VERMONTERS CONSIDERING SECESSION
By Mark Anderson
Garritano, one of at least 10 Vermonters running independently for
state office this year on a secessionist basis, says the United States
has become an empire so cruel and indifferent to the American people
and their Constitution, and so brutal in its foreign policy, that there
is little value in avoiding the question of secession any longer.
Jan. 15—Vermont Independence Day—these candidates appeared
at a “town hall meeting” in the capital city, Montpelier.
They announced their candidacies, which have no party affiliation.
Besides local media, a freelancer for Time magazine, showed considerable interest and is writing a book on secession.
the general turnout at the hall was good, most of the questions came
from these reporters. Many wondered how realistic this secession
idea—the process of a state leaving the United States and
becoming its own country—actually is in the context of modern
politics, with some asking what happens if only one or two of the
secession candidates get elected.
Garritano, 54, a lieutenant
governor candidate from Shelburne, told AMERICAN FREE PRESS that the
state’s election rules do not require him and secessionist-minded
gubernatorial candidate Dennis Steele to run as a team—meaning
that either one could be elected separately, or they could both get
elected, depending on how economically wounded voters take to their
philosophy of refocusing the state-federal relationship with a strong
emphasis on the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
there is the occasional heated comment that secession would
“recreate the Confederacy and black slavery,” Garritano
said secession in today’s world is a totally different ball game.
With so many people of all colors and creeds taking hard hits from
extreme economic mismanagement of the nation, the use of the
Constitution as a floor mat, and President Obama reneging on nearly
every major campaign promise, many from across the political spectrum
find themselves intrigued with the secession concept.
Garritano sees it: “Half the people running on our ticket had
voted for Obama and they are now so frustrated and realize it’s
just more of the same. . . . There has been no change, and he has
stepped up the pace on all of Bush’s policies,” Garritano
told AFP. “And that is the reason they are involved in this
Obama did not overturn either the Military
Commissions Act or the Patriot Act, to name just two acts that smack of
tyranny, after indicating he would.
“All the things that
people wanted him to change . . . he has struck out on all those
issues,” Garritano added. He also said honoring the 10th
Amendment consistently would be a major improvement by itself, and
perhaps would represent “baby steps” toward secession. Yet,
Garritano is not obsessed with secession nor is he indifferent toward
practical state issues. And while winning seats in the state government
seems like a
stretch, he and the others see their effort as more than
The local car dealer said that, precisely because
education is so important, it should be strictly a state and local
matter, adding that if he has anything to say about it, Vermont would
refuse federal money for education and everything else. If you
don’t take the king’s nickel, you don’t get the
noose, he figures.
That would include preserving the
home-schooling option while casting aside the federal education act
best known as No Child Left Behind (now called Race to the Top, under
Obama) and other federal meddling, so Vermont citizens could get on
with life without Washington in control.
(unpasteurized) milk, available in Vermont and New Hampshire, among
other places, could be sold retail on a level playing field with all
other dairy products, so the path from farm to refrigerator does not
include the risk of fines and arrest by overzealous state health
officials, who, as AFP has learned, too often protect big dairy
interests and keep the healthy option of raw milk away from a sizable
number of consumers. Notably, this dairy protection racket is
especially prevalent in California and Pennsylvania. Also, Michigan has
been heavy-handed toward raw milk, especially its distribution.
likes North Dakota’s operation of its own state bank to help town
banks put the state and its people first, to re-grow jobs lost by NAFTA
and other causes, and to try and detach from Wall Street predators.
a first-time candidate, admits that getting far with the secession
concept right out of the starting gate will be tough. But beyond
himself and Steele, the eight secession candidates seeking state Senate
seats in Vermont could make quite an impact if public sentiment swings
their way and the media treat them as more than a passing curiosity.
the state Senate only has 30 seats and has more power than the more
populous state House, then a few new senators armed with this idea
could at the very least put the state on a much bolder 10th Amendment
path (which is happening in Oklahoma even without much talk of
Garritano knows the mere mention of secession is
touchy. But more people seem willing to discuss it. He said that trend
illustrates just how bad things have become in the United States, such
as in Detroit—the once-great Motor City—which is crumbling,
and in Flint, Michigan, which is becoming a ghost town in too many
If there could be a sizable secessionist-minded
presence in the Vermont Senate and in the governor’s office,
there is no telling what could happen.
Mark Anderson is a
longtime newsman now working as a corresponding editor for American
Free Press. Together he and his wife Angie provide many photographs of
the events they cover for AFP. Mark welcomes your comments and inputs
as well as story leads. Email him at at [email protected].
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(Issue # 5, February 1, 2010)