Guess who’s getting his hands on the cookie jar?
Governor Elect Phil Scott announced a number of appointments today, but the one that really piqued my interest was that of St. Albans’ own Tayt Brooks who will serve as “director of affordability and and economic initiatives.”
As you may recall, Brooks occupied space in the Douglas administration as “economic development commissioner.” It sounds pretty much like his old job has simply been rebranded to protect the innocent.
It’s an interesting position for Brooks who formed his own superPAC, Vermonters First, and famously coaxed Leonore Broughton into parting with north of $100,000. in 2012, laboring and bringing forth a goose egg for Republicans in statewide elections…other than that of incumbent Lt. Gov., Phil Scott.
As director of that superPAC, Brooks got himself into hot water over having dinner with gubernatorial candidate Randy Brock during the 2012 campaign. That’s strictly a no-no, as it has the optics of coordination between the campaign and the supposedly “independent” superPAC. Of course we believed that the topic of the election campaign was never even mentioned!
In that same election cycle, Vermonters First sent Franklin County voters an absentee ballot request to complete that resembled an actual ballot and apparently confused many voters.
As I recall, the activities of the superPAC belied the notion of anything that could remotely be considered“coordinated”…or even competent!
One ham handed-flyer distributed by VF-PAC was so garish and badly designed that we at GMD speculated that Brooks had amateurishly designed it himself on his own computer, so that less of Ms. Broughton’s dough went out the door. Would that was all! The flyer also featured the Seal of the State of Vermont. On campaign literature, that is also a big “no-no,” and even caught national attention.
Leonore was at it again in the 2016 cycle, even though Vermonters First appears to have evaporated. The entire superPAC depended upon one donor, and I suspect she figured she could do just as well (or poorly) without Brooks ministrations. At least she bagged herself a governor this go-round.
Anyway, I don’t know about you, but I plan to put the office of “affordability and economic iniitatives” on speed-dial at my house.
There are a whole lot of affordability challenges that Mr. Brooks ought to be tackling, like telephone, cable and internet service; prescription drugs, textbooks…and fresh fruits and vegetables! The list goes on and on.
Somehow I suspect Mr. Brooks attention will not be devoted to making ordinary Vermonters’ lives more affordable; the ones who are just struggling to get by. It’s pretty easy to guess that this office will have its laser focus on making business (and I don’t mean Mom & Pop operations) more “affordable.” That’s where the “incentives” come in. We’re not talking free in-state tuition for students who commit to living and working here after college graduation. We’re talking tax cuts, custom infrastructure and other goodies for the likes of IBM.
I suppose Brooks was bound to get office space from Scott. Hopefully, the governor won’t allow him to play with scissors.