Monday, November 5, 2012

Vaccine Choice Election Statement from Vermont Coalition for Vaccine Choice

Why we support Annette Smith and not Peter Shumlin in the 2012 election. 

It is true that Gov. Peter Shumlin sided with the House's push for more education on vaccinations over the Senate's push to remove the philosophical exemption. He was quoted as saying, "I do not believe that in the end the government should dictate to parents what inoculations their kids have to get in order to get a public education in Vermont." 

But there are too many troubling aspects to what happened with the vaccine bill to allow us to throw our continued support behind Peter Shumlin's administration this election. 

You see, the vaccine was bill NOT introduced for the well being of Vermonters. It was pre-planned, introduced and argued for by members of Shumlin's Administration. In fact, it was Shumlin's own Health Commissioner Harry Chen and Chen's own Health Department (in cahoots with medical trade organizations which have conflicts of interest) that planned, orchestrated and supported removing our right to say no to vaccines; Then it was Shumlin's Education Commissioner Vilaseca who this summer took a public stance against the upheld philosophical exemption. In summary, members of the Shumlin administration started this baseless attack against Vermonter's inalienable right to decide what they inject into our bodies - or by extension the bodies of our children.  

Shumlin also said he wanted to "start with more education, to separate the myths that you read about on the Internet with the facts that health care providers will give you on this." But, as anyone who has truly done their homework on vaccines will tell you, healthcare providers often know less than informed parents. For some reason this bill had to go through. Could not be killed. And in the end, the education on vaccines produced by Shumlin's administration has proven to be coercive, biased, inaccurate and inadequate. The final statute that was voted through even though it came along with unconstitutional language in it. We raised concerns to Shumlin about the unconstitutionality of the law, and his office assured us their attorney would look at it. 

Apparently, the administration thought it acceptable to sign an unconstitutional statute into law. Which now means we must either overturn it in court, or open everything back up for "fixing" in the coming session. Was this is a simple mistake, perhaps a coincidence? 

Speaking of coincidences, in response to the third Vermont death after vaccination last year (Kaylynne Matten), VT Health Commissioner Chen was quoted as saying, “Of course, it’s important for parents to understand the risks and benefits, and I have absolute respect for their right to make their own decisions.” This was clearly doublespeak, the likes of which we cannot support any more. Vermont vaccination rates for 2011-2012 school year have been published on the VT Health Department website and guess what?  They show rates are increasing - not decreasing - as lawmakers, the media and the general public were told by health officials during the unprecedented and regressive bid to remove Vermont's philosophical vaccine exemption last spring.

It is time for a new approach, and truthful data, with the needs and wants of local Vermonters at the center of legislative policy. Annette Smith has a proven track record of collaborating with concerned citizens on health and environmental issues. She is committed to resisting corporate influence and power and wholeheartedly supports vaccine choice, true informed consent and the Hippocratic Oath for Vermont's healthcare system. We can all learn a lot from Annette, and we hope she receives a great deal of support for her ideas for a 21st century Vermont. 

We plan to "Write-In" Annette Smith for Governor on November 6th, and hope that in the future, the Governor of Vermont will pay closer attention to the truth.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Is it “hair on fire” or “pants on fire,” Mr Shumlin?


Write In Annette Smith For Vermont Governor

Is it “hair on fire” or “pants on fire,” Mr Shumlin?
Smith Calls Out Shumlin and Brock for Hypocrisy on Climate Change and Energy

Working out of her homestead-office in Danby, Independent candidate for Vermont Governor Annette Smith's carbon footprint and renewable energy lifestyle sets an example that others, especially Governor Shumlin, and Randy Brock, could learn from.

“Referring to climate change, Governor Shumlin says ‘our hair is on fire’ and Vermont must do everything possible to stop climate change.  Then he burns thousands of gallons of fossil fuel flying to Florida to look for EB5 money for his friends, and flies to California for a fundraiser, and flies again to California for ‘negotiations’ over computer systems with a firm that just happens to have also donated to his campaign,” said Annette. “Shumlin’s supposed desire to fight climate change didn’t stop him from spending four full months traveling out of state in the past year.”

