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VPR News
5:48 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Off To Iowa, Sanders Sounding Like A Presidential Candidate

Sen. Bernie Sanders, pictured here in Washington, D.C. in February, is holding several town meetings in Iowa this September.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

As a resident of Iowa, Jeff Cox has never voted for Bernie Sanders. But he’s hoping to have the chance to soon.

Cox is a longtime Democratic activist, and the point man for a Johnson County steering committee aimed at drafting Sanders for the 2016 presidential contest. And for Cox and other like-minded Iowans, whose early caucuses give them outsized importance when it comes to selecting major party presidential nominees, Vermont’s junior senator offers a progressive foil to the more centrist platform held by the early Democratic favorite.

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The Frequency
4:59 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

New PAC To Boost Pro-Business Candidates

Two state representatives have launched a new political action committee that will try to play a decisive role in local House and Senate races this fall.

Stowe Republican Heidi Scheuermann and Middlebury Democrat Paul Ralston say their group, called Vision to Action Vermont, will lend financial support to the campaigns of candidates who vow to push for economic development initiatives in Montpelier.

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Commentary
12:58 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Henningsen: Fatal Attraction

Americans have a fatal attraction for other people’s revolutions. Perhaps because we believe ours was so successful - so right - we see ourselves, too, on the streets and in the squares, challenging oppression in the name of freedom. We’re incurable optimists: all popular risings are like ours and will end as ours did – with the triumph of liberal democracy.

Then we’re often horrified by the result.

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Vermont Edition
12:00 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Live On Vermont Edition: Congressman Peter Welch

Congressman Peter Welch is a fan of electric vehicles.
Bob Kinzel VPR

Unless congress acts by the end of the month, the federal highway trust fund is going to run out of money.  That means many of the road construction projects underway in Vermont will have to be called off. Congressman Peter Welch is calling for a long-term, sustainable solution.

We talk to Congressman Welch about his support for an increase in the gas tax. We also talk about the migrant children coming across the southern border, and take your questions.

Broadcast live on Friday, July 18 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

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VPR News
6:06 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Vermont Asked To Consider Housing Undocumented Border Kids

In this June 25, 2014 photo, a group of immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally are stopped in Granjeno, Texas.
Eric Gay AP

Gov. Peter Shumlin has agreed to a request from the White House to investigate whether the state could house some of the undocumented children now being detained in the southwestern part of the country.

The request from the White House is the first step in a very long process. 

The initial goal is to determine how much capacity each state has to house some of the nearly 60,000 children who have streamed across the border in the last few weeks.

While some states have indicated an unwillingness to participate in this project, Shumlin says he’s ready to help out.

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VPR News
5:56 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Shumlin Administration Launches Pot Legalization Study

Marijuana plants grow at Sea Green Farms, a recreational pot grower in Seattle, in June. The state of Vermont has hired a national consultant to conduct a study of marijuana legalization in the state.
Ted S. Warren AP

The Shumlin Administration is taking a serious look at the possibility of legalizing marijuana in Vermont. And to look at the pros and cons, the administration has reached an agreement with the Rand Corporation, a nonprofit international research organization, to conduct a thorough investigation of the issue for lawmakers to consider next winter.  

Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding says a comprehensive study is needed because he expects that lawmakers will want to debate this issue during the 2015 session.

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VPR News
6:18 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Campaigns Covet Early Voters

Early voting is now open in Vermont. It means that for the next six weeks, Vermonters will be able to cast their ballots in the state’s primary election.

To do that, a registered voter simply needs to request a ballot from their town clerk either in person, by phone or by mail. It's estimated that as many as 20 percent of all voters will use the option this year.

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VPR News
6:06 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Welch Votes Against Short Term Transportation Funding Bill

Rep. Peter Welch, pictured here in April, says he couldn’t vote for a bill that delays the difficult decisions that need to be made on transportation funding.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The U.S. House has given its approval to legislation that will provide the federal highway trust fund with enough money to fund projects until next spring.  The bill passed 367 to 55. Rep. Peter Welch voted against the bill because he says it fails to address the long term transportation needs of the country.

A major shortfall in the fund caused Vermont highway officials to consider delaying dozens of projects that were planned over the next few months.

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VPR News
5:55 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Shumlin Increases Financial Advantage Over Gubernatorial Challengers

July 2014 campaign finance filings show Gov. Peter Shumlin has a large and growing advantage over Republican challenger Scott Milne's campaign.
Taylor Dobbs VPR

A former Democratic power broker from California famously said that “money is the mother’s milk of politics.” If the saying holds true, then Republican Scott Milne’s newborn gubernatorial campaign is going hungry.

The latest campaign finance filings show Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin increasing his financial advantage over his Republican challengers. And Milne, Shumlin’s best-known opponent, has managed to raise only about $20,000 since announcing his candidacy last month.

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