, "American with Iraqi, Arab characteristics. Iraqis have to play a major role in drafting this, but the Americans have to have the final say." … (read more)

* Dean’s Rhetorical Twister: Rivals say the Vermont contender has inconsistent war views
by Jim Geraghty, National Review Online, March 28, 2003
During a speech at California Democratic party's state convention earlier this month, Dean took aim at Senators John F. Kerry and John Edwards, who voted last fall for a congressional resolution authorizing force against Iraq. Dean accused the two senators of "not standing by their positions" when they addressed the California audience, which was mostly opposed to the war. But Dean was at least partially mistaken -- Edwards, who spoke to the California audience before Dean did, reiterated his support for disarming Iraq by force and was booed and jeered by many in the crowd. Kerry reportedly made an "oblique reference" to his position and also heard criticism from the crowd. Dean later admitted he had not heard Edwards's speech and was unaware of what the North Carolina senator had said when he criticized him. Dean also sent a handwritten letter of apology to Edwards, the Washington Post reported Thursday. But sources close to other Democratic candidates are counterattacking, accusing Dean of turning up the volume on his passionate antiwar rhetoric in relatively liberal Iowa and then muting his war criticism in the more conservative key primary state of South Carolina. . . (read more)

Dean to ease up on Bush: Presidential contender still opposes war, but supports troops
The State (South Carolina), March 20, 2003
Democratic presidential hopeful Howard Dean, whose candidacy has attracted a lot of attention because of his staunch anti-war position, said Wednesday he will tone down his criticism of President Bush in the weeks ahead. "It's hard to criticize the president when you've got troops in the field," the former Vermont governor said during a two-day campaign swing through South Carolina to raise money and meet with potential supporters and party activists. . . (read more)

* Howard Dean: A Hawk in a Dove's Cloak
by Sean Donahue, CounterPunch, October 30, 2003
Howard Dean wants the peace movement to believe that he is its best hope for bringing change in Washington. In television ads and presidential debates, Dean has emphasized his opposition to Bush's decision to launch a unilateral invasion of Iraq--and downplaying his support for the continued U.S. military occupation of Iraq, and his earlier waffling over whether he might have supported a war in Iraq under slightly different conditions. Dean's emphasis on his opposition to the war in Iraq also obscures his earlier support for the first Gulf War, the war in Kosovo, and the war in Afghanistan... (read more)


* The Dean Deception: The lying S.O.B.

By Justin Raimondo, Anti-war.com, August 27, 2003

As Dean barnstorms the country and charms the left-wing of his party with his brand of pernicious guff, he is turning into a disaster for the anti-war movement, and an embarrassment to his supporters. If we're lucky, Dean may derail his own campaign with his careening instability long before he gets anywhere near the White House… (read more)



* On the campaign trail with the un-Bush

by Jake Tapper, Salon.com, February 19, 2003

He gets a deluge of phone calls from reporters asking him to clarify his position. Which is -- "as I've said about eight times today," he says, annoyed -- that Saddam must be disarmed, but with a multilateral force under the auspices of the United Nations. If the U.N. in the end chooses not to enforce its own resolutions, then the U.S. should give Saddam 30 to 60 days to disarm, and if he doesn't, unilateral action is a regrettable, but unavoidable, choice. "Dean is stirring up antiwar people," a senior advisor to one of his Democratic opponents says. "They are against all war, not just against war without U.N. support. When we do go to war, and Dean says he's with our troops and president in time of national crisis, the antiwar activists he's cultivated will turn on him quickly." . . . (read more)



* The Conventional Media Wisdom Of Obedience

by Norman Solomon, Dissident Voice, March 13, 2003

Howard Dean, a former governor of Vermont, is supposedly an antiwar candidate for the Democratic presidential slot. On the campaign trail in Iowa, he "stopped short when asked what he would say if there was a war," according to the Times. "You know, I don't know the answer to that yet," Dean said. "Certainly I'm going to support American kids that are sent over there. Obviously, I'm going to wish everybody well. You know, you root for your country."  You root for your country. No matter how horrific its actions…. (read more)



* Iraq war opponent Dean seeks Liberia intervention

Associated Press, July 2, 2003

Dean argued there's no inconsistency in opposing the war in Iraq while backing intervention in Africa. He said Bush never made the case that Iraq posed a threat to the world. "The situation in Liberia is exactly the opposite," Dean said. "There is an imminent threat of serious human catastrophe and the world community is asking the United States to exercise its leadership." . . . (read more)



