Dame: Corrupted Process

by Paul Dame

Image by Yatheesh Gowda from Pixabay

Last week’s passage of S.5 the Clean Heat Standard was a demonstration of the corruption of the representative process in Montpelier.  The vast majority (over 90%) of Democrats chose to listen to their party leadership and their favorite lobbying firms instead of listening to the voices of their constituents in one of the most overwhelming displays of citizen engagement we’ve seen in years.

Democrats have become emboldened to not only ignore the voices of the Republican minority, but they have now decided that they do not need to listen to the very voters who elected them to office.

Vermonters do not want to go down this road of severely punishing rural, poor and older Vermonters for heating their homes with the only means available to them.  Vermonters do not want to eliminate local family-owned fuel dealers and put 100% of our energy needs in the hands of Quebec’s Gaz Metro, who owns both Green Mountain Power’s electricity company, and Vermont Natural Gas.  Vermonters are independent and we want our energy options to be independent too.  Vermonters do not want a new expensive program administered by unelected bureaucrats who are unaccountable to voters.  Nor do they want a system which favors foreign-owned energy suppliers instead of locally owned distributors.

The fact that House Democrats claim they are taking us down the road slower than the original senate bill does not mitigate the fact that they are taking us in the wrong direction.  This policy centralizes more of our energy out of the hands of local operators and into the hands of large foreign-owned corporate conglomerates.

The other aspect of the corruption of the process comes from the fact that this bill could be outright unconstitutional because it is taking away power from the people’s representatives in both the legislature and the Governor’s office, and gives that power to an unelected, unaccountable group of bureaucrats who don’t have to care whether what they are doing is good for the people of Vermont.  Ironically Democrats are undermining the principles of democracy and self-rule, instead replacing it with an insulated oligarchy.

One legislator recently said they had received more email and phone calls about S.5 than any other bill in over a decade of service.  The people of Vermont are doing their job: telling their representatives not to vote for this bad bill.  But one has to ask, why aren’t Democrats in leadership doing their job in listening to people on the one issue they’ve been more outspoken about than anything else before?

The real reason, although they’ll never admit is, is that they think they know better than the people who write to them.  The have a fundamentally flawed view of their role in Montpelier.  Democrats have gotten into the habit of ignoring voices that disagree with them, calling them racist, homophobic, fascist, and many more.  Too many listen only to their own party leadership’s echo chamber and ignore everything outside of.  But when they ignore even the people they represent – then the system may be corrupted.  I have a more optimistic view that the system isn’t corrupted yet, but some of the people in it may be.  And just like a corrupted part of any system, it will need to be replaced.

As a former legislator, I completely understand taking a position because a lobbyist has explained their side to you, and it sounds pretty convincing.  But if overwhelming contact from their constituents is not enough to encourage their legislators to think and act independently, voters have to ask themselves “Is there anything that WILL encourage Democrats to do the right thing in the future if they ignore us here?”

The author is an Essex Junction resident and chair of the Vermont Republican Party.

Categories: Commentary

16 replies »

  1. And so how will the VT GOP as an organization work in cooperation with associated groups (such as local gas/fuel dealers) in this situation to make the Vermont citizenry AWARE of what this Democrat SUPER MAJORITY – one without checks & balances – do to correct this and PREVENT this from continuing to take place?

    Here the VT GOP has a sterling opportunity to work with and amongst the people of Vermont to get the word out about these corrupt politicians and to get the word out simultaneously about the imitativeness of having a two-party system returned.

    Please tell us what steps the VT GOP is going to take under circumstances we may never see again. Inaction is not an option here.

    • I think Kathleen Gaffney has the right idea. If the VTGOP does not take advantage of the opportunity to expose the corruption and self interest of the pushers of S5 they do not deserve my support. The legislators who ignore their constituents or stand to gain by this bill should be exposed and called out by name. The arrogance and nerve of legislators like Senator MacDonald need to be well advertised.