Annette offers a different approach to energy issues, leading by example and empowering local communities.  She spends her days advocating for those concerned about their health, their environment and their future; she has been using photovoltaics for her home more than 20 years. She uses solar hot water, drives a car that gets 40mpg, and grows a big garden at her homestead.  Annette understands from experience that it is indeed possible to implement “Vermont scale” renewable energy to reduce dependence on expensive and polluting fossil fuels.

“Mr. Brock seems to think that Vermont can have a prosperous future while still endorsing dependence on imported fossil and nuclear fuels to run our economy, but we all know we need to scale back,” said Annette. “And our Governor has made investments in several fossil fuel companies, even as he advocates for the industrialization of our ridge-lines to fight climate change.”

“This hypocrisy and manipulation cannot stand. The best thing that Vermont can do about climate change and peak oil is lead by example and become more self-reliant in ways that actually benefit Vermonters. Vermont’s impact on global greenhouse gas emissions is a drop in the bucket. But we can and must lead by example using realistic, Vermont-scale solutions – not with hypocritical corporate-scale projects that send money and power out of Vermont. We must reframe this discussion, for the health, well-being and energy security of future generations in Vermont,” Annette added. “Shumlin is doing exactly the opposite of leading the way, and is selling out to large corporate interests while thousands of Vermonters struggle with high energy costs. He is a poster-child for excessive personal energy consumption. His advocacy for false solutions like residential smart meters and consolidation of Vermont’s energy infrastructure under foreign-owned mega-corporations make it clear that Shumlin is not a true leader on climate or energy issues.”

Annette believes that the millionaire candidates Shumlin and Brock could also learn something from the Dalai Lama's recent visit to Vermont.  The Dalai Lama responded to a question about what humanity's ethical response to climate change should be, by noting that western society consumes too much and we should be more content and live more simply. Annette lives this perspective in her daily life and recognizes that Vermont’s fossil fuel consumption for heating, hot water and transportation should be the priorities, not our electricity grid which can today be supplied with existing in-state and regional hydro-power.

Annette emphasizes that the first step towards reducing Vermont’s fossil fuel cost and emissions is to reduce consumption: “Turn the lights off. Turn the thermostat down.  Button up the house.  Convert fossil fueled hot water and heating to solar, wood-fired or heat pumps powered by photovoltaics,” she said. “The key to all of these real solutions is empowering Vermonters with affordable financing to make this transition at the household and community level, instead of subsidizing corporate false-solutions that trick consumers into sending their money out of the state.”

“At this point the idea of wind-powered electric cars is interesting, but until the car industry comes up with affordable and sustainable ways to build electric cars, this is another false solution that only benefits a few corporations,” said Annette. “I’ll be first in line to buy an affordable electric car, powered by human-scale solar power. Until then I’m going to run my existing high mpg car, until it’s beyond repair, which is the best way to conserve resources.”

Instead of calling Vermonters “NIMBY” or “denier” and yelling at them to support more, more, more, false solutions that give Vermonters’ money and power to giant corporations, Annette engages Vermonters in sensible, respectful dialogs and finds Vermont-scale, affordable solutions – and this empowers people and business-owners.

Vermont must aggressively promote energy conservation and reverse the trend of increasing monopoly power over our energy supply. We must support local control over our energy resources instead of subsidizing out-of-state monopolies. Forcing residential wireless smart meters and the corporate industrialization of our pristine ridgelines is not a solution to either climate change or energy security.  Distributed solar electric and hot water, sustainable biomass heating fuels, ecologically designed micro-hydro, and the sensible reclamation of our existing hydro-power should be our priorities.

Visit for more information about how you can get involved in her independent WRITE IN campaign for Vermont governor. Print ads and Palm Cards can be downloaded from her website for volunteer supporters to use. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Campaign PLATFORM PALM CARDS now available for people-powered distribution

WRITE IN Annette Smith For Vermont Governor
Independent Calling For Local Control With A Vision for a 21st Century Vermont 
Campaign PLATFORM PALM CARDS now available for people-powered distribution
2012 Independent WRITE IN candidate for Vermont governor Annette Smith is now offering PLATFORM PALM CARDS for any Vermont citizens interested in supporting her WRITE IN CAMPAIGN on Election Day. “We are determined not to take any outside money to run our campaign,” explains Annette, who champions a LOCAL CONTROL platform for a 21st century Vermont. “Instead, we’re calling on all Vermonters interested in genuine local control to continue to distribute our campaign information and palm cards in every way that they can.”
Visit to download and distribute PALM CARDS and PRINT ADS or for more information about how you can get involved in her independent WRITE IN campaign for Vermont governor. Please share her Facebook page at or contact her at

