Tag Archives: Flynn Center

Deadbeat Donald

It’s a minor thing compared to the egregious offensiveness of his entire campaign, but Donald Trump has once again proved to be a deadbeat. He has failed to pay an $8,500 bill issued by the City of Burlington for police and fire overtime costs related to Trump’s January rally in the Flynn Center.

You remember, the one where his campaign issued thousands and thousands of extra tickets, thus ensuring a law-enforcement quagmire and setting the stage for potential violent confrontation?

Well, he hasn’t paid up, and the city has decided “it would not be cost effective” to pursue the matter.

[Mayor Miro Weinberger] reiterated that Trump’s “failure to cooperate” with local law enforcement and lack of communication with the public and ticketholders put “undue strain on the City’s police and “unnecessarily hurt downtown businesses.”

Paying the invoice, Weinberger said, “remains the right and honorable thing for Mr. Trump to do.”

Well, sure, but there’s no point in waiting for Donald Trump to do “the right and honorable thing.” He has a long record of doing otherwise.

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Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump

The marketplace has spoken. WordPress statistics clearly show that Donald Trump is a Proven Clickbait Solution. So in lieu of my usual (cough) trenchant analysis of the issues that matter, we bring you Random Notes On Donald Day.

Because if Vermont’s largest newspaper can succumb to clickbait mania, why not theVPO?

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Ah, journalism in action. And speaking of food, the Kountry Kart Deli is offering a today-only special: The Donald, a stacked-high bologna sandwich with B.S. (bacon slices) on white bread. Perfect. Meanwhile, North End stalwart Nunyuns Bakery was stymied in its effort to cash in:

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More @Trumpnado madness after the break.

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Newsflash: Donald Trump doesn’t give a damn about you

Cheery news about Thursday night’s Trump rally in Burlington: Just because you got a ticket doesn’t mean you’re getting in. The Free Press:

The Flynn Theater believes the campaign of Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump might have distributed more tickets than there are seats in the venue for a rally Thursday night.

How overdistributed, we have no idea — although lefty activist James Haslam Tweeted a rumor that 18,000 tickets have been given away. (The Flynn’s capacity: 1,400.)

(UPDATE: The Burlington Police Department reportedly says the Trump campaign has distributed 20,000 “tickets”. Which is damn irresponsible and downright dangerous.)

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We’re all stars now in the dope show

The January 7 episode of “Trump: The Campaign” in Burlington “has stirred turmoil among Vermonters,” or so the Burlington Free Press informs me.

Well, lemme do a quick check… no… nope… sorry, no turmoil here. Annoyance is all I got.

Annoyance at the idea of Trump as a successful candidate, and annoyance that some of us are auditioning for bit parts in Trump’s ongoing performance piece.

Look, why do you suppose he’s coming here? It’s not for votes. I’m sure he’ll frame it as evidence of his bravery — bringing his truthiness to Ground Zero of Bernie Sanders socialism. And if he gets some nice juicy conflict with some stereotypical dirty hippies, then so much the better.

You think he won’t enjoy the spectacle of anti-Trump demonstrations in City Hall Park? You think he won’t be happier than a pig in shit if protesters get into the hall and try to disrupt the proceedings? You think Fox News won’t lovingly repeat the footage for hours in end?

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Prepare to kneel before our benevolent overlord

Soja hear the news?

Donald Trump is comin’ to town. Next Thursday, Flynn Center, free tix already gone. (According to one commenter on the Freeploid website, many a liberal signed up for tickets with no intention whatsoever of actually showing up — hoping for an embarrassingly low turnout. Which would be great, but I’m sure there will be plenty of the Great Unwashed on hand to welcome their reality-show wet dream of a candidate.)

Can’t say I’m outraged or particularly concerned. I found it amusing that the Vermont Republican Party immediately sought to distance itself from the proceedings. Executive Director Jeff Bartley doing his best Sergeant Schultz:

We learned late today through media reports that Donald Trump will be making a brief campaign stop in Vermont The Vermont Republican Party did not invite Mr. Trump and has no role in his event.

Although Bartley did everything short of dunking himself in Purell, he did end his brief statement with a note of praise for the GOP’s “very diverse group of candidates.”

And there’s the rub. Trump is the loudest and most effective carnival barker of the bunch, but the Republican field really doesn’t offer much to the serious voter. Certainly no real diversity in thought or policy.

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Flynn Center Presents: Serenade for Tiny Violins

A state tax reform measure that would cap itemized deductions at 2.5 times the standard deduction has picked up quite a bit of steam in the Legislature. And right on cue, here comes the Flynn Center’s John Killacky to sound the alarm: limiting itemized deductions “could have dire… consequences for Vermont’s nonprofits.”

tiny violinAwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Pardon me if my heart doesn’t bleed. What he’s saying is that we have to let our wealthiest keep a whole lot of their money in hopes that they’ll give bits of it to charity. It’s a very inefficient way to encourage philanthropy, especially in a day when our regulation of “nonprofits” is so lax, it’s laughable.

Just one example. The Koch Brothers, and many of their fellow megawealthy conservatives, don’t actually donate much to political parties or candidates. No, they set up networks of nonprofit organizations with “educational” missions and — wowee! — promote their ideology while simultaneously pocketing huge tax savings. Yeah, we’re subsidizing conservative propaganda. Feels good, doesn’t it?

(We’re also subsidizing a fair bit of liberal propaganda. The Vermont Workers’ Center has become a very well-funded organization thanks to dozens of annual gifts from nonprofit foundations, many of them set up by wealthy individuals. Its biggest donor is the Ben & Jerry Foundation. I’m not equating the Vermont Workers’ Center with the Koch Brothers, but they both sail along on a rising tide of tax-deductible contributions.)

Back to Vermont. Killacky cites a survey that shows “67 percent of people interviewed confirmed that a decrease in income tax deductions would cause them to contribute less.”

Perhaps. I’d like to see how the study was conducted and how the questions were worded. But even if it’s legit, it should have little to no impact on Vermont’s debate over itemized deductions.

That’s because the big kahuna is the federal deduction. A change in Vermont law would have no effect on that far larger tax benefit. There would still be abundant incentive to contribute.

Killacky also fails to mention that Vermont’s current tax rules for the wealthy are among the most generous in the nation. If we put a cap on deductions, we’d no longer be an outlier in our generosity to our wealthiest citizens, but we’d still be plenty generous.

The scare tactics are entirely out of proportion to the real situation. I can understand why Killacky feels obligated to scurry to the defense of his fat-cat donors, but his arguments are unconvincing.