Legislation

Krowinski boots Donahue from vice-chair seat, names committee chairs and members

Correction: Rep. Francis “Topper” McFaun, who replaced Donahue, voted against Article 22

by Guy Page

Vermont Speaker of the House Jill Krowinski yesterday afternoon published the list of the 2023-24 Committee chairs, vice-chairs and members. In one noteworthy move, she removed outspoken Article 22 critic Anne Donahue (R-Northfield/Barre) as vice-chair of the Health Care Committee.

Donahue was assigned to the Human Services Committee. She is an acknowledged expert on health care policy and in particular on mental health care policy. However, she also was a spokesperson for Vermonters for Good Government, the organization that vocally opposed Article 22, which enshrined abortion rights in the Vermont Constitution. Krowinski is a former lobbyist and vice-president for Planned Parenthood, an abortion rights group.

Donahue responded at noon today to a Vermont Daily Chronicle query with these comments:

My comment after the appointments were announced were specific to my being thrown off House Health Care (and stripped of vice-chair).

Since any advance information that is received is supposed to be confidential, I did not comment on it prior to that.

The single ballot issue has disturbed me for a while, but it rose in my consciousness and led to my decision to raise the issue, based on the pending committee appointments.

The Speaker met with me at noon on Tuesday. She adamantly denied it was because of my Article 22 advocacy, but her assorted rationales, as I told her, “didn’t meet the straight face test.” I was aware a week or two earlier based on the liaison work of the minority leader. But it was not a surprise to me. I made a deliberate decision of personal integrity to speak vocally on why Vermonters should understand the implications of Article 22 before voting, knowing there could be recriminations. I was also aware that the Speaker was getting pressured to remove me from Health Care for that reason. I was hoping she would have the backbone to uphold the right of dissenters to speak publicly without recrimination, but obviously she did not.

The copy of my floor comments:

Madam Speaker: Voltaire is quoted as having said, “I disagree with what you say, but I defend to death your right to say it.” When a majority party uses its institutional power to signal that it will attempt to silence voices of opposition through a committee assignment, it puts a deliberate chilling effect on open debate.

Senator Peter Welch told the news media yesterday that the US Congress needs to follow more of “the Vermont way” in how it works together. We need to take care that we are not drawing closer to how DC operates, instead of setting an example for it.
Freedom of speech is on trial, and it lost this round.

Donahue was given Rep. Francis “Topper” McFaun’s spot as ‘ranking member’ of the Human Services Committee. McFaun also voted against Article 22 [the Chronicle incorrectly stated otherwise in an earlier edition.] He was named vice-chair of Health Care.

Krowinski also appointed nine new chairs: David Durfee of Shaftsbury (Agriculture), Diane Lanpher of Vergennes (Appropriations), Peter Conlon of Cornwall (Education), Mike McCarthy of St. Albans (the renamed Government Operations and Military Affairs), Lori Houghton of Essex Junction (Health Care), Theresa Wood of Waterbury (Human Services), Martin Lalonde of South Burlington (Judiciary), Sara Coffey of Guilford (Transportation), and Emilie Kornheiser of Brattleboro (Ways and Means).

There are no Progressive Chairs. Mike Marcotte of Coventry is the only Republican chair (returning as Commerce & Economic Development chair).

Categories: Legislation

25 replies »

  1. Krowinski is so blatantly punishing oppositional voices…that’s not leadership, and it’s certainly not the Vermont way. I’ve never been ashamed to call myself a Vermonter—today I am. This State has a long history of political opposition, but it always seemed to maintain its integrity–but not anymore.

  2. Bravo Rep. Anne Donahue!

    Such pettiness from the Speaker of the House.

    Obviously Krowinski’s power to punish a person exercising free speech is more important to her than keeping the brightest mind on the Health Committee for the sake of the Vermonters she is supposed to be serving. I can just picture Krowinski and her cohorts at Planned Parenthood chuckling over it.
    Shameful.

    • It is not just those on the left that deny free speech..

      Because I spoke out about rinos that also promoted Article 22 and violated republican party rules I have been blocked by The Clarendon Republican page on Facebook.

      These fact that I speak the facts and wish for vigorous debate on all issues should NEVER be a reason to violate my constitutional rights.

      I addressed this with the chair of our republican committee, and my representatiive in Montpelier who was recently re-elected by five votes, ARTHUR PETERSON.

      He told me he DID NOT care about FREE SPEECH or CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.

      I can clearly understand why the republican party in the State of Vermont is failing.

      Does one have to wonder why people don’t participate in voting when we have representation willing to violate our constitution?

      Who in their right mind would support them?

      Without free speech we are dead in the water.

      It is wrong whoever denies it.

      As a lifelong Vermonter I am disgusted with the dissapointing performance at the hands of some in the republican party.

