The Hill reported that… “Brian Dubie and Independent Dennis Steele dominate the Vermont gubernatorial debate.”
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WCAX Interview on “You Can Quote Me!”
WDEV True North Radio Interview
Recent Article in Seven Days
Platform: Secession. Steele’s an active member of the Second Vermont Republic movement (publishers of Vermont Commons newspaper) and thinks Vermont must secede from the United States to avoid economic and social catastrophe. He believes the United States has lost its “moral authority” and that deepening federal deficits make it a “sinking ship” that Vermont should jump off of. Seceding would keep Vermont afloat, he believes, by reclaiming the $2 billion Vermonters currently pay into the U.S. Department of Defense budget. (Steele served in the U.S. Army for three years in the late 1980s — he joined to get money for college — and served as a helicopter crew chief.
We caught up with Steele at Langdon Street Café in Montpelier earlier this week.
Huffington Post Article
Vermont Revolutionaries and the Rise of a Green Tea Party (by Christopher Ketcham)
The most radical antiwar candidate in the US is not Dennis Kucinich or Rand or Ron Paul or any of the usual suspects. It’s a 42-year-old Vermonter named Dennis Steele, who is running for governor of his state as an open secessionist. From what I can tell, Steele is just an average dude. He wears Carhartts and a baseball cap and drives a pickup truck and lives with his wife and two kids in a little Vermont village called Kirby (pop. 500), off in the wild hills of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. On occasion, he feeds his family by hunting deer and butchering the meat himself. He served three years in the US Army — working for “the Empire,” as he puts it — and he tells me his main reason for running is that he doesn’t want his kids serving in the Army. Or any other branch of the Empire. He wants the Empire to drop dead. And he thinks the best way to start that process is by getting Vermont to secede from the union. Destroy the empire by undermining it from within. That’s the goal.
Vermont Public Radio Interview
Channel 5 WPTZ Interview
Now that the election is concluded, I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to all of the people I’ve met in this campaign who’ve provided me with so much help and encouragement over the last ten months. It’s been a long road that we’ve traveled, but having the chance to meet so many good-hearted, intelligent Vermonters gives me great hope for the future of our state. This election has demonstrated that, even in the face of the lesser-evil fears of a close gubernatorial contest, almost two thousand Vermonters had the moral courage to stand up to the corrupt system and use their vote to say “No More!”
Today represents a beginning, not an end. When I agreed to take on the difficult and exhausting task of running for Governor as an independent this year, I did so with the hopes that my actions would serve to help lay the foundations for a robust, grass-roots movement that will carry the message of a Free Vermont forward. Towards that end, I’ve been collaborating with several supporters to found a democratic, state-wide organization. Dedicated to spreading the ideas of Vermont Independence, providing support for Independence-minded candidates for public office, and organizing volunteer activities that both serve our neighbors and help lessen our communities’ dependence on the Federal Government, it will serve as our movement’s new center and engine of growth. It will be organized by county, and I encourage anyone who supported my campaign to get involved in their county committee. Keep an eye on our Facebook page (http://www.Facebook.com/FreeVermont) in the next month for updates about this vitally important project!
Additionally, it is my sincere hope that many of the people who’ve come forward in support of my campaign over the last year will seriously consider donning the mantle themselves and run for office in the next election. Only time will tell what new leaders are destined to emerge in our movement over the next two years, but, with hard work and dedication, I believe 2012 could mark the beginning of the presence of Independence-minded legislators in the State House. In this election, we demonstrated our presence in Vermont’s politics; both Pete Garritano and I finished third in our races, ahead of all the other independent and third party candidates. Our next step is to build upon the foundations of this success and take our movement to the next level!
To conclude, thanks again to all of the supporters around Vermont whose time, energy, and generosity made my campaign possible. Keep in touch, involved, and imagining Free Vermont!