Dean on Criminal Justice and Civil Liberties


* Dean’s Corruption in the Green Mountain State

By Josh Frank, Dissident Voice, September 18, 2003

They’d finally made it big.  Dean as Governor, and Sorrell as Vermont's chief law enforcer.  However, with power often comes greed, and ulterior motives plagued both their professional paths. It seems these two cronies had a mutual disdain for the judicial process from the start.  In the same year Sorrell was appointed Attorney General, Dean was quoted in a Vermont Press Bureau interview as saying that he believed quick convictions were just, and that legal technicalities should be overlooked during the prosecution of criminal and civil cases.  He even said he was willing to appoint people to high positions who interpreted the Bill of Rights the same as he -- with a knack for overlooking the Bill’s particulars… (read more)



* Howard Dean's Constitutional Hang-Up: Dean Would Rather Execute an Innocent Man, Than Let a Guilty One Walk Free

By Josh Frank, Dissident Voice, August 16, 2003

As Governor of Vermont, Howard Dean openly claimed that the legal system unfairly benefited criminal defendants over prosecutors. He even took measures to cut federal grant money aimed at helping mentally disabled defendants--as well as appointing state judges who were willing to undermine the Bill of Rights. In a 1997 interview with the Vermont News Bureau, Howard Dean admitted his desire to expedite the judicial process by using such justices to "quickly convict guilty criminals." He wanted individuals that would deem "common sense more important than legal technicalities." Constitutional protections (legal technicalities) apparently undermine Dean's yearning for speedy trials… (read more)



* Dean's comments on civil liberties cause alarm

by David Gram, The Associated Press, via the Rutland Herald, September 14, 2001

Gov. Howard Dean's call for a “re-evaluation” of some of America's civil liberties following this week's terrorist attacks was criticized Thursday by a Vermont Law School professor. “Good God,” Vermont Law School Professor Michael Mello said when read the remarks Dean made at a Wednesday news conference. “It's terribly irresponsible for the leader of our state to be saying stuff like that right now.”... (read more)



* Dean's Law and Order Views: The representative of the "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party," is on some constitutional issues at odds with many in his party's base

Time Magazine (on-line edition), October 30, 2003

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean has rarely missed a chance -- in debates and smaller forums, as well as on his website -- to hammer the Bush administration's handling of civil liberties since the 2001 terrorist attacks. He's even taken other Democrats to task: "Too many in my party voted for the Patriot Act," he said last June in a not-so-veiled jab at some of his opponents in the presidential race. "They believed that it was more important to show bipartisan support for President Bush during a moment of crisis than to stand up for the basic values of our constitution." But on Sept. 12, 2001, Dean had quite a different reaction. He told the Vermont press corps he believed the terrorist hijackings would "require a re-evaluation of the importance of some of our specific civil liberties. I think there are going to be debates about what can be said where, what can be printed where, what kind of freedom of movement people have and whether it's OK for a policeman to ask for your ID just because you're walking down the street…I think that's a debate that we will have." … (read more)



* For the Defense

Rutland Herald Editorial, August 16, 2001

Dean has made no secret of his belief that the justice system gives all the breaks to defendants. Consequently, during the 1990s, state’s attorneys, police, and corrections all received budget increases vastly exceeding increases enjoyed by the defender general’s office. That meant the state’s attorneys were able to round up ever increasing numbers of criminal defendants, but the public defenders were not given comparable resources to respond… (read more)



* Death Penalty Tap Dance

Washington Post, July 3, 2003

“By now you have probably heard of Howard Dean's recent appearance on "Meet the Press," in which he may have set a record for saying, "I can't answer that question." The question that got the most attention involved the number of troops on active duty. But there was a question that Dean did answer -- and answered extensively -- that deserved as much attention. It involved why he switched his position on capital punishment. He said he changed his mind. A review of his remarks, however, suggests he actually lost it”… (read more)




By Diane Derby, Rutland Herald, Wednesday, July 30, 1997 (Full Text)

Vermont Press Bureau


MONTPELIER – As Gov. Howard B. Dean was mulling his second appointment to the Vermont Supreme Court earlier this month, he made little effort to mask his distaste for some of the court’s recent decisions.


The direction of the five-member court needed to be "changed dramatically". Dean said. He was confident that his first appointment – naming Attorney General Jeffrey Amestoy to be the new chief justice last march – was a major step in the right direction.


