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Category — Tim Ashe

Interview with Tim Ashe

The following is a faithfully transcribed conversation between me (Haik Bedrosian) and mayoral candidate Tim Ashe recorded at The Bagel Cafe and Deli in the Ethan Allen Shopping Center on North Avenue on November 27, 2011 between 11am and 1pm. Ashe is currently a state senator from Chittenden County and is running for the Democratic nomination for mayor of Burlington…

Click Here to Read Interview

December 9, 2011   1 Comment

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

Ward 5 Democratic Debate

From the clips I’ve seen it looked like a packed house at Champlain School.  I guess the debate was run by Paul Hochanadel? Huh. Nice one Paul. Anyway Mike Townsend from the Free Press panned it as weak tea. Townsend did mention Ashe saying something about ‘the bloggers…’

“Tim Ashe assured the audience of about 100 that the bloggers were wrong in criticizing him after he made a Johnny-come-lately announcement that he, too, wanted to be mayor.
For the record, Tim Ashe does not have tattoos on his “forearms” and he has never cooked “breakfast for Bob Kiss.””

Tatoos on his forearms? Could he have been talking about this picture I keep recycling?

I kinda think playing all nice and congenial is a bad idea for anybody but Tim Ashe. I mean if you’re going to sit right there and debate him and not mention the fact he was on the board of finance in 2008 and failed to say or do anything when Leopold told them BT was having trouble getting financing… well, I guess that means you don’t really want to win. I mean here’s a quote from the Board of Finance Minutes of May 1, 2008:

“Interim General Manager Chris Burns provided the Board a status report on the operations and finances for Burlington Telecom year-to-date. The Board then reviewed and considered the proposed budget and recommendations for both operations and capital improvements for Fiscal Year 2009. During this discussion, Councilor Wright joined the meeting of the Board by telephone at 5:20 p.m.

CAO Leopold made a motion, seconded by Councilor Ashe, to enter into Executive Session to discuss proprietary issues regarding Burlington Telecom operations and finances the premature disclosure of which could place the City at a substantial disadvantage. The motion passed unanimously. The Board went into Executive Session at 5:30 p.m.
The Board came out of Executive Session at 5:55 p.m.”

You want another one? From the Board of Finance Minutes of November 17, 2008:

“CAO Leopold advised the Board that the City should secure either a Letter of Credit or a short term financing to enable the City to carry the capital funding needs of the Electric Department and Burlington Telecom… “

Tim Ashe was right there when Leopold told the Board of Finance three years ago BT was broke. You might say these quotes don’t prove that, but these are the dates Leopold mentioned on the Matty and Stech Variety Hour when he was making the case that the council was warned. What is up with the three Democratic candidates? Have they done no opposition research?

Maybe they figure it’s a wash, or a non-issue somehow, since Kurt Wright was also right there on the board of finance and also failed to recognize the problem or do anything about it.

October 21, 2011   6 Comments


FROM:Haik Bedrosian
TO:Tim Ashe
October 19, 2011 7:10 PM

“Ashe said he’s running as a Democrat but would accept the Progressives’ endorsement if offered…” -from Shay’s Fair Game column today.

Hi again Tim,

For the record, would you please explain or reconcile the quote from Seven Days above with what you wrote to me 47 hours ago (” if i don’t win the caucus, i am out of the race… “) vis-a-vis the possibility of your continuing in the mayoral race even if you are not the Democratic nominee? It appears to be a direct contradiction.

Actually- It’s only a contradiction if we don’t assume Tim Ashe will be the Democratic nominee. The fact that the statement isn’t quilified in the quote is a curiosity. He should have said either “If I win the Democratic nomination, then I would also accept the Progressive one,” or “I would accept the Progressive nomination only if the Democrats nominate me first” or something like that.

For him to tell me “if i don’t win the caucus, i am out of the race…” (sic) and then tell Shay simply that he would accept the Progressive nomination gives me the impression he presumes he’ll win the Democratic nomination.

Maybe he will win the Democratic nomination, but there’s at least an appearance here that he’s counting a second chicken before the first one has hatched.

Are we also to assume the converse? That if the Democrats don’t nominate Tim Ashe, then the Progs won’t either? I guess so, because based on his statement he’d presumably not accept their nomination if that happened, even if the Progs offered it.

So let’s say the Democrats nominate Tim Ashe. If that happens are the Progs going to run Brian Pine or Emma Mulvaney-Stanak and split the left? Kurt Wright probably hopes so.

So this is what I think- If Ashe wins the Democratic nomination, the Progs will nominate him too. Then it’s Ashe vs. Wright. If Ashe does not win the Democratic nomination then the Progs might run somebody else preferring to split the left and elect Kurt elected over an actual Democrat.

So are these our choices to replace Bob Kiss? Already this early we know them? Tim Ashe or Kurt Wright? Oy Vey… forgive me if I don’t start break-dancing.


From: Tim Ashe
To: Haik Bedrosian
Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 11:09 PM
Subject: Re: Re:

Do I still need to respond to this or is it now clearer? I would accept the P nomination IF I am still in the race having won the D caucus.

Tim Ashe
State Senator
Chittenden County

FROM:Haik Bedrosian
TO:Tim Ashe
Thursday, October 20, 2011 12:08 AM

Well, that is a response. Thank you, I guess,

And let’s say you don’t win the Democratic nomination, and the Progressives re-nominate Kiss. Under that scenario, whom would you support… the Democratic nominee or Kiss?

October 19, 2011   Comments Off

Tim Ashe Running for Mayor

I can’t really blog from wherever it is I work, so you can’t expect me to break every story. Anyway I’m home now. It has been reported by VT Digger and WCAX that State Senator Tim Ashe will seek the Democratic nomination for mayor at the Party’s caucus November 13.

