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If you listen to the actual Press Conference audio you would be able to experience the rapid fire peppering of questions by reporters present. Even after the Governor gave his answer, they kept coming back even after he shared he would get back to them.
The incessant need of Vermont's media to engage in gotcha moments of Governor Scott or anyone diminishes our state. Forgotten, is that at the end of the day, we share many of the same concerns and a majority of values. Reporters should be grateful they have regular, and scheduled access to engage the Governor as he continues to set a new standard for transparency in Vermont. That transparency, while trying to be responsive to Vermont's media clearly has a downside. It's made worse by media's persistent efforts to produce gotcha moments which we saw on display in the recent Press Conference. The media's aggressiveness under the guise of seeking clarification doesn't hold any water. Reporters in Vermont should reflect on their own behavior more frequently. If they did, we'd all be better for it.
Actually, I thought it was very well done. And I don't often find reason to compliment Mr. Walters. Very insightful and intuitive to my impressions of Vermont Watchdog. Any organization which claims its mantle to be "fraud, waste & abuse" while simultaneously admitting its partisan reportage and purpose as openly as Watchdog does, would give most readers reason to be skeptical of anything it publishes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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