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Re: “Convict-Turned-Lawmaker Pushes Criminal Justice Reform in Vermont

Janssen's story should remind us of the number of Christian organizations that do good work, advocating and helping those who general society has turned their back on. It is always interesting to me, too, how our stereotypes of southern, conservative states can make headway in issues such as prisoner reintegration where northern liberal ones sputter. We can all learn from each other, I think.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Tom Darling on 04/23/2017 at 8:24 AM

Re: “Inside the Conservative Takeover of Vermont's Coolidge Foundation

Hmmmm...what could Rebekah Mercer's interest in The Coolidge Foundation be? I would urge folks to do an online search of her and her interactions with the Trump administration. There are numerous articles published March, 2017, in national publications. Why would the Foundation need so much money and high paid staff?

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Keep Winooski Real on 04/21/2017 at 7:25 PM

Re: “Inside the Conservative Takeover of Vermont's Coolidge Foundation

Mr. Heintz contends that Ms. Shlaes alone wants to take Coolidge away from Vermont. Based on Mr. Heintzs article, however, I reviewed the Strategic Planning Process that was conducted in 2009, before Ms. Shlaes was on the Foundation's horizon.

In 2009, the Coolidge board determined that: "We will use our unique location at Plymouth Notch, organizational strengths and passion, to establish funding, strong partnerships, and national recognition for Calvin Coolidge." We also determined to "reinforce national fund raising." We envisioned a Foundation that would ensure that "the nation will be inspired to use Calvin Coolidge as a key to solving relevant national and international issues."

The current activities of the Foundation under Ms. Shlaes and executive director Matt Denhart appear to be following the 2009 Plan closely. The Foundation has drawn national funding without compromising itself.The Foundation has established strong partnerships with esteemed institutions, two being with the Dartmouth Debate Institutes and the White House Historical Association, which co-hosts finalists for the Coolidge scholarship over the summer.

The Foundation has drawn more than a thousand young people to the Notch, high school debaters since Ms. Shlaes and director Matt Denhart came on board. The Coolidge scholarship program, undercovered in Mr. Heintz's article, has drawn 2400 or more solid applicants this year, all of whom write essays about Coolidge. The success of Ms. Shlaes is really amazing to me.
Gov. Douglas comments have the most credibility in the articlethe foundation has matured quite a lot in recent years and I dont see any ideological imprint on anything we do as an organization. The author did not, it seems, choose to interview many others with knowledge of the situation. Vermont did not get a true picture of the merits of the Coolidge Foundation.

Robert Kirby
Coolidge Foundation
( 2009- 2011)

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Robert P. Kirby on 04/21/2017 at 4:26 PM

Re: “Inside the Conservative Takeover of Vermont's Coolidge Foundation

Sounds like the typical, standard modus operandi for the joyless, angry, women-hating, greedy, selfish old other words, republiKKKlans.

4 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by ksmith610 on 04/21/2017 at 4:06 PM

Re: “Inside the Conservative Takeover of Vermont's Coolidge Foundation

I am a historian and have been a member of the Coolidge Foundation since 1972.

For decades, the Foundations focus was on Cal, the Vermonter, sitting contentedly in a rocker on the piazza of the family Homestead, making wise, brief observations or telling little jokes from time to time.

Since Ms. Shlaes arrival, the group has expanded its focus to take in Calvin Coolidges full life experiences. This rightly including discussing and illuminating his conservative politics and his most successful Presidency, during which he presided over the most vital and exciting decade of the XXth Centurythe Roaring Twenties.

As historian, I certainly welcome this changed. Indeed, I congratulate Ms. Shlaes and her associates for making it possible and for making the Coolidge Foundation a truly national body of Coolidge enthusiasts, one doing much good work, especially for our nations young.

Saying that todays Coolidge Presidential Foundation is some kind of right winged organization is simply nonsensethat is, to anyone who knows the true facts. Saying so, moreover, does a great disservice the fine individuals involved. They deserve our plaudits!

