Please get involved and stay informed by showing up at our next meeting (check the calendar on the right sidebar), or contact the Chairman here or sign up at the Vermont Democrats' site. Thank you!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Recount Volunteers Shine!

Now that the recounts are over, I want to thank the 80+ volunteers that contacted me and helped with the recounts for their outstanding civic spirit and generous donation of their time. Every candidate is entitled to be certain that every vote has been counted, and every citizen is entitled to know that their vote has been counted. They did a great job over many days, and their work is appreciated not only by me and the candidates, but also by the Chittenden County Clerk and her staff.

I want to share with you a commentary from Katherine Hikel, one of the volunteers, about her experience at the recount which exemplifies the civic spirit of all the participants.

Demanding A Recount
by Katherine Hikel

The Chittenden County Superior Court House, on Main Street in Burlington, is a grand historic building, and a fine place to spend a December day, if you are not the defendant. I went there to help with the State Senate ballot recount. Senate candidate Denise Begins Barnard is challenging her loss by 400 votes to Tim Ashe. Superior Court Clerk Diane Lavallee, who oversees the recount, said an estimated 80,000 ballots were cast in Chittenden County during the November election. Those eighty-odd thousand ballots must be all be recounted, by hand – not once, but twice.

The word goes out, through party chairs and organizers; my invitation came by email. Diane and her staff arrange for about 40 counters to come in each day. Everyone stands, and is sworn in as the Recount Committee. Then the group breaks up into tables of four – a Republican, a Democrat, a Progressive, and an independent; and the work begins. The ballots come piled in large bags from each ward. Everyone helps sort them into bundles of fifty. Then we count: one person reads the names of candidates voted for; one checks the reader; and two others mark the votes on tally sheets. Then everyone switches roles and recounts; all the tallies must match.

The work is serious, painstaking – and fun. Seeing everyone at their tables, from different parties, cooperating intently to carry out the task, and enjoying the company, is part of it. At my table were a Republican from Milton, a Progressive from South Burlington, an independent from Essex, and me. The man from Essex has lived in Vermont for 25 years. He’s a new citizen, born in Wales. Upon receiving a bundle of ballots to count, he held them in his hands, and said, "These are the real ballots?" It was a moment of awe. He explained, "I became naturalized in October – this is my first election."

In the State Senate election, there were 14 candidates for six seats. Some voters chose the straight party ticket. One or two picked the six candidates from the top, or from the bottom. A few voted for men, or women, only, across party lines. A few others voted for a single candidate. Many, however, split their vote among men, women, Republicans, Democrats, and Progressives, in what seemed to be a very Vermont spirit of independent thinking. There was a sense, in touching ballots that every voter had filled out, that you held something of value, springing from our common belief in democracy, in the process; and in the personal importance of each ballot. Other than one frivolous write-in vote for Bill The Cat for High Bailiff, there was no monkeying around.

The recount was held in a big corner room with tall windows – it was chilly, and many of us were glad we’d worn layers. There was the smell of coffee, brewed fresh all day. Dishes of mints and packets of cookies were available; but everyone was so busy counting, tallying, adding, reading, and watching that there wasn’t much snacking or sipping going on. My table counted three batches of fifty; then we were given an hour’s break for lunch. I walked down Church Street, enjoying the art, the vendors, and the people; I had a cup of tea and a bun, and strolled back to do another hundred ballots in the afternoon. With ten tables, we’d probably counted three thousand ballots. At this rate, Diane said the recount would take several more weeks.

Recount Committee members must be Vermonters, and 18 years old, but do not have to be residents of Chittenden county. Diane said, "You should be a voter, so you know how to read a ballot." "We need people," she said. "We particularly need Republicans for this recount."

The Court pays $30 per person per day, plus parking. I left shortly after dark, and walked across the courthouse plaza. There was a stone sculpture, with three small children perched on it. Their mother was aiming her camera at them. The letters on the sculpture spelled DEMOCRACY.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Calling All Democrats! Please Help!

Recount Volunteers Needed!

As County Chair, I thought my work was done for a while after the election. A couple of close races have generated two recounts in Chittenden County for which I am responsible for recruiting a lot of volunteers. These recounts will be held at the Chittenden County Superior Courthouse at the corner of Main and Church Streets, Burlington, beginning at 8:30 AM.

One recount is for the Milton House district (Reg Godin-D vs. Ronald Hubert-R) and should take no more than a day to complete. It is scheduled for Monday, 11/24/08.

