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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Roper Gets Nasty!

Roper_gop Vermont GOP Chairman Rob Roper certainly exudes that All-American-Boy look, very clean cut, straight-laced, but, boy-oh-boy Chairman Roper sure dug his teeth into Democratic House Speaker Gaye Symington with this Wednesday press release:

Symington’s company boasts green thumb
(but gives environment the finger)

For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"The left in Vermont has repeatedly used our environment as tool for partisan politics. The negligence at Intervale illustrates that they are not only hypocrites, but unworthy of Vermonters’ trust as environmental stewards.” – Rob Roper

House Speaker Gaye Symington is the Development Coordinator for the Intervale Center. This organization has just been cited by the Agency of Natural Resources as having violated the Vermont Solid Waste Management Rules, the Vermont Indirect Discharge Rules, and the conditions under which the center was certified. As a result of Intervale’s danger to the environment the Center is facing the possibility of a forced shut down in July.

It is outrageous that a project enjoying the intimate involvement of the Speaker of the House and the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, with a mission dedicated to "protecting natural resources," could be in such flagrant violation of Vermont environmental law.

Intervale is made up of a veritable who’s who of left wing politics in Vermont. The Speaker of the House is the Development Coordinator. Progressive Representative David Zuckerman farms a plot on Intervale. The treasurer for Democrat Scudder Parker’s gubernatorial campaign, Will Rapp, is the “honorary founding member.”

Check out the "Who We Are" section of Intervale's website here:

Thursday afternoon, House Speaker Gaye Symington put this baby out:

For Immediate Release
September 27, 2007

Statement by Speaker Symington regarding The Intervale Center

Symington I work for an organization that is founded on values of land preservation and environmentally sound practices.  The Intervale Center is taking the notice of alleged violations seriously and is committed to minimizing the environmental impacts of the facility. My job at the Intervale Center is to support our work and communicate the center's accomplishments: over 100 jobs in farming, healthy local food in schools, water and soil improvement, a conservation nursery, a youth farm, restoration of historical buildings, and the transformation of a former dumping ground into productive farms.

Sounds like Ol' Robbie struck a nerve, eh?

I called the Speaker's Office for comment. Had a couple questions. Was told she was "on the road" and not available.


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This does look embarassing for Symington and some others.

However, does Roper really think the GOP are better "stewards of the environment?" Remember, these are the boys who would like to boost building and development statewide by scaling back Act 250, liberalizing the septic laws, muzzling development opponents, etc., etc. He is stretching it on this one.

Doug Hoffer

Rob Roper is an opportunistic Karl Rove wannabe. I'd like to know if he commented publicly (and with such passion and derision) about the violations at the Jay Peak golf course, owned by Bill Stenger (contributor to and friend of the Gov.). [BTW - The Gov. gave Jay Peak $750,000 in CDBG money for that project.]

To some, Roper is just doing his job. But I find it way over the top. Compare his vitriol with Symington's measured and mature response. So the guy is the Governor's attack dog. How does that contribute to the general discourse?

Being a Burlington resident, I have seen the remarkable changes in the Intervale over the years. The work done there is a model for other communities all over the country. If they have a problem, I'm certain it will be addressed. But to suggest that the Center is an unworthy steward is just outrageous; and he knows it.

And BTW - To mention Will Raap (the visionary founder of the center and the owner of Gardener's Supply) was really a nice touch. Will is a prominent member of VT Businesses for Social Responsibility. The group's new director had the nerve to criticize the Governor's economic development policies recently. This is what you get if you stand up to the Governor, who cultivates an image as such a nice guy.

Slimy is the word that comes to mind.

Typically, when a big business in VT is found to be in violation of such rules, the Governor says "how can we help solve the problem". But a well respected non-profit run by "Lefties" gets the back of Roper's hand. Hypocritical and so obviously partisan that I'm sure most thoughtful people will see it for exactly what it is.


Roper and Carleton both engage in this kind of shrill partisan nonsense. It's sad. It doesn't have to be this way.


"Shrill" is right, and from where I sit, nobody pays them any mind except for other politicians or political junkies. Most people think it is "political" and then dismiss it.Wouldn't it be nice if "news" was actually just that?
This all gets very boring.


What would happen if the intervale wasn't there?

