Thomas Joseph | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Thomas Joseph 
Member since Sep 20, 2014

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Re: “Vermont House Panel Backs Paid Family Leave

In reference to Comment by "terjeanderson"

Contrary to the inaccurate misrepresentation of my prior post, I wasn't suggesting or defending anyone's alleged accuracy of data only to point out that those on the Democratic side are often guilty of the same shortfalls Mr. Hoffer and Commenter terjeanderson cite as a basis for their positions. The reality is virtually all political parties engage in various forms of banter and often misrepresentation of their opponents records. That said, I know Governor Scott and after witnessing Vermont the past 6 years I support his vision for Vermont as opposed to the one which has led to so many problems for Vermont statewide which coincidentally has occurred with a predominantly democratically controlled legislature who are tone deaf to the citizens of Vermont who are tired of paying more and more to live in Vermont. Moreover, spending time on legislative initiatives that do not have the support of the Governor seem a waste of time knowing that a veto will await should it ever get to the Governor's desk. The comments cited by " terjeanderson" also lump all public officials into one large group. That is the crux of the commentator's misrepresentation of my prior post as I was ONLY referring to individuals elected to statewide office, not state representatives or senators but the few Vermont office holders who have statewide responsibility: Governor, Lt. Governor, Treasurer, Secretary of State, Attorney General and Auditor of Accounts.

1 like, 5 dislikes
Posted by Thomas Joseph on 03/20/2017 at 9:00 PM

Re: “Vermont House Panel Backs Paid Family Leave

Let's face it, the Vermont democrats and their surrogates cherry pick facts as much as anyone. State Auditor Doug Hoffer will always engender appreciation from this Vermonter for all his office has done in the Brattleboro Retreat matter but the sad reality over the years I have been engaging folks in Montpelier is that those who hold statewide office have no business engaging in anything resembling partisan politics.

Mr. Hoffer feels that his 1st Amendment Rights are as important as anyone and I agree. The disconnect occurs when individuals hold statewide office as Mr. Hoffer does which is something you sign up to do 24/7 or 365 days a year. While Mr. Hoffer may be compensated for 8 hours a day by virtue of his job, that doesn't mean the other 16 hours of the day he can be John Doe private citizen and critique those in the opposing party without the appearance of partisanship.

Democratic surrogate Lachlan Francis who got his big break being Governor Shumlin's neighbor recently posted on Twitter quotes from "State Auditor Doug Hoffer" from the above post in an attempt to diminish the credibility of information Governor Phil Scott's office had released. Considering the comments Mr. Francis quoted on Twitter originated in comments Mr. Hoffer posted on a Saturday morning evidence that even his democratic friends and surrogates including Mr. Francis recognize Doug Hoffer is not a private citizen on Saturdays but indeed, State Auditor Doug Hoffer seven days a week, 365 days a year which renders dabbling in fact checking on public forums problematic for him or any other individual holding statewide office.

5 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Thomas Joseph on 03/20/2017 at 6:06 PM

Re: “House Leaders Accuse Gov. Scott of ‘Shirking Responsibilities’

re: Rama Schneider

There is a new Sheriff in Town who doesn't subscribe to the unsustainable spending priorities of the "tax & spend" legislature. Indeed, Governor Phil Scott won a mandate because an even larger number of "petulant" Vermonters supported the Governor's spending priorities which included a mandate to change the way we do business in Vermont.. Now its up to the opposition to put theatrics aside and start doing the job their constituents elected them to do which will be made easier once they recognize the election is over and now its time to govern and do the work of the people while recognizing a vast majority of Vermonters DO NOT support continuing the same spending habits of the former Governor Peter Shumlin who left us with more problems than he inherited six years ago.

32 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Thomas Joseph on 03/16/2017 at 8:44 AM

Re: “House Leaders Accuse Gov. Scott of ‘Shirking Responsibilities’

