David Sunderland

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Branagan calls on Vermont GOP to denounce Trump

MONTPELIER — Georgia Rep. Carolyn Branagan is calling on leaders of the Vermont Republican Party to condemn recent comments by presidential candidate Donald Trump in which he called for banning all Muslims from traveling to the U.S.

Branagan, in an email Monday to Vermont Republican Party Chairman David Sunderland and Executive Director Jeffrey Bartley, asked for the party to “point out that his comment is against everything America stands for” and that “he is damaging to all Republicans.”

Trump, the real estate mogul and the frontrunner for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, called Monday for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” Trump has previously advocated for surveillance of mosques in the U.S. and perhaps creating a database of Muslims in the country. “What trump was talking about is not the terrorists or people who mean us ill will. He’s talking about banning an entire group of people based on only their religion,” Branagan told the Vermont Press Bureau Tuesday. “It is not Republican, it is not American, it is not anything except Trump.”

“I really think it’s time to stand up and say that he’s going over the edge. He doesn’t speak for me,” she added. Continue Reading →

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Republicans seek public input

MONTPELIER – The Vermont Republican Party is looking to the public to share their thoughts on how to make the state a more affordable place to live. On Wednesday, the state Republican Party launched a website called “Make Vermont Affordable,” which invites members of the public to share their stories of struggles to pay the bills, and to sign a petition in opposition of a proposed carbon tax. “This will be a forum for interaction on the issues that are being discussed in Montpelier that affect affordability and growth in Vermont,” said David Sunderland, chairman of the Vermont Republican Party. With an image of a road sign bearing the words “GAS TAX INCREASE AHEAD,” the website – which can be found online at www.makevermontaffordable.com – invites visitors to sign a petition to “stop the crushing tax on working Vermonters.”

For the past week, the state Republican Party has been rallying the troops to oppose a pair of draft bills expected to be introduced during the upcoming legislative session in January that would impose a carbon tax and could raise gasoline prices by as much as 88 cents a gallon. The bills include language stating nearly all of the revenue collected – 90 percent for one bill, and 80 percent for the other – would be used to offset other taxes, especially for poor Vermonters who would be hit hardest by the regressive tax. Continue Reading →

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Scott says state contracts with his company are no conflict

MONTPELIER — Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott says his construction business, and the millions of dollars in state contracts it has received since he has been involved in state government, is a major factor in whether or not he will run for the state’s top job. Scott, 56, is co-owner of DuBois Construction, a Middlesex-based excavating and construction company, along with Don DuBois. Scott served five terms in the Vermont Senate, beginning in 2001, before being elected lieutenant governor in 2010. He served as vice-chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and chairman of the Senate Institutions Committee during his tenure as a legislator. Both committees oversaw budgets that included contracts that Scott’s company received. Continue Reading →

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Sunderland elected chairman of GOP, promises to “change the way we do business”

Escalating discord within the Vermont Republican Party came to a head Saturday in Montpelier, where the organization’s state committee rebuked current leadership by selecting a new chairman who promises “to rebuild.” Former Rutland Town Rep. David Sunderland won a decisive victory over John MacGovern on a platform that hews to the fiscal issues – taxes, health care and spending – on which he said all Republicans can agree. The race between Sunderland and MacGovern was in many ways a proxy war between two factions that have been battling for nearly a year now. And it represents a win for a bloc of disaffected Republicans who faulted outgoing chairman Jack Lindley for his allegiance to a Republican National Committee whose social conservatism, they said, repelled the centrists that swing elections Vermont. “At this critical, pivotal moment in our party’s history, we have a unique opportunity to change,” Sunderland told the nearly 200 GOP diehards crowded into the Elks Club in Montpelier. Continue Reading →

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Snelling apologizes to Lisman, but says he believes CFV founder’s gubernatorial hopes are real

Hours after alleging publicly that Campaign for Vermont founder Bruce Lisman has his eyes on governor’s seat, Mark Snelling apologized to the former Wall Street executive for the “mistake.” In an email to Lisman Thursday night, Snelling wrote:


I owe you an apology. I was doing an interview and I was trying to make a point about future elections and the dynamics of the various parties and how they can interact along with possible third parties. To make my point, I spoke about your organization and made statements about which I have no first-hand knowledge. It was a discussion where CFV was a tangent and I should not have gone down that tangent. Continue Reading →

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