Zuckerman touts Sanders endorsement

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MONTPELIER — U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders backed state Sen. David Zuckerman Tuesday in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor one week before the Aug. 9 primary. The endorsement from Sanders, who found surprising success in the Democratic primary for president, could help move voters into Zuckerman’s corner. Sanders has offered his endorsement to Zuckerman before in his legislative races. It’s the first statewide endorsement Sanders has made this cycle in Vermont. Continue Reading →

Zuckerman releases 2015 tax return, other Dems to follow

Sen. David Zuckerman

MONTPELIER — Sen. David Zuckerman, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, released his 2015 tax return Tuesday, showing he and his wife earned $63,977 in adjusted gross income. Zuckerman, who is engaged in a three-way primary for the state’s second-highest office, filed a joint 2015 return with his wife, Rachel Nevitt. Their returned showed an adjusted gross income of $63,977, including $33,429 in wages, $24,676 in income from their farm in Hinesburg, $7,055 in investment income and $125 in speaking fees. The couple paid $2,213 in federal income tax on their taxable income of $28,079. Their tax rate was 10.8 percent of taxable income. Continue Reading →

Dunne position on wind draws fire

Matt Dunne

MONTPELIER — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Matt Dunne is drawing strong criticism from environmental advocates and leaders after calling for local referendums over the siting of wind energy projects less than two weeks before the state’s Aug. 9 primary. On Friday, Dunne, a former Google employee and Windsor County state senator, distributed a press release detailing his stance on the siting of renewable energy projects. At the top of the three points listed Dunne stated that “wind projects should only take place with the approval of the towns where the projects are located.”

“As governor, I will ensure that no means no. Towns should be voting by Australian ballot, and if a town says no to a large industrial wind project I would use all the power of the Governor’s office to ensure that is the end of the project,” Dunne wrote. Continue Reading →

Dean throws support behind Minter

Sue Minter

Former Gov. Howard Dean threw his support behind Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter Thursday, choosing the former Secretary of Transportation over her two primary rivals. Dean, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and 2004 candidate for president, announced his support for Minter as he attended the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. He said his support was the result of Minter proving “she can get the job done.”

“I am proud to support Sue Minter to serve as the next Governor of Vermont,” said Gov. Dean. “She is a strong leader and a true progressive who has the experience and dedication we need to keep moving Vermont forward.”

Dean is the third former governor to back Minter, following Madeleine Kunin and Phil Hoff. “I am thrilled to have the support of so many who have dedicated their lives to making progressive change in Vermont,” Minter said in a statement. Continue Reading →

Sanders, Vermont delegation nominate Clinton

Former Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., smiles before asking that Hillary Clinton become the unanimous choice for President of the United States with the Vermont delegation during the second day session of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Tuesday, July 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHILADELPHIA — Vermont’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention took center stage Tuesday evening, casting its votes last before Sen. Bernie Sanders helped Hillary Clinton cement her place in history as the first woman nominated for president by a major political party. Sanders, after months of battling Clinton for the party’s nomination, offered one final, symbolic olive branch Tuesday by moving to suspend the rules and nominate Clinton by acclamation. Clinton had already secured enough delegate votes to win the nomination the traditional way, but the move mirrored what Clinton did for President Barack Obama in 2008 following their own grueling primary. “I move that the convention suspend the procedural rules. I move that all votes cast by delegates be reflected in the official record, and I move that Hillary Clinton be selected as the nominee of the Democratic Party for president of the United States,” Sanders said from his spot among the full Vermont delegation. Continue Reading →

Boos recede, but some Sanders backers remain skeptical of Clinton

First Lady Michelle Obama waves as she speaks to delegates during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Monday, July 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHILADELPHIA — The Democratic Party convention kicked off its national convention Monday afternoon with a chorus of boos every time Hillary Clinton’s name was mentioned, but seemed to grow more unified throughout the night with cathartic speeches by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, First Lady Michelle Obama and Clinton’s former rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders. It was the Vermont senator’s most ardent supporters that threatened to upend the party’s marquee event. As the convention commenced, they were boisterous and ready to pounce whenever a speaker at the podium inside the Wells Fargo Center invoked Clinton and her pending nomination. Thunderous boos rang out, and chants of “Bern-ie” enveloped the blue-adorned arena. Both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns sought to quash the uprising. Continue Reading →

Sanders delegates boo Clinton at DNC

Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., march during a protest in downtown on, Monday, July 25, 2016, in Philadelphia, during the first day of the Democratic National Convention. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

PHILADELPHIA — Sen. Bernie Sanders addressed hundreds of delegates at the Democratic National Convention Monday afternoon but seemed unable to convince some of his most passionate backers they should work to elect Hillary Clinton. Sanders spoke inside a packed ballroom at the Pennsylvania Convention Center early Monday afternoon ahead of his primetime address on national TV at the Wells Fargo Center — the main convention site. It was among the first bits of action for the four-day long convention that will culminate Thursday with Clinton, the former first lady, senator and secretary of state, accepting the Democratic Party’s nomination for president. Sanders, who battled Clinton for the nomination until the last primary — long after it was apparent he could not win sufficient delegates to wrest the nomination from her — is now looking to unite the party. But after months of convincing his supporters that he had a viable path to the nomination, many did not seem ready Monday to shift their support elsewhere. Continue Reading →

Story-Video-Podcast: Zuckerman stands on bold proposals

Sen. David Zuckerman
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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 →

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

Sue Minter
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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 →

Economists: state revenues to grow less than expected

Economists Tom Kavet, right, and Jeff Carr, left, present a new revenue forecast to the Emergency Board on Thursday, July 21. (VPB/Neal Goswami)

MONTPELIER — Economists for the Shumlin administration and Legislature issued a revised state revenue forecast for the current fiscal year Thursday that projects a total of $28 million less in revenue, but growth over the 2016 fiscal revenues. Tom Kavet and Jeff Carr, consulting economists for the administration and lawmakers, issued their revised revenue forecast Thursday to the state’s Emergency Board, which includes the governor and the four chairs of the Legislature’s money committees. Revenue for the state’s general fund was lowered by $21 million, while revenues for the transportation and education funds were lowered by $3.5 million and $3.4 million, respectively. Still, revenues are expected to grow above the 2016 fiscal year, which closed on June 30, both Kavet and Carr said. “The upturn continues, that’s the good news,” Carr told the Emergency Board. Continue Reading →