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Annette Smith Local Control Issues Platform

Annette Smith For Vermont Governor
Local Control: A Vision for a 21st Century Vermont
Independent Mounting Statewide WRITE-IN CAMPAIGN for Election Day ‘12

2012 Independent WRITE IN candidate for Vermont governor Annette Smith has published her “Local Control” platform outlining a vision for a 21st century Vermont that empowers  Vermont citizens and communities. “It is past time for Vermonters to claim our right to self-determination,” Annette said. “We need to challenge the monopolistic power of large corporations and the political systems that serve them, and take that power from the state and federal level back to the community level.”

40% of working Vermonters are making less than a $10.50 hourly wage.  We must support a vibrant working landscape here in Vermont, just as Vermonters have done for generations. We can raise wages and revitalize the economy by removing regulatory obstacles and encouraging local businesses to create value added products.  State and federal policies that promote exporting raw resources while taxing and regulating productive businesses have to be reversed.

Vermont must challenge Wall Street's corruption and take charge of our financial future by developing comprehensive financial and legal policies to address the unsustainable practices of Wall Street and the Federal Reserve.  Vermont must create a publicly-owned bank like the state-owned Bank of North Dakota that can leverage Vermont's assets to make loans available through existing community banks to encourage investment in diversified agriculture, innovation, conservation, and small businesses.

Vermont must aggressively promote energy conservation and reverse the trend of increasing monopoly power over our energy supply. We must support local control over our energy resources instead of subsidizing out-of-state monopolies. Forcing residential wireless smart meters and the corporate industrialization of our pristine ridgelines is not a solution to either climate change or energy security.  Distributed solar electric and hot water, sustainable biomass heating fuels, ecologically designed micro-hydro, and the sensible reclamation of our existing hydro-power are our priorities.

A 21st century Vermont must feature local control over a diversified working agricultural landscape.  Instead of unwieldy state and federal mandates and regulations that stifle productivity and subsidize commodities, Vermont must encourage diversified local food production to feed ourselves and our communities with our own abundant agriculture resources.  Exporting more value added products with the recognized Vermont brand will boost incomes across the state. Transparency in GMO labeling is a priority. Vermont must remove obstacles to traditional agricultural crops for biomass and fiber production.  We must take on the Dean Food monopoly and get dairy farmers a fair price for their milk as we help them diversify.

Local control of our public schools - from our curriculums to our lunch programs - must become a priority. Federal funding and testing mandates, overwhelmingly rejected by our public school teachers, must be rolled back, with a return to local control and equality of education opportunity for all Vermonters. Vermont needs to stand up to the failed federal education system and insist that funding which comes from the taxes Vermonters pay cannot be withheld simply because we make our own education decisions and standards locally. State-level policies must reverse the trend of consolidated power in Montpelier and return local school decisions to local communities.

Health care freedom is a human right. Vermont is one of the healthiest states in the US, but pharmaceutical and insurance corporations have far too much influence on our medical system.  This influence contributes to skyrocketing costs and affronts to our freedoms, as government regulations are being written to benefit corporations rather than the average Vermonter. Vermont’s health care policy must be shaped by the choices of our citizens, families, and health care professionals; not by corporations and “one-size fits-all” state and federal mandates, such as requiring purchase of insurance or enforced medication/vaccinations. Every Vermonter has a right to clean water, clean air, pure food, and access to medicines – including natural medicines, vitamins and supplements –  that cannot be patented or sold for profit. The ancient Oath of Hippocrates, centered on the promise to “first, do no harm,” should guide all health policy while honoring privacy and freedom of choice in patient-provider relationships.

