The governor's political opponents were quick to jump on the notion that the state was going to charge the Vermont State Employees Association $1,700 for looking through public records related to state job cuts.
Maybe too quick on the part of the Symington campaign.
Tuesday, the campaign sent out a release criticizing the charge, suggesting the state should have the requested information handy. It said, in part, "itʼs difficult to imagine that the Douglas administration would not have already compiled a list of the job cuts."
It wasn't a list of the job cuts that the VSEA was looking for, however. The union has that. What it wanted was written exchanges among state officials related to the job cuts to see what was behind the decision to cut specific jobs.
A day earlier, the Symington campaign sent out a release with some odd math related to the state's job growth. The campaign claimed that Vermont was projecting the slowest job growth rate in New England. Rhode Island, which lost jobs, didn't count in the rankings, the reasoning went, because the state didn't have job growth.
The release asked: "The question is, do you include a state that lost jobs in a comparison about job growth?"
The answer should have been yes, you do.
Quite separately, I assure you, Douglas campaign manager Dennise Casey and I came to the same analogy. She used the National League. I'm more of an American League kind of person. Under the Symington campaign theory, the reasoning goes like this: The Toronto Blue Jays are the last-place team in the A.L. East among those with at least a .500 record. My Baltimore Orioles, playing below .500, don't count. As an O's fan, you don't have to tell me that, but technically they're still in the standings. Even bad teams are still teams.
- Terri Hallenbeck