6-8-16 – The Shumlin/Smith Culture of Crony Corruption

by Rob Roper

Governor Shumlin’s veto of the renewable energy siting bill, S.230 is an example of the worst crony politics and policy making that has become increasingly part of the State House culture under one-party rule.

The issue: On the one side, Vermonters overwhelmingly want more say in how renewable energy projects are sited in their communities, particularly in respect to health issues associated with noise coming from the turbines. On the other hand, the Renewable Energy Industry wants no restrictions on where they put their projects or how much noise they make. They wanted no siting bill at all. Shumlin and Smith, it appears, have conspired to give them their wish.

It’s not a secret that renewable energy developers are conspicuously large donors to the Governor, to Democratic legislators, and to the Democratic Party. So, it is not inconceivable that the plan all along to waste the whole legislative session appearing to diligently cater the wishes of angry communities, only to kill the effort in the end on some specious technical concerns, delivering to the Renewable Industry exactly what they wanted: No bill. (Or, in the alternative, a bill so watered down that it is as good as no bill at all.)

If the Democratic legislators who voted unanimously to pass S.230 during the legislative session (it passed 142-0) essentially change their votes – vote now to kill the bill they previously supported — in order to sustain the governor’s veto, it will be clear that all those donations from Renewable Energy Industry paid off.

Let’s hope rank and file Democrats are (A) not in the tank, like their leadership, and (B) not sheep just doing what their leadership tells them to do regardless of what their constituents desire. We’ll find out Thursday.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Pete Gummere June 9, 2016 at 4:44 am

Why would a governor veto a bill with unanimous support in the house snd nearly unanimous support in the senate? Testosterone!


jim bulmer June 11, 2016 at 4:10 pm

Veto? Not at all, it’s called a thank you to the renewable folks for the MONEY, MONEY they “donated” to the moron in the governor’s house and the Speaker. Thank the dear Lord that come next January, Shumlin and Smith will be history and we’ll wakeup from this nightmare!!!!!


ray thomas June 12, 2016 at 8:52 pm

How does any governor with any integrity veto a bill with this kind of support. Whoops I answered my own question. The legislators that support the veto better be concerned at election time.


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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

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