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Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Tarrant_o30 There was an email in my inbox at 6 a.m. this morning titled “R U Shitting Me?” 

It was from a fine gentleman who used to work for a Republican statewide officeholder. He was positively dumbfounded that in its Tuesday edition The Burlington Free Press endorsed the self-funded Republican candidate in Vermont’s U.S. Senate race. That’s right. If you haven’t heard yet, the Gannett chain’s Vermont shop endorsed the  $7 million man, Richie Rich Tarrant, over that living Vermont legend - eight-term Independent Congressman Bernie Sanders.

That's a shot of Richie Rich we took yesterday as he entered the Capital Plaza ballroom in Montpeculiar where, with other candidates, he spoke at the Vermont Mental Health Association gathering. Didn't really address mental health in particular, but rather Tarrant just gave his standard five-minute health care stump speech.

This comes on the heels of the Freeps surprising many with its endorsement of Democrat Peter Welch for Congress, and surprising many more with its backing of Democrat Matt Dunne for Lite-Gov.  Speculation has been that the addition of highly-respected former Howard Dean press secretary Sue Allen to the Freeps editorial board had injected a heavy dose of Vermont political reality to the strange band of faceless unknowns who decide the Gannett paper’s editorial-page positions.

“Rich Tarrant offers practical and creative ideas on jobs, taxes and a more streamlined health care delivery system. He deserves a chance to bring these and other ideas to the U.S. Senate.

"Tarrant is a problem-solver. He has a background in business that would be refreshing in Congress. He is a self-starter with proven accomplishments. His ties to the state are strong. He has a solid knowledge of health care. His is a voice of moderation.”

Yes, indeed, Ol’ Tarrogant Richie does have “solid knowledge of health care.” It’s the kind of knowledge one gets by being on the executive committee of the Fletcher Allen Board of Trustees when the biggest financial scandal in Vermont history went down! And Trustee Tarrant, forced to resign in disgrace, aggressively defended until the bitter end the point man on the scheme - the crooked CEO who lied to state regulators and went to federal prison for it where he sits today.

And we did catch Republican State Rep. Anne Donohue of Northfield giving Tarrant an earful in the hallway at the Plaza over his remarks, reported in Sam Hemingway's recent story, praising convicted CEO Bill Boettcher. Donohue does not consider "community activists" bad people.

"His courage to take a strong position when community activists attack is refreshing," Tarrant, now the Republican Senate candidate, said of Boettcher in a Nov. 12, 2001, e-mail to board Chairman Phil Drumheller. "We are lucky to have Bill Boettcher."

Boy, money does talk, doesn’t it?

Any thoughts, folks?


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I'm sure that the union busting Gannett Corp sent the word down to the Free press, We'll tolerate endorsing Welch and Dunne, but no fucking way are you going to endorse some commie Brooklyn Jew, we don't care how pathetic his opponent is. I wasn't surprised and I can't believe anyone else who has watched the 30 year decline of our local paper would be either. Jim


i couldnt believe the freeps endorsed tarrant either..i know he got the endorsement of the caledonian record but the freeps??? unreal...makes no sense..they endorse welch and dunne, 2 leftfielders and not bernie...something wrong with that the endorsement they dont even mention sanders..what do they think?? people wont know who tarrant is running against...the proof is in the pudding next wed. very intersting to see how the freeps covers sanders runaway victory!! i do hope he reaches the 70% threshhold, it will really make freeps editorial board look bad!!! bring it on!!


I thought about this more last night. I guess what appalls me most is they endorsed a candidate who ran such a poor and nasty campaign. Tarrant has been running for the better part of a year and no one knows anything about his "plans." That's just pathetic for a 12-month candidate. Instead of saying what he will do, all he has done is attack Bernie. I've heard two debates and I can't tell you anything he stands for. And he is sneaky and sidesteps questions. He needs to go to finishing school and to take a 101 class on debating.

I urge you all to pick up the Addison Independent if you want a quality newspaper.

And note to Kyle: make no mistake, you refer to Bernie has having no respect in Washington? Give Tarrant a chance to mumble and fumble a speech on the floor of Congress and see who has no respect. The man can't talk his way out of a soda can.


The Free Press is in the business of selling papers. If you think of this effort as entertainment, it makes a little more sense. When it comes to editorials, they have an incentive to do the unpredictable, just to create chatter. They also have an incentive to appear to be independent and even-handed by spliting their endorsement ticket. (Incidentally, if their corporate handlers were going to dictate endorsements, which I don't believe they do, they would prefer to let the paper endorse Bernie, where the endorsement would make no difference, and to stay away from Dunne, where an unexpected endorsement might actually change things.)

sandy ward

It's a good pic of Tarrant. I kicked the BFP to the curb years ago but it had nothing to do with the fact that I'll be voting for the lessor of two evils this every race. I happen to agree with Kyle re Bernie in Washington and I don't think the people of the good ole USA have suffered enough to be motivated to get of their dead asses and rise up against the neocon movement...we'll need aleast another 8 more years of republican leadership before Independents and/or Democrats actually behave like leaders. Ho ho who?


Wow, a whole two votes for Tarrant.


I sure hope we hear from Abbey again. I personally love the comment encouraging us to remember that "40% vote Bernie's opponent no matter who it is". Well it doesn't take much to destroy that garbage. The most anyone has conjured up is 32.8% and that was in 1998 and the lowest Brnie has gotten is 55.2% in 1996. Oh how times have changed for instence 2000-69.2%, 2002-64.3%, and 2004- a whooping 67.4% so unless there was 109%, 104% and 107% of the people in Vermont voting those years there hasn't been ANY candidates that reached the 40% mark let alone EVERY candidate.

Oh and Kyle you suck! Since the only logic can be that we are babies taking our ball home I may as well act that way dummy head. Those lines are a joke just to point out to you that you need to learn that there happen to many valued opinions in the world that aren't yours. Lose the EGO big head!

Thoughts from Granville

I'm not surprised in the least that Tarrant got the endorsement of Burlington Free Press. I am surprised that anyone would bother to subscribe to the paper though. Save your subscription money and it just might equal the value of those coupons!

Rich Tarrant isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, but I was astonished when he said (during a debate with Bernie) that he'd like to extend the Civil Union law to include siblings. You can't make up that kind of hilarity. That comment confirmed to me once again that dumb people can get very rich. In a previous debate when asked about an issue, I was further gobsmacked when Tarrant stated he didn't know what his opinion was on the issue. He stated that he'd have to check. Sorry folks, I've forgotton the exact issue on which Tarrant went blank because I was too busy laughing at his transparent doofishness.

The bottom line is that Tarrant doesn't deserve to be elected because he hasn't worked for the job as Bernie has done. Tarrant's lying, negative ads, created in a cynical attempt to mislead the voting public about Bernie's record, were more than enough to convince me that Tarrant didn't deserve my second look. I don't like people who believe they can buy a Senate seat just because they can afford it.


Tarrant's desire to be a senator is self serving in the same way that he didn't create IDX to provide Vermonter's with jobs, he created IDX to make himself money.

His desire to be a senator is not for the benefit of Vermonters, it for his own ego.

That is what disinguishes Bernie from him.


The Free Press is all about style over substance, and making money. Endorsing Tarrant over Sanders and, for that matter, Dunne over Dubie, is there way of appearing independent and showing that they are making informed endorsements, but they won't rock the boat and overall lean too far left or right. Haven't seen the their endorsements for U.S. House and Governor, but I bet it will end up one Democrat and one Republican. They could flip a coin on who they want to endorse, they don't have a clue, as long as they end up with two Democrats and two Republicans in the four major races.


Good job, Kyle.

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