Vermont Progressive Party

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Vermont Progressive Party

Template:TOCnestleft The Vermont Progressive Party


The party states that it does not accept corporate donations, stating that his frees them up to "put the interests of farmers, laborers, students, small business owners and seniors ahead of the interests of the large corporations that influence the other major parties." They believe that health care is a human right, and support single-payer health care, birth to death, free of private corporate interests (insurance companies), provided through a non-profit, publicly-financed system. They believe that a vibrant and sustainable economy is one that recognizes preeminence of “quality of life” concept & insists on a decent standard of living for all Vermonters. They also believe that "a safe, affordable place to live is the birthright of every Vermonter." One of the aims of the Party is to decommission Yankee Nuclear plant in Vernon, Vermont.[1] The plant currently employs approximately 600 people.[2]

Statement of Principles

The following is the statement of principles of the Party:[3]

  • The purpose of the Progressive Party is to promote economic, social and environmental justice and sustainability through electoral and other democratic political activities, and to become the majority political party, while protecting minority and individual rights and opportunities.
  • Our country, state and localities can reach their highest social and economic aspirations through truly representative democracy.
  • All people have a right to equal participation in society.
  • Democracy requires empowering people not only in government, but also in the workplace, schools and in the overall economy.
  • Society's wealth should not be concentrated in the hands of a few, and a wealthy minority should not control the conditions under which we live.
  • Collective organizing is essential for people of low and moderate income to attain economic justice.
  • Everyone is entitled to decent work at a living wage in a safe working environment.
  • We need to create an economy that is sustainable and reverses the destruction of our global environment.
  • The burden of taxes should be shared based on ability to pay.
  • Basic needs, including housing, food, health care, education and energy should be affordable to all and not the means for private profit.
  • Directing more resources toward the care and development of children is essential to a health and prosperous society.
  • Our society's deeply rooted racism and white privilege, whether overt, subtle or institutional, need to be abolished wherever they exist.
  • The prevalence of sexism, both overt and subtle, limits and damages us all. More than merely encouraging women to fully participate, we must affirmatively assure their inclusion in all aspects of economic and civil society.
  • Seniors and people with disabilities should be able to participate fully in society without economic deprivation or social isolation.
  • All people, regardless of sexual orientation, should be able to participate fully in society without interference. We must affirmatively ensure their inclusion in all aspects of society.
  • Our society's deeply rooted discrimination against low-income people, whether overt, subtle or institutional, needs to be abolished wherever it exists.
  • Consistent with the rights and equality of others, religious and cultural minority groups deserve respect and freedom from governmental interference.
  • Community members should be fully integrated into decision-making about the economic destinies of their communities. Those who operate a small business or farm, or are self-employed, must be protected from the overreaching power of mega-corporations.
  • Human labor is the key to creation of wealth. We challenge the assumed right to derive vast wealth from ownership or position.
  • No nation should exploit the labor or resources of another nation or people.
  • Human survival requires the elimination of nuclear weapons and the redirection of military spending to human needs.

2001 officers

The following were present at the Party State Committee Meeting, held July 9, 2000, 4-5pm at the Vermont Law School, South Royalston, Vermont:[4]

Ellen David Friedman, E. Montpelier; John Bloch, Montpelier; Sarah Edwards, Brattleboro; Robert Miller, Brattleboro; Kathleen Keller, Brattleboro; Dean Corren, Burlington; Mike Bayer, Monkton; Jason Baker, Burlington; Bill Stahl, Burlington; Claude De Lucia, Bennington; Theresa Del Pozzo, Barnet; Shoshana Rihn, Brattleboro; Peter Zilliacus, Shelburne; Elaine Curry-Smithson, Marlboro; John Scagliotti, Guilford; Chris Halpin, Essex; Alex Potter, Brattleboro; Terry Bouricius, Burlington; Glenda Botsford, South Strafford; Liz Blum, Norwich; Ross Laffan, Rochester; Charlotte Dennett, Burlington; John Potthast, Plainfield; Andrew Perchlik, Marshfield; Kim Huisman, Winooski; David Zuckerman, Burlington; Martha Abbott, Underhill; Charlie Curry-Smithson, Marlboro; Anita Bellin, Bennington; Tom Kingston, Montpelier

Ellen David Friedman, Vice Chair, presided and called the meeting to order.