"I’m looking to steer the court back towards consideration of the rights of the victims", Dean said three weeks ago in a radio interview with Bob Kinzel of the Vermont News Service. "I’m looking to make it easier to convict guilty people and not have as many technicalities interfere with justice, and I’ll appoint someone to fit that bill".


Asked if that reflected a "get-tough-on-crime" approach, Dean responded: "I’m looking for someone who is for justice. My beef about the judicial system is that it does not emphasize truth and justice over lawyering. It emphasizes legal technicalities and rights of the defendants and all that."


Such comments may play well with the general public, but they have sent a chill through the collective spine of lawyers – particularly defense lawyers – around the state.


Throughout his six-year tenure, Dean’s public chiding of the judiciary has led many lawyers to question the doctor-governor’s grasp of constitutional law. In their eyes, Dean views the protections contained in the Bill of Rights as mere "technicalities".


It is a view that has been bolstered by Dean’s inflammatory remarks – including his remarks that the state’s Supreme Court has repeatedly allowed murders to go free.


"Dean is just ignorant. I don’t think he understands what judges ought to do." Says Michael Mello, a Vermont Law School professor who teaches advanced courses in constitutional law. "He perceives the Supreme Court as being broken in some way and sees himself on a mission to fix it."


"That is pure, ignorant, political demagoguery", Mello charged, "Nonsense on stilts."




Tension between the executive and judicial branches of government is not new, nor is it unique to the Dean administration. But rarely has it been played out on such a public stage.


Mello and other lawyers around the state are quick to offer high praise for both Amestoy and District Judge Marilyn Skoglund, whom Dean named on Monday to fill a high court vacancy left by the retirement of justice Ernest Gibson III.


Both jurists, along with the current members of the Supreme Court, are widely regarded within the legal community as independent thinkers who will not allow political pressures to sway their interpretation of the law.


But Dean’s penchant for selecting prosecutors to fill judicial vacancies also has some defense lawyers questioning whether Vermont’s court system is becoming too "one-dimensional".


Last week, Dean appointed Howard VanBenthuysen, a former state’s attorney and onetime police officer, to a vacant superior court judgeship. In doing so, he passed over the names of private attorneys and at least one public defender.


Skoglund served as a prosecutor in the attorney general’s office before being named a District Court judge three years ago.


The roster of District and Superior Court judges Dean has appointed over the past five years also suggests the attorney general’s office has become a fertile ground for judicial training.


Adding to the mix, Dean’s high-profile but failed effort earlier this year to appoint his administration secretary, William Sorrell, to head the high court was widely viewed as an effort to end-run the judicial nominating process. (Dean later named Sorrell to fill the attorney general’s job left vacant by Amestoy’s appointment.)


"I don’t think he has any regard for any process that gets in the way of what he wants to accomplish … Look at how he was trying to move the justices around like chess pieces there.", said Leighton Detora, a Barre lawyer who said he was once a supporter of the governor, but is no longer.


"He’s a doctor, and as such, he has all the learned responses to the legal profession – that we are just out here, and lawyers jobs are to make things more complicated."


"In his own arrogance, I think somehow he thinks he has a lock on truth and wisdom." said Detora, who is president-elect of the Vermont Trial Lawyers Association, but stressed that he was speaking only on his own behalf.


Dean dismisses such criticism, saying that his comments about "technicalities" getting in the way of truth and justice have been misinterpreted.


But Dean is quick to point to several decisions in which he says the Vermont Supreme Court went too far, particularly cases in which the court held that the state’s constitutional protections went far beyond what the U.S. Constitution provides for.


Dean said he believed the state’s high court had especially taken the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure too far.


"In general, I think the court in the past has been overly restrictive about what evidence could be introduced," Dean said in a phone interview form Las Vegas, where he is attending the National Governors’ Association summer meeting.


The result, said Dean, is that a jury doesn’t always get a complete picture of "the truth" and defendants are turned free.


"For whatever reason," he said, "the old court really was very concerned with the rights of defendants."

Dean’s views on constitutional protections were first challenged more than four years ago, when he fired the state’s then defender general, E.M. Allen, over budgetary issues.


In a cost-cutting move, Dean sought to limit services of the public defenders office, while toughening the standards for those who qualify. But critics charged that Dean was turning a blind eye on an indigent defendants’ right to an attorney. Poor criminal defendants, Deans critics noted, were a politically unpopular group.


Allen’s successor, Defender General Robert Appel, has often found himself battling over budgetary issues with the Dean administration. Perhaps not surprisingly, Appel says he does not share the governor’s view that the Supreme Court has gone too far in weighing a defendants’ rights.