Our culture of “Freedom and Unity” is under siege from the militarization of the U.S. economy and the rising power of the police-state. Vermont’s growing dependence on the military-industrial complex – Homeland Security, Lockheed’s F-35s and smart meters, nuclear power – threatens both our liberty and our security. The police-state and the failed war on drugs drains us of precious natural, human and economic resources and destroys families. We need our soldiers and police to protect our rights and help our communities at critical times. Vermont must take a stand against the expansion of the war economy, the war on drugs and the police-state, and focus on preserving the rights and safety of Vermont citizens.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Annette Smith For Vermont Governor
Local Control: 15 Years Of Walking The Walk in Vermont
Independent Statewide WRITE-IN Candidate In Upcoming Debates

Since 1999, Annette Smith has pursued public service in Vermont with passion and commitment. As the founder and executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, Annette has developed a community-centric understanding of the economic and environmental challenges near and dear to all of us in Vermont. Annette has worked with local communities across the state to assert civil liberties and local control regarding natural gas pipelines, utilities, smart meters, industrial wind, mining, agriculture, groundwater, and drinking water.

The independent candidate for Vermont governor has a diverse set of experiences that inform her perspective. She’s worked as a seamstress, technical typist, harpsichord maker, small business owner, and currently is a practicing farmer who raises pigs, chickens, and Jersey cows at her off-the-grid sustainable farm in Danby, Vermont.  “Much of my work now and when I was making products involves complex problem solving,” she explains. “I do some of my best thinking while milking the cow.”

Annette’s success as a mediator has given her the capacity to see hotly debated issues from many sides, and to facilitate solutions-oriented outcomes that protect and enhance Vermonters’ ability to maintain local control over our own collective destiny. She is a gifted listener, an articulate public speaker, and a thoughtful advocate for ordinary Vermonters interested in preserving local control of their communities moving into the 21st century. “My approach to leadership is more about enabling relationships that encourage finding solutions than dictating what people should do,” she observes. “Vermonters want more input into decisions being made that are directly impacting their lives.” 

Annette will post detailed position-statements on important issues to the media and at her website on Monday October 8.

Annette is scheduled to participate in two up-coming gubernatorial debates:

1. October 9, 5:25pm: Burlington’s Channel 17 studio, LIve call-in show. 
Air-dates Oct 9 at 5:25pm, Oct 25 at 8pm, Oct 26 at 1am, 7am and 1pm. 

2. October 11, 7pm: Bennington CAT-TV debate hosted by Bennington Tonite at the Bennington Firehouse and aired on CAT-TV at 7pm.  Randy Brock, Annette Smith, and an empty chair for Gov. Shumlin.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Annette Smith Standing For Office Of Vermont Governor


Press Contact: 802 498 3218

Annette Smith Standing For Office Of Vermont Governor
Independent Building Statewide Write-In Campaign for Election Day 2012

Danby, Vermont resident Annette Smith announces today her intent to stand for the office of Vermont governor as an independent write-in candidate today.

For more than a decade, Smith has served as an articulate and effective voice for working Vermonters. As the leader of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, she has effectively challenged the power of big corporations and their lawyers, lobbyists and politicians on behalf of Vermont citizens across the state.

“I am standing for governor as an independent populist candidate drafted by the people of Vermont to give voice to Vermonters,” Smith explains. “I am working to bring the voices of “We the people" back into our state government, to counter the influence of big corporations, and to support our Vermont communities by bringing back local control to the lives of Vermont’s citizens.”

Visit for more information about how you can get involved.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

SOS: recount volunteers please

We just got word yesterday that we need to have a huge list of volunteer re-counters to the court by this coming Monday (10 September) at 1pm.  The recount itself will start Thursday at 9am.  It will be carried out at each of the county seats of the 14 Vermont counties.  The process should not take very long for any given county since there are only 1003 Progressive Party ballots for the whole state.

This is about much more than who wins this particular election.  This is also a way of challenging the the grip of the two (or three) parties, of letting in some air into a very closed electoral system.

As a vote re-counter you will be on a team of 4 others.  In principle, 2 on the team will "represent" Annette and two, Martha.  One member will "call" out a ballot result, an opposing representative will look at the ballot and confirm the call.  A third member will record the call and a fourth will double-check that recording.