With Much Gratitude,
November 3, 2010
Over the course of this year’s race for Vermont Governor, Dennis Steele’s presence in the contest and debates has had the effect of forcing the issue of America’s crippling involvement in no-win wars half-way around the world into the discourse around the election. At one debate, Peter Shumlin, while hedging himself by claiming that the Governor lacks the power to have much impact on foreign policy, stated that he would use the bully pulpit of the Governor’s office to publicly oppose the wars.
As such, it was profoundly disconcerting that Mr. Shumlin should choose to have Iraq War cheerleader and Vice President Joe Biden come to Vermont today in order to stump for him. In 2002, Biden used his immensely powerful position as Chair of the Senate Foreign Policy Committee to shepherd the war authorization through the Senate, and his Committee’s hearings were widely criticized as more of a farcical propaganda campaign than a legitimate attempt to objectively assess the threat posed by Iraq. Joe Biden was one of the key Democrats in Congress whose collaboration made it far easier for the Bush Administration to sell the false premises of the Iraq War to the American People. (1)
If Mr. Shumlin is serious about his support for a foreign policy of peace, he owes Vermonters an apology for bringing a man whose hands are irrevocably stained with the blood of the 115 Vermonters (2) who’ve been killed or wounded so far in the illegal and immoral Iraq War. If he doesn’t have the strength of character to stand up for the people of Vermont against an influential member of his party, it will only go to show the shallowness of his commitment to achieving true justice for Vermont. It’s time to end the wars and bring our friends and neighbors home safe; to do so, we need a Governor who will stand up to the Federal Government, not one who’ll kow-tow to the very people who’re responsible for this mess. If you agree, please vote Dennis Steele for Vermont Governor tomorrow; Imagine… Free Vermont.
As the election has drawn near, my campaign has begun receiving numerous communications from voters urging me to withdraw from the race and throw my support behind one of the major party candidates. In their emails, the correspondents usually claim that they approve of what I stand for, but, given the closeness of the race, that I should take into account the consequences of whichever candidate’s election they fear and endorse the lesser evil. Indeed, two of the independent candidates have already succumbed to such pressures and have endorsed Peter Shumlin. I will not follow suit for several reasons.
First of all, even if I wanted to, it’s not within my power to swing the base of support I’ve worked hard to build across the state over the last ten months into one camp or the other. My supporters come from across the political spectrum; I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, in the course of this campaign, conservatives, liberals, socialists, anarchists, and libertarians for whom the message of a Free Vermont has deeply resonated. A Brian Dubie supporter came up to me after a debate and traded in his “co-pilot” t-shirt for a stack of fliers to distribute around his college, and I’ve had the distinct pleasure of dropping by a supporter’s house to replace his Peter Shumlin sign with one of my own. Were I to endorse one candidate or the other, not only would it likely have no discernible effect impact due to the diversity of my supporters, but I would (justifiably) lose their respect.
This is ultimately a reflection of the unique character of my candidacy. While most of the third-party or independent candidates ran for the purpose of bringing awareness to certain issues, my goal is to help build a movement. A great many Vermonters are tired of the endless wars which are squandering the lives of our young people and our nation’s prosperity, the corrupt stranglehold of Wall Street and the Military-Industrial Complex upon our republican institutions, and repressive Federal policies that benefit powerful corporations while robbing the people of their liberties. These abuses have worsened under the watch of both Democrats and Republicans, and a growing number of Vermonters have woken up to the fact that, if we seriously desire to live in a peaceful, prosperous, and free society, a new path is needed.
Thus every Vermonter who votes for me on November 2nd will not be spoiling the election for one side or the other, but will instead be sending a powerful and critical message to the political establishment of our society: that, even in a close election in which the pressure to vote for the lesser of two evils is enormous, a critical mass of Vermonters are willing to stand up for what they believe, not what they fear. We need to show the elites of this country that they’d better begin ending the wars and corruption and start returning power back to the people. If they don’t, and the status quo continues apace, our movement will be back in 2012, better organized and more numerous, to take it.
Imagine… Free Vermont!
October 28, 2010