VT Progressive Party

Party Organization

Sen. Leahy Endorses Dean Corren for Lt. Gov

Dean Corren Endorsed by US Senator Patrick Leahy

BURLINGTON, VT – In a year when voter turnout could be low candidates for statewide office are pushing every advantage possible. Endorsements are no exception and Dean Corren, who is running for Lt. Governor and a Progressive/Democrat, just landed a big one.

Senator Patrick Leahy has leant his support to the top two Democrats for state office, saying, “Peter Shumlin and Dean Corren have the experience and vision to lead Vermont.  I support their commitment to Vermont's families as they work to protect our environment in the face of a changing climate and ensure Vermonters receive safe, affordable health care.”

Corren, a former four-term legislator from Burlington is in his first race for statewide office. Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch have both already endorsed Corren.  Sanders is in Corren’s latest television ad saying, “Make the right choice for Lt. Governor: I’m voting for Dean Corren.”  In that ad, he joins former Governot Madeleine Kunin, VDP Chair Dottie Deans, and a group of other women leaders of Vermont.  Early in the campaign Governor Peter Shumlin decided to back Corren.

In his professional work, Corren is a clean energy expert who has the backing of the Sierra Club, Vermont Conservation Voters and renowned environmental activist Bill McKibben.  He also enjoys support from all of the state’s major labor unions as well as the Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund PAC.

“Certainly, having earned the support from all three members of our Congressional delegation is an terrific boost,” said Corren.  “These endorsements send a clear message that my values and positions are far more closely in sync with our fellow Vermonters.  I look forward to working alongside them as Lt. Governor.  We have many challenges to address and it will help to have a Lt. Governor with a close working relationship to our delegation in Washington.”

Visit www.deancorren.com for more information about the Corren campaign, including how you can help. 

 

Progs back Corren, rebuff Bauer for Lt. Gov.

June 2, 2014; Terri Hallenbeck; Burlington Free Press

MONTPELIER – As the Progressive Party State Committee met Saturday in the Statehouse cafeteria, two candidates for lieutenant governor stood up and asked for the group’s endorsement.

Both men touted Progressive ideals. Only one of them was a Progressive.

If you thought that might make for a few awkward moments, you would be right. In the end, the non-Progressive was politely but resoundingly rebuffed.

Dean Corren of Burlington and John Bauer of Jeffersonville are both hoping to unseat two-term Republican incumbent Phil Scott.

Corren, a former state legislator, is one of the founders of the Progressive Party and the party’s highest-profile candidate for statewide office. Bauer is an avowed Democrat who probably would have been wise to spend his time Saturday campaigning almost anywhere in Vermont except in front of a roomful of Progressive Party faithful who were passing petitions for Corren.

Read the whole article >>

Progressives Announce Slate of 21 Candidates

June 1, 2014; Anne Galloway; VTDigger

The Vermont Progressive Party will have four statewide candidates, three incumbent senators and 14 House candidates running for office in the 2014 election.

The Progressive party, one of four state major parties, announced its slate on Saturday — well ahead of the Vermont Democratic Party and the Vermont GOP, and the June 12 filing deadline for candidates. While the Democrats are fielding a preponderance of incumbents, the Republicans have announced some House and Senate candidates, but have yet to declare who will be running for statewide office, including the gubernatorial race. The Vermont Liberty Union Party, which gained major party status in the 2012 election, is also fielding a slate of statewide candidates and a candidate for the House of Representatives, who may be the sole contender for Rep. Peter Welch’s seat.

Progressive Party officials touted the “real growth” in the number of candidates since 2012.

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Progs face staffing change, focusing on leggie races

May 27, 2014; Terri Hallenbeck; Burlington Free Press

It might seem like bad timing for a political party to be losing its executive director and trying to hire an elections director right now, just as the election action is picking up.

“It’s not ideal,” conceded Progressive Party Chairwoman Emma Mulvaney-Stanak, “but we are using this as an opportunity to get focused on next four or five months.