I don’t know how I feel about this. Maybe it’s the cold rain outside today, but I have to admit that I feel a tinge of melancholia. This news almost certainly means Bob Kiss is not running which in and of itself means the end of a certain era, the passage of time and the continuing of my own personal journey toward certain death. I really like Bob Kiss, and had very high hopes for his administration when he took over almost six years ago. There were some good good things about his terms. The roads got better. He negotiated a lot more payment in lieu of tax from UVM. His Pension Task Force made some important recommendations. The city council began to find a voice of its own on Bob’s watch in a way it never had before. But in the end everything else about his administration is eclipsed by the shadow and consumed by the gravity of what happened with Burlington Telecom, which I had high hopes for also in 2006.

So now Tim Ashe is in the race, probably hoping Miro Weinberger, Jason Lorber and Bram Kranichfeld split their support and allow him to storm the gates of Demland with as many supporters as he can muster, Progs among them. Remember the Democratic caucus is open. As long as he hasn’t voted in another party’s caucus by 11/13, you could potentially even see Bob Kiss vote in it.

Anyway… so I just wrote to Tim Ashe with a pretty obvious question. And he wrote back and answered it by promising not to run as in Independent or Prog if he fails to win the Democratic nomination…
[No Subject]
FROM:Haik Bedrosian
Monday, October 17, 2011 7:07pm

Hi Tim,

Please add my email to your mayoral campaign distribution list. Quick question for the record- If you don’t win the Democratic nomination on 11/13 is there any chance your name will appear on the March ballot for mayor anyway?

TO:Haik Bedrosian Message
Monday, October 17, 2011 8:11pm

will do. if i don’t win the caucus, i am out of the race…

Tim Ashe
State Senator
Chittenden County

So I guess this leaves Bob a little theoretical leeway to run again if Tim Ashe does not get nominated, but it still seems unlikely. The mayor told me he’d announce in “early” November. Presumably that would be before the Dems’ caucus on the 13th. But I guess he could announce on the 14th, and it would still be in the first half of the month, which might be considered the early half, and thus “early in the month.”

We’ll see, but after watching some videos of Tim Ashe at Anne Galloway’s YouTube page positively singing the praises of Burlington Telecom, Bob Kiss and Jonathan Leopold, I find it hard to believe Tim Ashe didn’t coordinate his announcement for mayor with the mayor.

October 17, 2011   6 Comments

Kiss, Ashe Seek Legislation for BT

Breaking News

In an email sent to the city council today, Burlington mayor Bob Kiss discusses working with state senator Tim Ashe on specific legislation that would allow embattled Burlington Telecom to become a public-private venture. The email is below the row of stars to follow…


From: Bob Kiss
Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2011 11:12:47 -0500
To: Burlington City Council
Cc: Ken Schatz; Karen Lafayette, Terry Dorman; Tim Ashe; Erhard Mahnke; Joe Reinert
Subject: telecom legislation

Dear Councilors:

Senator Tim Ashe informed us that the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs is taking up legislation on telecommunications.

Tim asked what language will be required, if any, to facilitate future operations of BT under a private-public venture. After conferring with Terry Dorman and Ken Schatz, we want to be confident that state law will allow the type of restructured BT that Terry is working on. As you know, Terry’s efforts include working with potential private financial and strategic partners for BT. Tim is worried that a business solution may be reached after the Legislature adjourns, and that the restructured entity will not be able to proceed because of the lack of specific authorizing language.

Consequently, we are recommending clarification of the rules for a “joint venture” (a business relationship to provide telecommunications services involving a private party and a municipality). Burlington ‘s Charter allows for a joint venture, but the State enabling law, 24 VSA, Chapter 54, Sec. 1911 – 1914 does not authorize joint ventures for municipalities. We have recommended the following:

- include general enabling authority for joint ventures in title 24, chapter 54

- clarify that joint ventures are eligible for any available State bonds, grants or loans or loan guarantees in the same way existing private entities are.

Other issues may arise, and if so, we will keep you informed.

The Committee will introduce its bill early next week so please let me know if you have questions regarding this approach by Monday at noon. Thank you.

Best regards,
Bob Kiss, Mayor
City of Burlington

February 12, 2011   4 Comments

The Gates of Demland

Word on the street is that Tim Ashe may storm the Democratic caucus with hundreds of Progs and take both the Democratic and Progressive nominations for mayor. The idea is that this super-fusion monster candidate would be able to crush Kurt 40 to 39 or something.

I have to wonder- Where have the Hinda Millers and the Paul Lafayettes all gone? Isn’t there a real Democrat to nominate? Joan Shannon? Could Joan kick Ashe in the caucus? She’s got some work to do to make up for the Valentines Day thing- but Dems had a lot of nice things to say about Joan when she beat Carina Driscoll way back when. Maybe?

Anyway. That’s not what the poll is about. The poll assmues Ashe storms the gates of Demland with hundred of Progs and bears the one ring.

Me personally in this scenario? I’d probably vote for Kurt because I just know him much better than I know Tim Ashe. Don’t let me bias your vote though. You only get one per browser. I gave you a none of the above choice because I promised Lea, but you really don’t get that choice on the real ballot. You get write-in. You can write-in “none of the above” if you want- but I don’t think it’s any secret that one of the above always wins.

Something tells me “none of the above” might win this poll however, because “none of the above” includes so many more people than either Ashe or Wright. I imagine folks will still be interested to see which of those two gets more votes, even though the poll is not scientific, and for entertainment only.

This is not Brewster’s Millions and I am not Nate Silver, ok people?

Here we go…

For Mayor (Choose One):
Time Ashe (Democratic-Progressive)
Kurt Wright (Republican)
None of the above.
Free polls from

February 10, 2011   4 Comments