Lt. gov. candidates tangle at Vermont Press Association debate

On specific issues, Howard opened a gap between him and Scott on abortion rights.

"that's a great difference between me and Sen. Scott," he said. He feels abortion rights are "absolute," he said: "I trust women."

McDonald said that Scott also supports abortion rights but is concerned with "the parents' right to know" and would support a parental notification bill.

Division also appeared on the question of relicensing Vermont Yankee. Howard supported closing Vermont Yankee immediately.

"This is another question of 'whose side are you on?'" he said, pitting "ordinary Vermonters against corrupt corporations."

Sen. Scott, McDonald said, believes the legislature needs more information, both on the operation of the nuclear plant and on the credibility of its owners.

Power and Garritano both agreed with Howard on Vermont Yankee's future.

"Let it expire," said Power emphatically.

On the matter of decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana, the Scott campaign again found itself alone. McDonald said that Scott feels this would amount to "going backwards" in the fight against drugs.

Howard was cautiously positive on the idea.

"It's time for Vermont to have a very serious conversation about that," he said. He would be "open" to the idea of decriminalization.

Garritano was more emphatic. The war on drugs has been "insane," he said. "You're throwing money at a problem-It's wasted money," he said.

Power also said she would go even farther than decriminalization. She would take marijuana off the list of prohibited substances altogether.

(Story appears courtesy of the Herald of Randolph & Vermont Press Association)

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