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


8.27.2008

 

Face time

Gov. Jim Douglas has launched his first TV ad, according to his campaign. It's short, 30-second spot and hits the airwaves tonight, wedged right around the Democratic National Convention coverage.

Here's the transcript, with Douglas speaking:

"Vermonters are really hurting. They’re feeling the pinch as gas
prices and fuel prices and food prices rise – beyond their means. That’s
why I moved quickly to propose my economic stimulus plan to encourage the
creation of new jobs, to provide the sales tax holiday, provide easier access to
small business loans and home mortgages. I really believe that during the
next couple years I can continue to make a difference to assure hope and
opportunity and prosperity for the families of Vermont."

The things he doesn't say:

Whether any of this pain is his fault.

What, if anything tangible, his stimulus plan is doing to reverse things.

He doesn't blame the Legislature, or his Democratic opponent, in the ad. That's reserved for other opportunities.

- Terri Hallenbeck

Comments:
I wouldn't expect any more than 30 seconds from a candidate that has zilch to run on, outside of co-opting ideas from the Dems and Progs and making them his own.
 
Ideas?

Like impeachment?

Or Hemp?
 
Jim Douglas, like Karl Rove and GWB, will point the fingers at anyone but himself.

It's always someone else's fault!

And for the most part, the press is complicit - they never really challenge him - heck, they are afraid Jason Gibbs will get mad at them!
 
We all know that it's the role of the legislative branch to propose legislation, the judicial to uphold it and the admisnistrative to implement it. If the legislative branch doesn't propose or pass it that is no fault of the administrative branch. Madam Symington and her ilke are solely to blame for any lack of substantive legislation dealing with the many issues of importance to Vermonters. Let's tax plastic bags and require stress free eggs but screw your high property taxes.
 
Ah, I see. Jim Douglas can't be blamed for anything.

His administration releases dangerous sex offenders from prison early ... but it's not his fault.

Jim Douglas refuses to follow the law and establish Special Investigative Units for sex crimes ... but it's not his fault.

See, Douglas is 'in charge' but he can't be blamed for anything that goes wrong in state government.

He's not really a leader. He's just a figurehead.
 
He also has fought for Jessica's Law but the dims refuse to strengthen laws against child molesters. Might lose too many of their supporters I guess.
 
The FACT is that the Democrats increased the sentences for child molesters.

Victims advocate groups and law enforcement officials are against Jessica's Law because they recognize that it won't work.

Learn the facts.
 
Increasing sentences means NOTHING if it doesn't include MANDATORY ones as well. It's just another dimocrat shell game to keep the ACLU and the pablum-puking bleeding hearts happy. By the way, how come Jessica's Law has been passed by almost every state in the country? (I realize they aren't populated by the geniuses we have in Montpelier, but they must know SOMETHING!)
 
It means NOTHING if the Governor's Administration let's the perverts out of prison EARLY.

The Governor won't enforce the current law! How will new ones help ??
 
Why have thousands of victims of sexual abuse stood up AGAINST Jessica's Law?

Because they know it won't help. In fact, the actual result will be that fewer predators will be caught.

Fewer prosecutions. Fewer arrests. Our children will be less safe.
 
Other states did not have similar laws in place, so they passed Jessica's law.
 
Vermont's laws in that regard are adequate; they're just not enforced by the judicial system which apparently isn't concerned unless the Catholic Church is involved.
 
This blog seems to be well represented by members of NAMBLA.
 
Not at all. Just reminding people of judges who allow early release for perpetrators who were convicted of child RAPE fir good behavior while in prison (where there, presumably are no children). The guilty party then goes out and RAPES children again. No responsibility for the judgment of the judge; no suing the state for the victims of the later offenses and no punitive damages for the grief caused them--something that will stay with them all their lives. Contrast that
to fondling through clothing thirty years ago by a pepetrator who is not punished in any way because society has forgiven him and he has no money.
 
Furthermore, men who assault little girls get treated more lightly than those who assault little boys. It is just as traumatic for the little girl as it is for the boy so get over the homophobia and treat those offenses just as seriously.
 
Bubba's been a member of NAMBLA for so long that he recognizes all of the members.
 
