Dubie discredited

There’s quite the journalistic one-two punch on VTDigger today. It’s a story that exposes former Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie’s anti-wind activism for the empty rhetorical shell that it is; it also raises serious ethical questions about a top state official. Or it would, if the state had any serious ethical standards to enforce.

For those just joining us, Dubie emerged from his long political hibernation earlier this year to take up the fight against a proposed seven-turbine wind farm near his home in Swanton. Dubie insisted this wasn’t a case of NIMBYism which, don’t they all. But his political profile lent a bit of suit-and-tie gravitas to the cause.

In addition to the usual discredited arguments about environmental impact, Dubie attacked the Swanton plan as a menace to aviation. And since the guy is a pilot with American Airlines, his words carried some weight. Except it was all bullshit.

This fall, Dubie has been trumpeting a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration to support his stance. But it turns out that the FAA was merely claiming an interest in reviewing the plan. And now it has completed its review, and determined that there is no impact on aviation. None.

In other words, he wasn’t an expert with unique insight. He was just another zealot pushing whatever scraps of “information” he could find.

But what’s worse is that he had a willing accomplice at the highest level of state government: Guy Rouelle, aviation program administrator for the Agency of Transportation.

Together, Dubie and Rouelle coordinated efforts and enlisted the aid of aeronautics industry advocacy groups, FAA officials, Vermont’s Army and Air National Guard officers, and subordinates of Rouelle’s in the Agency of Transportation’s Aviation program to fight the project.

Rouelle said he can understand why his advocacy might be viewed to have exceeded the bounds of his position but he said he was motivated solely by air traffic safety.

“Exceeded the bounds of his position,” indeed. The Digger piece shows that Rouelle was actively in cahoots with Dubie, trying to whomp up an aviation-industry coalition to fight the Swamton project.

Need I say what a complete and utter conflict of interest this is? Rouelle, as the responsible state official for aviation issues, has been using his position and influence in support of a private agenda. He was lobbying the very same people he is responsible for regulating.

And, as the Digger article illustrates in abundant detail, this was an intensive, far-reaching campaign by Rouelle and Dubie.

Rouelle is a licensed pilot who joined state government in 2003, when Jim Douglas was Governor and, ahem, Brian Dubie was Lite-Gov. I’m sure that Rouelle has the qualifications for his job; I’m equally sure that he and fellow pilot Dubie have a history.

If he hasn’t been called on the carpet by his superiors, I’d really like to know why.

Postscript. There is another story to tell about the mendacity of Dubie’s anti-wind campaign. Watch this space.

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7 thoughts on “Dubie discredited

    1. Dave Katz

      I guess corruption–the misuse of a public position for political and/or personal advantage– doesn’t bother you.
      What kind of citizen is in favor of corruption? What kind of government does that kind of citizen end up with? I guess we can just open the newspaper any particular day and see the answers to those questions….

      Reply
  1. Wallace Nolen

    What is really needed is journalists and citizens like myself to file public records requests under title 1 section 315-320 to force public officials to “dig up the DIRT” during Dubie’s, Douglas, and especially Shumlin’s “REIGN OF TERROR” that totally discredits the ENTIRE PRESENT AND FORMER ADMINISTRATIONS here in Vermont.

    To the best of my known Vermont is the only state in the entire USA that doesn’t have the equivalent of an “Inspector General” who duty is dedicated to exposing public corruption, official misconduct, waste in government, etc. Why can’t we have “honest government” in Vermont?

    Reply
    1. newzjunqie

      Wonderful idea! A collective of citizens publishing results of foias, better include some smelling salts along with the results.

      Sad fact is many VTers are good kind ppl but backwater bumpkins. Feel like I’m living in a Tennessee Williams Alabama or Mississippi . Own town rife with myopic vision, seeming ignorance of majority of residents, and lack of any political consciousness which is frightening.

      As a result residents pay for all kinds of worthless bullshit based on what department heads claim we must have and then ‘recommend’. Yes, some are needed but the no-bid contracts including those between blood relatives involved in land deals including oversight thereof are pretty disgusting.

      Disproportionate scale of said projects not put out for bid greatly decrease the value of return on our tax dollars. Trusted prominent residents leading townsfolk down the garden path by recommending the actions of their crooked friends is sad. As a result of these dummies, we now have town depts bringing long laundry lists for new toys and trinkets dwarfing the size of the budgeted money available by double. Answer? A loan of course, just put it on plastic! With former loans and bonds still outstanding with upgrades added on the sky’s the limit. There are ppl who question the ongoing thievery but very few.

      All is voted on following a long boring town meeting at night with simple voice vote rather than Australian ballot.

      Oversight of our shit-for-brains town manager grossly inadequate as he really should be shitcanned. Pedecessor also a fool. Oh, and we don’t need no stinkin ethics rules or panel for town govt b/c as one of our leaders sez ‘everybody does business with everybody’. Sad and depressing.

      Reply
  2. chuck gregory

    As Senator Dick McCormack once said, “Vermont is so small, nobody gets away with anything for very long.” That’s one reason why we don’t have– or need– an inspector general. For example, a lot of people know about the Ed Guite/Karen Marshall gambit– and you can even get the fawning e-mails if you want. It’s just a matter of someone wanting to do something to prevent another case of that sort of corruption.

    Reply
  3. newzjunqie

    Size doesn’t matter. World is small and getting smaller for that matter b/c of digital communication. Sleeping dogs lie until awakened. Until they are, and actually start woofing and spit it no one knows a thing. I would not rely on our “leaders” to provide accurate info on fraud detection. A politician is certainly not going to school the citizenry on how to detect corruption as it is self-defeating.

    MSM is routinely guilty of intellectual malpractice for their dishonesty which affords their industry influence and power. Blogosphere and independent media is the only place to find the real news. Ppl who rely on tv and print don’t know a thing.

    This is how nerdy bespectacled Douglas was able to game us and take us all for a ride so long while conducting mass distraction by presenting himself to the public with fave props scissors and ribbons and ongoing ribbon-cutting ceremonies. I don’t think college buddy bff Graf lifted up the carpet but more likely kept the dirt swept under nicely. The mass deception of his administration was no less than breathtaking. It’s a dead heat for who was worse Jimmy or Shummy. Once shit hit fan became clear that we were kept in the dark and who our keepers were.

    If memory serves wasn’t until legislature took away some of the funding or staffers with the half- million annual price tag courtesy of VT taxpayers. No wonder we’re brokey-broke. Operated as his personal goon squad on public dime until it became well known throughout his time in office or he would not have been in for so long. Real problem – never a strong contender. And we now have someone as bad or worse.

    All press in VT had to have known as they were confronted with his ‘truth police’ on an ongoing basis. Reformer editor and former Herald reporter Sabina Haskell did an op-ed or editorial about it but I don’t recall it being widely known until around that time.

    Fortunately we have a wonderful auditor of Avccounts but then it is up to the legislature to act. We need an independent entity. Without strong ethics laws, ethics panel with enforcement powers nothing will change. An inspector general also just for starters. Until we have these mechanisms we can look forward to more government corruption and losses. All we need do is look at the bonfire of our tax dollars, the state of our finances, abject corruption and ongoing waste. Anyone who does not see this is asleep or blind.

    Reply

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