The Chittenden County State Senate recount will start on 12/3/08 and will continue until all of Chittenden County ballots have been counted. The County Clerk expects it to take from 7 to 10 days, excluding weekends. I hope we'll be finished by 12/16.

Counters will receive $30/day stipend + mileage + parking fee. Half days (morning or afternoon) are acceptable; the stipend for a half day is $15.

If you can help on any of those days, please send me your name, address and phone number and the days you can be there. The more people we get, the faster we'll get done. This is a big job, but integral to our democratic system, so please help if you can.
Mike Yantachka (
Chittenden County Democratic Committee Chairman

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chittenden County Democrats News - Nov '08‏

Congratulations to all of our candidates, from Barack Obama to our local Justice of the Peace candidates, whether they have won or lost their election. Just to have run is to have achieved more than most citizens have dared to do.

This was a fantastic election, one we've been waiting for for 8 looong years. We are finally poised to get our country moving in the direction of international reconciliation and cooperation, environmental responsibility, energy transformation, fiscal responsibility and, hopefully, economic reformation. While we once again did not capture the governor's office, our success in maintaining control of both houses of the state legislature will allow us to insure that Vermont will be able to partner with the Obama administration in key areas vital to Vermont. We'll keep Douglas' feet to the fire where it counts.

As a result of our fairly successful fundraising, the Chittenden County Democratic Committee was able to contribute more than $1500 to House candidates who had contests as well as to our Governor and Lt. Governor candidates. Out of 33 Democratic House candidates in Chittenden County, 29 were elected. Of the six State Senate candidates, 5 were elected. Thanks to all of you who helped our candidates in this effort.

To those whose races were successful, a hearty congratulations as you go forward to represent us all for the next two years.

Because of the public access TV rules regarding the election, the Chittenden County Democrats show was not recorded in September and October. We resumed the show on November 3rd with State's Attorney TJ Donovan as my guest. TJ described how his office is dealing with budget constraints as well as some of the high-profile crimes his office has dealt with and their ramifications. A link to the broadcast on the CCTV website is:

The program is also being rebroadcast by CCTV on the following schedule:
1 Monday November 3, 5:25 PM
2 Monday November 10, 9:15 PM
3 Tuesday November 11, 2:15 AM
4 Tuesday November 11, 8:15 AM
5 Tuesday November 11, 2:15 PM
Viewers served by LCATV can watch it on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays on Channel 16. Check the schedule here:
Viewers served by VCAM can look for program times here:

Finally, while we can take some time off to relax and wind down after a hectic campaign season, we have to start building again for 2010. Our Vice-Chair, Robert Ready, took a job in Massachusetts back in July and had to step down from his position. Because of everything else going on with the Presidential and primary campaigns, I did not seek to have a special meeting to replace him. Now that the election is over, I would like to hold a County Committee meeting in January to elect a new Vice-Chair. I invite anyone interested in running for that office to contact me between now and the January meeting, time and place to be announced.

Thank you all for your attention.
Mike Yantachka
Chittenden County Democratic Committee Chairman

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Message from State Chair Ian Carleton

This is it. The election is a week from tomorrow and we need your help today and every day through November 4th to elect Barack Obama and Democrats at every level to get our state and nation back on track.

We are preparing for one of the largest volunteer Get Out the Vote efforts Vermont has ever seen and we need you to sign up TODAY to make history.

Yesterday, Obama for America emailed its supporters in the state and urged all of us to get involved to elect Congressman Peter Welch and Speaker Gaye Symington to "make sure Vermont has a strong team to take our country in a new direction.

"That's exactly what we'll be working for in one of the largest ever Get Out the Vote efforts on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. We're counting on you to volunteer as much as you can for the final four days.

Sign up online TODAY and join the hundreds of volunteers around the state who will carry our candidates to victory next week.

As Barack Obama works to bring real change to Washington, he will need strong partners in Congress and in the states to get our domestic priorities back on track and reestablish our position as a leader in the world. That's why he is rallying for our own Ticket for Change.

Will you?
Ian Carleton
Chair, Vermont Democratic Party

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Home Stretch - 14 Days to Go

This is it, Chittenden County Democrats!

There are only 14 days left before the election, but there is a lot going on and plenty left to do.

