Vermont SoS Race Features Progressive, Would-Be Independent

Two interesting stories have floated their way out of the Vermont Secretary of State race.

Peter Cooper is the Progressive Party nominee for Secretary of State. He recently interviewed with the Brattleboro Reformer:

Cooper said he would like to see communities around Vermont take a second look at instant runoff voting (IRV).

A method of voting to determine a majority winner in a single election by allowing voters to rank the candidates in their order of choice, IRV gives voters the opportunity to select their top candidate as a first choice and subsequent candidates as their runoff choice if their initial selection does not make the runoff.

“I’d like to see the secretary of state take a more active role in that and endorsing it. I know we had it in Burlington for a year or two, then it was voted out, but I think it would be a good thing not just for the Progressives, but in terms of having people in office with 50 percent support from the voters for whatever office they’re running for,” he said.

Cooper also pointed out a major goal of his campaign involved ballot access for his party.

Cooper and the Progressive Party have listed keeping its major party status as a primary goal for putting up its slate of candidates.

“I think it’s important that there be Progressives in the Legislature and in statewide offices,” he said. “I’d like to see the Progressive Party maintain its major party status, and to do that it needs to get 5 percent in the general election in at least one of those six statewide positions

The Rutland Herald also points out an interesting comment from Charles Merriman, a candidate in the Democratic primary.

Late last month another Democrat – Charles Merriman of Middlesex – suggested in a radio interview that perhaps he should have run for higher office (he’s in a two-way primary for secretary of state) as an independent.

“I should have run as an independent,” he said on the Mark Johnson Show on WDEV. “You know it was … I thought about it and frankly I ran as a Democrat because I figured I had a better chance of winning than if I ran as an independent. If I get in, I’ll run as an independent next time.”

Merriman later explained his point a bit more clearly.

“It puts the purity of our democratic process at risk” to have the job be elected through a partisan process, said Merriman, a 51-year-old attorney who lives in Middlesex and practices in Montpelier.

Merriman has praise for the job done not only by Deborah Markowitz, the Democrat now serving as secretary of state, but also for the job [Republican] Gov. James Douglas did when he occupied the post.

Of course, the state Democratic Party has pushed back against Merriman’s statements, but it does raise an interesting scenario. One minor party candidate wants to help maintain his party’s recent growth while a major party candidate wants to break away from ties to party.

14 thoughts on “Vermont SoS Race Features Progressive, Would-Be Independent

  1. Dale Sheldon-Hess

    “having people in office with 50 percent support from the voters”

    The fact that this didn’t happen under IRV is why Burlington got rid of it.

    The winner of the last Burlington mayoral election (the VPP candidate) was preferred by LESS THAN half of the voters when compared to one of the losers (the Democratic candidate).

  2. '..... the serious side of free speech ' [Lake]

    Top Two Campaigns: utter failure of the opposition to frame and promote their view point(s).

    Stumbler, bumbler Christina Tobin needed to thank her lucky stars for ubber liberal Bay Area federal courts.

    After all, what she did to California Proposition 14 she also did to Prop Eight (virtually ensuring success of the original enterprise!).

  3. '..... the serious side of free speech ' [Lake]

    My sources say that she visited from the mid west frequently, and that ‘Fair and Equal’ was a rudderless ship at that time. No one got a long with any one, and no one got along with Christina. Consensus building was only a theory.

    Again, Richard Winger, whom I adore, and others kept on saying ‘voting is horribly unfair’ and no one mentioned, much less ‘dissed’ Top Screw, er, ah, um Top Two.

    In a state *told ya so, told ya so* where the absentee ballots encroach 50% ‘Fair and Equal’ started late and quit early.

    Not only were anti 14 arguments poorly framed, but one of the major venues were major news papers [Duh!] These are the last …………..

  4. '..... the serious side of free speech ' [Lake]


    Lake: 60 some thing, leaving the coast, returning to the mountains ……… where he was previously negligent and stupid!

    Does he still have that horrible, horrible [loopy, dazed] campaign photo?

    Does he still not respond to email, voice mail, postal communications ——- and then bemoans the lack of support?

    5 What part * // Aug 6, 2010 at 7:49 am

    “……… No he his not good about returning any correspondence.”



    Is ‘paulie’ every going to apologize to Lake?

  5. '..... the serious side of free speech ' [Lake]

    for saying FOR YEARS that I was totally wrong about Kubby [communications, photo, behavior]

    no you are wrong don

    no you are wrong don

    no you are wrong don

    oh *george phillies spin doctor voice over* ya see don, you got it wrong, it may look like you said [Hey observation worked well for Aristotle] but this is how *bull shit, bull shit, bull shit* it really went down.

    Cody Quirk, similar situation ………

    isn’t their enuf lying and falsifying going on with you adding to the crap pile.

    that’s no better than the Rs and Ds ………

    you know of any copy right lawyers that might be interested in my personals?

  6. Christina Tobin

    I moved to California last September. I visited only one time prior to this move to determine where I would permanently reside. I had nothing to do with Proposition 8. My effort were focused solely on stopping Proposition 14. organized a press conference uniting members from all 6 qualified parties against top two. Free & Equal is working with many other organizations nationwide to stop top two. Stay tuned!

  7. Robert Milnes

    Christina, Wiki says you were born in 1981. Is that correct?
    GEEZ, I wish you were 4 years older! You are just what I’m looking for in a f.libertarian vp. for my fusion ticket!
    Just out of curiousity, if you were 4 years older & I asked, what would you say?

  8. Robert Milnes

    Christina, you do not need for the parties to do anything. You just have to reach the voters & ask them to vote that way & educate them. When they see what you are trying to do & you just might win-polling-they will respond favorably.

  9. Robert Milnes

    Start by saying you are a libertarian but you are asking for the progressive vote. Go directy to a progressive group meeting. Explain the Strategy & why they should go for it & support you. & do polling. When voters see your increasing polling, the rest will follow suit.

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