Tag Archives: Brian Dubie

A tale of two parties

For the third weekend in a row, Vermont’s top Democrats are touring the state, rallying their voters and presenting a unified front behind Sue Minter. Pat Leahy, Peter Welch, David Zuckerman, TJ Donovan, Doug Hoffer, Beth Pearce, and Jim Condos have done more than their share to help carry Minter across the finish line.

And most crucially, Bernie Sanders, who not only spent two weekends on the stump with Minter*, he gave her a tremendous infusion of campaign cash thanks to his millions of supporters across the country. It really has been a great display of unity — far beyond anything I’d hoped for when I advocated a one-weekend Bus Tour. It’s also an impressive show of the Democrats’ political star power, the depth of their talent and the breadth of their appeal.

*This weekend, he’s campaigning for Hillary Clinton in other states. 

Meanwhile, on the other side, we’ve got Phil Scott. And, um…

Phil Scott.

Bravely soldiering on, pretty much carrying the entire VTGOP on his broad, manly shoulders. Or trying to.

Really, who else is there? What other Vermont Republican might hope to draw a crowd or inspire the voters?

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Here comes the money

This one’s for Nick.

Yeah, the Vermont primary campaign blasted through all the old records for money spent. And now the real battle begins.

On the morning after the vote, the Republican Governors Association launched the first TV ad of the general election campaign. Shockingly, it’s pro-Phil Scott.

It may make his railings against outside money look a bit like the protestations of the painted lady under the lamppost, but at least it’s a positive ad. In fact, it’s so sticky-sweet, it ought to come with a warning: “You May Contract Diabetes While Watching This Advertisement.” Scenes of Phil’s appealingly craggy face on a summer day as he greets Real Vermonters, while a piano arpeggiates and an inviting, slightly MILFy voice extols his virtues. He will, Carol Brady assures us, “restore trust in state government, bring new jobs to Vermont, and focus on solving problems, not playing politics.”

I’m sure the next ad will include “heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons.” (Hey, I went to Sunday School*.)

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St. Brian of the Turbines

I’ve been pondering the liberal bloggers’ tradition of posting spoof pieces on April 1, carried forward today by Green Mountain Daily. Even started developing a few ideas. But then I decided (a) there’s too much real stuff to write about, and (b) I have non-blogging stuff on my plate, and I need to carve out time for those obligations.

One of my ideas was “unlikely candidates for public office,” based on the parade of “Who asked for this?” candidacies and proto-candidacies. Garrett Graff, Brandon Riker, Louis Meyers, John Rodgers, Peter Galbraith, Bruce Lisman… I think I’m forgetting one or two… but the list is long and undistinguished, especially in a year when there are so many good candidates on offer.

The April Fools’ Day post would have listed other unlikely entries. Lenore Broughton, Eric Davis, Howard Frank Mosher, Anne Galloway, Tom Bodett… the possibilities are endless.

And then reality intruded in the form of Brian Dubie, former lightweight Lite-Guv, now mooting a return to the wars as Saint Brian of the Turbines, a cheap Don Quixote knockoff with a soupcon of Jeanne d’Arc.

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The Democrats still have the money

Ever since Brian Dubie lost his race for governor in 2010, the Vermont Republican Party has lagged badly in political finance. With the exception of Phil Scott’s budget-friendly runs for lieutenant governor, Republican candidates for top offices (when they exist at all) have been at a tremendous disadvantage financially.

And need I remind you of the chronic penury of the VTGOP itself?

Well, 2016 is a new cycle and the Republicans have their Great White Hope running for governor, but one thing remains the same: the Democrats still have the money.

Just look at the campaign finance filings for governor. Setting aside Bruce Lisman’s generosity to himself, the two Republican candidates lag far behind their Democratic counterparts. Yes, even Phil Scott.

Matt Dunne and Sue Minter have combined to raise an astounding $1,055,026.

Phil Scott and Bruce Lisman (minus the latter’s donations to himself): $593,188.

