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



Debating the debate

Did y'all watch last night's gubernatorial debate sponsored by the Vt. NEA teachers' union and broadcast on Vermont Public Television from Randolph? If not, read about it HERE. Here are a few thoughts on it:

- Republican Gov. Jim Douglas made no effort to fashion his answers so that they might please members of the teachers' union. He seemed instead to be trying to win over taxpayers watching from home. He made no attempt to offer assurance against job cuts in schools.

- If the union was looking for somebody who says everything they want to hear, independent Anthony Pollina was more in line on that. He was quicker to blast the two-vote mechanism for schools that want to spend more, No Child Left Behind and other items that the union hasn't favored.

- Democrat Gaye Symington must have mentioned about a half-dozen times that when she's working with President Obama ... . At some point does making that link look trifling?

- Asked if their opponents had mischaracterized the, Pollina said that his opponents hadn't but he thought the media had by focusing on his campaign finance issues. What he didn't say was that his opponents hadn't mischaracterized him because they have resolutely refused to acknowledge his existence. At one point, Symington referred to her opponent, Douglas, in the singular even though Pollina was standing there between them.

- Douglas wanted both to say that Symington's Bridge to Opportunity plan unveiled yesterday that offer college support to those unlikely to go otherwise was too much like his Promise Scholarship plan and too pathetic. Hmm, what's that say?

What did you all think?

- Terri Hallenbeck

No matter who wins, Vermont loses.

What a bunch of milk duds.
Go Douglas!
I want a governor who will work with whoever gets elected president. Gaye sounds incredibly desperate when she clings to the Obama campaign - especially since she worked so hard for Hillary's campaign.
Douglas lacks vision!

Douglas has become rigid and unwilling to discuss and reach resolution on the issues facing Vermonters!

It's time for Douglas to go!
Jim Douglas wants to cut cut cut workers... Than ask why our social budgets are increasing!

It's really disappointing to see Jim Douglas cry over 180 IBM jobs while he cuts 400 (and increasing) state jobs.
It's a shame 400 are being laid off but if you don't have the revenue to pay for them what else do you do?

Until we get serious as a State about building the business base and tax revenue it will generate, you get exactly what you have today.
Good for Douglas! The only one of the three looking out for taxpayers instead of being lapdogs for the vile, despicable, NEA! There SHOULD be a law preventing union teachers from voting on anything, local, or state-wide, involving school budgets!

I do not see anywhere in your article the fact that Pollina dominated the debate. He was the only one with clear and articulate answers.

Oh, yeah and why don't you fill in that Gaye Symington can not complete a sentence without jumbling the words. She is an awful excuse for a candidate.

But hey maybe you are waiting for one of those high paying jobs with Douglass or Gaye.

Speak the truth- Pollina is the only candidate talking of solutions that will help education, help with health care costs, and help the economy, which would then help the taxpayers.

Douglas is just using the tired rehashed rhetoric of the failed economy, and for Symington maybe if she stopped mumbling we could figure out what she was talking about.

Can't wait for the Tony Pollina credit card.

That's going to solve all of our problems!
Pollina = Douglas.
Has any research been done on tony's credit card?

Symington really is a sad excuse for a candidate!
Gaye Symington just seemed lost last night. Anthony Pollina seems like a great guy you would want at your barbeque but not running the state.
I agree that the Governor has not done a whole heck of a lot for students in Vermont. From my point of view, the Promise Scholarships won't do much. I say that because the jobs Vermont students are going to school for, are not in Vermont.

And why keep throwing money at the real problem. Tuition and book costs are way to expensive. Just to keep afloat, students must work 40 hours a week at a minimum wage job to pay for these expenses while in school. Considering the rule of thumb is to spend 2 hours studying for every hour in the class room; can you do the math?
For those you can't, that's 45 hours for school.
40 hour work weeks.

Hardly seems fair.
Vermont employeers say they can't find the trained people they need. They say this is their biggest issue.
Pollina owned the debate last night. A few more of those and Symington will be history. Douglas has no record to defend. We need change that's for sure and it won't come with Symington and Douglas. They've been farting around for years. What have we got to show for it. Go Pollina!
Pollina will be lucky to get 10% - unfortunately that is going to give teh elcetion to Douglas!
bubba = Curtis
7:35pm Anon is correct - bubba does equal Curtis. Wonder when he finds time to teach? Or for that matter time to plan his lessons?
Man, that Symington really is pathetic!

Did Pollina get enough Progressive write-in votes to get on the ballor?
Pathetic is when you come in third in 4 elections and still think you have a shot at winning.
Gaye Symington is running for Governor?
Who is Gaye Symington?
Who is Jim Douglas?
Douglas is the Man!
The girly-man.
Did you listen to Mark Johnson with the three amigos this AM? Pollina is telling listeners that the problem is that the current governor and legislature are always in deadlock and it's not helping Vermont. Meanwhile, Douglas and Symington are throwing barbs back and forth proving Pollina right.

Douglas came off as a slick politician. Symington as somebody who understands issues, but can't form a sentence and is a jumbled bucket of ideas. Pollina came off as a Vermonter.

I think if Pollina ran as a Dem, he would kick Douglas.
Have the farmers got their milk money yet?
Well, he's already run this cycle as a Prog and as an Independent, so I have to assume he will try running as a Dem within the next couple of weeks. Then he'll probably shift gears again and challenge Douglas in the GOP primary!
Go Tony! You are the man!
If trained workers is the problem why not work with educational institutions to offer the appropriate training?
Bernie runs on no record and wins. Douglas runs on no record and wins. It doesn't matter if you are republican, democratic, or whatever. As long as you have no record, you will win.
Anonymous said...

"No matter who wins, Vermont loses.

What a bunch of milk duds."

Gee, clueless and constructive. What a guy.

Absent affordable tuition what is an employer to do?
Anonymous said...

"Pollina will be lucky to get 10% - unfortunately that is going to give teh elcetion to Douglas!"

That's what doogie's counting on. That's what Pollina's here for. It's his whole raison d'etre.

What the hell are Pollina supporters thinking.

They're dimmer than doogie voters.
Pollina is so good in the humor department.
Yeah, the Good Humor man, except he can't afford real milk anymore. sorry pollinacs, bt the guy is a weasel loser.
I'm not sure how you can keep discrediting Pollina when he is consistently destroying Douglas and Symington in the debates and winning endorsements up the hoo ha! Count me in with Pollina. Gaye never should have screwed this race up...
Where's my milk check!!!
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