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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

VPR/Castleton Poll Suggests Tight Democratic Race for Governor

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 5:40 PM

Matt Dunne, Sue Minter and Peter Galbraith - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Matt Dunne, Sue Minter and Peter Galbraith
A new poll commissioned by Vermont Public Radio shows Sue Minter and Matt Dunne leading the Democratic gubernatorial field in favorability and name recognition. 

The Castleton Polling Institute did not ask Vermonters who they would vote for in the state's primary election, which is less than two weeks away. But it found that more voters like and know the pair than they do former senator Peter Galbraith and perennial candidates Cris Ericson and H. Brooke Paige. 

According to the poll, which was conducted during the middle of July, 58 percent of Vermonters view Minter favorably, while 13 percent view her unfavorably. Fifty percent see Dunne in a favorable light, while 16 percent do not. Only 39 percent have a good impression of Galbraith, while 24 percent have a bad impression. 

Though Minter holds a slight lead in favorability, Dunne does in name recognition. Seventy-three percent of those polled say they know who he is, while, 63 percent say the same for Minter and only 48 percent for Galbraith. 

"It would be really hard to look at our data and predict who's going to come out on top in that race," says Castleton polling director Rich Clark.

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Sanders Tells Vermont Delegates Trump Is 'Disgusting'

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 12:31 PM

Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses northern New England delegates to the Democratic National Convention Wednesday morning in Philadelphia.
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses northern New England delegates to the Democratic National Convention Wednesday morning in Philadelphia.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) lit into Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump Wednesday morning in remarks to Democratic delegates from northern New England.

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"What we are dealing with now is something kind of unique — and I believe, quite honestly, the worst Republican candidate in the modern history of the United States of America," Sanders told a breakfast crowd at a Wyndham Garden Hotel near Philadelphia International Airport. "What makes him unique and extremely dangerous is he is a demagogue."

Sanders reminded the delegates from Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine that before Trump ran for president he repeatedly questioned whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States.

"It was about undermining the legitimacy of the first African American president in the history of our country — that he should not be president because he is African American," the senator said. "And that is disgusting. And that is the kind of person that we are running against."

Sanders made his remarks the morning after delegates to the Democratic National Convention — with an assist from Vermont — named former secretary of state Hillary Clinton their presidential nominee.

"As of yesterday, I guess, officially our campaign ended," Sanders noted during the breakfast. 

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With Assist From Sanders, Clinton Claims Democratic Nomination

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 11:41 AM

Sen. Bernie Sanders Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention - PAUL HEINTZ
  • Paul Heintz
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention
This story was first published July 26, 2016.

In a bid to unify a fractured Democratic Party, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Tuesday motioned for rival Hillary Clinton to be named its presidential nominee.

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The dramatic gesture formalized Clinton’s status as the first woman to win the nomination of a major American political party. It reframed Sanders as a team player for a party he had yet to join. And it began the reconciliation required after a long and divisive primary.

The senator from Vermont made his motion at the end of a state-by-state roll call inside Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center. One by one, party activists and elected officials from Alabama to Wyoming delivered their delegate counts — with a bit of local color.

One delegation, from the group Democrats Abroad, turned over its microphone to Sanders’ older brother, Larry, who has lived for decades in the United Kingdom.

“I want to read, before this convention, the names of our parents: Eli Sanders and Dorothy Glassberg Sanders,” he said with tears in his eyes. “They did not have easy lives and they died young. They would be immensely proud of their son and his accomplishments.”

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Bernie Sanders Appeals for Unity in Democratic Convention Address

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2016 at 1:36 AM

Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses the Democratic National Convention Monday night in Philadelphia. - PAUL HEINTZ
  • Paul Heintz
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses the Democratic National Convention Monday night in Philadelphia.
In a valedictory speech Monday night at the Democratic National Convention, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) urged his most passionate supporters to close ranks behind presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. 

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"Any objective observer will conclude that, based on her ideas and her leadership, Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States," Sanders told a capacity crowd at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. "The choice is not even close."

It was a message some Sanderistas still weren't ready to hear. Throughout the first night of the Democratic Party confab — even during their candidate's primetime address — a small number of them jeered Clinton whenever her name was uttered. 

Sanders acknowledged their heartache and confessed that he shared it.

"I understand that many people here in this convention hall and around the country are disappointed about the final results of the nominating process," he said. "I think it's fair to say that no one is more disappointed than I. But to all of our supporters, here and around the country, I hope you take enormous pride in the historical accomplishments we have achieved."

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Video: Sanders Campaign Manager Jeff Weaver on Democratic Divisions

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 6:11 PM

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As he waited for a ride to Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center on Monday afternoon, Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, took a moment to discuss the start of the Democratic National Convention.

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At a rally an hour earlier, Sanders delegates had booed the senator when he uttered presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's name. But Weaver said he didn't expect the episode to repeat itself  when the convention formally began.

"There were a lot of other people besides our delegates in the room today, so it was not clear to me who it was that was doing it," Weaver said of the booing. "But I expect all of our delegates to handle themselves with decorum inside the Wells Fargo Center."

Asked whether he worried Sanders supporters would refrain from supporting Clinton, the Highgate and St. Albans native said, "No, I think people in the end will realize the danger that [Republican nominee] Donald Trump poses."

Watch the video here: 


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Sanders Delegates Boo Hillary Clinton at Philadelphia Rally

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 3:32 PM

Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses delegates Monday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. - PAUL HEINTZ
  • Paul Heintz
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses delegates Monday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
At a raucous rally Monday in Philadelphia, hundreds of delegates to the Democratic National Convention booed their party's presumptive nominee.

