Andrew J. Tarantino | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Andrew J. Tarantino 
Member since Nov 7, 2016



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Re: “A Near Miss in Montpelier Suggests a Union's Clout Is Waning

"Teachers, Democrats Throw Taxpayers Under the Bus"

Caledonian Record
May 20, 2017…

On Thursday, Vermont taxpayers saw exactly what Vermont NEA candidate campaign contributions to Democrats and a fully staffed, $2 million bullying operation in Montpelier is good for.

After nearly five weeks (two of which werent expected, and at an extra cost to taxpayers) of drama concerning the implementation of a statewide teacher healthcare contract, Speaker Mitzi Johnson and President Pro Tem Tim Ashe presented their grand plan to achieve the $26 million in savings that Governor Scott has demanded.

The punchline? A study and a full-throated, $6 million pillage from Education Fund reserves to create the illusion of a property tax cut in FY18.

It sounds like a joke, but every Democrat in the House and Senate voted for it including local Senators Kitchel and Starr (Rodgers was absent), and Representatives Toll and Troiano. Thankfully, local Republican legislators all voted against this folly.

Fortunately, Governor Phil Scott intends to use his veto, and he made that point perfectly clear as the Legislature adjourned after midnight.

How this standoff will end up is anyones guess. We hope that, ultimately, public opinion carries the day. But weve been around long enough to realize that the Democratic majority cares little about the public when it comes to spending our money wisely. Were fully cognizant that Democrats bow to the NEA in exchange for huge campaign contributions.

The rhetoric and misinformation from Vermont NEA and local Education Associations across Vermont will go into hyper drive until the Veto Session on June 21st. They will bring out their tired and flatly untrue arguments: teachers are underpaid, collective bargaining at the district level is sacred, and unions are under attack.

8 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Andrew J. Tarantino on 05/27/2017 at 10:39 AM

Re: “At Odds With Gov. Scott, Vermont Legislature Delays Adjournment

Seems your reporter left out some important facts, in this story. The Progressives , independents and democrats who voted along with the honest and fair republicans who voted in favor of saving the tax payers 26 million dollars not just this year but for the next 4 years. That the Speaker knew that 2 legislators had to leave who were in Favor of the law, and she knew that but still she voted against saving the tax papers, 26 million a year for over 4 years! WHY/ oh she said it needs to be studied more, ha, that is just the poorest excuse I have ever heard. You also neglected to mention that the school superintendents, and the school boards across Vermont all supported have one teachers contract for the state of Vermont! We have state wide funding of our schools it only makes incredible common sense to have a state wide teachers contract! You also failed to mention that the teachers would not have to pay more and might even save on health insurance. So if you can report all the facts to the Vermont voters and mislead them by leaving out facts, you do a disservice to fair and honest reporting. Governor Scott VETO the budget and send them back to take another vote with all present. Save the Vermont taxpayers 26 million a year for years to come.

27 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Andrew J. Tarantino on 05/06/2017 at 3:30 PM

Re: “Walters: The Day After the Big Vote

Oh and FYI the independents, progressives and republicans almost and should have won this vote, had Mitzi Johnson done her job as speaker and considered the fact that two legislators who were in favor of the measure had to leave and she knew it. You also neglected to mention that the school superintendents and the school boards in VT also supported the bill. But the NEA did not as they wish to have 80 negotiations instead of the clearly fairer one state wide teachers contract. We have State wide funding it only makes common sense to have state wide teacher contracts. Please try to include all the facts and not just the ones you wish to highlight, as that is fair and honest reporting.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Andrew J. Tarantino on 05/06/2017 at 3:22 PM

Re: “Walters: The Day After the Big Vote

Mr Walters, you neglected to mention that there were two legislators , that were for the measure to save Vermonters 26 million a year in property taxes every year, and Mitzi Johns knew they had to leave for work related issues, and still she voted against what was a clear majority vote for the measure. Please try to include all the Facts in your reporting. Why can we the voters vote with absentee ballots, yet our legislators can not? that seems very odd to me, especially with part time legislators.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Andrew J. Tarantino on 05/06/2017 at 1:48 PM

Re: “The Usual Suspects: Who Funded Scott's Inaugural Gala?

So, this is news? I beg to differ. Perhaps this writer should have held the more fire and heat to Peter Shumlin! What kind of gala did he throw and who paid for it? We know that it was Not the 5th grade educated neighbor who Mr Shumlin tried to steal his home for pennies on the dollar! Shumlin also wasted more than 200 Million dollars on Health Connect web site, and never asked for any money back nor did Sorrell! NH put up a health care web site of r only 8 million, that worked form day 1 and serves more people than Vermont. The ethics laws that have been submitted are not worth the paper they are printed on when former legislators can become lobbyist and make 100's of thousands of dollars only 1 year after leaving office. Sad, Very sad.

23 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Andrew J. Tarantino on 01/19/2017 at 10:16 AM

Re: “Vermont Legislators Admit to Cheating the System. Are They Justified?

So where is the ethics law? Shumlin tries to steal his neighbors home and the legislators turn a blind eye!
Then they waste 200 or more million dollars on a failed and broken web site and do not ask for one penny back form the company that closes shop and disappears. Then they wasted 20 -30 million on the failed single payer plan and again nothing is done about recouping the money VT Health Dept. head, . Dr. Chen mails 2 one dollar bills out, with a survey, and the legislators know nothing about this, not even the press knows how many letters were sent out and how many were returned or how many dollars just ended up in the trash! David is just another example of no accountability for departments or even the legislators and the Governor! WE need a Ethics law and we need to clean house tomorrow at the elections.

21 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Andrew J. Tarantino on 11/07/2016 at 9:23 AM

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