  2. The ROOT of the issue is the Democrats placing an unelected body in charge of Vermont’s “climate response”. The unelected Climate Commission should immediately be disbanded and replaced by a democratically elected body who must answer to the citizens of Vermont. If, it is needed at all.

  3. Except for stating the obvious, this is again, Mr. Dame doing nothing. I have seen no commercials on the TV, radio, or over the internet in streaming. Only stuff for what the Dems are pushing. Why no word from the VT GOP. Here’s a guess. They don’t want to spend any money to combat the left as they do lip service only. I see stuff about what they (the dems) want all the time on streaming channels like Pluto and I am amazed that I NEVER see something from the VTGOP. No ads on Sirius, no telling clip during an episode of anything… But the Dems apparently know what they are doing…. Smearing the airwaves with EV, Abortion , trans, Foster care (in other words “we want your kids” to programs), having their Pac groups and lobbyist dictate policy and where is the VTGOP??… writing letters to papers that only serve to show they can state the obvious. I have been to meetings, they are disorganized and in some cases totally uneducated in more than one way in what is happening by the Dems. No, all you do is ignore those who do not give money to people who apparently don’t know how to spend it for the party to be more than it is today or to return it to what it was. You sir need to be replaced. You waste our time. As you have done to me. Would you like me to tell everyone how you sabotaged my attempts to run. No you don’t want them to kbnow how this black man was rejected by the VTGOP w/ a shorter deadline then everyone else. 3 days to be exact. Really shows how you want change. Shows how you really are just about getting your check for your position and making sure any “undesirables” don’t get into the mix, like a good VTGOP who acts like a typical DEM. nuff said.

  4. I, too, am frustrated with the passage of S.5. Arthur Peterson does a fantastic short review of what is happening in our VT government when they are in session. I applaud Arthur for taking the time to explain the bill, his opinions on the bill, who introduced the bill, if the bill was voted on, along with the count, and how the vote was done. He is as angry about the bill passing as we are. We need Scott to, once again, veto this outrageously absurd, unaffordable S.5 bill. I’m beyond upset with the democrats and rhinos. Thry do whatever they please and to hell with their constituents, US, and what we are telling them and explaining to them what we need, just to be completely ignored.

  5. I’d like to know who is pocketing all the monetary donations to the Vermont GOP? Surely they pay for more than vapid commentaries like this? I’m beginning to wonder if Vermont Republicans are not getting their money’s worth… hmmm…

    • 100% correct. BEST case scenario is that they are all RINO’s which I know for certain Mr. Dame apparently is – another “never Trumper”…….I guess keep the swamp rats happy. Status quo. Status quo. Status quo. Try nixing the demure, laid-back “I’m a Birkenstock-wearin’ Vermonter” nonsense! You are supposed to be taking on a bunch of California/Chicago/NYC/NJ jack-booted tyrants who have taken over YOUR State House. Try some Cojones.

      We donated one year & saw first-hand how they treated candidates, spent little money, and didn’t like any “controversy” or pro-active/assertiveness being employed. That was our first AND last year of donating.

      But what do you expect from a State GOP that hosts a passionless out-of-state defeated gubernatorial candidate who is a part of said swamp to tell Vermont how to run a “successful” campaign? Ridiculous.

    • I’d love to hear more about what money you think the party is rolling in? Unlike the dems, the gop has very little money and no real activist groups to echo the message.
      That isn’t to say it wouldn’t be great to be doing better. Perhaps some people could also support the republicans that actually win elections and help find more candidates who actually have a chance to be elected. Fun fact- candidates need to be palatable to the majority of their voters. This means their likability and their positions on issues have to attract voters.

  6. I figured out quite a few years ago that there is NO democrat party; there is NO Republican party. There is only the UNIPARTY. They all love their power and money.

    If you think for one moment that they work for YOU, get real.

    Remember the Emperor Obama years? When he announced he had his “pen and phone”? Remember that the congress simply ran in circles wringing their hands crying “OH NO look what he’s done-you can’t blame US.” Am I the only one who understood there were laws in place to prevent that very behavior?

