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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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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Independent Ali Dieng to Run for Open Burlington City Council Seat

Posted By on Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 1:45 PM

  • Courtesy of Stephanie Seguino
  • Ali Dieng
A West Africa native has announced his bid for an open Burlington City Council seat that represents the New North End.

Ali Dieng, 35, will run as an independent. He's seeking to replace Democrat Tom Ayres, who plans to resign from his Ward 7 seat in June. Dieng, who said he'll seek endorsements from the Progressive and Democratic parties, will face Vince Dober, a Republican who announced earlier this month.

City officials said Tuesday that a special election to fill the vacancy will be held on June 27, the day after Ayres steps down.

If elected, Dieng would be the only New American — and the only nonwhite member — of the city council. He said he wants to engage more diverse voices in city politics. "We need representation from the communities the city serves," he said.

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Bernie Sanders' Campaign War Chest Nears $3.9 Million

Posted By on Sun, Apr 16, 2017 at 10:40 PM

Sen. Bernie Sanders - FILE: JAMES BUCK
  • File: James Buck
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders
During the first three months of 2017, Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) campaign fundraising reflected his national ambitions. The unsuccessful presidential candidate-cum-progressive darling out-raised Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) combined — and outspent both by large margins, according to campaign finance filings submitted April 15 to the Federal Election Commission.

Nearly all of the $215,694 Sanders brought in came from individual donors, many of whom hail from outside of Vermont. Sanders, who eschews contributions from most political action committees, received $6,093 from two PACs: The League of Conservation Voters PAC, which supports environmental causes, gave $1,093, and the America Works PAC, which is affiliated with Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), contributed $5,000.

More than 18 months before he faces reelection, Sanders has already accumulated $3,877,831 in his political war chest. That money could also be transferred to a presidential campaign fund, should he decide to run for the White House again in 2020.

The junior senator's expenses this quarter, which total $127,931, also underscore the fact that he's still in national campaign mode, nine months after losing to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary. He paid $32,500 for website and fundraising services from Revolution Messaging, which ran his lucrative digital fundraising operation during that race.

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Republican Vince Dober to Run for Burlington City Council

Posted By on Mon, Apr 10, 2017 at 6:44 PM

  • Courtesy photo
  • Vince Dober
Republican Vince Dober is hoping to return to the Burlington City Council. Dober declared his candidacy for a seat on Friday, just after Democrat Tom Ayres said that he will step down from the council in June. That will force a special election for the Ward 7 seat in the New North End.

Dober, 53, served as a councilor from 2009 to 2013. Dober, who was formerly with the Vermont Air National Guard, decided not to run for reelection so he could spend more time building up his business, Backstage Pub and Restaurant in Essex Junction. "This was sort of just a little break," Dober said. "I bought a business and that business has stabilized."

Burlington will hold a special election in June, Ayres told Seven Days last week. The winning candidate would need to run again next Town Meeting Day to keep the seat; Ayres' term expires in March 2018.

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Burlington Incumbent Wins Inspector of Elections Runoff

Posted By on Tue, Apr 4, 2017 at 8:55 PM

  • File photo
Andrew Champagne spent 12 hours in Burlington's Old North End campaigning in the rain Tuesday — and his persistence paid off.

The incumbent Ward 2 inspector of elections kept his seat by edging challenger Adrian Burnett in a special election. The two men tied in a Town Meeting Day vote, but on Tuesday, Champagne won in a runaway: 150-50.

When the poll workers at the Integrated Arts Academy at H.O. Wheeler finished counting the ballots around 7:15 p.m. and announced the unofficial results, Champagne let out a whoop.

The 53-year-old incumbent praised the "pride people have in the Old North End, and the amount of respect people have for voting."

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