"I would say it is a fundamental difference in perspective between me and my boss," said Appel, "I don’t think our Supreme Court, or any appellate court, lightly reverses a criminal conviction."


Dean and his legal counsel, Janet Ancel, spent Saturday interviewing the 11 candidates who were nominated for Gibson’s job before he named Skoglund to the bench.


Much of the day was spent discussing judicial philosophy, as Dean quizzed the would-be justices on their views regarding several Vermont Supreme Court rulings.


One such case involved the court’s decision to overturn a 1993 first degree murder conviction against Robert Durenleau, who was charged with helping his lover kill her husband following an affair.


The state Supreme Court found that the circumstantial evidence presented during the trial did not support the jury’s guilty finding. In a rare move the court not only overturned the verdict, it entered an acquittal in the case, therefore preventing Durenleau from ever being retried.


"We do not readily overturn a jury’s determination, but this court cannot shrink from its duty to protect an individual’s due process right to conviction only by evidence of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt." The court wrote in reversing the conviction.


The Durenleau case was one of five murder cases that the court overturned (the other four were remanded for retrial), prompting Dean to publicly portray the court as soft on crime while charging that its justices were allowing killers to walk free.


Dean also quizzed the judicial candidates about the court’s 1982 decision to overturn the conviction of Edwin Towne after a Windsor County jury found him guilty of kidnapping and assault. In that case, the court said testimony introduced by a forensic psychiatrist amounted to hearsay and thereby violated Towne’s right to confront the witness.


Dean argued that as a result of the court’s decision, Towne’s plea bargain agreement meant a shorter sentence, and a second chance for Towne to act as a predator. Several years later, Towne was arrested and subsequently convicted in the brutal slaying of a young girl.


In the end, Dean insists that his mission is not to eliminate any constitutional protections, but rather to promote a more common-sense approach to the legal arena.


But others – particularly with a keen eye on constitutional protections – say Dean’s approach is both simplistic and short-sighted. As Mello sees it, the rights that Dean sees as "technicalities" are there to preserve the rights of all citizens, including citizens accused of crimes, to be free from government intrusion.


"These are not technicalities. In my view, any lawyer who said that would be speaking irresponsibly", said Mello. "I am not a doctor, and I would not take it upon myself to tell Howard Dean how to practice medicine." [End Article]



* Those Technicalities

Rutland Herald Editorial Staff, July 31, 1997 (Full Text)

Gov. Howard Dean may be right when he says that most criminal defendants are guilty of one crime or another. That supposition is no more relevant than another: That most police officers and prosecutors are honest and dependable.


Dean is famously impatient with the "technicalities" that he believes too often allow criminals to go free. But the two above suppositions suggest why the technicalities that infuriate Dean are necessary constitutional rights protecting us all.


We all know, for example, that even if most criminal defendants are guilty, some are not. We also know that even if most police are honest and competent, some are not.


The constitutional protections that Dean derides protect the innocent and the guilty from the arbitrary, illegal, biased, capricious conduct that is the occasional work of those police officers who do not fall into the category of honest and dependable. Indeed, there is no way to protect the rights of just the innocent since the system to determine innocence or guilt must operate within the rules that protect everyone.

Is anyone going to argue that the police never abuse their power. Jack Hoffman write a column in the Herald three weeks ago describing the way police had violated the rights of a suspect in a Manchester murder case back the 1980s. Judge Ernest Gibson III, sitting in Superior Court, ruled that the police had tricked a teenager into confessing and that the confession and part of the evidence they had seized could not be used in trial.


The Supreme Court upheld Gibson’s findings.


Sometimes police get overenthusiastic, and they trammel on a suspect’s right against self-incrimination or his right to protection against unwarranted search and seizure. Those are rights that apply to everyone, even those who may eventually be found guilty of a crime.


Dean’s lack of interest in the Constitution came to the foreground as he discussed his views of the Vermont Supreme Court and what kind of person he would appoint as justice to replace Gibson, who retires today. He ended up appointing District Judge Marilyn Skoglund.


Dean has a history of appointing people with experience as prosecutors or with the attorney general’s office, where Skoglund had worked before she became a judge. Of Course, a prosecutor with integrity can be as dedicated to justice as the best defense lawyer; conscientious representation on both sides is essential for the justice system to work.


But Dean’s mistrust of the defense bar and his impatience with constitutional process are all part of his stunted view of the legal system. So is his stinginess with the public defenders office.