I realize that Lisman’s own cash will buy just as many consultants and pre-processed Tweets as contributed funds. The point is, Vermont Republicans cannot match the Democrats in fundraising prowess. Not even Phil Scott.

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Gnats to Fart in Windstorm

Oh look, a bunch of Republican lawmakers are belatedly getting off the pot.

Vermont state Rep. Kurt Wright, R-Burlington, says approximately 30 Republican lawmakers will endorse Marco Rubio for president on Thursday.

… “He’s the last best chance,” Wright said. “I think the window’s beginning to close.”

Err, “beginning” to close? More like “coming down like a well-greased guillotine.”

Presumably, at least some of these 30 Bravehearts also attended the John Kasich Town Hall last Saturday. None endorsed him, although they were all very happy to be on hand. But I guess they realize that Foxy Grandpa’s window was never open, let alone “beginning to close.” It’ll be interesting to see how many top Republicans show up at the just-anounced Kasich Town Hall on Monday at Castleton University.

The Rubot also got the coveted (cough, choke) endorsement of former Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie, who praised Florida’s Usually Absentee Senator as a “strong conservative” with “bold conservative ideas.”

Yeah, that’ll move the needle. Look out, Trump: Brian Dubie is comin’ to get ya!

Also, gosh, I didn’t realize Dubie was such a fan of strong conservatism. I guess that Jim-Douglas-without-the-charm act he pulled in 2010 was just a load of horse hockey.

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Energize Vermont’s cockamamie political analysis

Here’s something I bet you didn’t know.

Widespread unrest over the state’s renewable energy policy was responsible for Governor Shumlin’s near-defeat in 2014.

Actual piece of anti-wind propaganda from Ireland. I'm more afraid of Giant Baby than the turbines. But maybe the vibrations turned him into Babyzilla.

Actual piece of anti-wind propaganda from Ireland. Personally, I’m more afraid of Babyzilla than the turbines. But maybe the vibrations turned him into Babyzilla. Hmm.

Well, that’s the story being peddled by our buddies at Energize Vermont, an anti-renewable nonprofit whose funding sources are entirely opaque. They’re branding it as “The Vermont Energy Rebellion,” which allegedly poses an existential threat to the Democrats in 2016.

But let’s go back to 2014, the year that Scott Milne allegedly surfed the wave of anti-renewables anger to within an eyelash of the governorship. The fevered imagination of Energize Vermont focuses on the key constituency of Craftsbury, population 1,206.

Hey, you in the back: stop laughing!

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Brian Dubie, serial propagandist

Our former Lieutenant Governor is continuing his all-out campaign against wind farms with his usual mix of overheated rhetoric and outright lies. As is customary with anti-wind activists, it’s a game of Whack-A-Mole: answer one argument, they quickly switch to another, and another, and another. No single argument survives scrutiny; they have to move the target and hope nobody notices. Dubie’s only been playing this game for a few months, but he’s already mastered the basics.

UFOTurbineHis latest foray was especially duplicitous: a claim that a proposed wind farm would be a hazard to aviation. Originally, he brandished a document from the Federal Aviation Administration that seemed to backstop his argument.  Turns out he was misrepresenting a routine FAA notice of interest in the project. The FAA has since ruled that the wind farm poses no risk to aviation.

That hasn’t stopped Dubie from pushing this discredited talking point, brandishing his “expertise” as a longtime airline pilot — which, I guess, makes him more of an expert than the Federal Aviation Administration.  Heh.

In a recent opinion piece, Dubie places the origin of his professional concern about wind turbines to an unspecified time during his tenure as Lieutenant Governor. Which looks like an attempt to rewrite history, since Dubie was a prominent advocate of wind energy — a position that put him at odds with Governor Jim Douglas, a wind-power skeptic. Dubie highlighted the need for more wind power as recently as January 2009, when he was being sworn in to his fourth term as Lite-Gov.

So when was his wind-power conversion? Apparently not during his government service. Indeed, he never raised a peep of concern about wind energy until last year, when he realized there was a plan to build a wind farm near his home.

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