by Peter Freyne
*Last Update* 3:45 p.m. re: Scudder-Siting
I keep telling myself, “Pedro, no more Bernie Sanders and Richie Tyrant, er, Tarrant stuff.”
It’s over. Finis.
The only thing in doubt is how huge Ol’ Bernardo’s landslide victory will be and, in the end, just how many millions of dollars Tarrant's ego required him to waste.
So, I didn’t attend the "Sanders v. Tarrant" debate at the Burlington VFW Friday afternoon. I didn’t even tune in on the radio - and it was “live”on both WDEV and WJOY.
But in the end, it was unavoidable.
We live in the Internet Age now, boys and girls. And Jess Wilson over at Ch. 17 sent me an email late Friday afternoon to let me know she was shooting the VFW political event and it’ll be available both on-air and online.
And for today’s “Picture-Worth-1000-Words” Prize, we’ll steer you to a telling shot by “veteran” Freeps photographer Glenn Russell that some would say catches the inner Tyrant. It's with Terri Hallenbeck's "Sanders-Tarrant Debate Sizzles."
Then we went - online - to Ch. 17 this dark and windy morning to watch the debate. If you want to get to a defining moment quickly, fast-forward to 41:00 minutes in, and sit back and watch Richie Rich play healthcare genius, at least until Bernie reminds him of the 800 lb. gorilla sitting behind him.
The former Fletcher Allen Health Care board-member simply knows no shame.
Neither did Tom Daschle.
Said Vermont's next United States Senator:
"Literally, one month after Mr. Tarrant was asked to resign from Fletcher Allen by Gov. Douglas he wrote an op-ed in The Burlington Free Press, not expressing concern about the administration of the hospital - and some of those people are now in jail -you know who he attacked? He attacked me and he attacked The Burlington Free Press!"
The next question, read by moderator Mark Johnson, was a flashback to the "Mayor Bernie" Years of the early 1980s and the “McCarthyism” that Ol’ Bernardo evoked from the clueless "Old Guard" Burlington Democrats he and his followers replaced.
"During one of your terms as mayor of Burlington between 1981 and 1989, it was reported by The Burlington Free Press that you, as mayor, refused to display the American Flag in your office for a period of time. Also there was a short time it was noticed by the public that it was conspicuously absent in front of City Hall."
Ah, the "good" old days when red-baiting was a favorite weapon of the political morons Bernie replaced - the "Old Guard" that used to run things in Burlington, Vermont. Said Sanders:
"Absolutely untrue. Period. In fact, one of the things that we did when I first became mayor we brought together the parents of those young men in the city of Burlington who had died in Vietnam. There was not even a plaque to honor their sacrifice."
Sen. Sanders recalled a "very moving ceremony." Tarrant said:
"I believe Mr. Sanders. He was too busy harassing General Electric at that time. Who has since left the city along with IDX, Lane Press, Ben & Jerry's all of whom left around that period of time."
Jesus, Mary and Joseph! I haven't heard that crap in 20 years! There may have been Bernie-supporters protesting at G.E., but Bernie the Socialist Mayor had a special respect for "workers" - especially unionized workers. And he was no dummy - G.E., unlike UVM and the Mary Fletcher Hospital, paid property taxes. Besides the old GE building is full today. The Waterfront, abandoned oil tanks and junkyard space back then, was turned into the jewel we all now enjoy and take for granted. It's a true Waterfront for the People. It took a big fight, and Bernie Sanders was in the vanguard.
Richie, c'mon. What are you smoking? That stuff didn't work in the 1980s - in fact, it sped up the demise of the "Old Guard" Burlington Democratic Party. Replied Ol' Bernardo:
Mr. Tarrant, you may have noticed an article in the Free Press a month or so ago, which called the City of Burlington, one of the most vibrant pro-business communities in the United States of America. That's Moody's. That's not Bernie Sanders. So I'm very proud of what we accomplished in Burlington...."
And he has every right to be.
Don't get me started.....
So we made to the bank just before the 1 p.m. closing and hung out for a while at the Farmers Market on the College Street side of City Hall Park. Next week's the final week of the 2006 season.
A good, steady crowd. That's Democratic candidate for Governor Scudder Parker on the right. Assistant to the Candidate Alex MacLean, a Peacham, Vermont native, who, we're told, went to college in Scotland. And a registered voter and celebrant of John Dewey's birthday to her right.
You see, there had just been a Dewey Birthday "ceremony" and song around the fountain in the center of the park. I just missed it. I figured from a distance it might have been some kind of kooky wedding?
John Dewey was born in Burlington, Vermont on October 20, 1859.
Happy Birthday to you!
Check out the video.