House Speaker Mitzi Johnson – “I’m the Nancy Pelosi of Vermont” – asks Shelburne donors to help defeat House GOP incumbents
By Guy Page
November 19, 2019 – Speaking at a Democratic Party fundraiser at Shelburne Vineyard November 4, House Speaker Mitzi Johnson (D-Grand Isle) said “I’m the Nancy Pelosi of Vermont,” listed climate change and reproductive rights as legislative action items, and asked donors to help Democratic challengers defeat Republican incumbents, the Shelburne News reported today.
Correspondent Lisa Scagliotti wrote: “Tuesday’s fundraiser was to support Democratic House candidates, Johnson said, in those Vermont districts currently held by Republicans. `We picked up 12 seats last time,” the speaker said. “We’ve got a few more to go.’”
Up for grabs in 2020 is the Democratic/Progressive majority’s ability to confidently override any veto by a Republican governor. At present the House has 43 Republicans, which – with a few ‘blue dog’ Democrats – can often muster enough votes to sustain a governor’s veto.
The story continued:
“In her remarks, Speaker Johnson pointed to issues she hopes will dominate the 2020 legislative session, such as passing paid family leave and increasing the minimum wage; measures to address climate change, clean water and women’s reproductive rights also top her list.
“And in a nod to the informal setting with attendees milling around the vineyard’s bar sipping wine and noshing on appetizers, Johnson shared some personal observations of her role.
“’As a side note, can I just say how incredibly excited I am to share my title of ‘Madam Speaker’ with Nancy Pelosi?’ she told the crowd, referring to the speaker of the U.S. House and Democratic Congresswoman from California.”
“Johnson got the biggest laugh of the evening when she shared an anecdote of attending an out-of-state leadership conference where she needed to explain her job. She said she summed it up with: `I’m the Nancy Pelosi of Vermont.’”
Pro-life activists in Vermont are unsure which ‘reproductive rights’ legislation may be taken up this year. The proposed constitutional amendment to enshrine abortion as a civil right will go to voters in a statewide referendum November, 2020. Legislative action may be needed to continue the estimated $750,000 to Planned Parenthood, to replace lost federal Title X money.