Dubie’s “list” of offenders doesn’t exist

Brian Dubie at a Bennington debate, Sept. 23, 2010

Republican Lt. Brian Dubie’s campaign is working hard to portray Sen. Peter Shumlin, a Democrat, as a politician who is soft on crime.

At a press conference a week ago Monday, Dubie alleged that Shumlin’s plan to cut $40 million from the Department of Corrections budget is “reckless” and will result in the release of child pornographers and drug dealers.

Barre Mayor Thom Lauzon told the press that Shumlin’s proposal could put murderers and rapists on the streets. He said 20 percent of nonviolent offenders who are released from jail commit violent crimes. Those crimes, he said, could include rape and murder.

Shortly after the press conference, the Dubie campaign launched negative ads and 75,000 robotic calls to Vermont households assailing the state senator’s plan.

The campaign attacks also include a recent lapse in probity: At a debate in Bennington, Dubie held up what he said was a list of offenders who would be released if Shumlin is elected governor. The “list” was actually an explanation of Vermont’s criminal statutes.

Read Susan Bush’s story about the Bennington debate.

Listen to the robotic call.

Lauzon’s remarks at the presser

So, what’s all the fuss about?

Shumlin says he wants to offer substance abuse programs and mental health counseling for nonviolent offenders as a way of keeping low-level criminals, such as pot smokers and people who write bad checks, out of jail. These nonviolent, convicted criminals would be “transitioned” out of the prison system over time, after they have served their sentences, according to Shumlin. (UPDATE: Under Vermont law, any crime involving the sexual exploitation of children, including child pornography, is defined as a violent offense.)

Peter Shumlin gives victory speech, Sept. 10, 2010

Shumlin says his plan will reduce Corrections spending by $40 million over a four-year period. Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, recently told VTdigger.org that “justice reinvestment” programs would cost $15 million to $20 million. (The Corrections budget has doubled from $70 million to $140 million over the last decade, according to figures from the department.)

Andy Pallito, commissioner of the Department of Corrections, is already looking to save $5.4 million through the Challenges for Change government restructuring plan. He said those savings have been hard to come by, and he has said it wouldn’t be possible to find significant savings without closing at least one prison facility in Vermont.

Read the VTdigger.org story.

Dubie’s lapse

The Dubie campaign’s attacks reached full throttle at the Bennington debate last Thursday night when the lieutenant governor brandished what he said was a list of 780 offenders who would be released under Shumlin’s plan. For several minutes, he talked about the “individuals on that list,” and specifically cited child pornographers and drug dealers that appeared among the offenders he said the department had identified.

Here is what Dubie said:

I called the commissioner of corrections and I said, could you give me a list of who the 780 inmates that the judges of Vermont, the judges and our entire corrections system made a judgment that they need to be incarcerated? Not me, not my opponent, the judges who work for you. These are the 780 individuals that are on that list. On this list, there are people who deal with pornography with children, there are drug dealers, there’s a comprehensive list of who these people are. That’s what my ad says; that’s what the list is.

The only trouble is, Pallito didn’t give Dubie a “list” of 780 offenders.

Paul Tencher, coordinated campaign manager for the Vermont Democratic Party asked Pallito in an e-mail if he had given Dubie a list of prisoners. In his response, Pallito wrote that he sent Dubie a memo to lawmakers from the last legislative session that cites statutory definitions for violent and nonviolent criminals — not a list of 780 inmates that Dubie has said would be released under Shumlin’s proposal. The message was forwarded to VTdigger.org and the Bennington Banner.

Corry Bliss, Dubie’s campaign manager, acknowledged the lieutenant governor’s lapse but refused to speak with VTdigger.org on Sunday night. Bliss told Bennington Banner reporter Neal Goswami on Friday: “The lieutenant governor misspoke, but he has had several conversations with the commissioner about who the 780 non-violent offenders are.” Pallito didn’t return calls for comment.

