Stop the Presses! | Freyne Land

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Stop the Presses!

Posted By on Wed, Aug 23, 2006 at 5:33 PM

The Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Scidder, er, Scudder Parker, actually broke a news story today!

We’re not talking about his Statehouse Steps comments on “investing in our youngest children.” If you want info on that stuff, check the mainstream press.

What perked up our ears, was Mr. Parker’s off-the-cuff reply to the last question of the 20-minute presser: How’s the campaign going, Scudder?

“It’s going great!” replied the ex-minister, ex-senator and current energy-efficiency expert. “I was over in Caledonia County yesterday and I noticed that  Mr. Douglas is now the only statewide candidate I’m aware of who doesn’t support utility-scale wind.”


“Mr. Dubie,” said Parker, “made a comment that he supports big wind at that meeting.”

GOP Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie can’t say that!  It’ll leave his running mate on the GOP ticket, Gov. Jim Douglas, looking both lonesome and out-of-touch.

Yours truly asked the Guv at his 10:30 a.m. presser if he’d heard anything about the Doobster going over to the other side on what he loves to dub the “industrialization of Vermont’s ridge lines.”

Gov. Douglas said he hadn’t heard anything about a position-switch on wind energy from his talented running mate on the GOP ticket.


When we got home, we called the Lite-Gov’s office.  Dubie’s “chief-of-staff,” in fact, only staff - Martha Hanson answered.

Martha told us Brian was serving his Air Force Reserve duties today and not available for comment. She then proceeded to tell us that her boss, a commercial pilot at American Airlines, has indeed recently distanced himself from King James on the topic of wind power.

“What he said at Lyndon State,” said Hanson, “is that he is a wind guy.” Our Lite-Gov knows that “not everyone in Vermont wants it, not everyone wants to look out the window at it,” she said. And Dubie also “doesn’t believe in forcing it on communities,” she added.

“But he does recognize wind is more and more a viable source of energy,” said Hanson.  Dubie told the folks at Lyndon State that, as a pilot, when he looks down at commercial wind farms with big rotors turning, he finds they look "beautiful."

“The lieutenant governor is a supporter of commercial wind development in Vermont,” said Hanson. No "ifs," "ands," or "buts."

Somebody needs to tell Gov. Douglas real, real fast, eh?



1. VPIRG Director Paul Burns issued a statement late this afternoon praising Lt. Gov. Dubie for his Tuesday Lyndon State College statement supporting wind energy:

"Lt. Governor Brian Dubie declared himself to be ‘an unabashed supporter of wind’ at a conference organized by the Vermont Council on Rural Development Tuesday.  That declaration puts him in step with most Vermont residents and VPIRG congratulates the lieutenant governor for his willingness to separate himself from Gov. Douglas on this issue.

"Lt. Gov. Dubie obviously recognizes what Gov. Douglas does not; wind power must be part of our energy mix in Vermont. Wind power is the most abundant renewable energy resource we have in this state and it could be providing twenty percent of our electricity within ten years.

"The lieutenant governor is proving that support for clean energy is not a partisan issue.  Wind power is a winner whether your chief interest is jobs, the environment or human health."

2. Martha Hanson just emailed us, saying she caught our radio report on WDEV’s “Evening News Service” with Rich Haskell.

She says Brian "did not switch" his position on commercial wind energy development and sent along one of his Lieutenant Governor’s Log’s from April 2006 titled “Harnessing Wild Energy in Our National Forest” as proof.

In it the Doobster writes in part: 

"It's a reasonable question: When does our desire for wilderness work against our desire to preserve an economic future for young Vermonters and their young families?

"From an economic standpoint, Vermont's conserved lands should be managed as a resource, a working forest. That means that the assets of the forest -- be it lumber for new houses, wood chips for heat, wind to turn turbines and generate electricity, maple syrup, recreational trails, wildlife habitat, wilderness and more -- should all be optimized. "

Ol’ Brian sure didn’t make a big deal about it, did he? Kinda camouflaged his wind support in a much bigger context. Perfectly understandable given his running-mate’s devout opposition.

But now Dubie’s completely out-of-the-closet on wind. And that's got to make King James lonesome.

Guess Brian wants a bigger job someday than lieutenant governor, eh?

No dummy is he.


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About The Author

Peter Freyne

Peter Freyne

Peter Freyne, 1949-2009, wrote the weekly political column "Inside Track," which originated in the Vanguard Press in the mid 1980s; he brought it to Seven Days in 1995. He retired it shortly before his death in January, 2009. We all miss him.

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