Government & Politics

Updated at 2:03 p.m. ET

The Democratic National Committee dramatically reduced the power and influence of "superdelegates" in selecting the party's presidential nominee at its summer meeting in Chicago on Saturday, ahead of what's expected to be a wide-open Democratic field in 2020.

DNC members voted on a proposal to take away the role of elected officials and other party dignitaries in selecting a nominee at the Democratic convention — leaving it up to delegates selected in primaries and caucuses only — unless the process becomes deadlocked.

H. Brooke Paige won the GOP nomination to six statewide offices in Vermont’s primary election. He has withdrawn from five of the six races he won.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR file

Republican candidate H. Brooke Paige has withdrawn from five of the six statewide offices he won during primary voting on August 14.

Looking over the Winooski River to a building on a cloudy day.
Angela Evancie / VPR

Residents in Winooski will be voting on more than just political candidates in November.

The Winooski City Council voted Monday to put a proposed charter change on the ballot that would give non-U.S. citizens the right to vote in municipal elections.

Rep. Kiah Morris at a podium in March speaking about racial justice legislation
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Bennington Rep. Kiah Morris is no longer seeking re-election.

The campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist says getting the endorsement of the Progressive Party is a key part of their strategy to win the election
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

Democratic candidate for governor Christine Hallquist is receiving threats of violence after her historic victory in last week’s primary.

Jack Sawyer sits in Rutland Superior Court
Glenn Russell / Burlington Free Press / Pool File

Whether the case against Jack Sawyer, the Poultney man accused of plotting to shoot up Fair Haven Union High School, will be moved from criminal court to family court remains unclear – even though it appears a hearing on the question may have been held Thursday.

H. Brooke Paige won the GOP nomination to six statewide offices in Vermont’s primary election. He has withdrawn from five of the six races he won.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR file

The Washington, Vermont, man who won the Republican nomination for six statewide offices last week had planned to withdraw from most of those contests, but a legal tussle with the Secretary of State’s Office has H. Brooke Paige reconsidering his plans.

A Vermont man charged with murder is arguing the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution should protect him from facing the death penalty.
Michal Chodyra / iStock

Donald Fell was convicted in federal court of kidnapping Teresca King in Rutland in 2000 and killing her in New York state. He was sentenced to death, but his conviction was overturned due to juror misconduct.

As Fell awaits a new trial, his attorneys are working to avoid the possibility of him facing the death penalty again with unique arguments against The Federal Death Penalty Act, including one invoking the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.

This Lyndonville polling place was once a school, but has since been turned into town offices for Lyndon.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Vermont’s primary elections defied conventional wisdom by registering a higher than expected voter turnout. We turn to VPR reporter Bob Kinzel to help us parse the details of this election and what made people turn up at the polls.

Voter turnout for last Tuesday's primary election was a surprising 22.5 percent.
Bob Kinzel / VPR FILE

Before last Tuesday, many people were expecting the turnout for Vermont's 2018 primary elections to be low. Primaries during non-presidential election years are often lethargic. But when Secretary of State Jim Condos officially certified the primary election results, 22.5 percent of the state's registered voters made their voices heard. That might sound dismally low, but it's actually the second-highest primary vote total ever.

Michael Cohen, wearing a suit, opens a door to depart federal court Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018.
Mary Altaffer / Associated Press

Sen. Patrick Leahy said it's the responsibility of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary to follow up on allegations raised by President Donald Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen.

Updated at 6:26 p.m. ET

A federal jury on Tuesday found Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, guilty on eight of the 18 charges he faced in his tax and bank fraud trial.

The verdict delivered a painful fall from grace for a top political operative who has advised presidents from Gerald Ford to Donald Trump and a shot in the arm to an investigation derided by President Trump as a "witch hunt."

Updated at 7:03 p.m. ET

Michael Cohen, President Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer, has pleaded guilty to eight counts in federal court in New York, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday evening.

They include five counts of tax evasion, one count of falsifying submissions to a bank and two counts involving unlawful campaign contributions.

Secretary of State Jim Condos, left, and Tess Taylor, vice chair of the Vermont Democratic Party, certify election results at Condos' office Tuesday.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Fears of low turnout for Vermont’s midsummer primary proved to be unfounded, as the final vote counts certified by the Secretary of State’s office Tuesday show historically high participation in last week’s primary elections.

Dan French has worked in Vermont schools for more than 20 years. He took over the job of Secretary of Education on Monday, Aug. 13, 2018.
Vermont Agency of Education, courtesy

Dan French took over the job of Vermont's Secretary of Education just last week, but he's no stranger to the state's schools: he's taught in the Northeast Kingdom and worked as a superintendent in Southern Vermont for nearly a decade.

We're talking with the state's new education secretary about merging districts, shrinking enrollment and his vision for Vermont’s schools. 

Ed Adrian

With the summer primary season now behind us, and the general election just around the corner, it’s a perfect time to take stock and reflect on ways to remove impediments to those who desire to seek a seat in Vermont’s legislature.

A sign that says RESTROOM in capital letters and then in braille. White text on a black sign.
Screenshot from Vermont Division of Fire Safety, Courtesy

A new state law requires all single-stall bathrooms in Vermont to be labeled as gender neutral, but one state official said many business owners don’t seem to have gotten the news.

The mural in Burlington reflects 400 years of Vermont history but has drawn criticism for lacking diversity.
Adam Fagen / Flickr

The mural should move: that's one of several recommendations from a seven-member task force convened by the Burlington City Council to look at the controversy surrounding the Everyone Loves A Parade! mural on Leahy Way, just off of Burlington's Church Street pedestrian thoroughfare. 

The border crossing at Derby Line, Vermont and Stanstead, Quebec is one of several separating the U.S. and Canada.
Charles Krupa / Associated Press/File

The border at the 45th parallel separates two countries but also unites the cultures of Vermont and Quebec. Many families have relatives on both sides of the border, so changes in transportation services on one side also affect the other. We're looking at some of the changes in rail, road and air travel in Vermont and Quebec.

Senate Democrats threatened to sue the National Archives to obtain documents from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's career as a White House official during President George W. Bush's administration.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told reporters Thursday that Democrats will file a lawsuit if the National Archives does not respond to their Freedom of Information Act request. The suit is a last-ditch effort to obtain the documents ahead of confirmation hearings set begin Sept. 4.

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