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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen


9.12.2006

 

The results

If you had to look at the races objectively and outline the winners in Tuesday's primary before the election was ever held, you probably would have listed them exactly the way they ended up, at least for the top races.

U.S. Senate: Rich Tarrant beats Greg Parke and Cris Ericson, easily. Bernie Sanders snares the Democratic nomination, hugely, though he is expected to decline it.

U.S. House: Martha Rainville over Mark Shepard, easily.

Lt. Gov.: Matt Dunne defeats John Tracy, but barely.

Some of the other races were harder to pick with precision, but not entirely surprising:

Chittenden County state's attorney: T.J. Donovan beats Ted Kenney and Rob Backus. Donovan, though the youngest candidate, was perhaps campaigning the heaviest.

Chittenden Senate: The four Democratic incumbents and former state Sen. and Lt. Gov. Doug Racine made it onto the November ballot. Perhaps the surprise was Dennis McMahon out-polling Tim Palmer for the sixth spot on the ballot. Among Republicans, Darren Adams, who changed his plans and signed up for a four-year tour with the Marines, won one of the six seats.

Chittenden House seats: No surprises. Incumbents survived all challenges. The Progressives, holding their first primary, decisively chose two candidates for state House in Burlington.

The lessons: It's hard to beat an incumbent. It's hard to beat a candidate annointed by the party in advance. And it's hard to beat somebody who gets an early start.

- Terri Hallenbeck

Comments:
"The lessons: It's hard to beat an incumbent. It's hard to beat a candidate annointed by the party in advance. And it's hard to beat somebody who gets an early start"

...all legitimate reasons why the system fails us.......
 
"Lt. Gov.: Matt Dunne defeats John Tracy, but barely."

Um... With 83% of precincts reporting on the WPTZ election results site, Dunne is shown leading Tracy 59% to 41%...

A tad more than "barely," eh?
 
If Sanders made an agreement to decline the Democratic nomination in January, why did he allow his name on the ballot? Quite simply, the agreement was put in place to keep a real Democrat off the ballot in November. Seems a bit sad to me that one of our to major parties has sold out the Senate seat to a man who has no allegiance to them.
 
I would have to refute the statement "won easily" in the case of Tarrant VS Parke VS Ericson. First and foremost is that your compairing apples to oranges. Your compairing the candidates by how much money they have raised and where they turned up for the election. I however am comparing the candidates by how much time they actually spent on the ground campaigning. Look at Mr.Tarrant he has spent 5 mill on his campaign and is out their every day and doing the same things as bernie sanders when it comes to grassroots campaigning. Then look at Mr. Parke whom nobody heard from or saw for more than 80% of the season. Then look at Ms. Ericson who didnt have a lot of money compaired to the other candidates but was out there every day doing the grassroots deal.
If you gave each candidate that ran in the primary election only 1mill to run their campaign to this point and they weren't allowed to raise any other money or donate from their own private funds, you would see that Mr. Tarrant would have spent all of his money by now and would have nothing to show for it. You would then have to look at Mr. Parke and Ms. Ericson and see who was really the better candidate and which more people would have connected with.

The bottom line is that Tarrant could spend 100 mill on an election but not many people can relate to him or even feel that he could get the job done!
 
"Quite simply, the agreement was put in place to keep a real Democrat off the ballot in November."

Agreed. Anyone who's enamored of the doddering but goodhearted persona that Sanders is trying to put out there should be made aware of this. It's the most directly dishonest action of the campaign season thus far.

"Look at Mr.Tarrant he has spent 5 mill on his campaign"

Tarrant has been running against Bernie from day one, the results of the primary vs money spent are meaningless. Parke wouldn't have gotten a quarter of the votes that he did if not for misguided souls trying to play the spoiler role.
 
"Quite simply, the agreement was put in place to keep a real Democrat off the ballot in November."

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that the agreement was to keep a not-real Democrat, Green Party member Craig Hill, off the ballot?
 
It would be completely accurate to say that the agreement was to keep any names with a D next to them off the ballot. Craig Hill can run anyway, he poses no threat; that letter D does. Shameful.
 
Shameful? Not according to 94% of Democrats.

94% of Democrats like Bernie and want to clear the way for his run.

Bernie will caucus with the Democrats in the US Senate. He votes with the D's 90% of the time ... so the Repub argument here is just silly.

But you keep talking about it. Bernie will be talking about healthcare and middle class wages and the war in Iraq ...
 
"Bernie will caucus with the Democrats in the US Senate. He votes with the D's 90% of the time"

Then he should accept the Dem nomination. Claiming not to want it after signing off on being placed on the ballot is ridiculous.

"Bernie will be talking about healthcare and middle class wages and the war in Iraq ..."

Yeah, "single payer," "they're not high enough" and "I voted no" are some pretty hard-hitting positions. Maybe he'll actually debate someday and we'll learn more. But I'm not holding my breath.
 
Multiple debates are scheduled.

Try to keep up.


And do you have anything good to say about your candidate? Cause Vermonters are getting sick of the mudslinging from the Tarrant camp.
 
"And do you have anything good to say about your candidate?"

Sure, and will do in comment threads for posts that deal with him.

It's cute that accurately pointing out dishonest behavior is considered "mudslinging" in your world. I guess Sanders supporters got so used to his gaming the system back in the '80's that they don't see anything wrong with this.
 
Why is it that Bernie can call people every name in the book -- liar, dishonest, crushing the proletariat under capitalist boot soles, you name it -- and that's okay. But reference his voting record and he's shocked, SHOCKED, at the negativity.

Bernie's whole politics from day one has been based upon class warfare and personal attacks against anyone who dares to disagree with him or, heaven forfend, actually challenge him on anything. Bernie reminds me of Francis in Stripes: he ought to "lighten up."
 
The Repubs smell a scandal because:

A) Bernie isn't a Democrat

and

B) 94% of Democrats support Bernie.

Perhaps they haven't read a newspaper in the last 15 years.
 
"Bernie isn't a Democrat"

Then why did he sign off on putting his name on the Dem ballot? Not a scandal, not illegal, but very dishonest nonetheless.

"94% of Democrats support Bernie."

94% of those who filled out D ballots support him. Two very different things.
 
A) It isn't dishonest.

B) 94% of voting Democrats support Bernie

C) None of this matters a whit, since Tarrant still won't break 35% at the polls in November.
 
he told Democrats exactly what he was doing. He asked for the nomination. He said all along he'd turn it down. He's been very honest about it.

And 94% of D's voted for him.

In November 68% of Vermonters will vote for him and Tarrant will go back to his home state of Florida.
 
"He asked for the nomination. He said all along he'd turn it down. He's been very honest about it."

You just contradicted yourself. You described how he gamed the system, which is inherently dishonest. Unless the note "will not accept nomination" appeared next to his name, his appearance on the ballot - at his own request - implies that voting for him will put him on the ballot as a D.
 
That's total bs.

Democrats support Bernie.

Get over it -- Tarrant's ship is sinking fast. You guys better come up with something better if you're going to break 35%.
 
"That's total bs."

What a well-thought-out response. Bernie would be proud.
 
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