Jon Margolis

Jon Margolis

Jon Margolis is VTDigger's columnist. He is the author of The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964, left the Chicago Tribune early in 1995 after 23 years as Washington correspondent, sports writer, correspondent-at-large and general columnist. Margolis spent most of his Tribune years in the Washington Bureau as the newspaper’s chief national political correspondent. In 1988, he was a one of the journalists asking questions of Senators Lloyd Bentsen and Dan Quayle in their televised vice presidential debate. Before joining the Tribune in 1973, Margolis had been the Albany Bureau Chief for Newsday. He was the first reporter on the scene of the Attica prison rebellion in 1971, and spent the entire first night inside the prisoner-held “D” yard. Earlier, Margolis was a reporter for the Bergen Record in Hackensack, N.J.; the Miami Herald and the Concord Monitor (N.H.). In addition to The Last Innocent Year, published by William Morrow in 1999, he is the author of How To Fool Fish With Feathers: An Incompleat Guide to Fly Fishing (Simon and Schuster, 1991) and The Quotable Bob Dole — Witty, Wise and Otherwise, (Avon Books, 1995). He also wrote two chapters of Howard Dean: A citizens Guide to the Man Who Would be President (Steerforth, 2003). A native of New Jersey, Margolis graduated from Oberlin College in 1962. He served in the US Army.

Email: [email protected]

    Margolis: Politics is not a sin, even in the Legislature

    Shap Smith kicked off his gubernatorial bid in Morrisville on Aug. 19, 2015. Photo by Anne Galloway/VTDigger

    Like any other elected official, House Speaker Shap Smith will be tempted to please the electorate by passing bills most people want passed, or scuttling bills most voters oppose.

    Margolis: Sanders on the ‘billionaire’ class

    Bernie Sanders

    It would be no surprise if Sanders did win the New Hampshire primary. He is ahead of Clinton in one poll and has come closer to her in all the others.

    Margolis: Shumlin appointment dredges up calls for state ethics agency

    Alyssa Schuren Preview Img

    A managed conflict of interest is a conflict of interest. Whether it is an excessive conflict depends on how transparent the management is, and is ultimately up to each person to judge. But in Vermont, avoiding any hint of such conflict might be impossible.

    Margolis: The un-hiring of Kristin Carlson

    Gov. Peter Shumlin speaks with the media during a tour of storm damage Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014. Photo by Glenn Russell/Burlington Free Press

    Vermont PBS announced Thursday that its “Connect…with Kristin Carlson” program will still connect, but not with Carlson. The choice of Green Mountain Power’s Media Director to host interview show had been criticized.

    Margolis: Bernie the unsocialist

    Bernie Sanders

    Bernie Sanders may be the most robust social democrat in captivity. But social democracy is not the same thing as democratic socialism.

    Margolis: We ain’t seen the last of Peter Shumlin

    Shumlin post elex presser 2

    There are a lot of reasons Gov. Peter Shumlin might want to take a few years away from politics and there are many reasons he might one day come back.

    Margolis: The outlook for rural Vermont

    South Royalton. Photo by Roger Crowley/VTDigger

    In the state’s most rural areas, jobs are scarce and in some cases, population is actually declining. But the outlook may not be as bleak as today’s statistics indicate.

    Margolis: Big crowd, big ideas belie Sanders’ tiny national splash

    Bernie Sanders

    For much of the national political press corps, obsessed (if hardly fond of) the former first lady, this campaign is about Hillary Clinton. At least on the Democratic side, everyone else is merely a bit player surrounding the long-running (about a quarter of a century now) soap opera of her and her family.

    Margolis: Election 2016 – Shumlin? And who else?

    Gov. Peter Shumlin stops by the Statehouse cafeteria Friday morning. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger

    Right now, only one Vermont politician is acting like a candidate for governor. That politician is Shumlin.

    Margolis: Tallying up the session’s accomplishments

    House Speaker Shap Smith, Gov. Peter Shumlin and President Pro Tem John Campbell after settling on a tax deal.

    The 2015 legislative session may have begun amidst humiliation, farce and chaos. It may have ended in a spirit of general dissatisfaction. But, in between, stuff got done.

    Margolis: Dems may force Shumlin’s hand on taxes

    Gov. Peter Shumlin stops by the Statehouse cafeteria Friday morning. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger

    Gov. Peter Shumlin hates the tax bill Democratic lawmakers may send him Saturday, but they just might make him decide if he hates it enough to veto it.

    Margolis: The final flurry at the Statehouse — wheel spinning torpor as the deal-making continues

    Mia Hockett

    Some of the major bills seem stuck, spinning their wheels like so many cars at mud season’s peak.

    Margolis: Bernie’s bid is no laughing matter (+ video)

    Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., announces his intention to run for president in 2016. C-SPAN screenshot

    Can a bombastic, 73-year-old, quasi-socialist junior senator from Vermont win the White House? Probably not. But now that Bernie Sanders is challenging Hillary Clinton, the game is afoot.

    Margolis: The theater of public and press involvement

    The press mosh in the House gallery. Photo by Roger Crowley

    While legislators are rarely persuaded to change their minds by the overpowering logic of advocates at public hearings, they are occasionally terrified into changing their votes by the sheer numbers of angry voters who jam those public hearings.

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