Look who crashed the pickle party

The most likely gubernatorial contenders have all made the same calculation: get in early, or get left out. It’s still 14 months until Decision 2016, but the field grew to five today with the entry of soon-to-be-former Transportation Secretary Sue Minter.

‘Bout time we got a woman in the running, I say. And I don’t mind declaring that, if all else is equal, I’d have a preference for Minter due to the simple fact that women have been woefully absent from the top tiers of Vermont politics.

“If all else is equal” is a huge qualifier, but so far I see the Democrats having three strong candidates of roughly equivalent abilities. If I had to vote today, based on the little that I know now, I’d probably vote for Minter.

Fortunately, I don’t have to vote today.

There’s plenty of time to see how things shake out, how the candidates perform under the spotlight, and what plans they will put forward.

Minter had to jump in now, because Matt Dunne is proving very attractive to donors and Shap Smith has the bulk of the Democratic Legislative caucus in his corner. (Smith is also moving aggressively to establish a policy profile of his own, with his endorsements of paid sick leave and marijuana legalization.) She’s already got some ground to make up, and lots of time to do it.

I’m excited. This is a very strong lineup. Each candidate has outstanding qualities. Any one of them is fully capable of giving Phil Scott a run for his money (assuming that Bruce Lisman’s wallet can’t drag his carcass across the VTGOP finish line).

And Scott will be the Republicans’ best ticket-topper since 2008. It should be a good race. As far as I can tell at this stage, the campaign should be positive and issue-oriented; it’s hard to imagine any of the Big Four running a mudslinging operation.

I sure hope it’s a good race. God knows it’s going to be a looooooong one.

2 thoughts on “Look who crashed the pickle party

  1. newzjunqie

    Being independent, basically Libertarian leaning left or right depending on how badly the incumbent f’ks up leaves all options open. Though this is a Dem blog and I respect that any politician who behaves with the deeply ingrained dishonesty of the likes of Peter Shumlin deserves to be ruthlessly exposed. Can’t get much more left than the Gray Lady and those folks regularly and shamelessly call out their own. All liars and those who destroy the public trust and behave with the flagrant perfidy of Shummy deserve to be ruthlessly exposed. And he is a friend to no one but Shummy.

    Shummy is not a real Dem as many in VT are not as we can plainly see from their policies and who butters their bread. But hey, here in blue VT that’s what sells so ya better wear a D or P if you want to stay in business. Minter from some accounts is a Progressive and that generally translates into a true lefty.

    Pretty sure Shummy would like to appoint someone for next guv friendly to his failure of a legacy as well as his policies rather than wear the badge of dishonor for destroying the political careers as well as the solid majority VT Dems have enjoyed with seemingly assured reelection.

    Minter was “installed” as heir apparent courtesy of snakeshifter Shummy just as he tried to install Cass Gekas and Corren who ran for lite guv last election. I think it’s fair to say he has lots to hide and wishes to continue control of the narrative and a newcomer left or right would likely make necessary changes which would not carry on his abject failures.

    She was given a position with an easy success story (Irene) that she could campaign on complete with an agency position to use as a campaign prop. Ms. Minter and Shummy may try to claim to be the face of the recovery however many VTers including myself who all gave till it hurt including hardworking state and local workers, are the true face(s) of the Irene recovery including Ms. Minter and Shummy.

    Ms Minter and Shap Smith are a continuance of Shummys failure – Shap wants to “move forward” heh, and not discuss the past Shummy and Smith also presided over the legislature during this debacle and VTs hundreds of millions of taxpayer funds down the toilet and another round of hundreds of millions on the horizon. If she wished to convey that she is her own person she would not have him peering over her shoulder during the announcement – symbolism is very rich.

    Though Ms Minter is talented and capable I do not believe a mere college degree-laden politician & Shummy sycophant is what VT needs. We need to right the ship and end the top down tyrranny as well as purge our government of the taint, deadly disease including all of its carriers in this regime that is killing VT and destroying the lives of all who are not wealthy or do not hold government, union or nonprofit agency positions. I’m also pretty sure it’s victimized many of their lives also including state employees who now face an uncertain future after being basically kicked to the curb by Shummy.

    And tired of those who land agency positions having no desire to stay long enough to make any substantial improvements or needed change – and are mere stepping stones for higher office – nothing more than an onging campaign on the public dime. AOT has a long history of sexual harassment, alleged details of which make clear no one who harasses & victimizes underlings need worry about losing their job. To seemingly turn a blind eye and deaf ear with silence to those who have filed charges against AOT employees or even allowing it to continue is a black eye for Ms. Minter’s short legacy esp given she is a woman and could have sent a strong zero-tolerance message complete with head cracking. But hey, why ruffle feathers or get hands dirty if it’s just another revolving door.

  2. Faith Biggs King

    So to all the complacent Vermonters fond of patting themselves on the back and saying” ain’t we so liberal here? It’s grand” – check out what the Nashville electorate just pulled off in this article about their new mayor by John Nichols in the Nation: http://www.thenation.com/article/nashville-elects-a-mayor-who-is-serious-about-jobs-wages-poverty/. I am not seeing anybody remotely as sharp, articulate and ‘on it’ as Nashville’s Megan Barry, up here in the array of gubernatorial candidates we’re looking at. Barry actually said privatization is NOT the answer to all our problems. Can you imagine? Perhaps Sue Minter will rise to the occasion. God I hope so. I heard Shap Smith on VPR a few weeks ago and would’ve poked my ears out…just to stop the pain…if I was the kind of person who did that (and wasn’t driving). No doubt a lovely fellow – would make a good pastor. Nice, nice nice. I’m sure he could organize a heck of a chicken pie supper – and keep all the church factions happy,. Couldn’t figure out if there was a single ideal or value he actually stood for…other then boy oh boy, he felt concerned for those po-folk making over 109,000/year who didn’t qualify for tax abatement. He really wants to address their concerns. People in poverty? Not a word. Robust state investment in targeted, well thought out economic development? Don’t think so….. “Happy talk?” Plenty of that. Yay, Nashville! Congrats.


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