by Peter Freyne
I confess: I do not check the St. Johnsbury Caledonian-Record newspaper website on a daily basis.
Used to. The Cal-Record's editorial page is often good for a few laughs. It's just that it got to be so predictable. The voice of an angry, anti-Democrat, anti-Progressive, anti-equal rights, anti-Patrick Leahy, anti-Jim Jeffords and anti-Bernie Sanders Vermont.
Hey, it's still a free country, right?
But the times are a changing, even in Caledonia County, Vermont, the Green Mountain State's mythical "Northeast Kingdom" country. These days, Democrats get elected in Cal-Record Land. They even get reelected as Democratic State Sen. Jane Kitchell of Danville has shown.
Still, it was a surprise to read the Cal-Record's Saturday editorial that several folks forwarded our way:A Startling Exchange Adjusted For A Later Event
Three weeks ago, on VPT's "Vermont Politics," Peter Freyne took onSpeaker of the House Gaye Symington, grilling her about her publicstatements blaming Gov. Jim Douglas for failing to get out theRepublican vote to support her weak-as-water education funding reformbill. Speaker Symington was understandably frustrated by thecrash-and-burn of the Democrats' centerpiece legislation. In the courseof Freyne's and her give and take, this startling exchange took place.
Speaker Symington [on Gov. Douglas's non-support]: "Well, I thinkthere's a certain amount of gamesmanship going on now in terms of just, 'Let's watch them fail.' That gets back to the point, are we playinggames here and playing politics? Or are we going to try to move forwardwith what's best for the state and if people just want to play gameswith it, that's one thing."
Freyne: "Isn't it always both, though?"
Speaker Symington: "Well, that's the constant rub in this position, andyou know, I have to tell you, there are so many other things I could bedoing with my life than this. So many other."
Freyne: "Name three."
Speaker Symington: "Being with my kids. Being with my husband. Traveling. ... the rest here.
I blush! Yes, indeed, the above exchange took place. The quotes are accurate.
What's of interest is the time and place the Caledonian-Record editorial page identifies as the "when" and "where" it occurred.
The Right-Wing Record says it was "three weeks ago" and aired on "VPT's 'Vermont Politics.'"
I assume that's a reference to "Vermont Politics" on "Vermont Public Television?"
Only problem is, I've never heard of such a program and can find no record of its existence on the VPT website either. In fact, I don't recall a TV camera in the room that day when we grilled Speaker Gaye.
One thing's for sure, though. The exchange did not occur "three weeks ago" as the Cal-Record editorial states. You can bet the farm on that.
That's because it was posted right here in "Freyne Land" under the title Noblesse Oblige? two weeks ago yesterday (March 31). It was up the morning after it took place, during Speaker Symington's Friday [bag-less] Brown-Bagger with the press.
P.S. The Vermont editorial of the week (month? year?) was in Friday's Brattleboro Reformer.
Impeach Bush, or get out of the way
There will be a time when future generations will look at us and wonderwhy President Bush and Vice President Cheney were not removed fromoffice.
They will look at us and question why, when confronted by the mostcorrupt and incompetent administration ever witnessed in the UnitedStates, nothing was done to stop Bush and Cheney. The rest here.
They will look at us and question why, when confronted by the mostcorrupt and incompetent administration ever witnessed in the UnitedStates, nothing was done to stop Bush and Cheney.
The rest here.