Dean’s appointment of Skoglund and the discussion of his views happens to have occurred during the week when William J. Brennan Jr. was buried. Brennan was the retired Supreme Court justice who has been recognized as one of the most influential justices to sit on the Supreme Court, precisely because his rulings have secured for all Americans many rights we now take for granted.


The constitution is designed to place limits on arbitrary power, which means police cannot break into homes without a warrant in search for evidence, and they cannot coerce confessions from vulnerable, frightened people. Brennan helped establish these protections, and he is revered for it.


It would be nice if the shade of William Brennan could sit down with Howard Dean and have a little discussion about the constitution.


"Howard," he might say, "better to have a society where the occasional scoundrel goes free as a result of official misconduct than a society without laws to protect people from misconduct."


Such laws require judges of integrity and courage to defend them. In Vermont, the late judge Frank Mahady was one of the most well-known defenders of Vermonters constitutional rights. There’s no reason even a former prosecutor or someone like Marilyn Skoglund cannot follow in the tradition of Brennan and Mahady. [End Article]


Dean on the Environment


 * Howard Clinton?

by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman, Dissident Voice (posted 11/15)

Howard Dean is a man with strong Clinton-esque tendencies. He's a self-described triangulator. Say good words about the environment. Take some positive action. Schmooze with the environmentalists. But when push comes to shove, don't offend the powers that be. Mark Sinclair is a senior attorney with the Conservation Law Foundation in Vermont. Sinclair was dismissed in 2001 from Dean's Council of Environmental Advisers because of his criticisms of the Governor. Sinclair says that two utilities in Vermont -- Green Mountain Power and Central Vermont Public Service -- along with IBM -- control the state. "Dean is in the pockets of the utilities and of IBM," Sinclair told us. "Whatever the major economic interest, he's beholden to them." "During his years as Governor, there was a large controversy over our ski areas," Sinclair said. "He supported their major expansion, which has resulted in ski mountain sprawl in places like Killington, Stowe Mountain Resort, Stratton Mountain." "Dean wasn't standing up for sustainable development," Sinclair said. "During his watch, we saw a lot more sprawl and strip development." . . . (read more)



* Dean green on trail, but Vermont knows better (posted 11/12)

Concord Monitor, August 21, 2003

On the primary campaign trail, Howard Dean speaks with great intensity about the environment. He talks about the need to develop wind power and combat global warming at virtually every campaign stop, delighting many a green-minded voter. Yesterday, he visited a defunct tannery in Nashua to blast the Bush administration's failure to clean up toxic Superfund sites and underscore his pledge to reinvigorate the program if he's elected president. . . . But back home in Vermont, Howard Dean wasn't exactly the belle of the granola ball. In his five campaigns for governor, the Sierra Club's Vermont chapter never endorsed him. Even in 2000, when he faced the most difficult election of his career after signing the country's first civil unions bill, 40 prominent environmentalists publicly backed Progressive Party candidate Anthony Pollina. . . . Tom Elliott, the former volunteer political director for the Vermont Sierra Club, said he stood outside a Dean fundraiser the week of the coal controversy wearing a sign that said, "Shame on you, Dr. Dean." "Howard Dean's environmental record in Vermont is toxic". . . . (read more)



* Meet Howard Dean: The Man from Vermont is Not Green (He's Not Even a Liberal)

by Michael Colby, CounterPunch, February 23, 2003

For Vermonters who have seen Howard Dean up close and personal for the last eleven years as our governor, there's something darkly comical about watching the national media refer to him as the "liberal" in the race for the Democratic nomination for president. With few exceptions in the 11-plus years he held the state's top job, Dean was a conservative Democrat at best. And many in Vermont, particularly environmentalists, see Dean as just another Republican in Democrat's clothing… (read more)



* Howard Dean: Champion of the Environment?

by Jerald George Barber, Intellectual Conservative, October 17, 2003

What [Dean] failed to tell the environmentally minded individuals of San Francisco was that he himself owns an interest in timberland, valued between $100,001 and $250,000, in Madison County, Virginia. He also failed to mention the "Champion Lands" deal of January 28, 1999. While governor of Vermont, he approved a state purchase of 107,000 acres, 85,000 of which would be available for the harvesting of the timber. And, all of the property would be opened to public access. The program is very similar to Bush’s Healthy Forests Initiative, of which Dean is so critical… (read more)



