Monthly Archives: September 2010

Video: Shumlin’s health care plan

Did you miss Democratic candidate for governor Peter Shumlin's health care press conference on Tuesday?

We have video from the event right here for you.

Here's the lede from Peter Hirschfeld's story in the Times Argus and Rutland Herald yesterday:

The Democratic candidate for governor, Peter Shumlin, reiterated his promise to deliver a single-payer system to Vermont and said campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical industry have unduly influenced his Republican opponent’s stance on health-care issues.

Brian Dubie’s allegiance to health insurers and the pharmaceutical industry, Shumlin said at a press conference Tuesday, would stymie the kind of reform needed to decrease skyrocketing health-care expenses.

Since Dubie assumed public office in 2002, according to Shumlin, he has accepted more than $10,000 in campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical industry.

“I will not and have not taken money from the pharmaceutical industry to fund this campaign, because we know what happens when politicians do – change does not happen,” Shumlin said. “I know that the person who I’m running against has accepted over $10,000 in public life from the pharmaceutical industry. I know given a choice of myself or Brian, they would choose Brian.”

– Dan Barlow

The Wedge

Democratic state auditor candidate Doug Hoffer is hitting the airwaves with this ad – which targets not Republican State Auditor Tom Salmon, but Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Dubie.

Doug is a big golfer, in case you didn't get that from this video.


Salmon, meanwhile, has taken to his Webpage to debunk an attack on him made in a letter to the Brattleboro Reformer.

Salmon writes:

Most of the public is unaware of the political tricks that go on…I think one of the hardest things in politics is when people flat out lie about you. I have over 91 likes and 2500 friends on facebook and the account is principally managed by my teenage kids. When I read claims in the Brattleboro Reformer that I "liked" a questionable group, I went in this morning to look for it and review it…it wasn't part of my facebook anywhere. I then searched it..0 people like it… I think 0 people like this type of tactic. Look guys, if you are going to have your friends write letters to the editor, check the facts….

– Dan Barlow

In a public statement Commissioner of Public Safety Thomas Tremblay told reporters Wednesday evening that two members of the Vermont State Police have been the subjects of an investigation into the improper voiding of a speeding ticket given to Peter Shumlin, at the time a democratic candidate for governor and now his party's nominee.

The trooper who initially issued the ticket was not involved. Shumlin paid the ticket, which was later processed.

– Louis Porter

Em Peyton says she was attacked by Dubie supporters

Independent candidate for governor, Emily Peyton, wrote in a petition to the Vermont Attorney General's Office today that she was assaulted by supporters of Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie outside of a Burlington hotel recently.

Peyton wrote:

In a nutshell, last night prior to a Gubernatorial debate at the Doubletree Hotel the Dubie entourage began to work itself into a bigger frenzy than the previous venue, in Bennington. Armed with 4×8 billboards shielding themselves they began to use them to plow forward, with me caught in the process, as well, the lead man chose to body slam me, this is an exaggeration, but he used his body in an unwelcome, inappropriate and forceful way which I recognized as an assault of a minor nature. 

Peyton is asking the AG for protection at future public appearances in a rambling letter that also accuses polling firm Rasmussen of colluding with the major party candidates.

Here's a copy of Peyton's filing with the AG: Download Petition

Marijuana Party candidate Cris Ericson comes to Peyton's defense:


The 2010 Vermont race for governor continues to get stranger.

– Dan Barlow

Like many candidates, State Rep. Michael Fisher, D-Lincoln, has just started a Facebook page for his campaign. Which resulted in a status update that would likely have been redundant before electronic campaigning:

“Michael Fisher likes Representative Michael Fisher.

8 hours ago”

It had taken voter Michael Fisher a little while to make up his mind, candidate Michael Fisher joked.

– Louis Porter

Have you gotten a phone call from Barre’s mayor?


Republican Brian Dubie's campaign continues to seize upon Democrat Peter Shumlin's prison plan as a campaign issue, this week announcing a robo call featuring Barre Mayor Thomas Lauzon.

We had several Times Argus readers call and e-mail us today not too happy to hear Lauzon's recorded voice on the other end.

Here's what Lauzon, a longtime supporter of Dubie, says in the call:

Hi, this is Thom Lauzon, the mayor of Barre. The number one job of government is to keep Vermonters safe. Peter Shumlin’s plan to cut $40 million from the state corrections budget by releasing nearly 800 non-violent criminals is simply dangerous. Peter Shumlin’s plan is so reckless that even members of his own party are criticizing it. Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor Steve Howard told reporters that he does not agree with the Shumlin plan and that there are better ways to close the budget gap than by releasing non-violent offenders. We are lucky to live in one of the safest states in the country. Let’s keep it that way. Call Peter Shumlin and tell him you agree with me and his ticket mate Steve Howard that putting 800 non-violent criminals into our neighborhoods is no way to balance the budget.

Rep. Steve Howard of Rutland – the Democrat running for Dubie's soon-to-be old job, did say he disagreed with Shumlin's plan in a recent interview with Seven Days.

