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



Speaker's race narrows, then expands

The speaker's race is down to two Democrats. Rep. Carolyn Partridge of Windham has withdrawn.

Reps. Shap Smith of Morristown and Mark Larson of Burlington are said to be in a tight battle. To be decided by House Democrats on Saturday.

Not to be left out, Republicans have a candidate too. Rep. Steve Adams, who had served the last two years as House minority leader, says he's running. He's realistic about his chances - Republicans hold only 48 of the 150 seats. But he said he wants to make sure legislators have a choice in January.

- Terri Hallenbeck

I wonder if Carolyn will try to hang onto her position of Majority Leader.
As long as she wants the position, why wouldn't she?
Because she can't win. Floyd Nease is running for that seat and she probably knows that he has much more support than she does.
If he runs against her and gets more votes than her, he'll win and she'll lose.

I don't give a damn either way, but, assuming they run against each other and nobody else enters the fray, do you mind waiting until they have the vote, pal?
I think there is already a contest for Majority Leader. Janet Ancel and Floyd are both running. Regardless, all three would be great Majority Leaders. Carolyn, in my opinion, has done a good job.
Carolyn has been a disaster.

The caucus will be well served by Nease. He's one of the smartest people in the legislature. He knows how to prioritize legislation and how to move on what needs to happen.

Returning Partridge would be a huge step backwards and I think that most people know that -- probably even her.
Carolyn wasn't much help for Symington -- on the other hand, Floyd has been the strongest member of the leadership team.

I think we'll see Speaker Larson, Leader Nease and Whip Leriche.
I was always partial to Shirley Partridge.
She was good on tambourine but would have been a lousy leader.
My support for Speaker would go to whoever would be willing take Zuckerman's chairmanship away.

But I don't think that Shap or Mark have it in them to do that.
Symington wasn't much help to Symington.

Good person. Poor candidate.

Just as long as the next speaker holds doogie's incompetent feet to the fire, it'll be a step in the right direction.
Shirly was the best mom ever, but I still smell like skunk.
It's hard to know how effective Partridge was unless you were on the leadership team.

But a shake up in leadership will do the Democrats a lot of good.

Nease should move up the ladder.

I don't know that Leriche will be a very powerful whip ... but she'll be better than Lorber.
Lorber would be a disaster. He's a total ego maniac.
Anonymous said: "My support for Speaker would go to whoever would be willing take Zuckerman's chairmanship away."

David doesn't need his chairmanship anymore. Candy Page reports on her blog that he's got a taxpayer funded vegetable farm in Hinesburg now.

The government gives huge subsidies to enormous corporations. I don't see why it's any worse to help out some farmers.

That said, I'd like to see Zuckerman ousted from his Chairmanship.
Where does it say that the government gave Zuckerman a dime?

It doesn't.
Ancel and Lorber are the likely winners.
Lorber cracks himself up.
Larson would be the best speaker, policy-wise, which is precisely why the Democrats will choose Smith.
Whoever it is will have the hellish job of working with Shumlin - god help that person.
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said "Where does it say that the government gave Zuckerman a dime?

It doesn't."

The project was funded by the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, which gets its funding from the taxpayers.


That means you and I paid for his farm.
Read it again.

Zuckerman outright bought 151 acres of farmland -- no government help.

Adjoining acerage was put into land trust by the land trust, the town of Hinesburg and the Bissonnette family.

Get the facts.

"Read it again. Get the facts."

He can't. He's independent of them.
Is the inside scoop that Douglas will not run again?
Okay, let's look at what the Vermont Land Trust said about this deal:

Intervale Farmers Purchase Farm of their Own with the Help of VLT’s Farmland Access Program and the Castanea Foundation
Hinesburg. Rachel Nevitt and David Zuckerman. Conservation easement sale. 151 acres. Restrictive covenant. 5 acres.

Rachel Nevitt and David Zuckerman have been farming on the Intervale for nine years under the name Full Moon Farm. They grow 40 different vegetables for 180 CSA members and have a booth at the Burlington farmers’ market. This June, the couple made the jump from leasing Intervale land to owning their own farm when they purchased 156 acres from the Castanea Foundation and conserved it with VLT.

The land, once part of the Bissonette Farm, is a component of a comprehensive conservation project involving more than 600 acres called the LaPlatte Headwaters Conservation Initiative. The initiative began three years ago with a partnership among the Hinesburg Land Trust, Trust for Public Land, VLT, and Wayne and Barbara Bissonette. The Castanea Foundation became involved in the farmland portion of the project at a crucial juncture when it purchased the land and held it until a qualified farm buyer and conservation funding could be found. In addition to making many improvements on the property, the foundation also contributed through a significant bargain sale of the conservation easement.

As part of our Farmland Access Program, VLT undertook the marketing of the farm to a qualified farm buyer by issuing a request for farm proposals. The response was astounding—18 proposals in all! In the end, the Nevitt/Zuckerman proposal was chosen for the quality of its business plan, demonstrated farming experience, and financial qualifications. Over the next few years, Rachel and David plan to transition their business to Hinesburg, expand their organic vegetable business, increase their CSA to 450 shares, and diversify into beef, laying hens, and pigs. Funded by VHCB and the Castanea Foundation. (June)

VLT gets much of its funding from VHCB, which gets half its funding from the state. Zuckerman got the farm at a reduced price, subsidized by taxpayer funds from VHCB and VLT.
"If he runs against her and gets more votes than her, he'll win and she'll lose."

you mean: . . . and gets more votes than *she*
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