Vermont Progressive Party State Committee Meeting Minutes 5/31/2014

Vermont Progressive Party State Committee Meeting Minutes
Statehouse Cafeteria, Montpelier, VT

Meeting called to order at 1:00 pm. Approximately 80 state committee members and VPP members were in attendance.

Coordinating Committee Vacancies
The Chair, Emma Mulvaney-Stanak, explained the vacancies and the process under VPP bylaws for filling the seats. The Coordinating Committee had two vacancies – Vice Chair since Selene Colburn stepped down in April and one of the At-Large seats when Lee Madden stepped down in February. Under VPP by-laws the Coco may appoint temporarily until the next state committee meeting. The Coco appointed Morgan Daybell (Montgomery) as Vice-Chair and Christian Hanley (Brattleboro) as the At-Large Member at its April meeting.  The State Committee unanimously elected Morgan Daybell as Vice-Chair in an uncontested race. There were three candidates for the At-Large Member seat – Christian Hanley (Brattleboro), Shawn Jarecki  (Pittsfield) and Jason Batchelder. Shawn Jarecki was elected to the At-Large seat.

Statewide Candidate Nominations/Endorsements
Discussion moved to sorting the differences between nomination and endorsement, discussion of the process. The State Committee (SC) can nominate and endorse candidates. The nomination process is outlined by state law and is required for placement on the primary ballot and for use of a Party label on the general election ballot. Individuals may still collect the required number of signatures and be placed on the Progressive primary ballot without the VPP nomination. Endorsements are an act of the VPP to show support for a candidate in the election. It can be granted under VPP by-laws, which were reviewed with SC members.

Auditor– Doug Hoffer is seeking the SC endorsement as a D/P on a campaign of continued audits of state programs, increasing transparency, insuring the efficiency and efficacy of healthcare and pressing for more whistleblower protection. Motion by Marge Power to nominate for the ballot and to sanction a write in campaign, second by Martha Abbot and approved by acclamation of SC. Motion to endorse by Martha Abbot, second by Morgan Daybell and approved by acclamation.

Treasurer– Don Schramm nominated by Liz Blum, second by Chris Pearson and nominated by acclamation.

Secretary of State– Ben Eastwood nominated by Marge Powers and second by Glennie Sewell. Jim Condos nominated by Gary Case, second by Jessica Falker. Jim Condos was not present at the meeting. Ben Eastwood nominated by majority voice vote.

Attorney General– Ed Stanak nominated by Martha Abbott, the nomination was declined. Shawn Jarecki nominated by Ben Eastwood, second by Ellen David Friedman, nominated by acclamation. Note: After the state committee meeting concluded, Shawn declined the nomination.

Lt. Governor– two candidates seeking an endorsement. Dean Corren would run as a straight Progressive, endorsement so moved by Chris Pearson and seconded by Marge Powers, endorsed by acclamation.  Dean Corren is collecting signatures for placement on the Progressive primary ballot and did not seek a formal nomination. John Bauer would run as a Democrat/Progressive D/P, endorsement moved by Jessica Falker, second by Gary Case. Mr. Bauer gave a brief speech. A member made a motion to call the question after some vigorous debate. Peggy Sapphire seconded motion to call the questions. The motion to endorse Mr. Bauer was defeated by a voice majority with 5 abstentions.

Governor-Marge Powers moved to close without a nomination for governor, second by Ben Eastwood, motion approved by voice vote with one abstention.

SC member Tom Kingston recommended that the SC nominate all endorsed candidates, seconded by Cindy Weed and approved by voice vote with one abstention.

Staff Recognition
Special thanks and recognition to Robert Millar as State Coordinator who is moving on to run for State House.

Legislative Update
Five of our elected legislators discussed the legislative session: Representative Chris Pearson-discussed the effort to raise minimum wage and the process the bill took to approval of a raise over three years. Representative Sandy Haas-discussed mental illness and the courts and provision for pretrial services. Representative Cindy Weed-discussed equal pay for women, workplace retaliation prevention, childcare worker unionization and the earned sick day bill that did not pass this session. Representative Susan Hatch-Davis-Tried to kill the school governance bill, recognizes the problems but believes a better bill should be passed. Senator Anthony Pollina-State Bank his primary issue, tried to begin the effort by moving 10% of state funds into VETA, lots of opposition from both Dems and Reps.

Platform Review
Ben Eastwood, chair of the Platform Committee, took the floor to discuss the process for platform breakout discussion groups. SC broke into small groups to discuss in the first session: energy & transportation; public participation in government; criminal justice; military affairs; state economy; gun control issues (not a plank); government reform. The second session the SC broke into small groups to discuss: education, housing, healthcare, agriculture, taxes, industrial wind, civil rights.

A motion was made to close meeting at 3:15 PM, and seconded, approved by acclamation.

Respectfully submitted by Chris Brimmer, Secretary.


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