Et Tu Vermont? One Year in Rutland Demonstrates why America Elected Donald Trump

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Et Tu Vermont? One Year in Rutland Demonstrates why America Elected Donald Trump

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 64 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.

Mayor Louras,

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?

Now I’m sure for­mer Mayor Louras will do fine. Both of VT’s Sen­a­tors are very old and I sus­pect the left might be very happy to turn you into a heroic mar­tyr to the cause of resist­ing Don­ald Trump and you’ll do very well run­ning again the “rab­ble” (the word used to describe those who voted against you in com­ments) who voted you out in seek­ing national office.

But if I’m the Demo­c­rat party, and I’ve just spent the last two months exco­ri­at­ing Don­ald Trump over his refugee/​immigration poli­cies all over the media and I can’t win an elec­tion that was admit­tedly a ref­er­en­dum on tak­ing in refugees in VER­MONT, I’d be pretty scared right now.

Per­haps that’s why the MSM which found for­mer mayor Louras’ refugee plan news­wor­thy in Jan­u­ary for their paper of record

They hus­tled into the church on a bit­ing win­ter evening, unbur­dened them­selves of scarves and gloves, and set­tled into pews to sound out words in Arabic.

Ahlan fii Rut­land,” said Fran Knapp, a retiree who lives about 20 min­utes away, one of two or three dozen peo­ple who have attended a class here on rudi­men­tary Arabic.

Wel­come to Rutland.

It was one of many prepa­ra­tions this remote city in cen­tral Ver­mont is mak­ing before 100 refugees from Syria and Iraq arrive here over the next year, with the first expected to come later this month.

The plan’s fiercest advo­cate has been the mayor of Rut­land, Christo­pher Louras, who has cited not the moral argu­ment for reset­tling refugees, but an eco­nomic one:

has appar­ently decided this local elec­tion story in the 3rd largest city in Vt wasn’t worth bring­ing national atten­tion to and left it to places like Bre­it­bart and me.

Unex­pect­edly.

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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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.

Mayor Louras,

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?

Now I’m sure former Mayor Louras will do fine.   Both of VT’s Senators are very old and I suspect the left might be very happy to turn you into a heroic martyr to the cause of resisting Donald Trump and you’ll do very well running again the “rabble” (the word used to describe those who voted against you in comments) who voted you out in seeking national office.

But if I’m the Democrat party, and I’ve just spent the last two months excoriating Donald Trump over his refugee/immigration policies all over the media and I can’t win an election that was admittedly a referendum on taking in refugees in VERMONT, I’d be pretty scared right now.

Perhaps that’s why the MSM which found former mayor Louras’ refugee plan newsworthy in January for their paper of record

 

They hustled into the church on a biting winter evening, unburdened themselves of scarves and gloves, and settled into pews to sound out words in Arabic.

“Ahlan fii Rutland,” said Fran Knapp, a retiree who lives about 20 minutes away, one of two or three dozen people who have attended a class here on rudimentary Arabic.

Welcome to Rutland.

It was one of many preparations this remote city in central Vermont is making before 100 refugees from Syria and Iraq arrive here over the next year, with the first expected to come later this month.

The plan’s fiercest advocate has been the mayor of Rutland, Christopher Louras, who has cited not the moral argument for resettling refugees, but an economic one:

 

has apparently decided this local election story in the 3rd largest city in Vt wasn’t worth bringing national attention to and left it to places like Breitbart and me.

Unexpectedly.

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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