Watch the video clip of Dubie with the “list” at the Bennington debate.

(Editor’s note: This video was posted on youtube by the Vermont Democratic Party.)

“No way to balance the budget”

The Dubie campaign placed 75,000 robotic calls Monday featuring Mayor Lauzon warning that “putting 800 non-violent criminals into our neighborhoods is no way to balance the budget.”

Read the press release from the Dubie campaign.

In the pre-recorded call, Lauzon cites a quote from Steve Howard, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, who told Seven Days he isn’t in “100 percent” agreement with Shumlin’s plan to cut $40 million from Corrections.

“The No. 1 job of government is to keep Vermonters safe,” Lauzon says. “Peter Shumlin’s plan to cut $40 million from the state corrections budget by releasing nearly 800 non-violent criminals is simply dangerous. Peter Shumlin’s plan is so reckless that even members of his own party are criticizing it.”

Steve Howard, Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor

Howard, who lives in Rutland City between a drug treatment house and a residence for inmates who are under the supervision of probation and parole, said Dubie is “using ugly, Karl Rove”-style tactics to distract voters from his record as lieutenant governor. “I think that’s despicable, and I think Vermonters see through.”

“Peter Shumlin is trying to get control of the No. 2 budget buster in our state,” Howard said. “Brian Dubie is using George Bush-style tactics to scare people.”

Howard said he wouldn’t support cutting $40 million from the Corrections budget “no matter who proposed it.”

“My understanding is, that’s not what (Shumlin’s) proposing,” Howard said. “This is an area where we have to have greater public investment in order to save money. If we make these investments (transitional housing, mental health substance abuse counseling), then we’ll see $40 million eventually in savings.”

UPDATE: Thom Lauzon’s comments were clarified, and video from the presser was added 6:15 a.m. Wed., Sept. 29.

Follow Anne on Twitter @GallowayVTD

Comments

  1. Ken Dean :

    For the record, and should be posted here verbatim, Lt Governor candidate Steve Howard’s official statement, released late last night 9/27/2010.
    ——————————————

    Steve Howard’s Statement on Brian Dubie’s Negative Campaign Tactics
    Rutland, VT – Today, Brian Dubie did it again. After 8 years of failed economic policies that have cost too many Vermonters their jobs, Brian is trying to distract the voters from his record of losing 10,000 private sector jobs and 8 years of broken promises and misguided priorities. I will have no part in these ugly, negative Karl Rove style political attacks on my friend Peter Shumlin. The Lt. Governor ought to be ashamed of himself for bringing such despicable, fear-mongering and nasty campaign tactics to our state. Vermonters have had enough, they believe these negative tactics have no place in the State of Vermont and are absolutely shameful.

    Let’s be clear, we would not even be having this discussion if the Lt.Governor had bothered to show up and participate for the last 8 years in building the infrastructure we need to keep crime from happening in the first place. This whole discussion is occurring as a result of the failure of the Douglas-Dubie Administration to lead in any meaningful way to reform our corrections system. I have spoken with Peter and we are both committed to a fiscally responsible law and order plan that locks up any criminal that is in any way is a danger to society.

    Peter Shumlin and I agree that Vermont needs a greater public investment in drug treatment, mental health counseling, adult education, skill development, transitional housing and community support systems in order to get the Administrations runaway Corrections budget under control.

    Peter and I are 100 percent in agreement that Brian Dubie has no plan to deal with our skyrocketing corrections budget and his plan to deal with government spending is to make across the board cuts to education and law enforcement. Brian Dubie should stop misleading and distracting voters and call back every Vermonter that he called to correct the record and explain why he refuses to talk with them about his record of failure on creating jobs for Vermonters.

