Tag Archives: Vermont Commission on Women

Guy’s Gotcha Games

The face Phil Scott makes while listening to Guy Page

One of the minor intrigues around Gov. Phil Scott’s weekly press conferences is “What will Guy Page come up with next?” Page, the sole proprietor of the Vermont Daily Corpuscle (I think I got that right), usually comes out of right field with something straight out of the conservamedia talking point factory. Scott then answers it with his customary studied earnestness.

We got a priceless example yesterday. After asking a bloody-shirt question about an alleged crime wave of drug cartels robbing legal cannabis dispensaries, Page pivoted to the existential:

Governor, you’re the chief executive of an enterprise that includes the Vermont Commission on Women and other groups designed to benefit women. How would you answer the question, “What is a woman?”

The question came straight from Republicans in the U.S. Senate playing “gotcha” with Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Scott smirked, and then proceeded to fumble his answer. I’d run the full transcript here, but it’d be hazardous to your eyesight like staring directly into the sun. The “high points” of Scott’s meander were “I haven’t contemplated an answer to that,” “I just assume that [Commissioners] refer to them as, uh, as ‘her,’ ‘she,’ or ‘her,'” and “I haven’t heard any outcry from the Commission or a Commissioner or that, um, that, uh, entity.” Sheesh.

Oh, for the moral clarity of a straightforward “Gender is a complicated thing. You can’t boil it down to a single factor.”

Scott could have also turned the table on Page. Probably would have been effective, because it turns out that conservatives can’t answer the question either.

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It’s So Hard to Find Good Republicans These Days

Amidst the endless parade of articles bemoaning the plight of poor businessfolk who can’t find enough workers to fill their low-paying, no-bennies jobs, let us take a moment to pour one out for the group that has by far the hardest time finding a few good people: The Vermont Republican Party.

You almost have to feel sorry for the VTGOP. They’re so underfinanced and disorganized, so out of touch and few in number, that their every ticket features a frightening quantity of blank slots. They’ll take almost anybody with a pulse who’s willing to step out in public with an “R” next to their name.

Two cases in point today. First, we have Christopher-Aaron Felker, the surprise entry into Burlington’s special election to fill the seat of former councilor Brian Pine. Second, Gov. Phil Scott’s latest nominee to the Vermont Commission on Women.

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We’ve Been Shortchanging Female Inmates for a Long Time

I don’t normally tune into a legislative committee hearing to get a history lesson. But that’s what I got Wednesday afternoon. It was a tough one to take.

Vermont’s women’s prison, d/b/a Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility, is in really bad shape. It’s old, and was never designed to be a full-scale prison. It’s unsanitary and inadequate for inmates’ needs.

I knew that. What I didn’t know until today is that the CRCF has been that way since it first opened as a women’s prison back in 2011. The Shumlin administration moved female inmates into the already-aging facility knowing full well that it wasn’t up to par.

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That’s right, the woman is smarter

Takeaways from today’s gubernatorial debate on women’s issues, viewable here

1. Bill Lee has nothing to contribute to this campaign.

2. Phil Scott offers empathy, but no ideas or policies on women’s issues.

3. Sue Minter’s getting good at this.

And finally, and most importantly,

4. This debate shows why we need more women in political office.

Let’s take ‘em in order.

Firstly, Bill Lee is a joke of a candidate, even by the oddball standards of Vermont small-party politics. He arrived late, delaying the start of the debate by about 15 minutes. He’d done nothing to prepare. He had little to say on the issues. His answers meandered all over the place. At one point, he appeared to utterly forget the question and just rambled on until his time was up. And here are a few examples of the Spaceman’s forthcoming entry in Bartlett’s:

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Me on the radio (updated)

Hey, I’m at the very compact digs of WDEV, getting ready to do the Mark Johnson Show today from 9 to 11 a.m. EDT. 550 AM or 96.1 FM in northern/central Vermont. One of m;y scheduled guests canceled yesterday, which set off an invigorating scramble for a substitute.

Bit it all worked out nicely. Here’s the revised rundown.

9:00 am: Roger Allbee, former Douglas Administration Agriculture Secretary. The lifelong Republican is running for the State Senate as a Democrat. He’ll talk about his decision to run, and to switch parties; and we’ll ask him if he had an honest change of heart, or if it’s sheer political opportunism at work.

9:40 am: Cary Brown, Executive Director of the Vermont Commission on Women. She just returned from the White House Summit on Working Families. We’ll talk about the summit and what was actually accomplished, beyond the sound bites and photo ops.

10:10 am: State Rep. Chris Pearson, chair of the Progressive Party caucus in the State House. He’ll be talking about the state of the party heading into the 2014 campaign, its challenges and opportunities, and its highest-profile candidate: Dean Corren, who will take on incumbent Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott.

Tune in if you can, on the radio or online at wdevradio.com.