Matt Dunne

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Poll gives Scott, Minter edge in primaries

MONTPELIER — Sue Minter has a slight edge over gubernatorial primary rival Matt Dunne, according to a new poll commissioned and released Thursday by Energy Independent Vermont. The telephone poll of 600 Vermonters, which focuses on Vermonters’ opinions about climate change and efforts to combat it, also queried Vermonters’ on their choice for governor in both the Democratic and Republican Primaries. On the Democratic side, Minter, a former secretary of the Agency of Transportation, garnered the support of 36 percent of those who said they planned to vote in the Democratic primary. Dunne, a former state senator and Google executive, tallied 31 percent support. Peter Galbraith, a former diplomat and state senator had 8 percent support. Continue Reading →

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Candidates increase mass media expenditures

MONTPELIER — Candidates for the state’s top two offices are ramping up spending on mass media as they look to reach voters and spread their message as the Aug. 9 primary approaches. State law requires candidates to report any spending of at least $500 on mass media activity within 45 days of an election. For the Aug. 9 primary, mandated reported began on June 25. Continue Reading →

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Story-Video-Podcast: Dunne: Lead through social justice and technology


Podcast: Listen to Matt Dunne discuss the issues:

MONTPELIER — From the importance of civil rights in his childhood to his tenures in the General Assembly and as the leader of a national public service effort, Matt Dunne is looking to bring his experiences to the highest office in the state. The 46-year-old native of Hartland — where he still lives, in the same farmhouse where he grew up — is one of three Democrats vying for the party’s gubernatorial nomination. With a wealth of experience that would rival someone 20 years his senior, Dunne traces his pursuit of social justice to his parents. “My father was a civil rights activist turned country lawyer who brought his Vermont values to the University of North Carolina and organized students to stand up to segregation and actually served jail time for his nonviolent protesting,” Dunne said. “My mother was the first woman to go through tenure track at Dartmouth College and spent her career fighting for equality at that institution and supporting a generation of teachers.”

His parents’ experiences led to the sort of character-building conversations around the kitchen table that shaped his view of the role of government as it relates to social justice and economic security for all. Continue Reading →

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Dunne discloses raising $717,855 in voluntary filing

MONTPELIER — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Matt Dunne has raised $717,855 for his campaign, including $150,387 since March 15, according to a voluntary financial disclosure he filed with the Secretary of State’s Office Wednesday. Dunne, a former Windsor County state senator, called on all candidates to voluntarily release information about campaign contributions and expenditures on June 15. But the four other main candidates — Democrats Sue Minter and Peter Galbraith and Republicans Phil Scott and Bruce Lisman — all declined to do so. State law requires candidates to next file that information on July 15, the only required filing before the Aug. 9 primary date. Continue Reading →

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Dunne launches first TV ad, focuses on corporate campaign contributions

MONTPELIER — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Matt Dunne has launched his first television ad of the campaign, seeking to link his candidacy with that of Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermonter who ran a stronger-than-expected insurgent campaign against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president. “What Bernie Sanders started, we need to finish. This campaign is about making Bernie’s vision a reality right here in Vermont,” Dunne, a former Google executive and Windsor County state senator, says in the ad’s opening. The campaign said the 30-second ad is part of “a robust six-figure” buy that will air statewide. The ad focuses on a major theme of Sanders’ campaign — banning corporate contributions. Continue Reading →

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Galbraith calls for universal background checks, ban of “assault-style” weapons

MONTPELIER — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Peter Galbraith scrapped the planned announcement of his college plan for low-income Vermonters and instead called Monday for a ban on “assault-style” weapons following the massacre in Orlando on Sunday. Galbraith called for several new gun control measures at the state and federal level as authorities continued to investigate the shooting death of 49 people at a night club in Orlando, allegedly by Omar Mateen, who was killed by police. He told reporters at a news conference Monday at the Community College of Vermont there would be “a significant change in topic.”

