Tag Archives: Neale Lunderville

What if Phil Scott loses?

In my second-most-recent post, I listed all the bad news visited upon Vermont Republicans over the past few days. I ended by asking “What if Phil Scott loses?”

I’ll get to that question, but in the meantime, WCAX released its own poll showing Scott with a seven-point lead over Sue Minter, which has triggered much rejoicing Chez Phil.

In his lede, WCAX’s usually reliable Kyle Midura made an unwarranted inference: since the VPR Poll had shown a statistical dead heat, the TV poll shows that Scott is “pulling ahead.”

Which, c’mon now. These are two polls from different organizations with possibly differing methodologies. (We don’t know because WCAX hasn’t released any details. VPR has disclosed all of that.) Drawing that direct a line between the two polls is misleading at best.

What we have are two data points. One (VPR) from an in-state academic polling outfit, one (WCAX) from a New Jersey-based for-profit firm.

Pollster Paul Braun engaged in some speculation that ought to unnerve those placing a lot of weight on his survey. He credited the WCAX gubernatorial debate for driving Scott’s alleged momentum — when, in fact, debate audiences tend to be very small, and the impact of debates on public opinion is also small. (Unless you pull a Trump, of course.) There is no evidence to support Braun’s assertion.

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Minter airs general election TV spot for the primary, hm.

Following in the footsteps of Matt Dunne, Sue Minter has put out her first TV ad for the gubernatorial primary. And following in the footsteps of Matt Dunne, her ad raises strategic doubts in my mind. (Not counting the missed opportunity to use “Minter Fresh” as the tagline.)

(Gee, why am I not a campaign manager?)

The ad focuses on her work as Irene Recovery Officer, which strikes me as a questionable place to start her TV effort.

First of all, Irene was a traumatic event, but it was five years ago already. It’s been front and center in her campaign since day one. Doesn’t she have anything more recent to brag on?

Second, the ad is misleading on a key point: she was the second Irene Recovery Officer. She succeeded Neale Lunderville, who occupied the post during the critical first few months of the operation. Irene happened in late August 2011; Minter took over in January 2012.

(This is the same convenient omission made on Minter’s Wikipedia page by FourViolas, an editor who’s made 13 changes to the page since mid-March.)

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More Wiki-intrigue: Who is “FourViolas”?

Recently, I’ve written a couple of posts about Peter Galbraith’s Wikipedia entry and the extremely assiduous pro-Galbraith editing activity of two anonymous persons — Devotedamerican and Westencivil.

Well, now I’ve got more intrigue to report, and it involves one of Galbraith’s competitors for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Those who’ve been following the Galbraith story way too closely for proper maintenance of mental health will recall that the activity of Devotedamerican was brought to attention by another Wikipedia editor.

The plethora of edits was flagged to VTDigger by FourViolas, a Wikipedia editor from Vermont who reported having stumbled upon Devotedamerican’s work while inserting policy positions on the pages of all the Vermont gubernatorial candidates.

In an email, FourViolas asked to be identified only by Wikipedia username, saying the community appreciates anonymity.

Yeah, well, here’s the thing. FourViolas has been extremely busy editing Sue Minter’s Wikipedia page. FourViolas’ first edit came on March 17; after that, s/he was inactive until May 21. Since then, FV has been responsible for 12 more edits. Most of them add biographical detail fleshing out Minter’s experience and qualifications.

One of FourViolas’ edits conveniently omitted an important fact. See if you can spot it:

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BTV throws a technology pickle party

Throughout its history, information technology has been a man’s world. You’d think the most modern of industries would have relatively enlightened attitudes, but not so.

Disappointing. Maddening. But you’d think that the (allegedly) most enlightened of high-tech wannabes, Burlington, would actively promote the role of women in high tech. It is, after all, the Queen City, yo.

Uh…

Well…

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger is trying to revitalize BTV Ignite, the two-year-old initiative to turn the city’s high-speed Internet infrastructure into an economic engine. He’s appointed a new Executive Director; more on that in a moment. There’s also a new Board of Directors, and guess what?

The BTV Ignite Board of Directors (not exactly as illustrated)

The BTV Ignite Board of Directors (not exactly as illustrated)

They’re all men.

Stephen, Dan, Neale, Charles, Peter, Jonathan, and Tom.

Well hey, at least they’ll be able to tell dirty jokes and hold board meetings in the sauna.

Jesus Christ, Miro. Did you even think about this? Couldn’t you have found a token woman, at the very least?

Or maybe ask Neale Lunderville to wear heels?

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There’s no need to fear. WonderBoy is here!

Semi-random thoughts upon the hiring of former Douglas Administration stalwart Neale Lunderville, who served as Governor Shumlin’s Irene Recovery Czar, as the interim GM of the Burlington Electric Department… 

— When did Lunderville become Mr. Fix-It for Democratic administrations? Is there not a single Democrat with administrative chops who could be called upon to fill a leadership void in the public sector?

— Between his two government gigs, Lunderville was co-founder of NG Advantage, a firm that deals in compressed natural gas. He was there for less than two years. When and why did he leave?

— Since the Douglas Administration came to its merciful end, Lunderville has held (if I’m counting correctly) at least four jobs. Coincidence, or is there a reason he keeps moving around? (Yes, I know the Irene gig was a short-termer from the gitgo. But even so, there seems to be a pattern here.)

— Lunderville was one of the more notable head-crackers in the Douglas Administration. How committed is he to the ideals of a publicly-owned utility? Especially one with a strong commitment to renewable energy?

— The above question is even more crucial when, according to the Burlington Free Press, “Lunderville will conduct a strategic review of BED operations.” Will his ideological bent inform his strategic review, and shape his conclusions? Hard to see how it wouldn’t.

— He is said to be BED’s interim head, with a six-to-nine-month appointment. At the same time, though, Mayor Weinberger “temporarily suspended” the search for a permanent GM. Seems an odd decision; it often takes more than nine months to fill a top administrative position. Why wait? It seems likely that either Lunderville will stay longer than expected, or BED will soon be searching for another interim GM. Are the skids being greased for Lunderville’s permanent appointment?

Just askin’. Maybe some enterprising member of our paid political media could seek answers to some of these fairly obvious questions.

One further observation. The thing I don’t like about Shumlin and Weinberger hiring a Republican for a tough management task is the same reason I don’t like it when a Democratic President hires a Republican for Defense Secretary, or a military man for a non-military administrative post. It feeds into the stereotype that liberals can’t be effective, tough-minded leaders, and can’t be trusted with critical security and military issues.

Which is nonsense on both sides: there’s no guarantee a Republican will be a good manager, there’s no guarantee a general without the protections of rank and uniform will be an effective leader, and there’s no reason to think a Democrat, or even a Progressive, couldn’t handle a critical managerial challenge or keep our country safe. When Democratic officeholders hire somone like Lunderville, leaving aside the question of his qualifications, it feeds into those stereotypes. And that, in itself, is not a good thing.