Bob Kinzel

Senior Reporter and Host, 'Vermont Edition'

Bob is a veteran Vermont journalist, specializing in political reporting. He is based in VPR’s Capital Bureau located across the street from Vermont’s Statehouse. Prior to joining VPR full time in 2002, Bob ran the Vermont News Service for 21 years. The service provided daily local news for eleven stations, including VPR. Bob started the News Service following a stint as news director for WNCS.

Ways to Connect

The golden dome of the Vermont Statehouse against blue sky
Ric Cengeri / VPR File

Democratic House Speaker Mitzi Johnson says the passage of a mandatory paid family leave bill will be a top priority in Vermont's 2020 legislative session, but Republican Gov. Phil Scott opposes the Democrats' approach to this issue.

Sen. Patrick Leahy walks with reporters around him.
Patrick Semansky / Associated Press

Earlier this week, the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing on the USA Freedom Act, a bipartisan law passed in 2015 that will sunset at the end of this year if Congress does not renew it. Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat and the senior member of the committee, is a co-sponsor on the 2019 version of the act along with conservative Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee.

Progressive/Democratic Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman speaks at a podium at the Democrats' Election Night event at the Hilton in Burlington.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

When Vermont's last legislative session ended, Progressive Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman said he was disappointed Democrats didn't pass a paid family leave plan or increase the minimum wage, failing to deliver what he says "voters asked for in the 2018 election." The lieutenant governor joins Vermont Edition to discuss Progressive priorities at the Statehouse in 2020. 

Many of the Democratic presidential candidates are spending a lot of time in the early primary states — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina — but the awarding of delegates in the primary and caucus states could be significantly affected by what's known as "the 15% rule."

Gov. Phil Scott stands outdoors
Elodie Reed / VPR

The Scott administration is gearing up to make key decisions about priorities for the coming year. The governor is focused on defining budget priorities, handling declining gas tax revenues, taking the next steps for a paid family leave plan and more.

Gov. Phil Scott joins Vermont Edition to discuss these topics and much more.

Rep. Peter Welch seated at a Capitol Hill committee meeting
Andrew Harnik / Associated Press File

Vermont Congressman Peter Welch says he's disappointed that a group of roughly two dozen Republican House members entered a secure facility Wednesday to disrupt a committee meeting that's part of the House's impeachment inquiry.

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren shake hands, pose for a photo
Paul Sancya / Associated Press

There are now roughly 100 days before the Iowa caucuses and the pace of the Democratic presidential race is picking up. In the past few weeks, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been rising in the polls while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has lost some ground.

While Sanders and Warren share a progressive position on many key issues, the two candidates are now beginning to highlight their differences.

A group of people point guns at two people with their right hands raised.
St. Albans Historical Museum, Courtesy

This weekend marks the 155th anniversary of a key Civil War victory for Union troops known as the Battle of Cedar Creek. On that same day, a Confederate raid took place in St. Albans, Vermont — robbing a local bank and killing one citizen before escaping to Canada.

And while much is known about Vermont's generals and sharpshooters, what about the Vermont women who sustained the home front?

An empty debate stage ahead of the Oct. 15, 2019 Democratic presidential primary debate.
John Minchillo / Associated Press

Tuesday night, 12 Democratic candidates for president took the stage in Ohio for a fourth primary debate. Many eyes were on Bernie Sanders, who suffered a heart attack just two weeks ago. We're analyzing Tuesday's debate with a roundtable of Vermont political scientists and discussing what Sanders' performance means for his campaign.

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event in New Hampshire on Sunday, Sept. 29, at Dartmouth College.
Cheryl Senter / AP

Ten days ago, Sen. Bernie Sanders had a heart attack at a campaign event in Las Vegas. Doctors discovered Sanders had a blocked artery and inserted two stents to repair that blockage. But what does Sanders' health mean for the campaign, and the Democratic presidential primary? Vermont Edition talks with senior campaign advisor Jeff Weaver to get an update on the candidate and his campaign.

The stage for a July 2019 Democratic presidential primary debate.
Paul Sancya / AP

How will Sen. Bernie Sander's recent heart attack affect the 2020 Democratic presidential race? His campaign says there will be little impact, and he'll be back in action for the fourth Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday, Oct. 15. We're talking with reporters in Vermont, New Hampshire and Iowa about how the dynamics of the race are shifting.

Rep. Peter Welch seated at a Capitol Hill committee meeting
Andrew Harnik / Associated Press File

A number of House committees this week are ramping up their investigation into possible impeachable activities by President Donald Trump. As one of the three members of the House to serve on both the Intelligence and Oversight committees, Vermont Rep. Peter Welch is involved in the impeachment inquiry.

The White House is seen in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019, as House Democrats move aggressively in their impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.
J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Impeachment has been splashed across headlines and fodder for news stories across the country after House Democrats officially launched an impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump late last month. But what actually happens when Congress impeaches a president?

Congressman Peter Welch prepares for a floor speech.
Eman Mohammed / VPR

Congressman Peter Welch sits on the House Intelligence Committee, which is moving quickly with investigations into national security concerns raised by a whistleblower's complaint of President Trump's activities related to Ukraine and alleged solicitation of interference with the 2020 presidential election.

UVM's 27th President, Suresh Garimella, photographed in front of a wall with ivy vines climbing behind it.
Elodie Reed / VPR

Suresh Garimella took over as the president of the University of Vermont in July. We're talking to him about what he sees as the biggest challenges facing Vermont's largest university, and for his perspective on the national trends in higher education — like shrinking enrollment, rising costs and struggles with affordability — that are plaguing schools of all sizes.

A man at a podium
Henry Epp / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott does not expect to take emergency measures to restrict vaping products in Vermont, though the state's Senate Committee on Health and Welfare chairperson, Ginny Lyons, plans to introduce related legislation in January.

The three members of Vermont's Congressional delegation.
Toby Talbot / Associated Press File

Vermont Rep. Peter Welch is urging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to keep the scope of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump focused on recent revelations about a phone call with the Ukrainian president.

A man and a woman stand and wave together to the camera.
Jose Luis Magana / Associated Press File

Vermont Rep. Peter Welch supported House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's decision to launch an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

Paul Bruhn outdoors
Sen. Patrick Leahy, courtesy

Vermont has lost its leading voice for historic preservation. Paul Bruhn, the executive director of the Vermont Preservation Trust since its inception nearly 40 years ago, has died.

Vermonters will be casting their votes in the presidential primaries in about six months. But Secretary of State Jim Condos is worried about potential cyberattacks to the state's election system.
Dean Terry / Flickr

Vermonters will vote in the presidential primary in about six months, but is the state prepared to deal with cyberattacks during the 2020 election? Secretary of State Jim Condos is calling on Congress to allocate more to states to protect their voting systems. We'll discuss where Vermont stands as we prepare for the March primary.