1. Join the Jericho Democrats at their "Crackers, Cake and Candidates" event this Friday at the Jericho Community Center in Jericho Center. Great opportunity to meet the candidates, including Gaye Symington, Tom Costello, Peter Welch and other statewide candidates as well as Chittenden County State Senate candidates and several local House candidates. The event is FREE (donations gladly accepted, however!) and starts at 5 PM and will go on until 8 PM. Come for 15 minutes or for the whole 3 hours. Wine, cheese, and other refreshments will be provided. Click HERE for a map.

2. Join Democrats from across Vermont at the VDP's Countdown to Change Victory Rally on Saturday, October 25, 5:30 p.m. at the Old Labor Hall in Barre, Vt. Just 10 days before the election, our Countdown to Change is the last opportunity for Democrats from around the state to come together and rally for Senator Barack Obama and all of our Democratic candidates. And, this year, all attendees of our Countdown to Change Victory Rally will receive a limited edition "Vermont for Obama/Biden" lawn sign. Click HERE for details and to reserve your ticket. Call or email Chris Brown with questions: or (802) 651-7153.

3. Volunteer at the VDP Campaign HQ on Bank St in Burlington (above Climb High) or at Obama-Biden HQ on North Ave. Make phone calls, stuff envelopes, etc, Your help is needed at either location.

4. Have more time? Help your local House candidate in your very own community. Contact Ben Palkowski at 651-3487 for more information.

With the polls for the Presidential race looking better now is NOT the time to become complacent! Gaye Symington and Tom Costellow still have difficult uphill battles and need our help. Democrats held a substantial majority in the House for the last 2 years, but we have a lot of contested, open seats this year which we can lose if we aren't careful. We need to work hard these last two weeks to get out the vote for our statewide, countywide and House candidates. So, if you have 1 hour or several over the next 2 weeks, please, please do something to help our candidates. This election cycle is the best we've had in the last 8 years to make a difference. Let's not blow it!

I had the privilege of driving down to NH this past weekend with Lucy Gluck and Gary Kowalski to campaign for Barack Obama, Jeanne Shaheen and Paul Hodes. It was an interesting day, including an encounter with a roadside ditch, AAA, and even a security guard. If I run into you in one of the locations above, I'll tell you about it.

Change is coming! Let's do it!

-- Regards,
Mike Yantachka
Chittenden County Democratic Committee Chairman

Monday, October 6, 2008

Support Chittenden County Democratic Candidates

This is one of the most important elections of our lifetime! Active Democrats will be supporting the Democratic ticket from Barack Obama and Joe Biden at the top to our Justice of the Peace Candidates in our municipaites.

Our leadership team for Vermont:

Our Chittenden County State Senate team:

Our State Representative team:

  • BILL LIPPERT Hinesburg Chittenden 1-1
  • SCOTT A. ORR Charlotte Chittenden 1-2
  • TERRY MACAIG Williston Chittenden 2
  • JIM MCCULLOUGH Williston Chittenden 2
  • BILL ASWAD Burlington Chittenden 3-1
  • JOANNA E. COLE Burlington Chittenden 3-1
  • HELEN HEAD So. Burlington Chittenden 3-10
  • MARK LARSON Burlington Chittenden 3-2
  • JASON P. LORBER Burlington Chittenden 3-3
  • RACHEL WESTON Burlington Chittenden 3-3
  • PHILLIP ORTEGO Burlington Chittenden 3-4
  • KESHA RAM Burlington Chittenden 3-4
  • JOEY DONOVAN Burlington Chittenden 3-5
  • SUZI WIZOWATY Burlington Chittenden 3-5
  • KEN ATKINS Winooski Chittenden 3-6
  • CLEM BISSONNETTE Winooski Chittenden 3-6
  • FRANK J. GEIER So. Burlington Chittenden 3-7
  • ANN PUGH So. Burlington Chittenden 3-8
  • SONNY AUDETTE So. Burlington Chittenden 3-9
  • ANNE O'BRIEN Richmond Chittenden 4
  • KATE WEBB Shelburne Chittenden 5-1
  • JOAN G. LENES Shelburne Chittenden 5-2
  • DEBBIE EVANS Essex Chittenden 6-1
  • TIM JERMAN Essex Jct Chittenden 6-2
  • LINDA WAITE-SIMPSON Essex Jct Chittenden 6-2
  • MARTHA HEATH Westford Chittenden 6-3
  • JIM CONDON Colchester Chittenden 7-1
  • JOHN ZENIE Colchester Chittenden 7-1
  • KRISTY SPENGLER Colchester Chittenden 7-2
  • BILL FRANK Jericho Chittenden 8
  • GEORGE TILL Jericho Chittenden 8
  • TODD BUIK Milton Chittenden 9
  • REG GODIN Milton Chittenden 9

