Trail mix: Corren hopes to lock arms with Dems in next round

Dean Corren, the Progressive candidate for lieutenant governor, is seeking the Democratic nomination, and though he has the unsolicited endorsement of Gov. Peter Shumlin, support from the party is slower in coming.

Corren was buoyed by the warm reception he received from the Vermont Democratic Party state committee meeting on Saturday. He says that if he can get more than 250 write-in votes on the Democratic primary ballot, securing the support of the party pooh-bahs will be no problem.

“Considering they responded very positively, I have to take it that they agreed with my position on health care,” Corren said.

The Burlington resident and longtime health care reform activist said party leaders like his message on their signature issue: The development of a single payer health care system. Corren wrote the first single payer health care bill when he was a representative. He and the governor are in sync with the need for single payer, he says.

“I will do more to help the economy and the government to get control of health care costs that will result in more sustainable job creation than anything Phil Scott has done,” Corren said.

In his view, Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, the Republican incumbent, has made single payer an either/or proposition.

“The difference is night and day, it’s not health care or jobs; it’s health care and jobs,” he said.

The Republicans, Corren says, “are in full self-destruct mode and are entirely out of touch with what Vermonters want.”

The recent successes of the Progressive and Democratic parties, he said, shows that when they work together it’s not “a zero sum game.” Corren says “both parties can succeed simultaneously.”

Democratic party leaders have asked Corren to come back to their September meeting for an official endorsement.

The state committee didn’t vote on whether to support Corren on Saturday because there was some confusion about the rules regarding endorsements for candidates from other parties.

Corren qualifies for $200,000 worth of public funding, divvied up between the primary and general election.

Anne Galloway

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37 Comments on "Trail mix: Corren hopes to lock arms with Dems in next round"

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Patrick Cashman
1 year 11 months ago
Since Mr. Corren is using Vermonters’ money to campaign for a paid position, has he pledged to repay that money in full at some point in the future or perhaps refuse the salary for the first few years? Or has Mr. Corren provided a method by which Vermonters who don’t want their money being used to further the political goals of someone they disagree with can request an immediate refund of their portion from his campaign? It appears currently that Mr. Corren believes Vermonters should pay for him to get the job, and then continue paying him to hold the… Read more »
Barry Kade
1 year 11 months ago

Patrick: Would you prefer an elected official who takes office with outstanding I.O.U.s to big donors or one who owes his election to the public in general?

Walter Carpenter
1 year 11 months ago

“outstanding I.O.U.s to big donors or one who owes his election to the public in general?”

Good point, Barry.

Robert Hooper
1 year 11 months ago

Or one who owes their funding and election to ONE rich woman in the city of Burlington ?

Michael Stahler
1 year 11 months ago
That public financing sure is working well for the current Governor. I mean he never gives special interests what they want, right? Oh wait?! And as to the comment about “jobs and health care”, I hate to break it to folks but I know a lot of doctors who have left Vermont because of the single payer system. And there are more ready to move if needed. Not only do the doctors leave, but their taxes…err…”revenue” leave too. Right now there is not enough “revenue” to make this feasible. It is a laudable goal, but it is not economically feasible.… Read more »
John Greenberg
1 year 11 months ago
Public campaign financing is not a loan; there is Patrick, Public campaign financing is not a loan; there is no reason why Mr. Corren should pay it back. Rather he joins the majority of Vermonters – at least insofar as the Vermont legislature and governor represent them – in believing that public financing of elections supports and sustains democracy. Why not ask the same question of all those candidates who do not receive public money? Will they pay back their donors? A good many of us – unfortunately not including the majority of the Supreme Court of the United States… Read more »
John Greenberg
1 year 11 months ago

Sorry this comment got a bit messed up. Hopefully, it’s still comprehensible.

patrick cashman
1 year 11 months ago
“…try getting your money back for ANY government program you disagree with. Your argument is no more pertinent here than it is to every other government initiative.” But there’s the rub. You are equating Mr. Corren’s ambition with a government program. Instead Mr. Corren is a guy who has self-selected to apply for a job. He represents a certain set of professed values. And all that is fine. Where it becomes a problem is when this individual private citizen (and his particular interest group) uses the weight of the government to compel support from those who may disagree with his… Read more »
John Greenberg
1 year 11 months ago

Patrick,

“You are equating Mr. Corren’s ambition with a government program. ”

No, actually I’m equating running for and holding government office with a government program. There’s a significant difference.

He’ll “pay his debt,” should he win office, by serving loyally and dispassionately.

Patrick Cashman
1 year 11 months ago

Not exactly a stunning endorsement of Mr. Corren’s character; pay for his campaign or, if elected, he will be passionately disloyal.

Though it leads to the question of what if he is not elected? Should we expect a lump sum payment or some sort of installment plan?