“There’s really no good time,” said Robert Millar, the party’s departing executive director. His last official day as full-time director is June 13, the day after the deadline for Vermont candidates to file petitions for this year’s election.

Millar might be one of those filing a petition, he said. He said he’s thinking of running for a state House seat in the two-seat district that covers Winooski and a wisp of Burlington. Incumbent Democrat George Cross is not running for re-election.

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Building a Movement for Happiness

May 15, 2014; John de Graaf; Truthout

Vermont and Bhutan have embraced happiness rather than GDP as a measure of social success. The world's happiest countries share surprising characteristics - a small gap between rich and poor; work-life balance; urban design favoring community over cars; high degrees of interpersonal trust; a strong social safety net, and the highest tax rates in the world.

You probably missed it, but April 13, 2014, marked the third annual Pursuit of Happiness Day. April 13 just happens to be the birthday of Thomas Jefferson, who wrote those famous words "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" into our Declaration of Independence.

Jefferson and other American revolutionary leaders including Washington, Adams and Franklin all believed that the main purpose of government was increasing the happiness of its citizens. They said so on many occasions. But the idea of government promoting happiness or its corollary, "wellbeing," is more often derided in contemporary politics - "social engineering," some call it.

One significant exception is the state of Vermont. In addition to electing the most progressive and independent of US senators, Bernie Sanders, Vermont has become a laboratory for promoting new ways of understanding and promoting happiness and wellbeing. Its governor, Peter Shumlin, has proclaimed Pursuit of Happiness Day in Vermont for the past three years. Its legislature, with support from Democrats, Republicans and Progressive Party members, has established a state GPI or Genuine Progress Indicator, that uses some two dozen measures of health, wealth, education, leisure and sustainability to measure progress (Maryland has the same index and other states may follow soon).

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How to Get a “P” - A Quick Summary of the Party Nomination & Endorsement Process

First, you need to understand the difference between an endorsement and a nomination. In the simplest terms, the difference is that a nomination is determined by state statute and procedures, while an endorsement is controlled solely by our party bylaws and procedures. More importantly, a nomination affects how party labels will appear next to a candidate's name on the General Election ballot, but an endorsement will not.

The standard and most straightforward way to be nominated by the Party is to win the Progressive Primary, either as a write-in or as a listed candidate. As a write-in, a candidate must get more votes than a listed candidate, OR, if there are no other listed candidates, get at least half as many votes as they would have needed signatures to get on the Primary ballot. For example, a candidate for State Representative needs 50 signatures to get on the primary ballot, so they would need 25 votes to win the primary as a write-in.

The other way to get the Party's nomination is to have a district committee fill an “anticipated vacancy” by holding a meeting by the filing deadline for the Primary (June 12th this year). The odd thing about this is it has to be done before we even know for sure who will be running in our primary. It's also a little confusing on the Senate and House level, as the District Committee isn't necessarily the same as a Town or County Committee. Burlington, for example, is divided into several House Districts, while other House Districts are made up of multiple towns. And Senate Districts do not correspond exactly with counties (so a Chittenden County Committee member from Colchester would not be a part of the Chittenden Senate District Committee, as Colchester is part of the Chittenden-Grand Isle Senate District).

District Committee meetings must be warned in writing to all members in the district at least 5 days before the meeting. At the meeting, the District Committee must elect officers (as with Town Organizing) and then can fill anticipated vacancies. On the state level, the Party's State Committee will address “anticipated vacancies” at our meeting on May 31st. It's important to remember that no matter who a Committee nominates (or endorses), the results of the primary take precedence. But although who we endorse (or choose not to endorse) has no binding control over who can run as a Progressive, it allows a party to publicly show support or lack of support for a particular candidate.

By our bylaws, endorsements are controlled by the appropriate Party Committee (Town, County, or State); there's nothing about “district committees.” At our May 31st meeting, it's likely that the State Committee will endorse all the candidates that it nominates to fill “anticipated vacancies” in the statewide slate. However, it should be noted that there is nothing that says they have to, or that they must only endorse one candidate for each office.

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