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Comment Archives: Stories: News + Opinion: Fair Game

Re: “Proof Negative: Auditor Documents Lack of Evidence for Business Incentives

Marc Huelette:

Vindictive reputation? Bullying comments on message boards? Says who??

If youre so hot to oppose Doug Hoffer for auditor, by all means, run. Theres not a thing to stop you (assuming youre a voting citizen of Vermont). So much for the personal attack.

There is nothing pro-stagnation about suggesting that bribing businesses to come to Vermont is a pretty lame way to promote the states economy. In fact, pretty much the only rationale that anyone seems to come up with once questioned even slightly - is everyones doing it.

I tried that rationale out when I was about 4-5 years old. It didnt go over too big then; doesnt (or shouldnt) work any better now.

If you think Hoffers analysis is wrong, by all means show us why. If not, save the tiresome rhetoric and memes for those who want to listen to this kind of crap.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by JohnGreenberg on 07/21/2018 at 10:31 AM

Re: “Proof Negative: Auditor Documents Lack of Evidence for Business Incentives

Hoffer goes on yet another pro-stagnation press tour under the auspices of his official duties in an even-numbered year. Looks like taxpayer-funded campaigning to me -- but since it's the Auditor doing it, who do you complain to?

It's a shame that no one credible is willing to challenge Hoffer in an election or even in this debate, but given his vindictive reputation, his bullying comments on message boards, and the fact Waters continues to parrot his talking points uncritically as he did when he was writing blogs, I suppose no one sees an upside. I wish more Vermonters would be interested enough to ask for better.

8 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Marc Huelette on 07/20/2018 at 12:55 PM

Re: “Proof Negative: Auditor Documents Lack of Evidence for Business Incentives

"Yeah, we knew that. We've heard it from you 1,000 times before."

Your uninformed knee-jerk reaction might be humorous if it wasn't so sad. You clearly haven't read the report, which is intended to be a tool for policymakers and managers. The point is to inform the discourse about how best to utilize our limited economic development resources (and therefore protect taxpayers). We review the literature regarding numerous economic development strategies in order to help policymakers make informed choices.

Rather than "antipathy incentive programs," it's a prudent approach to policymaking. But if you think it should be done without the benefit of peer-reviewed literature, than I guess we just disagree.

Finally, if you have information that I'm not aware of that would allow us to validate the efficacy of our current programs, please share it with us. If you don't, then why should we take you seriously?

14 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by Doug Hoffer on 07/19/2018 at 5:18 PM

Re: “Proof Negative: Auditor Documents Lack of Evidence for Business Incentives

Since this is not an "audit," what is it and why do it?

It's another opportunity for Hoffer to remind us of his longstanding antipathy for any business incentive programs. His antipathy toward anything that aids the private sector, really.

Yeah, we knew that. We've heard it from you 1,000 times before.

20 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by knowyourassumptions on 07/19/2018 at 3:48 PM

Re: “Proof Negative: Auditor Documents Lack of Evidence for Business Incentives

Taxpayer funded welfare for Corporations . . austerity for the poor.

Gotta love the Corporate capture of government at all levels.

"Free market capitalism" as practiced today is a suicide cult.

Miro and Sinex sure love it.

15 likes, 26 dislikes
Posted by NorthOldEnder on 07/18/2018 at 10:00 PM

Re: “Proof Negative: Auditor Documents Lack of Evidence for Business Incentives

Hoffer's report is amateurish and wouldn't be given good marks in a survey economics course. There's not even a bibliography, so it's difficult to evaluate the quality of his 'peer-reviewed' literature without combing through it footnote by footnote. You'll just have to trust him on the sources having been peer-reviewed. And yet, scrutinizing the sources is critical because even academic publications in this area are notorious for being funded by interest groups. Hoffer has chosen the ones that happen to agree with him, so it's not just a coincidence that this review just supports positions he already held.

