Updated: Shame on you, Mr. Shumlin!

Here is a link to Al Norman’s article on Sprawl-Busters about the Governor’s endorsement of Walmart.


Good for the Vermont Natural Resources Council, once more doing the dirty job that no one ever seems to want to do!  

They’re calling out the Governor for endorsing developer Jeff Davis’ plan to put a Walmart in the little town of Derby.  He’s comparing location of that gargantuan poverty mill to Bill Stenger’s high-end plans for neighboring Newport.

All I can say is, if they are in any way the same, we’d better take a much closer look at Mr. Stenger’s intentions.

The VNRC’s remarks are far more polite than my thoughts at the moment:

We’re especially disappointed to see the Governor supporting big box sprawl. We are very concerned that this development – which is the wrong scale in the wrong place – will undermine Newport City, one of the many downtowns that the State and so many others have been working hard to revitalize.

Governor Shumlin is making precisely the same statements about Walmart coming to Derby that Jim Douglas made a decade ago about St. Albans.  

To this seasoned veteran of the Walmart wars, Peter Shumlin might as well be a Republican.

Let’s review:

.He opposes increased tax contributions from the wealthy.

.He avoids offending the NRA

.He would fund education by reducing the Earned Income Tax Credit upon which poor families depend.

.He has demonstrated contempt for rules protecting our streams

…And now he endorses the “Walmartification” of Vermont.

He even parrots the same lie about folks being unable to buy underwear locally that was a feature of the ignorant arguments for Walmart in St. Albans.  

It is beyond me to guess what kind of special underwear Mr. Shumlin imagines is available only at Walmart; but those of us who live and shop in the real world are fully capable of buying cheap underwear and socks in either St. Albans or Newport.  My guess is that he gets his own knickers from far pricier places than JC Penney and the dollar store.

The Governor has disappointed me a-plenty over the past couple of years, but never more so than when he endorsed the completely false premise that Walmart means local prosperity.  

He’s “hopeful it won’t be greeted with lots of opposition” and hints darkly at “forces outside the Kingdom” which he fears might get involved.  

I’m hopeful that there will be plenty of opposition; and as someone “outside the Kingdom” will welcome the opportunity to share all that we in the Northwest Citizens For Responsible Growth have learned throughout the past decade about how Walmart impacts communities and how Mr. Davis works his way through the permit processes.

I wonder whether, over in the Kingdom, the Governor has as casually appointed District Commissioners as he did here in District 6?

When he had barely assumed office, aided in no small part by the efforts of progressive minded folks like myself who abhor the exploitation of Walmart,  the Governor made it clear that his loyalty is to the monied class of developers and pocket padders.  

Brushing aside our objections, he reappointed as commissioner, a man whose family business has recently re-located from downtown St. Albans City to Exit 20, so as to take advantage of the Walmart and other potential development out there; all of which has been and will be under review by that commissioner.  

Not surprisingly, Davis’ Walmart slipped through Act 250 like butter.

Anyone like that on the District Commission for Derby?

About Sue Prent

Artist/Writer/Activist living in St. Albans, Vermont with my husband since 1983. I was born in Chicago; moved to Montreal in 1969; lived there and in Berlin, W. Germany until we finally settled in St. Albans.

21 thoughts on “Updated: Shame on you, Mr. Shumlin!

  1. When was Shumlin not a Republican?

    “He opposes increased tax contributions from the wealthy.

    He avoids offending the NRA

    He would fund education by reducing the Earned Income Tax Credit upon which poor families depend.

    He has demonstrated contempt for rules protecting our streams

    …And now he endorses the “Walmart-ification” of Vermont.”

    If it walks and talks like a Republican…

    Endorsing the impoverishment of an entire region and the Detroit-ification of an entire town’s economic downtown is NOT a Democratic or Progressive proposal.

    WalMart’s business model is to crush all local small businesses into dust and impoverish the American people by outsourcing well paying manufacturing jobs to slave-labor nations and then ordering all US companies to compete with overseas zero-wage jobs, while paying their ‘associates’ as little as is legally possible so that they qualify for foodstamps, all so they can use Capitalism to steal every penny the Walton Family can get their greedy hands on from their employees and vendors.

    Why does Shumlin want that for Vermont?  This is the opposite of Vermont’s local support tradition, and the opposite of the downtown revitalization programs, and the opposite of bringing good paying jobs to Vermont and the opposite of all plans to reduce poverty in the state.

    I keep hearing people say that Shumlin is a Democrat and that we don’t need the Progressive Party anymore because the Dems are more enlightened now .  But reality doesn’t bear that out.

  2. And Shumlin is pushing the natural gas pipeline tearing up Chittenden county communities in the name of public good for Vt when in reality the majority of the gas is going to Int Paper in NY?

  3. Not alone in your takeaway re the import of his recent activities. Totally on the same page as the Herald/Times Argus, they both had this in today’s editorial:

    Impersonating a Republican

    January 17,2013

    Gov. Peter Shumlin may think he is pulling a Howard Dean-like maneuver, confounding liberals in his own party in order to demonstrate a fiscally conservative approach to social problems and establishing credibility with the business community.


  4. I understand that the voters in this community have voted multiple times on this and have expressed a desire for this development. One such “non-binding” vote confirmed overwhelming support with voters voting 2,592 to 411 to support the store. While it may be argued that voter referendum is somehow a usurpation of the development processes required, it should hold some weight. These votes aren’t even close. I’m not a supporter of Wal-Mart philosophically or monetarily, but I’m uncomfortable with my objections/opinions trumping the will of those community members who participated in a democratic process. Why am I wrong to think this way? Am I dismissed as a Republican, too?

  5. I missed the full press conference, but I assume the Gov’s excited endorcement of another Wal-Mart went along side a proposal to increase funding to the EITC, LIHEAP, food stamps, Medicaid/Catamount Health, higher ed grants, and public transportation (as well as increased hiring in the state agencies which oversee each program), as nearly all the jobs created at Wal-Mart are for low wages and part-time hours, ensuring an increased need for these programs (ie, the public subsidizing of the profits which will go to the Walton family).

  6. Another scoop Sue, I think ya started something:

    Margolis: Walmart’s low-cost goods come at a high price

    by Jon Margolis | January 22, 2013

    The Great Northeast Kingdom underwear hoax returned to Vermont last week.

    The hoaxer-in-chief was Gov. Peter Shumlin.


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