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vt.Buzz ~ a political blog

Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



Let them eat ice cream

The ice cream, by the way, was Ben & Jerry's, not Vermont Milk Co.

That's pathetic. And it should tell us all something about the financial state of Pollina's company...

This is becoming a lot like watching a car wreck...
Not a surprise, since Pollina almost ran Vermont Milk Company into the ground and they can't afford to pay their farmers. Anyone who thinks Pollina would be a good chief executive of the state needs to take a good, hard look at his record in the past of failed runs for office and failed business ventures. Pollina at the rudder of an entire state is a SCARY thought...
Ahem, Terri, when will you put your thinking cap on and investigate Pollina's sordid little involvement with Vermont Milk Co.? Instead of live-blogging non-events, you could actually be investigating and reporting...
The thought of him being Governor is enough to make you shudder.
Or Skudder...
Wow. I didn't know there was a wrong way to give out ice cream.
According to my count, this site gave 10 -- count 'em -- consecutive posts to this non-event. It's a record, for sure. Is anyone there feeling silly? Or, at the very least, in need of a little explanation?

You guys are acting like groupies, not reporters. But I hope you enjoyed the ice cream.
Anonymous said...

"Not a surprise, since Pollina almost ran Vermont Milk Company into the ground and they can't afford to pay their farmers. Anyone who thinks Pollina would be a good chief executive of the state needs to take a good, hard look at his record in the past of failed runs for office and failed business ventures. Pollina at the rudder of an entire state is a SCARY thought..."

Yeah, almost as scary as the thought of shrub being elected Governor of Texas and selected President of the United States with the power to lie us into an unjustified and unjustifiable war in Iraq that needlessly killed or maimed upwards of 50K US Troops while, pissing on the Constitution and running the Country into the ground in the process.

It's not a surprise that your ignorant anonymous ass would walk right into that one, either, little factually-challenged fella.

After all, you're dumb, you're scum and ya got bupkis.

Always a pleasure.

Will you be "live blogging" next time Tony says what he said 3 months ago?
"Instead of live-blogging non-events, you could actually be investigating and reporting..."

Keep dreaming. That would require actual work, and we know that ain't happening at the Free Press. Only news outlet operating at a slower speed is AP. They've mostly resigned themselves to cutting and pasting from Free Press and Argus stories. The print media ain't long for this world.
Hey, I'm no more a fan of the Freeps than I am of Pollina, Doogie or Shrub. At the end of the day, it's a Gannett Paper with no more or less credibility than the Arizona Republic or the Indianapolis Star.

That said, they only cover the events. They have no control over what the schmuck says or doesn't say.

Cut 'em some slack on this one.
Say what? They only "cover" events? Sorry, but good journalists and journalism involves a whole hell of a lot more than merely showing up to cover events. This little foray into live-blogging a non-event should be Exhibit A to that point.

I.F. Stone is rolling over in his grave...
We launched a campaign for Governor in March, surrounded by over 400 of our closest friends and supporters, after saying in December I would be a candidate.

As far back as August I began reaching out to build a coalition strong enough to defeat an incumbent governor. I made a special effort to reach out to friends in the Democratic Party believing grassroots Democrats shared our goal of electing a governor more in touch with the needs of Vermonters. Many were very supportive. But, the Democratic State Committee refused to meet and talk about a combined effort.

Recently, a Democratic candidate entered the race. We continue to gain support but some have asked about the dynamics of a race with three viable candidates.

There has been a lot of speculation – and a lot of political spin – about whether I might leave the race or run for another office. I heard the rumors just as you have. It began to sound to me like insider politics, so I thought it best to come together, here in the sunlight, to end the political spin, bury the myths that cause the speculation and outline a winning the race for Governor.

Let me begin by saying I love Vermont. I have worked with Vermonters from one end of the state to the other for many years. And I am deeply concerned. I do not see any vision coming out of Montpelier. I hear a lot of bickering and little else. And, it worries me.