    Vermont is no different. Drunk with power they push the envelope to get what they want. And what is it they want you, may ask.

    Let’s start with the recent pay raise they gave themselves. Who EVER said it was okay to give oneself a raise??? In this capacity isn’t that for ME to decide?

    Let’s look into the ILLEGAL ALIENS they bused, in the wee hours of the morning, on the Vermonter’s dime. The same ILLEGAL ALIENS who are given more money to live on than American seniors on social security. The same ILLEGAL ALIENS who immediately got housing at no cost. You know, the affordable housing that AMERICANS had been on the list to get but were kicked off to help “the poor refugees”. The same ILLEGAL ALIENS who, b/c they are here now, were provided food stamps taken from the AMERICAN elderly and poor. Here. In. Vermont.

    Progressives are an incredibly selfish self-absorbed cult. That makes them dangerous to real Americans. They don’t want us. We cause problems for them by having the nerve to object to being raped day after day after day. We should apologize for being in their way. After all, they already have their new (illegal in every way) voter stock.

    Americans are getting starved and frozen with the use of OUR OWN MONEY. Are you getting that???
    Am I the only one who truly understands this take over??? When was the last time you really felt that your vote was counted? LITERALLY COUNTED. How long do you sit at your desk whining and moaning about how upset you are???

    They imported the ones they set up to be SELECTED. Not ELECTED. With lots and lots of money. (Can you say Becca Balint?) They came to take over, and they sure have. They are thieves. In broad daylight.

    Finally, getting back to the immediate subject: Have you seen the solar panels suddenly popping up destroying Vermont’s beauty? Spare me the “good for the environment” rhetoric. For who??? How about Canada!!!

    Your day is coming, Commies.

    • I agree, 100%, with everything you said. The last truly elected president was JFK, and look what the CIA did to him. Disgusting. It’s all about money and control. We will lose the rest when the WHO takes over.
      If there are, indeed, white hats (which I’m seriously beginning to doubt), they had best slip it into high gear, or the USA will be unsalvageable.

  7. The Ethan Allen Institute, and the Republican party is drenched with oil money, and has their own undisclosed conflicts with the people’s trust. They support a former criminal President who dosen’t want or take responsibility for any thing. So cynical. The Goal of S. 5 is to put consumers in Vermont in a better place when comes to heating their homes. The opposition only cares about market share of their sacred cow, fossil fuels.

    • ALL of the D.C. swamp is drenched with comprised money whether it be with your Joe Biden & Son sittin’ pretty with Communist Chinese $$, Big Pharma, Big Tech, Insider Trading, – get REAL. Talk about CRIMINALITY? Biden ought to be in handcuffs for openly VIOLATING US federal immigration law and obviously selling out this entire nation to the likes of the Chinese. I’ll pick a Prez all day long who “paid off” a mistress to keep her mouth shut – something JFK did with great regularity – as opposed to selling your very soul for “friends with benefits”.

      The VT government, overflowing with non-Vermonters – needs to serve the PEOPLE, not THEIR self-interests. And they need to keep their nose out of MY personal business which includes WHAT type of auto I wish to drive & how I wish to heat my home. Out-of-my-grill, fascists!

      You have TWO jobs to do, “lawmakers”: PROTECT & SERVE. You are NOTHING more than PUBLIC SERVANTS. MY public servants.

      • A lot of good points here from Kathleen. I may add – that our delusional Public Servants believe they are “lawmaker saviors.” I also ask that all the people who feel strongly about our dim situation, please take action everyday in some form to uphold our America. The path forward is to take action.

        In other news: The latest crazy pants decision by the DNC is to forego any debates among the Dem presidential candidates. This is a huge slap in the face to our nation… or maybe a sucker punch.

  8. They will continue to pound this round peg into the square hole till the last breath of their constituents.
    To quote Animal House, “Thank you sir, can I have another”.