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



Keeping up with Gov. Jim Douglas

Gov. Jim Douglas, barely back from France, will head to Maryland next week to announce another initiative as chairman of the National Governor's Association.

The event is set for Wednesday afternoon at the Gaylord National Resort in a place called National Harbor.

Here's the announcement.

"Millions of American children face formidable challenges to their long-term health and academic success because they live in poverty and lack access to high-quality health care and constructive early learning opportunities. With this in mind, the NGA Center for Best Practices will host a first-of-its-kind summit that brings together state teams to develop a coordinated policy agenda among state health, early education and human service systems to ensure better outcomes for our children. As part of the summit, Gov. Douglas will speak at a session titled Creating a Children’s Agenda in the New Economic Reality about the importance of comprehensive initiatives that address high-quality early childhood programs and children’s health and welfare in the context of the current economic climate."

This seems like a big challenge -- at a time when governors have a lot of their plates. Next week in Vermont, for example, is the deadline for the Douglas administration and the Vermont State Employees Association to reach an agreement on $7.4 million in cuts or a bunch of state workers will be laid off.

-- Nancy Remsen

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So coordination leads to better outcomes how?

Does this new agenda mean the guv is checking out of dealing with issues at home?
Of course it does - he has been hands off on the negotitions with the stae worker union since day 1 - he prefers to leave the dirty work to Lunderville and new hatchet man Pelham.

The only negotiaitions with the union are: Give me what I want or I will reject any offer you make.

That's real collaboration and working together!
Accept the VSEA offer, Governor!
De-unionize state workers, Governor!
VSEA has been forthright with a common sense approach.

Gov Douglas - work WITH the union and come to an agreement.
Jim Douglas and his arrogant team of yes men are a clear reason why a state worker union is needed.
States across this country are in trouble because of their state employee unions and the teachers unions. The situation has got to change - its not just about winning you have to do the right thing.
There hasn't been and isn't a visionary thought in Jim Douglas' head!

He co-opts the issues and uses his sweet talking to raise the perception that he has ideas!
Oh yes, it is the state workers and teachers that have brought our states' economies to their knees. Yes, not the Republican run Wall Street brokerage houses or banks. Yes, let's tear down the last vestiges of what was once good about this country and beat it back to the 19th century industrial age with child labor, no weekends off, no workplace standards, no workweek limits. Yes, those were the good ole' days weren't they? Just ask the Vanderbilts, the Carnegies, the Rockefellers and the Hursts. Let's lock the workers in and bolt the doors from the outside, like the they do in the NAFTA driven Mexican sweatshops along the US/Mexican border. Think our wonderful industrialists wouldn't do that again to us? Just look at who is running these maquiladoras. It is a whose- who of US and US promoted companies (Motorola, Sony, GM, ...). You dummies who have your weekends off and your reasonably well paid non-union jobs are so naive to think that you are so talented and unique that with no work standards that your standard of living will not suffer when rules are torn up. I will tell you, they would hire an India based workforce over you any day white boys. They are much brighter and better educated. Chew on that.
Your last sentence says a lot "They are much brighter and better educated"-- is this because we have unionized education?
You sure must feel sorry for your past failures in life and it is obviously all the fault of pro-business thinking people.
Vermont has 26,000 people unemployed and this government is doing almost nothing to turn the situation around. So far, the stimulus has funded (in VT) some non-profits, some highway contracts (which should be funded annually anyway) and education grants to keep teachers and even hire more even with student enrollment dropping. What, may I ask, is/has the union doing to bring back jobs to VT?
Get a life and stop that ridiculous assumption that sweat shops would immediately take over industry and that every business owner is corrupt and without a conscience.
here, here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What has Jim Douglas done to bring jobs back to Vermont? He certainly had time to work on that over several terms in office.

Now, he evidently has checked out as far as Vermont is concerned and is spending his time traveling.
Unions are not responsible for the shambles that this economy is in. Douglas has had 8 years to govern, and what has he done, other than try to demonize state workers?
"What has Jim Douglas done to bring jobs back to Vermont?"

What has the Legislature done to bring jobs to Vermont?

Nothing. But they've certainly worked hard at driving them out, and erecting barriers to entry.
In other words, ya got no answer to the question and can mount no defense for eight years of veto dooglione's incompetence.

Keep up the good work.
"There hasn't been and isn't a visionary thought in Jim Douglas' head!"

What's "visionary" about the Legislature merely doing whatever the state employees union, the teachers union, and VPIRG tells it to do?

I'm glad Douglas was there to check the idiotic excesses of the Legislature. But it wasn't enough.

Oh, and ignore "Jesus" Coop and his usual "add-nothing" slime attacks.
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