As 2013 looms on the horizon, GMD would be remiss if we didn’t indulge in some of the customary prognostication. So here, in the spirit of holiday good humor, is a mostly optimistic if highly unlikely look forward to the New Year:
The Governor‘s first New Year resolution is that he will actually earn his designation by leftist magazineThe Nation as “Most Valuable progressive governor.” He resolves to at least think about funding healthcare subsidies for the working poor by letting a bill raising marginal tax rates on the income of the top two-percent of Vermonters become law without his signature.
Doug Racine, Deb Markowitz, and Susan Bartlett locate the whereabouts of Matt Dunne. Together they hook-up, “4 Tenors” style, to form a Greek chorus of cautionary voices. They board the bus once again to shadow the Governor everywhere he goes, reminding him to think before he speaks.
Peter Shumlin buys some pajamas, stays at home and watches “The Quiet Man” on Netflix.
Doug Hoffer finally brings some dollars and sense to the Auditor’s office. While cleaning out Tom Salmon’s desk, he discovers a ball of twine as big as a basketball, together with plans to really crank-up tourism in Newfane.
Hoffer has a moment of unease early on when he discovers a spandex Authentic Self-utilizing Power Superhero suit, mask and cape made by Acme Co. The suit, emblazoned with the name Super Tom Salmon, is immediately and safely sealed in a double strong plastic drum and stored in State of Vermont vault for eventual disposal.
Chittenden County State’s Attorney and former Attorney General candidate TJ Donovan is shocked to find his name on the list of bogus tickets written by former State Police Sgt. Jim Deeghan. “So that’s why my insurance rates went up,” he tells media. Suddenly he finds a spine and stops bending over at Deeghan’s lawyer’s insistence that the list remain private and allows the media to publish all 900-plus names.
The Air Force reveals that the “environmental” reason why Burlington airport was identified as a preferred location for the F-35 program is because of its proximity to the underground grease reservoir at Al’s French Frys.
DeveloperJeff Davis finally admits that Walmart has no intention of ever operating the store in St. Albans that was specifically permitted under Act 250. Instead, he tells us he has secretly donated the land to UVM, and that it will be developed into a Sustainable Agriculture Learning facility, featuring a model farm, a state-of-the-art composting and bio-fuel facility, and community gardens.
Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger gets federal funding to turn the Moran Plant into subsidized and ADA accessible housing, and the rehab is completed within the year, handled at cost by budding real estate tycoon Kurt Wright.
Vermont House and Senate members get real about the budget shortfall and raise marginal tax rates on the top 2%, then – despite chief enforcer Jeb Spaulding‘s toughest efforts – they override Shummy’s veto.
House Judiciary Chair Bill Lippert guides his committee and the House to reject drug-war nonsense arguments and protects Vermont citizens’ prescription records from warrantless searches by police. He arm wrestles Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Sears into getting the Senate to reject any bill containing permission for warrantless searches of the state’s prescription databases.
Senate Pres pro tem John Campbell, having spent some of the holidays in a re-education/encounter group for bullies, shows his softer and more organized side to Sens. Ashe, Baruth, Galbraith, Benning, Pollina, Snelling, and Cummings
The Supreme Court of Vermont and the Public Service Board simultaneously, and for different reasons, issue rulings declaring that Entergy Louisiana’s Yankee nuclear power plant’s violations of contracts and permits require its immediate shutdown. State fire marshals, HazMat teams and the Vermont Guard surround the plant, letting through only employees needed to shut down operations.
Legal Aid Mental Health Project Director (and GMD front pager) Jack McCullough is appointed director of the Human Rights Commission, replacing Robert Appel, who is joining the Hinesburg law firm Kohn Rath Blackwood & Danon, following Eileen Blackwood‘s appointment last year as City Attorney for Burlington.
Todd Smith of the Caledonian Record continues to spit and sneer at anything to the left of Atilla the Hun, his blood pressure medications having been increased after the last election when St Johnsbury sent two Democrats to the House in Montpelier for the first time.
Angry Jack Lindley is still angry; the ghost of Ethan Allen continues to appear at the foot of Rob Roper’s bed demanding the institute be called something else, and Tayt Brooks’ undisclosed secret location is revealed to be the basement of Lenore Broughton, who, by the way, has decided to bypass the process entirely and just bid on the Statehouse.