by Peter Freyne
*Last Update 9:40 p.m.*
Nothing on the schedule in Vermont political news land on Monday and Tuesday and then, all of a sudden on Wednesday, they come out of the woodwork like bugs. Go figure, eh?
Yours truly hit them all. From Scudster at 10 a.m. to Tony the Prog and the kick-off of the Vermont Milk Company (which will pump out everything but milk) at 1 p.m., with stops in between at the upbeat revivalist No-Tax crowd - all Republican - that calls itself Revolt & Repeal. They want to end the statewide property tax that pays for public schools, but they go no further than "Everything's on the table" when you ask them what they want to replace it with?
"Casino gambling?" we asked after sitting through a 30-minute revivalist/partisan pep rally in Room 10.
There were a few chuckles and a number of affirmative grunts. The Revolt & Repealers seated near me expressed no objection whatsoever, if not enthusiastic out-of-the-closet support from several of them.
Point-man Rep. Steve Adams of Hartland - born in 1949, same year as yours truly - said he personally didn't gamble but, yeah, sure, he had no problem with casino gambling replacing the current statewide property tax in the Green Mountains. "Everything's on the table," said Adams.
Prostitution? Drug legalization?
Until they put some cards on the table, this minority Republican revivalist group lacks credibility. It's heavy on the theatrics and light on the taking questions from reporters.
And I even made it to Montpelier P.D. for Democrat Matt Dunne's endorsement for Lite-Gov by the state troopers union. Interesting that they're endorsing Republican Jim Douglas for governor over Dunne's Democrat running mate, eh?
That's the president of the Trooper's Union, Sgt. Mike O'Neil. Didn't get the name of the officer on the right. Was afraid to ask.
Surprisingly, good old Ch. 3 state government reporter Anson Tebbetts showed up. I thought "Vermont's Own" WCAX did not cover endorsement pressers?
But the highlight of the day was crossing the path of State Sen Bill Doyle to start the Montpeculiar part of the day. Bumped into each other in the lot behind the Thrush. Professor Doyle had picked up the papers and was heading back to the Statehouse. The Republican living-legend invited me to hop in for a ride up to the Golden Dome. It's his second home. Off-the-record, we sat in the vehicle and reviewed the November 7 ballot.
Great minds think alike, eh?
Anyway, let's get a picture up that says if not a thousand, maybe a couple hundred words about the gubernatorial race. In the print edition, we gave the nod to Gov. Scissorhands. Scudder will do better than the last two Democrat losers - Doug Racine and Peter Clavelle, but he hasn't given enough folks who voted for Jim Douglas the last two times a reason to vote for him and Ol' Bernardo and Peter Welch.
Why didn't Scudder Parker hold the above press conference highlighting the incumbent's crystal-clear record of underfunding housing two, or three, or four months ago? And follow it up with another one on another topic the following week? And on and on? Take the major issues head-on? It's called "Free Media."
One problem in the real world is there are too many Democrat political-adviser geniuses in Vermont these days who are so convinced of their superior political talent that they just don't have a clue. Know what I mean?
What else explains a four-year, soon-to-be six-year long Republican reign in the Vermont governor and lieutenant governor's offices?
I keep having to explain to flatlander journalist types that, yes, this is the same Vermont, the very same left-wing state that the current bicycle-riding chairman of the Democratic National Committee - Ol' Howard Dean - made famous. Speaking of Ho-Ho, his his old pal Tony the Prog.
That's Freeps photo grapher Peter Huoppi shooting Pollina & crew in Milk Land. I mistak- enly identified him as the shooter in the shot of Marvelous Martha and Christie shown in the item below. Well, Peter and Jordan Silverman sure look alike when they have their arms, hands and camera hiding their faces. Sorry, guys.
The Vermont Milk Company is starting small and will be marketing dairy products other than bottled Vermont milk. Do they hope to one day market milk to drink?
"I think we all do," said Pollina. "It was a hard decision not to do that. There's a lot of logistics. If you bottle milk you bring it to the store. Of course, if it doesn't sell, you have to take it back. There's a lot of process that goes on. Putting it in the bottles is the easy part."
Bet you never realized that before?
"I think it would be a no-brainer," said Anthony, "to have a second Vermont Milk Company milk-bottling plant on the outskirts of Burlington to meet the growing Chitttenden County market. I think the people in Chittenden County would love to reach for Vermont Milk Company Milk. When that will happen?" he asked rhetocically.
"We're not sure."
How about when a Vermont Progressive Party candidate wins statewide office?
That's Jenny Nelson and Rep. Dexter Randall to Anthony's right. Good people are they.
Check out the Vermont Milk Company website for more.
Hey, just got home from catching political cartoonist Jeff Danziger at Borders. More on that tomorrow.