Paul Dame: Democrat steamrollers at the Statehouse

This commentary is by Paul Dame, chair of the Vermont GOP.

Last week as the Legislature organized itself, some of the changes made by the Democrat supermajority drew some unusual attention and gave us a preview of how the Democrats are planning to govern in their own interests — not in the best interests of Vermonters.

Paul Dame, chairman of the Vermont GOP

To start with, Democrats took Vermont backwards with a major change to the scope of the Health Care Committee. They had undone years of intentional effort to get mental health treated equally with what they referred to as “physical health” in their new committee description. They also punished the Legislature’s top advocate for mental health, Republican Anne Donahue, by stripping her of her vice chair position and assigning her to another committee entirely.  Vermonters must demand Democrats explain why they made these moves to send us backward on the issue of mental health.

In addition, Democrats completely eliminated the Natural Resources, Fish & Wildlife Committee.  While they moved some of the Natural Resources function to the newly named Environment & Energy Committee, they also removed from that committee the oversight of broadband when it was known as the “Energy & Technology” Committee. Since broadband was also removed from the description of the Economic Development Committee, all signs are pointing to the fact that Democrats are directly contradicting Gov. Scott’s encouragement for us to work towards equal opportunities for rural Vermont.

Then on the Senate side, for the first time in recent memory, Democrats ensured that they did not have ANY Republicans on the Natural Resources & Energy Committee. Not one dissenting voice was to be allowed. This is quite remarkable because, unlike in the House, Republicans still have the same number of senators for this session that they did last session when Republicans had representation on every committee, so there was no justifiable reason to remove a Republican.

This becomes incredibly important when we know that Democrats campaigned on a return of the previously-vetoed Heating Fuel Tax, and there will not be one minority voice on the Senate Committee that has the power to impose the largest tax increase the state has seen in over a decade. When Republicans are outnumbered on the floor, the only way they can have influence is usually in the committee process. But with no Republican seated on that committee, that balancing perspective has been squashed.

Democrats have proven they are not at all interested in working with the Republicans who still represent tens of thousands of Vermonters. Instead Democrats are already pushing them to the sides preemptively before any work has really started. This sets them up for bigger policy failures because they are unwilling to take input from anyone with a different perspective. The policies that will be produced with this kind of process are sure to be lopsided, unbalanced and untested.

This is one of the fundamental problems with the Democrat way of governing, as opposed to everything Vermont Republicans would do with a majority. This and previous sessions, Democrats have vindictively removed anyone who dared to challenge their authority. It started back when Democrat Rep. Cynthia Browning dared to suggest that Democrats follow their own rules. Then Rep. Thomas Bock was bullied and brow-beaten when he supported Gov. Scott’s veto of the heating fuel tax, which resulted in him deciding not to run again. Vermont Democrats are slowly establishing the kind of heavy-handed authoritarian approach to governing that should leave Vermonters worried that Montpelier is beginning to look more like Washington than we would like.  The sustained efforts to centralize power and pressure opposition is not the way a free and independent-minded society should be run.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
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16 thoughts on “Paul Dame: Democrat steamrollers at the Statehouse

  1. There was a time when Timothy O’Connor, a Democrat, served as Vermont Speaker of the House , 1975-1981, even though the legislature was dominated by Republicans. O’Connor was elected because of his ability, integrity and fairness.

    Over the last three decades the Democratic Party in Vermont has become far more into power poliotics and driven by interest groups rather than focusing on the overall good of Vermont. The recent override of the recommendation to go to single districts by the Democratic majority is another example.

    We need to move beyond narrow ideological politics where gaining and keeping power is more important than doing what is best for our state and nation.

  2. Clearly, both parties are so out of touch with reality they all must be tripping on ayahuasca. The Truth is many are all guilty of crimes, treasonous crimes. They will continue the chicken dance until they fall flat on their faces. They would rather lie and deceive than come clean and repent. Vermont firmly tied its sinking boat to the federal Titanic. Vermont traded State sovereigty for foreign money (meeting with the CCP February 2019) under the guidence of Leahy, Sanders and Welch (the three banditos) and the EB-5 Kingdom Con is just one example. Spare us the political pandering and finger-wagging. We are far, far beyond the game and we all know the playbook. Globalism is entrenched here. The traitors and their split tongues will keep blasting their scripted nonsense while Rome burns to the ground. Let it burn! The decent, ethical, smart people who survive the onslaught will clean it up, take what is rightfully ours, and live as God intends for us without the fools and their criminal conduct.

