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Category — Bernie Sanders

Leopold: Ashe and Wright Knew

Here is the video of Jonathan Leopold telling Matty Tanner and “Mike Jones” that the Board of Finance was briefed in May of 2008 about Burlington Telecom’s inability to get financing and of its continued use of pooled city cash in violation of its certificate of public good.  May 2008 was about a year before the story broke and almost a year before the re-election of mayor Bob Kiss.  If Kurt Wright had wanted to, or had been smart enough to, he certainly could have used that information in the last election, and he probably would have won. You may recall that at the time the Board of Finance was made up of the following five people- Mayor Kiss, Chief Administrative officer Leopold and a city councilor from each party.  Democrat Andy Montroll, Republican Kurt Wright and Progressive Time Ashe.

Assuming Kurt Wright is the Republican nominee- he’s going to have to answer for this soon enough, but right now the Democratic party has a choice to make in about a week.  Are you telling me they’re going to be stupid enough to nominate Progressive Tim Ashe with that kind of baggage?  Jesus Christ!  I almost dare the Dems to do it because it would be so comically self-defeating.  First of all, he’s not even a Dem.  Duh.  Secondly he would lose!  Given the choice between Wright and Ashe, many moderate Dems and Indpendents like me would vote for Kurt.  People feel the city needs a change and a shake up.  Tim Ashe loudly proclaimed Kiss, Leopold and BT to be resounding success stories when he nominated Kiss for re-election.  He’s about as far from “change” and “shake-up” as it gets.

And Where’s Lloyd Benson when you need him?  This week the Vermont chapter president of the American Federation of Teachers called Ashe the best choice saying  “Tim Ashe is a young Bernie Sanders.”  That’s like saying The Phantom Menace is as good as the orignal Star Wars.  Ridiculous on its face.   Somebody’s got to say it…

“Senator, I served with Bernie Sanders. I knew Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Bernie Sanders.”

November 6, 2011   9 Comments

The Place To Be II

The NPA was a little disorganized, but it worked.  The open forum on Burlington Telecom broke out during the city councilors’ report, and it never stopped, so in essence it took the form of a Q & A with Vince Dober, Paul Decelles and Kurt Wright.  Bob Kiss took part from the audience, answering questions from there.  I spoke with him a bit before the meeting convened and he agreed to do another interview with me.  Sweet.   Hopefully we can set that up soon.

The place, as usual, was a virtual who’s who of hardcore local political types.  In attendance beside the folks I mentioned, Dale Tillotson, Lea Terhune, Karen Paul, Russ Ellis, Bernie O’rourke, Dave Harnett and Loyal Ploof.

I’ll come back to this…

December 21, 2010   4 Comments

“That’s what this place is about…”

Bernie speaks truth to power in a great senate speech. Worth the 15 minutes. He’s right. The ultra rich are sucking our skulls. I’m not playing the politics of blame, or trying to make excuses for my own failures (which are many), but the facts are the facts. Everything is made in China, and the nation’s fiscal policies are insane. All us little guys are fighting among ourselves while the fat cats make out like bandits! Am I wrong?

December 5, 2010   Comments Off

Say No to NBC-Comcast Merger

Phil Fiermonte from Bernie’s office forwarded this to me. 

Click here If you want to sign a petition against this gigantic media merger.

November 16, 2010   Comments Off

Shumlin vs. Dubie

I’m going to give you a very concise analysis of the gubernatorial race at this stage of the game on 10.25.10.  I say “Shumlin vs. Dubie” rather than vise versa because I think despite whatever Nate Silver and The Times say about percentages of likely victory, in reality in Vermont Dubie is much more well known than Shumlin and he is the heir apparent.  Status quo equals Dubie wins.  Shumlin has to go the extra mile to pull it out.  He has to give us a compelling reason to buck what gravity would conclude about the more recognized name “Dubie.”  At this point I’d advise Peter and Alexandra to wrap up their courtship with women and start showing us the money.  We’re not going to elect the lessor known rich guy over Jet Pilot High unless we think he might share some secret that will make us all rich.   Spend the money to do a detailed job-creation-plan infomercial.  Something.  Go back and hammer on the high-tech-ecobiz, enviro-biz, agra-biz, solar panels and windmills thing.  While it can be great to take a firm position on a particular issue, you can’t bet the works on being pro-choice, or on the Democratic Party- you know- or Bernie who supports you but said he likes your opponent.  If you really want to be governor, start promising jobs and economic growth like crazy.  Now.

Also- I will sell the top banner of this blog thru Nov. 2 to whichever gubernatorial candidate paypals  $100 first.  Don’t miss your chance to advertise on Burlington’s most effective political website…

Update- four minutes later- Joe Biden is coming to stump for Shumlin… Perfect.  Use the event to hammer home a message about jobs and the economy (JOBS AND THE ECONOMY (STUPID)!).  The news will play that.


