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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Douglas Not Surprised

Statehouse_snow Republican Gov. Jim Douglas told reporters at his Statehouse press conference Thursday that he is not surprised by the gubernatorial candidacy of Anthony Pollina, the distinguished Progressive. Tony the Prog has come out of the candidate closet with a gubernatorial campaign ad in this week's Seven Days. He's looking for money and he's looking for paid campaign staff.

Asked about Pollina's candidacy at his weekly presser, Gov. Scissorhands said he's always assumed Pollina was running.

"He’s indicated he plans to [run] publicly," said Douglas,  "and is raising money, I understand."

Mr. Pollina continues on the WDEV radio airwaves with his one-hour afternoon talk show that airs four days each week. Asked if he thought it was kosher for Tony the Prog to continue with the talk show while running for governor, the current Guv said he was "not a federal official so I don’t know the FCC rules, but I guess I’m not too concerned about his listening audience and what impact it might have on the outcome of the election."

Q. Would you welcome him into the race?

DOUGLAS:  Well, I certainly expect a credible  well-funded opponent. I don’t know who it might be at this point. He’s certainly indicated an interest in running and there may be others. I’m really not worried about that. I’m focused on the immediate future. I’ve got a couple major presentations to the Legislature as you know.  This is a time when we’re putting together a budget in the most challenging time that I can remember.


Yours truly was late to Doug Racine's 11th-hour attempt to keep his name in play as a gubernatorial possibility.  The Ds have been getting desperate to come up with a gubernatorial horse.  Ol' Dougie called a bunch of my press colleagues refuting what appeared in a little item in Wednesday's "Inside Track" about the Chittenden County state senator [who lost to Douglas in 2002] being "not interested" in running in 2008. "Trust me," I wrote.

Funny. Racine did not call me.

Mention of the "Pollina for Governor" campaign print ad, and my comment about Racine not being interested in running [his name had been floated as a kind of last-chance Democrat possibility in the mainstream press the first week of December] made it into a story in Thursday's distinguished Brattleboro Reformer.

I'm flattered.


It also has been a hot topic over in the Green Mountain Daily Blog which Freyne Land links to column-right [a hot topic that I missed yesterday, sorry, Odum]

However, I stand by what I wrote. State Sen. Racine the distinguished auto/truck dealer is correct when he tells The Reformer I didn't call him about it. That's because we spoke face-to-face at the Statehouse.

Racine is not running for governor in 2008.

Hey, I like the guy!


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Odum -
You say you'd like to win - It frustrates me:

You're smart and thoughtful but it seems you can let your partisanship get in the way, I'm sure it's painful... but really it's pretty god-damned obvious to this observer that there won't be a Dem challenger.

Get behind Pollina! He will/can win if we get our shit together on the left and stop with the in-fighting!

The dems should put up or shut up- now!

Racine as a candidate would be exciting in a lot of ways but it really looks like Peter knows what's up- It's not happening. However you feel about it... that's just how it is, sorry.

Let's get over it and get to work.

Julie Waters

Peter, when did you talk to Racine? How long ago was the conversation and what did he say?

Tony Supporter

I will help the Pollina for Governor campaign for free.


Dear Tony Supporter: Thanks, from the Douglas campaign.

Robb Kidd

To spoiler,

Thanks for all those who keep compromising and allowing such mediocre candidates tell us what we should think. Maybe people should stop trying to play elect-ability games and vote conscientiously. Polina is the only credible candidate who can beat the Douglas days of obstruction. So, Spoiler do you want to try and run a sacrificial lamb just so the D's can have a candidate, or do you want to have a candidate who will truly represent peoples interests. Polina 2008.

sandy ward

I suppose if the Dems can't get Robert Sand to run, I'll support Pollina for Governor, too...if the Progs will accept assistance from Grassroots.


"Polina is the only credible candidate who can beat the Douglas days of obstruction . . . Polina 2008."

First, your favored candidate's name is spelled with two "L"s.

Second, whether or not the Dems put up a candidate, a majority of Vermonters will not elect Pollina to be their Governor. Especially if he is the potheads' nominee, as Ms. Ward apparently wants him to be. The Gov. will have a field day with that.

John Burgess

Odum is insightful, but the reality is Doug Racine is very smart. With the Democratic Party in the shambles it is in, he is not about to launch a long-shot candidacy unless there is a MAJOR change in the Party very soon. I regret to say that seems unlikely.
John Burgess


You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that Pollina won't even come close to the number of voters that showed up for Clavelle in '04 or Parker in '06. As a progressive Dem, even I know that's wishful thinking on the Progs part. As much as I can't stand Douglas and want him defeated, '08 will not be the year, especially since Douglas' approval numbers are the second highest in the nation among governors (John Lynch of NH is first).

Fight some other battles... like getting a REAL veto override majority!

sandy ward

Please don't be so damn jealous, want me to work for you?

Even thou I'd like to rub Clavelle's head (secret crush) he didn't have the issues. And, Parker was pretty much a joke, although I liked his commercials. So, with Presidential elections more will go to the polls and if Tony plays his cards right, there's a very good chance he'll become our next governor by stomp Douglas' chicken ass into the ground!!!


Sandy, a majority of Vermonters don't care about the progs and with only 5-6 members in the House and NONE in the Senate, don't expect much legislators to go along with Progs pipe dreams. Pollina should spend his time and efforts more wisely and grow their party. Get more progs elected in the leg and then more Vermonters "might" take that fledgiling party more seriously.

