Daily Archives: June 15, 2015

Two little bread crumbs on the campaign trail

File these under “I’m Sure They Don’t Mean Anything”… Welch claims his online turf, and a departure from the Good Ship Sorrell.

1. Seven Days reports that a staffer for Rep. Peter Welch has reserved the domain name “welchforgovernor.com.” But Bob Rogan, chief of staff for Vermont’s Youngest Congresscritter, says we shouldn’t read anything into that.

“As you know, there is a cottage industry of people who buy up political domain names to make money by selling them back to the politician,” Rogan said Monday. “Unequivocally, you should not read into this that a decision has been made or is even close to being made. This is just prudent scenario planning by campaign staff. Nothing more.”

Well, as long as they’re being prudent, they should go back and snag “welchforgovernor.org,” which is unclaimed as of this writing. After all, that’s precisely the “scenario planning” failure that’s been causing headaches for presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina.

2. One possible “tell” about the political plans of Eternal General Bill Sorrell is the activity of his longtime staffers. If they start heading for the exits, that’d be a strong indication that the show is about to close. Well hey, whad’ya know:

Elliot Burg, who has served as an assistant attorney general since 1987, has decided to retire from the Vermont Attorney General’s Office.

Burg added that he looks forward to “being with my family more, and to pursuing my longstanding interests in photography, music, and international volunteer work.”

Okay, one departure means nothing. Coincidence, natural attrition, whatever. But if this is the first in a series, we’ll know something is up. Stay tuned!


Our sclerotic Senate

In my most recent rant about the State Senate, our most dysfunctional and ego-driven deliberative body, I tossed out a back-of-the-envelope figgerin’ of the Senate’s electoral stasis:

A quick overview of our 30 senators shows at least 26 who are virtual locks for re-election as long as they want to run. And one of the other four is Norm McAllister, who would have been number 27 if only he could have kept it in his pants.

That, I should note, is a generous calculation. You could just as easily argue that if all the sitting Senators ran for re-election in 2016, McAllister is the only one who’d be seriously vulnerable. Almost all the districts lean heavily to the left or to the right. That’s a bad thing, and helps create a Senate that’s full of overinflated egos and smothered in a sense of entitlement.

In case you think I’m overstating the political reality of the Senate, I thought I’d run down the list. In alphabetical order by county:

Addison. Democrats Claire Ayer and Chris Bray romped to re-election in 2014, with no Republicans even bothering to try.

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