John LaBarge: Montpelier’s arrogant supermajority

This commentary is by John LaBarge, of Grand Isle. He is a former state representative and House Republican leader.

I grew up in Burlington as a third generation Vermonter. I became aware of politics at an early stage in my life and I served in the legislature for 10 years. During my tenure I was minority whip for four years and majority leader for two years before retiring my seat.

John Labarge

John Labarge

I can honestly say the supermajority currently in Montpelier is by far the most arrogant group of elected officials I have ever seen. They have made it clear that they are not there to listen to Vermont residents, they are not there to help the lower and middle income Vermonter or seniors on fixed incomes. They are not there to try and make Vermont affordable for everyone. It’s clearly obvious they are there to pass their big government, cradle-to-grave agenda for the special interest groups that provide them with funding and political power and to hell with anyone else.

They passed a free school lunch program that provides free breakfast and lunch to all students, even though many parents can afford to pay for their children’s meals. They say free lunches for all “won’t cost taxpayers that much” though.

They passed a family leave act that will require funding from now on, but it will only tax employers and employees a small amount. It “won’t cost much.”

They passed $20 million in new transportation fees even though the agency did not request fee increases, and as of this March, the state revenue report shows the transportation fund is 23.1% higher than last year at this time — so why do we need a fee increase? Don’t worry, it “won’t cost Vermonters much.”

Now they are ready to override Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of S.5, the Affordable (wink-wink) Heat Act that will cost Vermonters higher fuel cost and personal expenditures of large amounts to comply with the bill. It requires large programs to fund, more full-time state employees, more oversight committees, and the expenses they are paid. They are so arrogant the speaker of the House’s chief of staff just said in an interview with VTDigger: “The House will override the veto, full stop. There’s not a question in my mind.” Translated, this means the supermajority will all fall in line and vote lock step to override. The heck with their constituents — it won’t cost them much and it’s for their own good.

The kicker is now the supermajority is entertaining a major legislative pay increase which will include a stipend during the months they are not in session, along with benefits. Full time professional legislature here we come! Don’t worry, though, it “won’t cost Vermonter taxpayers much.” Besides, it will be worth it to have us here all year and well paid.

Vermont voters need to wake up and fast. We can’t afford these arrogant people who have taken over our state capital and call themselves “representatives.” Who are they representing? The supermajority listens to no one other than the special interest groups and their lobbyists. They negotiate with no one and ignore a governor elected by nearly 70% of Vermonters, treating him like he is just an irritating rash.

The arrogant, “we know best” attitude that has now consumed our Legislature is by far the worse in Vermont’s history, and will sadly remain if Vermont voters continue to vote the way they have.

Images courtesy of Michael Bielawski/TNR and John Labarge

17 thoughts on “John LaBarge: Montpelier’s arrogant supermajority

    • Roland what that lady from China is saying in this article is absolutely correct.
      Here in NH, we have Lily Tang Williams, also from China, with a similar story and she says just about the same thing as your article is saying.
      I don’t see it as a warning, I see it as predicting what is going to happen.

      Lily ran for office here and didn’t do too badly.
      She’s a very intelligent woman, an attorney.

      I find it quite interesting that many people that have escaped here from brutal Communist regimes now are sounding the alarm about what they see going on here today in America and particularly in deep blue states like Vermont.
      We’d be wise to listen to them.

  1. I’m reposting my comment here from from another article with corrections.

    At any other time in history, the little people (us) would have already had the pitch forks out, the tar heating on the fire and chickens being plucked for the injustices of the overlords bestowed upon the people. Remember the story of Robin Hood? The people are not happy, here and all over the country. The nation has been hijacked for greed and power. We have all seen this play out before. The people will not be broken by an arrogant group of flat landers here to punish us to save the world and line their pockets at the expense of the least able to afford their taxes.

    While all law abiding people want peace and harmony, we are being backed against the wall. Unconstitutional laws call for civil disobedience. Can they arrest us all for not complying? Who will enforce laws that go against the 4th amendment, the 2nd amendment and our Vermont constitution? Where does the legislature get it’s power to nullify constitutional rights? They all took an oath to defend it, remember? Since when did the state have the right to take your children from your care unless they were being abused?

    Vermont has a powerless governor who abandoned his supporters, did nothing to help republicans gain more seats in the legislature of his party and signed the 1st unconstitutional gun laws ever in the safest state in the union. He is not a leader of the people. I used to be a supporter until the governor left the party and the principals of our very own constitution, customs and the freedom to live our lives as we wish as free people.