If you are willing to go to the county seat of your county at 9am Thursday 10 September, then please email me listing contact information required by the court:

My email:

Info required by court:


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Last certification... until the next one

I came to the re-certification session on my bike and passed a mammoth 2 story high satellite truck from Channel 5 parked on State and Elm St.  Here' (left) is the intrepid Channel 5eporter , Stewart Ledbetter, with a tiny camera taking a picture of Jack Lindley, the GOP "canvasser"  (Ledbetter jokingly asked him to stop grinning like he'd just left a tavern.)  Lindley was there as a canvasser to certify the vote.  The rest of the press showed up,  the Dem canvasser, Condos the Secretary of State and his intrepid Elections Division head, Kathy Sheele.

This session was supposed to be a formality fixing their screwup by adding 9 votes from Hardwick and 6 from Walden.   But when it came to signing on the dotted line, Jack Lindley instead delivered this polemic:  (this may have been why he was grinning beforehand):

Someone asked Sheele to summarize what the GOP stalwart had said. She replied, He basically called us incompetent assholes."  He accused the office of not being able to organize a two car funeral let alone an election with a thousand or two write-ins.  He also darkly accused the Dems and Progs of "colluding".  He wasn't at all specific on this score.  Maybe Shumlin will throw Abbott a bone for running as his surrogate;  time will tell.  

The system over there does seem a little loosely wound.  The directions on the ballot contradict those in the law but Sec. Condos is too stubborn to hear of changing the directions which would take him about one microsecond.  Apropos of nothing, he says the ballot has been like this for years and that in California the write-in voter must fill in the little oval to be counted.  He thinks the vote counters need more training.  

So the official vote count now is 371 Abbott vs 370 Smith.  Annette went right from the canvassing today to submit a petition demanding a recount.  The recount will take place in Montpelier toward the middle of next week and we are allowed to have counters or observers present.  Write in if you are interested in watching slow motion democracy in action.  Given how loosey-goosey everything has been up to now, we can only hold on to our hats for the next episode.    

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Good News

September 5, 2012

For immediate release

Contact: Jim Condos, 802-828-2148

[phone] 802-828-2363 [fax] 802-828-2496
James C. Condos, Secretary of State Brian H. Leven, Deputy Secretary

Sec’y of State Jim Condos Calls for Special Meeting of the Primary Canvassing Committee
Montpelier, VT- “Voting is at the very basis and core of our democracy. It is important that every vote counts,” stated Secretary of State Jim Condos.

In the rush to complete the August 28th primary canvassing report over the long holiday weekend, human errors were made in the calculation of write-in votes for the Progressive Gubernatorial race.
In the interest of insuring that the process to produce the General Election ballot is accurate and moves quickly, our office has called a Special Meeting of the Canvassing Committee at 4pm on Thursday, September 6th at the Secretary of State’s office at 128 State Street, Montpelier, to certify the corrected results of the Progressive Gubernatorial Primary.

These corrected results place the two candidates within the 2% margin so that the losing candidate will qualify to request a recount.

It is our hope that if the losing candidate wishes to have a recount, they will file immediately with the Superior Court so we can move the process along. To meet Federal law, we must have Vermont’s general election ballots in the hands of the Vermont Town Clerks by September 21 so that they can send ballots to Overseas and Military Voters by the 45th day before the general election (September 22).

“As I grew up, my father always told me that if a mistake is made, own up to it, learn from it, and move on!” stated Secretary Condos.

Jim Condos is Vermont’s Secretary of State.

(larger font and green, mine.)


the summary sheet for the Progressive ballot in Walden

So the three of us, Stephanie, Carole, and I were at it for a few hours in the Sec of State's plush but airless conference room for several hours going through the sheets (about 12 for each town) that summarized the voting results.  We found a lot (187) votes for Annette written in on the Dem and Rep ballots so of the four leading candidates for governor, Annette was the third most popular choice.  It also looks like there will certainly be a recount now that the Sec of State has admitted there was a booboo where Walden was concerned.  This result makes it likely that she will be invited to participate in the General Election debates, be they ever so few.

We are also hoping to get the language on the standard primary ballot changed sl it conforms with the law.  The ballot should be clear that a write-in counts even if the little oval to the left of the write in blank was not filled in.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

state of play

Empty ovals
The instructions on the ballots say that write-ins, to be counted, must fill in the little oval at the end of the write-in name space.  But the law governing elections says, no you do not have to fill in the oval.

