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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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Editorial: Which is it, Gibbs or Condos?

Posted on October 28, 2010 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



In the race for Secretary of State, Vermonters have two good choices in Republican Jason Gibbs and Democrat Jim Condos. Both are political moderates, well-reasoned, well-liked within their respective parties, and have pragmatic agendas if elected to the office.
 

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Clippings: Campaign spending obscenely high

Posted on October 28, 2010 |
By John S. McCright



Who could blame the electorate for thinking the people running to represent them in government are stinking, money-grubbing pigs? Election after election the amount of money candidates spend in their campaigns grows and grows, at a rate surely much faster than inflation.

According to the Vermont Secretary of State’s website, Republican Horace F. Graham spent the whopping sum of $28.15 to fend off a Democrat, a Progressive and a Prohibition Party candidate to win the Vermont governor’s race in 1916. Things have changed.

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Editorial: Phil Scott for Lt. Governor

Posted on October 25, 2010 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



In the race for lieutenant governor, Republican Phil Scott stands out as an independent thinker, a man of integrity, a competitor on anything with wheels that goes fast, and as sincere and nice a guy as you’re likely to find on the campaign trail.

Born and raised in Barre by his father, who had lost both his legs on D-Day, he learned early on how to rely on his own abilities, as well as to take responsibility for others when he could.
From that background he honed a political philosophy that can be boiled down to an overarching theme: self-reliance and community.

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Editorial: A time to hunker down or move forward? Shumlin for governor

Posted on October 21, 2010 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



A time to hunker down or move forward? Shumlin for governor

In the race for governor, Vermonters have rarely had the opportunity to choose between two leading candidates with such stark differences on the issues.

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Editorial: Dubie flunks budget test

Posted on October 18, 2010 |
By Angelo Lynn



On the campaign trail, Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie, the Republican candidate, has recently run into problems trying to explain how he would cut $110 million in state spending by putting a cap of 2 percent on spending across the board — while not putting the state corrections budget, early education, Dr. Dinosaur, the state highway patrol and other ‘too-important-to-fail’ programs in jeopardy.

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Editorial: Stark contrasts on Entergy

Posted on October 14, 2010 |
By Angelo Lynn



The reactions by the two leading candidates for governor on the latest news from Vermont Yankee speaks volumes about each candidate’s approach to leadership — and each has its pros and cons.

Democrat Peter Shumlin, a long-time proponent of Vermont Yankee until shortly after it was purchased by Entergy, came out swinging and is more convinced than ever that a tough approach needs to be taken by the state to avoid sticking Vermont taxpayers with unforeseen costs down the road as a consequence of the tritium leaks.

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Editorial: School budgets meet the axe

Posted on October 14, 2010 |
By Angelo Lynn



Local school board members and school officials are in the midst of finding out just how tough it is to cut 2 percent out of the budget. For the UD-3 board, which oversees the Middlebury Union Middle School and High School, that 2 percent amounts to $341,565 out of a $15,445,919 budget. But, as UD-3 Supt. Lee Sease said, the cuts really amount to closer to 4 percent because of the added cost of inflation.

That $341,565 reduction in expenses, therefore, becomes $661,000 — and that’s not small change.

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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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Between the Lines: 350.org and social media activism

Posted on October 14, 2010 |
By Gregory Dennis



Almost every day at Middlebury College, I receive an influx of e-mails announcing the latest environmental initiatives and encouraging students to make their voices heard.

Last weekend, climate change activism took the global stage by storm with the 10/10/10 Global Work Party organized by 350.org. The group inspired a groundbreaking 7,347 events across 188 countries. With such broad-based support, the case for change seems fairly clear: People are demanding a global transition towards a clean energy economy.

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