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vt.Buzz ~ a political blog

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



How's override travel in streets of Vermont?

There are so many bleeding ways to get one's message out these days. I tweeted about the special session. We posted updates on our Web site. I sent out smoke signals and telegrams, set sail to a message in a bottle and used mental telepathy.

But I have not blogged about it.

So here goes:

The vote was a razor thin 100-50. Legislative leaders were pretty sure they had the votes but one never really knows. Rep. Tim Corcoran made it interesting by being away from his desk when the House clerk made his first trip through the alphabet. Lawmakers get a second chance through the roster and when his name was called again, Corcoran delivered the final vote.

The Senate vote was quicker, less dramatic. 23-5.

And so the Legislature delivered their second override of the governor this year.

The next question is how this rides with the public. Is Douglas diminished in their eyes or is the Legislature buried by the burden of carrying this budget on their backs?

- Terri Hallenbeck

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a little of both. "shifty jim douglas" (because he constantly tries to shift tax burdens and other problems to towns and schools) will continue his phony posturing about being the protector of the taxpayer and blame (more shifting) the leggie for every single economic problem that happens for the next 100 years. for gullible members of the public who remain stupified by his monotonous baritone and smooth rhetoric, shifty jim will look good. if the dems continue the recent pattern of being more aggressive and effective exposing his empty, self-serving tactics, and hammer home that he was, once again, trying to dump a huge tax burden on localities so he can look like the taxpayers' friend, then he'll lose some support. if he keeps trotting out the same tricks and policies and keeps shamelessly blaming everyone under the sun, i think the perception and reality of "douglas fatigue" will become a factor. the dems have to keep pointing out that shifty jim keeps identifying problems that place him on the side of the average vermonter (eg the school funding system is a disaster) but doesn't offer solutions. he waits for them to propose solutions so he can pick them apart.

he is a political tactician, not a leader, and we are in a time when leadership is essential.

in the short term, the over-ride is a big blow to his stature and it will help the dem gubernatorial candidates with fundraising, etc.

the biggest question is: how does this affect independents and swing democrats in the next election.
Most voters aren't even paying attention.
Say "bye-bye" to the super majority next year
say "bye-bye" the the GOP super majority in the Governor's office next year!
I think the veto override is a lot bigger deal in political circles than it is among the general public. It's insider baseball.
By the time of the 2010 election, this year's budget battle will be largely forgotten. The more important factor will be what happens with the FY2011 budget a year from now. God only knows how that will play out!
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