Monday, October 29, 2007

On the Road Again

This blog is based solely on the premise that I believe that the Governor is spending more time on the road cutting ribbons than he is doing the people’s business. So today I set out to prove (or disprove) this premise.

I have randomnly selected a day in the life of Governor Douglas, Friday November 2.

According to his web site his schedule is as follows:

Friday, November 2, 2007
8:30 a.m. Ethan Allen Facility Tour, Railroad Avenue, Orleans
10:00 a.m. Orleans Elementary School/NASA Partnership Ceremony and Reception, School Street, Orleans
6:00 p.m. Vermont Farm Bureau Annual Meeting, Hilton Burlington, Battery Street, Burlington

The schedule bears a closer look, so armed with a Google map lets fill in the blanks:

5:55 am Governor leaves Middlebury in state car driven by State Police. If he uses the same Google directions I did and his driver obeys the speed limit the trip should take 2 hour and 35 minutes.

8:30 am Ethan Allen Facility Tour, Railroad Ave, Orleans. The tour will take approximately 1 hour 20 minutes. This leaving him 10 minutes to drive to Orleans Elementary School

10:00 am Orleans Elementary School -- assuming he spends the requisite 90 minutes there.

11:30 am Governor leaves Orleans and drives the 1 hour and 20 minutes back to Montpelier.

1:00 pm Lunch, while the lunch is not officially on the schedule. In the Governor business if you eat lunch you are lunch.

5:00 pm The Governor logs some serious office time-4 hours after logging about 4 hours and 5 minutes of driving.

5:00 Governor leaves for Burlington for the Vermont Farm Bureau and drives 45 minutes

6:00pm Vermont Farm Bureau Annual Meeting

7:30 pm Governor Leaves Burlington and drives 1 hour

8:30 pm Arrives Home

While I would be the first person to say that this is a long day and there might be a good justification to one of these events, Governor Douglas was elected to put long days in at the office trying to solve Vermont’s most pressing problems -- such as the environment.

Normally, if he restricted his driving to commute to Montpelier from his home in Middlebury the round trip is 3 hours. His schedule calls for almost twice that amount of road time to events that are of dubious importance in solving the state’s most pressing problems and keeping his promises.

This is a typical day for the Governor. Call his office and ask him to put in a full 8 hours at his desk like the people he has been elected to serve.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Jim Douglas "The Promise Keeper" ?

One of my readers asked “I was just wondering this morning whatever happened to the e-State initiative. What concrete steps have been taken to realize this dream?”

Well I decided to look into it. What has the Governor done to realize his dream of an e-state. His detailed plan is described in detail here:

During the 2007 session the Vermont Legislature created the Vermont Telecommunications Authority. The mission of the authority is described by Tim Murray in a piece on the Department of Information and Innovation website.

Both of these documents detail out what needs to be done, but has anything besides the creation the Vermont Telecommunications Authority really been done? Is the Vermont Telecommunications Authority going to end up like the Vermont Opportunity Fund that the Governor promised four years ago?

The governor needs to deliver on his promises. Taxes are not keeping businesses away, but the lack of a real telecommunications infrastructure is. They are not coming because they cannot get a reliable telecommunications with enough band width to run their companies.

This lack of real leadership on the part of the Governor has forced cities and towns all over the state to research building their own telecommunications infrastructure. Not only are we facing a digital divide from outside our state’s borders but we are creating a case of broadband have and have nots, right here at home. If the Governor Douglas does not stop cutting ribbons and start leading Vermont will not make progress for the future.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Succeeding by Helping Others Succeed

This is a motto that Jim Douglas is not even remotely familiar.

The Burlington Free Press did a great review of all the candidates who endorsed Barack Obama at a recent Burlington event, but noted that if any of them gave money it did not show up on the reporting sites. One comment said that these sites do not list donors of less than $200 which is true.

The blog did set me to thinking. What about Governor Douglas? Who is he supporting? Who is he giving to?

Well if you go or any of the other reporting sites. You will find that Douglas supports no one not Bush, not event fellow Republican governor Bobby Jindhal. If money is the lifeblood of politics, then Douglas is cutting the supplies to his allies. Maybe he gives less than $200, and maybe he does not.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Governor's Schedule

I have posted the link to the Governor's schedule so that you can find out what ribbons the Governor will be cutting next. Frankly I use the term cutting ribbons very loosely. "Cutting Ribbons" refers to any activity that the Governor undertakes that looks more like a reason for the Governor to be out and about.

Once you start to really look into his schedule there are a couple of things that really grab your attention.

The first is how does the lay person differentiate between a political/campaign stop and his work as Governor. Admittedly this has been a gray area for incumbents since the first elected office back when our pols wore togas instead of suits. Does a ribbon cutting at a gas station really constitute a political exercise or a recognition of the entrepreneur who raised the money to build the station and will be manning the pumps?

The second is the schedule shows the Governor is out and about, all over the state which begs the question when does he actually have time to work. Some of that work might include : meeting with his party leaders in the house and senate as well as with the majority leader to work on important aspects health care, tax reform etc.

The third and final question would be: "Where is the beef." I am sure all of wanderings are very important, but I want to know when he is meeting with house and senate leadership, talking with the Commissioners about issues facing all Vermonters.

We know that Governor Douglas is a good politician, but Vermonters need a great leader.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Governor Douglas at Press Conference

Here is a commentary by Peter Freyne on Governor Douglas's press conference.


Wireless vs Fiber Optic

Remember when the Governor waved around his phone at the state of the union saying we were all going to go digital by 2010. Well Governor while you were off cutting ribbons and driving the back roads of Vermont. Cities like Burlington are creating their own broadband infrastructure with organizations like Burlington Telecom .

Burlington Telecom is doing it with fiber optic meaning that these towns and cities will have download(and upload) speeds similar to Japan and S. Korea. Good fast broadband means jobs(not service job but high tech jobs). Cities like St Albans have a real shot at revitalization with true high speed internet not just wireless which at its best is slow and unreliable.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Where in the heck is Governor Douglas

This is my first attempt at a blog, but if you are like most Vermonters you wonder what Governor Douglas does all day. We know he has an official schedule more on that later, we know he cuts ribbons and does that once a week press conference with the mainstream press, but what does he do the rest of the day.

Does he eat lunch alone at his desk, long walks with his wife in the Middlebury country side, hard nose strategy discussions with his growing number of state paid pr flacks?

This is a chance for all Vermonters to join me to give their thoughts on what Jim Douglas is doing today for Vermonters. Is he cutting a ribbon at a gas stations? Wandering the hills of Vermont or contemplating his legacy.

If you want to comment on Jim Douglas as governor, have a Jim Douglas sighting or have suggestions about how he can make Vermont better let us know.