BTW, the progs tried to caucus in Dover, VT recently and NOBODY showed up. What does that tell you, huh? Oh yeah... a lot of are REALLY jumpin on bandwagon! Gimme a break.


What is it exactly you are a rouser of, Brattlerouser?


How bout shooting for looking for significant and meaningful change while staying realistic on what is and what is not achievable. It's also know as "smart" social change not nebulous sloganeering, empty rhetoric, and running for high office without a strong party or a strong number of constituents to back you up.


I guess the other thing is take back the Democratic Party with progressives. Don't go off and create a party of "litmus test" candidates. It's the polar opposite of someone or something on the left, say "The Take Back Vermont" party or some other fill in the blank conservative groups. No diversity of opinions, everybody has to be on the same page, and you can't diverge from the platform. Go ask Dexter Rowland.

IMO third party purist attempts at change is akin to priding yourself in your own marginalization. Take back the sand box, don't create a new one. Politics doesn't work that way. If not, you're barking up the wrong tree.


"nebulous sloganeering, empty rhetoric"

Interesting. That is my definition of the 1) vermont secessionist, 2) impeachment, and 3) shut-yankee-down-now "movements."

Liza Earle

I'm wondering what Brattlerouser's source is for Douglas' popularity and how recent is that source?

Last month only 42% of Vermonters polled by WCAX said they would vote for Douglas next November. 33% said they would vote for whoever else runs, and 25% said they hadn't decided. Those are not good numbers for an incumbent governor just a year before an election. They are great numbers for people who want to get behind one strong candidate to take down Douglas.

Pollina has name recognition, is an incredible speaker with charisma and fantastic ideas who can take Douglas on any day in a debate. I'm not easily impressed by politicians speeches, but I've already donated about ten hours to fundraising for Anthony.

The Dems just don't have someone this time around. They've tried three times with the Progs staying out of it and have lost. Pollina has offered to run on a two party ticket as a Progressive / Democrat. Let's unite if we're to have any chance.

Eric Davis, political scientist at Middlebury, told VPR, "I believe that Anthony Pollina could run a stronger race against Jim Douglas than any of those three Democrats. Now, Douglas is going to be hard to defeat - incumbent governors in Vermont don't lose. However, if you look at Pollina's record in the 2002 race for Lt. Governor he did quite well in the northern part of the state...and Pollina should run more strongly against Douglas in those five counties than a Democrat."

I agree with the person who wrote earlier about let's get on with it and get to work.


Liza, according to Democratic Underground Jim Douglas had a>60% approval rating. in 2005.

In 2006, Survey USA had Jim Douglas with a 63% approval rating

Not sure when that CAX poll you cited came out but if you go back to October you'll see a poll that indicates Governor Douglas's approval rating is higher than the Legislature's to boot.

I agree the Dems don't have anyone to go against Douglas but we're naive to think the Progs can get the job done, especially with a weak party behind them. How much are you going to get done with only five reps in the House and none in the Senate? You're gonna need a majority to get things done and I can just see the Dems laughing in Pollina's face should he get elected. Not to mention I could also see Pollina shit his pants, should lightning strike, and he gets elected. It's COMPLETELY naive to think a Prog can be elected governor with the weak party that it has.

Vermonter, I agree that the Vermont secessionists are the worst offenders of "nebulous sloganeering, empty rhetoric." They're also a bunch of mental masturbators too. As for impeachment, I still believe it's necessary and the right thing to do. There's an abundance of valid and verified evidence to impeach and remove from office and by all means we should continue. While I disagree with nuclear power and VY needs to go, I will say there are a lot of unintelligent activists that litter that movement and don't know shit from shinola on sound energy solutions. All they care about is shutting it down and replacing it with naive ideas without any understanding of the big picture. The only three people I do credit are Ed Anthes, Ray Shadis, and Arnie Gundersen. The rest can... you know what. They aggravate the hell out of me.


Liza says:

33% said they would vote for whoever else runs, and 25% said they hadn't decided.

Actually that's quite typical in most gubernatorial races across America, especially when it's this far out from the '08 election. The last thing on most people's minds in Vermont (at this time of the year) is who are they going to vote for in '08. Come election time you'll get a much better indication who's voting for who and why.

As far as Eric Davis' conclusions he needs to substantiate why he thinks that way. The info you provide doesn't convince me what happened to Pollina in '02 can occur again in '08. I also know Davis can elaborate his points much better than what you give him credit for.

sandy ward

The small number of Progs in Montpelier seemed quite capable of passing med mj, letting it land on Douglas' desk for him to ignore and became law.
I didn't see the dems laughing at the Progs then and I suspect they liked the pinch the Progs put Douglas in.

If the dems are serious about taking Douglas out of the governor slot, they should work with the Progs, endorse Tony and pass some sort of pro marijuana legislation that will force Douglas to veto. I know you don't like it, but it's the only way to put a glare of light on what Douglas really stands for.

And, more people are looking to support the progs simply because they have helped lead the antiwar movement in Montpelier.

So if you dems can't put out, vote for Douglas or shut the f___ up...cuz, we have work to do.

tokers need to get real

Anthony could win the Gov's seat in 2000, and couldn't win the Lt. Gov.'s seat in 2002.

And if you think "forcing" the Gov. to veto a marijuana legalization bill will make hgim unpopular with a majority of Vters, go for it. It will have the exact opposite effect.

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