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



Freyne moments

I can't remember the date or all the specifics, but one of my strongest memories of Peter Freyne was one particular news conference in the governor's Statehouse office.

Freyne always asked the odd questions. Did the governor think the U.S. should pull out of Iraq?
What did the governor think of George W. Bush's work in the White House? What was the one thing the governor wanted to tell the people of Vermont?

Gov. Jim Douglas deflected many of the questions. But on this occasion, there was something about Freyne's questioning that particularly got under Douglas' skin. In frustration, he accused all of us at the table of carrying water for the Democrats. He was uncharacteristically flustered, angry, out of control.

Those who had covered former Gov. Howard Dean said it was reminiscent of his famous vein-popping moments.

Douglas' accusation only angered the rest of us, which only fueled the fire. It ended so badly that an hour or so later Douglas spokesman Jason Gibbs came through the Statehouse looking for us. The governor wanted to meet with us again and apologize. Which he did, uncharacteristically.

Freyne's questions _ frequently irreverent and off-point _ had a way of throwing the subject off kilter. Many a time you could see the smoke coming out of the ears of Douglas or House Speaker Gaye Symington. Many a time I had no idea how one might begin to answer the question being asked.

Once Freyne was gone, I think even Symington sort of missed Freyne's questions. "Madame speaker, if there were one thing you'd like to tell Vermonters ...."

"Well, Peter, there's not just one thing ..."

Well, Peter, if there's just one thing to say to you, I guess it would be, rest easy.

- Terri Hallenbeck

Say what? You really think asking the governor if the U.S. should get out of Iraq is an "odd question"?

nice post Terri - a wonderful tribute to a very unique and memorable individual.
The fact that he's dead doesn't change the fact that Freyne was a vile, filty-mouthed left-wing partisan hack that never let truth get in the way of attacks on anyone he deemed not far enough left.
Bubba's post says a lot more about Bubba than it says about Freyne.
Yeah, he's dead. But stop crying crocodile tears for that dishonest, mean, vindictive, gossip-mongering hack, Peter Freyne.
Same right back at ya, peaches.
"Say what? You really think asking the governor if the U.S. should get out of Iraq is an "odd question"?"

Yeah, dum dum. It's a ridiculously stupid question. Please tell me where it says that the Governor of Vermont has anything to do with U.S. foreign policy?
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