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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Virginia Candidates Win Office With Help From Vermont Group

Posted By on Thu, Nov 9, 2017 at 3:21 PM

Members of the southern Vermont Sister District chapter - COURTESY PEG ALDEN
  • Courtesy Peg Alden
  • Members of the southern Vermont Sister District chapter
We first told you about the southern Vermont chapter of the Sister District project in May.

The activist group, which seeks to elect Democrats involved in difficult state-level races, was preparing to launch a soup CSA, modeled after community supported agriculture programs that provide patrons farm-fresh fruits, veggies and meats. The money the group raised in the Brattleboro-Putney area was earmarked for John Bell, an incumbent Democrat in Virginia’s House of Delegates.

On Tuesday, Bell rolled to victory, winning 62 percent of the vote to retain his seat in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. In the campaign, he spent nearly $300,000 more than his Republican challenger, according to data provided by the Virginia Public Access Project.

The results delighted Peg Alden, the cocaptain of the southern Vermont group.
“I’m just thrilled and inspired to see, in these state-level races, what small amounts of cash can do,” she told Seven Days on Thursday.

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

New Contenders Emerge for Vermont GOP Chair

Posted By on Thu, Oct 26, 2017 at 11:31 AM

Current GOP chair David Sunderland addresses fellow Republicans in 2013 - FILE
  • File
  • Current GOP chair David Sunderland addresses fellow Republicans in 2013
Updated at 12:35 p.m.

At least two candidates are vying to replace David Sunderland as chair of the Vermont Republican Party.

Michael Donohue, who moved with his family to Shelburne in 2016, announced his bid in an email Wednesday. Deb Billado of Essex Junction is also putting her hat in the ring.

Party members will gather at the Capitol Plaza Hotel & Conference Center in Montpelier on November 4 to elect leadership positions, including state committee chair, vice chair, secretary and treasurer.

Sunderland, who’s led the party since 2013, said he isn’t running for reelection because he needs to devote more time to his job and his family.

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Dogged Leftist Candidate Peter Diamondstone Dies

Posted By on Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 3:42 PM

Peter Diamondstone - FILE: ZACHARY STEPHENS
  • File: Zachary Stephens
  • Peter Diamondstone
Updated at 5:24 p.m.

Peter Diamondstone, a fiery socialist politician who founded the Liberty Union Party and was a mainstay on Election Day ballots in Vermont for four decades, died on Wednesday at his home in Dummerston, his wife confirmed to Seven Days. He was 82.

Diamondstone was suffering from a variety of ailments, Doris Lake said, including heart failure. He left the hospital several weeks ago to receive hospice care at home, Lake said. They had recently celebrated their 60th anniversary.

In recent years, Diamondstone was perhaps best known as a colorful character at debates and on the campaign trail for the various offices he sought. His name appeared on ballots in every statewide election since 1970, though he never came close to winning.

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Two South Burlington School Board Candidates Fined for Campaign Finance Violations

Posted By on Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 4:07 PM

Rebels banners at South Burlington High School - FILE: OLIVER PARINI
  • File: Oliver Parini
  • Rebels banners at South Burlington High School
Two supporters of the controversial Rebels nickname who both ran unsuccessfully for the South Burlington School Board have each been fined $250 for campaign finance violations.

In addition to paying the fines, Danial Emmons and Marcy Brigham agreed in a July 17 settlement with the Vermont Attorney General's Office to refile their campaign finance reports.

The AG office's investigation found that the two had violated several state statutes during their write-in campaigns for the March 7 election. Both decided to run after the school board voted in February to drop the Rebels nickname over concerns that it has racist associations with the Confederacy.

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

New Filings Show Donovan Leads the Pack in Vermont Campaign Cash

Posted By on Sun, Jul 16, 2017 at 9:44 AM

T.J. Donovan - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • T.J. Donovan
Attorney General T.J. Donovan is sitting on more campaign cash than Vermont's five other statewide officeholders combined, according to disclosure forms filed Saturday with the Secretary of State's Office.

The campaign finance documents provide the first glimpse into state politicians' campaign accounts since December 2016. Candidates for federal office file on a quarterly basis. (See fundraising totals from Vermont's congressional delegation here.)

Though the next state election is more than 15 months away, Donovan's campaign account appears unusually active. The first-term Democrat easily won the post last November, leaving him with $128,479 to spare. Since then, he picked up a $4,000 contribution from the Democratic Attorneys General Association.

Donovan also spent more than any other candidate over the last seven months, racking up $12,062 in expenses. Those included $6,450 for campaign software, $782 for a June event at Burlington's St. John's Club and $40 for a Mexican meal in Portland, Ore., in May. That left Donovan with $121,132 in his campaign account at the end of the reporting period.