  3. One of the steam rollers is to have heat pumps all in houses that are totally unsuitable for them

    AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMPS DO NOT ECONOMICCALLY DISPLACE FOSSIL FUEL BTUs IN COLD CLIMATES
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/air-source-heat-pumps-do-not-economiccally-displace-fossil-fuel

    CADMUS Survey of Vermont Air Source Heat Pumps

    CADMUS, an energy consultant hired by the Vermont Department of Public Service in 2017, performed a survey of 77 ASHPs at 65 sites, in Vermont. See URL of CADMUS report
    https://publicservice.vermont.gov/sites/dps/files/documents/EVT%202018%20Savings%20Verification%20Report%202019.07.01.pdf

    VT-DPS was ordered by the Vermont legislature to obtain an “independent” study, because many people with air source heat pumps had complained, they did not get anywhere near the annual energy cost savings stated on websites, etc., of GMP, BED, VPIRG, VT-DPS, EAN, EFFICIENCY VERMONT, etc.,

    NOTE: The CADMUS report was written in such a confusing way, the average Vermonter, including almost all legislators, would not be informed by it, and would be more confused by it, unless they had a mechanical engineering degree, with applicable experience.
    I do have the degree and experience, so I could analyze it.

    EXCERPT from:

    COST SAVINGS OF AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMPS ARE NEGATIVE IN VERMONT, MAINE, ETC.
    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/cost-savings-of-air-source-heat-pumps-are-negative-in-vermont

    CADMUS used a standard HVAC computer program that takes the hourly temperature history of a heating season (obtained from US weather data), and allocates the frequency and duration of temperatures to two-degree temperature intervals, also called “bins”.
    See URL of CADMUS report; horizontal line of figure 14

    The space heat to a site is calculated for each two-degree bin, say 34F – 36F
    The total space heat to a site is obtained by adding the space heats for all two-degree bins.

    Figure 14 also shows the aggregate electricity consumption, kWh, of all heat pumps is steadily increasing with increasing heating load, until about 30F. At temperatures below 30F, whereas, the heating load was increasing, but the electricity to heat pumps was decreasing!!

    People turned off their heat pumps (to save on electricity costs) and, instead, used their much-less-costly-to-operate traditional heating systems, such as oil, gas, propane and wood stoves.

    The CADMUS HVAC computer program calculated:

    – Space heat to a site was 92 million Btu, of which 25.35 million from HPs, and 66.65 million from other fuels
    – Space heat to all sites was 65 sites x 92 million Btu/site = 5,980 million Btu. See URL, page 22
    – Space heat from HPs was 77 HPs x 21.4 million Btu/HP = 1,648 million Btu. See URL, page 21
    – Traditional systems provided 5980 – 1648 = 4,332 million Btu, or 4332/5980 = 72.4% of the total space heat.
    – HPs provided only 100 – 72.4 = 27.6% of the total space heat for an average Vermont house

    The energy cost savings averaged about $200/y, instead of the $1,200/y to $1,800/y bandied about by GMP, VT-DPS, VPIRG, etc. After the CADMUS report, those estimates disappeared from booster websites. See URLs.

    The CADMUS report data, obtained from various pages in the report, after much sleuthing, is summarized in table 4

  4. They are really fascist modeling their socialist power after their idol Hitler. Only difference is they follow the moloch climate hoax and perceived racism instead of Nationalism…. when the sheep voting them in wake up their end will be traumatic for the soy bois and gender confused…

  5. What has the Vermont GOP or the current governor done to prepare for 2024? Is there a republican being prepared to succeed Scott? To run against V
    Balint? The party should be talant scouting throughout the state to find qualified and willing prospects for replacing the current democrat senators and reoresentative. The 2022 election was a farce. The republican candidates didn’t even campaign or if they did it was one of the most covert campaigns since Fred Tuttle.

    Once respectable candidates are found the party and the governor should do everything they can to get them name recognition among voters.

    I will not donate a dime to the Vermont GOP because it would be a total waste of money. Either do the job or retire the organization and hand over the keys to the democrats.

    • You can have the best pitcher in the entire league, but if you don’t have a team, you can’t get any runs and win a game.

