Daily Archives: April 13, 2016

Your Plug-N-Play guide to writing Phil Scott press releases

Phil Scott’s press releases are so damn predictable. I’m sure he has a template on file. Anytime there’s a bit of bad economic or business news, no matter how irrelevant to state government, you just plug in the bit of news and add boilerplate language about “affordability” and “bad business climate” and “those scalawags in Montpelier” (by which he means Not Phil Scott, which is itself worth a laugh since he’s been part of Montpelier’s in-crowd for a good fifteen years).

Click “Save” and “Send.” There you go.

The latest cookie-cutter release from the Scott campaign is about the closure of the Manchester-area Chamber of Commerce. That Chamber apparently existed solely as a conduit for health insurance coverage for its members. After the onset of health care reform, it was stripped of that function — and it became apparent that nobody was interested in supporting the Chamber for any other reason.

Does that mean health care reform was a mistake? Of course not. If the Chamber can’t gin up enough money to keep the lights on without being an insurance middleman, then it won’t be missed.

Well, it did serve one purpose in dying: it gave Phil Scott a pretext for firing up his Press Release-O-Meter. A flimsy pretext, but that’s all he needs.

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Foxes Establish Henhouse Access Rules

Here’s another sign┬áthat Vermont’s Founding Fathers may have been drunk when they wrote our Constitution. Which, among other flaws, appears to give the Legislature sole authority over its own ethics.

Today, the Senate Rules Committee showed why that’s such a bad idea. While the Judiciary Committee has been busily slashing a proposed Ethics Commission into a glorified filing cabinet, the Rules Committee has been developing a parallel process for its own members.

Today, the Rules Committee adopted an ethics process for the Senate. And according to Seven Days’ Nancy Remsen, the Senate ethics process is designed, first and foremost, to ensure that its members are protected from public embarrassment. (To clarify: she didn’t say that, I did. But her outline of the procedure allows no other interpretation.)

As I’ve written before, the House Ethics Panel is a sorry-ass excuse for a watchdog. The Senate ethics panel won’t be any better, and may be significantly worse.

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