    The Committee to Elect Steve Howard, Virginia McCormack, Treasurer

  2. Doug Hoffer :

    “a lapse in probity”

    nicely put Anne

    it kind of reminds me of a stunt by U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy over 50 years ago (“I have in my pocket a list…”)

    if this wasn’t so serious, we could all have a good laugh

  3. Ken Dean :

    One of the great sages in Vermont, on countless issues, especially corrections, is Con Hogan. He has served many Vermont Governors with distinction. Governor Richard Snelling, Governor Howard Dean, and Governor Jim Douglas, to name a few. All three Governors loved his work. Ask them.

    He has been on bi-partisan panels, seeking thoughtful bi-partisan solutions on the corrections issue. He is considered by most, to be an independent thinking Vermont Republican. A wise one, much like George Aiken of Putney,VT.

    His recent comments have been posted elsewhere, and can be found here, in case you missed them. Essential reading.

    “HOGAN: SHUMLINS PRISION PLAN CAN WORK”
    Rutland Herald/Times Argus Sat 9/25/2010 (front page)

    http://www.timesargus.com/article/20100925/NEWS02/709259905

  4. Gene Blodgett :

    SHAMEFULL

  5. Every criminal who we are paying for their incareration all have one thing in common. They were once kids. We can “save” all the money we want but if we don’t provide apropriate palatable activities for our youth, there’s no reason to believe any reversal of the prison trend will happen. Every school district that unionized downsized from 4 or 5 division three schools to 1 division one school. Thousands of Vermont athletes on a team one year, next year, no team. all these kids now get to pass around something other then a ball.

  6. Patrick Cashman :

    Mr. Howard doesn’t agree with Mr. Dubie’s message, got it. But in the desperate scramble to demonstrate party loyalty, let’s not forget that neither does he agree with Mr. Shumlin’s plan. From the 23 Sept 7Days interview with Mr. Howard on the subject:

    …he (Howard) said the state should find other ways to cut corrections costs, \not by releasing prisoners.\…\I wouldn’t agree with Sen. Shumlin on that plan,\ Howard said. \I live in Rutland. I started a neighborhood association because of an increase in crime. I don’t necessarily agree with his approach 100 percent.\…Howard said Vermont communities like Rutland, Barre, Burlington and St. Albans need more drug treatment facilities before prisoners can be let out of jail. \Don’t release people until the infrastructure is in the communities that will help solve the problem that got them into trouble in the first place,\ Howard said. \We don’t have that.\…
    \I share [Shumlin's] sentiment, but not the policy,\ Howard said.

  7. Bob Stannard :

    I recently received the robo-call from Mayor Lauzon on behalf of the Brian Dubie for Governor Campaign. I was struck with how over-the-top negative it was. It was the sort of scare tactics I would expect to see in other, larger states, but not hear in Vermont.

    Over the past two weeks (yes, this campaign is really only two weeks old) we have heard Brian Dubie say that he would cut programs for the most vulnerable. The next day his campaign manager, Corry Bliss, had to say that his candidate misspoke.

    A week later when discussing the closing of the VY nuclear plant, Mr. Dubie said that IBM would leave the state if the plant closed. IBM said that was not true. Corry Bliss was back in the news saying that his boss misspoke, but did have several conversations with IBM.

    Last week in Bennington Mr. Dubie held up what he said was a list of names of people that would be released from prison. I was more than a little surprised that this list was a public document.

    Now we learn that there never was a list and what was being waved around the room was not what we were told it was. Corry Bliss, once again, says that his boss misspoke, but did have many conversations…. Who are we voting for governor here? Brian Dubie or Corry Bliss?

    Vt. Digger said this about Mr. Dubie’s actions: “The campaign attacks also include a recent lapse in probity”. I would say when you stand up in front of a room full of Vermonters and knowingly hold up a document that is not what you say it is that is much more than a “recent lapse of probity”. It’s intellectually dishonest and intentionally deceptive.

    The Dubie Campaign cites a survey done by Seven Days in which declared that Peter Shumlin was the most ethically challenged legislator. What most people don’t know is that only twelve lobbyists voted. That’s right; twelve out of over 600.

