‘02 nominee/state Sen./ex-LG Doug Racine (D) “picked up another endorsement” 6/15 from the VT State Employees Assn. VSEA Pres. Bob Hooper: “He cares about working Vermonters.”
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Racine “basked in his third endorsement in the past two weeks by large labor organizations.” He “previously won the backing” of the VT NEA and the AFL-CIO coalition of labor groups. Racine: “What this means to me is I’ve established a good relationship with the state workers.” He “said he would have reduced the size of the state workforce during the recession, but he would have included state workers in the discussion of where to make the cuts and would not have cut positions funded almost entirely with federal money.”
“Like other union endorsements in past elections, the VSEA’s has not necessarily spelled victory for the candidate.” The union endorsed ‘08 candidate Anthony Pollina (I), who finished “well behind” Gov. Jim Douglas (R).
“Hooper said the union placed more weight on the candidates’ chances of winning in making this endorsement.” He said the endorsement wouldn’t give him the votes of every state worker, but “the union organization would be knocking on doors on Racine’s behalf.”
“Whether such endorsements bring victory, the candidates covet them.” ‘02 LG nominee/state Senate Pres. Pro Tem Peter Shumlin (D) “hasn’t received any of the nods, despite his work with the unions.” Mgr. Alex MacLean “argued that was because Shumlin had to make tough decisions in a difficult budget year that included supporting pay cuts to state workers and new restrictions to the teachers’ retirement package.” MacLean: “These are hard decisions to make but necessary” (Hallenbeck, Burlington Free Press, 6/16).
Making Her Markowitz
In her first 100 days as gov, Sec/State Deb Markowitz (D) promised “she would seek a change in law that would mandate students stay in high school until they graduate or turn 18. She says she would try to take state government’s banking business away from banks that fail to provide a minimum level of lending to Vermont businesses. She also would establish a new savings program to help future entrepreneurs and investors set aside startup dollars.”
Markowitz offered these ideas 6/16 “in her newly released JumpstartVT.” Markowitz: “What you see in this plan are innovative ideas that are pretty practical … The fastest way to jumpstart job growth is to help existing businesses expand and succeed.” She noted businesses across the state have complained about their difficulties securing working capital needed to grow. … Big banks received billions in the Wall Street bailout, while Main Street Vermont is still frozen by the credit market. As governor, I’m going to be tough on lenders. We invest $4 billion in banks. That gives us some leverage” (Remsen, Burlington Free Press, 6/17).
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