“Today, with what’s happened in Orlando, I think that is the focus of attention in our state and it raises a broader issue for me, which I really go back to Robert Kennedy and his quote — “When in the face of evil good men do nothing, that is how evil triumphs,” he said. The former diplomat and Windham County state senator decried the lack of conversation in Vermont about new gun control measures. “We pretend that we are somehow immune from the national trends, when in fact, we’re not and when we face these tragedies we often go to a different issue. Continue Reading →

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Minter unveils economic development plan

BARRE — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter has unveiled her plan to stimulate economic growth in Vermont. Minter stood before the City Place building on Monday to share her plan to invest in downtowns such as Barre, while calling for investment in agriculture, manufacturing, energy efficiency and the tech sector. “Too many people are struggling in an economy that is stacked against them,” said Minter, who highlighted the public-private partnerships in Barre that have led to a revitalization of the downtown. The state has invested $19 million dollars in downtown Barre, resulting in $45 million in private investment, a move that led to the construction of the City Place building, which houses both state offices and private businesses. Minter said that, in her first year as governor, the state would award money to three communities, who will be chosen through a competitive process. Continue Reading →

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VSEA, Democratic candidates call for funding labor contract

MONTPELIER — The Vermont State Employees Association and the three Democratic candidates for governor are calling on lawmakers to fully fund a new labor contract for state workers recommended by the Vermont Labor Relations Board, but Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin says it is too costly. The VSEA and the candidates — Matt Dunne, Sue Minter and Peter Galbraith — held a State House news conference Wednesday calling on the Legislature to include a 2 percent salary increase for state workers in the 2017 fiscal year state budget and a 2.25 percent increase in the 2018 fiscal year budget. That increase was recommended by the Vermont Labor Relations Board Tuesday in a 3 to 2 split decision over the Shumlin administration’s proposal for a 1 percent increase in 2017 and a 1.25 percent increase in 2018. VSEA President Dave Bellini said Wednesday the union has been seeking a fair contract through collective bargaining since last August that respects state employees. “You show respect and support by putting your money where your mouth is — funding our contracts, our retirements, making investments in safety for the hardworking Vermonters who are state employees,” he said. Continue Reading →

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Story & Video: Gubernatorial candidates pounce on alleged EB-5 fraud, call for transparency and release of documents

MONTPELIER — Candidates seeking to succeed Gov. Peter Shumlin are calling for transparency and one is seeking an independent commission to review the state’s involvement as a federal and state fraud case against two Northeast Kingdom developers proceeds. Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Peter Galbraith, a former Windham County state senator, held a State House news conference Monday to call for an independent commission appointed by the chief justice of the Vermont Supreme Court to investigate the state’s role in the fraud case against Bill Stenger and Ariel Quiros. The two men are facing civil litigation filed by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission and the state for allegedly misusing $200 million in investor funds they raised through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. Quiros is accused of using $50 million of investor funds for his own personal gain. Galbraith said the two men have contributed significant amounts of money to Gov. Peter Shumlin and the Vermont Democratic Party and it should be determined if those contributions resulted in any favorable treatment for the EB-5 projects led by Quiros and Stenger at the Jay Peak and Q Burke Mountain resorts, and other projects in Newport. Continue Reading →

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Speaker set to decide his political future by early May

MONTPELIER — With the clock winding down on the legislative biennium, one major political question remains unanswered — the future of Democratic House Speaker Shap Smith. Smith, 50, was briefly a candidate for governor late last summer, hoping to succeed Gov. Peter Shumlin, a fellow Democrat who is not seeking a fourth term. He launched his gubernatorial bid in his hometown of Morrisville, flanked by dozens of the House members he has led for the previous seven years. But Smith suspended his campaign soon after when his wife, Dr. Melissa Volansky, began a battle with breast cancer. His focus shifted from a political race to ensuring the well-being of his wife, a physician, and their two children. Continue Reading →

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