The news that Vermont Tubbs will be closing its Brandon plant is, as you can imagine, causing a furor on the campaign trail.
Immediately, Democratic Coordinated Campaign Director Kristina Althoff fired off an e-mail, charging Republican Gov. Jim Douglas with a failure to deliver well-paying jobs. She also accused him of wasting a half-million dollars in state money on the company.
That wasn't true, however. The state did approve a community development grant for Tubbs in February, but Tubbs never completed the process to receive the money, said David Mace, spokesman for the state Agency of Commerce and Development.
Althoff was unabated. Today, the Democratic Party posted a video on YouTube blaming Douglas for announcing a $500,000 grant in an April 15 news release that never ended up reaching its destination.
Althoff's new statement: "Jim Douglas needs to explain why he misled Vermonters that he was giving $500,000 to help Vermont Tubbs when in fact he never delivered on that commitment."
One does wonder why Douglas highlighted a grant that wasn't a done deal, but to say that he never delivered on the commitment? Did anybody really want the state to insist that a company take the money? You have to figure that at that point Tubbs execs were already calling the movers to arrange the move out of town.
Don't be surprised, too, if somewhere along the way Douglas puts the blame for these job departures on the Legislature. If only the state were more affordable ...
So it is with the election season. Some healthy questions are raised. For some points, the truth is bent farther than a palm tree in a hurricane. The finger-pointing is alternately a healthy piece of democracy at work and a destructive turnoff to voters. There's a fine line between the two.
- Terri Hallenbeck