by Peter Freyne
That something turned out to be this Wednesday's press release from the Vermont Democratic Party HQ in Montpeculiar under the signature of its chairman, Ian Carleton of Burlington. Ian's a 30something corporate attorney with Yale on his resume and statewide political aspirations. Sources say he gave some serious thought to taking on incumbent Republican Gov. Jim Douglas in 2008, but has decided against it. Yes, indeed, King James has no challenger of merit on the horizon, yet.
As far as we can tell, Carleton's press release got little if any attention from the Vermont press even though it had a snappy headline:
"Douglas Gives Sweetheart Deal to Big Donor"
"Fecteau Residential, a Berlin-based business, has fared well recently under the Douglas Administration, first scoring a deal to lease temporary facilities for state employees in Bennington and now turning that lease into a sale (in spite of initially supplying defective units). As his Monday campaign finance disclosure reveals, it turns out Jim Douglas is faring pretty well with Fecteau Residential, too."
Chairman Carleton's release stated Democratic research of state campaign finance records had found that Fecteau Residential of Barre, the company that leased trailers and has now sold "temporary modular buildings" to the state, also - ready for this? - also donated a total of $1,100 to Gov. Douglas' 2006 Campaign.
Carleton's Democratic Party research also found that Fecteau Residential donated $500 to King James' 2008 re-election campaign in February and "about two weeks ago," the state cut a deal to purchase $539,000 of modular offices.
Yesterday, yours truly "ambushed" King James after the big ribbon-cutting marking the opening of Grand Way Commons in South Burlington. Told him about Lord Carleton's attack, one which insinuates the modular office contract had been bought with contributions to his gubernatorial campaign.
DOUGLAS: I’m proud to have thousands of Vermonters support my candidacy. I’ve never had this many contributors at this point in an election cycle and it’s because I have broad support around the state. More and more people are embracing my leadership.
FREYNE: But this is the company you just bought the trailers from.
DOUGLAS: You may well find other businesses that do business with the state who are my supporters. I’m sure of it. I’m proud of all the supporters I have!
Good answer, eh?
After all, accepting campaign contributions from Vermont businesses or persons is not exactly against the law, is it?
Nice try, Lord Carleton.
God forbid if the State of Vermont had done business with any corporation or person that donated to Howard Dean's gubernatorial campaigns, eh?