Six days and counting... | Freyne Land

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Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Six days and counting...

Posted By on Wed, Nov 1, 2006 at 8:38 AM

I realize Vermont's lieutenant-governor’s race between Doobie-Doo, the incumbent Republican, and Not-to-be-UnDone, the Democrat challenger, is important, but so was the 2000 presidential election. Remember the consequences?

And the British/Irish press reported on Tuesday that the candidate who received the most votes in that presidential race by about a half-million - and still lost - has been hired by the British Government to lobby the U.S. government on global warming.

What a world, eh?

The BBC reported Tuesday:

A report by economist Sir Nicholas Stern suggests that global warming could shrink the global economy by 20%.

But taking action now would cost just 1% of global gross domestic product, the 700-page study says.

Tony Blair said the Stern Review showed that scientific evidence of global warming was "overwhelming" and its consequences "disastrous".

Goodness gracious. And just a couple months ago, our GOP Congressional hopeful Martha Rainville considered global warming an unproven theory!

Anyway, if you get a moment, do check out where the Redcoats are going on global warming, will ya? And see how right now, the U.S. - the Bush administration - is their prime political target.

Now a little Ho-Ho....

Howard Dean was in hometown Burlington Tuesday. Had the rumpled suit and the Vermont state tie. Looked like he could use some sleep, but he’s looked like that since he first got caught up in the presidential swirl back in 2003. The chairman of the Democratic National Committee turns 58 on November 17.

Time flies.

First met Howard in 1980. I was a rookie reporter. He was a rookie politician. We’re still at it. Just a couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of greeting Dr. Dean and wife Judy on their two-wheelers on the Waterfront Bikepath that Citizen Dean fought to establish a quarter century ago. Thanks, Ho-Ho. Keeps me going.

Tuesday Howard hit little Champlain Park in downtown Burlap to endorse Matt Dunne for Lite-Gov. Four years after leaving Montpelier’s Fifth Floor, Gov. Dean is still trying to pass that Democratic Party torch to somebody in Vermont. Instead, in the post-Dean “era,” Vermont's governor and lieutenant governor seats have been in Republican hands.


Some of us who remember the earlier versions of Howard Dean have had quite a few chuckles over the latest models. We remember Ho-Ho as a moderate who could talk banker talk. A Democratic governor who built his winning Statehouse coalition with Republicans and conservative Blue Dog Democrats. The liberals and the progressives - the Vermont political left - were his enemy back then. But at Tuesday’s presser, the new Howard Dean shamelessly denied it all.

"None of that’s true. I haven’t changed at all. I still believe, and very much expect, that should the Democrats win, should Matt win, you will see a continued Democratic presence in terms of being fiscally responsible and socially progressive. I think that’s what I was and I think that’s what Matt will be.  And I think that’s what the Democratic Party will be as we begin  the process of healing the country."

He’s a real smoothie, isn’t he?

But why didn’t you pass the torch to Doug Racine when you left office in 2002?

“We’re not getting into [that], I’m here to support Matt. I‘ll be back next week. I’ll be happy to talk to you all about anything next week.”

Matt Dunne was clearly enjoying it. Not-to-be-UnDunne is the only candidate for Lite-Gov in the country who’s getting a photo-op endorsement from the head of his party. This son of a civil-rights activist from the 1960s is certainly making a race out of this baby. Dunne's articulate and aggressive. If no one gets over 50 percent of the votes cast, will you support the top vote getter when it goes to the legislature?

"I will. I made that clear four years ago. I will say that I think we need to change the way that we do elect the lieutenant governor and governor, and I’ve been clear on that as well, because I think a majority standard is more appropriate. But I stick by my commitment. I made a commitment four years ago and I will stick by it. I want to be clear also I have every intention of getting more than 50 percent of the vote.”

Did Ol’ Matt leave the door open?  I mean, if nobody gets 50 percent and let's say Dubie did get a few more votes from Vermonters than Dunne got, would Not-to-be-UnDone really “order” Democrat legislators not to put his name on January’s secret ballot?

Would the Democrats follow such an order?


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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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