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vt.Buzz ~ a political blog

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



True blue

Here's a little statistic that may keep Vermont Republican Party Chairman Rob Roper awake at night.

According to a just-released poll by the Gallup Co., Democratic leaning Vermonters outnumber Republican leaning Vermonters by 33 percentage points. Gallup says that makes the state the fourth bluest state in the country, behind only Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Hawaii. The District of Columbia is even more pro-Democratic, but of course it's not a state.

For a peak at the Gallup findings, click HERE.

The 33 percentage point gap, at first glance, is a jaw-dropper. Most polls I've seen over the years have the Ds five or 10 percentage points up on the Rs. in Vermont but both parties were outnumbered in those polls by people who identified themselves as independents.

The biggest bloc of voters here has long been "independents" who are partial to splitting their ticket and voting for people of different political stripes. That group has accounted for something between 40 percent and 45 percent of the voting public in most polls.

Gallup says it dealt with the independent juggernaut by having so-called independent respondents fess up and say which party they leaned more toward, and then added the lean-Ds and lean-Rs to those who were unabashed Ds and Rs.

The corresponding number Gallup came up with does make some sense, considering our Congressional delegation, both houses of the Legislature and four statewide officeholders all find themselves in Democratic hands right now, as they have been for a while. Still, a 33 percentage point tilt toward the Ds is breathtaking.

If the Republicans are thinking of adopting Howard Dean's 50-state strategy as a way of rebuilding their party like Democrats did over the last four years, Vermont would appear to represent as big a challenge as they are going to face.

-- Sam Hemingway

Why would any Republicans outside of Vermont give a damn what Vermont is or does? The transients moving to Vermont are not exactly the kind of people most states would welcome, what with their pro-queer, anti-business, anti-American, anti-Christian, welfare mentality! jw immediately comes to mind - what state would want him, or the majority of bloggers on this site?
Thanks for the "peak" at the Gallup findings, Sam.
Oh, well. It's not perfect but like our state just fine. Time to move on, Bubba?
I love Vermont and the people who live here.

Don't talk trash about Vermont, bubba! This is a FANTASTIC place to live!
I hate to echo Coop, but Bubba really should pack up and head for the deep south. Birds of a feather and all that.
I hate to echo Coop, but Bubba really should pack up and head for the deep south. Birds of a feather and all that.
With 10,000 teachers and 9000 VSEA employees along with Howies', Madelines and Bernies' followers, that is a lot of blue paint to overcome.
They may see the light after more businesses close because their causes create a hardship on the ONE source of tax revenue- the working Vermonter in private enterprise.
When the Vermont flood of 1927 occurred, the Vermont Governor told Washington that Vermonters could handle the situation themselves and didn't need any help. Contrast that with the pathetic liberal whiners today not only in New Orleans but Vermont as well! Imagine, teachers might not get a PAT RAISE this year, and Darby Bradley and other "non-profit" parasites MIGHT be asked to take small pay cuts (over $110,000 salary per year for Bradley). Oh well, just wait for Pat and Bernie and Peter to bring their share of the welfare-bailout-dimocrat handouts to Vermont and everyone will be happy!
Whaat about the ineffective leadership in state government that we pay for? Why does Douglas get a larger salary than many larger state governors? Why are his perks inconsistent with the cost of things in Vermont: e. g. his food allowance?
Why is it necessary to put a dozen PR people on the budget for 80k to 100k each to insure his re-election?
Why are you not concerned with this waste of taxpayers money? How about a little example for the rest of us in belt-tightening from the governor's office? And I don't mean cutting OTHER people's salaries and benefits.
How about not putting unqualified cronies into supervisory positions over state agencies? How about rewarding people who know what they're doing instead?
You couldn't possibly mean MERIT pay, could you? Try mentioning THAT to the education lobby!
I'll pay teachers any day over politicians. They actually do something constructive for society.