      We can’t win the hearts and minds of VERMONTERS on our present path. We can stay true to the truth and do very well. Lies and propaganda don’t fair well in the light of day, but we can not fall for their traps, their trigger words and we must not let them control tha narrative, to which we’ve done for 20+ years AND lost every election.

      Keep thinking we need governors and senate and house seats, meanwhile they will convert the entire state to become the first colony of the New World Order, a marxist utopia what you will own nothing, the state owning everything and controlling your every move, purchase, thought and speech.

  6. To cite but one example of the above: a government (Vermont’s Democratic legislators) that tells its citizens what kind of cars they MUST DRIVE and then punishes them economically and socially for not complying is Communist. You WILL drive electric cars or you will be fined, punished, and stripped of your right to drive at all. Just wait. This is not a free-market, capitalist state. It is Marxist. AND it does not respect the liberty of its populace.

  7. I’d say within a decade the obituary of VT will be worked on. A lot iof Libs, Socialists, Progressives deserve their own chapters.. (The Conservation Law Foundation deserves the longest chapter).. And then, the Phil Scott years. I liken him to the French..who in the last 150 years or so, rarely won any battle or war and earned the slang term ‘Surrender Monkey’s”.. Phil Scott’s terms seem to go on & on (for a reason!) as he too “surrenders” every legislative year…..while VT’s budget go up by biillions and population increases barely …Then, pension deficts – plus retirement healthcare…. up to $5 billion is unfunded? The VT pension invested assets, stocks and bonds, LOST about 20% last year. The FOOLS that “run” things, have the Legislature believing that they will return 7.5% a year- so NO WORRIES? I know of S&P 500 corporates that years ago lowered their assumed rates of return (for planning their funding needs), down to 4.5%.

    Anyway, Phil Scot is indeed a “nice guy – but a “nothing-burger”….he fiddles while Rome burns…..he whistles past the GRAVEYARD…and VT soon enough will be a financial basket case..because NO OTHER STATE spends like VT does for a mere 640,000 people and NO other state got the billions $ VT did for such a tiny population. The Gov’t free money gravy train is done…now it is just a matter of time for the fiscal crisis…. reality is the last at bat…and I recommend you get out of VT before the Dems & Progs raise your taxes massively and perhaps will try adding a “wealth tax”….You wait. Phil Scott is wonderful guy…but basically a “surrender monkey” for Dems & Progs…That isn’t real “leadership”….that is failure…and that will be his legacy in a couple decades time of “looking in the rear view mirror”.

    • So,this is where we go wrong, sadly we won’t die. We will needlessly stiffer instead, all countries run by Marxists seem to last quite awhile. You may lose 30 ibs, involuntarily, your water, power and transportation may be limited. Nothing is ever affordable and there is massive corruption, but these systems can go on for decades, perhaps a century or more.

      They are like mice and fungus, tough to get rid of, once in power.

  8. Although I really prefer the title of Drone. A drone is a male honeybee. Unlike the female worker bee, drones do not have stingers. They gather neither nectar nor pollen and are unable to feed without assistance from worker bees. A drone’s only role is to mate with a maiden queen in nuptial flight.

  9. Democrats have been using ruthless tactics for years. There have been instances years ago, (I have been told by legislators) where if someone disagreed within their own party, the legislator would be punished by a insignificant committee appointment the next year or, if a committee chair, simply deposed.
    It is simply the Dems/Progs way.

  10. You are finally “getting it” Mr. Dame. Phil Scott was not elected as Gov by the minority Republicans….he won the majority, because DEMS voted him in… All a clever ruse to falsely have the Dems perceived as wanting “Checks and Balances” in VT. So? They made sure they put in a “do-nothing-wishy-washy” controllable Gov…in Phil. He won’t ever fight hard….because he wants to be seen as non- confrontational & non-ideological… and he aks all in the Statehouse to “work together”? How dumb can you be, Phil. VT is controlled by Dems and Progressives. They demand Phil Scott be “non ideological”….but then THEY themselves are the most idologically fixated people anywhere. Now that they have super majority….they will veto all things Phil might try to oppose. Phil Scott now speaks solely in “lofty-feel-good-platitudes”…which are worthelss of any real action to VT’s very serious (financial is top) issues.. He is unable to “stand up”. Basically, he is just there as a figurehead (to be vetoed) while collecting a very nice salary, benefits and comfy future retirement plan…but he will accomplish nothing.

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