by Peter Freyne
On Wednesday the distinguished Democratic leaders of the Vermont Legislature announced they are putting the "gay marriage" issue back on the state's political front-burner.
The first state in the union to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples through "civil unions" back in 2000 is heading for Round 2.
Republicans appear delighted the Democrat leaders want to fan those old flames and fire up their troops.
Conservative, scripture-quoting, anti-gay activists sound ecstatic!
And many Democrats outside the Statehouse "leadership" appear positively bewildered.
Instead of focusing on attaining a genuine "veto-proof" majority under the Golden Dome, or, god forbid, winning back the governor's office, House Speaker Gaye Symington [who is not gay], and Senate Prez Peter Shumlin [who recently declared his diminished sense of political ambition], certainly appear on track to prevent such.
They're in charge, folks, and they decide the majority party's priorities, right?
And word Friday via press release that Vermont Democratic Party Executive Director Jill Krowinski [photographed outside the Statehouse a couple months ago] is off for a two-week August study trip to the Philippines!
Political Study Program to Focus on Citizen Diplomacy
Washington, D.C., July 27, 2007 – Jill Krowinski has been selected by the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL), a bi-partisan, not-for-profit international exchange organization, as a delegate to the Philippines for a two week political exchange program beginning on August 3, 2007. She will join nine other young political leaders from across the United States to study the Filipino political system, engage in dialogue on international issues, and forge professional relationships...
Krowinski will join other delegates, each between the age of 25 and 40, in Washington, D.C. for briefings by the U.S. Department of State and the Filipino Embassy before flying to Manila. The program will provide the delegates opportunities to travel within the country, and interact with key local and national leaders, business communities, and civic groups.
“I am honored to have been selected to participate in this ACYPL exchange to the Philippines,” Krowinski said. “This will be an excellent opportunity for me to learn about the current political and social dynamics there and help the Filipino people better understand the United States.”
This from the executive director of the party that could not hold together on its big global-warming bill, nor get enough members to come home from vacation to override Republican Gov. Jim Douglas' veto of their campaign-finance reform bill.
Reporter Terri Hallenbeck mentions Krowinski's Philippine trip on the Freeps blog we link to [column right]. And she mentions ACYPL has previously sent young Vermonters named Jim Douglas and Peter Welch on the "study" trip as well.
But in addition to those distinguished politicos, Krowinski has also been preceded by others of distinction not mentioned on the Freeps blog like Republican Sens. Mitch McConnell and Kay Bailey Hutchinson as well as - ready for this - Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez!
Should be quite a learning experience.
Careful, careful, Jill.