Monthly Archives: April 2008

What a difference two weeks make

Sen. Patrick Leahy now says it was "probably a mistake" to urge Sen. Hillary Clinton to drop out of the race for the Democratic nomination for president.

There’s more over here.

-Dan Barlow

Pro-marijuana supporters vandalize Sen. Doyle’s wiki

Supporters of long-shot gubernatorial candidate Cris Ericson, who runs on a legalize marijuana platform, have vented their political frustrations on Sen. William Doyle’s wikipedia entry.

Doyle’s wiki entry now claims that he tried to influence the 2008 Vermont presidential primary by distributing copies of his town meeting poll.

Here’s what the Ericson supporter had to say:

On March 4, 2008, Senator Bill Doyle placed a stack of material on a table a few feet from the voting box in the polling place in Chester, Vermont 05143. The material was a questionaire, question #14 was: Consider expressing your preference for the 2008 Presidential election: ___Hillary Clinton ___Mike Huckabee ___Barak Obama ___John McCain and there was no space for a write in vote and all of the other candidates were not listed. Is this material that should not be in the polling place? Why were the other candidates, like Ron Paul, left out? Was Senator Bill Doyle trying to fraudulently affect the outcome of the General Election in November by putting the IDEA into the heads of voters that ONLY these candidates had a chance to win? digital photo of material in the polling place at

-Dan Barlow

Don’t try this at home

Should it be called Blouse-gate?

Robin Orr, the director of internal services at the Department of Buildings and General Services, buys all the clothes and other materials for the Vermont government.

She told members of the Senate Government Operations Committee Wednesday that there was a reason "kerfuffle" between her office and the Vermont State Police over the new fashion of the shirts they wear as part of their uniforms.

Only Orr didn’t call them shirts. She called them blouses. Blouses?

"That’s what they are called," she said.

After telling a senator exactly how "kerfuffle" is spelled (and telling another senator exactly what the words means), Orr had some advice on how to get on the good side of a State Police trooper during a traffic stop.

"The next time you are pulled over, tell them you like their blouse," she joked.

-Dan Barlow

Only in Brattleboro

Sounds like Wednesday night’s public hearing on Vermont Yankee in Brattleboro got really interesting.

From Rutland Herald reporter Susan Smallheer:

There was even comic relief in the form of street theater. A couple dressed up as “The Nuclear Industry” and “Vermont Public Service,” walked around the room, holding hands and at one point pretending to “fornicate,” as they put it.


Wark tangled with anti-nuclear activist Gary Sachs of Brattleboro, who continued to shout out questions about Yankee, despite Wark’s request that he be quiet.

“Gary, I’m going to ask you to leave. This is your last warning or I’m going to call the police,” said Wark, who until 18 months ago was a member of the Burlington Police Department.

Wark didn’t call the police and Sachs stopped asking questions.

-Dan Barlow

Today is April 1st

A few Vermont senators thought today was the day to pull a fast one on Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie.

When the Senate began its session Tuesday morning, the first order of business was a new whistleblower bill that had been sent up through the Senate Government Operations Committee. Windham County Sen. Jeanette White, the chair of that committee, was the reporter of the bill on the floor this morning.

But when Dubie, who presides over the Senate most days, called on White to explain her bill, he instead found Chittenden County Sen. Diane Snelling in her seat. White, meanwhile, was across the room in Snelling’s seat.

Apparently, people sometimes confuse the two senators. Personally, I don’t see it.

"The chair is … a little confused," Dubie said.

Snelling, still pretending she is the senator from Windham County, gave her floor time to her "colleague from Chittenden County." White, still pretending to be the senator from Chittenden County, explained her bill and their playful ruse.

"Today we lost our own sense of who we are …" White said, before reminding those in the chamber that the bill they were about to vote on was not in fact a joke.

-Dan Barlow

Vermont comic book offends Utah students

How very odd.

A few students at the University of Utah are protesting the inclusion of the graphic novel, "Fun Home," on the reading list of an English class there.

"Fun Home" is, of course, the award-winning graphic novel by Burlington cartoonist Alison Bechdel. The comic – probably one of the best I read last year – is the true-story of Bechdel’s bizarre father, his hidden homosexuality and her own eventual coming out. TIME magazine called it one of the best books of 2007 and it’s been a huge success for Bechdel (her comic strip, Dykes to Watch Out For, runs weekly in the Seven Days newspaper).

The offended students are gripping about a handful of erotic scenes in the comic. But isn’t this a college class? Did everyone forget about Faulkner and other literary greats who got a bit spicy in their writing?

-Dan Barlow