Vermont Governor Douglas will not seek re-election

first_imgFour-term Vermont Governor James Douglas said today at a morning press conference that he will not seek re-election in 2010. He added that he does not intend to run for another political office. The unexpected news caught the state by surprise. The governor did not take questions, but said he would not be an “absentee landlord” for the duration of his term. The man known for his gentlemanly ways was famous for his political success as a Republican in what became a Democratic state and for his fabulous gift for remembering people’s names. After a tight race against then Lieutenant Governor Doug Racine in 2002, he has breezed to victory in every subsequent election, as he had for most of his political career. A Massachusetts native, he was first elected to the state Legislature in 1972 right out of Middlebury College. He has had long tenures as both Secretary of State and Treasurer, meeting scant opposition. The only major stumble in his political career was a loss to Patrick Leahy for US Senate in 1992.”But as any farmer knows, after many years working sun up to sun down, seven days a week there comes a time to turn over the reins to fresh arms. For me, that time is approaching. After 36 years as a public servant, 28 of those years in statewide office, with what will be eight years as Governor and through 15 statewide elections I will have held center stage long enough for any leader. I will not seek another term as Governor of Vermont.”In response to the news, Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie said: I honor Governor Douglas today, and thank him for three decades of outstanding service to the people of Vermont. I would also like to thank his wife, Dorothy, and his entire family for living with the high demands that come with public service.As far as the remaining 16 months of the governor’s term, Dubie said, The unprecedented economic challenges that we now face as a state require that we all focus on working together, administration and legislature, in good faith, for the future of our state and its people. It s what the people of Vermont deserve and expect from us.On the subject of his own political plans, Dubie clearly left the door open for a run for governor himself, saying, The governor s announcement today changes the political landscape in Vermont. As Vermonters reflect on this new landscape, I will contemplate my options. Right now, I will focus on doing my job. I will discuss my plans when the time is right.Several Democrats have lined up as potential successors, including Racine, now in the state Senate and Secretary of State Deb Markowitz. Other than Dubie, there would not be a clear Republican candidate at this point.Markowitz said, “I want to congratulate and applaud Jim Douglas for his years of service to the state.  Douglas is a Vermonter who has devoted his life to public service.  Vermonters, regardless of political party, should honor him for his commitment to serving the state for all of these years.  I wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”Vermont Chamber of Commerce President Betsy Bishop, who served in the Douglas Administration since the beginning, most recently as commissioner of Economic Development Department, said, “This certainly changes the political landscape in Vermont. The Vermont Chamber will continue to work with Governor Douglas on key business issues, like lower energy cost, unemployment insurance trust fund and health care.”Governor Douglas has been a wonderful partner and friend of Québec, said Québec Premier Jean Charest. Under his leadership, Charest said, relations between Québec and Vermont have thrived as never before. Meetings have been held every year at the highest levels.”Over his four terms, the Governor has not only contributed enormously to his state, but has also infused Québec Vermont relations with a unique focus and energy. We have worked together as a team for many years on many important international issues. He has been not only a great friend of Québec, but also a personal friend, and I am sorry to hear today of his pending departure,” said the Premier.Cooperation between Québec and Vermont has taken many forms, including joint efforts to preserve water quality in Lake Champlain, Missisquoi Bay, and Lake Memphrémagog, initiatives in green and renewable energy, and implementation of the Driver s License Plus. Recently the Premier and governor both spoke out in favor of heighted economic trade free from protectionism. Governor Douglas’ Statement. August 27, 2009. 