politics

Big wind developer Blittersdorf gives $1000 to Dem House candidate Sims

by Guy Page

Katherine Sims, the Democratic candidate in a highly-contested House race, has received $1000 in campaign donations this year from wind power developer David Blittersdorf, election records show. 

Sims and Republican Vicki Strong are both incumbents. But the 2022 Vermont Legislature created a new district, Orleans 4 (Albany, Craftsbury, Glover, and Greensboro) pitting two incumbents against each other in the one-seat district. 

Vermont Secretary of State campaign finance records show that Blittersdorf made one $500 donation on May 9, and another $500 donation on August 11 – two days after the August 9 primary. 

Blittersdorf is Vermont’s leading developer and backer of wind power. He led a partnership that erected the Georgia Mountain four-turbine project in Milton. He opposed local government intervention in Green Mountain Power’s Kingdom Wind project in Lowell, pooh-poohing some residents’ concerns about health effects. His 2015 proposed Kidder Mountain wind turbine project in Irasburg faced immediate, organized community pushback. It was not built. 

Blittersdorf is also a longtime member of the Board of Directors of VPIRG, the influential lobby group that has consistently supported legislation and permitting to for construction and subsidization of wind power in Vermont. He also is a solar power developer and has lobbied hard for state funding to build tracks between Montpelier and Barre for several self-propelled diesel-powered commuter train cars he owns. 

The contributions may be significant because Blittersdorf is known in State House circles as a generous campaign donor who closely watches the voting records of his campaign contribution recipients. The winner of the Orleans-4 race will have a vote in the next session’s renewable power and climate change legislation. 

Like all other Democrats (except one), Sims voted to override Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of the Clean Heat Standard last year. The veto failed only because a retiring Democrat lawmaker, Tom Bock of Chester, voted with Republicans – including Strong. The Clean Heat Standard would have siphoned money from fossil fuel sales to pay for renewable power and energy efficiency projects. 

Categories: politics

11 replies »

  1. Thanks for reporting this, Guy. Although I may disagree with Blittersdorf’s position, there is nothing wrong with him supporting candidates that vote along the lines of his beliefs . . . don’t we all do the same?

    • And that may be true so why shouldn’t we know about who’s buying who’s vote. Would you have known about this contribution if you hadn’t seen it here? Bleach is a good disinfectant and so is transparency. Thank you Guy for pointing out that the Donor is heavily invested in ripping down our ridge lines so he can amass some more billions for himself to run his train car around Vermont as he destroys the natural beauty of the state. Another wealthy jerk buying votes from indoctrinated lefties running for office.

    • Ms. Thurston has done the work to show the ‘crony capitalism’ so evident in Vermont
      state politics. It is there for all to see and it is way past time for voters to hold elected ‘representatives’ accountable for it. In a fair examination of ‘climate change’ actual evidence, we may find the evangelists seeking to reconfigure society and line their pockets really have lied to all of us for decades.
      Blittersdorf is but one player in this scheme, as is VPIRG. They have however- become a cabal to promote ‘climate change’ as a foundation for their businesses.
      VPIRG’s manipulation of legislators to arrive at the GWSA is evident, with VPIRG becoming a beneficiary of the ‘lawsuit clause’ in the GWSA. Blittersdorf now owns Budd railcars with nowhere to run them. His plan is to- at astronomic taxpayer expense upgrade the existing rail line between Barre and Montpelier to run his cars as a taxpayer subsidized commuter rail. These cars are not Battery-Electic vehicles, but diesel electric. 1950’s technology. All at taxpayer expense.
      “The climate change agenda is a larger picture scheme all about power and control.  Downstream mechanisms of government, and institutions in the private and financial sector, collaboratively created by people in power, want to take advantage of the fraudulent dynamic for increased influence and affluence.
      The love of money is always at the root of evil enterprise.   The Build Back Better / Green New Deal is ultimately about controlling people and assembling more wealth amid a small tier of self-described elites.  Inflation that crushes the working class around the world is an outcome of this larger dynamic of manipulating energy.
      “The Great Reset” is designed to the benefit of the few.” (CTH, 10/25/22)
      We need to pay attention to Ms. Thurston- and her words. She is adding to the obvious evidence of the political gamesmanship and crony capitalism our super majority legislature uses to manipulate and enrichen themselves. Washington DC may be the ‘swamp’- Montpelier isn’t far behind.