Notice you didn't comment on the governor and his cronies and how they soak the system.
And all of them make more than teachers do.
Wonder about all these people who object to teachers' salaries. Is it because the majority of teachers are women? And it's always those who haven't the education, the dedication, or the discipline to do the job themselves. They wouldn't last five minutes in the classroom.
No, I wasn't talking about merit pay. I was talking about minimum qualifications for the positions these people hold and are lacking.
Salmon at least has some balls to throw Douglas's charade back in his face. Kudos to him for that. I also like that he defends his employees, unlike Douglas who spits on them in private and lauds them in public. And he actually is part of the military that Douglas never served in, but he likes standing next to them and lauding over them as well.
I think we need to investigate the salaries of unqualified heads of state agencies and require some sort of background in what they supervise.
Other professionals have to have education and experience in the fields they work in.
Douglas thinks offering 5% of his $150,000 salary is a huge sacrifice. Make it a proportional decrease Jimmy.
Vermont's governor makes more than the governors of Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Florida and Rhode Island and as much as the governors of Ohio,
Connecticut, and the state of Washington. Where do Vermonters fall salarywise compared to these states?
Some of you are the reason VT has a $150 mil shortfall. You think the pay and staffing should be reduced- maybe so but that would save +/- $250k- what about the other $149,750,000?? You are all tripping over dollar bills to pick up pennies!
Contrary to your comments, Douglas isn't the ONLY problem in VT.
As for comparing the staff to teachers, some teachers are well deserving what they get as are Admin staff. The staff does work 48/50 weeks a year if you compare apples to apples.
I referred to specific staff members who were given their jobs as political plums as a result of their connection to Douglas personally. That is not acceptable. People who have worked in the field should have preference over political appointees and appointment should be based on experience not connections. That was the point. Every teacher in a public school has to be certified before being hired for a position, yet they are subjected to constant abuse by people who look the other way when it comes to their party and what it does.
Douglas is ONE OF the problems.

He expects everyone else in government to make big sacrifices but he won't make any of his own.

Think about it: Jim Douglas has not held a job in the private sector in his adult life ... but he's a millionaire. How'd that happen??
Also interesting that you defend political appointees who are not qualified but complain about the salaries of Non Profit heads who are experienced in their fields and effective leaders as a result.
Further, Douglas is not the "decider" when it comes to school budgets. School budgets are voted on at the local level by those whose schools they are. If budgets are not acceptable to the community, they will be voted down.
Good teachers should be supported and many are actually underpaid. However, they have no one to blame but themselves. If their union cared about anything but how many dues paying members they can sign up, the wheat would be separated from the chaff and the under performing (or criminal) elements would be long gone. Non-union schools are usually the best in the state.
Teachers make more than you think and in alot of cases the ones that make the most are the dead wood.
So do a lot of state administrators and the ones that make the most from the top down are the dead wood.
What justifies Douglas's making more than the governors of Massachusetts and Florida and as much as the governors of Ohio, Connecticut and Washington?
"Anonymous said...
Coop and bubba are the same twit.

Coop's a troll so if no one will play with him he has bubba so he can play with himself."

That would make sense. Bubba's a perfect foil for Coop, and his rednecky shtick, including the gratuitous anti-gay slur in the initial post on this thread, is exactly what Coop would project onto his caricature of a "GOP-slime."

Whether they're the same person or not, they're two sides of the same coin, virtually indistinguishable from each other.

Both represent the extremes of the Republican and Democratic Parties, and are probably why so many people identify themselves to pollsters as independents. Who wants to be lumped in with either Coop or Bubba?
I didn't realize that Governor Douglas set his own salary. Always thought that was done by the legislature.
The Governor proposes a state budget ever year. He's never proposed a significant budget cut for himself, as he has for other state employees.

Howard Dean used to send 20% of his pay back to the state treasury every year -- and his salary was significantly less than Douglas's is.
Markowitz for Governor
Get rid of the teachers union.
Anyone wonder why the Democrats do not want reduced taxes?? Is it that the Democrats don't think they have to pay taxes in the first place. Tom Dashle, Eric Holder come to mind- they only have to pay when the time comes for an appointment. They are above the law and those taxes would never have been paid if Obama had not called them.
The dimo creed:

"Don't tax you
Don't tax me
Tax that guy behind the tree".
Markowitz for Governor
Pat Tillman was a patriot that, unlike filthy draft-dodging scum like jw and his hero Bernie, gave his life for his country. Why even trash like you, jw, would mock Tillman is beyond me, but then again never underestimate the venality of leftists.
Other draft dodgers:

George Bush
Dick Cheney
Rush Limbaugh
Jeb Bush
Mith McConnell
Bill Frist
Trent Lott
Newt Gingrich
on and on and on ...
Speakin’ of draft dodgers:

“In the winter of 1970, a 21-year-old student from Yale walked into his armed services physical in New York carrying X-rays and a letter from his orthopedist, eager to know whether a back condition might keep him out of the military draft.

This was not an uncommon scene in 1970, when medical deferments were a frequently used avenue for those reluctant to take part in the unpopular war in Vietnam. And this story would have little interest save that Howard Dean was the name of the young man. Now, 33 years later, he finds himself a leading Democrat in the quest for the party's nomination to be president of the United States.

Dr. Dean got the medical deferment, but in a recent interview he said he probably could have served had he not mentioned the condition.