* Governor Howard Dean talks about coal-fired power plant

Compilation of press articles by Vermonters for a Clean Environment, 2001

Vermont ought to consider building new electric power plants in the northwestern part of the state, even a coal-fired power plant, Gov. Howard Dean said Tuesday. "We need (electric) generating capacity in northwestern Vermont, and we are overly dependent on natural gas," Dean said. "This is not a proposal, but this is intended to spur discussion. The whole point is to get Vermonters to think about having a power plant in their back yard. We are going to have to have one." . . . Dean's comments sent shudders through the environmental and energy conservation communities. Vermont has a long-standing history of battling with Midwestern coal plants over the pollutants that bring acid rain to Vermont. Vermont also vigorously opposed a modern coal-fired power plant proposed in the early 1990s for a small town outside Albany, N.Y. The state argued that even the diminished emissions from a clean coal plant would hurt Vermont's air quality. The argument helped defeat the proposal in 1994. Vermont's Comprehensive Energy Plan, adopted in 1998, cautions against clean coal technology because it cannot eliminate carbon dioxide pollution, a substance that's one of the chief culprits in global climate change. David Blittersdorf, a wind energy expert and chief executive officer of NRG Systems in Hinesburg, said he was deeply troubled to hear that Dean was even saying the word "coal." "That is absolutely wrong," he said. "We have been trying real hard to get the governor and the state to become aware of what renewables can do. I think people don't want to listen." . . . (read more)



* Crisis in Agriculture in Vermont: A Special Report about Governor Howard Dean's Agriculture Department From Vermonters for a Clean Environment, Inc.

Vermonters for a Clean Environment, March 20, 2002

Agriculture has been a mainstay of Vermont's economy and culture for centuries. The state of Vermont does and should take an active role in supporting agriculture. However, in recent years, support for agriculture has been twisted by our state government so that it no longer means what it once did -- support for family farms and sustainable way of life. Instead, support for agriculture has come to mean support for practices that generate the most dollars in the shortest time with the least concern about their impact on other Vermonters , present and future. . .  (read more)


Dean on other Domestic Issues

* Southern, White Male Dems: Howard Dean's Folly (posted 11/23)
By State Rep. Erik R. Fleming, The Black Commentator, November 14, 2003

Dean is a shrewd politician. He is not one to go on quixotic political quests. This statement was calculated to make a point that the Dean campaign is open to everyone that wants to be a part of it, even Southern white males. The question is what substantive message can he contrive to make his gambit successful. Only time will tell. . . (read more)

Howard Dean & Medical Marijuana, Report Card: C (posted 11/12)

Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana (2003 Report)
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean would direct the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to study medical marijuana and report its findings within a year. Dean would impose a moratorium on Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raids on seriously ill medical marijuana patients during that time. What Dean has done: During 2002, Vermont's legislature considered H. 645, which would have protected seriously ill Vermonters from arrest and jail for using medical marijuana with their doctors' recommendations. Dean was, as the Rutland Herald reported, "a staunch opponent." H. 645 passed the Republican-controlled Vermont House by 82-59, and there were sufficient votes in the Democratic-controlled Senate to pass it there. But Dean used his influence with Senate leaders -- who acknowledged that they didn't want to pass a bill that Dean would veto -- to make sure it never received a floor vote. The legislature did eventually pass, and Dean signed, a bill creating a task force to study the issue. The task force reported in early 2003 that medical marijuana patients deserve legal protection, but Dean's actions guaranteed that medical marijuana patients would continue to face arrest, leaving it to a future governor to fix this injustice. . . . (read more)


* Medical Marijuana Supporters Demonstrate at Fundraiser for Presidential Candidate Howard Dean (posted 11/12)

Drug Reform Coordination Network, March 7, 2003
The Marijuana Policy Project (http://www.mpp.org) organized a protest in Washington DC on Tuesday, March 4, outside a fundraiser being held by 2004 Democratic presidential hopeful Howard Dean. Dean, a physician and former governor of Vermont, stifled state legislation that would have allowed patients to benefit from the relief marijuana provides without facing criminal sanctions. Protesters pointed that because of Dean, medical marijuana patients in Vermont have to risk up to six months of jail time if they are prosecuted for marijuana possession, or not use marijuana and live with increased suffering from their various illnesses. . . . (read more)



* Dean aligns with Bush on death penalty (posted 11/12)