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Monday, July 3, 2017

Walters: Condos Exploring Options With 'Sham' Election Commission

Posted By on Mon, Jul 3, 2017 at 4:05 PM

  • File: Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
  • Jim Condos
Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos wants to make something very clear: He will not provide voters' personal information to President Donald Trump's "so-called Election Integrity Commission."

Last week, the commission sent letters to all 50 states requesting reams of voter data, including names, birth dates, addresses, partial Social Security numbers, party affiliation, military service status and criminal records. Condos responded on Friday, saying he would only turn over the limited information he is required to disclose upon request.

And then his inbox filled to overflowing.

"We received a lot of emails," said Deputy Secretary of State Chris Winters. "The vast majority were saying, 'Don't comply at all.' Many said, 'Thank you, you're doing the right thing.' A few said we should provide all the requested data, along with some impolite comments."

There were enough messages that misconstrued Condos' position that he decided to clarify.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ali Dieng Wins Ward 7 Burlington City Council Seat

Posted By on Tue, Jun 27, 2017 at 9:12 PM

Ali Dieng after his victory Tuesday night - KATIE JICKLING
  • Katie Jickling
  • Ali Dieng after his victory Tuesday night
Democratic-Progressive candidate Ali Dieng easily won a special election Tuesday to take the recently vacated Ward 7 seat on the Burlington City Council.

The first-time candidate won 610 votes, more than double the tally of his nearest competitor, Republican Vince Dober, who finished with 302 votes. Independents Ellie Blais and Chris Trombly earned 47 and 29 votes, respectively. Dieng will be the only nonwhite member of the council and the second New American to ever serve on the city's legislative body.

Dieng will replace Democrat Tom Ayres, who stepped down to take a new job in Randolph.

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Friday, June 9, 2017

Mulvaney-Stanak Resigns Vermont Progressive Party Chairmanship

Posted By on Fri, Jun 9, 2017 at 1:01 PM

Emma Mulvaney-Stanak - JORDAN SILVERMAN
  • Jordan Silverman
  • Emma Mulvaney-Stanak
Updated at 2:54 p.m.

After four years at the helm of the Vermont Progressive Party, Emma Mulvaney-Stanak is leaving her post. State Sen. Anthony Pollina (P/D-Washington) will take over as interim chair until the next state committee meeting, which will be held in August or September.

In an email to party members Friday, Mulvaney-Stanak announced that she was stepping down to focus on her day job as a labor and political strategist for the Vermont-National Education Association. She said she had informed the party’s senior leadership of her decision at a meeting Thursday night; the coordinating committee then named Pollina interim chair.

Don’t expect Mulvaney-Stanak to disappear from the state political scene. The outgoing chair, who previously served on the Burlington City Council, told Seven Days, “I very much intend to run for office again soon.” For what seat, she wouldn’t say. 

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Ali Dieng Earns Dem Nomination for Burlington City Council Seat

Posted By on Thu, May 4, 2017 at 10:38 PM

  • Courtesy of Stephanie Seguino
  • Ali Dieng
Ali Dieng claimed victory Thursday at Burlington's Ward 7 Democratic caucus, earning the chance to represent the party in a special election for an open city council seat in the New North End.

Dieng earned 76 votes to win easily, defeating Chris Trombly and Lorraine Carter-Lovejoy. Trombly received 15 votes and Carter-Lovejoy got 12, according to Steve McIntyre, vice chair of the Burlington Democratic Party and a Ward 7 resident.

Dieng, a 35-year-old West Africa native, will face off against Republican Vince Dober in the special election, which will be held on June 27. Other candidates may yet throw their hats in the ring — the filing deadline to run is May 22.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Two Democrats Join Contest for Open Burlington City Council Seat

Posted By on Wed, Apr 26, 2017 at 9:12 PM

  • Courtesy of Lorraine Carter-Lovejoy
  • Lorraine Carter-Lovejoy
Two more New North End residents have stepped up to run for Burlington's open city council seat. Chris Trombly and Lorraine Carter-Lovejoy will vie for the Democratic nomination to fill the Ward 7 seat that will be vacated in June by Tom Ayres.

Trombly and Carter-Lovejoy join Ali Dieng and Republican Vince Dober as candidates in the special election scheduled for June 27.

A Democratic caucus is scheduled for May 4. Dieng, an independent, has said he'll try to win the Dem's endorsement.

Trombly declared his candidacy Wednesday in a press release. The 37-year-old serves on the steering committee of the Wards 4 and 7 Neighborhood Planning Assembly and works as vice president of loan operations at People's United Bank.

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