Like the rest of America, we in Vermont are being battered by globalization and unprecedented corporate greed. We are losing good jobs. Basics like housing and health care are out of reach for many good hard working people. And we seem to focus on trying to sell cheese to China, give tax credits to corporations and a two day sales tax holiday to families who aren’t even sure if they can put gas in the car to get to the mall to spend money they don’t have.

We need to get real. People are being priced out of our state. Families are losing hope, wondering if they can put food on the table or pay the rent. Sometimes you have to stand up for what you really believe in. I believe we can do better – much better. But need to stop the politics, end the bickering and start working together. We need a new attitude about state government and a new kind of Governor.

But we are losing something else very important to our Vermont, something that goes to the very soul of this campaign. We are losing our sense of community, the connection that holds us together. We can’t blame it all on Montpelier. But what goes on in Montpelier does make a difference.

When farms are lost, woodlots disappear and we give up on protecting our environment; we lose our community and our culture.

When Montpelier forces local communities to vote twice on school budgets, we erode local control and local communities.

When working families cannot afford a home, it hurts community.

When workers have to drive from Newport to Burlington to find work, it hurts our communities and our environment.

When the gap between the rich and the rest of us grows faster in Vermont than most places, it certainly tears at the fabric of our community.

When we lose good jobs. When workers have to leave the state to find work, it hurts our families.

When parents cannot afford to send their kids to college. When we spend more on corrections than higher education, when we rob kids of their hope, it definitely hurts our community.

When the Governor and Legislature bicker over politics and ignore what is really important, it undermines our sense of community and our faith in government.

We need to pull together, put the politics behind us and get our community back on track. We need a Governor who believes we can do it. That starts here.

We have two other parties that have shared power for many years – in Washington and in Montpelier. It is time these two shared power with the rest of us.

Some now ask if the race is now different from a strategic point of view. It is not. We entered the race early, reached out and worked hard. A campaign is about earning the most votes, regardless of who is in the race. A serious campaign has no other goal. You don’t seek to come in second or third or throw the race to the legislature.

Some ask if Democrats and Progressives siphon votes from each other or if we can stop three way races that turn elections to Republicans.

In recent times three races with more than 2 strong candidates, brought Republican victories. Peter Smith won over Bernie Sanders for U.S. Congress, the Democrat came in third. Two years later Bernie was elected. In 2002, races for Governor and Lt. Governor went to the Legislature, (Republicans won the most votes). And a Democratic Legislature voted our current Governor and Lt Governor in office.

The race for Lt Governor exposes the myth that Progressives take votes from Democrats. In 2002 I received 25% of the vote for Lt. Governor. One in four Vermonters cast their ballot for someone outside the other major parties for the state’s second highest office. In 2004, I was not in the race. A Progressive earned 7% of the vote. The Progressive vote fell 18 points. The Democratic vote total should have risen by 18 points. It rose by less than 4. Most Vermonters who voted Progressive two years earlier, decided to vote Republican, not Democratic.

Some ask if there are differences between the candidates.
There are big differences between myself and the other two candidates.

They are political insiders. I am not. They have spent their time in the Statehouse while I have been working with Vermonters in their communities on issues that matter most to them. I cannot be painted with the broad brush used by the Governor against the Legislature and its leaders.

And, there are big differences between us on the issues.

They stood together supporting the 2-vote mandate for local school budgets. I oppose efforts to undermine local decision-making, including the two-vote mandate and No Child Left Behind. I will not attack public education. I support public schools and want them to have the flexibility to meet the needs of our kids.

They stood together supporting a so-called economic stimulus package that is mostly smoke and mirrors and does nothing to create good jobs for Vermonters. They stood together on an affordable housing plan that weakens Act 250 and defines “affordable housing” as houses that sell for $250,000. Not what working and low income Vermonters call affordable.