    Holding up a bogus list is an act of dishonesty. Citing a bogus survey is intentionally misleading. These actions serve as an explanation as to why a man who most thought to be an OK guy has had to resort to the most negative campaign Vermont has ever seen.

  8. barbara morrow :

    It appears to me that the more out-of-state money and interest that flows to these campaigns, the more negativity and hi-jinks we have. Part of the new reality, I suppose. I just can’t seem to get over the gall of holding up a sheaf of paper and proclaiming with such strength that it is a list of possible parollees. Man, where does that kind of desperation come from?

  9. There are at least three possibilities that come to mind in the most general of ways and, there are most likely others worthy of consideration, with which to attempt to understand or explain this latest lapse on the part of Lt. Governor and Republican candidate for Governor Brian Dubie:

    1. Other than having made the initial request for the document as he had stated, after not receiving what was requested, he knowingly lied and made the rest up in an attempt to deceive debate attendees and the press covering the event by passing off the document as something it was not in order to score points over his opponent and figured no one would notice or do their homework:

    This would appear to be highly dubious er, doubtful (and, while easy to allege, it would also be very hard to prove, if at all; thus, not worthy of making such assumptions — without direct, clear and convincing evidence to prove otherwise).

    2. Having asked the corrections commissioner for the list and, receiving a document and although not the one requested, either he did not give it a careful enough of a read beyond the cover letter or was not properly briefed by his handlers after they read it over. Then, in the heat of debate and with the request for the list deeply entrenched (read: stuck or caught in a repeating loop) within his mind, he spoke of it as if it was exactly what he had originally requested. This without any intent to deceive, due to getting confused given all the issue briefings and piles of documents, etc.:

    Something along these lines would appear to be certainly plausible, especially if one were inclined to believe what seems to have become the default line from the campaign in an attempt to spin, explain and excuse yet another lapse by their candidate; however, if so, then it gives one reason for pause and concern due to the office being sought and because of what this sort of recurring lapse in either comprehension, understanding or judgement could bring about in decision making at what is the highest level of state government, especially when things get tense and so on.

    3. He did not read the document at all and simply assumed it was exactly what he had requested and someone within his campaign did not do their homework or job:

    Once again, this is also highly dubious er, doubtful, yet even if it were not, there is no way such a disclosure would ever be allowed to become known outside the close, inner circle of his team.

    4. (your guess er, speculation is as good as mine).

    That said, we are all human and anyone can make such mistakes, especially when under such tremendous pressure and not within what is one’s comfort zone (i.e., not everyone is good at making public presentations and, even when someone is, they can make such mistakes, misspeak or experience such lapses as well. Peter Shumlin has had his share at times too).

    Thus, I am inclined to believe it is more likely to be along the lines of the above number two (2) possibility.

  10. Daphne Larkin :

    I am consistently astonished when a person really thinks they can get away with lying – most especially those accountable to the public.

    • John Fairbanks :

      You are so young, Daphne . . . :)

  11. Steven Farnham :

    It is about time we put this non-violent offender question in sensible perspective. An acquaintance of mine (who shall remain nameless) is a fundamentalist religious extremist who firmly advocates corporal punishment (spanking) as a means to discipline children. Back when I associated with this particular individual it seemed to me that spankings were administered early and often to children in his household for what appeared to me to be breathtakingly petty offenses.

    Suppose spankings cost money. Suppose it cost this acquaintance of mine a thousand dollars (out of his own pocket) every time he spanked any child. Do you suppose that he would be so generous in “handing out” corporal punishment? Or would he perhaps spank a little more sparingly so that his household and family could afford a few other things in life?

    As a society we have become like this maniacal acquaintance of mine. We hand out the severest penalties—including prison sentences—as though they (and the associated court costs) are free, when in fact, they are not. (Especially) in times like these, isn’t appropriate to stop being so anal, and re-evaluate the criteria we employ to determine whom we lock (or keep locked) up?

