February 9, 2006


Rainville expected to run for U.S. House seat (Sam Hemingway, 2/09/06, Burlington Free Press)

Vermont National Guard commander Martha Rainville said she has made up her mind and will announce Monday whether she will run for the state's lone congressional seat as a Republican. [...]

Rainville first expressed interest in the contest in May. In September, she filed papers with the Federal Election Commission establishing an exploratory committee that has since collected $100,415 in antici- pation of her becoming a candidate.

Rainville said she would present herself as a politician who would steer away from partisan politics and be a consensus builder should she run for and win the House seat.

She declined to take positions on any current issues, including the war in Iraq and social service budget cuts. Rainville has steadfastly refused to outline her policy positions over the past nine months, saying she did not want to mix politics with her job as Guard commander.

"I think Vermonters are looking for someone with a lot of integrity and who can get work done in spite of all the divisiveness," she said. "Vermonters do not have a high tolerance for divisiveness. They have a real desire for reasonableness."

Freed and a Brattleboro Democrat sign up with Tarrant (CATE LECUYER, 2/09/06, Brattleboro Reformer/Bennington Banner)
A Brattleboro native is crossing party lines to lead Republican candidate Richard Tarrant's campaign for U.S. Senate.

Kate O'Connor, a Democrat from Brattleboro who headed former Gov. Howard Dean's presidential campaign in 2004, will team up with former Vermont House Speaker Walter Freed, the Dorset Republican, to advise Tarrant's bid for national office.

The two senior policy advisors bring a balance of perspective between the two parties, O'Connor, 41, said. The fact that she is backing a Republican candidate has more to do with who Tarrant is rather than his political affiliation, she said.

"It's not the party that draws me to someone. It's the person and what they believe in and their philosophy," she said Wednesday. [...]

Even though many Democrats, including Dean, are backing Congressman Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., in the Senate race, O'Connor said she valued Tarrant's attitude, along with his political agenda, which focuses on health care, jobs and the economy.

"It's nothing against Bernie," she said. "I was just really attracted to how (Tarrant) thinks we should run government."

No Democrats are expected to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. James Jeffords, I-Vt., who announced he was retiring last year.

How hard could it be for the GOP to run someone for the Democratic nomination?

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 9, 2006 10:46 PM

Vermonters like integrity so much they've elected Leahy time and again.

Posted by: erp at February 9, 2006 11:08 PM

And they'd only be returning the favor from when Leahy got some 80 year old senile clown the GOP nomination in his reelection run a few years back.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at February 10, 2006 1:21 AM

That would be Fred Tuttle back in, uh, '98. The problem is that VT has open primaries - anyone can vote in them regardless of party affiliation. So every time there's a Republican primary every liberal crackpot in the state (which is a lot) comes out and votes for the nuttiest person on the ticket. This is why we had Fred Tuttle in '98 and transexual lunatic Karen Kerin in '00 running on the GOP ticket. Republicans can't do the same thing to the Democrats because the fruitcake is usually the favored candidate in their primaries. If the GOP were to hold closed primaries, where you have to be a registered member of the party to vote then we would see serious candidates winning the primary and hopefully the general elections. Unfortunately, that would require a change in state law and the inmates are running the asylum in Montpelier, so I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: Bryan at February 10, 2006 10:33 AM

Interesting, because they had the same sort of open primaries here in the Upper Left Washington, but were forced by the courts to change. (And to what is still not settled. Some idiots even favored a Louisiana style runoff.) I'll leave the details to somone who's followed the case, but I believe it started with the parties (The Big 2 and the Libertarians) claiming they had a right to decide who their candidates were, which seems to be the same problem that Little Canada has.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at February 10, 2006 11:12 AM