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103 posts categorized "Election 2010" Feed

November 05, 2010

VT Constitutional Amendment: Is a "Quiet and Peaceable" Teenager an Oxymoron?

Vote Earlier this week, Vermonters gave an overwhelming thumbs-up to an amendment to the Vermont Constitution that will allow 17 year olds who turn 18 by the date of the general election to vote in the primary election.

Windham County Senator Jeanette White, who introduced the bill that put the measure on the November 2 ballot, explained last month on Vermont Public Radio that her goal was to boost youth voter participation.

“I believe that a person’s first experience with voting is the one that captures them as a voter," White told "Vermont Edition" host Jane Lindholm. "If we can capture them and make them a voter for life, and not just a voter when issues pique their interest but make them an engaged voter, then we’ve done a service to the democracy.”

But this amendment, which doesn't takes effect until 2012, may cover only a very small percentage of teens. Voters who actually read Proposition 5 may have noticed that it only applies to U.S. citizens who have lived in Vermont for a specified period of time and who are "of a quiet and peaceable behavior..."

What, exactly, constitutes a "quiet and peaceable" 17-year-old?

Continue reading "VT Constitutional Amendment: Is a "Quiet and Peaceable" Teenager an Oxymoron?" »

November 04, 2010

Dean Denies Rumor He'll Challenge Obama in 2012

225px-HowardDeanDNC-cropped Former Gov. Howard Dean is denying rumors that he's gearing up to challenge Pres. Barack Obama in the 2012 Democratic primary.

A widely-read political column posted on Politico today ("In 2010, could Dean beat Obama?" by Roger Simon) is raising new speculation that Dean, still a powerful voice among progressive Democrats, is laying the groundwork for a primary challenge.

Here's an excerpt from the column:

President Barack Obama sounded humble, almost meek, Wednesday at his news conference. “No one party will be able to dictate where we go from here,” he said. “We must find common ground.”

Howard Dean took a somewhat different tone on the phone with me the same day. “If Republicans think we’re going to slow the growth of Medicare and Medicaid and give tax cuts to those making a million dollars a year, we will wrap that around their necks and beat the hell out of them in 2012.”

Finding common ground with Republicans versus strangling and beating the hell out of Republicans — which one do you think an angry and dispirited Democratic Party might go for?

Both men were thinking about 2012, and Obama’s people have long been thinking — grimly — about Dean.

Some of the most influential members of Team Obama do not like or trust Dean and have long feared he would challenge Obama for the presidency if only given an opportunity.

So, is Dean trying to pressure Obama from the left as a way to possibly challenge Obama in 2012? Nope, says the former five-term governor.

"Neither. The reporter essentially re-arranged quotes and made this up. I am not running. Period," Dean told Seven Days via email.

November 03, 2010

Election Analysis: Don't Play with Fire

IMG_1629 If there is any takeaway from Tuesday's elections in Vermont it's this: Don't play with fire.

The governor's race was always Republican Brian Dubie's to lose. Why? He was essentially running as the incumbent — a well-liked lieutenant governor who was the heir apparent to a popular chief executive, Gov. Jim Douglas. In recent polls, Douglas maintains approval ratings in the high 50s, which is rather remarkable given he's been in office almost eight years and has done battle with a very Democratically-controlled Legislature.

In any event, it was his to lose and he did, though not by much.

Shumlin ran an aggressive, smart ground game that, coupled with a strong Democratic get-out-the-vote effort, easily beat back the Dubie campaign's 100,000 door knocks and 11,000-plus Facebook friends.

Chalk that up to homegrown campaign manager Alex MacLean (more on her later).

Continue reading "Election Analysis: Don't Play with Fire" »

Word Cloud from the Election Night Live Blog

Last night's live blog generated 2830 comments from our readers. This morning, I plugged the text from all of those comments into, and came up with some neat word visualizations. You can try it, too, if you want. Click here for, click here to download viewer comments. Another of my Wordles.

The Morning After: An Early Recap of Election Eve Results


*** UPDATE: Brian Dubie has conceded. Peter Shumlin will be the next governor of Vermont. Click here for archived video of Dubie's concession speech, and scroll down for more from the Dubie campaign.***

**UPDATE #2: Peter Shumlin declared victory before a raucous crowd of supporters at the Hilton in Burlington. He thanked Dubie for his graciousness and service along with family and campaign manager Alex MacLean. He then spoke to the challenges & opportunity ahead.***

The electoral tidal wave that swept Republicans into power in the U.S. House barely landed on Vermont's shores.

In the main event — the race for Vermont governor — early returns ran heavily in favor of Republican Brian Dubie, but as the night wore on Democrat Peter Shumlin began to close the gap. Before midnight, he had passed Dubie and remained ahead.

The night felt a lot like the five-way Democratic primary, but with fewer lead changes between the top vote-getters. The morning after feels a lot like the Democratic primary, too. We just don't know for sure who won as results from about 20 towns were missing as of about 5 a.m.

With almost 95 percent of the returns in, WCAX is reporting Shumlin is ahead of Dubie by a 113,260 to 108,892.

Continue reading "The Morning After: An Early Recap of Election Eve Results" »

November 02, 2010

Election Night 2010 Live Blog

***UPDATE: 10/3, 1:10 a.m.***

We shut down the live blog at 1:00 a.m. Thanks to our panelists, the many sources who gave us results, and especially to everyone who stopped by to chat with us, many of whom stuck it out until the bitter end.