Contact the Vermont Democratic Party Campaign HQ (651-3487) 191 Bank St., Burlington, to volunteer or to reach any of the candidates.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

2008 General Election Campaign Kicked Off with Rally at UVM

Chittenden County Democrats kicked off the 2008 general election campaign with a rally at UVM's Billings Student Center four days after the primary election. The rally was billed as a fundraiser for Democratic legislative candidates in the county. Congressman Peter Welch and Speaker of the House and gubernatorial candidate Gaye Symington were the headliners at the event. Also speaking were Lieutenant Governor candidate Tom Costello and Secretary of State Deb Markowitz. Around 100 people attended the event held in one of UVM's oldest halls. See photos of the rally here.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Post-Primary Campaign Kickoff Rally!

With the Vermont Primary election on Tuesday, September 9th, the general election season will kick into gear as we head down the homestretch to November 4th and a Democratic Victory in Vermont.

With the general election in mind, the Chittenden County Democratic Committee invites you to join us in a Post-Primary Campaign Kickoff Rally at the UVM Billings Center on Saturday, September 13th, 6-8 PM. Our Chittenden County State Senate and House candidates will join Congressman Peter Welch, Gubernatorial Candidate Gaye Symington and Secretarty of State Deb Markowitz as honored guests.

A donation of $25 per person will be used to help our candidates that face Republican challengers in November. Help us keep and expand our Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, and let's give Gaye Symington and our Lieutenant Governor candidate, whom you will nominate this Tuesday, a big boost toward victory in November. We can't afford 2 more years of Jim Douglas and Brian Dubie and their vetoes.

You can make your donation now by using the "Donate" button to the right, or you can pay at the door. Thank you for your continued support.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Burlington Democratic Primary House Candidates on CCTV

Candidates for the Vermont House in Burlington districts Chittenden 3-5 and 3-1 presented their cases on CCTV public access television recently. Their appearances are now available for viewing on the internet at Chittenden 3-5 incumbents Bill Keough and Joey Donovan share their race with challenger Suzi Wizowaty. In Chittenden 3-1 incumbent Bill Aswad is in a 3-way race with Joanna Cole and Susan Wheeler for two seats, one of which is held by Republican Kurt Wright. Check out the link to help you make your decision in the Primary election that will be held on September 9th. Then come to the Chittenden County Democratic rally on September 13th at UVM's Billings Center to help the winners kick off their general election campaigns as we move forward to increase our Democratic majorities in the House and Senate and elect Gaye Symington Governor of Vermont!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Chittenden County Democrats News!!!

  • Democratic Lieutenant Governor candidates Tom Costello and Nate Freeman will appear at our next Chittenden County Democrats meeting on Tuesday, August 19th, 7:00 PM, at the IBEW Union Training Hall, 3 Gregory Drive, South Burlington. This is the best opportunity you'll get to meet them before the September 9th primary. Come to the meeting and bring a friend.
  • Drumbeat for Change Celebration - An Obama Victory Fund-Raiser will be held at the Old Lantern on Greenbush Road in Charlotte on Sunday, August 24th, 5:30 - 10:30. Country barbecue, Obama film, music by the Meatpackers, and a live auction are included. $100 per adult, $75 per young-adult (18 - 25). 100% of proceeds to be donated to the Obama Victory Fund. Contact Jason Powell ( for information or reservations.
  • Please sign up for our Champlain Valley Fair Booth. The Fair runs from 8/23 to 9/1. Each volunteer will receive a free admission ticket which includes parking. There will be 2 shifts each day, 10 AM to 4 PM and 4 PM to 10 PM. We hope to have 2 people per shift, which will allow volunteers to take a break occasionally while keeping the booth staffed per Fair regulations. To volunteer, call me (425-3960), Tom Obbagy (899-4520) or Dan Close (899-3547). Slots will be filled on a first-come basis, so call soon.
  • Last, but not least, get ready to take it to the next level with our POST-PRIMARY, PRE- VICTORY CAMPAIGN KICKOFF RALLY on Saturday, September 13th, 6 - 8 PM, at the UVM Billings Center in Burlington. We will have Congressman Peter Welch and Gubernatorial Candidate Gaye Symington as well as many other statewide, county-wide and local candidates on hand to pump up enthusiasm and raise money ($25/ticket) for our Chittenden County legislative candidates. This will be the biggest event of the year for the Chittenden County Democratic Party! So, Reserve the date! Contact Mike Yantachka (233-5238) or Sherry Mahady (999-9730) to reserve your ticket.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Chittenden County Democrats Show Schedules on CCTV