We have heard that some vote counters were confused about the unfilled ovals on write-ins.  It seems quite possible Annette may have lost votes because of this confusion.

It also obviously doesn't reflect very well on the Secretary of State Condos or the lawyer in charge of elections, Kathy Sheele to have created this confusion.


As earlier reported the official vote tally is:

  • 993 total Prog ballots pulled
  • 371 votes for Abbott
  • 354 votes for Smith
  • 28 votes for other write-ins
  • 240 ballots, by inference, where the governor line was blank

The law (17 V.S.A. § 2601) states that a candidate can call for a recount only

if the difference between the number of votes cast for a winning candidate and the number of votes cast for a losing candidate is less than two percent of the total votes cast for all the candidates for an office
At this moment,

  • total votes for governor = 753
  • percentage for Abbott = 371/753 = 49.27%
  • percentage for Smith = 354/753 =  47.01%
  • difference between Smith and Abbott = 2.26% which is too much for a recount. 

But if, as looks likely,  9 Annette votes in Walden were uncounted, the difference becomes 1.18% and a recount could be demanded.

As you can see,  there were in theory 240 Progressive ballots turned in where there was no vote for governor at all, neither Abbott nor Smith nor any other write-in.  Maybe that is exactly what happened. But it's also possible that there were towns where, as has been reported to us, the vote counters did not understand that a write-in vote does not require the little oval to be filled in.  

We heard of other problems too.  In one town, write-ins for Annette seem to have been recorded as for Lieutenant-Governor, not Governor.  Other towns where no write-ins were recorded even though people have informed us that they wrote in Annette.  

Unreported GOP or Dem write-ins 
If you decided to pull a Democratic ballot, perhaps to vote in the highly contested AG race, but you wrote in Annette or anyone else for governor, your preference was not recorded.  Around 1,200 Dem ballots had write-ins for gov, but who were they for?  Annette Smith?  Porky Pig?  In order to find out, we will have to go back over 5 huge boxes full of returns and count the Dem and Rep write-ins ourselves.

This is exactly what we mean to do but many hands would make light work.  Get in touch if you have time to help tabulate.  Rate of pay:   12 chads per hour.


certified results

993 Progressive ballots were pulled

371 votes for Martha Abbott
354 votes for Annette

That means, according to the certified results, 268 people pulled a Progressive ballot but did not vote in the governor's race.

The Sec of State does not tabulate the names of write-in votes on the Democratic ticket.

Nobody from the Sec of State's office could explain why there is a discrepancy between instructions on the ballot and the requirements of the statutes.

live from the secretary of state

Not many people here yet.

crunch time

Secretary of State office, 128 State St

This is from the last page of a 5-page article in today's Free Press by Terri Hallenbeck

Primary results official today
Representatives of the Democratic, Progressive and Republican parties will sit down with Secretary of State Jim Condos at 10 a.m. today to “canvass” the results of voting on Primary Election Day.
When officials “canvass” election results they review them and agree whether or not they seem valid.
Condos said if his staff was able to post unofficial results over the holiday weekend as they worked to create the election report for the Tuesday meeting, “It will not be official until signed off by the three parties and myself.”
This morning is when the primary’s low turnout will be confirmed, final tallies in contested races will be declared, and the names of successful write-in candidates will become known.
For example, today is the earliest that supporters of Annette Smith will be able to find out for sure if they secured enough write-in votes to defeat and replace Progressive gubernatorial nominee Martha Abbott.
Smith supporters undertook a late-in-the-game campaign to get their candidate on the ballot as a way to bring up certain issues, such as their opposition to industrial wind power and large-scale electric utility mergers, during the fall gubernatorial debates.
Smith of Danby, executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, was “drafted” for the write-in campaign and didn’t say before the primary whether she would accept the Progressive nomination if her supporters mustered enough votes to get her name on the ballot.
Even before knowing if she would be a candidate, however, Condos said state law required Smith to decide whether she would stay in the race. Aug. 31 was the deadline for all “validly nominated candidates” to withdraw.
“Am I going to withdraw? I’m not a candidate yet,” Smith said Thursday. “I want to see what the results are.”
Smith said she had heard concerns that unofficial vote tallies from some towns weren’t showing as many write-ins as supporters believed had been cast.
“I want to get a fair count,” Smith said. Given the voter concerns she had heard, she said, “I don’t see any fair outcome of this except a recount.”
Barring recounts in this or any other race, Condos expected his election staff would have the final lists of general election candidates for every community by the end of the week.
That means that by Friday, candidates must have communicated whether they will run with more than one political label, if they received more than one nomination.
Ballots for the November election will be sent to town clerks by Sept. 21.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Is Shumlin chicken?