11 am.”I want to thank all of you for coming this morning.I especially want to thank the members of my Administration for being here, as well as my staff.Since January 1973, after I was first elected to the Vermont House, I ve been making the trip over the Appalachian Gap from my home in Middlebury to serve the people in Montpelier.I ve traversed that pass at all hours, in all seasons, through rain, snow and sun. On a clear day, I can look west over the Champlain basin and east toward the Connecticut River valley, out across the breadth of this place that is like no other. And each time I reach the top, I am reminded of the sturdy shoulders of our people as strong and as solid as the hills and my hope for Vermont is renewed.Through my years in public service, I have had the great opportunity to share with my fellow Vermonters their proud achievements and the joys of daily life in Vermont: the opening of a new business in St. Johnsbury, pancakes with little leaguers in Starksboro, celebrating our traditions with farmers and sugarmakers at Dairy Days and the Maple Festival, waving the green flag at Thunder Road, and helping to welcome home a local hero, Captain Richard Phillips.The rewards of this job are many, like joining hands in service to help improve the lives of our friends and neighbors: delivering meals to homebound seniors in Orange County, celebrating National Night Out in South Burlington, marching to Prevent Child Abuse in Montpelier, splitting wood to heat needy homes in Springfield, or helping to load nearly 70 18-wheelers with donated goods bound for the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.And it s an honor to be with Vermonters during their times of trial and hardship: touring the devastations from floods, storms and fires, meeting with employees after a plant closure, or holding the hand of a Gold Star Mother or Wife.These occasions have given me the opportunity to speak with Vermonters, to hear their fears and troubles, their hopes and ideas. I ve brought them back with me to Montpelier where government has responded.We ve charted a course for our state that will bring good job opportunities, more affordable homes, safer communities and clean air and water.I ve made health care reform a priority reaching across party lines to get the job done because it continues to be a burden on the pocketbooks of hard-working Vermonters. We implemented the Blueprint for Health to help people lead healthier lives and reduce health care costs. Because of our first-of-its-kind Global Commitment waiver, we are a leader in forward-thinking, innovative health system reform. And Catamount Health is bringing health care within reach of more Vermonters.As Chairman of the National Governors Association I m taking our successes to Washington to demonstrate how real reform can be achieved.I ve pushed to make higher education more affordable through Promise Scholarships and the Next Generation Initiative so young people can go to school here, lead the next wave of innovation in our state and create new economic opportunities.A steady and reliable infrastructure is essential if we are going to compete in a changing economy. The e-State initiative will ensure that all Vermonters have access to broadband and cell service. And our efforts to increase and target investments in our roads, rails, bridges and culverts have been critical.The actions we ve taken to prevent and treat drug abuse; combat sexual violence; and support law enforcement, fire fighters, first responders and other public safety professionals, are making our communities safer.I am proud to carry on Vermont s long-held commitment to our environment. We ve taken bold steps to clean up Lake Champlain and other impaired waterways. We ve fought to keep our air clean, even if it meant fighting Washington and the automobile industry on emissions standards. We were a leader in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, because passing along a healthy environment to the next generation requires reaching outside our borders and working with our neighbors in the region and, indeed, around the world.And I ve fought to hold the line on taxes and spending, so that we can sustain the necessary functions of government for future generations and encourage new economic opportunities. Fiscal responsibility is at the core of the Vermont ethic as we face budget challenges resulting from the global recession, Vermonters deserve to see their money spent wisely and their government managed efficiently.There is no doubt that over the past seven years we have accomplished much. We ve seen this state through some tough times in our nation s history and I will continue to work day and night so that we emerge stronger than before.I am so proud of what we have accomplished. And yet there will always be more to do.The work of democracy is an abiding, beautiful struggle just as it should be. This land, our freedom, our liberty was not easily won and so it is worth the sacrifice we must give to maintain it. It rightly demands our hard work, perpetual motion, and an endless flow of human energy and high ideals the very lifeblood of the Vermont soul. All across our state from armories to local food pantries, from town halls to under this golden dome Vermonters give deeply and selflessly, each singular act of service renewing the promise of Vermont.It has been the great privilege of my life to serve the people of this state that I love so well. I have been profoundly humbled by their faith and support in me.But as any farmer knows, after many years working sun up to sun down, seven days a week there comes a time to turn over the reins to fresh arms. For me, that time is