The Rutland Herald, June 14, 2003

Former Gov. Howard Dean appears to be shedding some of the liberal tendencies that have won him national attention as he now expands his support for the death penalty. . . . “This doesn’t surprise me. I think Dean’s willing to do what he has to do to win,” said Frank Bryan, a political science professor at the University of Vermont and longtime observer of Dean. “I really believe he’s very ambitious and he wants to win badly. He has to get to the final plateau, and I think he will take risks with his inconsistencies being discovered in order to get to the next step.” Dean’s support of the death penalty for terrorists puts him in agreement with President Bush. Attorney General John Ashcroft told lawmakers last week that the Justice Department is working on an addendum to the USA PATRIOT Act that includes imposing the death penalty for some terrorist activities. . . . (read more)

Mental breakdown: Embracing change, Vermont neglected its state hospital (posted 11/12)
Boston Globe, October 20, 2003
When federal inspectors emerged from Vermont's tiny state mental hospital this summer, they described conditions that can best be called archaic. Patients paced the halls, or sat in isolation, while staff members ignored them. One woman had not bathed in more than four months. A man had not had his psychiatric evaluation updated since he was admitted -- in 1980. When night came, patients on one ward were ordered to bedrooms that were locked from the outside, with no access to bathrooms. During the review, the situation got worse: Within a span of six weeks, two patients committed suicide in their rooms. One, a 19-year-old woman whose treatment plan specified that she be stripped of her shoelaces, hung herself with a shoelace, according to an advocate who had represented her in grievances against the hospital. The revelations, shocking anywhere, came as a particular surprise in Vermont, a state much admired for its progressive mental health policies. . . . In his run for president, former governor Howard Dean moved early to stake out the territory of mental health for himself, delivering a speech Sept. 12 that promised "real solutions to the mental health care crisis" and holding up the Vermont system as a model. But the state's neglected mental hospital shows the limits of the Vermont success story. . . .Peter Van Vranken, who was Dean's health policy adviser when he was governor, said he "really [doesn't] have an answer" to how the hospital was allowed to deteriorate. . . . (read more)

Past haunts Dean on Medicare issue (posted 11/12)
Boston.com, September 30, 2003
HAD DICK Gephardt been more politically correct last week, he would have rebuked Howard Dean for standing with Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico on proposed Medicare cutbacks in the 1990s or with then-Representative John Kasich of Ohio. To those bosses of the newly Republican budget committee in Congress, he could have added the GOP revolutionaries running the House Ways and Means Committee -- Bill Archer of Texas and Bill Thomas of California. Newt Gingrich, however, was a lightning rod for disbelief -- a distraction, really. Dean expressed wounded shock and horror that anyone would link him to the former speaker, who in turn tried to link slashes in eligibility and other restrictions on Medicare beneficiaries with a whopping tax cut for high-income Americans. The truth, however, is that as a conservative Democratic governor, Dean really did do what Gephardt says he did, and his shifting attempts to wiggle off that hook have made his conduct an issue in a Democratic race that grows more serious by the week. . . . Dean will plead guilty to having supported a slowdown in Medicare's rate of spending growth (from 10 to 7 percent annually) -- an innocuous-sounding, almost accountant-like budget position. In fact, the proposal he supported would have restricted eligibility, called on some retired people to pay more, and used force more than incentives to require participation in managed care. . .  (read more)


* Roxbury man flags Dean's debate debacle (posted 11/12)

Boston Herald, November 5, 2003

Howard Dean, meet Sekou Dilday - your worst nightmare. Dilday is the 25-year-old from Roxbury who rocked Dean's world over the Confederate flag live on CNN last night, leaving the front-runner stumbling and bumbling - all but labeled a bigot and stubbornly refusing to apologize before a worldwide audience. . . . (read more)

Dean's comment on Confederate flags, pickups sparks Iowa dust-up
Associated Press, via USA Today, November 2, 2003
A comment by Howard Dean about Confederate flags and pickup trucks has embroiled the leading Democrats in Iowa's presidential caucuses in a name-calling donnybrook. "I still want to be the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks," the former Vermont governor said in a telephone interview quoted in Saturday's Des Moines Register. "We can't beat George Bush unless we appeal to a broad cross-section of Democrats." . . . (read more)


* Dean’s White Following

by Josh Frank, Dissident Voice, November 3, 2003

On most college campuses across America, presidential hopeful Howard Dean has strong followings.  His campaign calls it “grassroots,” where the Internet and college communities continue to play a central role in garnering money and volunteers for his upbeat campaign.  But how diverse is Dean’s following?  And how grassroots is his campaign? If you’ve ever been to a Dean rally, you probably noticed how disproportionately young and white his patrons are.  It is a sign that not all Democrats have access or time to surf Dean's popular “BlogForAmerica” website, let alone attend his little nationwide hootenannies or Meet-Up events. Just references have been made between Howard Dean and Eugene McCarthy -- who in 1968 lost the Democratic Primaries because his predominately “white” anti-war following couldn’t reach out to black voters in the South.  And Howard Dean may be on the same crash course as old Gene…(read more)



