A bit of behind-the-scenes buzz going on Wednesday in Vermont political circles stretching from Burlington and Montpeculiar all the way to the District of Columbia. Surely the Feds cannot ignore the fact that federal law is now being openly broken at the Middlebury dairy farm owned by the in-laws of our distinguished leader - Gov. Jim Douglas.
Sam Hemingway broke the story in Sunday’s Burlington Free Press. Nice catch, Sam! And a whole lot of people have noticed. Especially the fact that Vermont’s Republican governor acknowledges the fact he’s been aware the law was being broken at the Foster Farm for quite some time.
“I’m certainly aware they have Mexican workers, but I’ve never run into any of them when I was there,” Douglas told Hemingway.
Oh. Okay. As long as you never actually saw one. Then it’s fine. Whew!
But what if Governor Douglas’ in-laws were growing marijuana?
As long as you never saw it, Governor?
This little stumble has a lot of jaws saying it won’t be too long before Gov. Douglas reigns his “Karl Rove” back in. You know, the new, personable and media-savvy Transportation Secretary Neale Lunderville (with arms folded at right. Adm. Sec. Mike Smith to his left). Many a veteran Vermont pol is wondering aloud this week how much longer Gov. Scissorhands can put off a Lunderville recall back into the inner sanctum on the Fifth Floor.
Young Neale (currently in his early 30s), was his campaign manager in 2002 and 2004 and not too far away in 2006. He’s the saviest political mind to pop up in the Vermont GOP in a long, long time.
He was appointed Vermont’s Secretary of Transportation with transportation qualifications that did not go beyond his own personal driving experience. Even his mother, reliable sources say, questioned Gov. Douglas’ judgment.
But Neale Lunderville is an extremely gifted manager and motivator. And he most definitely gets it. You know - “it.” In fact, he gets “it” so well, we’ve heard Democrats sing his praises - off-the-record only, of course.
In the last three months, Sec. Lunderville's received more favorable press coverage than previous Vermont transportation secretaries have garnered in 20 years.
Somebody's got to do it.