Under their leadership, our health care costs have gone up and up and up. They bickered and nibbled while our spending on health care in Vermont went up $2 billion under our current governor’s “affordability” agenda. We do not have a health care system. We have a health care industry, an industry that’s about making profits. As Governor, I would not rest until we have a system that takes the burden of health care costs off our employers and out of the workplace.

Under this leadership our environmental laws have gone un-enforced, efforts to protect Lake Champlain have moved backwards. And planning for our energy future has just not happened. I will stand up for our environment, because that is what Vermonters do. And move us towards Vermont-owned, clean, safe, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

I will take on, not avoid the biggest issue of our time. I will engage Vermonters in a discussion about the impact of the Iraq War on every decision we make here in Vermont. And I will ask other Governors engage in the same discussion. This war must be part of every conversation we have about our economy in Vermont. When we say we can not afford to fix the roads, we must remember the war. When we can not afford to invest in energy efficiency, we should remember this war. When we cannot support our colleges we should remember this war. When we talk about families making tough choices in hard times, we better talk about this war. When we talk about gas prices we better talk about Exxon Mobil’s profits and about this war.

Some people ask how we get things done as an outsider. How do you get things done when you haven’t been on the inside?

Let’s look at what the insiders are doing in Montpelier. Under the affordability agenda, we have lost thousands of good jobs; the average Vermont family can’t afford the average Vermont home, we have the most expensive state colleges in the country, we spend more on prisons than on higher education, gas is $4 a gallon, heating fuel is up, farmers are struggling and health care costs are rising with no end in sight…let’s thank the insiders for that.

For 30 years I have worked as an organizer, with Vermonters across the state.

I have had dairy farmers tell me that no one in Montpelier listens to them. I have worked with families of kids with disabilities fighting back when important programs were being cut. I have supported workers fighting to keep their jobs and dreams from disappearing. I hold their struggles and their voices within me. They inspire me and give me the courage to move forward.

They also make clear to me, how out of touch our current Governor is with these Vermonters and their struggles. There is nothing more important a Governor can do than make sure those voices, those struggles, those Vermonters are heard in Montpelier.

How do we get things done?

We change the attitude about state government. Vermonters are tired of a Governor who tells us what we can not do. I think Vermonters struggling to make ends meet are ready for a governor who wants to bring us together so we can start talking about and working on the things we can do.

We work with Legislators of all parties, as I have done when advocating for farmers, for people with disabilities, for seniors, consumers and others.

Most importantly as Governor I would speak directly to and work directly with Vermonters – with you. As Governor I would engage citizens and organize at the grassroots level so we – you – can bring change to Montpelier.

We know people in power don’t give it up easily. We must be persistent. We need to have courage to speak up, get involved and know that change starts here.

It is how we win on the issues and how we win this campaign.

Our path to victory is challenging but clear. We are not blazing a trail. It is here. Just a bit overgrown, it was used by Bernie Sanders, by Phil Hoff, and by Barack Obama. It takes us thru the small towns and the cities across the state. It takes us directly to the front doors of Vermonters, to the farms, the VFWs, the workplaces and schools. It requires us to stand up for what we believe in.

Over the last few months I have held over 50 public meetings and house meetings.
Since May 4 alone, I have traveled to 29 different communities, meeting with Vermonters in restaurants, town halls, libraries, meeting rooms and living rooms. I did not talk at folks. I talked with them. And they spoke about what is most important to them. That is what this campaign is about.

Now, we are ready to take off again, to raise the level of discussion.

We will start knocking on doors, talking with our neighbors about what is important to them. And we will celebrate Vermont with local ice cream and food in towns across the state.

We will keep doing what we started here today: end myths and remind Vermonters of our proud, strong, independent, progressive tradition. We are proud to have the voices of Bernie Sanders in Washington and we will be proud to have a similar voice in the Governor’s office.

