Tag Archives: Tom Terenzini

Lightning Round!

As the Legislature winds down, the political news is coming thick and fast. Got several items worthy of comment including Gov. Phil Scott’s generic condemnation of persons unknown, a better use for the state’s “extra” money, three potentially interesting House races, and a depressingly rote report on last night’s Congressional debate. Let’s GOOOO!!!

Scott condemns… somebody. Perhaps because of the killing of Fern Feather, the governor (or his comms staff) took to Twitter and amped up his language condemning hate speech in the political arena. He cited “disturbing hostility toward the transgender community” and lamented that Vermont “is not immune to this.” It was a good statement, as far as it went.

But he failed to mention the source of all the hostility: his own Republican Party. He also failed to name the two individuals responsible for bringing the hate home: VTGOP chair Paul Dame and Burlington Republican Committee chair Christopher-Aaron Felker. As long as the governor refrains from identifying those responsible and refuses to step into his own party and deal with this garbage, his words are sadly empty, In the vernacular, it’s time for him to grow a pair.

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House Republicans Choose Sides, and Most Have Chosen Wisely

Lovely architecture provides an outstanding backdrop. Loses a couple points for lighting. 8/10

A resolution condemning the Capitol riot of January 6 and calling for President Trump’s resignation or removal passed the Vermont House today on a one-sided vote. Seven Days reported the tally as 130 to 6. VTDigger reported 130 to 16. But it was a voice vote, so I’m not sure where the numbers come from. All the “No” votes were cast by Republicans, but represent a small percentage of the GOP caucus.

There was apparently no floor debate. But there was some discussion of the resolution earlier in the day, at a House Republican caucus meeting captured on video. A total of eight lawmakers spoke in opposition, which again calls into question the 130 to 6 tally. Those eight do not include Rutland Rep. Tom Terenzini, who didn’t speak in caucus but opposed the measure as well. I count at least nine “No” votes.

So who are they? Reps. Lisa Hango, Patrick Brennan, Carl Rosenquist, Brian Smith, Lynn Batchelor, Vicky Strong, Mark Higley, Rodney Graham and Terenzini. (Two members, Reps. Bob Helm and Art Peterson, made remarks that did not disclose how they would vote.) We’ll get to their statements after the jump.

Several Republicans voiced strong support for the measure, most notably Reps. Felisha Leffler, Scott Beck, Lynn Dickinson and Scheuermann. Referring to the rioters, Scheuermann said, “What they were doing was appalling. I was ashamed. I thought it critical for us to do this as a body.”

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Lawmakers Lament Lost Opportunity to Grandstand

Full marks to Rutland Mayor Chris Louras for rolling out the welcome mat to 100 Syrian refugees — and for stoutly defending the decision against the inevitable backlash.

He drew the connection to America’s tradition of welcoming immigrants of all kinds — and he pointed out that immigrants, by and large, are a strong economic plus for struggling cities.

“Their arrival will signal a new wave in the ongoing economic growth of the region,” Louras added. “As our forefathers’ arrival added to the rich cultural melting pot of Rutland County, our newest residents will enrich and expand the tapestry we cherish today.”

Plus, Rutland will probably get some authentic Middle Eastern food out of the deal.

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If Bill Sorrell needed a reason to throw another hissy fit…

Pardon the recent light blogging; I’ve been out of town. Got some stuff to catch up on, such as the following.

Recently, Seven Days’ Paul Heintz reported that many House Republicans conveniently absented themselves when the House voted on a marriage-equality resolution. These folks, real Profiles in Courage one and all, opposed the resolution but refused to put themselves on the record doing so. Still, they made some delightfully juicy comments to Heintz, including this delightful outrage-gasm from Republican Representative and Man’s Man Tom Terenzini:

“I would have voted against the resolution because, you know, No. 1: I don’t like socialist Democrats and the Progressives shoving that crap down my throat.”

Oh, those people are so completely obsessed with things being shoved down their throats. Something you’re hiding, Tom?

Anyway, Vermont Democratic Party flack Ben Sarle couldn’t resist this Cavalcade O’ Republican Outrage, so he sent out an email blast documenting the anti-resolution comments.

Did he realize that he was also sending a link to a whole lot of anti-Bill Sorrell material?

The second half of Heintz’ column was devoted to Sorrell’s routine flouting of campaign finance reporting laws. Which is, you know, ironic and stuff because Our Eternal General claims to be our guardian angel of campaign purity.

A review of Sorrell’s recent filings shows that he has routinely ignored the rules. Sixteen times over the past four years, Sorrell’s campaign has reimbursed him for hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars’ worth of expenses paid out of his own pocket. In each instance, the campaign provided only a vague explanation of what Sorrell bought with the campaign cash — and never once did it disclose who it paid.

Heintz goes on to document the incredibly under-documented state of Sorrell’s filings. If any other Vermont pol did that stuff, Sorrell would be all over them like funk on a wet dog.

It’s damning stuff. And the Vermont Democratic Party effectively blasted it to their entire list.

I’m guessing it wasn’t intentional. On the other hand, there are a lot of Dems who can’t stand the guy, see him as out of touch, mediocre, full of himself, and quite possibly corrupt. Is there any chance that this was a subtle shot across Sorrell’s bow? An indication that the party wouldn’t be averse to a primary challenge in 2016?

Oh, we can only hope.