29 likes, 21 dislikes
Posted by J Rocinante on 07/18/2018 at 7:35 PM

Re: “Provocateur, Candidate: James Ehlers’ History of Rhetorical Excess

dvadvocate: 'advocacy ecosystem' Really? What a stupid phrase! Some people just take things too far.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by BDE on 07/13/2018 at 5:42 AM

Re: “Provocateur, Candidate: James Ehlers’ History of Rhetorical Excess

Everything I have read about Ehlers indicates he is divisive. Yet he had the nerve to claim In a press release June 19, in the VT Digger,"As governor, I would keep government open and work collaboratively with the legislature to solve the biggest challenges we face as a state, and to invest in people and planet to make Vermont a more fair and dignified place to live for everyone. What a phoney baloney! His actions are not dignified, nor does he encourage collaboration with his communications style. He changes his point of view to getwhat he wants.

11 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Athena on 07/12/2018 at 12:21 PM

Re: “Provocateur, Candidate: James Ehlers’ History of Rhetorical Excess

The political establishment including the Vermont Democratic Party are working hard to support establishment candidates who take the corporate cash corrupting our politics both here in Vermont and Washington. Mr. Ehlers is a genuine progressive for he always puts people before the special interests and profits that influence and motivate so many. Recent news reports of the VDP not making available voter files to congressional candidate Dr. Dan Freilich speaks to the purposeful and deliberate efforts of the VDP and surrogates to favor candidates who embrace corporate cash as the party then receives a slice of the pie. Indeed, follow the money.

The VDP surrogates are busy disparaging gubernatorial candidate Mr. Ehlers to distract voters from his formidable skill set as both Ehlers and Freilich have refused to take the corporate cash which the VDP relies upon to help fund its party and statewide operations. By virtue of its embrace of candidates who accept corporate cash from special interests, the VDP is demonstrating to all that they do not value or support genuine grassroots progressive candidates or campaigns funded by the people.

If you like the status quo the Vermont Democratic Party and surrogates are working hard to preserve, you have plenty of candidates to choose from. If you are tired of the status quo, the faithless political leaders from both major parties making false promises while doing little to benefit the people, then you should support the two candidates who are genuinely motivated to serve the people in the genuine spirit of public service. James Ehlers for Governor and Dr. Dan Freilich for Congress. Both candidates are funded by the people. Visit and for more information.

Thank you!

7 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Thomas Joseph on 07/12/2018 at 12:09 PM

Re: “Provocateur, Candidate: James Ehlers’ History of Rhetorical Excess

Walters shares the concerns that many of us have about Ehlers' misrepresentation of what he stands for. I rather vote Republican than vote for this combative's the devil you know vs. the devil you don't. His prior rhetoric (that he is now forced to address) is similar to Trump's - name calling, argumentative, petulant.

And he's no environmentalist! His attitude towards wildlife and our public lands are all about what man can take from it. He is the last person that Democrats need.

17 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by KittyAngelVT on 07/12/2018 at 9:32 AM

Re: “Provocateur, Candidate: James Ehlers’ History of Rhetorical Excess

Another hit piece by Walters... yawn!

14 likes, 17 dislikes
Posted by critikboy on 07/11/2018 at 10:23 PM

Re: “Provocateur, Candidate: James Ehlers’ History of Rhetorical Excess

With his attitude, this Walters guy makes himself part of the story. Bad reporting and distracting.

15 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by BDE on 07/11/2018 at 5:34 PM

Re: “Provocateur, Candidate: James Ehlers’ History of Rhetorical Excess

Ironic that this media note, written by someone with the first name "John," makes no mention of the best recent coverage of domestic violence in our state lately: written by reporters with the first names "Elizabeth" and "Jess." As someone who works in the advocacy ecosystem, I had been waiting for Seven Days or Digger to take on the issue, but it ended up coming from the decimated freeps. (Makes you wonder what good journalism was quashed during the term of that transphobic editor in chief though.)

The Times Argus needs to step up though.

6 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by dvadvocate on 07/11/2018 at 12:47 PM

Re: “Dog Day: A Moment on the Campaign Trail

Best of all of these people is Tabitha Pohl-Moore. She needs to run for something.

0 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by lassy2 on 07/05/2018 at 2:03 PM

Re: “The Gun: How I Bought an AR-15 in a Five Guys Parking Lot

40,000 children die each year due to the carelessness, incapacity, or neglect of their parents... where are the parks named in their honor, where are the laws enacted with their names, where are the plaques displaying their names across the fronts of apartment complexes and shopping malls?

