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Bill Lee, The 'Spaceman', Running For Vermont Governor On Liberty Union Ticket

Ric Cengeri
Former Red Sox and Montreal Expos player Bill Lee still plays baseball with the Burlington Cardinals, a senior league team. Lee is the Liberty Union party's candidate for governor.

Bill Lee, or the "Spaceman," as he is still affectionately known from his days as a Major League Baseball pitcher with the Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos, is a resident of Craftsbury, and is running for Governor of Vermont in 2016 on the Liberty Union ticket.

"I actually didn't want it, but after reading Plato's The Republic again, and there's young Plato sitting at the knee of Socrates, it basically explains in the art of governing that it's my responsibility to do this because we need change. And I'm the answer, because I'm neither a Republican or a Democrat."

His most important issue is water.

"I'm a water keepers guy with the Robert Kennedy Foundation. I try to save water. I see the pollution in the earth. I'm really not concerned about my constituents, the people of this state. I think we'll get along fine, but if we take care of the environment it will provide enough jobs that we'll all be in the same boat together and it will be a clean boat and a clean lake."

As for Vermont's opiate addiction problem, Lee blames the designated hitter.

"It formed specialization in America, which formed people that took physical education out of the system. People got fat, people got slow, they don't have don't have their own endorphins," he said.

His solution is to run preschoolers three-quarters of a mile, kindergartners a mile every day before they go to class. He wants to prioritize physical education so kids have strong minds and bodies and can control their emotions.

"We need change and I'm the answer because I'm neither a Republican or a Democrat." - Bill Lee

"We're a small enclave. Vermont is not a state, it's a state of mind. It's a place where everybody wants to go. We are free. We have no signs, you have to stop and talk to people," Lee said.

As a resident of Craftsbury, Lee said he's seen the effects of large-scale wind development. "It's all this stuff to give carbon thing to Connecticut and other states so they can burn more coal and we're the ones funding it," he said, referring to renewable energy credits. "All it did is take away our ridgeline up there." He supports a moratorium on large scale wind, but still calls himself a renewable energy guy.

Hear an extended interview with Bill Lee.

"I like little windmills. I want to design them that they go on your house and spin around like art. That's how we're going to make our money, by being small, be a contained thing. We should be our own country."

Lee was recently quoted as saying if Republican Donald Trump becomes president, he's "outta here and he'll take Vermont with us." He wants Vermont to join Quebec.

"All you have to do is take away that line to the north," he said, referring to the border with Canada. "We've got to associate with the maritime provinces because we can have free energy if we harness the tides."

Lee supported Sen. Bernie Sanders in the primary, but will vote for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the general election.  

Lee has already had a documentary made about his life in 2006. A Hollywood bio-pic called Spaceman will hit the theaters later this month. Lee said the movie makes him uncomfortable, but he said, "it tells the story about how I love baseball, tried to get back into baseball and all of the doors where shut in my face."

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station WBUR...as a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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