It's remarkable that Bubba makes it to so many NAMBLA meetings, since he is so active in the Flat Earth Society.

He's a busy, busy guy.
 
Jim Douglas' mantra, "If the state did something wrong, it must be the legislature's fault"

After all, all he does is implement and enforce the LAW!
 
bubba said...

"Increasing sentences means NOTHING if it doesn't include MANDATORY ones as well."

Ah, so when doogie's incompetent-trash commissioner of corrections, "hell of a job, hoffie", recommends early release for the likes of Michael Jacques, you want doogie to be protected from doogie. How thoughtful of you.

If the schmuck needs protection from himself, Vermont needs protection from the incompetent gop-slime likes of doogie.

"It's just another dimocrat shell game to keep the ACLU and the pablum-puking bleeding hearts happy."

In other words, you're still dumb, you're still scum and your ignorant anonymous ass has got bupkis.

Thanks for clearin' that up, bubble boy.

"..By the way, how come Jessica's Law has been passed by almost every state in the country? (I realize they aren't populated by the geniuses we have in Montpelier, but they must know SOMETHING!)"

Well if it's been passed by almost every state in the country, I'm sure your ignorant anonymous ass will be all too happy to list the ones that haven't.

Gee, bupkis. I'm shocked.

Bubbles, you're white-supremacist slime.

Take it where the climate suits your sheet, schmuck.
 
bubba said...

"This blog seems to be well represented by members of NAMBLA."

In other words, ya got bupkis.

It's nice to see the Scum Vote has sent your ignorant anonymous ass to represent their Vermont Chapter, chump.

Disappear.
 
Anonymous said...

"Not at all. Just reminding people of judges who allow early release for perpetrators who were convicted of child RAPE fir good behavior while in prison (where there, presumably are no children).

Is it your ignorant anonymous ass's clueless-cretin contention that rape of fir saplings is a widespread problem that merits increased public debate, deduce bag?

Nice try, what's your position on incompetent trash corrections commissioners who recommended early release to the judge, little nameless-nitwit fella?

Gee, I'm shocked.

"The guilty party then goes out and RAPES children again."

Sometimes, their shameless, incompetent asses just run for reelection.

"No responsibility for the judgment of the judge; no suing the state for the victims of the later offenses and no punitive damages for the grief caused them--something that will stay with them all their lives. Contrast that
to fondling through clothing thirty years ago by a pepetrator who is not punished in any way because society has forgiven him and he has no money."

Ah, so your ignorant anonymous ass wants the public to be able to sue the State, but not the Archdiocese who knowingly concealed the conduct of the priest or priests in question and hoped that the situation would never come to light because they're infinitely more concerned with covering their sorry butts than caring for the younger lambs in the flock they're allegedly there to minister to the needs of.

And how often do senior officials of the archdiocese in question stand for election, little apples and anvils fella?

Nice try. Shove off, schmuck.
 
First, it's the diocese, not the archdiocese. Second, I was pointing out that there is a double standard here in more ways than one. Nowhere did I say that people shouldn't be accountable; I said that the circumstances were similar, though notably more severe in one instance, but the outcomes were very different, based upon a bias toward one organization involved. Both parties were told that psychologists saw the perpetrators as not a danger anymore; one is condemned for accepting this, the other excused for it. Maybe its you who should open your closed prejudiced mind.
 
Anonymous said...

"Why have thousands of victims of sexual abuse stood up AGAINST Jessica's Law?"

I'll take "Because it's a tough case to make and if it's all or nothing, the defendant has nothing to lose by rolling the dice and going to trial, often requiring the victim to be put on the stand to testify, thereby subjecting them to cross examination setting up a possible scenario where a guilty defendant could walk away a free pedophile" for one thousand, Alex.

If every wrongful death results in charges of First Degree Murder for every defendant, every defendant has nothing to lose by going to trial where guilty defendants can walk.

That's why they offer Man One or Murder Two and force the defendant to cut his losses or roll the dice.

If every case on the docket goes to trial, you're gonna see some seriously backed up Courts and a lot of defendants contesting their case on Sixth Amendment grounds and getting off because their rights have been violated.

"Because they know it won't help. In fact, the actual result will be that fewer predators will be caught.

