That just about sums up the brief, undistinguished legislative career of ultraconservative state Rep. Sally Achey. Which means it’s extremely heartening to see former representative (and Prog caucus chief) Robin Chesnut-Tangerman stepping back into the fray,
The news was first reported by Guy Page at the Vermont Daily Chronicle, which ought to be a little bit embarrassing for what’s left of the Vermont political press. I mean, Guy Page, Progressive insider?
Chesnut-Tangerman was chosen by the district Democratic Party committee after Democratic primary winner Chris Hoyt withdrew for family reasons. Smart choice.
In 2020, Chesnut-Tangerman lost to Achey by a mere 32 votes out of 2,809 cast. Achey was a Klar Klan ReKruit, a member of “Farmer” John Klar’s merry Agripublican band of extremists. Her victory was a calamity for the Progressive Party and for the district, since Achey has achieved nothing in her two years in office except sitting on the House Energy & Technology Committee, which seems like somebody’s idea of a bad joke, and complaining about climate change legislation.
Otherwise? In two sessions, Achey has been lead sponsor on a grand total of one bill. It would have created a right of appeal for town listers whose decisions are rejected by the town’s governing body.
Why was this the issue that rose above all others in Achey’s eyes? Well, she’s chair of the Middletown Springs Board of Listers. I sense an unassuaged grievance over a property valuation.
So that’s it as far as creating legislation is concerned. Achey has also co-sponsored a grand total of nine bills, none of which were actually taken up by any committee. The lead sponsors on those bills is practically a Who’s Who of extremist Republicans: Vicki Strong (four), Art Peterson (tw0), Samantha Lefebvre (one), Mary Morrissey (one), and Jim Harrison (one). Jim’s the outlier there; he’s fiscally conservative but he’s a reasonable guy.
The others? Woof.
Let’s take a look at some of these doomed pieces of legislation. Strong’s four bills were all of the anti-abortion variety. She would have subjected women seeking abortions to mandatory ultrasounds; imposed tough regulatory standards on abortion facilities, required parental consent for minors seeking abortions, and banned selective abortions based on gender or fetal health considerations.
Peterson’s bills would have created a tax deduction for home schoolers and required that any cannabis-related business get approval by the town government.
But the real winner in the bunch is Lefebvre’s, which would have made it a crime to make false statements about domestic abuse in cases where the accused’s firearms are removed.
Yeah, that’s the ticket. Because them dang wimmin are always makin’ stuff up to get their hubbies’ shootin’ irons out of the house. Sheesh.
In short, Achey has had no measurable effect on the legislative process and has done nothing whatsoever for her constituents except to channel the rage of her fellow believers.
Chesnut-Tangerman was a strong voice on climate change and a respected leader of the Progressive caucus. His defeat was a big loss for the Progs. A return engagement would be welcome news. Replacing him with a Klarpostle was one of the most unfortunate outcomes of the 2020 election.