approaching. After 36 years as a public servant, 28 of those years in statewide office, with what will be eight years as Governor and through 15 statewide elections I will have held center stage long enough for any leader. I will not seek another term as Governor of Vermont.My service to this state will not end with the governorship. Whether I m in the corner office or my home office, I will always strive to do what I can to make better this great state.But I am also ready to write a new chapter in my life. When I first took my seat as the Representative from Middlebury in 1973, I was a young man right out of college. With some very good fortune, I met and married Dorothy, soon we were raising two extraordinary boys, and now one of my sons has a son of his own our first grandchild: Timothy James Douglas. A new generation has a way of putting things into perspective.I know there will be some speculation as to what is next, so I want to lay a few questions to rest immediately. I am not running for President. Dorothy has a divorce lawyer on speed dial if I ever utter that crazy idea.I m not running for the US Senate, the US House or any other statewide office in 2010.However, for the next 16 months, I am running state government.Those who presume there will be an absentee landlord in the corner office will be mistaken. I will focus as intensely as I always do on the needs of Vermonters. And I will continue to fight everyday to put this state on firm footing. Now is not the time to rest on our laurels.I will continue the good work that my Administration has done to advance an Agenda of Affordability an agenda centered on growing good-paying jobs while protecting our cherished natural resources.This is a historic time for our state. Vermont has been hit hard by the global recession. Businesses, families and even state government have felt the impact of a shrinking economy.That is why we must act responsibly to rein in state spending to ensure that Vermonters can continue to fund the programs and services we are all so proud to support especially those for the frail and neediest. In order to do that, we must build and pass budgets that are sustainable for the long term.I will continue to fight for working Vermonters and small business owners who struggle to make ends meet by resisting efforts to raise taxes to grow government and increase spending.As I always have but now let there be no doubt I will fight to do what is best for Vermont and devote my full energy to guiding this great state toward a more prosperous future.At another hour, in another place, there will be plenty of time for remembrances and time to look back. Now it is time to look ahead to the next legislative session and budget cycle, because, as I ve said before, the choices we make today as our state struggles under the weight of this recession will have a lasting and real impact on how quickly we recover.There will also be a time and a place for the long list of thank yous, but for today, there are just a few. My thanks to Dorothy for her love, devotion, and unconditional support over the years.I want to thank my Administration for your dedication to serving the public and for making government more responsive.I want to thank Lieutenant Governor Dubie for his friendship, support and leadership.And to the people of Vermont, thank you for your continued confidence. I especially want to thank of you have who have offered ideas, concerns, frustrations and encouragement to me in my travels over the years. You have given state government a truly people-driven direction and focus. Thank you for the tremendous privilege of allowing me to serve.And with that, I d like to ask my team to get back to work! We ve got a lot to do.”last_img read more

Fellaini confident of title success

first_img The scarcity of signings provided much of the post-match debate following United’s 1-0 defeat at Liverpool last Sunday but Fellaini, who had Old Trafford on his mind before United made their decisive move, is confident of achieving success with his new club. After helping Belgium to a 2-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Scotland at Hampden on Friday night, Fellaini turned his attention back to United. “It is a big step for me,” he said. “But I have played five years in England, I know the league and I know the players so I don’t think I will have a problem with this move. “Of course I look forward to it, I am playing with big players so I need to work hard for my place. “To win a trophy with Manchester United and play a lot of games, that is important. “I watched the game (against Liverpool) and in the second half the team played very well and had a lot of chances but couldn’t score, but football is like this. “It will be tough, every year is tough for the big teams but I think Manchester United has the quality to win the championship so I look forward to this.” Fellaini, set to make his United debut against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford next Saturday, recalled a “great week” for him which ended with Belgium taking a massive step towards the World Cup finals in Brazil next