News | Off Message | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice


Monday, March 19, 2018

Leahy Accuses Trump of Seeking to Intimidate Mueller, DOJ

Posted By on Mon, Mar 19, 2018 at 3:33 PM

Sen. Patrick Leahy on Monday at Burlington International Airport - PAUL HEINTZ
  • Paul Heintz
  • Sen. Patrick Leahy on Monday at Burlington International Airport
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Monday accused President Donald Trump's administration of seeking to intimidate Special Counsel Robert Mueller by firing former Federal Bureau of Investigation deputy director Andrew McCabe.

"This is just trying to intimidate the people in the Department of Justice and the FBI," Leahy said during a press conference at Burlington International Airport. "I don't think Bob Mueller will be intimidated by anybody."

Speaking two days after McCabe's dismissal, the senior member of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee also said that he was "concerned about the attacks now ramping up on" Mueller, comparing the situation to Watergate.

For the first time this weekend, Trump directly criticized Mueller's investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign, alleging that members of the special counsel's team were "hardened Democrats" and supporters of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. The day before, Trump lawyer John Dowd called on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to shutter the Mueller investigation.

Asked if the special counsel's firing would provoke a constitutional crisis, Leahy said, "I think so." But the senator would not say how he would respond to such an eventuality. "You'll see that if [Trump] does attempt to fire him, I'll make some very strong stands on that," Leahy said.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Report: Trump Hiring Toensing's Stepfather to Combat Russia Probe

Posted By on Mon, Mar 19, 2018 at 1:43 PM

Brady Toensing - FILE: CALEB KENNA
  • File: Caleb Kenna
  • Brady Toensing
The New York Times reported Monday that President Donald Trump plans to hire Joseph diGenova to represent him in the special counsel probe of Russian election meddling.

DiGenova, a prominent Washington, D.C.-based attorney, is the stepfather and law partner of Vermont Republican Party vice chair Brady Toensing. The Times report did not indicate whether Toensing or his mother and law partner, Victoria Toensing, would also represent the president.

Brady Toensing, who chaired Trump's 2016 Vermont campaign and lives in Charlotte, declined to comment Monday on whether he would be involved.

According to the Times report, which was attributed to three unnamed sources, Trump has not formally announced the hiring and could still change his mind. It said that diGenova would not play a "a lead role" but would be "a more aggressive player on the president’s legal team." DiGenova and his wife, who have also represented Blackwater founder Erik Prince and former Trump campaign chair Sam Clovis, are best known for their conspiratorial appearances on the Fox News Channel.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , ,

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Vermont Lawmakers Consider Gun Magazine Capacity Limits

Posted By on Sat, Mar 17, 2018 at 12:02 AM

Rep. Martin LaLonde (D-South Burlington) - FILE
  • File
  • Rep. Martin LaLonde (D-South Burlington)
Vermont's House Judiciary Committee plans to spend next week debating whether to add additional gun safety measures to a Senate-passed bill that would raise the firearm purchasing age to 21 and mandate universal background checks for all gun sales.

The new proposals, from Rep. Martin LaLonde (D-South Burlington) would put a 10-round limit on magazines and require guns to be locked up when they’re stored outside of the owner’s control.

“To have more than 10 rounds, it makes a firearm a more lethal weapon — more of a killing machine,” LaLonde said. “It’s one of the areas that advocates for having safer gun laws are really pushing, and they’ve studied this and they believe that this is one of the best things we can do for these shooter situations.”

The safe storage provision, he said, is designed to protect children and teens from hurting themselves or others by getting their hands on a gun without supervision.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Health Group Chair Says She Was 'Silenced' by Scott Administration

Posted By on Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 12:14 PM

Mary Kate Mohlman, state director of health care reform, and Al Gobeille, secretary of the Agency of Human Services - FILE: TERRI HALLENBECK
  • File: Terri Hallenbeck
  • Mary Kate Mohlman, state director of health care reform, and Al Gobeille, secretary of the Agency of Human Services
The cochair of a health care advisory panel resigned this week over frustrations with the governor her group was charged with advising.

In a scathing letter to Gov. Phil Scott, Mary Val Palumbo accused his administration of ignoring recommendations from the Governor's Health Care Workforce Work Group and attempting to squelch dissent.

"Our feedback does not align with the current [Agency of Human Services] stance and budget proposal, and we are being silenced," Palumbo wrote.

An associate professor at the University of Vermont's College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Palumbo has led the work group since then-governor Peter Shumlin established it in 2013. The panel, which includes roughly two dozen health care professionals and administration officials, is charged with recommending approaches to recruit and retain health care workers in Vermont.

Another member of the group, Stowe psychologist Rick Barnett, also recently resigned, expressing frustrations similar to Palumbo's.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Sanders Lowballs Vermont Gun Deaths by an Order of Magnitude

Posted By on Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 12:13 PM

Updated at 1:26 p.m.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) took to the floor of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday morning to call for gun control legislation, but in doing so he understated the number of gun deaths in Vermont by an order of magnitude.