Greetings from Channel 17/ Town Meeting TV: Chittenden County Democrats
With Guest Gaye Symington was recorded on 2008-06-02.
You can watch this program on Channel 17/ Town Meeting Television, on Comcast Cable and Burlington Telecom systems at the following times:
1) Thursday July 24, 5:45 AM
2) Thursday July 24, 11:45 AM
You may also watch the program on-line by clicking here:

With Reps. Mark Larson nd Clem Bissonette on The State of Vermont's Economy was recorded on 2008-07-07.
You can watch this program on Channel 17/ Town Meeting Television, on Comcast Cable and Burlington Telecom systems at the following times:
1) Wednesday July 23, 10:35 PM
2) Thursday July 24, 3:35 AM
3) Thursday July 24, 9:35 AM
4) Thursday July 24, 3:35 PM
You may also watch the program on-line by clicking here:

The show is also rebroadcast on LCATV and VCAM.
LCATV, Channel 16, serving Colchester, Milton and part of Franklin County, rebroadcasts CCD shows every Monday at 5:00PM & 11:00PM, Thursdays at 4:00AM, and Saturdays at 12:00AM & 11:00AM.
VCAM, Channel 17, serving Shelburne, Charlotte and Hinesburg, rebroadcasts CCD shows every Monday at 5:00PM, Wednesday at 12:00PM, and Saturday at 6:30PM.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Reps. Larson and Bissonette on Chittenden County Democrats Show

The next Chittenden County Democrats show on Monday, July 7th, will feature State Representatives Mark Larson (Burlington), Vice-Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, and Clem Bissonette (Winooski), a member of the House Commerce Committee. Discussion is sure to center on the current state of Vermont's economy and the prognosis for the future. Be sure to tune in to CCTV, Channel 17, at 5:25 PM, for the live call-in show.

Chittenden County Democrats Show Rebroadcast Schedules

Viewers of three of the county's public access TV stations now have the opportunity to see rebroadcasts of the Chittenden County Democrats show, which is recorded on the first Monday of each month at CCTV in Burlington. Last month's show, recorded on June 2nd, featured Democratic candidate for Governor, Gaye Symington. Speaker Symington talked about her candidacy, the achievements and disappointments of the recent legislative session and her goals for a Symington administration in Montpelier.

CCTV, Channel 17, serving Burlington, South Burlington, Essex and Winooski, will rebroadcast the show on Tuesday, July 8th at 10:10 PM, and Wednesday July 9 at 3:10AM, 9:10AM, and 3:10PM. LCATV, Channel 16, serving Colchester, Milton and part of Franklin County, rebroadcasts CCD shows every Monday at 5:00PM & 11:00PM, Thursdays at 4:00AM, and Saturdays at 12:00AM & 11:00AM. VCAM, Channel 17, serving Shelburne, Charlotte and Hinesburg, rebroadcasts CCD shows every Monday at 5:00PM, Wednesday at 12:00PM, and Saturday at 6:30PM.

Archived shows can also be listened to at the CCTV website and viewed at

Monday, June 16, 2008

Burlington Democrats Annual Picnic & Unity Action Day - June 21st

The Burlington Democrats have their Annual Picnic scheduled for Saturday June 21 at the Ethan Allen Homestead in the Burlington Intervale from 12 Noon to 3 PM. The theme of this picnic is Unity Action Day.

Unity Action Day is the first part of an aggressive outreach plan to:
- reach out to supporters of each of the former candidates for President and ask them to join us.
- send postcards to local Democrats to encourage them to get involved in the presidential race and local campaigns
- get ready for the upcoming campaign season by recruiting new volunteers and re-uniting with old friends
- Have lots of FUN!

You don't have to bring anything, but we hope that you'll bring a friend or two.

