August 24, 2012

MacGovern takes shot at Sanders for ties to wind energy backer

Written by Sam Hemingway, Free Press Staff Writer | Burlington Free Press | 23 August 2012

Republican U.S. Senate hopeful John MacGovern on Thursday called on Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., to give back $7,000 to David Blittersdorf, a Sanders campaign contributor and wind energy developer engaged in an ongoing property rights squabble with landowners in Milton.

“The hypocrisy that is so blatant in Blittersdorf’s pay-to-play politics, and Sanders’ gleefully accepting his contributions, is a perfect example of what motivated me to get involved in this race,” MacGovern said in a statement released by his campaign.

MacGovern said he was referring to a news story earlier this week that said Blittersdorf’s company had obtained a restraining order preventing neighbors of a wind energy project under construction on Georgia Mountain in Milton to venture into a blasting zone that includes some adjacent private property.

“If this corporation doesn’t have enough clearance to blast safely without being a danger to their neighbors, they really ought not to be doing it,” MacGovern said. “Is it because David Blittersdorf gave thousands of dollars to Bernie’s campaign that Bernie is silent on this issue?”

Sanders for Senate spokesperson Ben Eisenberg said Sanders would wait until after Tuesday’s primary to weigh in.

“Bernie doesn’t want to intrude on the Republican Party primary which involves two right wing individuals. When the Republicans select their candidate, Bernie looks forward to a serious discussion of the issues including his strong view that this country must address the crisis of global warming and move towards such sustainable energies as wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass.”

MacGovern and H. Brooke Paige of Washington, Vt., are seeking the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in a low-budget primary.

Sanders has more than $4 million in cash on hand for his bid for a second, six-year term.

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