The Burlington College closure has a chance of causing trouble for the Bernie Sanders campaign, since his wife Jane played a key role in sinking the college under a mountain of debt. There are whispers of a federal probe, and now Seven Days’ Terri Hallenbeck reports that VTGOP Vice Chair Brady Toensing claims to have “new information” linking Senator Sanders to the case.
“I was recently approached and informed that Senator Bernie Sanders’ office improperly pressured People’s United Bank to approve the loan application,” Toensing said in letters to U.S. Attorney Eric Miller and to Fred Gibson Jr., the acting inspector general of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
There is cause for skepticism aplenty; Toensing is a Republican official, and he refuses to say anything more about his sources or his new information.
But there’s one more thing you should know, and Hallenbeck didn’t catch it.
We’re learning more about the true cost of Governor Peter Shumlin’s trip to Paris in December, a cost the administration sought to hide.
A court sided with WCAX News, forcing the governor’s office to release documents showing the tab amounted to four times what Vermonters were told.
The administration, citing security concerns, had rejected Midura’s request for cost information about the Governor’s trip to a global climate summit. The court rightly found the administration’s reasoning to be transparently specious bullcrap inadequate.
The dollar amounts are tiny. Shumlin had said the public outlay amounted to $1,200. The newly released documents show the true cost was at least $4,000.
As we all eagerly await the arrival of Our Benevolent Overlord Donald J. Trump and the potential shitshow of a rally in a 1400-seat theater for which more than 20,000 tickets have been issued, there’s another high-profile political event tomorrow in Vermont. That would be, of course, Peter Shumlin’s sixth and final State of the State address.
He’s set the stage with a self-congratulatory website chronicling the progress made during his tenure. It’s chockablock with conveniently-limned graphs designed to emphasize the positive markers, sometimes sacrificing the nuance of truth in the process. And he has said this last year will be a process of consolidating the advances of past years, not an occasion for new initiatives.
Which would seem to imply a somewhat minimalist address. That makes sense, given his status as a lame duck dependent on the cooperation of Democratic lawmakers who will be campaigning without him in November. However…
Peter Shumlin isn’t exactly a shrinking violet. He has used past S0S addresses as springboards for major policy initiatives. Would he really go out with a whimper, not a bang?