The "King of the Kingdom," i.e. Essex-Orleans State Senator and Essex County State's Attorney Vince Illuzzi, sent this missive from the other side of the planet:
Greetings from Taiwan. I'm here on a trade mission as a guest of ROC. Taiwan buys most of IBM Essex's chips, making Taiwan Vermont's second largest trading partner, next to Canada.
The Vermont Chamber has an office here, but it's good to fly the flag and meet with the manufacturers. They like meeting elected officials. Other Vermonters have been here in the past, e. g., Welch, Nease, Kevin Mullin.
The government and business leaders here are convinced that China (PRC), Taiwan (ROC) and India will rule the economy in about 20 to 25 years. The USA will rank behind.
We have a week of meetings with trade, economic development, manufacturers and foreign affairs ministry.
But why is Vince the Prince there, you ask?
Well, he is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Economic Development. And after 27 years in the Vermont State Senate, that's right 27 years, this Vermont-style Republican knows a little bit about cutting a deal.
And with Vermont Democrats lacking a Grade 1 horse for the November 2008 Vermont Gubernatorial Derby, no less a political player than Democratic State Sen. Peter Shumlin [blue shirt] has suggested Vince as an "Independent" candidate that Democrats could get behind in race against three-term Republican Incumbent Gov. Jim Douglas.
Hope Vince keeps us posted, eh?