Monthly Archives: October 2012

Pro-single-payer group sprouts a PAC, begins pushing statewide and local candidates

The well-funded pro-single-payer group called “Vermont Leads” has launched its own political action committee. Funded entirely by an out-of-state union, Vermont Leads earlier this summer aired a six-figure ad blitz urging voters to support single-payer. More recently, the group won headlines for picketing outside the Burlington home of Lenore Broughton, who has poured at least $680,000 of her own money into getting Republicans elected next Tuesday. With Nov. 6 fast approaching, Vermont Leads has turned its focus from issue advocacy to electioneering, launching a PAC that is separate from the tax-exempt nonprofit that aired the TV ads. Continue Reading →

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Brock goes for the jugular in new ad you’ve gotta see to believe

In a new television ad reminiscent of something Vermonters might have seen during the Shumlin/Dubie smack-down of 2010, Randy Brock has broken out the knives with a 30-second spot set to hit network airwaves this morning. It’s a compilation of Brock’s best political hits from the summer and fall, and touches on everything from Gov. Peter Shumlin’s East Montpelier land deal to the four months he spent out of state during his first 21 months in office. Keep out a close eye for the infamous Facebook photo of Shumlin with campaign manager Alex Mac Lean and DGA staffer Liz Smith at the 2011 Preakness. Yeah, Brock went there. The final touch: a nasty edit job that tries to make Shumlin look like he’s mounting some kind of cover-up over government settlements with state workers. Continue Reading →

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With only a week until Election Day, pols cede center stage to Sandy

A storm named Sandy may have relegated politics to the backburner for at least a couple days, but don’t expect politicians to batten down the hatches on their campaigns. With only a week until Election Day, retail politics is in full swing. And Republican candidate for governor Randy Brock today said he won’t let Sandy take the wind out of his sails. “I always get the best responses at sign waves or other events when it’s snowing and the wind is blowing,” Brock said. “People know you want the job and are willing to endure some discomfort to get it.” Continue Reading →

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Under fire from GOP super PAC, House Democrats launch counteroffensive

Having seen more than 40 of their local candidates targeted by a Republican super PAC in recent weeks, House Democrats on Monday launched a counteroffensive aimed at neutralizing the conservative group’s impact on tight races. In a series of radio advertisements and mailings, the Vermont Democratic House Campaign and Vermont House Solidarity PAC chides “Vermonters First” for contaminating local politics with outside money. Fueled by nearly $700,000 from a single donor, Vermonters First has used radio ads and glossy mailings to target local Democratic candidates that, according to the super PAC, want to expand the sales tax and revoke Medicare. With a mass media budget of only about $10,000, Nick Charyk, head of the Vermont Democratic House Campaign, says he won’t be able to come close to matching the expenditures made by Vermonters First. But he says Democrats couldn’t let the GOP campaign go uncontested. Continue Reading →

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New poll gives Pearce edge over Wilton

The most fiercely contested race of the 2012 elections could come down to party affiliation, according to a newly released poll of Vermont voters. A survey of 1,220 likely voters conducted in late September by a left-leaning polling firm out of North Carolina aims to handicap the political horse race between incumbent treasurer Beth Pearce and challenger Wendy Wilton. When voters aren’t supplied with party identification, according to the survey by Public Policy Polling, Wilton and Pearce are in a statistical dead heat. Asked, however, whether they would vote for “Democrat Beth Pearce or Republican Wendy Wilton,” the incumbent gains a clear 46-percent-to-37-percent advantage. The $4,000 poll, commissioned by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a liberal political action committee based in Washington, D.C., is being used not only to tout the electoral benefits of a ‘D,’ but to show broad support generally among Vermonters for one of the party’s defining policies: single-payer health care. Continue Reading →

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The Candidates Speak: Attorney General’s Race

We asked the candidates for attorney general five questions about their candidacy for the office. Their responses, delivered by email, are below.  






Q: Beyond prosecuting offenders, what role should the attorney general play in curbing the state’s narcotics problem? Ed Stanak: The term “narcotics” has a specific definition under Vermont law and means “opium, coca leaves, pethidine and opiates…”. While the attorney general has powers and duties comparable to state’s attorneys in the prosecution of criminal narcotics violations, such prosecutions should be left to the state’s attorneys unless conflicts of interest or other unusual circumstances arise. Continue Reading →

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The Candidates Speak: Lt. Governor’s Race






We posed 5 questions to the candidates for Lieutenant Governor, Democrat Cassandra Gekas and Republican Phil Scott. Their answers, provided by email, are below. Q: It’s April of 2014, and the sitting governor passes away before he was to sign into law a controversial bill with which you disagree vehemently. After being sworn in to serve out the remainder of the term, would you sign the bill? Or use your executive power to prevent it from becoming law? Continue Reading →

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State treasurer race drama picks up again

MONTPELIER — State Treasurer Beth Pearce held a press conference Monday afternoon in the Statehouse after a radio show debate, calling certain portions of her opponent’s campaign “just plain wrong.” Pearce also called into question a campaign issue by challenger Wendy Wilton over transparency, suggesting the city of Rutland’s electronic reports don’t show the detail of her state office. Pearce also said Wilton flip-flopped on health care stances and was politicizing an office that should be nonpartisan. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Treasurer’s Race Profile: Wilton & Pearce

From the Sunday Rutland Herald and Times Argus:






By David Taube | Staff Writer

MONTPELIER — The two most prominent candidates for state treasurer are an incumbent who points to a track record of savings to taxpayers and a challenger who sees alarming shortfalls in funds. One of the most closely watched statewide races for this year’s General Election is between Democrat Beth Pearce, the state treasurer, and Republican Wendy Wilton, the Rutland city treasurer. “We’ve got serious deficits we got to deal with,” said Wilton, who says her city’s $5 million deficit has become a $3.8 million positive fund balance during her time as treasurer. The pair’s viewpoints clash in several key areas, including pension reform, how debt affects bond ratings, and when one should issue financial forecasts of the state’s proposed single-payer health system. The campaigns also have made personal and professional issues part of the race, concerning whether it’s questionable if a top state official rents or owns a home and how much overtime is acceptable in the treasurer’s office. Continue Reading →

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Deputy auditor overseeing Pearce probe is supporter of Wilton’s

Joe Juhasz, the deputy auditor assigned to oversee a probe into Treasurer Beth Pearce’s oversight of the state pension system, made a financial contribution to Wendy Wilton’s campaign last month. Juhasz today confirmed the donation and said he’s a longtime Republican who’s also written checks this year to Republican candidate for auditor Vince Illuzzi and Republican candidate for governor Randy Brock. Pearce, the Democratic incumbent, and Wilton, her Republican challenger, have locked horns this fall in what has become one of the more contentious races for statewide office. Juhasz, who gave $200 to the Wilton campaign on Sept. 13, said his support for the Republican won’t in any way color his inquiry into Pearce’s management. Continue Reading →

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