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  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1118.
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Politically Thinking: GOP court likely to favor big spenders

Posted on March 17, 2011 |
By Eric L. Davis



In two weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a case raising important First Amendment issues about public financing of political campaigns.

The case comes from Arizona. In the 1990s, many Arizona legislators faced civil and criminal charges involving campaign contributions from the gambling industry. In 1998, Arizona’s voters passed a referendum establishing a “Clean Elections” program that provides public funding to candidates for state offices who voluntarily limit the amount of money they raise in private donations.

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Politically Thinking: State economy shifting with times

Posted on January 20, 2011 |
By Eric L. Davis



Last week, the Legislature’s consulting economist, Tom Kavet, presented his semi-annual revenue forecast and analysis of the Vermont economy to Gov. Shumlin and legislative leaders. Kavet’s reports are important events in Montpelier, because they identify issues that are likely to be on the Legislature’s agenda in the next session.

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Politically Thinking: Left may challenge Shumlin budget

Posted on January 6, 2011 |
By Eric L. Davis



Gov. Shumlin will submit his proposed budget for fiscal year 2012 to the Legislature at the end of January. Opposition to Shumlin’s budget may be more intense among progressives than among Republicans.

The Republicans are too weak to be a major force in Montpelier. They hold fewer than one-third of the seats in the House and the Senate. The senior Republican, Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, has made it clear that he does not see his role as leading the opposition to Shumlin.

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Politically Thinking: Income tax emerges as a key issue

Posted on December 23, 2010 |
By Eric L. Davis



Fundamental reform of the income tax system may be high on the agendas of both President Obama and Gov.-elect Shumlin in 2011.

Congress has passed the compromise between President Obama and Senate Republicans that will extend Bush-era tax cuts for another two years for all taxpayers. The two-year extension will put tax issues at the center of the 2012 presidential campaign.

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Politically Thinking: Local rail upgrade gets new chance

Posted on December 9, 2010 |
By Eric L. Davis



One of the most important infrastructure projects in Vermont is the upgrade of the western rail corridor from Rutland through Middlebury to Burlington. Improvements to this line would enable passenger rail service to be extended north from Rutland to Burlington. The rebuilt line would also allow more freight to be shipped to and from Vermont by rail rather than by road.

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Politically Thinking: Brandon may lose tie to county

Posted on November 24, 2010 |
By Eric L. Davis



Will Brandon continue to be part of the Addison senate district in 2012? This is probably the question with the greatest local impact as the process of redrawing Vermont’s legislative district lines for the next 10 years begins this winter.

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Politically Thinking: Vermont showcases its liberal colors

Posted on November 11, 2010 |
By Eric L. Davis



As they left the polls last Tuesday, 869 Vermont voters completed an exit poll conducted by a consortium of national news organizations. This poll shows some of the ways in which Vermont differs from most of the nation, and provides some of the reasons why Peter Shumlin was elected governor.

Nationally, President Obama’s approval rating is 45 percent. In Vermont, his approval rating is 60 percent. Only in Obama’s native state of Hawaii — where he has 66 percent support — is the president’s approval higher than in Vermont.

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Politically Thinking: State elections still too close to call

Posted on October 28, 2010 |
By Eric L. Davis



Many questions about the Vermont elections remain unsettled in the final week of the campaign.

Peter Welch and Patrick Leahy will be returned to the House and Senate by substantial margins. But will Democrats Welch and Leahy be members of the majority or the minority party when the 112th Congress convenes in January? Welch is likely to be in the minority in the House, while enough of Leahy’s Senate Democratic colleagues should be re-elected that he will continue in the majority.

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Politically Thinking: Progressive party losing its clout

Posted on October 14, 2010 |
By Eric L. Davis



Vermont’s Progressive Party may not be able to maintain its major party status for the 2011-12 biennium. State election law defines a “major political party” as one that has a local committee in at least 15 towns or cities, and has received at least 5 percent of the vote for one of the six statewide offices.

Major parties are allowed to nominate their candidates through primary elections. Several media organizations, such as Vermont Public Radio, also use major party status as the criterion for deciding which candidates to invite to participate in broadcast debates.

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Politically Thinking: Local elections crucial statewide

Posted on September 30, 2010 |
By Eric L. Davis



Next to the contest for governor, the most important Vermont elections this fall are those for the 180 seats in the Legislature. Republicans want to pick up seats in the House, so that chamber could sustain the governor’s vetoes if Brian Dubie is elected. Democrats want to maintain a veto-proof majority in the House, in case Peter Shumlin is not elected.

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