Tag Archives: Theresa Wood

The Empire Strikes Back

Apologies for the mixed metaphors, but I’m so mad I can’t write straight.

The House-Senate budget conference committee has yet again refused to extend the motel voucher program that’s currently sheltering 80% of Vermont’s unhoused. In so doing, they ignored the pleadings of a small group of determined small- and capital-P progressives who say they won’t vote to override a gubernatorial veto of any budget that fails to address our crisis of homelessness.

And in so doing, they worked hand-in-glove with the Scott administration. I can say so because conference committee member and, God help us all, chair of the House Human Services Committee, Theresa Wood, said so: “This has been a collaborative process with the Agency of Human Services and the governor’s office.”

Great. No collaboration with housing advocates, then? No contact with the lawmakers threatening to withhold support for a budget plan that manages to combine the cruelty of Ebenezer Scrooge with the unctuousness of Uriah Heep? Nope, they confined themselves to working with an administration that has been adamant about its intent to kill the voucher program and damn the consequences.

And at almost the precise moment when this “collaborative process” came to fruition in the discussion-free approval of the new housing budget, I got a fundraising text from Vermont Democratic Party chair David Glidden urging me to support their fight against “Phil Scott and extremist Republicans [who] ae determined to sabotage us at every turn.”

Well, at every turn except when the Democrats eagerly collaborate with “Phil Scott and extremist Republicans.” If I harbored any notion of opening up my wallet to the VDP, it vanished instantly. I hope anyone else who was thinking about a donation will instead make a gift to their local homeless shelter. Fuck the Democrats.

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Stealth Conservatives: A Leopard Can’t Change Its Spots, But It Can Try to Pass as a Cheetah

Meet Kathi Tarrant, mom, musician, teacher, and Republican candidate for the Vermont House in the Washington-Chittenden district currently represented by two Democrats, Tom Stevens and Theresa Wood.

Ms. Tarrant might not like it that I topped this piece with a picture of her at the August 2021 Patriot Rally on the steps of the Statehouse. The event was captured on video by the good folks at Orca Media, and you can see several speakers talking about the poor attendance. And you can see Tarrant talking about the federal lawsuit she filed against Gov. Phil Scott over his mask mandate. Yep, she’s one of them.

But that’s not how she’s presenting herself in the race for House. Instead, she’s donned the garb of a garden-variety conservative — to the right of Phil Scott, but not quite off the deep end. In a candidates’ forum sponsored by ORCA and another of my former employers, The Bridge, she managed to avoid subjects like the Covid vaccine and climate change denialism (“CO2 is NOT a pollutant”) and weather conspiracy theories and her membership in 802Freedom, the online community of anti-vaxxers and their ilk.

Instead, we got anodyne language about carbon taxes, ballot security, supporting law enforcement, fixing the housing shortage by unleashing the landlords, doubts about cannabis legalization, Second Amendment absolutism, and opposition to Article 22 over its wording, not its intent.

Now, it’s possible that she’s completely changed her political orientation in the past year. But it’s much more likely that she’s trying to pass as a standard conservative when in fact she’s way out on the fringes of political discourse.

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