    If elected, Senator Peter Shumlin will not inherit dictatorial powers to set free any randomly or recklessly selected dangerous criminals to terrorize all and sundry neighborhoods around the state. Changes in the law require the participation of the legislative and judicial branches of government as well.

    In the view of this observer, it is extraordinarily courageous of Senator Shumlin to set forth an excellent proposal despite its vulnerability to cheap shots, and equally cowardly of the Rove—I mean Dubie—team to make their McCarthyistic accusations and lies. Positive campaign? Indeed.

    As in many such campaigns, not one of the proffered choices is my favourite, but neither is it a case where I have been reduced to choosing from the lesser of two evils. It is abundantly clear to me that only one of these candidates is evil (resorting to dirty campaign tactics). I shall be voting for the other.

  12. marc awodey :

    dubie’s list trick is straight out of THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE ‘this is a list of 57 communists in the defense department…’ the number 57 was selected at random from a bottle of steak sauce in the movie. prior to that, earlier in the 50s nixon used the same list idea in his house un-American affairs committee- holding up a bogus list. guess it’s in the republican DNA…

    • John Fairbanks :

      Actually, the movie makers lifted it from Sen. Joe McCarthy’s infamous Wheeling, WV, speech in February, 1950, to which I alluded in the previous post. But your point is correct.

  13. John Fairbanks :

    \I have here in my hand . . . \ Good Lord, can’t we at least come up with a better one than that?

    Dubie Dude, Joe McCarthy died in well-deserved disgrace in 1957.

  14. Ken Dean :

    (16) responses… and still pouring in !!

    Thank you Brian Dubie for getting us all talking
    and sharing (:>)) !!!

    A dream come true! And it will all help Shumlin!
    All of us will have to write letters to Corry Bliss, and thank him! Brilliant ladd! Keep going!

  15. walter carpenter :

    “All of us will have to write letters to Corry Bliss, and thank him! Brilliant ladd! Keep going!”

    LOL, Ken, great idea. I liked how Corry, who is from Virginia, had “could not be reached,” and later said that Dubie “Misspoke.” This should circulate around about Dubie’s fake lists. It is surreal that he would try to get away with that.

    “As a society we have become like this maniacal acquaintance of mine. We hand out the severest penalties—including prison sentences—as though they (and the associated court costs) are free, when in fact, they are not.”

    Steven: Right on. What is forgotten in all this debate about prisons is that the prison system has become an industry on its own. Like the defense industry it is dependent on tax dollars to propagate and survive. There are all kinds of contractors involved — like the private prison medical service firm that killed Ashley Ellis a year ago — and half the reason for throwing so many in jails is to feed this industry. Thankfully, Vermont has yet to privatize its prisons like so many other states have, but it is still a huge industry here.

  16. Barbara Donaldson :

    Where will the money come from for the transition houses and programs? It seems that it will cost money to implement and sustatin this program. Therefore it is difficult for me to see a total savings.

    THe approval for such a plan/move is not in the hands of Schumlin-the approval lies with the legislature-so how can Schumlin say he will do this, he may propose or suggest it, but nothing happens without cooperation from the House/Senate. Same goes for plans that Dubie has in mind. He can propose or suggest but nothing happens unless the legislature cooperates.

  17. Ken Dean :

    Barbara, you raise some excellent points, both needing clarity and some hard data, ideally from more than footnoted bi-partisan sources. Will try to share some key information.

    ONE. If we keep all Vermont inmates in prison, Vermont tax payers pick up the tab. A tab increasingly out of control.

    If we identify, in a thoughtful bi-partisan way, some authentically non-violent offenders, and place them in community based rehabilitation centers, the federal government picks up, not 100% of the tab, but a very large portion. We would be a fool, not to take advantage of that option in a wise manner.

    That saves Vermont real money, in a real way. And helps these inmates recover more fully from addictions, get counseling, job training, and become taxpaying good citizens again. And less likely to re-offend. It is cheaper for Vermont to do this, because the federal government comes in to help a large portion of the tab. Some how that is not repeated in the debate enough, so average voters can hear it repeatedly, a key piece of the solution, one would think.

