Political Endorsement: Supporting Brenda Siegel for Governor

Supporting Brenda Siegel
Last Autumn (2021), when most Vermont residents were able to enjoy having a roof over their heads to stay warm and dry underneath, a comfortable bed to sleep in, nourishing daily meals to eat and proper hydration with which to attempt to stay healthy, Brenda Siegel and others were holding vigil on the steps of the State House in Montpelier on behalf of those most in need who live without such means.

For my part, I joined them there for a single evening and it wasn’t easy or fun by any means. They did so for 27 long days and nights until the governor and his reluctant administration finally relented to their demands.


Brattleboro August 9 Primary Election Information

Below is information that might be helpful to know for Aug. 9 State Primary elections.

The polling place for all three districts in Brattleboro is the American Legion, 32 Linden St., from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. 

Masks are no longer required to enter the American Legion for voting, but they are certainly welcome and will be provided, along with hand sanitizer.

Parking is available at the American Legion and the Municipal Center parking lots. There are handicapped parking spaces close to the American Legion entrance.


Brattleboro Absentee Ballots for the Primary Election Available

Absentee ballots for the Primary Election to be held on Aug. 9 are now available in Vermont town clerks’ offices. Due to the ongoing pandemic, voters are encouraged to vote absentee. Absentee ballots for the State Primary Elections must be requested. Anyone wishing to vote early may do so until 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 8 in person. If requesting a ballot by mail, please allow for ample delivery time.

Absentee ballots may be sent by mail or picked up by the voter. Voters needing assistance, please call the Brattleboro Town Clerk’s office to discuss options. All voted ballots must be received by the clerk before the polls close on Election Day to be counted. Ballots can be returned by mail, dropped off in advance of the election in the drop box in the Municipal Center parking lot or returned to the polls on Election Day.


Cris Ericson Running as Independent for U.S. Senator 2022: New Platform

(1) FUNDING FOR HEALTH CARE

We pay our taxes to the federal government, the I.R.S., and then the U.S. Congress votes to give billions of our tax dollars to the N.I.H., the National Institute of Health, and then they give out our tax dollars for medical research to create new vaccines and prescription drugs and medical devices, BUT since the Bayh-Dole Act was passed we have been cheated because the lead researcher is allowed, under this federal law, to own the Patents, which are the ownership rights to the new inventions


VT Town Meeting Day – America’s Last Bastion Of Direct Participatory Democracy – Defending Our Rural Tradition

3/1/2022, Cabot Vermont – Today is Town Meeting Day here in our Vermont. While a community may have many Town Meetings throughout the year, the first Tuesday in March is, for the most part, when all our communities come together to make important decisions for the coming year. From Town budgets to School budgets, from local ordinances to expressing views on a range of topics, Town Meeting is where Vermonters debate and decide on the issues of the day.

And traditionally it is at such Town Meetings that ALL the citizens of a community act as the legislative branch of local government, with the power to publicly debate, make motions, propose amendments, and ultimately vote from the floor on those issues set before them.


Vermont Governor Scott’s State of the State Address

Madam President, Madam Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, members of the General Assembly, and fellow Vermonters:

It is our tradition at the opening of the legislative session to come together and chart our course for the work ahead.

Whether in times of peace or war, prosperity or depression, those who came before us felt the same hope and optimism we share today, ready to do the work to take on new problems and solve those that have eluded us for years.


Cannabis is Coming – Will Town Taxpayers be the Losers?

cannabis

As some may already know, I was appointed by the Vermont Senate to represent municipalities’ interests on the Cannabis Control Board’s Advisory Committee. While I wouldn’t claim to have the level of “expertise in municipal issues” that some other longer-serving Selectboard members in Vermont might have, I feel that my past work advocating for the rights of towns, cities and villages does give me some insights, and I’m doing my best to represent local taxpayers during many rapid deliberations over the shape of the upcoming retail cannabis marketplace.

I want to make very clear my opposition to a hastily made decision by one of our sub-committees, the Market Structure, Licensing, Taxes and Fees Sub-Committee, without reasonable input taken and considered from the Vermont municipalities. This committee has evidently already voted to “cap” what local town clerks can charge for a cannabis license to $100 yearly, a laughable amount considering the fact that the state portion of yearly fees being currently considered are between $5,000 and $10,000.


Vermont AFL-CIO: Vote The United Slate – Van Deusen For President – Brown For Executive VP – Working Class Power!

As we near the 2021 Vermont AFL-CIO Annual Convention (September 18 & 19 at Jay Peak, Northeast Kingdom) I again ask our 11,000+ Union members to support the full United! slate in our internal elections, including Ron Schneiderman (UFCW) for VP At-Large, Danielle Bombardier (IBEW) for Secretary-Treasurer, Dwight Brown (AFSCME) for Executive Vice President, and myself, David Van Deusen (AFSCME) for re-election to the office of President of our State Labor Council.

Since United! took power in 2019 (and again swept elections in 2020) we have transformed the Vermont AFL-CIO into the most progressive State Labor Council in the United States. Through United! we have also seen the Vermont Labor Movement invigorated with our rank & file taking an active part in Conventions and Political Summits (COPE) at levels not seen in decades. Over the last two years:


Vermont Leads The Nation Combating COVID – Now Lets Lead On A Green New Deal!