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The moment of disunity came as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) gave a pre-convention pep talk to an electrified crowd of delegates at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. After celebrating the successes of his insurgent presidential campaign, the senator from Vermont turned his attention to the general election.

"We have got to defeat Donald Trump!" he shouted. "And we have got to elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine!"

The crowd erupted in a chorus of boos that lasted for close to a minute. Sanders raised his right arm in an effort to quiet his most fervent supporters.

"Brothers and sisters," he started. "Brothers and sisters, this is — this is the real world that we live in. Trump is a bully and a demagogue."

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Wasserman Schultz to Resign as Democrats Seek Convention Unity

Posted By on Sun, Jul 24, 2016 at 5:48 PM

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz at a debate last December in New Hampshire - FILE: PAUL HEINTZ
  • File: Paul Heintz
  • Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz at a debate last December in New Hampshire
Updated at 9:32 p.m.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said Sunday she would resign her chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee at the conclusion of the party's convention this week in Philadelphia.

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The move came as party leaders sought to quell an uproar over leaked DNC emails suggesting that committee staffers had undermined Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) presidential campaign. In one internal email, released Friday by WikiLeaks, DNC chief financial officer Brad Marshall asked two other party officials whether the organization could "get someone" to ask Sanders about his faith — an apparent effort to hurt his electoral chances in Kentucky and West Virginia.

Speaking Sunday morning on CNN's "State of the Union," Sanders called the emails "outrageous," but "not a great shock to me."

"I mean, there's no question, to my mind, and I think no question to any objective observer's mind, that the DNC was supporting [presumptive Democratic nominee] Hillary Clinton — was in opposition to our campaign," he said. "So I'm not quite shocked by this."

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

With Focus on Guns, Minter Seeks to Separate Herself From the Pack

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 12:48 PM

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Two years ago, Ann Braden wouldn't have predicted that a major candidate for governor of Vermont would run a television advertisement calling for gun control.

"But it often takes time for the state capital to catch up to public opinion," says Braden, who founded Gun Sense Vermont after the December 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Now, with less than three weeks remaining before Vermont's gubernatorial primary, one candidate is staking her candidacy on the controversial issue. In a television advertisement released Wednesday, Democrat Sue Minter ties firearms to domestic violence and pledges to take on "the gun lobby."

"We need to keep guns away from domestic abusers and require background checks on all gun sales," she says. 

It may not be the riskiest strategy in a Democratic primary. The Castleton Polling Institute found last February that 97 percent of Democrats support universal background checks. Even independents and Republicans overwhelmingly support the concept, the poll concluded.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Bernie Sanders Concedes, Endorses Hillary Clinton for President

Posted By on Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 1:40 PM

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaign together Tuesday morning in Portsmouth, N.H. - PAUL HEINTZ
  • Paul Heintz
  • Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaign together Tuesday morning in Portsmouth, N.H.
Updated at 8:39 p.m.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) brought his insurgent presidential campaign to a close Tuesday morning and offered a robust endorsement to Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Standing beside her in a Portsmouth, N.H., high school gymnasium, Sanders thanked his supporters for delivering more votes, states and delegates “than almost anyone thought we could win.”

“But it is not enough to win the nomination,” he conceded. “Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nomination.”

The campaigns worked hard to project a message of unity, hanging blue and white banners throughout the gym reading “Stronger Together.” The candidates emerged together, waved to audience members and stood arm in arm, whispering to one another.

But they were quickly reminded of the deep divisions that marked their protracted campaign. Sanders supporters held his campaign placards aloft and chanted his name. Some booed when he announced his endorsement — and at least a dozen walked right out of Portsmouth High School. Others in the crowd responded with cheers of “Hillary!” and “Unity!”

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Monday, July 11, 2016

National Police Violence Spurs Protest in Burlington

Posted By on Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 2:21 PM

More than 100 people turned out on Saturday for a protest and vigil against police shootings. - JAMES BUCK
  • James Buck
  • More than 100 people turned out on Saturday for a protest and vigil against police shootings.
More than 100 people gathered Saturday night at the top of Church Street in Burlington to remember Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, two African American men shot and killed by police last week.

Sterling, 37, was killed early Tuesday morning in Baton Rouge, La. Castile, 32, was fatally shot after being pulled over for a broken taillight outside of St. Paul, Minn. Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, narrated the aftermath of his shooting via Facebook Live, with her 4-year-old daughter sitting in the car's back seat. 

The Champlain Area NAACP, a local chapter of the civil rights organization founded in 1909, organized the event. The Vermont chapter was established in July 2015 under the leadership of president Mary Brown-Guillory. The vigil was also a call to action. Many who turned out on a rainy evening held Black Lives Matter signs.

At a Dallas demonstration against the shootings on Thursday, an African American army veteran shot and killed five police officers. In response, Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo suspended Burlington officer's solo patrols

Brown-Guillory spoke to the Burlington crowd, as did others, including Pastor Mark Demers of Burlington's First United Methodist Church. One young man recited his poem, "For Trayvon," which included a call-and-response recitation of names of African Americans killed by police.
Slideshow
Photos: A Burlington Vigil and Protest for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile
Photos: A Burlington Vigil and Protest for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile Photos: A Burlington Vigil and Protest for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile Photos: A Burlington Vigil and Protest for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile Photos: A Burlington Vigil and Protest for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile Photos: A Burlington Vigil and Protest for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile Photos: A Burlington Vigil and Protest for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile Photos: A Burlington Vigil and Protest for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile Photos: A Burlington Vigil and Protest for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile

Photos: A Burlington Vigil and Protest for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile


By James Buck

Click to View 24 slides


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