We will add to the over 350 Democrats for Pollina and look forward to their support in the campaign. But we will reach across all party lines to build a better Vermont.

And, we will add to what is already the most incredible bunch of volunteers a campaign has ever had.

We will remind Vermonters that change does not come easy because those in power do not want change at all.

And, I warn you now we will not be first in the next poll. And we will not be ahead in the money race. But we can learn from Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and others about the validity of early polls and the importance of actually connecting with voters.

As I travel the state it begins to seem like the current Governor and I live in two different Vermonts. His is a bad place to do business, where young people and the well to do want to leave, where we can’t fix our roads, or make real investments in our farms or colleges. My Vermont is recognized for a great quality of life, a great workforce, lots of great businesses and entrepreneurs, and some of the best public schools in the country. In his Vermont we attack public education. In mine we attack the cost drivers – health care, energy and fuel – that put pressure on school budgets and we give public schools respect and support. In his we fear government. In mine we put it to work for us. I believe most of us live in my – in our – Vermont.

So, imagine a Governor who not only shared your vision of a strong local economy, clean energy and local food but has worked to help make it happen. Imagine a Governor who has walked the picket line and stood up for workers; a Governor who graduated from and is committed to our Vermont State Colleges; a Governor who has spent 30 years organizing and advocating for and with Vermonters.

Imagine what it would be like to have a Governor who cared as much about this community as you do. A Governor who does not just talk about change but has been working to make it happen. A governor who knows very well that when we work together, we can do better – much better. Imagine a governor who really shared your vision of Vermont and was ready to work with all of you to help make our vision of a better Vermont, a reality.

Together, we can do better!

Thank you very much.
Ben and Jerry have a new flavor.

Phony Tony.
"Say what? They only "cover" events? Sorry, but good journalists and journalism involves a whole hell of a lot more than merely showing up to cover events. This little foray into live-blogging a non-event should be Exhibit A to that point.

I.F. Stone is rolling over in his grave..."

I.F. Stone, eh?

Gimme a break, little nameless-nitwit fella.

Terri, Nancy and Sam aren't investigative reporters. They're beat reporter covering a political beat and blogging here to -theoretically, anyhow - give us a focus and a topic for discussion. No more. No less.

If they've done investigative reporting in the past, they sure as hell ain't doin' it now.

Again, this is a Gannett Operation here. They're all about cutting expenses and maximizing profit. Journalism is not their primary concern and they're not gonna spend any more than they have to.

Based on their track record, our genial hosts will provide us with good reason to criticize them soon enough, little fella, but this case ain't it.
So many words to say so little.
Psst...hey Tony...Obama's a Democrat. So either join his party or stop trying to ride on his coattails. But you can't have it both ways.

As for JW: Get a life. Or at least some better reasoning. Make us all happy and dismiss yourself.
Anonymous said...

"Ben and Jerry have a new flavor.

Phony Tony."

Actually, thanks to Pollina, they have two.

Doogie Dung - complete with an additional two-year supply of "extra jimmies"

Watch bubbles and the bubbleheads make that slop fly off the shelves.

It will go on to comprise 38 percent of the market come November before being recalled when the product flavor is discovered not to be a clever play on words and the extra jimmies are discovered to be made of the real thing and Vermont Taxpayers are stuck with the super-fund site bill.

Bank on it.
C'mon give us some news.
Anonymous said...

"As for JW: Get a life. Or at least some better reasoning. Make us all happy and dismiss yourself."

Gee, that's mighty sweet of ya to say, little nameless-nitwit fella. Just knowin' your ignorant anonymous ass feels that way is reason enough to stay.

Why should I spend time and money spoilin' a perfectly good walk whackin' a little white Titleist around now that the weather has broken and the fairways has dried out when I can save money and reduce my risk of Melanoma when I can stay here and smack your little white balls from pillar to post like I did all Winter as I rehabbed my knee and ankle after surgery.

