Talking Points Memo reports today that members of the Vermont Tea Party movement will be teaming up their counterparts in New York State to lobby lawmakers in Washington, D.C. Tuesday.
Several Vermonters went to D.C. last month for the rally organized to oppose President Obama and Congress' health care plans and a few met with Rep. Peter Welch with mixed results. Welch says the conversation was civil, although the two sides did not agree. They say he stuck to socialist talking points and was rude to them.
No word on who or how many. The group's Web site doesn't seem to have been updated in a few weeks.
Sen. Phil Scott, who indicated weeks ago that he was a likely candidate for lieutenant governor next year, sent out a press release earlier today saying he’ll “make an important announcement regarding the 2010 election” at an event tomorrow evening.
We haven’t had occasion to speak with the Washington County Republican about this important announcement yet, but it’s hard to imagine him summoning state media to the ballroom at the Sheraton Hotel just to let everyone know he won’t be seeking higher office.
Scott’s missive came on the heels of a release from Sen. Randy Brock, another popular subject of lite-guv speculation. The Franklin County Republican though indicated he won’t be running for statewide office next year. Mark Snelling is the only Republican so far to have announced his intention to succeed Brian Dubie in lieutenant governor’s post.
– Peter Hirschfeld
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean was the host of MSNBC's Rachel Maddow show earlier this week. Among his guests was U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Needless to say, they agree with each other a lot.
Watch the interview here.
State Auditor Thomas Salmon has called a press conference at the Statehouse Friday.
His press release notes that he "respectfully invites all perfect and imperfect people" to the presser.
No note on what the presser is about, but a wild guess is that it might involve Salmon's DUI arrest last week.
Presser will be in the Cedar Creek Room at 2 p.m.
As expected, Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin of Putney announced Monday morning that he will be a Democratic candidate for governor in 2010.
Here's what he had to say:
Vermonters are struggling to get by during these tough economic times. Tough times require tough and visionary leadership. I believe my experiences growing up in Vermont, building a successful family business and serving in a legislative leadership role, serve me well in understanding and addressing the challenges facing our beloved state.
Shumlin also launched his gubernatorial Web site today.
Sen. Doug Racine, D-Chittenden, one of the five other Democrats running to replace Gov. James Douglas next year, is the first to respond to Shumlin's announcement. He had this to say:
As a partner in my family's business, I know how important it is to apply sound business practice to the state government. Peter and I share this background, and I look forward to discussions about how we can deliver needed services to Vermont families without cutting front line positions. As a business owner, I also know that the escalating cost of healthcare must be brought under control if we are going to be able to provide quality jobs and affordable healthcare to all Vermonters. This will be my focus during the leigslative session, and as governor.
– Dan Barlow
Sure sounds like he wouldn't have a problem with a public health insurance option so long as a state could opt out.
From a story in today's Gasden Times:
“If there’s something out there that might be beneficial to states, I expect states would likely opt in,” said Gov. Jim Douglas of Vermont, a Republican and the chairman of the National Governors Association. “I mean what’s the harm, they likely will conclude, it’s only an option.”
Douglas, a moderate Republican on health care issues, had previously told reporters that he didn't like the public health insurance option discussed in Washington, D.C.
… and he hasn't even announced he is running for governor yet.
Here's one to watch: A 20-something Brattleboro resident by the name of Scott McCarty, now serving on three town committees.
The Brattleboro Reformer also reports that Westminster Select Board member Toby Young – who spent 10 years in the Vermont House – is also considering a run.