The one-minute YouTube video, which evokes echoes of Carly Fiorina’s 2010 “Demon Sheep ad,” intersperses video clips of Democrats talking about major issues with short clips of donkeys doing the “Dean Scream” — the WWE-style yell that helped tank former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential bid.
Angle's super PAC, OurVoicePAC, posted the video to YouTube in March, Schultheis reports, but the ex-candidate is only now starting to promote it. And there's really nothing more to say about it than this: It's totally weird and you should watch it.
The retired Wall Street executive and dabbler in Vermont politics features prominently in a new TV ad his political advocacy group, Campaign for Vermont, plans to air in advance of this winter's legislative session.
In a press release announcing the ad, Lisman promises that future ads "will focus on specific reforms for which we will be advocating" next year, "like our detailed proposals to transform state government with transparency, establish ethics laws for elected officials and build the best education system in the world."
But this one's totally devoid of specifics. Just a lot of chatter about making Vermont affordable, creating jobs and helping families become more secure.
"No one calls for brighter colors or cuter puppies or offers to teach the world to sing in harmony," the Burlington Free Press' Terri Hallenbeck notes, "but you get the drift."
Two days after his administration launched a new web-based health insurance marketplace, Gov. Peter Shumlin said Thursday that problems plaguing Vermont Health Connect were a little more "something-burger" than "nothing-burger."
At the same time, Shumlin said his administration was "making great progress" in resolving glitches and accelerating connectivity to the online exchange, through which 100,000 Vermonters are expected to buy health insurance.
"This is a good news story," the governor said Thursday afternoon at a Statehouse press conference. "This is the biggest technology transformation in health care in the history of America. We are delivering on the promise that was made to help low-income people get access to insurance."
In discussing the system's roll-out, Shumlin found himself revisiting a prime metaphor he cooked up at another press conference two weeks before. At the time, the governor was asked about his administration's recent admission that Vermont Health Connect's online payment processing system would not debut until November 1 — a month later than promised.
Who knew Lt. Gov. Phil Scott and Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell (D-Windsor) were so theatrically inclined?
Well, the secret's out now that the two have starred in a video roast of their colleague, Sen. Dick Mazza (D-Grand Isle), produced by the Vermont Grocers' Association. (If you're not familiar with the legend of Dick Mazza, BTW, you should definitely check out Seven Days' 2011 profile of him, written by my former colleague, Andy Bromage.)
Mazza, whose family has operated Mazza's General Store in Colchester since 1954, was presented with the industry trade group's "person of the year" award at its annual convention last Friday at South Burlington's DoubleTree Hotel.
With it came the 15-minute video written, in part, by Scott and Campbell and starring such notable Green Mountain thespians as Gov. Peter Shumlin, Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and former governor Jim Douglas. It was directed by local filmmaker Dennis Bathory-Kitsz.
"We have some talented actors masquerading as politicians," says VGA president Jim Harrison.
Fifty years ago next week, a young University of Chicago student activist took a bus to the nation's capital to take part in the March on Washington.
Now a 71-year-old U.S. senator from Vermont, that same man is reminiscing about what he calls "one of the most memorable and important speeches in the modern history of the United States of America."
In a video produced by his Senate office, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) appears in front of the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech in August 1963. Gesticulating to the camera like a museum docent or a college professor, the senator recalls what he saw that day.
"I remember that very well, not by simply seeing it on TV or reading about it," Sanders says, pointing in the direction of the Washington Monument. "I was way, way back there — one of the several hundred thousand people who were here."
(Pictured above: Sanders leading a protest against discriminatory housing in 1962 at the University of Chicago.)
At a fundraiser for New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio last Thursday, the Burlingtonian reenacted his blood-curdling roar — five-boroughs style. Dean first dipped into NYC politics last month when he endorsed de Blasio, the city's public advocate. and put the might of his political action committee, Democracy for America, behind the candidate. (Correction: Democracy for New York City, an affiliate of Dean's Democracy for America, has endorsed de Blasio for mayor. DFA, the parent organization, has not endorsed in the New York City mayoral race.)
Might not be enough to knock former congressman Anthony Weiner out of the race, but, well, Weiner's doing a pretty good job of doing that himself.
It's difficult to capture the loopiness of the 48 hours preceding adjournment of the Vermont legislature.
Confusion reigns. Recesses abound. Tensions rise and fall. Pizza is eaten. Budgets are passed. Reporters get confused and quickly lose interest.
Such is the state of affairs at 8 p.m. Tuesday as the House and Senate labor to finish the people's business and get the hell out of Dodge.
We'll have (slightly) more serious coverage of the 2013 legislature's thrilling conclusion in Wednesday's print edition of Seven Days, but to give you, dear reader, a flavor of the moment in Montpelier, we give you this gem of a video of Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell (D-Windsor) demonstrating his totally sweet nunchuck chops:
[Full disclosure: This video was filmed late Monday afternoon, though we are quite sure the Windsor County senator would be more than willing to stage a repeat performance tonight.]
Update, 6:08 p.m.: Hardy Macia passed away late this afternoon, according to a source close to his family. Friends and fellow activists alike have already begun posting remembrances on his Facebook wall. "Rest in peace, Hardy," wrote one friend. "We will never forget how you went out fighting. You have been such a positive influence on so many people — will miss you, man."
Now Macia is back in Vermont, fighting for his life. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in August 2012. It's typically a treatable form of cancer, but Macia's has not responded the way he and his doctors had hoped. He was recently hospitalized in New Hampshire, then transferred to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington to be closer to family. He's since been moved to a family member's home in Westford.
In a private Facebook message to me this morning, he summed up his prognosis: "My time is short," he wrote, "the doctors are saying I have days left."
His condition might be a private family matter but for the fact that he's seized this opportunity to continue his campaign to change New Hampshire's marijuana laws. A week ago, he made a 4-minute video in his New Hampshire hospital room and posted it to YouTube. Speaking in a whisper because of a collapsed lung, he implores Gov. Maggie Hassan to help patients like him access medical marijuana. The New Hampshire legislature is currently considering a medical marijuana bill, and it needs the governor's support to pass. "This is about the patients, and doctors," he rasps, "and having the medicine that the patients need."
Macia explains that he occasionally uses marijuana to ease his pain. "To get to sleep at night, sometimes it's the only thing that helps put me out, versus some of the harder drugs they give me, such as the oxycodone or vicodin or whatever."
I asked Macia if Hassan had responded to his plea. Their response, he wrote, was that she will "listen to all sides."
Take a few minutes, if you can, and listen to Macia's argument. Politics aside, it's hard not to be moved by his drive and dedication to the issue, not to mention his will to live. You can't help but hope he keeps fighting.
He's a regular on daytime cable news shows, but Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) finally hit the big time this weekend: He was featured on NBC's "Saturday Night Live."
Or, at least, his name was.
The show's opening segment parodied last week's House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearings on the Benghazi attacks. The sketch featured an overzealous chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), calling as witnesses convicted boyfriend-killer Jodi Arias and accused Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro.
Which was kind of weird — and not all that funny.
Odder still, the two members of Congress sitting on either side of Issa — identified in the script and captions as Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) — sat behind name-plates reading "Rep. Doc Hastings" and "Rep. Peter Welch."