“In my small state of Vermont, between 2011 and 2016, 42 people were killed by guns,” Sanders said in his remarks.

That’s the same window of time Vermont Public Radio focused on last year in a series documenting gun deaths in Vermont, but Sanders’ figure was way off. VPR’s reporting, which was based on data provided by the Vermont Department of Health, found that 420 people were killed by guns between 2011 and 2016.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Monday, March 12, 2018

Facing Budget Shortfall, Castleton to 'Push Pause' on Polling Institute

Posted By on Mon, Mar 12, 2018 at 5:55 PM

  • Courtesy of Ennis Duling
  • Rich Clark
Nearly seven years after founding Vermont's sole public polling operation, Rich Clark is preparing to mothball the Castleton Polling Institute.

"I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed," said Clark, the institute's director and a professor at Castleton University.

The state university has decided to "push pause" on its polling center, according to spokesman Jeff Weld, as part of a broader restructuring announced two weeks ago in response to a $1.5 million budget shortfall. Vermont Public Radio first reported Sunday that Clark's program was on the chopping block.

"I think the hope is that when future times warrant it, we'll be able to bring the polling institute back online," Weld said.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday, March 9, 2018

At UVM Event, Second Amendment Advocates Decry Gun-Control Measures

Posted By on Fri, Mar 9, 2018 at 12:10 AM

From left: Rob Roper of the Ethan Allen Institute, Bill Moore of the Vermont Traditions Coalition, Rep. Janssen Willhoit (R-St. Johnsbury) and Ed Cutler of Gun Owners of Vermont - TAYLOR DOBBS
  • Taylor Dobbs
  • From left: Rob Roper of the Ethan Allen Institute, Bill Moore of the Vermont Traditions Coalition, Rep. Janssen Willhoit (R-St. Johnsbury) and Ed Cutler of Gun Owners of Vermont
About 100 gun rights advocates gathered at the University of Vermont’s Ira Allen Chapel Thursday evening for a discussion that ranged from the Second Amendment to the wide variety of societal ills that participants said are causing gun violence.

The resounding message under the chapel’s vaulted ceilings was that gun control is not the solution to America’s gun violence problem.

“In the various conversations we’re having in the legislature right now, it is real and true that we have a great struggle not only in Vermont but in our country,” said Rep. Janssen Willhoit (R-St. Johnsbury).

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Colston's Write-in Bid Wins Him a Winooski City Council Seat

Posted By on Wed, Mar 7, 2018 at 6:03 PM

Hal Colston and Kristine Lott - PHOTO ILLUSTRATION
  • Photo Illustration
  • Hal Colston and Kristine Lott
It's rare for a write-in candidate to win a seat on the Winooski City Council. But Hal Colston did just that on Tuesday.

"It was just kind of, wow," Colston said Wednesday. "It just ... reinforced for me that this is my time to step in and serve.”

The nonprofit exec got into the campaign in early February, after the deadline to get on the ballot had passed. He distributed stickers, posters and postcards to help people vote for him. When 537 people did, Colston claimed one of two council seats that were up for grabs.

Kristine Lott, who was listed on the ballot, won the other seat. She was the top vote-getter, with 607 ballots.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Friday, March 2, 2018

Vermont Senate Votes to Increase the Legal Age for Gun Buyers to 21

Posted By on Fri, Mar 2, 2018 at 5:18 PM

Sen. John Rodgers on Thursday at the Vermont Statehouse - FILE: PAUL HEINTZ
  • File: Paul Heintz
  • Sen. John Rodgers on Thursday at the Vermont Statehouse
The Vermont Senate passed a bill Friday that would both raise the legal age for purchasing guns from 16 to 21 and mandate universal background checks.

Debate focused on raising the legal age; the Senate had given preliminary approval to universal background checks on Thursday.

The age-limit proposal came from Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe (D/P-Chittenden) and 15 cosponsors, effectively guaranteeing its passage in the 30-member Senate.

On the Senate floor, Ashe said the goal behind that proposal was to keep young people from impulsively harming themselves or others.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Student Who Published 'Men to Avoid' List Disciplined by College

Posted By on Thu, Mar 1, 2018 at 12:51 PM

Elizabeth Dunn at Middlebury College - MOLLY WALSH
  • Molly Walsh
  • Elizabeth Dunn at Middlebury College
Middlebury College student Elizabeth Dunn has been sanctioned but will not be suspended or expelled for posting a list on Facebook that accused 36 current and former male students by name of sexual assault and harassment.

The elite private college disciplined Dunn with a permanent letter in the senior's academic file, according to a report in the student newspaper, the Middlebury Campus.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , ,

Recent Comments

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2018 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation