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



Tiff over talking about their talks

House Speaker Shap Smith, D-Morristown, and Senate President Pro Tempore Peter Shumlin, D-Windham, held a joint news conference today (Wednesday) to report on a meeting they had yesterday with Gov. Jim Douglas. Reporters are always curious about those closed door meetings.

The pair of legislative leaders said the talks went well. Shumlin said he and Smith made four points.
  • that they wanted to work with the administration to develop the best possible list of projects on which to spend federal stimulus dollars.
  • that they wanted to cooperate in considering ideas that could generate new jobs.
  • that they would evaluate any idea the administration has to improve the way the state pays for schools.

When Shumlin got to the fourth point, he indicated he issued Douglas a warning.

  • that they didn't want him to build some of his controversial education proposals into the budget he will present next week -- because the ideas -- such as taking teacher retirement funding from the Education Fund instead of the General Fund -- had little support.

"We are concerned about building a budget with numbers that won't fly," Smith said.

"We begged him not to do that," Shumlin added.

Smith said the mood at the meeting was good.

The mood wasn't so good after the news conference.

Dennise Casey, deputy chief of staff for Douglas, charged Smith and Shumlin with violating the terms of the talk with Douglas. It was a private meeting. That's what they asked for, she said. She suggested this was setting the tone for relations between the leaders and the administration.

Yikes. It's only the second week.

-- Nancy Remsen

Jim Douglas is throwing a hissy fit just because the Dems held a press conference ??!!

Lighten up Governor!!
Who is going to watch this loveable freak show when Nancy, Terri or Sam are forced to take their "no-pay" vacation in the coming weeks? And how much lower will BFP coverage of Montpelier sink when fully half of the Statehouse team is on furlough?
good post, nancy
Dennise Casey is a partisan hack who was given a high paying job in the Douglas administration BECAUSE she was his campaign manager.

Jim Douglas, since the day he was first elected Governor in 2002, is the one really responsible for raising the partisan split to new levels.

After his first session as Governor, Douglas held a press conference denouncing the legislative democrats - yet he sent them all a letter congratulating them on a good session.

Clearly, Jim DOuglas has 2 faces or at least 2 mouths - dos as I say, not as I do!
Yeah, he says he is not cutting positions in public safety or corrections - but then he underfunds so those positions cannot be filled.

Shumlin and Campbell along with the Troopers exposed this little issue last year.
Hey Terri or Nancy...

Douglas has said he won't compromise the public's safety - did you know that Chittenden COunty Probation and Parole has several vacancies that the Administration won't fill.

In fact, one of those positions is a sex offender oversight position.

So much for Douglas protecting us!
Shay Totten keeps bringing up the people Douglas has somehow found jobs for in this climate, but the mainstream press is unable to connect the dots like Shay is. I know some reporters are in bed with Douglas and his people, but there must be one out there who is still a real journalist. Right? Please?
Markowitz for Governor!
Cut throat casey at it again.
Dennise Casey, Jason Gibbs, Jim Barnett, Neale Lunderville, Heidi Tringe, and so on - all got high paying jobs while the Governor cuts those people actually working for Vermonters - all because they worked for Douglas' campaign re-election.
Thats why we need Markowitz - she would never fund any of those jobs!
Markowitz will never be elected either, so give it a rest. Although she'd be much better than Shumlin or Spaulding.
Shumlin is better than Spaulding and Markowitz!
I am a Democrat who moved here and I am shocked at the lame group of Democrats who hold office in this state!
I am a Republican who moved here and I am shocked at the lame group of Republicans who hold office in this state!
"What the Hell is Shumlin thinking!
They shouldn't beg doogie to do anything. They should just tell him his delusional dreck is DOA and advise him in no uncertain terms not to screw with them."

I'm sure the legislative leaders in this state are just waiting with baited breath to hear and follow your sage advice, cooptard.
Is Pollina running for Governor?
Pollina must now realize that he is done!
Deb Markowitz for Governor
Doug Racine for governor!
Markowitz all the way!
Racine for governor!
Racine already tried ... give it up!
""Pollina must now realize that he is done!"

Gee, he better not 'cause doogie's toast if he does."

Ah, we see that JW STILL hasn't learned math.

22% and 22% doesn't add up to 55%, jwretard.

And please tell me who won in all the elections when Pollina WASN'T in the race?

Racine? Nope.

Clavelle? Nope.

Parker? Nope.

As long as the Dems keep putting up tax-and-spend left-wingers, Douglas will continue to clean their clocks, little retard fella.

When they put up a responsible moderate, like Dean was when he was Governor, I'll vote for the Dem.
Go Deb!
Racine for governor!
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