11 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Jerry Wallace on 04/20/2017 at 6:40 PM

Re: “Convict-Turned-Lawmaker Pushes Criminal Justice Reform in Vermont

What could possibly motivate a Republican who is shitty on pretty much every issue to support a progressive cause like criminal-justice reform? Only being a white-collar criminal himself who defrauded investors. Not to say that this cause is bad, it is something that folks should support wholeheartedly - just don't be dazzled by Willhoit and think he's some sort of compassionate conservative.

Janssen Wilhoit and Adam Greshin are really competing with each other to see who can be most outwardly self-serving in their legislative priorities.

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Adam Salem on 04/20/2017 at 3:41 PM

Re: “After Decades of Feuding, Is It Time to Disband the Tiny Town of Victory?

There are other towns in Vermont that have the same problem. It has been part of the Vermont culture forever. Remember the eugenics project, the witch burning, etc.....

Read the recent Bennington Banner Editorial "Fear and Loathing in Bennington".

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by on 04/20/2017 at 10:35 AM

Re: “Inside the Conservative Takeover of Vermont's Coolidge Foundation

It epitomizes corporate greed. Prefect "conservative" values.

5 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Mick on 04/20/2017 at 7:32 AM

Re: “Inside the Conservative Takeover of Vermont's Coolidge Foundation

Given Calvin Coolidge was, for his time, a popular and mainstream conservative Republican, is what's happening here really that big a deal? Conservative Republicans taking over the foundation of a conservative Republican president? Granted Coolidge would probably be in the Rand Paul wing of the party today rather than the neo-con, war hawk G.W. Bush wing, so a little ironic that alumni of the G.W. Bush foundation now involved. But this is not exactly a conservative takeover of a foundation for FDR. It seems the "takeover" is as much about the out-of-stater vs. locals conflict?

10 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 04/20/2017 at 1:46 AM

Re: “Convict-Turned-Lawmaker Pushes Criminal Justice Reform in Vermont

I knew Janssen in college. He ultimately graduated from EKU, but he was expelled from my school in late 1998 after breaking school rules. I knew him as someone who flashed money around to impress others, drove a nice car (for a student), and talked big about his political power and influence. You could forgive a 20 year old for being a little arrogant and pretentious and breaking school rules, but he really did go on to hurt a bunch of people badly.

I have to say that I'm very skeptical of his claim that he only used the money from the Ponzi scheme to try to pay dividends to his investors, and not to launch the glamorous lifestyle he craved. And I'd have more respect for him and trust in his sincerity more if he would make some effort to repay the people he hurt, even if it was only $10 per week.

I'm glad he seems to be trying to do good things and to stay out of trouble, but in light of his lack of real repentance, it worries me that he is in positions of increasing power and responsibility.

12 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Vivian Bush on 04/19/2017 at 11:56 PM

Re: “Inside the Conservative Takeover of Vermont's Coolidge Foundation

"The foundation does not identify its donors..."

That says everything.

10 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Doug Hoffer on 04/19/2017 at 5:31 PM

Re: “Diminishing Democracy? At Kirby Town Meeting, the 18 Percent Rule

Not difficult to understand why participation in Stowe's meeting day is down . Act 60 otherwise known as the screw you "Gold Town's" . Stowe residents realized at the turn of the century that town meetings are a sham when Montpelier usurped school funding and direction from local control . Stowe and other so called Gold towns were victims of the tall poppy syndrome where jealous politicians from have not parts of Vermont decided to punish those towns that had higher school tax revenue. They ignored the higher taxes those in these towns faced and paid for .

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Rich ard on 03/08/2017 at 9:41 PM

Re: “Diminishing Democracy? At Kirby Town Meeting, the 18 Percent Rule

Town meetings were a mild curiosity and a background detail of life in New England for me until I took one of the last senior seminars taught by Frank Bryan at UVM. It drove, as intended I believe, a re-evaluation of the nature of town meetings and their importance to democracy for all of his students.