Fewer prosecutions. Fewer arrests. Our children will be less safe."

Well if the brain-dead gop-slime reactionaries clamoring for Jessica's Law or nothing actually gave a damn about these kids or responded to logic, they wouldn't be brain-dead gop-slime reactionaries who don't give a damn about these kids and the bubble boys of the world would see the error of their ways and act accordingly or they'd go find themselves a tar pit and fall in it.
 
Anonymous said...

"First, it's the diocese, not the archdiocese. Second, I was pointing out that there is a double standard here in more ways than one."

Gee, welcome to the real world, little fella. Enjoy your visit.

"Nowhere did I say that people shouldn't be accountable; I said that the circumstances were similar, though notably more severe in one instance, but the outcomes were very different, based upon a bias toward one organization involved."

Gee, I hate to break it to ya, little fella, but the Catholic Church is not the Government in this Country. Neither is any other Church or Faith. They'll just have to struggle along with their tax exempt status.

Personally, I would love to see the ignorant, illegitimate trash in the WH held criminally and civilly liable for their actions and inactions with respect to Iraq and a zillion other things.

The victims and survivors of their incompetence and corruption should be given their day in Court and every opportunity to be made whole to the extent they can be under the law.

Shrub, Cheney, Rummy, etc should be stripped of all their worldly goods, tried and executed as the War Criminals they so clearly are.

Unfortunately, that's not going to happen. They're largely immune from criminal and civil liability as we're about to learn when Bush pardons the entire gop-slime world on his way out the door.

Alas, the Government enjoys a unique status in this Country.

Then again, imagine how high our taxes would be if everyone victimized by these clowns opted to take legal action against them and they were held to account.

"Both parties were told that psychologists saw the perpetrators as not a danger anymore; one is condemned for accepting this, the other excused for it. Maybe its you who should open your closed prejudiced mind."

Nah, it's you, little fella. Clearly, you don't grasp the fact that Government and the Catholic Church don't enjoy the same status in this Country, but, hey, if you wanna pick up the tab for this bunch, be my guest.

Nobody is sending the Monsignor to the slam, shmendrik. Officials of the Archdiocese knowingly put their parishioners at risk. They made those decisions in their official capacity as agents of the Archdiocese. The Archdiocese is responsible. The Archdiocese is liable. Deal with it.
 
The is no evidence that Symington could do any better- in fact well lets just look at her record!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Hemp for all vermonters - Symington for Governor.
 
Let's get the facts straight on the Jacques release.

Probation officer Richard Kearney and an unnamed DOC supervisor are the ones who recommended Jacques' release, according to the Free Press (see the story below).

Their signatures are on a court record recommending Jacques' release.

From the Free Press state employee database:

Employee: Kearney,Richard J
Job Title: Correc Servs Spec II Department: Corrections, Department of
Salary: $50,502.40 annual

According to the Department of Human Resources website, there is a Correction Services Specialist I position open now; it's a classified, or union, position. That means Kearney's job is, too.

We'd have to know the "supervisor's" title to know whether he/she is a classified or exempt position, but it's a safe bet they're union, too.

If Rob Hoffman were getting involved in every probation discharge decision, not only would he be accused of political meddling and micro-managing, he'd be accused of being flagrantly incompetent as a manager.

Hoffman has said Jacques' discharge was a mistake and he's taken responsibility on behalf of the administration.

But if you're looking to throw somebody under the bus on this one, it's going to likely be a couple of union state employees.

From the Burlington Free Press, Aug. 8 2008:

"Jacques' release was team effort, probation officer says

MONTPELIER -- Richard Kearney sat in the witness chair in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday afternoon, his hands clasped before him, and took a deep breath.


He is the probation officer who oversaw Michael Jacques, a convicted sex offender from Randolph charged with kidnapping his 12-year-old niece, who was found dead in June. It was Kearney who testified in court in 2004 that Jacques had been a model probation client.

Since Jacques' arrest this summer, the public, the media and national talk shows have scrutinized countless aspects of the Jacques case. Among the questions being asked: How could his probation officer consider him a model client, particularly when police now allege Jacques was abusing another girl while on probation?