John Greenberg
1 year 11 months ago
Patrick, You are missing my point and perverting my language. First, this has nothing to do with Dean Corren or any other individual for that matter. Public financing is part of the structure we have (through our elected officials) chosen for our democracy, just as elective office itself is. I made no attempt to “endorse” Mr. Corren’s “character” or to impugn it. But I suspect you know that already. Second, for the same reason, this has nothing to do with winners and losers. I accepted your “debt” formulation above, but I shouldn’t have. There is NO debt here. Taxpayers are… Read more »
Patrick Cashman
1 year 11 months ago
John, I am not perverting your language. I am repeating it back to you inverted so that you can see the less positive aspects of what you are advocating instead of merely touting what you see as benefits. You have spent time pointing out what you believe the benefits of public financing are and made an awful lot of assumptions based on your own personal opinion of what you believe should be true. Assumptions such as; those who are not elected on the public’s dime are corrupted, those who are elected on the public’s dime will be incorruptible, and that… Read more »
John Greenberg
1 year 11 months ago
Patrick, “I am not perverting your language. I am repeating it back to you inverted….” That’s a joke, right?! You say that I’m assuming that “those who are not elected on the public’s dime are corrupted” and “those who are elected on the public’s dime will be incorruptible.” That’s ALMOST correct. I’m actually making the “assumption” that those who are elected under the current private funding system are MORE LIKELY to be corrupted, or to use a lesser and more suitable term, influenced, by the sources of their money and that those who receive public money are LESS likely to… Read more »
Patrick Cashman
1 year 11 months ago
John, So you see it as a bet then. Because that is largely what you are describing. You and those legislators who voted for public financing are betting (with other peoples’ money) that some action will result from throwing free money (other peoples’ money) at candidates. But can you describe what that action is? Not in nebulous, intangible terms but in actual measurable, common metrics? If we are going to squeeze tax money from Vermonters for the purpose of a program, a program that compels them to support candidates who may be abhorrent to them such as Mr. Corren, it… Read more »
John Greenberg
1 year 11 months ago
Patrick, We’ve moved into the silly part of this dialogue. “So you see it as a bet then.” No, actually I don’t. And nothing I said stated or implied that I do. Please don’t put words in my mouth. “But can you describe what that action is?” I already have, as have others here. The “action” is elections financed by public, rather than private interests. The “benefit you believe will spontaneously accrue” is the knowledge that campaign contributions can no longer buy influence or access as they do now. “Might-have-beens or alternative futures can be fun…” The Democratic candidate actually… Read more »
Patrick Cashman
1 year 11 months ago
John, You are right in that I used “seeking” when I should have written “taking” (exploiting, appropriating, or confiscating would have also worked). Beyond that, nope. You still have not tangibly defined the action or measurable result you would expect to see from throwing other peoples’ money at candidates. Instead of a result, you described the actual act of heaving boatloads of Vermonters’ wages at Mr. Corren, not some measurable outcome that can be assessed for effectiveness. Because there isn’t one. There are platitudes and hopes, but no way to prevent or respond to Mr. Corren simply tipping his hat,… Read more »
Michael Stahler
1 year 11 months ago
Well….I think there is a concern about whether an elected official should come in and run through their own agenda “because it’s right” or should listen to the concerns of the constituency and vote the way their constituency wants them to. There’s something to be said about that distinction. He is clearly a pro-single payer system for Vermont, but are the majority of Vermonters for it? Is it what is best for Vermont, especially considering the demographics? And he seems to be yet another Lt. Gov. candidate that does not understand the very limited role of that position. They are… Read more »
Karl Riemer
1 year 11 months ago
“Vermonters should pay for him to get the job, and then continue paying him to hold the job.” Yes, that’s right. If we all pay him to run, he works for all of us. If corporations or a few rich people pay for politicians to get elected, we’re still on the hook for their salary but they work for the people who got them that salary. This is not a difficult concept to grasp. In a political system truly intended to serve the public, public financing would be the *only* legal financing. (There will always be ways around barriers to… Read more »
patrick cashman
1 year 11 months ago

Nope. Compelling speech, especially by the State, is a bad idea. This is also not a difficult concept to grasp. If an employer mandated that all employees provide financial support to a candidate (conveniently extracted from every employee’s check) we would all rightfully be up in arms. It doesn’t become any more acceptable when the State does it.

On a side note, regardless of how a candidate gets into office or which party they come from, he/she works for all us. Accepting otherwise is just surrender.

Doug Hoffer
1 year 11 months ago

It is you who has not grasped the concept. It was a duly elected legislature that passed a law. That is in no way comparable to an edict by a private sector employer.

patrick cashman
1 year 11 months ago

Compelled speech Doug. Never good, especially when the State is the one doing the compelling. And even when your own party is the one feasting at the public trough.

Jim Christiansen
1 year 11 months ago

A duly elected legislative body sent us to war in Iraq too.

Legislative bodies can’t create settled science.

Walter Carpenter
1 year 11 months ago

“Compelling speech, especially by the State, is a bad idea. ”

But when corporations do the same thing it is a good idea?

patrick cashman
1 year 11 months ago

Try reading it again Walter.