Local governance tends to be championed on the right, and viewed skeptically by the left as tool primarily for advancing an illiberal social agenda. But research (including my own, during the course) shows that local control reduces spending while improving the quality of government and its responsiveness to the specific needs of local residents. If we want the villages to work for the villagers, then Vermont needs to restore and maintain the tradition of meaningful town meetings.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Nate Awrich on 03/08/2017 at 5:06 PM

Re: “Diminishing Democracy? At Kirby Town Meeting, the 18 Percent Rule

Offering a respectful counter to one of the closing points, we see that communities with strong pre-Town Meeting Day discussions on Front Porch Forum tend to draw MORE participation... not less. Talking about important local topics in the weeks leading up to Town Meeting increases engagement.

Town Meeting is a crucial part of Vermont's history, and should be an ever-more-important part of our future. Nothing beats face-to-face discussion.

Michael Wood-Lewis, co-founder

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Michael Wood-Lewis on 03/08/2017 at 2:09 PM

Re: “Vermont's Right Thinks Scott is Wrong on Trump

I worked professionally against Governor Scott in the 2016 campaign, working for/volunteering for democratic candidates in the gubernatorial and lieutenant governor races/primaries. I wholeheartedly approve of Governor Scott's actions in regards to Trump and Immigration.

If Governor Scott is worrying, he shouldn't be. He has proven himself to be a principled middle-of-the-road Governor, which is exactly what our state needs. I have spent a significant portion of my professional career working in Democratic politics and I fully plan to support Governor Scott in 2018.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jake Brudney on 03/08/2017 at 10:25 AM

Re: “Gibbs and the Gov: Is Scott's Chief of Staff Running the Show?

Gibbs finds himself smarter and more charming than anyone else finds him. Scott would be wise to replace Gibbs before he does any permanent damage to the administration or Vermont.

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by AnneG on 03/05/2017 at 6:11 PM

Re: “#Resist: How Trump's Election Has Ignited Vermont Activists

Define "sedition"..."Another manifesto of the shadow party is online for people to view. It begins by demonizing the Tea Party and advising illegal immigrants of their rights. Calling themselves The Indivisible Team, they promote exactly what Organizing for America is promoting how to organize to destroy every townhall, every effort by the GOP and the President. Its very aggressive. The leftists cant win by debating policy issues, so they simply try to destroy the opposition. Its pure Alinsky.
Their effort seeks to unite leftists of all stripes as does Organizing for America. On Long Island alone...there are over 1,000 of these types of groups. They call themselves #resist. They all do the same thing.
The manifesto even quotes communist organizer, Dolores Huerta: Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world. Well, there you go!…

Posted by Linus Leavens on 03/02/2017 at 8:23 AM

Re: “#Resist: How Trump's Election Has Ignited Vermont Activists

The Dems and Progs "resisted" mightily on election day Nov 8 and Hillary still lost, despite outspending Trump by a nearly 4-1 margin. The Dems/Progs/Socialists will need to convince an army of "independents" who voted for Trump to put their faith instead in the likes of Tom Perez, Nancy Pelosi, and Elizabeth Warren if the "resisters" hope to make significant Electoral or strategic gains in 2018 and/or 2020. Thankfully, a critical mass of voters understands that even whacky, narcissistic, thin-skinned, lyin' Trump is preferable to the Eliz Warrens and Tom Perezes whose leftist policies,if implemented, would turn the U.S. Into a pathetic 3rd-world banana republic where elitists rule by dictat, sloth is rewarded, living standards are lowered, and diligence, honesty, and merit are punished.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by wahrheit on 02/25/2017 at 11:30 PM

Re: “Vermont's Right Thinks Scott is Wrong on Trump

I applaud our Governor for being proactive on this issue and for doing what he feels is right. I love being a Vermonter :)

16 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Laurie Sohrabi on 02/23/2017 at 9:28 PM

Re: “After Fighting for Refugees, Louras Battles to Remain Rutland's Mayor

Hopefully, some of his opposition candidates will do things above the table instead of under it such as the Mayor did with the refugee issue.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by ezduzit on 02/23/2017 at 11:06 AM

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