The Vermont Progressive Party, whose origins date back to Sanders’ surprise victory 34 years ago in the Burlington mayoral race, endorsed Sanders’ bid for the Democratic nomination Friday in a news release.
Fifteen elected officials who ran on the November ballot as Progressives, including State Auditor Doug Hoffer, the only statewide Progressive officeholder, signaled their support for Sanders.
The signatories included state Sens. Anthony Pollina, P/D-Washington, and David Zuckerman, P/D-Chittenden. Sen. Tim Ashe, D/P-Chittenden, was not listed on the news release but he said in an email that he supports Sanders and would make his own announcement.
Pollina said the U.S. needs Sanders’ voice in the race.
“Bernie really means what he says,” Pollina said in the release. “It’s a rare thing to have a politician who’s so consistently committed to doing the right thing for people.”
Rep. Chris Pearson, P-Burlington, said Sanders’ views on working families, climate change and other progressive issues should be part of the national debate.
“I doubt most Americans have heard a serious political voice like his before: it’s refreshing and I think our country is ready for it,” Pearson.
The other elected officials were:
Rep. Susan Hatch Davis; Rep. Mollie Burke; Rep. Sandy Haas; Rep. Diana Gonzalez; Rep. Robin Chesnut¬ Tangerman; Rep. Amy Sheldon; Burlington City Council Chair Jane Knodell; Burlington City Councilor Selene Colburn; Burlington City Councilor Max Tracy; Burlington City Councilor Sara Giannoni; and Winooski City Councilor Robert Millar.
The Progressive Party’s state committee will vote on a presidential endorsement in September.
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.
"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."
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.
Vermont lawmakers seeking to make their state the first to require the labeling of genetically modified food are hoping history won’t repeat itself.
A bill (H. 112) that the state’s Democratically controlled Senate passed Wednesday in a 28-2 vote would mandate labels on all genetically engineered edibles sold, with exemptions for animal feed and some food-processing aids, such as enzymes for making yogurt.
The House passed the bill 99-42 in May. If that chamber backs the Senate’s amendments, which could happen as early as next week, the measure could shortly head to Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin for his signature.
But this isn’t the first time that the Green Mountain State has been challenged on its efforts to enforce labeling requirements on products. In those instances, which involved labeling dairy products from livestock treated with growth hormones and mercury-containing devices, the state has had mixed results.
Now, lawmakers are looking to learn from their mistakes, adding language to the bill that they hope will provide an iron-clad legal justification for the measure.
“Yes, it’s quite likely we will be sued, and we have looked at the various court cases out there” and wrote the bill to reflect those rulings, said state Sen. David Zuckerman, a member of the Vermont Progressive Party, who sponsored the bill.
More than 200 people filled the floor of the House chamber for the joint hearing by the Senate Agriculture and Judiciary committees on H.112, a bill that mandates the labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients.
The House passed the bill in May, and the Senate Agriculture Committee took the bill up beginning first week of the legislative session this January.
Sen. David Zuckerman, P-Chittenden, vice-chair of the committee, said Friday that the panel approved the bill, 4-1, without a trigger clause that would delay implementation of GMO labeling until other states pass similar bills. H.112 now goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee.