by Peter Freyne
The early CW on the chances of Democrats overriding GOP Gov. Jim Douglas' veto of their Global Warming Bill - "The Vermont Energy Efficiency and Affordability Act" - was between none and next to none. H. 520 passed the House on an 85-61 vote. A two-thirds vote is required to take Gov. Jimbo's veto and park it where the moon don't shine.
Contrary to the CW, however, a few veteran Montpeculiar insiders took a very different approach. They suggested Democratic leaders actually should be able to override with no sweat. It's not just a matter of getting people to change their previous vote from "nay" to "aye," it's also about getting a few people to "stay home" that day - that day being July 11.
This morning, House Natural Resources Chairman Robert Dostis [left] and Rep. Tony Klein, a committee member, were the guests on The Mark Johnson Show on WDEV. Johnson asked Chairman Dostis how he could possibly override?
"Well," replied the Chairman, "You need two-thirds of who is there."
You think you can "realistically pull this off?" asked Marko.
"I would never count us out," replied Dostis. "Too important a piece of legislation."
In addition, he noted, "People who previously opposed the bill are now supporting it." When they learn the facts, he said, "They see it's a good bill."
Interesting. And soon things got even more interesting when Mark the Host took the next call and I - and the guests - instantly recognized the familiar South-Boston accent that's echoed up and down the Statehouse halls since the 1980s.
Gerry Morris, aka "Morris the Cat," is one of the top hired-gun business lobbyists under the golden dome. Mr. Morris [pictured below, right], represents Entergy Vermont Yankee among other distinguished business clients, including Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc., Pfizer Inc, and Vermont State Colleges.
MORRIS: Well, you both know Vermont Yankee does not pay a property tax which is why we pay less in property taxes now than we did in 2002. You both know that, right?
DOSTIS: Yeah. And that’s why I have to keep talking about money into the Education Fund and money into the General Fund, so it is a difference, but the bottom line is, call it what you want, it’s still basically a property tax, but it’s not based on fair-market-value.