Thursday was Kearney's chance to talk. The Senate Judiciary Committee heard from him and several state officials at the first of six hearings to study possible changes to the way the state handles sex offenders.

"The decision to discharge from sex-offender cases isn't made individually," he said. "It's made collectively."

Kearney said he met with a team from the Corrections Department before telling the judge in 2004 that Jacques, who was on probation for a 1992 aggravated sexual assault conviction, had been a success story. Jacques had fulfilled all the requirements of his probation. Under the department guidelines, it was time for his release, Kearney said. Jacques was released from probation in 2006.

Jacques had a steady, good-paying job, was married and participating in his community, had undergone sex offender treatment -- all key areas that the Corrections Department considers, Kearney said. "I felt compelled," Kearney said. "He met his contractual agreement."

Corrections Commissioner Rob Hofmann later said probation officers have the discretion to request that probation be continued even if an offender meets the guidelines for discharge. The decision to support Jacques' release from probation was wrong, Hofmann said.

Kearney explained that he didn't revoke Jacques' probation in 2005 when he was charged in New Hampshire, where he worked, with failing to renew his registration as a sex offender. Offenders are not sent a reminder for the sex offender registry in New Hampshire as they are in Vermont and Jacques was picked up a day after his registration was due, he said. Such lapses are common among clients who have business in both states, he said. During that time, Jacques was properly registered in Vermont, living and working where he said he would be, Kearney said.

"I have to take the totality and weigh that," Kearney said. "What was Mr. Jacques' intent?" He determined that Jacques was not trying to deceive anyone.

Why didn't Kearney tell the judge about the New Hampshire registry violation during the hearing about his release from probation? asked Sen. Kevin Mullin, R-Rutland.

The hearing doesn't allow for an open dialogue, Kearney said, just answers to questions posed to him.

Hofmann told the committee earlier that his department should have alerted the court to the New Hampshire violation, even if there were no plans to revoke probation.

There is confusion over how far Kearney went in recommending Jacques' release from probation. Court records include a document signed by him and a supervisor supporting Jacques' release, but Kearney contended that was a draft that was never officially filed. How it ended up among court documents he could not say.

Committee Chairman Richard Sears, D-Bennington, asked Kearney the question that he said keeps coming back to him. Would it have made any difference if Jacques had remained on probation? In other words, would a probation officer have been able to detect what was allegedly going on in Jacques' life?

"I ask myself that every day," Kearney said. "It's the difficulty we have as a probation officer. I don't know."

Earlier, Sears asked the same question of Hofmann. "It would have been better if he was not off probation," Hofmann replied.

Kearney said more resources might have helped more closely supervise his client. So might increased use of electronic monitoring and the opportunity to talk to fellow probation officers across the state about what works and what doesn't, he said. He also said he would like to work more closely with special investigators who focus on sex crimes. One time, he said, he asked for permission to use equipment a police agency offered to track a client's computer use but was denied.

The Senate committee heard a host of other recommendations for changes Thursday, including a list of 23 from Hofmann and heads of other state departments.

The spotlight has been intense, Kearney said. The former police officer, prison guard and veteran probation officer said scrutiny from the case has been hard on him and his family. He left town for a few days to get away from it, he said. His supervisor at the Corrections Department sent him a letter at home forbidding him from speaking about the case or he could be fired.

Hofmann said the letter is standard whenever the state launches an investigation into a department's handling of an issue as it has in this case. Before he can ask an employee to explain what they've done in such a case he has to offer union representation and advise the employee who he can speak to. Hofmann said Kearney was free to speak candidly to the Senate Judiciary Committee without repercussions."
 
The governor should have a blanket policy that says that his Corrections Department will not recommend the early release of any sexual predator.

It's be that simple.

But Douglas refuses to do that -- even now!

He isn't serious about preventing crime. He's only serious about political games.
 
If jw seems a little more psychotic than usual lately, you'll have to excuse him - he just found out that one of his liberal heros, Bernie Ward just got 7 years in prison for "certain actions involving young children". AND THIS WAS IN SAN FRANCISCO!!! Too bad he didn't live in Vermont - he'd probably be in Denver right now as an Obama slug!
 
If he lived in Vermont, Jim Douglas would let him out of prison early.
 
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