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Thursday, March 08, 2007


*Updated 3:45 p.m.

James Dwinell of Randolph has been active in Vermont Republican Party circles for more than a decade. He's been an executive director of the state party and the Republican candidate for auditor of accounts in 1998, losing to Democrat Ed Flanagan.

James - not "Jim" -  is an especially creative kind of guy, a successful businessman, and in the Internet Age became a "journalist" with a snappy, lively, online Vermont political report that looks at the Vermont scene through the eyes of a Republican.

The Dwinell Political Report started back in October 2000 as the Dwinell-Sternberg Report, but Libby Sternberg departed after a couple years and Sir James carried on solo.

Back in the early days, Democratic Gov. Howard Dean treated James, the former GOP candidate and party boss, politely at first at his weekly press conferences. After all, Ho-Ho knew he would be running for president in a couple years. He certainly didn't want any trouble with the First Amendment.

But, finally, Dean had enough of GOP James' partisan questions, partisan writings and challenged his credentials as a "reporter."

Guess who stood up for Dwinell's right to be there?


Yours truly. It wasn't for Howard Dean to decide who was or was not a journalist was it?

And Dean, shall we say, "backed down," and allowed James to continue his attendance at the Guv's weekly pressers.

Lately, James has published his Dwinell Political Report (paperless like the Vermont Guardian), irregularly. His second edition of 2007 came out two days ago. A long one. Juicy. In fact, an outrageous one that clearly crossed the line.

Shumlin Gov_douglas Dwinell certainly is free to attack the Democratic leadership in Montpeculiar to his heart's content.

But this below-the-belt item attacking Democratic State Senate Leader Peter Shumlin (left) - Republican Gov. Jim Douglas' (right) likeliest challenger in November 2008was like nothing Dwinell has published in his "political report"  since he printed the unsubstantiated claim U.S. Sen. Jim Jeffords had Alzheimer's Disease.

A new and ugly low, folks.

From the current edition of Dwinell's "political report":



Shumlin was deemed "a pathological liar" by AP reporter Ross Sneyd. This was confirmed by former WCAX reporter Anson Tebetts. Sneyd went on to say that in previous lives, the media passed on Shumlin's lying, but "not this time."

It has also been reported to DPR that Shumlin's wandering eye keeps wandering. He left politics in 2002 in part to do some marriage maintenance. Many folks have been watching Shumlin's return to see if old dogs can learn new tricks. The jury vote today is a definite no. The young lovelies of Montpelier have been reporting multiple unwanted hits by none other than the senate pro tem.


WHAT the hell?

Way over the line.

Also, not true!

Anson Tebbetts, the former WGOP, er, WCAX-TV Statehouse reporter, now a new deputy secretary in the Douglas Administration's Agency of Agriculture, could not be reached for comment. We called the agency - Ol' Anson's on vacation this week.

Hey, didn't he just start?

We sent a copy of the DPR to Reporter Sneyd at the Associated Press on Wednesday. He had not seen one. A few hours later, Sneyd sent us this copy of an email he had sent Dwinell:


From: Sneyd, Ross
Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2007 1:58 PM
To: '[email protected]'
Subject: Correcting the record

Mr. Dwinell:

You inaccurately attribute two partial quotes to me in your newsletter. I did not say either of the things you allege. I look forward to a correction.

Ross Sneyd


Yours truly contacted Dwinell and asked for his response to Sneyd's email?

On Thursday morning, Dwinell sent me the following:

"i must have gone off my medication, and have now proven myself to be a candidate for civil commitment.

"my 'quotes' of ross was really stupid of me, and i have apologized to him and will of course print a correction and apology.

and i needlessly offended maybe twenty other people. i could have made the same points and offended nobody. the issue was quite regretable."

Yes, indeed.

Quite regrettable, James.

***UPDATED - After Gov. Douglas' 1 p.m. weekly presser:

Sneyddouglas That's a shot (left) we took of the Guv answering a question from Mr. Sneyd of the Montpelier AP Bureau just a little while ago in the Fifth Floor conference room.