Friday, June 6, 2008

VDP Coordinated Campaign HQ Opens

The VT Democratic Party has opened its coordinated campaign HQ in Burlington. Be sure to drop in and get involved in our important work in whatever way you can. We cannot effect the type of real change Vermont and America need without your support. And, don't forget to update your address book with our new contact information:
Vermont Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign
191 Bank St., Suite 2
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 651-3487
The office is on the second floor above the Climb High store on Bank Street. On-street parking is available or there is a city parking garage across the street on Bank Street. Our office is handicap accessible. And, we will also gladly accept donations of office furniture and equipment including tables, chairs, desks, computers, printers a refrigerator and a vacuum.

New Voter Registration Forms Beginning July 1st

[Note: Current voter applications are fine to use through the month of June.]

Due to legislative changes, the current voter apps can only be used until the last day of June, 2008. Beginning on July 1, 2008, there will be NEW voter applications that reflect legislative changes.

As of July 1st, the Vermont Voter's Oath will be able to be self-administered and the new applications will be available. The Secretary of State's office will be happy to send you as many of the new ones as you'd like in July. ALL old applications must be discarded.

Katie Lane-Karnas
Vermont Office of the Secretary of State
26 Terrace Street
Montpelier, VT 05609-1101
Phone: (802) 828-2464Fax: (802) 828-5171

Chalotte Democratic Committee Reorganizes

Members of the Charlotte Democratic Committee met on June 3rd to reorganize. The Committee elected Darrilyn Peters as Chair, and Lorna Jimerson as Vice-Chair. Greg Cluff will remain as Secretary and Art Ridge as Treasurer.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Chittenden County Democrats Show to Host Gaye Symington

Gaye Symington, Democratic candidate for Governor, will be our guest on the Chittenden County Democrats Show on Monday, June 2nd. The show is broadcast live at 5:25 PM on the first Monday of each month on CCTV Channel 17 and is a call-in program. The show is rebroadcast several times during the month on CCTV and also on Saturdays and Mondays on LCATV Channel 16. And now, it will be available to watch from the CCTV website,, usually within a week of production. Several programs are already archived for viewing.

We hope you'll tune in and call in on Monday, or if not, will check out the program on the CCTV website in a couple of days.

Friday, May 23, 2008

CCDC Elects New Secretary

The Chittenden County Democratic Committee elected a new Secretary at the May 12th meeting to fill the position vacated by Thomas Walsh, who resigned due to expanded job-related responsibilities. Our new Secretary is Sherry Mahady. Sherry's day job is with Vermont Public Radio, working in Membership and Development. Previously, she had worked at several educational institutions. Her hobbies include archaeology, genealogy, jewelry-making and other crafts. Welcome to the team, Sherry!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

David W. Curtis Awards Dinner Highlights

Those of us who were able to attend the David W. Curtis Awards Dinner last Friday at the Hilton found it to be a terrific affair with many inspiring speakers, including U.S. Senators Leahy and Sanders, Congressman Welch, Gov. Kunin, Speaker Gaye Symington, State Senator Doug Racine, and the featured speaker, U.S. Senator Chris Dodd (CT). If you haven't read about it by now, the crowd was highly enthusiastic to have Gaye proclaim her candidacy in the race for Governor. Wisely, I think, she is waiting until the legislative session is finished to announce her decision. Our Vice-Chair, Robert Ready, videotaped most of the speeches and turned the tape over to the VDP. You can see excerpts of the speeches here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

TOM SALMON Re-Election Kick-off in Burlington


Salmon for Auditor
P.O. Box 341
Bellows Falls, VT 05101
March 19, 2008

Dear Friend,
I am pleased to be writing to you to announce my decision to seek re-election as Vermont’s State Auditor. After an intense campaign and a rollercoaster recount I have settled into doing the people’s work at the Auditor’s Office.

These are not ordinary financial times. As your State Auditor, I have worked to improve process, financial communication, training and reliable reporting across the State. With full commitment, our staff has been able to produce many useful internal and external reports to help State government function more effectively while saving taxpayer dollars.

A cooperative, honest dialogue has enabled the office to address various state, local and municipal issues in a unemotional, productive manner.

I tell everyone I meet that this is the best job in government to foster accountability and process improvement. That is why I am excited and energized to be running again for State Auditor. I look forward to continuing the important work of the Auditor’s Office begun over the last fifteen months and hope you can support me in my campaign.

Please join me on April 11, 2008, in either Bellows Falls, Barre or Burlington to celebrate the formal announcement of my candidacy for Auditor in the 2008 Election.


