Third Party Politics

Third Party Politics

Progs back Corren, rebuff Bauer for Lt. Gov.

June 2, 2014; Terri Hallenbeck; Burlington Free Press

MONTPELIER – As the Progressive Party State Committee met Saturday in the Statehouse cafeteria, two candidates for lieutenant governor stood up and asked for the group’s endorsement.

Both men touted Progressive ideals. Only one of them was a Progressive.

If you thought that might make for a few awkward moments, you would be right. In the end, the non-Progressive was politely but resoundingly rebuffed.

Dean Corren of Burlington and John Bauer of Jeffersonville are both hoping to unseat two-term Republican incumbent Phil Scott.

Corren, a former state legislator, is one of the founders of the Progressive Party and the party’s highest-profile candidate for statewide office. Bauer is an avowed Democrat who probably would have been wise to spend his time Saturday campaigning almost anywhere in Vermont except in front of a roomful of Progressive Party faithful who were passing petitions for Corren.

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Progressives Announce Slate of 21 Candidates

June 1, 2014; Anne Galloway; VTDigger

The Vermont Progressive Party will have four statewide candidates, three incumbent senators and 14 House candidates running for office in the 2014 election.

The Progressive party, one of four state major parties, announced its slate on Saturday — well ahead of the Vermont Democratic Party and the Vermont GOP, and the June 12 filing deadline for candidates. While the Democrats are fielding a preponderance of incumbents, the Republicans have announced some House and Senate candidates, but have yet to declare who will be running for statewide office, including the gubernatorial race. The Vermont Liberty Union Party, which gained major party status in the 2012 election, is also fielding a slate of statewide candidates and a candidate for the House of Representatives, who may be the sole contender for Rep. Peter Welch’s seat.

Progressive Party officials touted the “real growth” in the number of candidates since 2012.

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Progs face staffing change, focusing on leggie races

May 27, 2014; Terri Hallenbeck; Burlington Free Press

It might seem like bad timing for a political party to be losing its executive director and trying to hire an elections director right now, just as the election action is picking up.

“It’s not ideal,” conceded Progressive Party Chairwoman Emma Mulvaney-Stanak, “but we are using this as an opportunity to get focused on next four or five months.

“There’s really no good time,” said Robert Millar, the party’s departing executive director. His last official day as full-time director is June 13, the day after the deadline for Vermont candidates to file petitions for this year’s election.

Millar might be one of those filing a petition, he said. He said he’s thinking of running for a state House seat in the two-seat district that covers Winooski and a wisp of Burlington. Incumbent Democrat George Cross is not running for re-election.

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How to Get a “P” - A Quick Summary of the Party Nomination & Endorsement Process

First, you need to understand the difference between an endorsement and a nomination. In the simplest terms, the difference is that a nomination is determined by state statute and procedures, while an endorsement is controlled solely by our party bylaws and procedures. More importantly, a nomination affects how party labels will appear next to a candidate's name on the General Election ballot, but an endorsement will not.

The standard and most straightforward way to be nominated by the Party is to win the Progressive Primary, either as a write-in or as a listed candidate. As a write-in, a candidate must get more votes than a listed candidate, OR, if there are no other listed candidates, get at least half as many votes as they would have needed signatures to get on the Primary ballot. For example, a candidate for State Representative needs 50 signatures to get on the primary ballot, so they would need 25 votes to win the primary as a write-in.

The other way to get the Party's nomination is to have a district committee fill an “anticipated vacancy” by holding a meeting by the filing deadline for the Primary (June 12th this year). The odd thing about this is it has to be done before we even know for sure who will be running in our primary. It's also a little confusing on the Senate and House level, as the District Committee isn't necessarily the same as a Town or County Committee. Burlington, for example, is divided into several House Districts, while other House Districts are made up of multiple towns. And Senate Districts do not correspond exactly with counties (so a Chittenden County Committee member from Colchester would not be a part of the Chittenden Senate District Committee, as Colchester is part of the Chittenden-Grand Isle Senate District).

District Committee meetings must be warned in writing to all members in the district at least 5 days before the meeting. At the meeting, the District Committee must elect officers (as with Town Organizing) and then can fill anticipated vacancies. On the state level, the Party's State Committee will address “anticipated vacancies” at our meeting on May 31st. It's important to remember that no matter who a Committee nominates (or endorses), the results of the primary take precedence. But although who we endorse (or choose not to endorse) has no binding control over who can run as a Progressive, it allows a party to publicly show support or lack of support for a particular candidate.

By our bylaws, endorsements are controlled by the appropriate Party Committee (Town, County, or State); there's nothing about “district committees.” At our May 31st meeting, it's likely that the State Committee will endorse all the candidates that it nominates to fill “anticipated vacancies” in the statewide slate. However, it should be noted that there is nothing that says they have to, or that they must only endorse one candidate for each office.

May 2014 State Committee Meeting - Proposed Agenda

Vermont State Committee Meeting
May 31, 2014; 1:00-4:00PM
Vermont Statehouse, Montpelier

12-1PM: New Pre-Session: Progressive Women’s Caucus
Bring your own lunch and join the women of the Progressive Party for an informal discussion of politics, running for office, & being a woman in a world where we are far from equal representation.

12:30PM: Registration

1PM: State Committee Meeting Begins
1. Welcome: Emma Mulvaney-Stanak (5 minutes)

2. Election to fill Coordinating Committee Vacancies: Emma Mulvaney-Stanak (10 minutes)
Vice Chair and one At-Large Position

3. Statewide Nominations & Endorsements: Emma Mulvaney-Stanak (25 minutes)
Statewide offices: Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Treasurer, Auditor

4. Legislative Update: Progressive Legislators (20 minutes)

5. Break/Raffle Drawing (15 minutes)

6. Platform Update Discussion: Platform Committee/Emma Mulvaney-Stanak

Review of platform review process to-date & summary of submissions received via online polls (Ben Eastwood and interns Indra Acharya and Anna Nicolosi) (10 minutes)

Small group discussion (45 minutes)
Meeting attendees will be asked to break into groups to discuss amendments (if any) to the current planks of the platform. Suggested topics: Wind; Taxes & Economy; Energy & Environment; Healthcare; Education; Criminal Justice. Attendees may propose additional groups if there is interest. Facilitators will be designated for each group and attendees will have about 20 minutes per topic before moving to a second topic, although they may also “vote with their feet” and move to different groups at any time. The State Committee will consider any amendments to the platform and take a final vote at its September 2014 meeting.

Break – Gallery walk to review notes/charted information by small groups (10 minutes)

Full State Committee comes back together for general discussion of platform topics (30 minutes)

7. Closing: Emma Mulvaney-Stanak (5 minutes)

Former Progressive State Rep to Run for Lieutenant Governor

May 8, 2014; Andrea Suozzo; VTDigger

It's been 14 years since Dean Corren left the Vermont House. But with the state moving ever closer to providing universal health insurance coverage, he says it's time to get back in the game.

"I think this one of the most exciting times since I've been involved in Vermont and Vermont politics," the Burlington Progressive says. "I think we're on the verge of doing things we've been talking about for many decades — things the people want and the politicians are catching up with."

Corren announced Wednesday that he plans to challenge Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott for the state's number two office. He's joining a field that already includes John Bauer, a Democratic Party activist from Jeffersonville, and Marina Brown, a Liberty Union Party candidate from Charleston.

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