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



Douglas takes helm of NGA

Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas becomes chairman of the National Governor's Association today down in Biloxi, Miss.

Theoretically, this is a good thing for Vermont. It puts him in a position to help sway the national debate. Do you see it that way?

How would you like to see him use the position?

To help shape federal health care reform? To help shape the way farmers are paid for their milk? To look out for border states' needs on immigration/security issues? Something else?

- Terri Hallenbeck

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Well, clearly I hope that he uses this new position to ensure that climate change and our clean energy future remain a high priority. I don't think we should expect anything less from the 8th greenest governor in the country.
Douglas ascends to yet another powerful position through no talent or skill of his own. While we were warned of this development ahead of time (the previous chair stepped down in disgrace), I'm not happy that he now has greater ability to influence the national debate. His opposition to a public option on health care makes him exactly the wrong person for this leadership position.

His willingness to continuously flout the will of the people of Vermont, while claiming to do just the opposite, will now reach a wider audience and confuse those who associate Vermont with progress of any kind.

Most troubling is the fact that this free publicity will make it even easier (cheaper)for him to campaign for reelection, which, as is commonly known, is the favorite hobby of Governor Scissorhands. I'm sure the National Governor's Association can find some ribbon around, somewhere.
"To help shape" campaign ads is about all we can expect.
I just hope it keeps him out of state as often as possible.
I hope it sends him right into Sarah Palin's awaiting arms and away from Vermont. But it would be hard to tell which is the female candidate.
It's amazing that someone with as little creativity or conviction can be put in such a position. Douglas has demonstrated time and time again that he is the servant of the GOP and of industry. He seems to value money over life, power over honesty, and smarminess over courage. That may be just what the NGA wants...they are, after all, politicians. It's pretty pathetic, though, that Jim Douglas is the best they could come up with. Unless of course it was another GOP rigged election, within the NGA. The GOP has made it clear that part of their comeback plan is to take governorships and state houses, and this would fit in with that plan well.

In any case, I look forward to the day when Jim Douglas is no longer in public life. He has been terrible for Vermont.
Think he'll run for VP with Palin?
How about steering the National Governor's Association National Conference to Vermont like Howard Dean did when he was President of the NGA? It would provide an economic boost for the state.
There may be a misunderstanding here. Gov Douglas now chairs the National Governors' Assn (not the Republican Govs' Assn). He succeeds Democratic Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania, who just completed his own one-year term. Governor Rendell's main initiative for his year as chair was infrastructure. Governor Douglas' will be health care.
What a bunch of whiners.

"His willingness to continuously flout the will of the people of Vermont. . ." You seem to conveniently forget that "the people of Vermont" elected HIM Governor, not YOUR candidate. He's the only policymaker elected by the entire state. You just can't accept that a majority of Vermonters elected (repeatedly)him and his fiscally-conservative, policy-moderate judgment.

Polls show that a majority of Vermonters favor the death penalty. When Dean didn't propose a death-penalty bill during his long tenure, was he also "flouting the will of the people of Vermont?"

You're probably the same people who complained that Dean was "too moderate" when he was Governor also.

Well, guess what? You lost and you're a bunch of whiners.
To clarify, Dean did host the NGA meeting the year he was chairman, but it was scheduled before he became chairman.
- TH
Douglas conducted a breakout session on ribbon cutting etiquette and technique at the NGA conference. It wasn't nearly as well attended as Gov. Sanford's session on hiking the AT though.
The next group lesson by Gov Douglas is...

The correct height to pull your pants up to - there is a technique to make sure the waistline is high enough.
I love how when there are complaints about Douglas those people are whiners but when the right wing folks complain about the legislature its intelligent insight into the political system.
Doug Racine for Secretary of State!
Are the Vermont taxpayers paying for Jim Douglas's trip to Biloxi, Miss?

Is he flying first class?

At a time when State government is short on cash, how much is this trip costing us?
I'll bet that Jim Douglas has cut most of the travel budgets for state workers while he flies around to Biloxi and DC!

After all, Jim Douglas' travels are more important than state workers and their families!
Racine would be great as Sec of State!
"I'll bet that Jim Douglas has cut most of the travel budgets for state workers while he flies around to Biloxi and DC!"

His travel as NGA is paid for by the NGA, not the state of Vermont.

Guess your sarcastic wit is misplaced, huh?
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