Cabot, Vermont, 6/15/21 – With over 80% of Vermonters having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and nearly 72% of us fully vaccinated, today [6/15/21] the Governor declared an end to the State of Emergency and the termination of pandemic related social restrictions. It is significant that Vermont is the first U.S. State to reach an 80% vaccinated rate. It is also significant that throughout the pandemic Vermont suffered only 24,339 known COVID infections and 256 total deaths; both our infection and mortality rate were the least in the Nation compared to the 49 other States. And while even a single death is a regrettable tragedy, stacked against Alabama’s half a million plus cases and 11,000 (and counting) fatalities, it’s clear that we fared better than most. And while we are not out of the woods yet, we have also emerged with the 5th lowest unemployment rate in the Nation at 2.9% (Texas by comparison is at 6.7% while Florida is at 4.8%).

How did we do this? Well, while much of the South and other parts of the country fretted about masks being an infringement of civil liberties and the vaccine being part of some insane conspiracy, Most Vermonters from the get go cared about their communities, abided by social distancing, wore masks (even before any mandates came into effect), and worked collaboratively in making our society resilient in the face of hardship.


Vermont Barn Restoration Grants

Vermont grants for barn stabilization and restoration.  Be sure to see the manual before starting your project, because to be eligible the project may not have been started before the application was submitted.

Application:


Any Old Vermont Sugarhouses Out There?

Vermont sugarhouses are a vanishing landmark and with them their history is at risk of being permanently lost.  A statewide network of sugar-making enthusiasts have organized a project to create a comprehensive and descriptive list of all sugarhouses in Vermont with a focus on the oldest sugarhouses. 

Once the list is complete the project team will interview sugarmaking families and photograph Vermont sugarhouses. This visual and documented history will be made available for future review and use. The final outcome will be the creation of a photo book to showcase these architectural legacies and landmarks.


100 Anti-Fascists Rally in Montpelier For Democracy – Threatened Armed Fascists A No-Show In Vermont Capital

On November 3rd Trump lost the Presidential election in Vermont by a wider margin than in any other State in the union. But that did not prevent a couple dozen (peaceful) pro-Trump supporter from demonstrating in front of the Statehouse on January 6th. It was also feared that Trump’s lack of support in the Green Mountains would not prevent a minority of armed extremists from committing acts of violence today [1/17/21] in our Capital.

Warnings that fascists, those who supported the Trump coup, were planning armed actions in all 50 State Capitals in the U.S. were taken seriously here in rural Vermont. Throughout this morning and into the afternoon police in bullet proof vests, military grade helmets, and with automatic rifles in hand patrolled the streets of our Capital City of Montpelier (population: 7,800). The Mayor and City Council issued prior warnings encouraging residents to stay home. Many businesses were closed. And despite the threat of rightwing violence 100 anti-fascists converged on City Hall to demonstrate their support for democracy and unwillingness to concede to fascist threats. And the armed fascists? They were nowhere to be seen.


The Governor’s Madness, Uh, I Mean Mandates!

Vermonters are very quietly passing around on the internet various versions of how they might file a lawsuit against Governor Phil Scott for exceeding his authority with his orders and mandates, making them lose jobs, businesses, income, and warm association with family and friends.

There are various proposed legal Briefs coming to a federal court in Vermont soon:


Do Vermonters Also Have A Right To Investigate “Dominion Voting Systems”?

I have been a perennial losing political candidate in Vermont for many years. One year I really thought I saw election fraud. I was watching the votes coming in, and thousands of votes for me were suddenly cut in half. I wrote a blog post about it at the time which may still be wandering the internet somewhere.

I began to think that Vermont was the testing ground for vote fraud. Vermont has a very small population and if you are a losing candidate, and you are not within a certain tiny percent of the winner, then you have no grounds, no legal cause of action to complain, if for example, you came in 4th and should
have come in 3rd.


Governor Scott Did What He Should Have. Is That Exceptional?

It’s true that, given the limited extent of impact and damage in Vermont from the virus, Scott has done a proper job. However he only did what any of us would do. If you recall, one of his earliest public statements was that he was in completely uncharted territory with the pandemic. He didn’t know anything more about it than any of us in the state. So he called the state’s medical team together, got a bit of an education and followed their advice. I’d like to think that all of our governors would have done the same. He was very lucky in this particular crisis to have had the federal government step in fairly quickly with a huge cash infusion that gave us all time to understand and assess the situation and choose our actions under less stressed conditions.


What Does The US Flag Stand For?

What does the US flag stand for? As far as all of the values of democracy and rights values are concerned we could more be flying a Swedish or French or any number of sovereign flags that would be better representative. Values these days seem to be changing every day and becoming more and more difficult to name and provide evidence. At this point, with our very uncertain future unfolding before us, the US flag may only be representing a certain defined physical territory that our government believes it is legitimately allowed to control and defend. Our fifty states and our several colonies. (The mere fact that we still have colonies, Puerto Rico being the major, immediately throws our supposed values into question). I believe that our real values are reflected in the way we live. We may have a good selection of moral values on paper but they only apply to those who have the money or other means to access them. It was set up this way from the very beginning (using our constitutional convention in 1788 as the beginning) when access to rights, security, comfort was tied to citizenship and private property of which wealth alone is a major part. From day one money and power swamped democracy.


Election Season 2020

No handshaking and very few face-to-face encounters. Those are some of the major changes to political campaigning during a pandemic. The use of social media will be valuable as we head toward the first Tuesday in November.

Money will still rule because advertising on all levels gets a candidate’s name out there and television, print and other media ads do work. But there is also a potential for lower voter turnout because people may not be bombarded with the usual campaign activity of former years.

My hope is that, on the national level at least, voter turnout will be high because a majority of sensible Americans want to end the great American nightmare and make America sane again.