Doug Hoffer

To: g-lo

Although it's a flood plain, the Intervale has been farmed for 500 years and was the homestead for Ethan Allen.
It is the home to a very successful "community supported agriculture" program (farmers sell shares and residents receive food during the growing season). This reduces risk for farmers and brings people closer to producers and the land. It is home to numerous market farms that sell fresh organic produce to local restaurants. It is home to one of the largest biomass elecric generating facilities in the U.S. (which uses a locally produced renewable resource; creates jobs in the Northeast Kingdom; replaces imported petrochemical fuels; and is owned by the ratepayers of Burlington Electric). It is the home to dozens of community garden plots used by local residents. It is home to a very large composting facility that turns organic "waste" into a very useful commercial compost. It is home to an educational facility that helps young kids connect with the land and the farmers who grow food. It creates jobs. It is Burlington's other Waterfront and - before the Intervale Center - a neglected resource that was a dump; literally. On the other side of the river (Colchester) it is home to a functiong dairy farm. It is a rich protected ecosystem in the middle of the largest city in the state.

Is that enough?


To Doug Hoffer:

Thank you for your insight and information. Well written and well researched. Truth isn't dead after all.



"trust as environmental stewards" as opposed to who? The Gop? Roper should take his act to Vegas, because he's got me roling on the floor laughing my ass off. The Guy has stones, that's for sure.

"Intervale is made up of a veritable who’s who of left wing politics in Vermont." - What a naked political cheap shot. I'm not a huge fan of the speaker, but this is nonsense.



DOuglas doesn't comment and yet gets dragged into this debate and put down without even commenting.

The GOP never claimed they were green. THe dems and Bernie run on the issue every year, see the difference. It isn't being hypocritical if you never claimed it.

Doug, Bill Stenger does not own Jay Peak. Jay Peak is owned by a group of Canadians.

Although I agree Roper has got his panties in a bunch over much ado about nothing. Kind of linke Carleton and his tantrum about DOuglas hiring a lobbyist. Neither one deserves nearly the attention it has gotten.


Actually, your wrong. The GOP used to be very progressive when it came to evironmental protection. It is too bad they lost their way.

Ye Ol' Vermonter

"Roper is getting nasty." Naw, Roper has always been nasty, just gets more press now. His appointment as the head of the GOP will come back to haunt them. How to go "right wing."


"The GOP used to be very progressive when it came to evironmental protection. It is too bad they lost their way."

That's just one example showing that party stereotypes mean little.

Unfortunately, politicians play the game. The end result is that voters buy into the us versus them arguements that the politician's make for the sake of self preservation.

We're all stooges.

Anyone see Mitt Romney's latest tv ad?


Jeez! Relax, folks. This is what party directors and party chairs do. They issue partisan press releases. Dogs chase cats. Cats chase mice. And Republicans criticize Democrats, and vice-versa. It's the natural order of things. Isn't it great to live in a vibrant democracy?


Curt, that isn't the case in Freyneland. Here if Carelton says it is the word of god, If Roper says it then it's slander, libelous, and untrue.

Doug Hoffer

To: Curt

While it's true that that's what Party chairs do, that doesn't mean it's newsworthy. Most media find this type of useless (and destructive) conflict more interesting than discussing meaningful issues. But there's only so much time, energy, and ink so why should this crap take up so much space? This is not contributing to the health of our democracy; quite the contrary. It's a distraction that is intended to divert our attention from more important things.


I agree that Carleton and Roper are both a shrill, but Roper seems more apt to go over the top. Suggesting that Symington "gives the environment the finger" is hyberbole, to put it mildly.

Do I recall correctly he was not Douglas' choice? At some point, I agree Roper will do something the GOP will regret.


Hey If the GOP want's to suddenly to be green, let them be green.

Let's just see how GREEN they will go. Judo my friends judo. Certainly can not hurt anybody except the gasping for air far far far away galazy of the extreme right wing.

Go Roper and keep looking for other things to!! Don't stop there.

Norm Etkind


That was my first reaction. Sounds like some people screwed up and will need to fix a problem at the Intervale. Big deal - - happens all the time. With very few details about what the actual problem was and what the fix is, that's all we have.

But then "Roger" has a point. If the R's want to increase their support for the environment this could be a good thing.

Norm Etkind

paul poirier

I miss the attack commentaries from the young lad from Barre- Jim Barnet. Mr. Roper has a long way to go to be taken politically seriously.

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