Podcasts from the Vermont Press Bureau.

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Story + Podcast: Shumlin narrows focus in final months

Gov. Peter Shumlin

Listen: Capital Beat Podcast with Gov. Peter Shumlin

MONTPELIER — With just three months left in office, Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin says he plans to push hard to complete a handful of projects before his successor is sworn into office in early January — including an overhaul of how the state pays for health care services. Shumlin, who is not seeking re-election after his third term expires, reflected in an interview about his time in office and pledged to continue his work until his final day as governor. “This is the best job that anyone can ask for, being governor of Vermont. It’s been an extraordinary privilege. One thing that governors do every day is focus on what they were elected to do, which is to grow prosperity, grow jobs, make sure our state remains the best place to live and work and raise a family. Continue Reading →

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Story-Video-Podcast: Zuckerman stands on bold proposals

Sen. David Zuckerman

Listen to Zuckerman discuss the issues:

MONTPELIER — After 18 years in the Legislature, Chittenden County Sen. David Zuckerman is hoping to take his bold, progressive politics to the lieutenant governor’s office. The 44-year-old organic farmer from Hinesburg has sponsored many of the progressive initiatives implemented over the last decade. That’s not surprising since he serves as a Progressive, but also a Democrat, in the Senate. After running in the Democratic primaries for his two successful Senate bids, Zuckerman is now looking to follow the same path to become the state’s second-highest office holder. He is asking Vermonters to judge him on the proposals he has championed in the past in the three-way primary he has entered with House Speaker Shap Smith and Burlington Rep. Kesha Ram. Continue Reading →

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Story-Video-Podcast: Minter: Experience would guide service

Sue Minter

Listen to Sue Minter discuss the issues:

MONTPELIER — For Sue Minter, the destruction of Tropical Storm Irene — and the state’s successful recovery — is a template for the way she would lead the state. The Democratic gubernatorial candidate was the secretary of the Agency of Transportation in 2011 when the catastrophic storm pounded the state and the subsequent flooding devastated communities from Wilmington to Minter’s home in Waterbury. “We received 15 inches of rain, and overnight, 500 miles of road was gone, and it was our job to mobilize quickly and effectively,” Minter said. “It took an all-in approach with thousands of people involved, neighbor helping neighbor, and it’s really been a transformative experience for me, both in the emergency phase in the first few months, but then to have that responsibility to address 3,500 homeowners whose homes were damaged,” she continued. Minter points to her experience as the head of the Agency of Transportation, where she oversaw 1,300 employees and a $600 million budget, as both giving her the tools to make government work and proof she is ready to lead the state. Continue Reading →

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Story-Video-Podcast: Smith: Experience counts

Shap Smith

Listen to Shap Smith discuss the issues:

MONTPELIER — Democratic House Speaker Shap Smith believes his eight years leading the House sets him apart from his primary rivals in the lieutenant governor’s race and leaves him most prepared to assume the top job if needed. Smith, 50, joined the Democratic primary for the state’s second-highest office in May — months after his two rivals, Chittenden County Sen. David Zuckerman and Burlington Rep. Kesha Ram. That came after Smith announced his candidacy for governor last August, but withdrew from the race in November after his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite the late start, Smith said he has been able to utilize his vast network of supporters in the Legislature to help jump-start his campaign. “We stood up a campaign very quickly. Continue Reading →

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Story-Video-Podcast: Lisman touts career, new ideas

Bruce Lisman

Listen to Lisman discuss the issues:

MONTPELIER — After a long and lucrative career on Wall Street, Bruce Lisman is looking to transition from high finance to politics in his bid for governor. The 69-year-old Burlington native is facing off in a Republican primary against Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, a popular politician with a nice-guy image. Despite having founded the advocacy group Campaign for Vermont in 2011 and serving as its voice and face, Lisman has faced a substantial disadvantage in name recognition. As a result, he has launched several television ads seeking to link Scott with Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin, who is not seeking a fourth two-year term. For some, the commercials have come across as negative campaigning, but Lisman has maintained that they are contrast ads designed to show how Lisman would take Vermont in a new direction. Continue Reading →