Each year, approximately 300 children are murdered by their parent's bare hands, more than are killed by assault weapons. Where are the news headlines, the legions of protesters, and the banners?

Each year about 4000 "children" are killed because they are texting or distracted while driving. Where is the self-righteous indignation of the Democrats then? Where are the Bloomberg-financed opportunists, where is Roger Moore, or Piers Morgan?

Every day, 250,000 people die. Some are blown apart by high-speed collisions, some eaten alive by cancer, some drown, way too many die of hunger, malaria takes more lives than DDT ever did... some simply choke to death, there are about 3000 die each year mining coal, more than ever died in ALL nuclear power plant accidents in history combined. Why are their deaths any less important, newsworthy, or activist worthy than being killed by a mad man with an AR-15 ? ? ? The answer is: To demonize firearms and the people who own them.

This IS The United States of America, a country founded on the principle of Liberty and Justice, where all men are to be assumed innocent until proven guilty by due process, a court of law, and a jury of their peers, entitled to be confronted by their accuser, and, until such time, endowed by their creator, be it God, or Nature, with all the rights and liberties of a free man (person).

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Tucson_Jim on 06/29/2018 at 9:08 PM

Re: “Tradin’ Paint: Days and Nights of Budget Brinksmanship

So SevenDays issues s correction that it didnt try numerous times to speak with Little Timmy Ashe. WTF, you either did or you didnt! How do you get that wrong? Could it be that Little Timmy Ashe was upset and demanded the story be changed so not to reflect poorly on him? Conflict of interest is alive and well.

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Bob Frazier on 06/29/2018 at 6:15 PM

Re: “Papers, Please: The Feds Reach Deeper Into Vermont

Freedom to think: Obviously you are not thinking. Soviet Russia? Nazi Germany? Are you serious? Our country is being invaded. I welcome ICE!!! The primary purpose of government is to protect its citizens and I want to be protected.

Leopoldo Quintana: If you are illegal you SHOULD be nervous. And if you aren't, well, that's the price we all have to pay for living in this country. Things obviously aren't better from where you came or you wouldn't be here.

Posted by Peter Morgan on 06/29/2018 at 5:23 PM

Re: “Tradin’ Paint: Days and Nights of Budget Brinksmanship

All of this could have been finished but let's be real the legislators wanted to drag this out.. more money for them, the taxpayers pay for their pizzas, drinks, and desserts.oh let's not forget their lodging too. all because they didn't get their way
Tim Ashe, Mitzi Johnson and the rest just wanted to drag it out for more pay and free meals..

5 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Donna Boutin on 06/28/2018 at 6:49 PM

Re: “Tradin’ Paint: Days and Nights of Budget Brinksmanship

Legislative drama created by the actors to make it look to taxpayers they are "working."

Life goes on. Taxes go up.

No Vermont taxpayers care. They love paying taxes. The higher, the better.


6 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Ted Cohen on 06/28/2018 at 8:46 AM

Re: “Tradin’ Paint: Days and Nights of Budget Brinksmanship

For the last few decades from Snelling on, Vermont Governors have been a moderating force on an activist legislature who often attempts policies better suited for the national stage than what can be successfully accomplished or afforded in our small state. A good example is that Democratic Governor Howard Dean had as many vetoes as Governor Scott. The exception was Governor Shumlin and we are still dealing with some of the consequences from his failed tenure.
In many ways in spite of some unneeded rancor and over the top partisan rhetoric on all sides, the fact is that Governor Scott has been a consistent stabilizing force that has prevented some of the more well intended yet totally impractical laws, like a Vermont stand alone carbon tax, from being implemented. At the same time the legislature has played a useful role as a consistent conscience on needs to be addressed. Many on all sides will be disappointed for many different reasons with what happened in Montpelier; such is the nature of politics. However all in all, the results of the past two session have not been that bad and sure could have been a lot worse had not Governor Scott been at the helm.

7 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by John Freitag on 06/28/2018 at 8:25 AM

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