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Category — Rachel Weston

Planned Parenthood

Did you know that rep. Rachel Weston is on the Board of Trustees of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, and that Barbara Snelling is an honorary Board Member?

I just learned that from a fundraising letter I’m about to toss.  I haven’t given money to Planned Parenthood for at least fifteen years, but they keep asking me to nonetheless.  They do a lot of colposcopies for folks, and turn no one away for lack of money so they always need donations.

If you would like to donate to support their work you can at

April 27, 2010   2 Comments

Burlington Greens and Dems Caucus II

Monday Night / Tuesday Morning:

I went to the Green meeting downstairs at the Library in the Community Room. I figure I have a right to be there and take pictures because the Library is public. I see Kevin Ryan and he tells me a whole bunch of things and stories about the mayor and the chief of police and all kinds of stuff leading in to a long story that ends in the refrain to “Alice’s Restaurant”

Well the bottom line is Kiss may want to cut the police budget and Trembley is outraged but Bob can’t and / or won’t fire Trembley. Whatever. Whatever. Whatever. I don’t care. I don’t care. Bob Kiss is the man. He’s got that squint. You know, that squint that tells you he’s hovering a couple of atmospheric levels higher than everyone around him. He floats. Floats…Wax on…Wax off Danielson… The squint tells you he is merely annoyed by gravity, not actually bound by it like the rest of us.

So then the meeting gets underway. There were about 15-17 people there, in a circle of chairs. Steve Eckberg was the Host. He’s the Chair of the Burlington Greens. (if I spell names wrong, tell me and I’ll fix it.) There was Jay Vos, René Kaczka-Vallière, me, Kevin (who is a Republican), A woman named Judy who worked with Indy Media, a guy named Jerry Trudell, Lise Anne whom I know from Recycle North, Then… I believe his name was Ken with the long white hair and beard. Then a guy named Tony who is the treasurer of the local party…Then a young guy with a long beard came in his name was Ted and Eckberg introduced him as a scientist. Then in came Radkin of Alburg, the state party chair. Several times in the discussion Radkin brought up something about the government spraying some kind of aerosol into the atmosphere for some reason, that he said was poisoning the Earth.

At one point Jerry Trudell Said he had run for congress in November but was “shut out of the debate” literally one time in Middlebury. (Note: He beat the offical Green candidate by 19 votes.) To which Radkin responded “Oh! I voted for you! I didn’t know who the hell you were, but I voted for you!”

They followed their agenda as you see it in the picture. When they did the minute of silence, it reminded me of the one time I went to Quaker Church up by Mater Christi School…

The bummer was- I knew I could stay just under an hour and their agenda called for ninety minutes, the last portion of which being the one I cared about. I quickly learned that this local party likes to discuss things in an animated way and several people spoke out more than others.

So let me just tick through a couple more things…

Jay Vos touted Efficiency Vermont. Troudou advocated sit-ins at Leahy, Sanders’s and Welch’s offices, and said the Dems and Republicans were “bankrupt of ideas.”… They talked about their web site, the current official version of which is produced by Owen Mulligan. Eckberg tried to put Mulligan’s site up against some other website (that no one seemed to have heard of and whose URL he couldn’t name) for the title of official Burlington Green Party Website, but put that item off. In a meeting atypical of most mainstream (and thus most) political caucuses, that one event stood out as extra odd.

But I basically got that Rene was their council candidate (W5.)

Then I dashed out and met Poopsie and Koko on Church Street with our friend Lisa. Then P,K&I went to Poopsie’s car and she dropped me off at the OP where I was meeting Matty. Poops took K home for to nappy and Matty and I split up to meet at Channel 15 to do his show from 3 to 4, which was perfect, because I was going the Dem caucus at the Elks at 4:30. I stop at the Co-op to get eel rolls and snap a picture of the “world’s most dangerous parking lot” the I go back to the library, grab 10 kids books and dash to 15 where I do the show.

Then I go to the Elks club…
Now the Democratic Party Caucus is not the Green Party Caucus. First of all, I think the Dems only publicized theirs via their own internal email lists, because I couldn’t find any mention of it on their website, only of the dinner immediately following. Owen sent me “Saturday the 7th” which I appreciate, but then I caught that the 7th was Sunday, so I called Burlington Democratic Party Chair Mary Sullivan (She’s Dean’s party Chair. Don’t you love that?) and she told me Sunday and said it was ok for me to come write about the thing. Which I guess I may have technically needed since I think the Elks Club is private. Thanks Mary.