      If we are going to censor people we should be doing it based on rule violations not freedom of speech…

      Thank you Anne for having a backbone and defending the rights of those unable to defend themselves.

      We had republicans supporting candidates who were were supporting everything Anne was fighting against. How ironic.

      May God bless our poor little state that I love so dearly.

      We can never clean up the water until we get the pigs out of the creek.

      I can only ask others to be concerned with the sellout of Vermonters taking place a the hand of both parties.

  3. All Vermonters, regardless of party affiliation, must recognize representative Anne Donahue as the great patriot that she is – her “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” attitude should be an inspiration to us all.
    Thank you, rep. Donahue, for standing up for what is right.

  4. “When a majority party uses its institutional power to signal that it will attempt to silence voices of opposition through a committee assignment, it puts a deliberate chilling effect on open debate”.

    Now you begin to understand how Biden and many other Democrats were elected based upon what is being revealed to us through Musk’s purchase of Twitter. There in rests the Hunter laptop issue and how elections are manipulated

  5. The Committee Chairs, a.k.a. The Politburo. As fine a clutch of woke, privileged know-it-all narcissists to Lord over us all, as ever there has been.

  6. Anne Donahue: “I was also aware that the Speaker was getting pressured to remove me from Health Care for that [speaking vocally about the implications of Article 22] reason. I was hoping she would have the backbone to uphold the right of dissenters to speak publicly without recrimination, but obviously she did not.” Pressured by whom? Rather, which organization(s) that financially contributed to Krowinksi’s campaign? Krowinski is OWNED: a liar and the daughter of the father of lies. Oh, the rich irony of removing slavery in the State Constitution.

  7. Read up on the 1963 Milgram Experiments if you want to understand the human nature behind Krowinski’s authoritarianism.

  8. This is how the third world dictatorship starts. The State of Vermont has lost its soul, its luster, its independence and allure. I knew when sanders got elected it was the end of Vermont as we Vermonters knew it. I Hope burlington and montpelier implode upon themselves and their faux liberal ideology.

      • Just because I use the AZ handle doesn’t m an I am from there. How closed minded of you. But then it’s the libbie way of my way or else which got Anne removed from the committee.

  9. Good for Rep. Donoghue.
    as to krowinski, we can expect more such petulant actions from her. Not sure if she imagines herself a pelosi wannabe or following in the footsteps of mitzi johnson, whom you may recall “punished” Rep. Pat Brennan by removing him from chair of House Transportation. Regardless of her motivations or instructions from her handlers, she will continue to be a spiteful speaker.

  10. The politics of revenge continues in Montpelier. The speaker lies. Of course it had to do with Article 22.

  11. Read up on the 1963 Milgram Experiments if you want to understand the human nature behind Krowinski’s authoritarianism.

  12. Liberals you suck Beaver pond water period 💧 degusting Swamp Rats period!!
    Just keep voting for them you morons!!

  13. Is there an ethics committee she can be reviewed by? If it wasn’t illegal to do what she did she at least ought to be sanctioned!

  14. I am both angry and sad/concerned. I am angry for all of the reasons people have commented here. I am sad, and concerned, because Anne was a VERY valuable member of the Health and Welfare Comm, but I guess that isn’t important with this Legislative “leader”. Obviously, the opinions of any of us supporters of Anne are not important, and definitely not wanted. NOT the Vermont I grew up in, and very scary.

  15. No one here should be surprised. This is what liberals, progressives, socialists, marxists, communist democrats do… if you fail to obey their sickening ideologies you are punished, reeducated or in some way controlled to be negated. There really is only one cure for their infestation and that is revolution.

  16. Let the games begin. No different than 20 members of Congress standing in opposition to the “same old, same old” political power structure. Swapping out California Democrat Nancy Pelosi for California Republican Kevin McCarthy. 212 Democrats voted in “lockstep” unison and 20 Republicans stood up against the “old guard.” Hours of political theater at its finest. Anne is one Vermont House member with the guts to say and do what is right. She stuck her neck out and they lobbed off her head. Now, we will see not one of her brotheren defend her or stand with her. Uniparty exposed. From the DC swamp to the Montpelier swamp – no difference and no change to be expected from corrupted fools. The Republic, for which it stands, is swaying to and fro about to crash and splinter into the winds of history. No one to blame but the ignorant populace that refuses to wake up.

    • Actually the 20 people in Dc are trying to get America in a better path. The others are the swamp RINO Democrats that want to continue destroying America. Don’t worry when the BS ends America will be saved and it won’t be by Democrats or Republicans.

  17. No Peter The Pedophile what we need is less Democrats like you and the rest running the country and Vt into the Ground.

  18. More Woke fascism.
    Also, Article 22 also enshrined the right to murder an infant in process of being born.

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