Galbraith’s strange bedfellow

The self-described progressive choice for Governor, Peter Galbraith, took a trip inside the Beltway Monday night to attend a megadollar fundraiser for his gubernatorial campaign.

As reported by Seven Days’ Paul Heintz, the top ticket price for the fete was $4,000, although you could get your foot in the door for a measly $250.

The mere fact of a DC fundraiser doesn’t bother me overmuch, although (as Heintz pointed out) it’s a bit ironic for a guy who’s made such a stink about the excessive influence of money in politics. He claims the mantle of Bernie Sanders, but he’s fundraising like Jeb Bush. Still, you’ve got to play the game by the rules as they stand, even if you’d like to see them changed. And I’m sure Galbraith has plenty of generous friends in our nation’s capital.

No, something else stood out for me.

That was the location of the bash: “The Home of John and Christina Ritch.” The Ritches live in one of the finer parts of the city, of course. But that’s not my point. My point is that, before he retired in 2013, John Ritch spent a dozen years as chief of The World Nuclear Association.

The World Nuclear Association is the international organization that represents the global nuclear industry.  … Our members are responsible for virtually all of world uranium mining, conversion, enrichment and fuel fabrication;  all reactor vendors;  major nuclear engineering, construction, and waste management companies; and most of the world’s nuclear generation.

Uh-huh.

A candidate who claims to be progressive, who claims to be forward-looking on energy and climate change, who comes from Vermont Yankee’s backyard, for Pete’s sake, chumming it up with the longtime head of a global nuclear-industry trade group.

I don’t think this makes Galbraith a secret ally of the nuclear industry, but it is a rather astonishing display of political tone-deafness. Hanging out with one of the world’s top nuclear-industry advocates is not a way to endear yourself to the liberal wing of Vermont politics.

He must have a pretty deep Rolodex in Washington; couldn’t he have found another location for his party?

 

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