Tag Archives: H.361

Apology and retraction re: Sunderland essay

Over the weekend, I posted a piece noting that VTGOP chair David Sunderland had sent out an opinion piece castigating H.361, the education reform bill, even though it was the result of Democratic/Republican cooperation and enacted with bipartisan support (and opposition).

My mistake, and my apologies to Sunderland and to VPO readers. He did not write the essay in question — although he did send it out to the VTGOP’s email list. That’s a little surprising given broad Republican support for the bill, but it’s not nearly as strange as it would have been if he’d written the piece.

The essay was actually an Editorial that appeared in the May 27 Times Argus. I first saw it in the VTGOP email blast, and jumped to a conclusion. My fault.

I’m updating the original post with a link to this retraction. I don’t want to delete the post because that would be, IMO, dishonest.

Thanks to Robert Maynard of True North Reports for pointing out my mistake. Sorry I didn’t believe you the first time, Robert.

VTGOP chair throws his own people under the bus

UPDATE: I was mistaken when I wrote this post. The opinion piece was not written by Sunderland; it was a Times Argus editorial. See this new post for details.

Vermont Republican Party chair David Sunderland, having been eerily quiet during the bulk of this year’s legislative session, is now throwing around boilerplate press releases and opinion pieces like there’s no tomorrow.

A recent missive, published in the May 27 Times Argus, castigates H.361, the education reform bill, as “a mess of a bill,” a “coercive regime,” the result of a “panicked” legislature. He claims the bill “will raise property taxes” (nonsense) and introduce inequity to what he called the “painstaking and thorough quest” that resulted in the adoption of Act 60 in 1997.

Which is funny in itself, because Republicans have been loudly beating the drum for repeal of Act 60 and its 2003 amendment, Act 68. Sunderland may be too young to recall that Act 68 was adopted because of severe problems with Act 60. But hey, if he views the halcyon days of Act 60 through rose-colored glasses, that’s his right. Of course, he may be completely alone in his nostalgia.

But that’s not the real story here. The most significant, nay stunning, aspect of his essay is that H.361 was a bipartisan bill. It was a cooperative effort of Democrats and Republicans in the House Education Committee, and it passed the Legislature with substantial Republican support. In the House, 23 Republicans — almost half the caucus — voted for H.361, including House Minority Leader Don Turner and Assistant Leader Brian Savage.

Continue reading