Daily Archives: April 24, 2015

Have we just reached the tipping point on Bill Sorrell?

SorrellBlindersSurprising, and rather shocking, news out of the Statehouse today, courtesy of Paul Heintz:

The Vermont Senate is considering stripping Attorney General Bill Sorrell of his powers to prosecute campaign finance violations. Replacing him, according to lawmakers who support the idea, would be an independent elections oversight commission.

… “The fact that the attorney general is charged with investigating him or herself is clearly ridiculous,” says Sen. Anthony Pollina (P/D-Washington), a member of the committee.

Those wanting to strip Sorrell of his authority include Dems, Repubs and Progs. No partisan witch hunt here. Two thoughts:

— This shows the breadth and depth of the Sorrell-hatred among the political class. To even propose such a slap in his face is a big deal. For all this to happen in a matter of days is pretty extraordinary. It’s like a dam breaking under pent-up pressure.

— If the Legislature has time to think about this and even write a bill, how can Governor Shumlin go on saying he’s too busy to think about it?

Sorry, a third thought: Continue reading

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A modest proposal for Mom and Pop

A Republican lawmaker said something dumb this week.

I know, I know. Stop the presses, right?

Rep. Ronald Hubert, R-Milton, who owns a retail business, said between 10 and 12 “mom and pop stores” are closing every year because of state mandates.

Mmmm. And you know this how, exactly? Did the 10 to 12 mom and pops check the “Burdensome State Regulations” box on their mandatory “Reasons for Closure of Small Business” forms?

Now, I have no trouble believing that a dozen “mom and pop stores” are closing every year in Vermont. There’s a natural attrition among small businesses. But aside from that, our hardy moms and pops are under siege — not from state regulations, but from big chain retail. I’ll be you dollars to Maple Glazed Koffee Kup Donuts that the single biggest threat to mom-and-pop retail is the rapid proliferation of Dollar General stores that offer a full range of groceries as well as aisles and aisles of cheap plastic crap.

Which brings me to my modest proposal. Continue reading

Pet Shop Owner: Free Press Makes Best Cage Liner

The Burlington Free Press is a struggling newspaper through no fault of its own. It’s in a declining business, and it’s owned by a profit-driven bloodsucking corporation. Still, it puts out many a good story.

Why, then, do I persist in mocking the Freeploid at every opportunity? And why does almost everyone else in Vermont print media despise the paper? Because it’s way too full of itself. The Burlington Free Press used to be the crown jewel of Vermont journalism; it isn’t anymore, but it still thinks it is.

Two prime examples from a single day — today. First story:

Police: Juror read Free Press during trial

A man who served on the jury in a sexual assault case against ex-jail guard Richard Gallow has been accused of contempt of court for allegedly reading the news during trial.

The jury in the case was ordered to avoid media coverage of the Gallow trial. Juror Robert Blow is accused of flouting that order — by reading the Burlington Free Press.

Which the Free Press is happy to tell you over and over again. Continue reading