Thomas M. Salmon, CPA

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Pearls of Wisdom and Humor

The Evening with Gov. Madeleine Kunin was attended by more than 30 guests at the South Burlington Senior Center last Friday evening. Guests schmoozed amid delicious cheese, fruit, salsa and crackers, hors d'oeuvres, and hot and cold beverages provided by Catering by Dale as they waited for the program to begin.

Representative Jason Lorber kicked off the program as he introduced Gov. Kunin, Rep. Gaye Symington, VDP Executive Director Jill Krowinski and a number of other legislators in the audience. He quickly transitioned into humor-mode as he told about his first run for political office. Before introducing standup comedian Josie Leavitt, he called on several members of the audience to select the winning tickets for a number of door prizes including a gift basket, a copy of Gov. kunin's first book, Living a Political Life, and an Eco-Bag.

Josie Leavitt, co-owner of the Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne Village, gave a 15 minute performance of her renowned comedy act. Leavitt has performed not only in Burlington-area nightspots, but in New York City clubs as well. She delved into some political humor as well as environmental humor as she recounted incidents in her personal experiences. Her humorous tales left the audience laughing and smiling.

Gov. Kunin said she initially had some misgivings about following a couple of comedians, but thought back to her days in the legislature and felt it wasn't such a stretch after all. Introducing her newly published book, Pearls, Poltics & Power, she talked seriously about her research into the roles of women in politics across the globe as well as in the United States and came up with some pretty interesting statistics. 16% was a number that kept cropping up over and over again. It represents the percentage of women in the U.S. Congress, the percentage of women in top corporate positions, and the percentage of women in the lower houses of Parliament worldwide.

She also talked about the factors women take into consideration when deciding to run for office and how we can encourage more women to take part in public life. Among the many national and international figures she spoke about, she included several local women including Representatives Helen Head, Rachel Weston and Speaker Gaye Symington, all of whom are mentioned in the book.

A question and answer period followed, providing audience members an opportunity to share their views. The evening ended with everyone feeling their time was well spent, and those who purchased copies of Gov. Kunin's book were able to have their copies autographed by her. You can view photos of the event here.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

You're Invited to Meet with Gov. Madeleine Kunin!

Join us this Friday, March 28th, for an interesting and informative evening with a good dose of fun as well. Come to the Pines Senior Living Community in South Burlington and meet with Gov. Madeleine Kunin, who will talk about her experiences in politics and government and read from her new book, and enjoy the humor of Comedians Josie Leavitt and Jason Lorber. This is a fundraiser for the Chittenden County Democratic Party, so your contribution will help our candidates in November as well. Page down a couple of articles for more information. Call today to let us know you’ll be there -- Marcella at 985-8479 or Wendy at 482-5888. We're counting on you!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Presidential Delegate Selection Caucuses Scheduled

On Saturday, March 22nd, towns all around Vermont will hold caucuses to select delegates for Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton to the State Convention on May 24th in Barre. The caucus times and locations for Chittenden County are the following:

[No caucus scheduled]

09:00 AM Champlain Elementary School, 800 Pine St.

10:30 AM Charlotte Town Office

11:00 AM Old Colchester Meeting House

Essex Junction
02:00 PM Brownell Library

09:30 AM Town Clerk's Office

[No caucus scheduled]

10:00 AM Jericho Clerk's Office

10:00 AM Milton Grange

02:00 PM Richmond Free Library

St. George
04:00 PM St. George Town Hall

04:00 PM Shelburne Town Office Rm 2

S. Burlington
10:00 AM So Burlington City Hall

10:00 AM Underhill Town Hall

10:30 AM Westford Town Clerks Office

11:00 AM Dorothy Alling Memorial Library

10:00 AM Senior Center near St. Stephen's Church

To learn more about how the caucuses will be conducted and how you can become a delegate to the state convention, go to the VDP website: If you have further questions about your town's caucus, contact your town or city Chair. You can find him/her in the list at the sidebar on the right above the calendar. If you live in Bolton or Huntington and would like to help organize a caucus in your town, please contact County Chair Mike Yantachka.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Chittenden County Democrats Celebrate Mardi Gras!

