by Peter Freyne
He made it absolutely, positively clear he has no interest in running for governor. Shummy says there'll be a Democratic candidate, but he won't say who.
Sounded like a guy convinced nobody can beat Jim Douglas, the three-term Republican incumbent. But the Democrats, the main-streamers, all sound like they won't run for governor unless they're positively certain ahead-of-time they'll win.
Politics is all about money. Raising money. Spending money. So's governing.
Shummy doesn't like Gov. Scissorhands' proposal to lease the Vermont Lottery to Wall Street for 40 years for a one-time, up-front $50 million payment. Says it's making us $20 million a year "and there’s certainly ways we can increase those proceeds."
One of the things Wall Street wants to do is put advertisements on the backs of lottery tickets to increase revenue. Why, he asks, don't we do that?
“Go ahead. Let’s do it!," said Sen. Shumlin, "Why not?
"There’s probably three, four, five things that we could do like that."
Said he gets his advice on this stuff from State Sen. Dick Mazza, owner of Mazza’s General Store in Colchester.
“He’s selling the tickets. He knows what the demand is. He and I agree that we’ve got it on low-idle. You can barely hear the engine running. We could turn the engine up a bit, get more revenue out of it. We’re going into a tremendously difficult time fiscally. Let’s have that discussion."
OK. How about a little discussion about casino gambling. The Green Mountain Casino?
"It’s my judgment that the problems that you get with casinos, that come with gambling - prostitution of all kinds, is not something that would be coming to the Green Mountain State. I don’t think we should be so desperate in our pursuit for money that we start to make choices that aren’t in synch with Vermont values. And I just don’t think that casinos are."
Agree with him?