Fact check: Wright misleads the public on his budget vote

For immediate release
Feb 7. 2012

Alicia D’Alessandro
Phone: (802) 468.7097

Montpelier, VT- Two weeks ago, Representative Kurt Wright showed himself to be a conservative partisan (in direct contrast to his campaign slogan) when he voted in lockstep with Republicans in Montpelier against funding for critical services needed in Burlington.   The Vermont Democratic Party called out Representative Wright for choosing his partisan colleagues instead of his Burlington constituents.  Wright changed his vote hours after the VDP called attention to Wright’s bad vote.

Wright is now attempting to revise history, claiming on WCAX’s “You Can Quote Me” this past Sunday, that his reversal vote was “already cast and on the record” before the VDP called him to account (see 18:30 in the video linked: http://www.wcax.com/story/503137/you-can-quote-me).

Not true.

As Kurt Wright and his spin team know, the Vermont Democratic Party issued its statement condemning Wright’s partisanship on his vote at 9:18 a.m. on January 20, 2012.  Kurt changed his vote on the budget at approximately noon on January 20.  So, it was not until after the VDP statement that Wright flip-flopped on his next opportunity to vote in what he now cynically characterizes as a sort of independent epiphany.

Vermont Democratic Party Chair Jake Perkinson, a long-time resident of Burlington, said:

“Kurt Wright seems intent on prolonging the destructive culture of denial that has been the hallmark of City Hall during much of his tenure on the Burlington City Council. Kurt’s denial might be more plausible if it wasn’t part of a consistent pattern over the years: while the majority of Burlington City Councilors wrote a letter to the Legislature urging the adoption of marriage equality, Wright refused to join that effort and it was not until the spotlight was turned on him in Montpelier that he switched his position.  And while he was tasked with oversight of Burlington’s finances on the Burlington Board of Finance, he voted with the Kiss Administration over 99% of the time.  It wasonly after the extent of Burlington’s financial mess became public that Wright began to distance himself from his cozy relationship with Mayor Kiss.  Burlington needs a leader who does the right thing from the start, not someone who only manages to make the right decision after being called out for making all the wrong ones.”

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