In the Media

Articles from outside news and opinion sources.

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.

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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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Former Progressive State Rep to Run for Lieutenant Governor

May 8, 2014; Andrea Suozzo; VTDigger

It's been 14 years since Dean Corren left the Vermont House. But with the state moving ever closer to providing universal health insurance coverage, he says it's time to get back in the game.

"I think this one of the most exciting times since I've been involved in Vermont and Vermont politics," the Burlington Progressive says. "I think we're on the verge of doing things we've been talking about for many decades — things the people want and the politicians are catching up with."

Corren announced Wednesday that he plans to challenge Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott for the state's number two office. He's joining a field that already includes John Bauer, a Democratic Party activist from Jeffersonville, and Marina Brown, a Liberty Union Party candidate from Charleston.

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"As Consumers, We are Guinea Pigs": Vermont Set to Become First State to Require GMO Food Labeling

Click here to watch on DemocracyNow.org

Watch on DemocracyNow.org >>

"Vermont is poised to become the first state to require the labeling of genetically modified organisms in food products. Governor Peter Shumlin said he would sign the pro-GMO-labeling bill as early as this week. The new law would take effect in July 2016 and would also make it illegal to label foods containing GMOs as "all natural" or "natural." Vermont could prove to be the tipping point in a national movement to inform consumers about whether their food contains GMOs. Twenty-nine other states have proposed bills requiring labeling this year, and two have already passed similar bills. But those measures only take effect when neighboring states also approve the requirements. We speak with Vermont State Sen. David Zuckerman, who first introduced GMO labeling bills more than a decade ago when he served in the House."

Progressive Legislative Roundup

Aptil 18, 2014; Bob Kinzel; VPR

Click here to listen!

When the 2014 legislative session started, leaders in the Progressive Party were expressing concern with some of the policies of Governor Shumlin. How do they feel about the Governor now as the session winds down?

We’ll talk with the House Progressive Caucus leader, Burlington Representative Chris Pearson, and with Enosburg Representative Cindy Weed and Senator David Zuckerman about the progressive legislative priorities for the end of the session.

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