Gov. Chocolate of Vermont | Freyne Land

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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Gov. Chocolate of Vermont

Posted By on Wed, Jun 6, 2007 at 9:02 AM

Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas is "Mr. Get Out With the People" this week, bouncing back and forth over hill and dale with a busy schedule of public appearances.

Yesterday he popped by Lake Champlain Chocolates in Burlington. Just around the corner from yours truly's hacienda and I've never been inside.


The Guv signed two bills that I confess I've never heard of:

H.229 – An Act Relating to Corrections and Clarifications to the Health Care Affordability Act of 2006 and Related Legislation, and

H.531 – An Act Relating to Ensuring Success in Health Care Reform.  Go here for details.

Our governor, I learned, prefers the dark chocolate [which is the big seller at LCC].

Sorry, I prefer the lighter milk chocolate.

Guess that explains it, eh?

And I just discovered LCC has quite the website going! Bet you didn't know Flag Day {June 14} is an occasion for giving chocolate?

Today the Middlebury Marvel will be in photo-op heaven, sitting behind the wheel of one of them snowplow rigs at the VTrans Snowplow Roadeo in Barre over the noon hour.  Other tough duty today includes:

4:30 p.m. Vermont Small Business Administration Person of the Year Award Celebration, Waterfront Park, Burlington

6:30 p.m. Vermont Association of Middle Level Educators Scholar Leader Awards Banquet, Norwich University, Northfield

Hey, did you catch him on VPR's Switchboard last night with Bob Kinzel?

KINZEL: It seemed in this first year of the biennium that there was more tension between your office and the Legislature than your previous four years. First of all, is that true? ...And if it is true, why did it happen?

DOUGLAS: I think there was a little more tension, Bob. I think that’s a fair observation. I might suggest that the old saw about not seeing sausages and laws being made, perhaps was more pronounced in its validity this year than in some others...

I think it’s fair to say, frankly, that the Legislature this term is farther from the mainstream than the Legislatures I’ve dealt with in the past. It’s not just a heavily Democratic majority, but a very liberal majority and I don’t think in some respects that it reflects the values of most Vermonters. So there’s been a collision of some ideological perspectives that we’ve had to work through, but in many key areas we did.

KINZEL: And you know their criticism of you is that they do all the heavy lifting. They do all the work on the legislation and then at the very end you come in and say maybe ‘yes,’ maybe ‘no.’

DOUGLAS: I guess I don’t understand that. I’ve put together some very comprehensive proposals at the beginning of the session and throughout the course of the Legislature my administration officials, cabinet and staff were in those legislative committees working alongside legislators and their staff trying to fashion these bills. So, it’s easy to have a throwaway line, I guess, but I don’t think it has any basis in fact.

Meanwhile, WGOP, er, WCAX-TV News ran a report of Democratic House Speaker Gaye Symington's appearance Tuesday morning in Essex Junction - part of her "listening" tour of the state. Small turnout. About a dozen and half looked like House members.

The Ch. 3 News report featured a woman identified as Kathy Finnie of Essex Junction giving Speaker Gaye some grief:

"I just hope the legislature can come together on issues that touch everyday Vermonters as opposed to global warming."

The WGOP report neglected to mention Ms. Finnie is the wife of a loyal member of GOP Gov. Jim Douglas' cabinet [left]- Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development Kevin Dorn. [The relationship was noted in Reporter Nancy Remsen's story in this morning's Burlington Free Press.]

The TV-News report also featured this exchange between Ch. 3 Reporter Kristin Carlson and da' Speaker:

CARLSON: There's been some speculation since you are going around the statewith these hearings that you are running for higher office - possiblyGovernor. Are you running for Governor next year?

SYMINGTON: My focus is on the legislature - that is not what this isabout. All of this is about listening to Vermonters and helping themunderstand what the legislature is up to.

Speaker Symington's next tour stop will be Randolph High School at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Should be a couple Douglas Administration spouses who can attend and give her some grief?

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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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