Thursday, August 26, 2010


After such a hard run and so many wonderful supporters it’s hard to believe that this part is over.  While we sure didn’t get the votes we were hoping and working for, we all sure made significant contributions to the process. And I thank each and every one of you for your efforts, good words, sound advice and support.

While we aren’t certain who the winner is, we all know that our next task is to unite behind that person and make sure they win in November.  All 5 of us are in agreement that this campaign has been outstanding so far and it remains important for all of us to work the keep this an issue centered campaign.  Each candidate brought good ideas to the conversation and now we have the chance to have the winner take the best of all our ideas and move forward with a great plan for Vermonter’s and our future.

It has been such an honor to meet and talk with so many of you all over the state.  It is an experience that so few of us get to have, it seems a shame to me we can’t bottle it and share it with all of you.  The days are long and the debates have been many, but the energy from all of you to all of the candidates has been what has kept all of us running full steam ahead.  I guess this is renewable energy at its best!

I have no idea what I am doing next other than go to Maine for a few days.  Then I am happy to come back and help our candidate in any manner they want my assistance.  This has just been the first step on the road to victory and I hope all of you will join me in working for a bright future for all Vermonters.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bartlett Endorsed by Manchester Journal

"While we don't agree with all her prescriptions for Vermont, we like her no-nonsense, straightforward style. Her idea of an office of patents and a stress on intellectual property is one of the few original ideas we've heard, and her experience as the head of the state Senate Appropriations Committee gives her a good vantage point to understand the state's economy and the government's role in it."
Read it here

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Top Ten Reasons to Vote for Susan

I can beat Brian Dubie. Only by recapturing the middle will we take back the governor’s office. I am the candidate with the practical, pragmatic ideas that can lead Vermont forward.

I have not made extravagant promises. You will always know where I stand.  I have the respect of Democrats, Independents, Progressives and Republicans, and constituency groups from business to human services. You may not always agree with me, but you will know where I stand and you can count on me to listen and be fair.

I have the experience. The biggest problem Vermont is facing is the economy. As a state senator for 18 years and chair of appropriations for 10 years, I know how government works and understand what it will take to restructure state government, balancing the needs of the present while building for the future.

I am a moderate.  I have a reputation of supporting essential programs and saying no when necessary.  I can balance the diverse needs of all Vermonters from single low-income parents to the business community and everyone in between.

I will make government responsible.  Vermont is facing a budget deficit and our citizens are taxed out. Our revenues in 2012 will be the same as they were in 2005. We must bring our spending in line with our revenues.  With limited state dollars we must evaluate programs based on outcomes and facts.  We can no longer afford to continue programs by habit or based on sentiment.

I will hire the best and brightest.  I will bring the most qualified individuals into my administration regardless of their political affiliation.

I will support our schools.  Educating our children must be a priority. I have a background in education and I can work with Vermonters to improve our education system without raising taxes.

I will protect Vermont’s family farms.  We must keep Vermont’s working landscape hospitable to farmers. Agriculture has been a part of my life.  I have owned a farm and helped start a farmers' market. Farming and food production are part of what makes Vermont unique and no other candidate understands the details of the issues better.

I understand the needs of small businesses.  Helping small businesses grow and prosper is the key to our economic future. Through innovation and intellectual property, we can create jobs and prosperity for a secure future.

I will protect Vermont’s natural resources. Vermont’s environment is special.  I was a conservationist and an organic farmer before it was popular. Protecting the environment by cleaning our water, building a renewable energy future and preserving the Vermont landscape is part of who I am.

Saving Small Schools and Lowering Property Taxes

Susan Bartlett on Education and Lowering Property Taxes from Susan Bartlett on Vimeo.

I have a crush on Susan

VPR Governors "Debate"    
Wednesday, August 18 2010 @ 08:19 AM GMT+4
Contributed by: paulgardner

Fascinating debate show on VPR last night with the 5 Democratic challengers - did you catch it?

I came out with a new favorite. I had not expected that. My mind was made up. It was a pro forma listen, I thought.

But before I reveal who my new favorite is, here some other observations from the show.

First of all, I call it a show because a debate did not take place. There were questions and answers and some posturing and campaigning, but no debating.

The atmosphere was mostly collegial. There were a few testy moments, notably between Matt Dunne and Deb Markowitz. The candidates were given the chance to directly question each other. Dunne questioned Markowitz on the subject of transparency - and whether her office (Sec. of State) had been transparent enough. She thought she'd done well (natch) and he thought she could have done better (ditto).

Easily the most bizarre moment of the night was the Peter Shumlin softball question for Susan Bartlett. First he praised her for her work on the Senate Appropriations committee (and praised himself for picking her to head the committee) then asked her to explain the "rainy day fund" which Doug Racine and Matt Dunne had been discussing moments before. Bartlett's explanation was at once so wonky and so clear that it made the Racine/Dunne discussion look superficial and simple minded by comparison. Racine was easily the most relaxed and personable candidate of the show, but Bartlett's performance exposed him a bit, imo. Score one to Shumlin.