There was no lack of enthusiasm as Democrats from all over Chittenden County, supporters of Hillary Clinton and supporters of Barak Obama alike, joined together in the Mardi Gras Parade in Burlington, VT, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon February 23rd, 2008. View the photos at

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Gov. Madeleine Kunin to Speak

The Chittenden County Democratic Committee will host an evening with Gov. Madeleine Kunin on March 28th in South Burlington. Gov. Kunin will read from her new book "Pearls Politics & Power: How Women Can Win and Lead" and talk about the women who inspired her to write the book and about her own experiences as a successful leader in Vermont and at the national level. Gov. Kunin also served as Undersecretary of Education and as the U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland during the Clinton administration.

Joining Gov. Kunin will be Rep. Jason P. Lorber of Burlington, who will act as Master of Ceremonies, and Comedian Josie Leavitt of Charlotte. Appetizers and desserts will be provided by Catering By Dale, and door prizes will be given away to guests. The Flying Pig Bookstore of Shelburne will supply copies of Gov. Kunin's book for sale, and Gov. Kunin will be available to autograph them.

This event will take place from 7 to 9 PM at The Pines Senior Living Community, 7 Aspen Drive, South Burlington, on Friday, March 28th. Tickets cost $35 and will benefit the Chittenden County Democratic Committee. Tickets may be purchased by contacting Marcella Chiarello (985-8479) or Wendy Patterson (482-5888). Tickets will also be available at the door, but reservations are strongly encouraged and will be appreciated.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

NRG Founder Addresses Energy Crisis

At a meeting of the Chittenden County Democrats on Tuesday, January 21st, David Blittersdorf, who founded NRG Systems in Hinesburg, spoke about the global energy crisis and the decining ability to sustain our dependence on fossil fuels. His Powerpoint presentation traced the use of fossil fuels and its correlation in the rise of the earth's population. Several points were made:

  • The use of fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas) created better living conditions and higher production rates of food and goods, which in turn supported an exponential increase in the world's population.
  • In 1750 the world population was around 800 million. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution circa 1850, the global population grew from about 1.2 billion people to more than 6 billion.
  • By 2050, at the current exponential rate of growth, the global population would reach 9.5 billion people, which is about the limit of sustainability.
  • The discovery of fossil fuels, which are nature's storage of solar energy captured over a hundred million years, peaked around 1980, i.e., there are fewer and fewer sources available and production capacity is now declining.
  • As fuel prices increase, it is becoming more economically feasible to use less efficient extraction techniques to mine existing "exhausted" sources. However, it is taking more energy to accomplish the extraction.
  • Nuclear energy, while purported to be "clean", i.e. zero carbon emissions, requires a huge amount of energy expenditure to extract, process, and transport the uranium fuel. Furthermore, there is the problem of what to do with the resulting nuclear waste.
  • We have to concentrate on making renewable energy sources a larger part of the energy pie.
  • Wind energy has a much higher energy efficiency than either coal or nuclear (about 40% compared to 35%).
  • Wind energy is reliable. There is at least some energy generation 70% - 90% of the time at good wind sites, and wind turbines are mechanically available 98% of the time.
  • The cost of wind energy is between 5 and 9 cents per kilowatt-hour, comparable to hydro or nuclear power.
  • The Energy Return on Investment (EROI) is very good, between 30 and 80 times over the life of a wind powerplant.

Blittersdorf also said that wind turbine production has a 2-year backlog. Wind turbine manufacturing is an industry well suited to creating jobs in the U.S. because of the high quality requirements for gears and the high cost of shipping if they were to be manufactured overseas. He concluded that we need to re-orient our energy economy toward renewable and clean energy sources such as hydro and wind power. On an individual level, good insulation and solar hot water panels are probably the most cost-effective energy investments for homeowners, and are subsidized by federal and state tax credits.

At the beginning of the meeting Chairman Mike Yantachka also reviewed the proposed budget for the Chittenden County Democratic Committee and announced a Jefferson-Jackson fundraising event that will be held on March 28th. Gov. Madeleine Kunin will headline the event and talk about her new book, which will hit bookstores in March.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Chittenden County Democrats Show Comes to LCATV

Lake Champlain Access Television (LCATV), broadcasting to Colchester, Milton and Georgia (Franklin Co.), is now broadcasting CCTV's "Chittenden County Democrats" show, hosted by Senator Jim Condos and Chittenden County Democratic Chair Mike Yantachka. This month's program features an engaging interview with Vermont's Attorney General Bill Sorrell (recorded 1/7) and will air this week in at the following times:
Monday, 1/14: 5pm; 11pm
Thursday, 1/17: 4am
Saturday, 1/19: 12am, 11am