So I get there… ok… what’s going on… somebody taking money asks if I’m there for dinner. There’s a cash bar. Tables are set of for a dinner. Oh God! What am I going to do with myself here? Who am I going to talk to? Bill Aswad? Um… no… he’s not making any eye contact with me… um…Barb Grimes ( I just saw a picture of her in Hollywood on one of her sons’ myspace pages, I guess I could mention that to her, but…) …no eye contact… Uh… Linda Deladuka? No! At best she’d call me “Haiky” and ask me about my mom, but luckily, no eye contact anyway…uh…Joanna Cole? Hmmmm… not so much. Shit! Luckily Mary Sullivan took some pity and talked to me for a minute. I tried to pick her brain for what would happen in the individual ward caucuses… mainly because I knew I’d want to bail before they were over, and that’s all I really needed for Charity‘s show, which is really the only reason I’m doing this anyway. I actually hate blogging. It’s a pain in my ass.

Here’s what I got from Mary Sullivan (with my own spin, not hers necessarily) W1-Bushor still owns it, no Dem wants to try; W2-?; W3-?; W4?; W5- Joan Shannon to seek reelection; W6- Andy Montroll to seek reelection and W7… Is Carmen George going to run again, or not?

Drum roll please…. No. She isn’t.

She tells me in an email subsequent to the caucus that she has been promoted by her employer Good News Garage and needs to devote herself to that. That’s cool and the gang, Carmen, my friend. I take you at your word. I have to say, though, when I didn’t run for reelection back in 1997, I wrote an op-ed for the Free Press saying I didn’t want to run, when in fact the Progs made it clear Tom Smith would be their nominee, not me. I assumed they calculated I would not win re-election. Maybe. Maybe. But as I’ve said, “Tommy the Commie’s” political life sort of ended in scandal. Once he tried to high-five me when we heard that a political opponent had been caught drunk-boating. Somebody somewhere probably had a high-five when Tom got in trouble at the end there too. But I digress…

Back to Carmen. So what If I’m a liar? You’re probably telling the truth- as you see it- now (just kidding) But let me say as someone who volunteered in a lit-drop for your campaign in 05, and as your constituent from ward seven for the past two years: you have been an engaging and responsible public servant. You always answered my constituency questions (like about the street and stuff) in a timely and courteous way, and you kept in touch. I think I generally agreed with your voting record, but honestly, I’d be hard pressed to name a single vote at this moment. (And I’m an engaged and active citizen.)

Carmen George would have been a shoe-in again I think. Mainly because I don’t think the Republicans got anybody. Do they? Does anybody know? I guess we’ll find out on my birthday. So if the GOP offers up weak, or no competition, then this could finally be the year of Linda Deladuka. This will be…what… her third try as the Dem nominee in W7? Third time’s a charm?

I talked to another guy there who works for the state on condition of double-secret-super-duper-double-deep-background-cover, but I don’t want to tell you what he told me.

Around this point the Dems started moving to tables by ward. Ward three’s table was easily and by far the least populated sheltering only Rachel Weston, a man and another woman who said she liked this blog, but later kicked me out of the ward caucus because I live in seven, not three. But before that I joined them and interviewed Weston for several questions. That’s good stuff for the blog. She’s famous right now having just been elected at twenty-five to John Patrick Tracey’s old seat in the legislature. (Plus that whole Paris Hilton-Nicole Richie style feud she’s got going on with Zypher Teachout. Oh the drama! I can’t stand it!)

Mini interview with Weston not exact quotes:

HB- So are you the youngest VT legislator ever?
RW- I know of at least one as young as 18.
HB-Burlington Cred?
RW- My parents met in Burlington. I was born in Massachusetts. Moved here for Grad School (Master of Public Administration) Graduated, ran for statehouse, won. BA in Anthropology, I play jazz flute. Have worked as a music teacher, sold folk instruments, waitressed and worked as a research assistant, also live in Maine.
When I asked what her priorities are in the legislature, she was careful to attribute the issues she mentioned to the people she listened to doorknocking in the campaign. She wants Healthcare for all based on ability to pay and energy alternatives like wind and solar.

I asked her about my pet issue- Paper Ballot! Paper Trail!, and she agreed we should vote on paper but was hesitant to support a constitutional amendment on the matter. I like that. Yes. We should always be wary of constitutional amendments. Even good ones. Rachel Weston is smart, and wise too, it seems. A younger perspective also bodes well for the city party which is large (I counted 55-60 people there) but generally pretty old. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just nice to mix it up.

Ok… Now: I’ll give you the lost interview with Loyal Ploof.

I ran into former W3 School Commissioner and mayoral candidate Loyal Ploof on the way out of the Greens’ meeting…

Mini interview with Ploof not exact quotes:

HB- Not a Green anymore?

LP-No. Greens are done. Eckberg is hard to deal with. I’m running for state senate as a Prog.

HB- You’re a Prog again?

LP- Yeah but some Progs have been giving me the cold shoulder.

HB- Good luck. Take it easy.

LP- Take it easy.


End of Burlington Greens and Dems Caucus II

January 9, 2007   Comments Off