Over the last few weeks the leftist media have elevated several Democrat successes in retaining seats in blue state races that they were already favored to win as a sign that the Trump era is already in retreat.
Oddly enough I haven’t seen them promote a result that, for my money, is not only the biggest election story since November, it is fact one of the biggest stories of a week full of big stories.
It comes from Rutland Vermont where incumbent mayor of 10 years Chris Louras was beaten in a 4 person race by a city counselor in his latest attempt at re-election as Vermont Public Radio reports:
In Rutland, the third time was a charm for challenger David Allaire, who unseated longtime mayor Christopher Louras in a surprise upset.
Allaire, a 19-year veteran of the Rutland City Board of Aldermen, won 52 percent of the votes in a four-way race against Louras and challengers Mike Coppinger and Kam Johnston.
Louras, who had held the job since 2007, won 34 percent of the votes; Coppinger won 13 percent and Johnston 1 percent.
Now you might be thinking: sure it’s a tad unusual for an incumbent to lose like that and for a challenger to take over 50% in a 4 person race but even so why is a mayors race in the land of Bernie Sanders is that worthy of a post here? Well it turns out last April the sitting mayor introduced a plan that might sound a tad familiar to those who follow national politicts:
Officials in Rutland say the city will take in 100 Syrian refugees beginning in October. Rutland Mayor Christopher Louras said he’s been working closely with state and federal refugee agencies to create Vermont’s first relocation community for Syrians.
The refugee announcement was made at a packed City Hall press conference Tuesday.
It’s worth noting that the April Story from Vermont Public Radio seemed to lionize the decision here’s a screen shot from the online piece
Look how they bold the mayor’s dramatic words. See how important this move is (I thought the “cultural enrichment” line was interested so I highlighted that myself)
Well in fact it was SO important that he didn’t bother to consult either the people or the aldermen
Last week, Rutland Mayor Chris Louras announced about 100 refugees would be arriving in the city starting in October. The announcement came as a surprise to local lawmakers and residents, who up until that point had not been told anything about the plan.
And it turns out that liberal as Vt in General and Rutland in particular is, that didn’t sit all too well:
Critics of a plan to bring 100 Syrian refugees to Rutland lambasted city officials and resettlement experts during a heated Board of Aldermen meeting on Wednesday night.
Many aldermen complained that they were shut out of deliberations on the plan, which was hatched by Mayor Chris Louras and the nonprofit Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program.
“I have a big concern about how this has played out … behind the backs of the city of Rutland,” Alderman David Allaire said before a standing-room-only crowd of more than 100 people in the Godnick Adult Center. “How can you come to our city and decide for our citizens what information is to be released and when? How can you ever regain the trust of the citizens of Rutland?”
Well it’s actually pretty easy to decide for the citizens if you make sure they get no say:
Voters in Rutland will not get the chance to weigh in on whether to bring in 100 Syrian refugees. A 6-4 vote by members of the Rutland City Board of Aldermen fell one short of the seven needed to put it on the ballot.
Nearly 100 people attended Tuesday night’s Board of Aldermen meeting to weigh in on that issue.
Several board members expressed frustration that Mayor Christopher Louras had orchestrated the refugee resettlement effort without their input. They complained the secrecy and lack of information early on had put them in a difficult position and created unease among many local residents.
Aldermen Matt Bloomer says he felt torn. On the one hand, he supported bringing refugees to Rutland and he voted against putting the issue on the ballot.
“But I also felt like it would be difficult to ignore the petition and just throw it in the trash and say, ‘We disagree with the public vote,’ and we’re not going to do anything to address the concerns of what I feel is a fairly decent size part of the community,” Bloomer says.
Apparently it wasn’t difficult enough for the Alderman to allow the public to vote on the issue.
So with the quashing of a public vote in July the program proceeded, by September the Obama Administration approved the plan, even Trump’s election wasn’t going to derail it:
Rutland Mayor Chris Louras has risked his political career on a controversial proposal to welcome 100 Syrian refugees to his long-struggling city, and spent most of the past year beating back fierce opposition and nativist rhetoric from his critics.
Despite president-elect Donald Trump’s victory after a campaign in which he vowed to bar Muslim immigrants from entering America, Louras said he and his allies are proceeding apace.
I love the pejorative in that first paragraph don’t you?
True to his word the plan proceeded and so in the final week of the Obama Administration the first refugees arrived in Rutland.
