Peter Shumlin

Vermont’s teachers’ union isn’t happy with Gov. Peter Shumlin. In the midst of the South Burlington teacher strike that ended earlier this week, Shumlin weighed in on the issue, saying he believes strikes should be illegal for Vermont teachers. Shumlin favors binding arbitration for teachers and school boards in labor disputes.

The NEA agrees, but they were more than slightly irritated that Shumlin chose to raise the issue in the middle of a strike.

Scott Milne, by his own account, likes to keep things "boring." But political insiders have been wondering just how boring the Republican candidate can afford to be; Gov. Peter Shumlin has already put out four television ads and as of Oct. 15, Milne's only ad buys were on Facebook.

Angela Evancie / VPR

As South Burlington students and teachers spent a third day out of the classroom Thursday, Gov. Peter Shumlin’s patience with the walkout was thin.

He says the strike harms all the wrong people.

“When you see what's going on in a community like South Burlington, the people that get hurt are the kids, the moms and the dads who suddenly have no place for their kids to go during the day," he says.

Instead, Shumlin wants to outlaw teacher strikes in favor of mandatory, binding arbitration.

Angela Evancie / VPR File Photo

Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Milne voluntarily disclosed his personal financial information Thursday, despite Vermont’s lack of financial disclosure laws for politicians. Milne released his 2012 and 2013 tax returns and a completed “Ethics in Government Act Financial Disclosure Statement,” which is required for members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Bob Kinzel / VPR

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Scott Milne has unveiled an education plan that he says will reduce property tax burdens and make higher education more affordable for Vermont students.

The key to the plan is convincing local school boards to make significant cuts to their budgets by reducing staffing levels.

Milne’s press conference in the library of Spaulding High School in Barre marked the first time in his campaign that he’s met with a group of reporters to discuss a major policy issue.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

With four weeks to go before election day, a new poll shows that the race for governor has the incumbent holding a strong lead. But the poll results also show that Gov. Peter Shumlin’s "un-favorability" ratings are unusually high for a two-term governor.  

The statewide poll was commissioned by WCAX and was conducted by the Castleton Polling Institute at the end of last week.

Incumbent Gov. Peter Shumlin got a boost in his campaign this week from all eight of Vermont’s mayors.

The municipal leaders endorsed Shumlin at an event in Burlington Tuesday. The group includes Republican mayors Chris Louras of Rutland and Thom Lauzon of Barre, leaving Republican gubernatorial challenger Scott Milne with no chance of gaining a mayoral endorsement before the November election.

But the endorsements probably weren’t personal slights against Milne; both Lauzon and Louras endorsed Shumlin in the 2012 elections as well, against Republican Randy Brock.

Hemera / Thinkstock

Vermont’s candidates for governor are offering very different solutions to the problem of rising education property taxes.

In a number of communities, property tax burdens have increased more than 25 percent over the past three years. Another round of hikes is expected this winter.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Republican candidate for governor Scott Milne has posted his most impressive monthly fundraising performance of the 2014 campaign. But he was still outdone by Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin, who maintains a million-dollar advantage, even after spending more than $200,000 on television ads.

Milne raised about $80,000 last month, money that includes a $9,500 gift from his son. It’s considerably more than the Republican candidate raised in the first two and a half months of his candidacy combined.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR File Photo

In Tuesday's gubernatorial debate between Gov. Peter Shumlin, Scott Milne, Dan Feliciano and Peter Diamondstone, the candidates spoke mostly about how Vermont could be best served by different styles of leadership, leaving few factual claims to be checked.

With two terms in office under his belt, Shumlin often cited his record in office when making his case for a third term. We checked some of his factual claims, as well as some claims made by his challengers.

Here's the breakdown...

On universal cellular coverage in Vermont...

Angela Evancie / VPR

Peter Shumlin has released his tax return from 2013. But Vermonters still know very little about the personal finances of their second-term governor.  And government watchdogs say that’s a problem.

In 1978, members of Congress passed what’s known as the Ethics in Government Act. And it requires federal lawmakers to disclose to the public all kinds of details about their personal finances.

Angela Evancie / VPR

It’s hard to find a subject where Vermont’s four candidates for governor have very different positions but the threat posed by climate change is one of them. These differences were very clear during VPR's gubernatorial debate.  

The candidate who is least concerned is Libertarian Dan Feliciano. He says the state has wasted millions of dollars providing tax credits for solar projects and he argues that climate change is being overblown by a number of politicians and scientists.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Politicians generally try to use debates to improve their own electoral prospects. But in VPR’s gubernatorial debate Tuesday night, incumbent Democrat Peter Shumlin seemed as interested in boosting the profile of one of his opponents.

In their bids to knock off the second-term governor, Republican Scott Milne and Libertarian Dan Feliciano are going after the same conservative base.

VPR Governor's Debate

Sep 23, 2014
Angela Evancie / VPR

VPR's gubernatorial debate was broadcast live on Tuesday, September 23, from 7:00-8:30 p.m. Bob Kinzel and Jane Lindholm moderated a debate among Liberty Union candidate Peter Diamondstone, Libertarian Dan Feliciano, Republican Scott Milne and Democratic incumbent Peter Shumlin.

Angela Evancie

Heading into the November elections, Gov. Peter Shumlin is sitting on more than $1 million. So we decided to check out where it came from.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Gov. Peter Shumlin announced Tuesday that his administration has made the decision to take the Vermont Health Connect website offline for weeks to make repairs, and oversight for the project has shifted.

Shumlin said he made the decision with the hopes of ensuring a smooth open enrollment period starting in November. Open enrollment is the time when new customers can purchase health care through the exchange for the coming year.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Governor Peter Shumlin says he’ll abandon his quest to implement a single-payer health care system, if he can’t develop a financing plan that will improve Vermont’s economic climate. But he also says a good financing proposal could be an important catalyst for his effort to create more jobs.

Act 48, the law that put Vermont on the path to a single-payer health care system, was passed in 2011. It called on the governor to unveil a single-payer financing plan in January of 2013.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

This week, Governor Peter Shumlin officially launched his reelection bid. We'll ask the Governor to explain his positions on the key issues facing the state.

Also on the show, we'll get an overview of the general election as it stands so far from VPR's Peter Hirschfeld.

Broadcast live on Friday, September 12 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Peter Shumlin has kicked off his bid for a third term in the governor’s office. And the Democrat says he won’t rest until he’s put a single-payer health care system in place.

Vermont is one of only two states where governors serve two-year terms. And the brevity of the span between elections means sitting governors are pretty much always on the stump.

Gov. Peter Shumlin is no exception. And he’s spent much of the past summer using his official appearance schedule to tout his performance in office.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

As he  launched his re-election campaign, Gov. Peter Shumlin said his top priority for a third term is the creation of more good paying jobs. He also wants Vermont to become the first state in the country to implement a single payer health care system over the next two years.

On economic issues, Shumlin  says that while his administration has helped create more than 10,000 new jobs over the past four years, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

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