I'll certainly never have to worry about sunblock, SPF factors and UV rays emanating from your dimwitted delusional dreck, deduce bag.

Thanks for the inspiration, little fella.

Ignorant trash with bupkis talkin' about "better reasoning".

That's a good one, little nameless-nitwit fella.

That's right up there with Bush tellin' Brownie he was doing a heck of a job or talkin' about having McClellan down to Crawford so they can talk about the good ol' days, Nader and Pollina claimin' they don't syphon off votes from Democrats or put incompetent trash in the White House and the Governor's Chair and ignorant anonymous trash with bupkis talkin' about anything.

Always a pleasure.

"WCoop10 said...
Anonymous said...

"Ben and Jerry have a new flavor.

Phony Tony."

Actually, thanks to Pollina, they have two."

...and Coop would know about the flavors sold by Ben and Jerry's, being a counter boy and all.
The press conference yesterday was a lame free press event.
Anonymous said...
"WCoop10 said...
Anonymous said...

"Ben and Jerry have a new flavor.

Phony Tony."

Actually, thanks to Pollina, they have two."

"...and Coop would know about the flavors sold by Ben and Jerry's, being a counter"

A counter, eh?

Well, I've certainly never run out of fingers on my left hand counting the times your ignorant anonymous ass has had anything to say you could back up since ya got here, little factually-challenged fella.

Moreover, I don't expect that situation to change based on your continuing delusional dreck output, little clueless-cretin fella.

Always a pleasure.

Attended myself--quite a festive atmosphere (though I passed on the ice cream).

Thought Anthony was a bit disingenuous declaring that he called the press conference "to put rumors to rest" when those very rumors were set in play by his own campaign people's coyness with Bob Kinzel and Nancy Remsen. I came down because of the plausible speculation that Pollina would switch to the LG race. "Wolf" was cried.

Trouble with such a PR stunt is that you can pull it just once...even the Vermont Press Corps resents being played for a collective sucker.

Tony should savor yesterday's crowd--it's the biggest one he'll draw until his concession speech this November.
I hope the media - print, radio and TV - realize they were manipulated by Anthony.

This was a lame attempt to get press coverage when tehy haven't been covering his campaign since Gaye jumped in.

I really believe this is all about maintaining major party status for the Progs!
In every interview with Pollina, the Vermont press has quizzed him relentlessly about the status of his campaign. So he called a press conference to answer the question once and for all.
that's bogus. there was never any serious doubt that tony is running for Gov ... until thiws week when his own people started playing coy with in order to get attention.

Tony jumped the shark a long, long time ago.
Anonymous said...


And still your ignorant, anonymous, bubblehead ass keeps posting your delusional dreck, little factually-challenged fella.

Your sheer determination to keep proving that you don't know your ass from your elbow about anything is downright inspirational, shmendrik. Oh, perhaps, not in the way you intend, but, nevertheless, inspirational all the same.

Always a pleasure.

Yawn. Your continued responses to posting such as this show just how easy it is to make you look like the village idiot that you are.
The whole escapade was embarrassing.
Hey ice cream!

Something that useless pile of dog waste named jwcoop knows something about!

Go Vince Foster yerself, you yellow-toothed windbag.
Well, in your capacity as my eyes and ears and primary link to the coalition of the clueless cretin community, thanks, as always, for your factually-challenged/fundamentally-dishonest/ignorant trash with bupkis take on the issue, little filly.

Clearly, you have your finger on the pulse of the subhuman scum vote and if I ever start givin' a damn what the lunatic-fringe likes of your sorry, gop-slop spewin' butt think about this or anything else, I'll be sure to bear that in mind.

Always a pleasure.

Gee, two one syllable words in under five hours, little factually-challenged fella. That's gotta be a personal best for your ignorant, ill-informed, anonymous ass, auntie amerika.

Always a pleasure.

You go,
gaye Symington!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Pollina all the way!
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