Digger reports that Shumlin is just too busy to attend more than 5 debates this time around vs the 13 he went to just two years back.  Digger asked his man MacLean about facing up to AARP or to Annette Smith:
MacLean says potential guff from AARP members was “absolutely not” a factor in the governor’s decision. Nor is the specter of debating with Annette Smith, an opponent of industrial wind who is a write-in candidate in the Progressive Party primary and may win enough votes to run in the General Election (final results will be available Tuesday).
The man says the gov is out there creating jobs just about 24/7.  I often wonder what exactly it is that presidents and governors do to create jobs.  Seems like that what business folks get the big bucks to do.

Anyway, It is amazing how much these guys dislike facing the public. Year after year someone introduces legislation to give the governor a four year term of office, though I don't know Shumlin's own position on this.   The standard complaint is that campaigning at such short intervals costs a lot and takes them away from all that job creating or whatever it is they would rather be doing.  To the rest of us it represents a chance to make them explain how they are representing our interests.  They could cut costs a lot by using the tv time offered gratis for debates.  

If he ever can take time off from creating those jobs some day, I hope someone will ask Shumlin about the numerous jobs that will be destroyed (gently though, by attrition) at CVPS--that is, apart from those in the executive suite  where the parachutes were no doubt golden.    

counting every vote

chads, hanging
In theory, all the precinct by precinct results were delivered to the Sec of State yesterday.  According to Sec Condos they will be counted Monday,  I guess this means they will work on a state holiday.  Then Tuesday the results will be "certified", whatever that means.

It sounds like Vermont's optical scan tabulators may result in some write-in votes not being counted.  If you write-in a name and then fill in the little oval that write-in line,  the machine will kick out the ballot for someone to tally the write-in.  But on the other hand, if you don't fill in the oval, will those counting votes actually end up tabulating the write-in at all?

The directions on the ballot say to fill in the oval when you do a write-in vote.  But as far as we can tell, the law does not require that the oval be filled in.  What matters instead is the "intent" of the voter expressed by the name written in.

If there needs to be a recount, can a write-in candidate legally demand it?  If the machine tally process is really out of line with the law, is the Sec of State able to order a recount on his own steam?

Hang on to your chads until Tuesday.

Friday, August 31, 2012

debatable debates

Gov Shumlin's man has announced that the Gov is too busy for the traditional AARP debate.  Nope, he will only do debates sponsored by media organizations.  IF Annette should come out on top, how will they justify trying to keep her out of whatever debates he does have time for now that they've already used the excuse of busyness.  Will he consider Bread and Puppet's Mr-Everything-is-Fine a media organization?  

press clippings

VT Digger's editor Anne Galloway reported on the write-in race yesterday referring to the write-in campaigners as "NIMBY bedfellows".  Should we adopt this as the name of our group or does it sound too much like a club devoted to slumber parties?

How do they get off with this NIMBY thing?  They imply that when you flip the light switch, someone's backyard has been trashed.  Therefore it's anti-social to insist that it be someone else's backyard rather than your own.  Isn't that where they are coming from?  So that means they are leaving  no space for possible systems that don't really trash anyone's backyard, such as very localized generation like small wind turbines,  solar as a major component, etc.  The real problem is that a non-destructive system like this might not be massive enough to accommodate the needs of operations like the Jay Mtn's water slides.  Just about the biggest user of electricity in the state is the ski industry, devoted to making artificial snow and lugging tourists up the mountains and--key point--exporting most of the profits out of state.  Right up there is IBM.  Shouldn't we concentrate on the big fish, holding them to account, measuring their contribution to the state, its society and economy as against the huge amount of power they consume?

John Dillon at Vermont Public Radio did a decent balanced story on this race yesterday too.  This morning's repeat was edited down to exclude commentary from Stephanie Kaplan and thus was slanted quite differently.