Daily Archives: February 22, 2016

The VPR Poll: the gubernatorial race

Big day in Vermont politics. VPR commissioned a wide-ranging poll from the Castleton Polling Institute. During today’s “Vermont Edition,” there was a painstakingly thorough (read: boring) examination of the presidential results, which contained no real surprises*. What I was most interested in is the gubernatorial race: as far as I can tell, this is the first real poll taken since the field took its current shape.

* Bernie’s whompin’ Hillary; Trump has a big lead over Rubio and Kasich, with Cruz in fourth.

The poll also contains some striking findings on issues, which I’ll address in a separate post. Preview: several “hot-button” issues don’t seem to concern the electorate very much.

First, a note on the gubernatorial numbers. All respondents are included in both the Democratic and Republican races. The question is: “Of the two candidates running for the [Democratic/Republican] nomination for Governor, which do you prefer?” Republicans got to weigh in on the Democratic race, and vice versa. So the results may be a little funky — although to be honest, the Dem/Repub/Indy breakdowns aren’t substantially different from the overall numbers. Still, take these results with a small grain of salt.

Topline for the gubernatorial findings: Phil Scott is way out in front, and will be difficult to catch.

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I think Dick Mazza’s just trolling us now

Well, the State Senate’s #1 Untouchable, Dick Mazza, is at it again.

This time, the alleged Democrat has co-written an opinion piece (published a few days ago in the Bennington Banner) with Republican Peg Flory and alleged Democrat Bobby Starr, slamming the Shumlin administration for, uhh, seeking the shutdown of Vermont Yankee.

To be more precise, the three solons accuse Shumlin of rank hypocrisy for wanting to close Vermont Yankee and now seeking divestment from coal stocks. Because Vermont Yankee was renewable energy, see?

Yeah.

The essay includes plenty of harsh rhetoric you might expect from the outer precincts of the VTGOP. (Tougher than Phil Scott, certainly.) Here’s a sample:

Recent issuances from Vermont’s government have overridden fiduciary responsibility and due process in favor of special interest campaigns and political gestures.

Right out of the Republican playbook, no? And then, this:

The eventual, unfortunate decision to close Vermont Yankee has now increased the state’s carbon footprint, as Vermont uses more fossil fuels for energy generation. State government officials at the time called the loss of high paying jobs and expanded tax base “hard news,” as if nothing could have been done to prevent the closure and its consequences.

Again, chapter and verse from the VTGOP: pinning the blame on Shumlin and ignoring the fact that it was Vermont Yankee’s owner that pulled the plug. For all of the Governor’s posturing, Entergy was winning the court battle over VY’s future when it decided, purely on financial grounds, to close down the plant on schedule.

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One more thing about the “adult in the room”

After his Town Hall meeting in Colchester, Ohio Gov. John Kasich gave a few minutes to the assembled media. A helpful portion thereof was posted online by the Burlington Free Press. Helpful, because it’s one more piece of evidence that Kasich’s “reasonable” “moderate” act is just so much Foxy Grandpa malarkey.

He was asked about whether President Obama should, you know, do his Constitutional duty by nominating someone to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. And Kasich’s answer was a disasterpiece of Republican passive-aggressiveness.

He blamed it all on, you guessed it, Obama.

We’ve had a situation in Washington where nobody’s going to get confirmed. You know, the President passed Obamacare, he rammed through stuff with his executive actions, and it’s just polarized everybody.

So, look, he’s going to send somebody, they’re not going to be confirmed. And what I like is the idea that the American public’s going to have a two-fer. And what do I mean by that?

We’re going to elect a president, and we’re going to determine the direction of the Court by the presidential election. And I think that could serve as a sort of a healing in our country without all these fights goin’ back and forth.

Yeah, that’s the ticket. If Obama hadn’t been such a hardass, ramming stuff down America’s throat for seven years, then we could let him appoint someone to the Supreme Court. As it is, he shouldn’t do it because it will further divide the country. In fact, for the good of the nation, he should voluntarily give up one of his presidential powers.

Yuh-huh. The Republicans and the conservative media, according to John Kasich, have absolutely nothing to do with the polarization of our politics. It’s all Obama’s fault!

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