Gov. Jim Douglas has raised political hackles in his choices to fill two House seats left vacant in December by the sudden deaths of Rep. Ira Trombley, D-Grand Isle, and Rep. Rick Hube, R-South Londonderry.
His picks: Robert C. Krebs of South Hero will fill Trombley’s seat. Oliver K. Olsen will replace Hube in the House.
So what is the rub? Krebs wasn’t one of the three candidates recommended by the local Democratic Party. Douglas has filled five vacancies in recent weeks -- all formerly Republican openings but one. He picked appointees from among the candidates recommended by local Republicans.
“The one Democrat he was replacing, he didn’t respect the wishes of the local party,” complained House Democratic Leader Floyd Nease of Johnson.
Nease recalled 2007 when Douglas also bypassed the candidates recommended by Montpelier Democrats and chose Jon Anderson to fill the vacancy created when Francis Brooks became sergeant at arms. In one of Anderson’s first votes, he broke with Democrats and joined Republicans to prevent a successful override of a Douglas veto.
Douglas isn't the only governor to exercise his authority to choose whoever he wants to fill vacancies.
Remember Gov. Howard Dean made two appointments from different parties. He tapped William Sorrell, a Democrat, to replace Jeffrey Amestoy, a Republican, as attorney general. He also replaced a Republican House member from Vergennes/Ferrisburgh with a Democrat.
-- Nancy Remsen
Labels: Gov. Howard Dean, Gov. Jim Douglas, vermont politics