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Story-Video-Podcast: Galbraith brings progressive agenda

Peter Galbraith

Listen to Peter Galbraith discuss the issues:

MONTPELIER — Peter Galbraith is running for governor with a progressive agenda shaped by his experiences overseas and from the experiences of his parents. The 65-year-old Democrat from Townsend has unveiled an unapologetically progressive platform, calling for, in part, a $15 per hour minimum wage, a ban on corporate campaign contributions and continuing down the path toward a publicly financed, universal health care system. Those ideas, and his quest for social and economic justice, stem from the values he learned from his parents and his experiences as a diplomat in war-torn areas. “From both of my parents come the values that I have and really a sense that we can have a more just society, that public goods like education, the arts, the environment, are things to be valued,” he said. Galbraith’s mother was a fourth generation Vermonter whose life was “shaped by the great events of the 20th century,” Galbraith said. Continue Reading →

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Story-Video-Podcast: Ram: Unique insight into Vermonters’ struggles

Kesha Ram

Listen to Kesha Ram discuss the issues:

MONTPELIER — Kesha Ram launched her political career at the urging of someone who went on to become most powerful man on Earth. In 2006, while a sophomore at the University of Vermont, Ram introduced then-U.S Sen. Barack Obama and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders at a rally in the Ira Allen Chapel on the college’s campus. “In the middle of his speech — and he has a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas and I have a father from India and a mother from Illinois — Barack turned to Bernie and said, ‘Bernie, if you don’t behave yourself, we’re going to run Kesha for the Senate instead of you,’” Ram recalled. “It was the first time anyone encouraged me to run for office, and I thought, ‘If there a place for a person like him in politics, maybe there’s a place for someone like me.’”

The now-29-year old — she will turn 30 one week before the Aug. 9 primary — is engaged in a three-way race for the Democratic Party nomination for lieutenant governor, facing off against former House Speaker Shap Smith and Sen. David Zuckerman. Continue Reading →

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Story-Video-Podcast: Dunne: Lead through social justice and technology

Matt Dunne

Podcast: Listen to Matt Dunne discuss the issues:

MONTPELIER — From the importance of civil rights in his childhood to his tenures in the General Assembly and as the leader of a national public service effort, Matt Dunne is looking to bring his experiences to the highest office in the state. The 46-year-old native of Hartland — where he still lives, in the same farmhouse where he grew up — is one of three Democrats vying for the party’s gubernatorial nomination. With a wealth of experience that would rival someone 20 years his senior, Dunne traces his pursuit of social justice to his parents. “My father was a civil rights activist turned country lawyer who brought his Vermont values to the University of North Carolina and organized students to stand up to segregation and actually served jail time for his nonviolent protesting,” Dunne said. “My mother was the first woman to go through tenure track at Dartmouth College and spent her career fighting for equality at that institution and supporting a generation of teachers.”

His parents’ experiences led to the sort of character-building conversations around the kitchen table that shaped his view of the role of government as it relates to social justice and economic security for all. Continue Reading →

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Story-Video-Podcast: Brock sees Vermont’s future in niche industries


Podcast: Hear Randy Brock discuss the issues

MONTPELIER — Randy Brock believes the future of Vermont is bright if it can attract and nurture new niche business industries that provide revenue and ease the tax burden on residents. Brock, 72, a former Franklin County senator and state auditor, is seeking the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor. That should be easy — he faces no primary challenger. The real test for Brock will come in November when he faces one of three Democrats seeking their party’s nomination. The longtime Swanton resident has plenty of experience campaigning. Continue Reading →

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Listen: Capitol Beat with the Governor 1.15.16


Vermont Press Bureau chief Neal Goswami and Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin discuss his trip to Iowa this week to stump for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, the use of the Enterprise Fund and potential changes to Act 46, the education reform bill passed last year. Continue Reading →

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