    I don’t recall anything in our constitution that allows a group of unelected boards and committees of having the power to alter the lives of the people of Vermont without first being elected by the people. As citizens, we have an obligation to vote these arrogant legislators out of office and to elect representatives of the people for the benefit of Vermont. We need legislators who respect the wishes of those who put them in power. It is the only lawful remedy we have and must come together to legally remove this disrespectful, agenda driven group from their offices.

    When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. These words of the preamble to the declaration of independence were sent to the king of England in 1776, these same words describe that it is the duty of the people to change the course of their lives when their leaders lose their respect for the governed.

    While not as important as the issues leading to the Revolutionary War, these words are as important today in this tiny state that has been taken over by out of state, ego driven, arrogant people to control and rule over the people of Vermont. Their goal is to enact an agenda paid for by special interests lobbyists that have heavily donated to their campaigns and a complicate media that is no longer an unbiased free press to inform the people of the truth. Our solution is to vote then out in 2024 to save Vermont and our futures. We must “Take Back Vermont” for our children and the health of this once beautiful state and the people who’s families for generations preserved the state we love before the invasion of those who demand to rule over us!

    • Dano, you say:

      “We must “Take Back Vermont” for our children and the health of this once beautiful state and the people…”

      It’s too late, Dano. VT is gone. The 2023 legislature and the super majority with all kinds of bogus (some outright evil and immoral) bills….is the crowning culmination or 40 years of grass roots organizing….slow, sure and steady….much pushed by new out of state transplants…they wove their narratives….most untrue…The vote fraud by Bernie to get his BTV mayorship (several hundred illegal out of state UVM kids) by 12 votes…was the seed that started it, and it exploded.. It is too late to turn the ship (VT) around….they won, they control ..they brainwash.. – and they hate you….and BTW, they want as much of your money as possible…class warfare…just like they use (abuse) LAWFARE so superbly.

      • I get what you’re saying but not all of us can run. It is on my mind, but as a single widower and a born in Vermont native, I’m giving it my last try to wake people up. I have a small business that I would have to give up also. If the heat fiasco comes to being, I will be selling out. I can watch Vermont implode from a distance. I’m working on one of my children to get out too. She can’t afford to buy a house and I think also wants out. We’ll see! However, I notice that you are still interested and in the fight even though you moved.

  2. Arrogant and EGOTISTICAL…. their heads are so swollen with it they can no longer get a sweater over it. To think a state of 650k can make any effect on the world climate is ludicrous and a border line mental problem. To spew the un Affordable heat tax is going to save you money is just a out right lie. How does something that makes you buy another heat system save you money??? Only in a fools dream so we can add Arrogant egotistical FOOL to their title. Maybe add lying fool to be more accurate.

  3. Having served with John, all I can say is, it’s to late. I will add that congress is no better.

  4. Good article! You are right! Wake-up people we can’t afford this crap! I have emailed my representatives in my county and haven’t heard a thing from anyone! That a liberal for you


    • Wow. That is scary how exactly each step described is, or will, happen…and VT is at the forefront of enacting almost all of it.

  5. Thanks John. I am positive as you are that there is a future for the Vermont we love. You failed to mention that most of the representatives in Montpelier are carpet baggers and appear to have come here for the reason we are seeing played-out. Keep up your messaging as it is appreciated.

  6. The Legislative supermajority Dems and Progs are acting like Climate Communists, Any Age Abortion Advocates, and the corrupt Senate of Ancient Rome. They are bound by no laws except their own unchecked desires and radical agenda. Vermont is their Petri dish. We are their lab rats. These socialists are turning Vermont into Venezuela.

  7. Passionate comments Mr. LaBarge….but you’ve yet to face the grim reality…you say:

    “Vermont voters need to wake up and fast.”

    Fast indeed. It is only a few years out until a very serious fiscal crisis. VT numbers don’t lie…Liberals do. Your “Vermont Voters” are the root cause. They elect all the Dems, Socialists, Progressives…the voters are brainwashed, indoctrinated and organized. They believe all they are told is “fact” ( like, the”studies show” BS line) or “science”…. they have a “Jim Jones” doomsday fear… ( they drank the Kool-Aid) that soon humans are extinct….climate change. Logic it out, Mr. will NEVER CHANGE. Vermont as you knew it, is toast. Libs, Socialists & Progressives never give up…they have grass roots everywhere, they are funded $$, they have numerous Eco-Enviro groups…they use LAWFARE and will sue you/anyone in their way…just like the CLF threatened to SUE the State of VT if the climate bill does not pass as CLF demands it. Amazing…..Vermont is gone….”VTGON”. Stay at your own peril.

  8. John
    Great article on how the state of vermont is becoming impossible to retire or even live in now.
    So apparently all the people who voted these liberals into office are ok with more taxes and there pay raise.

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