The governor's race is too close to call right now, but WCAX is reporting that Democrat Peter Shumlin leads Republican Brian Dubie by about 4500 votes with 94.4% of precincts reporting results. Stay tuned for more coverage in the morning.


We've been hosting CoverItLive election-night live blogs at Seven Days for a few years now — it seems like every media outlet in the state has picked up on this trend, probably because CoverItLive is free, and easy to use and basically awesome. So you'll have a number of live chats to choose from tonight.

Why should you hang out with us? Because this time around, we decided to try something a little different. In addition to Seven Days' news team, this live blog will feature commentary and analysis from observers on the ground all over the state, including Angelo Lynn (Addison Independent), Jeff Potter (The Commons, Brattleboro), Ethan Dezotelle (, Neil Goswami (Bennington Banner), Geoffrey Norman (Vermont Tiger), Jess Wilson (CCTV), Meghan O'Rourke (CCTV), Ed Adrian (Burlington City Councilor) and Kevin Ellis (Kimball Sherman Ellis). We even invited a "court jester" to entertain us — Vermont Comedy Diva Josie Leavitt.

And of course, we'll be streaming tweets and reports from news organizations around the state.

I won't claim that our coverage will be the state's most comprehensive, but I'm hoping that it's the most entertaining. I mean, we're all just sitting on the edge of our seats waiting for numbers. Might as well have fun while we wait, right? -- Cathy Resmer, Seven Days online editor/associate publisher

Dubie, Shumlin Make Last Ditch Efforts to Boost Turnout

IMG_1602 It all began in January 2009 when the first Democrat announced he was running for governor, just days before Gov. Jim Douglas was sworn into office for the fourth time.

The Democrat was Sen. Doug Racine, the man Douglas defated in 2002.

Now here we are — 22 months later — and it's come down to a near dead heat between Republican Brian Dubie and Democrat Peter Shumlin. See my predictions below the jump.

Shumlin was the last to get into the race — officially — among the Democrats, but he managed to beat Racine by 203 votes in a five-way primary. Racine requested a recount, which took less than a week to complete.

Dubie leapt into the race only after Douglas decided he wouldn't opt for a fifth term. Other Republicans flirted with the idea, including Auditor Tom Salmon (who had just left the Democratic Party), former Ambassador Rodolphe "Skip" Vallee, among others.

Both Shumlin and Dubie held rallies today to pump up the faithful. Vice President Joe Biden stumped in Vermont for Shumlin. I posted a video of Shumlin and Biden's speeches in two parts: Part One & Part Two.

About 500 people crammed into a cordoned off section of the Patrick Gymnasium — a rather small crowd given the main attraction was a sitting vice president. Biden, too, at times seemed like he was having an intimate chat with friends over a coffee than in a roomful of people who wanted to be, well, inspired.

Continue reading "Dubie, Shumlin Make Last Ditch Efforts to Boost Turnout" »

November 01, 2010

Roadside DUI Video Shows Salmon Humbled, Yet Defiant

SalmonDUI A roadside video released last week shows that Auditor Tom Salmon not only asked a Vermont State Trooper if he knew he was the  state auditor — an office similar to the governor and lieutenant governor — but also questioned why he was being handcuffed.

After being arrested for driving while under the influence last November, Salmon told reporters he wanted no special treatment and would take his punishment like any Vermonter should. He pled guilty, lost his license for 90 days and paid court fines.

He also told reporters he had five drinks that night — two red wines, two scotches and a coffee liqueur drink. He told the trooper — at least twice — that he had only two red wines through the course of the evening.

You can watch 12 minutes of the roadside video here. The file depicting first six minutes of his stop would not convert to YouTube. What appears in this 12 minutes is his sobriety test and initial arrest. There is additional video released last week that includes his time at the Middlesex barracks where he was processed.

Continue reading "Roadside DUI Video Shows Salmon Humbled, Yet Defiant" »

October 31, 2010

Rasmussen Survey: Shumlin Leads Dubie 50-45 Percent

IMG_1582 In a new Rasmussen Reports survey of 750 likely Vermont voters, Democrat Peter Shumlin remains slightly ahead of  Republican Brian Dubie.

The report, just released to the public, shows Shumlin earning 50 percent of the likely vote and Dubie 45 percent. Three percent of those surveyed were undecided and only 1 percent said they were voting for another candidate.

The survey was conducted on October 28. It's the first survey conducted by Rasmussen since September, when Shumlin officially earned his party's nomination. In that poll, Shumlin led Dubie by three points, 49-46 — a result that fell within the margin of error of 4.5 percent.

Continue reading "Rasmussen Survey: Shumlin Leads Dubie 50-45 Percent" »

October 30, 2010

The Final Countdown: Election 2010

BombThis is it, folks: the final three days before Armageddon, er, the Rapture. No, wait. Oh, right -- Election Day 2010.

Here are a few political tidbits and observations as we make the final mad dash for the ballot box.

Vermont's politicos were shocked — shocked! – that the Rutland Herald and Barre Montpelier Times Argus endorsed Republican Brian Dubie over Democrat Peter Shumlin yesterday.

The reason?

Throughout the fall, the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial pages of the Herald (and to some extent its sister paper, the Times Argus) have lambasted Dubie for shedding his "aw shucks," nice-guy demeanor and running a campaign copied from the GOP Congressional playbook.

Continue reading "The Final Countdown: Election 2010" »

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