    TWO. This issue is not new. And Republican and Democratic Governors have studied it for a long time, and some excellent bi-partisan panels, have offered b-partisan solutions, mapped out ways to keep costs down, keep Vermont safe, and try to fix the problem.

    Con Hogan, a real Vermont sage on this issue and many others, who served Governor Richard Snelling, Governor Howard Dean, and Governor Jim Douglas in key senior capacities, offered some solid insight and knowledge on this issue. According to most, Con Hogan is considered to be an independently thinking Republican, a wise one, much like George Aiken of Putney, Vermont. And all Republican Governors (and Democratic Governors) love him, and his work.
    He is a first rate kind of fellow. Smart as they come.

    The article posted below, was on the front page of the Times Argus and Rutland Herald on Saturday September 25, 2010. And within the article are some point by point, key savings, listed clearly and understandably, where Vermont can save real money.

    The article has been posted elsewhere, and now posted again here,for those who have missed it. Again, ESSENTIAL READING.

    “HOGAN: SHUMLINS PRISON PLAN CAN WORK”
    Sat 9/25/2010 Times Argus/Rutland Herald (front page)
    http://www.timesargus.com/article/20100925/NEWS02/709259905

  18. Robert Roper :

    The problem with Shumlin’s “plan” is that he arrives at the $40 million in savings by taking 780 non-violent offenders x $51,000 per year = $39,780,000 (plus, I guess, finding a couple hundred grand under the sofa cushions in the prison lounge). But, that means to realize the savings Shumlin promises, we will have to be spending NOTHING — zero, zip, nada — on those 780 prisoners within one to four years. That means nothing for jail cells, nothing for jailors, nothing for transitioning programs. So, Shumlin’s clearly full of it as far as presenting a realistic, workable plan here.

    More concerning is the fact that Shumlin also promises (remember the cute whiteboard ads with the ABC blocks) to use $33 million of that non-existent $40 million to pay for universal preschool, which he calls “a cornerstone” of his economic development plan. Those commercials imply that Universal Pre-K was going to happen immediately in a Shumlin administration, not in the 4 years or more Shumlin now says is the time frame for savings from corrections (and we’ll never get to if we don’t eliminate all money currently spent on those 780 prisoners, which clearly isn’t going to happen).

    So, is the Shumlin promise of Universal Pre K complete BS? How does Shumlin’s economic development plan for Vermont work without its “cornerstone?” If he’s not getting 33 million from corrections savings, how will he pay for u-pre-k? And when/how does he plan on implementing the program?

    Just askin’.

  19. walter carpenter :

    “So, Shumlin’s clearly full of it as far as presenting a realistic, workable plan here.”

    Shumlin’s plan is far more workable than Dubie’s non-plan. If we do nothing about it now, the expense for it, along with health care, will just overwhelm the state’s ability to pay for it. Con Hogan is right: Shumlin’s plan can work. Also, this $40 million or so will come in over time as these non-violent offenders gradually make the transitions.

  20. Ken Dean :

    When the second Vermont Governor from Putney, Vermont , Peter Shumlin, takes office in January, he will have several bright and talented people to draw from, to formulate his visionary proposals into thoughtful detailed legislation, help Vermont save money and budget resources wisely. Build for the future.

    One ideal team to take on this corrections issue, and come up with a great plan of detailed implementation for first, second, third, and fourth year, would be Susan Bartlett and Con Hogan. Two of Vermont’s finest gems. No one knows budget and corrections issues collectively, inside and out, better than these two. Hope they are asked to join the Shumlin Administration, and hope they say yes. We need to make head way on this issue, intelligently and in a bi-partisan manner, and not have it drag on. We need new vision, a new approach, and new leadership.

    Senator Shumlin has thought a great deal on this matter and the specifics of his proposal, and in several of the up coming debates will undoubtedly speak to the issue more abundantly.

