Tag Archives: Tayt Brooks

Down the memory hole: Phil Scott’s Act 250 overhaul team strikes “climate change” from policy paper

Climate ChangeScottbalance

Vermont’s governor not only shares a name and party with Florida’s GOP governor but he apparently shares Governor Rick Scott’s documented problem using the term climate change. While using a maneuver right out of Florida’s playbook here in Vermont, Phil Scott’s administration has been caught eliminating the term climate change from proposed changes to Act 250 the state’s environmental development law.

The scoop from the Burlington Free Press: At issue is a report by Scott administration officials that was submitted in October to legislators who are reviewing the nearly 50-year-old land-use law. As part of their review, legislators are looking specifically at whether development should be judged through the lens of climate change during the Act 250 permit process.

Tayt Brooks  remember him? founder of right-wing conservative super pac Vermonters First, who now works as Director of Affordability and Economic Growth Initiatives for Phil Scott took credit (or blame) for the editing climate change. Tayt Brooks, […] said the Scott administration remains receptive to possible provisions in Act 250 that would address climate change.

“We didn’t view it as a substantial change,” Brooks said of the edits.

He pointed out that the final draft of the administration’s report suggests that lawmakers’ review “should include consideration of climate change in Vermont.”

Yeah, right: consider it but for god’s sake don’t write it or say it out loud!

Governor Scott (ours) after a little trouble with the issue during his campaign  in 2016 he was evolving  has made some encouraging noises about climate change since taking office. He was even tagged recently by governing.com as a glowing example of : “[…] today’s moderate governors.” Phil may have trouble with that moderate label if he continues to try to have try to have it both ways on climate change especially if he lets Tayt Brooks edit his policy proposals.

So, Tayt, when and where did you have your memory hole installed?

Tayt Brooks finds a job

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.


Executive Director Concern Troll and his favorite Jim-Dog Democrat

One piece of news that slipped by during all the Obama buzz (and my own writer’s block) was a change of guard in Vermont GOP-land. Developer lobbyist Tayt Brooks has taken over as the Executive Director of the badly floundering State Republican Party (here’s a link from the Freeps blog, which only a couple weeks ago seemed in danger of withering away, but has lately seemed re-energized). The Vermont GOP, under Jim Barnett (now of the McCain campaign), became little more than a Douglas re-election office, leaving legislative races dangling badly and throwing sporadic support to the occasional statewide race, such as Dubie’s or former Auditor Randy Brock. It is this Republican Party that has allowed nearly-veto-proof Democratic majorities in the legislature to flourish, and are letting a freshman Democratic US Representative who was elected in a tough race and has faced continuing pressure from the left waltz back into office, seemingly without a challenger.

Seriously – who’d want that job?

But Brooks’s new role may (or may not) require him to reassess where he offers his support. Some may remember that Brooks was caught by JDRyan concern trolling on this blog under the name Pizzaman. Brooks was trolling in defense of Jim-Dog Dem, Rep. Jon Anderson of Montpelier, who is facing a primary challenge from Mayor Mary Hooper (who can be seen near the beginning of this video from the State Democratic Convention).

Why would Republican Brooks be defending the honor of a Democrat? Small wonder, really. Anderson was appointed to the position following the retirement of Rep. Francis Brooks by Governor Douglas, who broke tradition and rejected all the candidates proposed by the local Democrats (who had soundly rejected Anderson’s bid for the slot). “Democrat” Anderson was a Douglas campaign contributor, and his first action in office was to uphold a Douglas veto, earning the wrath of the Speaker’s office, and a quick boot off the committee he had first been assigned to, where the former Developer lawyer would have been in a position to push the Governor’s “New Neighborhoods” agenda. Anderson has been frantically trying to reinvent himself as a Montpelier liberal to insure his re-election.

Don’t bet on that likelihood, as Anderson has gone up against Hooper in the past – for the Mayor’s office – where he came in a distant third to Hooper and Progressive stalwart Marge Power. Rumors already abound that Anderson will simply avoid the primary and run as an independent. For a graphic explaining the nature of this political dynamic, click here.

Brooks was entertaining for a few days though, strongly implying that he was a Montpelier area Democrat jumping to the defense of his embattled Representative who represented the true heart of the people. Here are some choice quotes:

Huh???  Poorly treated???  How do you think someone who was a former Democratic City Chair might feel by getting shafted by a back room deal?  Seems to me the person who should be pissed the most in all of this is how Anderson got treated by his own city caucus.

Hmm… the interesting thing I hear around the city is how much (GMD Front Pager Jack) McCullough is hurting his creditability (sic).

Mr. Odum, do you think with that head???  I tell you what, you are pissing off a lot of moderates around this city with your attack style politics.

You guys could just… y’know… get your own blog. Well, except for the problem that nobody would care.