summer. Press Association The 25-year-old Belgian midfielder’s move from Everton to be reunited with former Goodison Park boss David Moyes was completed late on Monday night. United’s new manager had been linked with several players including Toffees left-back Leighton Baines, Athletic Bilbao’s Ander Herrera and Real Madrid’s Fabio Coentrao, but his summer-long efforts ended with Fellaini being his only high-profile recruit. “When I started the campaign with Everton I looked forward to the transfer so in the end I was happy,” he said. “I was a little bit nervous on Monday but in the end I have my transfer and I have won with Belgium so I am happy. “It wasn’t my best game but we won and it was a good game for us. “We scored the first half and dominated the game and that was important.” Asked light-heartedly if there might be repercussion from Glaswegian Moyes, who watched from the Hampden stand as Scotland ended the evening at the bottom of Group A, Fellaini smiled and said: “I don’t think so.” Marouane Fellaini was “nervous” as transfer deadline day arrived but insists he has joined a Manchester United team that is set up to retain the Barclays Premier League title.last_img read more

World Stars Arrive, as Lagos Open Tennis Begins

first_imgLagos will play host to players across the world as the International Tennis Federation (ITF) approved circuit, the Lagos Open Tennis, begins this weekend.Already scores of emerging tennis players from different countries of the world have been arriving ahead of the event, which will be played in the next two weeks at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, TBS, Onikan.Some of the players who have arrived are Tucker Vorster, Paulina Jastrzerbrska, Claudia Coppola, Diana Maria Mihail, Phillipe Gelade, Zoe Kruger, Rico Gore, Nigerian-born British player,Tiffany William, Valeriya Siskova, Fiona Codino, Alexandria Riley from USA; Jesman Jebawi from Germany and a host of others.These players came into Lagos with their coaches and parents. The tournament is made up of two Futures, the F5 and the F6, while players will compete in four events- Men’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Singles and Women’s Doubles with total prize money of $100,000.Qualifying matches for Futures 4 (first leg) starts on September 29 with the main draw commencing on October 1 and the final on October 6.The main draws for Futures 5 (second leg) will commence on October 8 with the grand final set for October 13 where Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, is expected to declare the tournament closed.The breakdown as published by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) shows that 60 players registered in the men’s event, while 65 players are taking part in the women’s category. They are coming from 47 top nations of the world. Some of which are USA, Brittan, Slovakia, Kenya, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, China, Cameroon, India, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Ecuador, Poland, Thailand, Egypt, Serbia, Mexico and a host of others.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Ronaldo handed five-match ban for ref push

first_imgCristiano RonaldoMadrid, Spain | AFP | Cristiano Ronaldo was hit with a five-match ban by the Spanish football federation (RFEF) on Monday for pushing the referee after being sent off in Real Madrid’s 3-1 Spanish Super Cup, first leg win over Barcelona.The World Player of the Year received an automatic one-match ban for his dismissal on Sunday and an extra four games for his reaction towards referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea.Ronaldo was also fined 3,805 euros ($4,500) and has 10 days to appeal the ban.Should any appeal fail, Ronaldo will miss Wednesday’s Super Cup, second leg and Madrid’s first four La Liga games of the season against Deportivo la Coruna, Valencia, Levante and Real Sociedad.However, Ronaldo will be free to feature when Madrid start their defence of the Champions League on September 12 or 13.Madrid had already signalled their intent to appeal Ronaldo’s second yellow card shown for diving eight minutes from time when he went down inside the area under pressure from Samuel Umtiti.“Ronaldo’s sending-off annoys me because even if it is not a penalty, the card is harsh,” said Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane after the game. “We will see if we can do something so that he is available on Wednesday.”Ronaldo was only on the field for 24 minutes after he was introduced as a second-half substitute and fired into the top corner 10 minutes from time to give Madrid a 2-1 lead.He received his first yellow card for removing his shirt in celebration before being shown the 10th red card of his career two minutes later.“Once shown the red card, said player (Ronaldo) pushed me lightly as a sign of his disapproval,” De Burgos Bengoetxea wrote in his referee’s report.According to the RFEF’s rules, such offences are met with a suspension of anything between four and 12 games, but previous cases also resulted in four-game bans.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2last_img read more