Picks and Predications Election Day 2010

October 25, 2010   Comments Off

Bernie Dreams

A long time ago I had a dream about sipping tea in a hot spring in the Himalayas with Bernie Sanders and the Dalai Lama.  Later in real life Bernie endorsed me for the city council, and I did actually meet the Dalai Lama in the Himalayas.  I went to a hot spring too, but that was in Idaho.  Last night I had a dream I was talking to Bernie Sanders on a train on its way to DC.  He was being unusually friendly, but coy.  I asked him about the logistics of how he won mayor as an independent.  He was all smiles.

August 9, 2010   2 Comments

Washington D.C.

Best I can remember, I’ve been to Washington D.C. five times.  The first time was when I was ten with my mother and brother.  It was the same month the Madonna Playboy came out.  That trip was the first time I flew.  This was my best DC trip.  We saw the Air and Space Museum where I saw a Mercury capsule and touched a piece of the moon, went to the top of the Washington Monument, went to Mount Vernon, took the train to Chevy Chase by mistake, and ate the most delicious runny egg, toast with jelly and orange juice breakfast I’ve ever had in my life still to this day.  God bless my mother.

I went again with my mom when I was fifteen or sixteen years old on a trip sponsored by “Salute to Teens Week.”  Don’t ask me who funded it.  I don’t know.  That was my first time on a prop plane.  Taking off from Burlington was crazy turbulent.  I was listening to a Sinatra tape on my Walkman.  During the bumpy and terrifying climb to our cruising altitude, “Strangers in the Night” was playing.  When the flight started to smooth out above the clouds, “Summer Wind” began.  Therefore I will always associate “Summer Wind” by Frank Sinatra with serenity and magic.  That trip I got to meet both Leahy and Jeffords.  My mom took the last seat on the underground capitol train forcing John Glenn to walk.  Years later I apologized to him for that on the phone.

Let’s see.  I drove throught D.C. once on one of the long driving adventures I used to go on in my twenties.  I remember driving around the capitol, parking and visiting Bernie’s office for no apparent reason.

Another time I had a night bus layover there for a few minutes when I got out and stretched and saw the capitol all lit up.

The last time I was there was about five years ago.  Poopsie and I stayed in a hotel a couple of blocks from the white house on our way to Ben and Leanne’s wedding in South Carolina.  We took a morning walk around the white house.  We looked the statue of Alexander Hamilton on the lawn and Poopsie said he was hot.

April 14, 2010   Comments Off

Sanders Geothermal Roundtable

This looks like an interesting event, and it’s on a Saturday, so having a job might not necessarily preclude one’s attendance.

What: Geothermal Energy Roundtable with Senator Bernie Sanders and Cathy Zoi, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the United States Department of Energy

When: Saturday, April 17th at 1pm

Where: Contois Auditorium – Burlington City Hall, 149 Church Street, Burlington, VT

April 11, 2010   Comments Off

Dean and Sanders Fail on IRV

Failure from the two top Burlington pols this week on the IRV question.

First from Dean speaking to reporters on Church Street along side a representative from the League of Women Voters. He said that the ‘Hinda Miller’ election did not use IRV, and that it had only been used once- in the most recent election. Before and after that embarrassing gaff, on which he was immediately corrected, he did a good job of spitting out the textbook arguments for IRV. But that flub kinda killed the whole press conference for him, it seemed to me. Kinda killed his credibility on this issue. I mean, did he not vote in the 2006 mayoral election? Maybe not.

Then yesterday I received a flyer in the mail with Bernard Sanders’s picture on it. Here look:

I mean that’s just embarrassing, right? Are we supposed to forget that Bernie’s 1981 “10 Vote” victory over Gordon Paquette put Sanders in the mayor’s office with just 43% in a race with a spoiler? I’m sorry but the “fifty percent matters” folks using Bernie’s image like this is just, well- It just makes me embarrassed for everybody.

And by the way- it is simply not intellectually honest to equate a traditional majority with a the kind of majority manufactured through the instant runoff system. They are not the same and I’m sure Jason Lorber, Mark Larson, Bernie Sanders and Howard Dean all realize that.

February 26, 2010   11 Comments

Senate Passes Health Care Bill

I was lucky enough to watch the final vote on TV this morning. Bernie got there late to some applause from the Democratic senators. He voted “Yes” instead of “Aye.”

Moments earlier Harry Reid had accidentally voted no, and threw up his hands to uproarious laughter in the chamber while the clerk gave him a moment to change his vote.

Final vote: 60-39 with all Democrats, Sanders and Lieberman voting yes, all Republicans voting no except one. I’m having trouble finding out who it was that didn’t vote.

Despite having given Sanders the OK to kill the bill if he wished, and despite its flaws I’m happy the bill passed, and I would be disappointed the conference bill does not pass in both chambers too.

Sure it’s a huge giveaway to the health insurance companies, but it’s better than a huge giveaway to the war industry, which always happens. If we’re going to borrow obscene amounts from China, we might as well let the money pay for band aids instead of bullets for a change.

December 24, 2009   2 Comments