The two VPR moderators did a good job overall in their hosting and questioning duties, but to me their questioning of Shumlin seemed sharper than that of the other 4. In one instance he admitted a mistake on an education funding bill where he had compromised with Governor Douglas. Perhaps that line of questioning was agreed to in advance to give him a chance to speak to that issue.

Deb Markowitz wins the dubious distinction of most disappointing. I have been touting her as the only candidate who can beat Dubie based on polls of the state that pit the various candidates against Dubie head to head. At the end of the night, those hand full of polls were all she had. In light of what I heard from the other candidates, that wasn't enough.

Matt Dunne must have mentioned his experience as director of Head Start/Vista and its 6,000 employees 4 times at least during the show. So often that it made clear that he felt a need to stress his experience. For me it's the political version of "me thinks the lady doth protest too much". The more he talks, the more there seems to be an experience/maturity issue there.

I love Peter Shumlin. He's a sharp politician who I mostly trust (a rare combination). Unfortunately, I think his negatives are high for many people and perhaps that's because he has a tendency to lapse into an almost Nixonian, whispery politician speak. I.e. he doesn't talk like "normal" people. You have to make an adjustment to your listening to take in what he's saying (see Racine below). This breaks my heart because he's ready to push for single payer health care and he'd be the staunchest foe to the relicensing of VY which are both huge issues for me. I just don't see him beating Dubie.

Doug Racine likes to tout his defeat of Dubie in a Lieutenant Governor's race back about a decade ago when he was the incumbent and nobody knew who Dubie was. I don't think he can repeat the performance, but I could be wrong. He's a sharper and more impressive candidate overall than I thought. As mentioned above, he was the most personable of the candidates. He's the Democratic candidate who sounds least like a politician. He has the easy bonhomie of a salesman - which he is. He's been in state government long enough that he doesn't have to make too many grating references to his experience like Dunne does. He knows the issues well and discuss them without sounding wonky.

All that said, my new crush, my new favorite for next governor of Vermont: SUSAN BARTLETT.

It wasn't even close. It's not even the thought of how a non-politician like Dubie who is leaning on a lot of outside help is going to deal with an unaffected, brainiac, insider woman.

Bartlett herself is a force.

She reminded me at once of Bill Clinton and Temple Grandin (the high functioning autistic who has been on Terry Gross's Fresh Air numerous times and written several popular books about her condition). Bartlett plowed into every question given her and got to the nub of the issue in a way that was at once intellectually rigorous and easily understandable to the layman. She was political without seeming it.

I don't see how Dubie can beat her and oh by the way, she'd be the best governor of the bunch.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

WCAX Candidate Profile: Susan Bartlett

"I can walk into the governor's office tomorrow and know exactly what we need to do and how to do it," she said.

As a self-proclaimed moderate, Bartlett claims she stands out from the four other Democrats vying for the top spot -- including Peter Shumlin -- who possesses what she called fundamental differences.

"I have been the person for ten years who has balanced the budget, taken it forward and he hasn't. I'd say that's the difference right there."

Friday, August 13, 2010

Why Women Should Vote for Bartlett

I want women to vote for me to become the next governor because I am the best qualified for the position, not because I’m a woman.   In conversations with folks who work in the halls of government there are often discussions about what are the qualities that make for good leaders and good policy.  

It is generally agreed that effective leaders are much more willing to consider the long term effects of policy; they are willing to reach across the aisle and work with others; they believe in planning; they have empathy for folks, and they are strong and can make difficult decisions; they don’t have to take credit, they just want good results.

I believe that I have shown all of these traits in my years in the Senate.  I understand that there are long-term impacts from the decisions we make in Appropriations.  I have always worked with all of the individuals, regardless of party, or philosophy involved with the issues.  As Chair of Appropriations, I have helped develop long-term policy around issues such as corrections, substance abuse, our high school drop out population, affordable housing, access to early education, creating jobs and job training programs, developing programs to help farmers transition to sustainable agriculture and much more.  

In these difficult financial times there have been many nights that I have tossed and turned trying to figure out what we can do to balance a budget and do the least harm to Vermonters in need.  I have made difficult decisions while balancing the needs of all the people of Vermont, not just special interests. 

As the Chair of Senate Appropriations, I have balanced a $4 billion budget for years.  I understand not just the numbers, but also the policy behind the numbers.  I see the problems we are confronting because we have not had plans; we have not had the comprehensive conversations we need to have to move forward in a sustainable manner.  I am ready to lead our state to solutions that can only come from an in-depth understanding of the issues.  

I know that I can lead diverse groups of individuals to solutions that serve all Vermonters. That is what I have been doing in the Senate for years. 

If you want to know more about my views on various issues, please check out my web site or you can always call me at home. 888-5591