Since early in the session I have been trying to have a substantive conversation with Speaker Johnson in regards to the stunning abandonment by Governor Peter Shumlin of state procurement policy as his administration executed no bid contracts en masse and no one has ever been held accountable, reprimanded, nor has a full accounting been done to determine just how much beyond the $68M State Auditor Hoffer unearthed in his report of December 2015 actually exist in no bid contracts for the entire fiscal year. I had a brief encounter with Speaker Johnson on a visit to the State House and was surprised to hear that as part of her apparent lack of the ned to make it a priority was her belief fraud had not ever occurred in state government. In the Retreat matter, the hospital billed DMH on an "interim" basis when majority of patients were Medicare prime. In short, these invoices evidenced fraud on their face and were approved by DMH staff for payment despite the clarity of Medicare Secondary Payer Guidelines. Speaker Johnson did not appear eager to review the no bid contract problem despite a whopping $68M in no bid contracts found in just a sampling of 5 state agencies reviewed. Had the review encompassed the entire fiscal year, the figure would have been higher than $68M. Unfortunately, Speaker Johnson did not allow for the budget to be considered and debated before snap votes were taken to sabotage the budget before any serious discussion and debate had occurred. In its simplest form, Governor Scott delivered a balanced budget which his opponents dismissed prematurely and now the burden is on the democrats to figure out their own shortfall.

41 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Thomas Joseph on 03/15/2017 at 8:06 PM

Re: “Walters: Scott’s Customer-First Environmental Stewardship

Nowhere in this article does it reflect the anticipated 150+ new jobs in the Deerfield Valley or the anticipated $6 million in new organic revenue from future taxes. Moreover, the economic impact has already been felt with increased sales at Hermitage and real estate activity in the Deerfield Valley in southern Vermont. Sad that Mr. Walters can never report the good things that Governor Scott is doing rather, he spins his liberal reportage in ways that mislead the public at a time when we need quality reporting from our journalists more than ever.

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by Thomas Joseph on 03/02/2017 at 9:36 PM

Re: “Budget Surprises: Scott's Proposal Harbors Some Gems

First of all, many reporters in Vermont have little, if any, ethics. Anyone who doubts that should check my Twitter feed at relator_joseph. As for Mr. Heintz claiming need to protect whistle-blower's he has ignored this whistle-blower for many years as have many other news outlets. Remarkably, I'm involved in one of, if not, biggest fraud of public and private funds in state history.

Additionally, as we saw recently with Meg Hansen's acidic commentary in the Rutland Herald targeting Governor Phil Scott evidences that fake news has arrived in Vermont. Not only do we have fake news, we have "selective" news compliments of folks like Anne Galloway and others who "selectively" report the news...that fits their agenda or pursuit of a Pulitzer with total focus on EB5 fraud (which by the way folks is a fraud of FOREIGN funds) NOT the U.S. Treasury or Vermont Treasury.

It's laughable that reporters would team up with Sen. Jeanette White who thinks its perfectly OK that the Mayor of Montpelier lobbies against the state treasury as he did in opposing "retroactive" enforcement with the VT False Claims Act which I fought so hard for. Of course, he did this knowing his client The Brattleboro Retreat was on the hook for many millions. So much for ethics anywhere in Vermont!

Had citizen Thomas Joseph not showed up, testified, and advocated forcefully for retroactive enforcement, VT's recovery of $6.75M from BTV Labs might not have happened. And now, thanks to my efforts, VT stand to recover huge sums from the Brattleboro Retreat matter because I opposed the Mayor of our capital and WON!!!

Indeed, Vermont media has an integrity deficit and this latest attack on Governor Phil Scott by John Walters is equally suspect.given the recent depths alleged columnist have gone to discredit Governor Scott.

9 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by Thomas Joseph on 03/02/2017 at 5:35 AM

Re: “Vermont's Right Thinks Scott is Wrong on Trump

Vermont's media has been focused on "sanctuary cities" so it is no surprise regular Vermonters associate falsely the immigration bill with being related to the "sanctuary" movement.

Vermonters should spend less time worrying about President Trump and more time addressing our problems. In just weeks, Governor Phil Scott was able to meet with folks at the Hermitage Club in southern Vermont and resolved issues that will lead to significant job growth and $6 million in new tax revenue for the state. While some are short sighted with their facts, Governor Scott is already delivering on the promises he made during the campaign which included an urgent need to restore trust in state government.

Just days ago, Governor Scott released EB-5 emails that Governor Shumlin did everything to shield. Governor Scott has shown in a very short time that he is delivering on his promise not to let Vermonters down. Sadly, the biased Vermont media often doesn't report the news accurately or provides sensational headlines that distract from the real substance of the issue as in the dust up over the immigration legislation.

While Vermonters are not accustomed to their leaders leading by example, Governor Phil Scott is doing just that to the amazement of opponents who falsely suggested he didn't have the leadership capacity to be Governor.

27 likes, 24 dislikes
Posted by Thomas Joseph on 02/22/2017 at 12:04 PM

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