The Radio Deli and Grocery seemed like such a perfect place for Pat Leahy, Bernie Sanders and Peter Welch to stage their joint press conference this week calling for passage of an increase in the federal minimum wage to $725.
The joint is on the edge of the Old North End, it's managed by Jim Condon, a Democratic state representative from Colchester and, last but certainly not least, the meatballs the store offers are to die for.
Just one little snag, as Vermont Republican Party Chairman Jim Barnett was all too willing to point out afterward.
It turns out that Condon, a first-term lawmakers, several times last year voted against S. 80, a bill calling for increasing the state's minimum wage to the aforementioned $7.25. Condon, informed of the GOP's disvovery, acknowledged he did indeed vote against the bill but not because he was against the increase. Instead, Condon said he voted no because he was opposed to an amendment to the bill that made future cost of living adjustments automatic.
"I'm for the minimum wage increase," said Condon. "But sometimes we may want to increase it by more than the cost of living adjustment, and other times we may want to increase it by less. I find it amusing that the Republicans are attacking me on this, of all things."
Barnett shrugged off Condon's qualification. "I find it the height of irony and hypocrisy this is where they chose to do their press conference," he said chuckling.
-- Sam Hemingway