''I guess that's probably true,'' he said. ''I mean, I was in no hurry to get into the military.''”


There ya go Coop, yer boy Howard Scream admitting to being a no good scum draft dodger.

Put whatever kind of spin you want on it side show. He is just like you, a loud mouth nothing. The only thing he has going for him is he managed to fool a batch of trust fund hippies and left wingnuts into thinking he was something more than a over grown spoiled brat.

You’ve only managed to fool yourself.

TERRI! Get a hankie yer pet troll Coop is bawlin’ again.
Rich kid Howard Dean couldn't muster up the courage to serve his country but didn't have a problem being a ski bum out west shortly after. Bush served in the Alabama National Guard flying military jets. You lefties can smear the Guard all you want but it is erroneous to call Bush a draft dodger. By the way, jw, what were YOU doing in the early 70's when your peers were getting drafted?
Right. Bush "served" but he never showed up.

And remember Dick Cheney? He had "other priorities" than the Vietnam War.

A couple of big heros ...
If you have proof that Bush "never showed up" please send your info to Dan Rather.
Both of the comments above Bubba's have been verified. Just no very good at accepting reality, are you, Bubba?
And WHO verified "the above comments"? Keith Olbermann?
Can anyone verify that Bush showed up?

Has there ever been a single person who said that they served with him and saw him on base? Went to boot camp with him??

Why not??

And what were Dick Cheney's "other priorities"????
Dan Rather tried that too, moron, and look where it got him! You made the accusation, it's up to you to either show your proof or shut up!
Can anyone verify that Bush showed up?

Has there ever been a single person who said that they served with him and saw him on base? Went to boot camp with him??

NO??!! That's AMAZING!!

And what were Dick Cheney's "other priorities"???? Still waiting for an answer??
Dick Cheney took several educational deferments which I don't like but apparently are legal. Bill Clinton, on the other hand, lied to his draft board and later even made anti-American rants while in England. I have seen Bush's commandants on TV verifying his service, during the Dan Rather debacle where he tried to use fraudulant statements to "prove" Bush was AWOL. Apparently this issue is over except in the demented "minds" of the jw-types.
No one has come forward who served WITH Bush. Not a single other National Guardsman. Did he have a unit to himself? What are the odds that some ordinary person wouldn't want the recognition for having served and known a future President?
The Commandants? CYA
"..this issue is over.."

If you go back up the thread, Bubba, you will find that YOU introduced the topic of "filthy draft-dodging..." Others were responding to YOU.
Retired Col. William Campenni flew with Bush in 1970-71. "He'd be the target for the 1st half of the mission, then we'd switch".
Guard has written evaluations of Bush from 1070-72 (Texas), all positive.
Bob Harmon, member of Bush's group in 71-72 comments on Bush flying once or twice a week.
Ret. Lt. John Calhoun says he remembers seeing Bush at the Alabama NG base several times.
Bush received honorable discharge from the Alabama NG.

Anything else, moron?
No one questions his Texas participation; its the Alabama service that is questionable as you well know.
There is no record of his having actually been paid in Alabama: that's the point and he can produce no "buddies" for that time in service. There, is, however, documentation of his being on the campaign trail in Alabama at the time. The rest is fudged after the controversy.
None of you have explained how Bush is a draft dodger. You have learned well from your master, the famed revisionist "jw".
He's not a draft dodger he went AWOL.
Bush's strategy must have some merit inasmuch as Obama is even increasing troop levels in Afghanistan!
It's the Iraq War that's always been the issue. Afghanistan was about going after Bin Laden. Iraq was about oil.
And no, Bush's strategy in Afghanistan was not adequate. He left pursuing the real culprit woefully understaffed and underfunded to pursue profits for his buddies in Iraq.
Gee, too bad Bill and Madeleine didn't take care of Osama the day the CIA had him in their sights and requested their permission to take him out! Guess they were afraid the ACLU might object.
Madeleine???? Is Jim responsible for the debacle of the last eight years in Washington?
Doesn't change the fact that Bush went after the money instead of the culprit after 9/11.
GH Bush was a Navy fighter pilot in WWII shot down and rescued in the Pacific. How does that make him a draft dodger? Guess you're having a REALLY bad day today, lil' moron, what with tax-cheating dims falling like cordwood, pay-for-play dims long gone, and even slimeball Chris Dodd having to re-finance his 4.25 and 4.50 % "special friend of Countrywide" mortgages, hoping to not be reprimanded by the Senate for malfeasance. Obama even had to nominate another Republican to a cabinet post because like Diogenes and his lantern, couldn't find an honest dimocrat!
Bye, Bye.. here comes Deb Markowitz.
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