But he hit back against Dubie and Lauzon today, writing in a press release that:

I will have no part in these ugly, negative Karl Rove style political attacks on my friend Peter Shumlin.  The Lt. Governor ought to be ashamed of himself for bringing such despicable, fear-mongering and nasty campaign tactics to our state.  Vermonters have had enough, they believe these negative tactics have no place in the State of Vermont and are absolutely shameful. 

Howard sidesteps the question about what he disagrees with about Shumlin's plan and instead focuses on what they agree on – and where they differ from Dubie.

He wrote:

Peter Shumlin and I agree that Vermont needs a greater public investment in drug treatment, mental health counseling, adult education, skill development, transitional housing and community support systems in order to get the Administrations runaway Corrections budget under control.

According to the Dubie campaing, Lauzon's call went out to 75,000 homes in Vermont.

The Vermont Press Bureau spoke with Con Hogan – a former corrections commissioner and secretary of human services under two Vermont governors – last week and he defended Shumlin's prison plan, saying it closely resembles recommendations he and others made to Gov. James Douglas six years ago.

– Dan Barlow

Dean on health care

Former Gov. Howard Dean takes to HuffPo to defend the national health care law, saying even if Republicans suceed in shooting down the insurance mandate – Vermont can show the law to reform.

Dean wrote:

In 1992, Vermont embarked on fundamental health care reform. With help in part from a Medicaid waiver from the Clinton Administration, we have had universal coverage for Vermonters under the age of eighteen for nearly twenty years. Over that time, Vermont has had a generation of experience allowing families who make less than $65,000 buy into Medicaid, and 96% of all young people in Vermont have grown up with health coverage.

– Dan Barlow

Meanwhile, at the other end of the pool …

Marijuana Party candidate Cris Ericson accuses Secretary of State Deb Markowitz of hiring Jewish hitmen to kill her.

Ericson writes:

Where's the Ballot of all the candidates on the same ballot???!!!!!

Is Johenry Nunes for U.S. Senate a U.S. Citizen, he still lists his birthplace as Azores/Portugal on Vote Smart. Is he Mossad, an assassin for the Jewish State of Israel?

How Ethical is it for Deborah Markowitz, Secretary of State, to allegedly have a complaint about me, Cris Ericson, on the official Jewish State of Israel CFCA Forum which is obvious retaliation, and suggests that she is inspiring a hit man to kill me? They are allegeldy selling posters of this on the internet.

Ericson, a perennial candidate for higher office in Vermont, was accused of anti-semitism in 2008.

– Dan Barlow

Shumlin up by 3

A new Rasmussen poll on the Vermont governor's race is out today and it is a bit of a shock.

It shows Democrat Peter Shumlin at 49 percent and Republican Brian Dubie at 46 percent.

Everyone expected the first poll of the general election to show Shumlin trailing Dubie by at least a few points – and probably even beyond the margin of error.

– Dan Barlow

The race gets nasty

A supporter of Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie, writing on the candidate's Facebook campaign site today:

Let's go right down the line with Shumlin. He's a smoker. How does that square with a single payer helather system? He's a speeder who puts himself and others at risk on the highway. He prostitutes his daughters in his political ads. Pre K school is going to cost all of us, Statewide broiadband same thing. All this guy knows how to do is spend. No thanks.

Prostitutes his daughters? Let's hope the Dubie campaign takes this comment down soon.

UPDATE: The comment was taken down within a few hours of this posting.

-Dan Barlow

Politics in the Facebook era


Who is behind the Anyone but Dubie Facebook page?

Here's the description of the page:

Lt. Governor Brian Dube, says he wants to help Vermonters. And yet, almost everything he's done while in office has helped create the worst fiscal crisis in Vermont's history. And now he wants to be elected Governor! Not if I can help it.

The site has a bunch of homemade videos attacking the Republican candidate for governor on a variety of issues.

– Dan Barlow

Salmon’s VY decommissioning report

Nearly three years in the making and it can be read and downloaded below.

Download Entergy final 8 31 2010

State Auditor Tom Salmon has also taken down the "Hofferville" section of his reelection website and replaced it with a section called, "And the survey says …"

– Dan Barlow

Politicians and marijuana

Republican candidate for U.S. Congress Paul Beaudry smoked pot while in the military.

The reaction so far has been: So what?

But now Keith Stern, the White River Junction grocer who lost to Beaudry on primary day, says the candidate should have been more truthful. Stern said he will not support the candidate in the general election.

Here's what Stern said on the Times Argus comments section:

The man has absolutely no integrity and honor. He should have been upfront with his supporters from the start. Now the tea party groups lose credibility. Check out the Youtube video Beaudry lie that he says was doctored. It wasn't because I participated in both debates in the video. He claimed I made it which I had no prior knowledge of nor offerred my consent to.

If I lost to John Mitchell I would have been a big supporter of his. He has honor, something Beaudry knows nothing about. He cost both the Republican party and the tea parties that supported him credibility.

– Dan Barlow