STATE COMMITTEE OFFICERS The first item of the business was the resignation of Heather Riemer as State Committee Chair. Heather submitted a letter of resignation citing changed job requirements and that she is pregnant. A motion was made and seconded to accept Heather's resignation with regret and congratulations. The motion was approved on a voice vote. A motion was made, seconded and approved to accept the resignation of Alex Potter as Secretary of the State Committee.

Mike Bayer spoke to the idea of appointing an interim chair, and looking to the formal reorganization of the party (required on off election years) to consider the forward direction of the party. A motion was moved and seconded to appoint an interim chair until decided otherwise by the State Committee. The motion was unanimously approved on a voice vote.

The floor was opened for nominations for chair. Terry Bouricius was nominated and seconded. Liz Blum was nominated and seconded, but declined. Bob Miller was nominated and seconded. Richard Kemp was nominated and seconded but was not present, and therefore the nomination was withdrawn. Mike Bayer was nominated and seconded but declined.

Concerning nominations for secretary, Ellen Oxfeld, an at-large member of the Coordinating Committee, has offered to take over the Secretary duties. Seeing no further nominations, Ellen Oxfeld was elected by acclamation.

Ellen Oxfeld moving to the Secretary position opens one at-large member position for a woman on the Coordinating Committee. Nominations were opened. Martha Abbot was nominated and seconded. Jean Lowell was nominated and seconded.

Ballot votes were taken for chair and the at-large position. The vote for chair was a tie, and a revote was conducted. On the second ballot, Bob Miller was elected chair. Jean Lowell was elected to the at-large CoCo position.


As at Aug. 31, 2010, the following were listed as party contacts:[5]

State Coordinating Committee

County Chairs

2010 Candidates

The following are candidates for the Vermont Progressive Party for the Vermont Statehouse:[6][7]

Elected Progressives

As at August 31, 2010, the following were listed on the Party's website as elected progressives in Vermont:[8][9][10]

Local Officeholders

State Officeholders

Federal Officeholders

Communist infiltration

In 2002 Communist Party USA member Mike Bayer sat on the state committee of the Vermont Progressive Party.

According to a Communist Party USA report on the 2002 elections;[11]

A more advanced aspect of political independence is pro-worker electoral formations outside the Democratic Party. A growing example is the Working Families Party, which has established itself in New York, doubled its vote in two years time, and is now expanding into Connecticut and other states. Election law in Connecticut does not allow petitioning candidates to run on more than one line, so the tactic is to run as many as 60 candidates for State Representative around the state with the goal of getting at least one percent of the vote and winning minor party status in those districts. Then in the next election, the Working Families Party can cross-endorse candidates in other Parties who adopt the Working Families program. Western Connecticut Labor Council president Blair Bertaccini will be one of those candidates. In Vermont, going beyond Bernie Sanders, is the new Vermont Progressive Party, which received 10% of the vote for governor and won 4 representatives in the last election. Mike Bayer sits on their state committee.

Communist spy?

From a report to the National Committee of the Communist Party USA November 16, 2002, New York City.[12]

The Progressive Party in Vermont ran Anthony Polina for Lieutenant Governor. He got 25% of the vote, up from 9.5% two years ago. He campaigned for a tax surcharge on the wealthy, replacing property taxes with broad-based taxes to fund public education, and a single payer health care system. He was endorsed by the Vermont AFL-CIO. The campaign was a collaborative effort with Bernie Sanders and inspired a high voter turnout. Mike Bayer reports that the lack of program by the Democratic candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor led to their defeat.


According to Communist Party USA, and Vermont Progressive Party member Mike Bayer, In 2010 ago the VPP announced that they would consider not running for Governor if the Democratic candidate took several positions, first among them, endorsing a single payer universal health care system. This fight had been building for twenty years and united labor, Progressives, progressive Democrats, the Workers Center and other leftists including known Communists. The Democratic candidate, did just that, the VPP did not run a candidate, and he narrowly won.[13]