News Aug. 25

Senator Sanders

  • Worker Pride  - Jeff Clark, operations manager at the employee-owned Chroma Technology in Rockingham, is to testify Thursday in Montpelier at a special hearing of the U.S. Senate labor committee hosted by Sen. Bernard Sanders. The senator has introduced bills to increase and support worker ownership, the Brattleboro Reformer reported. LINK
  • Health Care - Vermont is poised to be the first in the nation to come up with a single-payer system that will set the national standard. Sen.  Sanders said "state innovation" could be a basis for a waiver under the new national health care law that would allow the state to create its own health care system, according to the Windham County Commons. LINK
  • Police Grants - With the state government short of money, Vermont's police agencies are getting a nice gift from Uncle Sam this year. Sen. Sanders was in Waterbury to announce $500,000 in federal grant money for law enforcement around the state, according to the Waterbury Record and Stowe Reporter. LINK
  • Infrastructure - Waterbury's sewage-treatment plant, one of the most out-of-date in Vermont, could be improved significantly in the coming year. Rep. Sue Minter has found some federal money, including a recent $825,000 grant with the help of Sen. Sanders, the Stowe Reporter and Waterbury Record reported. LINK
  • Loan Sharks - "Forgive us if we are not jumping up and down in celebration of the fact that new federally-mandated credit card rules went into effect this week. Consumers were thrown a bone or two [but] the most effective way consumers could have been protected was voted down in the Senate by a vote of 53 to 33 when Sen. Sanders proposed a 15 percent cap on interest rates," the Brattleboro Reformer said in an editorial. LINK

International

  • CIA Sees Increased Threat in Yemen - For the first time since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, CIA analysts see one of al-Qaeda's offshoots - rather than the core group now based in Pakistan - as the most urgent threat to U.S. security, officials told The Washington Post. LINK

National

  • Housing Market Plunged in July - Americans' long infatuation with owning a home, which even the economic collapse of 2008 could not kill, shuddered and stalled last month, The New York Times reported. LINK
  • Job Losses Over Drilling Ban Fail to Materialize - Unemployment claims related to the oil industry along the Gulf Coast have been in the hundreds, not the thousands, and only two of the 33 deepwater rigs operating in the gulf before the BP rig exploded have left for other fields, according to The New York Times. LINK
  • Nine States, D.C. Win Race for Aid to Schools - The Obama administration awarded $3.4 billion to nine states and the District of Columbia in a national competition to encourage school reform that spurred far-reaching changes in many cash-starved states, but left some losers bitter over the murky standards, The Wall Street Journal reported. LINK
  • Senate '10 - In Alaska, Sen. Lisa Murkowski trailed her lesser-known conservative opponent Tuesday in a surprisingly tight Republican primary that was a test of the political power of Sarah Palin and the tea party movement. In Arizona, Sen. John McCain won his primary Tuesday night by trouncing former congressman J.D. Hayworth. In Florida, Rep. Kendrick Meek had a come-from-behind victory in Florida's Democratic U.S. Senate primary. LINK, LINK and LINK

Vermont

  • Two Guard Soldiers Killed Two Vermont National Guard soldiers were killed in a firefight in Afghanistan, officials said Tuesday. Sgt. Tristan Southworth, 21, of Walden, Vt., and Sgt. Steven J. Deluzio, 25, of South Glastonbury, Conn., died Sunday in a prolonged gun battle after their unit was attacked by insurgents using small arms and rocket propelled grenades, The Associated Press reported. LINK
  • Congress - Primary night in Vermont on Tuesday propelled Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter Welch into the general election as favorites to earn new terms in November. Leahy overwhelmed his only primary challenger, Daniel Freilich, 89 percent to 11 percent, Congressional Quarterly reported. LINK
  • Governor - A five-way race for the Democratic nomination for governor was too close to call early today, With 89 percent of the polling places reporting by 1:15 a.m., Peter Shumlin led Doug Racine by 121 votes, 16,960 to 16,839. Deb Markowitz was running third with 16,039, with Matt Dunne a short distance behind at 14,165 votes. Susan Bartlett was a distant fifth with 3,507 votes, The Burlington Free Press reported. LINK
  • Lt. Gov. - Rep. Steve Howard has won the Democratic primary, defeating Rep. Christopher Bray in Tuesday's election. Howard now faces Republican Sen. Phil Scott and Progressive Montpelier City Councilor Marjorie Power in the race for the open seat vacated by Republican Brian Dubie, who is running for governor, The Associated Press reported. LINK
  • Auditor - Doug Hoffer, a self-employed policy analyst, won the chance Tuesday to try to unseat Tom Salmon, a two-term incumbent who angered Democrats when he switched political parties. Hoffer won labor endorsements early on and received critical public support from all five Democratic gubernatorial candidates and U.S. Sen. Sanders, The Burlington Free Press reported. LINK
  • Secretary of State - Former Vermont parks commissioner Jason Gibbs defeated Williston lawyer Chris Roy in Tuesday's primary election. Gibbs will face former state Sen. Jim Condos, who defeated Montpelier attorney Charles Merriman in the Democratic primary, AP reported. LINK