Sunday, August 17, 2014

Public Banksters - Part XV: Gwen Hallsmith's Claim of "Victory" This Spring Takes a Major Financial Hit This Past Week

*** Trigger Warning ***: The following content that may elicit symptoms of Post-Traumatic Public Banking Disorder!

For those of you following the state budget revenue shortfall here in Vermont, it'll come as no surprise that Governor Shumlin is proposing a 2.2% or $31 million dollar cut to the 2015 budget. Consensus is that untried and unproven programs take larger cuts so as to spare programs for elderly, children, the needy, and health related assistance programs. Recognizing this, the governor's office had at first recommended a cut of more than twice the 2.2 rate from the Vermont Enterprise Investment Fund. And if you're not familiar with the VEIF, it's an internal fund of the Vermont Treasurer Beth Pearce's office earmarked for business stimulus.

Executive Director of the California based Public Banking Institute and local Grand Poobah of Vermonters For A New Economy, Gwen "The Hacker Baiter" Hallsmith, has claimed it as her "victory" on the little watched Laura Flanders Show back in April which I reported on here. It's the program where the public banksters finally managed to get their beaks wet in the public funds water. But not everyone shares the enthusiasm for an "unproven program" getting parity with assistance programs that are proven to be direly needed and getting just about the same cut as those for needy. Some, like Chris Curtis, an attorney with Vermont Legal Aid, suggested via one published report on Wednesday that,
"... Newer programs, such as the $4.5 million Vermont Enterprise Investment Fund to incentivize businesses to remain or locate in Vermont, should be more ripe for scrutiny than established programs with proven track records. The administration has proposed trimming the fund by $250,000 as part of the rescission."
According to numerous other published and broadcasted reports the committee charged with making the tough choices about what gets cut, the Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office, didn't agree with the governor's 5+% cut to what some call his IBM Enterprise Investment Fund (hardly the fund envisioned by the public banksters when the scale of what they were proposing to capitalize a public bank - $70 million - shrank to a nearly $4.5 golden handshake to an existing Vermont employer). The VLJFO quadrupled the cut to the program to nearly 21% or close to a cool million dollars.

As noted on WCAX:
"'Some agencies have a lot of other places to go and some of the smaller agencies have less places to go,' Vt. Finance and Management Commissioner Jim Reardon said."

"Lawmakers vetoed the governor's proposal to reduce assistance for those aging out of foster care and other human service cuts one day after getting an earful from constituents."

"The governor ultimately agreed to quadruple his planned reduction to the newly created enterprise fund, bringing the $4.5 million potential incentive package to retain IBM or bring in a successor company down to $3.5 million."

"'We think that is an important fund, but in the spirit of cooperating... We will concur with your recommendation,' Reardon said."

So, after all the cutting of a program that people in and out of government are calling a fund for "IBM or... (it's) successor," me's a-wondering just what spin the public banksters primary spokesperson and unregistered lobbyist, Gwen Hallsmith, will put on the affair. Perhaps even more notably, the press is reporting that no Vermonter has applied for assistance from the fund.

Great work there, Gwen. All of that work resulted in fund primarily devoted to "assisting" one of the largest, most well healed employers in Vermont. I just can't wait to see what all your "work" gets for Vermonters in the next legislative session. Maybe a new, groundbreaking incentive program to fund Vermont Gas' 40% cost overrun and eminent domain claims that you could call the Vermont Farm & Residence Assistance Fund will get Vermonters closer to that anti-capitalist "new economy" you profess to so love too, eh Gwen? That seems like something that you and Gary "The Rocket Scientist" Flomenhoft" could pull off given your track record. Heh.

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At Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 11:28:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Anonymous Blogger,

Well, you have your facts wrong here. Vermonters for a New Economy has nothing to do with this fund. This is The Governor's doing. Nor do we have anything to do with the recent decisions to cut the budget. Please get your facts straight.

At Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 12:41:00 PM EDT , Blogger Thomas Rowley said...

Hello Anonymous Commenter (IP

Nope. My facts are straight on point. The omnibus economic bill that created the Vermont Enterprise Investment Fund was the bill promoted by Vermonters for a New Economy known as S.220. You, er, Gwen bragged about it on Laura Flanders show and called it "a victory," in fact, Gwen fell for one of the old, tried and true bait-and-switch political bill maneuvers. You can read what I wrote about that in April here and click through to watch Gwen make the claim for yourself.

You can also read what VTDigger wrote about S.220 and the Vermont Enterprise Investment Fund here.

Also, nowhere in the post do I say that VNE had anything to do with the rescission but I do say twice that the governor did. Lying about that doesn't make it so.

Sloppy, ineffective spin by Anonymous Commenter won't change the real history of S.220 or the outcome of complete failure on the part of VNE, unless she/he now intends to now lay claim to a provision providing a half million dollar loan guarantee fund that originated in the House bill which would mean that your "victory" was the political equivalent of a warm bucket of spit.

At Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 3:07:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, let's agree to disagree. The part of the law that has to do with public banking, and what Gwen called a success, is the part of the bill promoted by Senator Pollina. He called this 10% for Vermont and it was originally S.204, which did fail. However, parts of S.204 which related to public finance were added to S.220, an omnibus bill with many other parts This language from S.204 was about was moving 10% of our state funds to state agencies such as VEDA, VSAC VHFA etc so they would have more funds to loan to Vermonters to buy houses, improve businesses, go to school etc. This is what Gwen referred to as a success, i.e. this inclusion of part of S.204 in S.220, and not the business of the Governor's business fund, which really has nothing to do with Public Banking. Yes, the Governor's fund was part of S.220, along with many other things, but Gwen wasn't referring to that, she was referring to the part of S.204 that was inserted int S.220 So, to me, while some of your facts are correct, you do not seem to understand that Gwen was only referring the part of the bill that came from S204. It's like apples and oranges. BTW, personally, I don't like the idea of a multi-million dollar slush fund for the governor, so I glad his fund got cut. It should have been cut more.

At Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 3:39:00 PM EDT , Blogger Thomas Rowley said...

Hello again Anonymous Commenter,

Of course none of that is what Gwen said in April so you're pretty much making shit up as you go along. The fact remains that there never was a "victory." What's transpired since merely underscores that fact.

At Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 4:22:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

hahaha, you're funny Thomas.

At Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 4:50:00 PM EDT , Blogger Thomas Rowley said...

I try... ;-)


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