Interview With Vermont Progressive Party Candidate Anthony Pollina

July 29, 2002

For me there are more things that come to mind readily, maybe in no particular order.  Vermont has the most expensive state colleges in the country and we provide less support to our colleges than any other state does.  So in other words in terms of the state providing support in terms of percentage of the colleges' budgets  and what not Vermont ranks, I'm fairly certain we still rank 50th; in some analyses we rank 49th but we're the worst...  The fact is that over the last decade we have consciously underfunded or refused to fund our state colleges adequately.  I mean there's no other way to look at it.  At one point the governor said well our state colleges they lost out during the recession or something like that.  But the fact is we have not provided them adequate funding for a number of years and that's a serious problem for a lot of Vermonters who find themselves unable to afford state colleges.  As a comparison to that Vermont has over the last ten years, which is Dean's time in office, in Vermont we increased our investment in our prisons, our state prisons by 150 percent; we've increased our investment in our state colleges by about 7 percent.  So we have done a lot more to build a put people in prison than we have to invest in and put kids in our colleges.  And I think that that is something that Vermonters have become very concerned about  in recent years as we sort of educate them about that.  The statistics that I gave you come from the chancellor of the Vermont state colleges so it's all accepted and out there that's what we've done, and I think if we could have reversed those investments we would be better off, but we haven't…. (read more)



* Dean's gun control stance product of background

Associated Press, September 12, 2003

Gun-control advocates say Howard Dean is a National Rifle Association poster boy. The NRA says he is "schizophrenic" on guns. Other critics say the Democratic presidential hopeful seeks one set of gun rules for white communities, another for black ones. Nobody seems to be happy with Dean's split-the-middle approach to gun control… (read more)


* Dean would not push for law on gay marriage
Rutland Herald, July 31, 2003
While former Gov. Howard Dean opposes efforts to ban gay marriages -- such as those suggested this week by President Bush -- the presidential hopeful won’t push for a federal law making them legal, his campaign said Thursday. According to campaign manager Joe Trippi, Dean believes that all people are entitled to equal treatment under the law, but the question of what constitutes marriage is a matter for the states to sort out. In the end, Trippi said, the five-term governor would do nothing to prevent states from granting the rights and responsibilities of marriage to same-sex partners, but he does not think the federal government should dictate what marriage is.… The tension between his personal discomfort and his acceptance of the state Supreme Court’s decision was evident when he quietly signed the bill into law. “I can’t imagine any governor in this country who would take the position that I have taken on this bill. In fact, there hasn’t been one,” Dean said in 1999. “But I also think it’s important to acknowledge there are two very strongly divided sides in this debate and I think sometimes signing ceremonies take on the trappings of triumphalism. That was not appropriate in this case.” . . . (read more)


Dean vs. Kucinich (issue comparisons)



* Kucinich v. Dean, issue by issue (posted 11/12)

Compiled by Bob Harris, September 22, 2003


I've omitted issues where broad agreement exists or one candidate has no stated position I could find. As the campaign proceeds and the candidates are asked about more issues, I hope to be able to expand this page and provide more detailed position summaries. I can't promise every word is correct; this is just one guy's best effort. I'm also not saying that Kucinich's positions are "right" on every issue; I just personally agree with most of them, and I think other progressives will, too. Full disclosure: I have friends on the Kucinich campaign, which I support, and almost joined up with full-blast at one point. I also seriously considered supporting Dean for a while, around February and March, until I decided to support Kucinich. Finally, please note: Dean is basically a good guy, and if he's nominated I'll vote for him in a heartbeat. The point here: it's simply not accurate to refer to his politics as progressive, no matter how many times you hear him called that by supporters and the national media. . . . (read more)



* Who comes closest to your dreams and beliefs . . . Kucinich or Dean? (posted 11/12)

by former FCC Commissioner Nicholas Johnson, June 27, 2003




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Josh Frank is a writer and activist living in New York City. He can be reached at: frank_joshua@hotmail.com. Sunil Sharma is the editor of Dissident Voice newsletter. He can be reached at: editor@dissidentvoice.org. Copyright © 2003 Dissident Voice



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