    Lt Governor Dubie’s correction proposal is what ? By the way.

  21. Robert Roper :

    Ken & Walter — No doubt the corrections issue is something that must be looked at. Better transitioning programs are certainly worth exploring. However, Shumlin’s corrections plan cannot be looked at in isolation. It is, according to his Vision for Vermont, THE funding mechanism for a huge chunk of his economic development plan. A “cornerstone” to use his own word. Given that the economy is the number one issue facing Vermonters at present, it seems highly relevant that the $33 million necessary to fund the cornerstone of Shumlin’s economic development plan isn’t there, and won’t be for at least four years. Are we supposed to back burner economic development in this state until this poorly put together scheme hopefully pans out in half a decade or so? Because that’s what Shumlin appears to be offering us.

    If his funding plans for u-pre-k are this shoddy, how is he planning on funding universal health care, universal broadband or subsidies to the green energy sector? Are those promises just as hollow? Shumlin has also promised not to raise taxes. Is that still the case?

    It appears that Shumlin is simply promising everything to everybody without any real plan to deliver anything. That’s a recipe for disaster.

  22. Ken Dean :

    Rob ~~You are a pretty loyal Republican operative, so i will not quote a Democrat. Will quote a Republican.

    “One of Peter’s qualities is he gets things done. He makes me a little nervous. That is why I am running for Governor.”
    ~~ Lt Governor Brian Dubie / St Albans Debate 9/21/2010/ quoted in Burlington Free Press article 9/22/2010

    Thanks for the endorsement Brian! Very nice! Bi-partisan endorsements on Peters qualities are always good. And this one is spot on.

    Thank you Brian Dubie.

    One of the qualities people know, people see, and people agree on, Peter Shumlin gets things done, he delivers, and gets his agenda through to completion. Republicans say that just as much as Democrats. They have seen it with their own eyes. And a lot more than once.

    A good quality for a new Vermont Governor. And it all begins in January.

    Brian Dubie and Jim Douglas had their turn, they had their chance. They have been there for 8 years. Correction issues, job issues, and health care issues, at best have stagnated, and really have just gotten worst. The hunger is for something better. And Brian is not offering much.

    In 2008 Obama got 68% of Vermont’s vote, to McCain’s 31%. A 37% point spread. And Brian Dubie offers a George W. Bush economic 10 point job program for Vermont. Mistake huh? Bad call. People understand. So, understandably, all that you have left, all that is left for you, sadly, is to distort Peter Shumlin. You are not offering anything good, no new proposals, no new agenda, no new vision. Just the same old, same old, of the last 8 years, and now a very old daily, campaign of distortions of your opponent. That is why the Republican Party is failing in Vermont. You are at the McCain 31% vote bloc. Why are you trying to go lower? Vermonters see through all this Rob, they really really do. Vermonters like having their yarn spun. Beyond that, not much else.

    We should leave the rest, and very good details, to the candidates. They clarify the facts been than anyone. And know the proposals better than anyone. Lots of debates left. May they give us all, clarity and light. And may you find both, in good measure, directly from them.

  23. Townsend Peters :

    Dubie held up a document at a debate and lied about what it said. What else will he fib about?

    Another reason why I’m Dubious about Dubie.

  24. walter carpenter :

    “No doubt the corrections issue is something that must be looked at. Better transitioning programs are certainly worth exploring. However, Shumlin’s corrections plan cannot be looked at in isolation. It is, according to his Vision for Vermont, THE funding mechanism for a huge chunk of his economic development plan.”

    Rob, as Ken said, “You are a pretty loyal Republican operative,” so it is pretty clear where you are coming from. The corrections issue is just one part of Shumlin’s economic plans. Health care, for example, is another. Both are dissolving the state budgets faster than we can pay for them. Health care spending in Vt. is now about $5 billion a year and increasing every day. How many millions do Vermont tax payers dish out of their pockets every year to send Vermont offenders, of whatever ilk, to out-of-state pens? And there was that out-of-state contractor in charge of the prison medical system here that taxpayers had to pay for as well and killed a 23 yr. old woman doing a weekend for a traffic accident. How much did us taxpayers foot for that contractor?

