BURLINGTON – It can be hard to reach across the aisle in today’s divided political climate, but that hasn’t stopped “Campaign For Vermont,” an advocacy organization dedicated to bettering the state, from bringing together not only Republicans, but conservatives as well. CFV was founded by Republican Bruce Lisman and conservative Tom Pelham, and the unifying has just gotten stronger over the years.
“Take a look at our board members, past and present,” says current CFV board chair Louise McCarren. “I think you will find a healthy mix of Republican politicians, lobbyists, lawyers, military veterans, and business owners. In fact, I don’t think you will find a healthier mix of both Republican and conservative voices anywhere in the state.”
And it isn’t just talk. A brief look at the issues that CFV is focusing on reveals not only perennial Republican favorites such as lowering taxes, but also very conservative policies like cutting back human services. When asked how such conflicting ideologies could ever coexist within one nonpartisan organization, former Wall Street executive Lisman replied “I am no longer affiliated with Campaign For Vermont. Why are you asking me about it? I am extremely nonpartisan.”