Daily Archives: January 29, 2016

Paul Heintz turns over a rock

For almost a year now, Seven Days’ political editor and columnist has been carrying the ball on Eternal General Bill Sorrell’s squicky-if-not-illegal campaign and fundraising activities, while the rest of Vermont media has been slow-playing the whole thing — either ignoring the story, or helping Sorrell paint it as a partisan witch-hunt. (Their reporting emphasizes VTGOP Vice Chair Brady Toensing’s role, while downplaying or omitting Heintz’ journalism, which provided the substance of Toensing’s complaint.)

And yesterday, Heintz dropped another toothsome tidbit — catching Sorrell’s duplicity regarding a 2014 campaign event that featured Sorrell and then-Lite Gov candidate Dean Corren.

I’m not going chapter-and-verse on that. You should read Heintz’ post for yourself. But I am going to highlight a tangential sidelight in the piece that exposes the seedy underbelly of Vermont politics. Or at least one crucial aspect, regarding the most quietly powerful man in Vermont politics, Dick Mazza.

He is not the most powerful, mind you. But he enjoys by far the highest ratio between official position (just another Senator, cough) and his actual influence.

Among a trove of Sorrell emails obtained by Seven Days was a juicy little number from Tom Torti, the well-connected president of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, warning Sorrell that there might be consequences to his appearance with Corren.

“I’m sure you have heard about the level of displeasure Mazza feels about you standing with Corren,” Torti wrote, referring to Sen. Dick Mazza (D-Grand Isle). “Just wanted to pass on what was mentioned to me.”

Before you chew and swallow, let that roll around on your tongue for a moment. Savor the essence: that Bill Sorrell, the politically untouchable Attorney General, should have reason to fear the wrath of a single State Senator.

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Socialist Canada: Land of opportunity

Gee, maybe this is the reason for Vermont’s demographic crisis.

You know Canada, that country to our north? The socialist nightmare with high taxes, a robust social safety net, single-payer health care and tough regulations on the financial sector?

Well, for the Millennial generation, it’s a lot better place to live than the United States. This, according to a study by TD Bank, which as far as I know is not a commie-pinko front organization. So maybe our kids are all moving north.

Canadians aged 25 to 34 are more likely to have jobs than Americans of the same age (nearly 80% are employed, compared with less than 75% of Americans). American millennials are worse off than their compatriots from Generation X (the cohort that came just before them). In Canada millennials’ household incomes are 16% higher. Just over half are homeowners, compared with 36% in the United States.

Huh. I guess nobody told them they’re being downtrodden by an oppressive regime.

And why do young-adult Canadians fare so much better? No, sorry, it’s not Stephen Harper’s devout efforts to turn his country into a free-marketeer’s wet dream. In fact, Millennial prosperity exists precisely because of Canada’s democratic socialist blots upon economic opportunity.

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