    On health care we pay $5 billion and still have 40,000 or so Vermonters uninsured and thousands of others so underinsured that they face bankruptcy whenever they need medical help. If we could get a single-payer system in the state, this would save millions too. The state of Vermont spends some 16% of its GDP on health care, which is about twice, in some cases three times, as much as the countries with some kind of single-payer (there are any number of varieties) in place.

    To quote Ken again, (hope you don’t mind, Ken, but you said it best) “One of Peter’s qualities is he gets things done. He makes me a little nervous. That is why I am running for Governor (Lt Governor Brian Dubie / St Albans Debate 9/21/2010/ quoted in Burlington Free Press article 9/22/2010)” That’s why we need to get Shumlin in. And all Dubie can do is hold up lists like Joe McCarthy, another dubious GOP senator, once did, lists that contained no names except that of the man that wrote the letter.

  25. walter carpenter :

    “Another reason why I’m Dubious about Dubie”

    Good one, Townsend. Has a certain ring to it:)

  26. Robert Roper :

    “The corrections issue is just one part of Shumlin’s economic plans. Health care, for example, is another. ”

    Yes it is. And, as with Universal Pre-K, how is Shumlin proposing to pay for it? When the legislature looked at this back in 2005, the answer was $2 billion in new payroll taxes (a 28% payroll tax if I recall correctly). But, Shumlin has promised not to raise taxes. Where does the money come from to implement this other cornerstone of his economic development plan? Of course that question is rendered moot by the fact that we would need a federal waver to implement any Universal Healthcare scheme, which is prohibited by law until at least 2017. If fixing the economy NOW is the number one issue for Vermonters, can we afford an economic development plan that’s key elements can’t be started until 2015 and 2017, if ever?

    Again, this is another huge chuck of Shumlin’s economic development plan that appears to be pretty much undeniably nonviable.

    PS. Walter, I don’t try to hide the fact that I’m active on the conservative side of things. But, as I say, if liberalism worked I’d be a liberal. I’m looking for practical, workable, sustainable solutions for our state. Shumlin talks smoothly, and he’s good at making promises. But his promises are not based on anything substantial. If you truly believed in the programs he’s pushing (and not just political victory at any cost in treasure and truth), you would be equally demanding of a demonstrable path from idea to implementation. Because if he succeeds in passing these bills, and then the s— hits the fan when he can’t deliver anything workable, the mess that ensues will obliterate your sides credibility on those issues.

  27. Ken Dean :

    Rob ~~ There are two candidate debates in less than 24hrs. Vermont League of Cites and Towns at 9AM-10:30AM, and later in the day, Vermont Public Television 7:30PM to 9PM, which will be televised live, state wide. Both slated for Thurs Oct 7th. Just hours away.

    If you, and other Republican chums, really do not understand the details, thoughtfulness and wisdom of Peter Shumlin’s Vision for Vermont plan, how it will be financed, and how it will help Vermont in countless ways, have Brian Dubie ask Peter about it, live on the air, just hours from now. Senator Shumlin would be glad, delighted to respond, and explain it, to both of you again, and Vermont. And be sure to ask him in every debate. He would be delighted to respond. The transcript could be posted here if that helps you.

    Why are you picking on dear sweet likable Walter, an admirable good soul here on VTDIGGER. Go to primary sources. If you think there is real opening, needing real clarity in Peter Shumlin’s Vision for Vermont plan, have Brian Dubie directly bring that up in a live televised public debate, broadcast state wide, hours from now. Senator Shumlin would be delighted to explain it to you, and all of Vermont, one more time.

    And then Lt. Governor Dubie can explain his proposals. And they are what? By the way.

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