John Greenberg
1 year 11 months ago
Patrick, No one is compelling “speech” here. This is not a question of “speech” at all. The Supreme Court notwithstanding, money is not speech. That said, governments compel speech all the time: when you sign any government form, you’ve just sworn under pains of perjury that your “speech” is true. Fail to sign or fill out the form, and you fail to receive whatever it is that the form does. Want to drive? Fill out an application and sign it, or relinquish your desire. In some cases, e.g. income tax forms, failure to fill out the form AND sign it… Read more »
Patrick Cashman
1 year 11 months ago
John, Really? Above you are lauding one facet of our democracy because it suits your opinion (submitting to the will of the majority, law enacted by the elected legislature, etc) yet now you are deriding another facet of our government because it doesn’t suit your opinion (“The Supreme Court notwithstanding”). If you put the two together you are essentially advocating straight majority rule with zero protection of the rights of an individual. It suits your purposes in this case, but you might want to consider what other individual rights you are willing to hazard to the whims of the majority… Read more »
John Greenberg
1 year 11 months ago
Patrick, ” now you are deriding another facet of our government because it doesn’t suit your opinion….” I’m not deriding a “facet of our government” at all; I’m OPPOSING a series of Supreme Court OPINIONS about political campaigns. In most, if not all, of these cases, 4 of the 9 justices agreed with me. I accept that Supreme Court decisions are the law of the land until they are overturned. That’s the only “facet of our government” in question here. Notwithstanding that recognition, however, I believe that from time to time, Supreme Court decisions have been wrong (as have Congressional… Read more »
Patrick Cashman
1 year 11 months ago
John, Great. So I am not deriding the legislative branch as an idea, merely opposing a ridiculously abusive and amateurish law until it is overturned. Yet complying with that law until that time. For me this means Vermonters’ money is taken out of their wallets and instead of going to their kids or daily needs, is handed over to bastions of kookery such as the Prog party. In your case, until such time as those decisions are over-turned, money in politics is a type of speech. So you are accepting State compelled speech. Either own it or walk away from… Read more »
John Greenberg
1 year 11 months ago
Patrick, 1) “So I am not deriding the legislative branch as an idea, merely opposing a ridiculously abusive and amateurish law until it is overturned.” Exactly. So far, at least, I haven’t seen any evidence that you reject the Legislature’s legal entitlement to pass laws that you disagree with. 2) “So you are accepting State compelled speech.” That’s a bit more problematic. First, as I’ve already stated, I do NOT agree with the Court’s line of decisions suggesting that campaign contributions are a form of speech, so at most, I would be accepting what the COURT calls compelled speech (in… Read more »
Patrick Cashman
1 year 11 months ago
John I’ve stated explicitly several times that I understand public financing of elections in Vermont for certain races is a law, passed by the legislature, and if I had any choice in the matter that while I believe the legislature was wrong I would still comply until such time as it is no longer a law. No need for “evidence”, merely literacy. But the fun bit for me is that you have opined several times that since public financing of various strivers’ campaigns is a law passed by the elected legislature it must therefore be OK, yet base the absolution… Read more »
John Greenberg
1 year 11 months ago

Patrick,
“you have opined several times that since public financing of various strivers’ campaigns is a law passed by the elected legislature it must therefore be OK…”

I never said anything of the kind. I gave you the reasons that I think the law is OK. You don’t like them. My reasons had nothing to do with having been passed by the legislature. Had it not passed, it wouldn’t be a law, now would it.

Ann Raynolds
1 year 11 months ago
Dean Corren not only supports the key single payer issue of the Democratic Party, he is also highly versed in environmental and other issues. He will be a great addition to the Shumlin team which includes Treasurer Beth Pearce, Auditor Doug Hoffer, Attorney General Bill Sorrell and Secretary of State Jim condos. Pearce, Hoffer and Sorrell gave spirited accounts of what they are doing in their various unsung work. This alone was worth the trip to Montpelier to hear them speak. Shumlin, as usual, was articulate and forward-looking in his remarks. And, as ever, our lone congressman Peter Welch described… Read more »
Jim christiansen
1 year 11 months ago

Don’t forget Mark Larson. He’s doing a bang up job with VHC!

George Cross
1 year 11 months ago

Pearce, Hoffer, Sorrell and Condos are not a part of the Shumlin team. They are independently elected to Constitutional offices in the same way the Governor is elected. There are unquestionable a number of issues they may agree about, but the people elected them to serve the people and not the Governor. They all do a great job doing just that.

Jamie Carter
1 year 11 months ago

“I will do more to help the economy and the government to get control of health care costs that will result in more sustainable job creation than anything Phil Scott has done,” Corren said.”

Like What? Without any specifics you are merely blowing hot air like every other candidate. Seems like the whole platform is “I support single payer. Other then that I got nothing else.”

Peter Everett
1 year 11 months ago

I think I’m going to barf!!!!

Michael Stahler
1 year 11 months ago
And, regardless of what you think of the candidate, you must admit that $200,000 is a lot of money for a candidate. Considering that the State consistently has budget issues and the tax burden, maybe this amount should be assessed. There are a lot of Vermonters who don’t even earn 1/10 of that a year, let alone grasp how much money that is. It is a noble idea, but I’m having a hard time seeing this when some of the folks who complain about “money in politics” have coffers of money from their own interest groups coming in to them.… Read more »
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