It was yours truly who brought up the fact the "leading Vermont Republican Party online newsletter" had in its latest issue  "reported" on the alleged sex life of the Democrat most likely at the moment to be on the November 2008 ticket as that party's gubernatorial candidate and challenger to Jim Douglas.

Gov. Douglas: "I didn't know that."

Press: "Do you read the Dwinell Political Report?"

Gov. Douglas: "Sometimes, but I haven't seen the latest one."

Press: "Do you think going into someone's sex life is crossing the line?"

Gov. Douglas: "Well, I certainly wouldn't do it."

Of course not. You'd get someone to do it for you. No fingerprints is key!


When we got home, we discovered Mr. Sneyd had forwarded to us the "apology" he'd received from James Dwinell, Vermont's leading online Republican scribe:

To: Sneyd, Ross
Subject: Re: Correcting the record

good morning,

that was so stupid of me, to quote you without checking with you first. i am very sorry and i apologize.
there is no excuse. i had your "quote" from different people in my notes who said that they were in the room and that is what you said. and i had this fleeting thought that the "quote" seemed very unlike you. yet instead of then asking you directly, i just plowed on. really stupid of me. i am filled with regret.
more so, as i respect your well deserved status as dean of the press corps practiced with skill, intelligence and civilty.
i will of course print and acknowledge your correction.
i am so sorry.

Sneyd tells "Freyne Land," he accepts Dwinell's apology.

"As [Dwinell] says," writes Ross, "it's definitely not the kind of thing I would say."

But is this a sign of the 2008 campaign that lies ahead?


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He regrets saying it, but he's left it up on his website.

**NEWSFLASH** Jimmy Dwynell is a boob.


It seems as though Douglas has tapped into a vein of discontent that he himself has done nothing to remedy.

He seems disconnected from reality. Ever get a chance to speak with him about anything of substance? Probably not. There is no substance.

Good 30 second sound bites. Identify the problems highlighted by the polls. Profess to do something about it and then blame the legislature when there is no progress.

Make up someone's sex life and then attack it?

He opposes spending money on training programs that support the creation of good paying jobs. Why? Because he wants money for a "promise scholarship" program that he proposed, the details of which don't exist.

Very disappointing that such a nice guy on the outside is so shallow and otherwise out of touch.


Perhaps Dwinell is having a busy day. As of 5:15 pm, no correction or other note as far as I can tell... although, given the rambling layout of his website, it's kind of hard to tell. The original Ross Sneyd item is still there with no apology, correction, or explanation nearby.


No hitting below the belt, eh? What would you say to some comments you make about people you disagree with politically?

as always, your hypocrisy amazes me - and I still read this make shift blog.

Talking to an old friend of yours who says the cancer is getting better. Glad to hear it.


One can only hope you are getting Dwinell and Douglas on record as saying they did not conspire to create this false story. Did you? Otherwise, the tiptoeing around your main point is as unfounded and perhaps as below the belt as Dwinell's wild accusations.


Gov. Douglas: "Well, I certainly wouldn't do it."

Of course he wouldn't do it. He's not called Governor DoesLess for nothing.


Dwinell is another in a very long line of seriously sexually repressed conservatives, who probably get some kind of thrill by living vicariously through other people's sexual exploits. Just imagine how much it ate up Ted Haggerty to pound on homosexuals week after week, then to turn out to actually be gay himself. Then there's Newt this morning, who ran his mouth throughout the Lewinsky blip, only to find out later that he was having an affair at the very same time(worse, he announced his divorce to his wife while she was on her death bed). Dwinell probably wishes he was a player, but I'm guessing he's pretty well stocked on Keri lotion.


Simms: Whether or not Freyne ever indulges in personal attacks (and I can't recall him ever making any gratuitous references to a politician's sex life), at least he writes them in his own words. Dwinell fabricated quotes from one of the state's most respected reporters. That's a serious offense.

And as of 9:45 am Friday, Dwinell has not added an apology or correction to his website. His fabricated Ross Sneyd quotes are still there. Either his contrition is severely limited, or he is so overwhelmed by anguish that he hasn't been able to lift his fingers to the keyboard.

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