    • Beware the progressive/liberal false dichotomy – ‘We All Do It’. No, we don’t! The issue here isn’t that someone donates to a politician with whom they agree, and then expects something in return. Yes, “…we all do the same”. But that’s not the point to this VDC article.

      What is important is that this fellow, Bittersdorf, is not only a wind and solar power developer. He’s a longtime member of the Board of Directors of VPIRG, the influential lobby group that has consistently supported legislation and permitting for construction and subsidization of wind and solar power in Vermont.

      And Bittersdorf is not the only blatant example of this crony capitalism. Remember Duane Peterson and James Moore, VPIRG board members who transformed their pilot program, ‘VPIRG Energy’, into ‘Solar Communities’ (SunCommon), and then sold their company for $40 million.

      It’s not that Bittersdorf develops and profits from wind and solar power ventures that is problematic. But it is a gross conflict of interest that he sits on the largest so-called nonprofit consumer and environmental advocacy organization in the state. VPIRG may have IRS non-profit status. But it is anything but “…a non-partisan public interest advocacy” group. And its calling card (‘Vermont Public Interest Research Group’) is as deceptive as the plethora of other misleading titles facing us these days.

      Be it the National Education Association, the Affordable Care Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, the Reproductive Liberty Amendment – these titles are oxymorons intended to deceive a public that otherwise doesn’t understand how deceptive their representatives have become.

      Thanks to Guy Page, and others, for pointing out these false dichotomies and allowing commentary that gives us readers the opportunity to expose these wolves in sheep’s clothing.

  2. It’s amusing that so many gullible people think democrats care about the environment. It’s always about the money.

  3. Contributions to a candidate are one thing………. at what point does this become Vote Buying ?

  4. I ve voted for Independents and Republicans this year more than ever. I m anti Trump. That was a divisive self idolization Clown act, that holds zero interest for me. The absence of Law and Order and whatever misguided plan the Progressives have deteriorated into,has altered my usual Labor Democrat leanings. Defund the Police during an overlooked Opioid Crisis? We have wind turbines on Searsburg Mountain in Southern Vermont that produce electric and seem fine to me. It looks like a combination of Nature and man’s ingenuity. No fuels or energy source need anymore taxes right now, but the more people other than me who use solar, wind or hydro, leave plenty of cheap gas for myself and my gas pickup. Why would I oppose alternative energy sources?

    • The clown act you referenced is occurring now. Of course you don’t like Trump, you are a recovering liberal and a member of the me generation. You like labor unions, the organizations that donate to the democrats to raise prices and taxes on everyone. I’ll never understand the thoughts of a liberal. Everything that was in the news about Trump was manufactured by the left and yet under constant attack from the ft and the media he ran the country better than all previous professional politicians. You may not like him but he’s coming back for his revenge term and I can’t wait.

    • Mr. Branley, it’s not just VPIRG. Again, beware the false dichotomies put forth by the progressive politicians you are learning to question. That there are wind turbines on Searsburg Mountain that seem fine to you belies the underlying problem. Not only are those turbines heavily subsidized with taxpayer dollars, GMP pays about 18 cents per kwh for the electricity they generate. Meanwhile, Hydro Quebec (HQ) is offering Vermont all the power it needs for about 6 cents per kwh.

      Now consider that HQs parent company owns GMP. Also try to understand that Vermont’s Public Utilities Board sets the rates GMP can charge its customers and that GMP profits are based on a percentage of how much GMP spends to provide electricity. In other words, the more GMP spends, the more profit it can make. And because GMP is a regulated monopoly, it simply passes on the added costs to its customers.

      And why does the PUC allow this cronyism? Well, one of its three board members, arguably the three most powerful appointees in Vermont, is Margaret Cheney. And she has virtually no experience in energy related business management. So, why is she a PUC commissioner? Because her husband, Peter Welch, is a longtime U.S. House representative who sits on various energy committees that allocate federal tax money to chosen organizations.

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