A family of Syrian refugees arrived in Rutland on Wednesday, according to the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. Another family is expected to make it to the city on Thursday evening, said Stacie Blake, the USCRI’s director of government and community relations.
And while President Trump’s 1st executive order was a danger to the plan, once it was overturned the only thing standing in the way of the full contingent of refugees arriving was the Mayoral election in March which given the liberalism of Vermont and the support of the press was likely a foregone conclusion particularly with the opposition divided into three parts and all of his opponents not daring to oppose resettlement but objecting to the lack of transparency. In the final debate he bluntly stated that the world would judge Rutland on this vote:
Louras, who’s been mayor since 2007, stands by his actions and says Rutland will be defined by its attitude toward refugees and by the results of next week’s election.
“I have absolutely no regrets with respect to bringing refugees to Rutland,” said Louras after Wednesday night’s forum. “And the fact is, I would challenge anyone in this community to look into the eyes of the children, as I have, and challenge them to say, if I had my way, you wouldn’t be here right now.”
The 56-year-old says resettling refugees creates economic benefits and brings more youth and diversity to a city that he says needs both.
And who could be against “economic benefits”m “youth and diversity” certainly nobody in Vermont the land of Bernie Sanders.
Nobody, except the voters:
In unofficial voting results, David Allaire, a city alderman and leading critic of the resettlement, trounced Louras, a 10-year mayoral incumbent, by a 776-vote margin, according to results cited by the Rutland Herald and WCAX-TV.
How could this be? After all his success in bringing Syrian refugees to Rutland was “legacy defining victory” according to the press. How could he have lost?
Rutland Mayor Chris Louras didn’t utter the word “refugee” during his reelection kickoff speech, and tried desperately to make the campaign about more than just the resettlement debate that roiled his city for the past year.
But Wednesday, as he processed his lopsided defeat to Alderman Dave Allaire, the chief opponent of his plan to bring 100 Syrian and Iraqi refugees to the city, Louras said he had been wrong on two key points:
One, the refugee issue was the only one that mattered to voters. And two, he was apparently mistaken in his oft-stated belief that the refugees’ supporters outnumbered their opponents in the community.
“In spite of the fact that we tried to make this campaign about issues and about facts, the reality is that it was in fact a referendum on resettlement,” Louras told Seven Days. “They voted on emotion. Rutland is a microcosm of the national dialogue around immigrants and refugees [and] I believe that was the major contributing factor to this campaign and to the voters’ decision.”
Now I’m not from Vermont nor Rutland but If I had to guess I’d say the major factor in the decision was a bunch of people who decided they not only knew best but that anyone who thought otherwise was some kind of bigot or racist and suggested it to their faces. This comment from the final story really says it all.
You need to stop blaming your loss on the refugee situation you created..
You clearly lost because you are a deceitful person and have no problem lying to the public.
I think it is sad that you cannot accept that and you still want to cast a dark cloud on the hard-working honest people of Rutland Vermont and the surrounding area.
When I attended the mayoral debate I heard you make the statement that everyone is watching to see the results of the mayoral election.
It seemed as though you threatened everyone that if you weren’t elected the people of Rutland Vermont would look like they were against the refugees.
The people in this community should have been allowed to have some input in this major decision but YOU decided to leave them out.
You losing this election is only the result of you being deceitful and ignoring the voters of Rutland, VT.
Posted by Richard Ley on 03/08/2017 at 9:25 PM
I invite you dear readers to take a look at this series of stories and ask yourself Was this not the National Election in miniature played out in the most liberal of states? A long time pol with the press solidly behind him arrogantly pushing a radical agenda and suggesting till the very last moment that a vote against him would define the electorate as bigots?
Update: Fixed a typo in paragraph 3 and woke from my overnight job to an Instalanche Thanks Stephen. If you have the time please check out my extensive amount of interviews from CPAC, (my latest with Senator Santorum is here) There were so many that even with two posts a day with two interviews per post they won’t all be up till the 13th just check the bottom of the Santorum post and keep scrolling. Interviews with Cynthia Yockey, James O’Keefe, The Former head of CPAC & the NRA David Keene, Lee Stranahan and more still to come.
Update 2: Commentator Bill Peschell notes the NYT online links an AP story on the result. so noted
Update 3: Commentator Cardinal ACK notes the voice of Rutland online doesn’t consider the city liberal. However in the last election Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 46% to 42% with Johnson at 3% and Stein at 1.5% and 59.9 % of the vote in the primaries were cast in the Democrat race vs the GOP.
I suppose for Vermont that as liberal as most
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