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: 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.

    Margolis: Welcome to the NFL (no fun league)

    The House Appropriations Committee at work on Monday. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger

    *+-Vermont legislators are cutting and taxing and generally feeling miserable about their jobs this year.

    Margolis: Corren case illustrates absurdity of campaign finance law

    Dean Corren

    *+-This lawsuit demonstrates how the campaign finance laws have largely been reduced to legal fine print.

    Margolis: How a budget increase can also be a cut

    Shap Smith

    *+-In the their artistic endeavor to balance the state budget, lawmakers weigh the fact that sometimes cuts cost money.

    Liberal caucus threatens passage of budget bill

    Rep. Chris Pearson, a Burlington Progressive, said the rising income of the rich justifies placing an extra burden on them to help fund state welfare for the poor, using a chart from the state Department of Taxes. Photo by Nat Rudarakanchana

    *+-If at least 20 members of the Working Vermonters Caucus join 53 House Republicans and four independents who oppose the appropriations bill, the measure could fail.

    Margolis: Structures, and structural change, take time

    Sen. Tim Ashe, D/P-Chittenden, is chair of the Senate Committee on Finance. Photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDigger

    *+-Vermont is trying to finance a 21st century government in a 21st century economy with a 20th century tax structure, lawmakers say. But at least the new blueprints are being considered.

    Margolis: Cutting state jobs might be good for the budget, but not for the state’s economy

    Mitzi Johnson

    *+-Two truths about budget battles: (1) a reasonable case can be made for or against any proposal; (2) consistency is rare if not absent.

    Margolis: Shumlin hints at compromise

    Gov. Peter Shumlin (center) speaks with Lt. Gov. Phil Scott (left) and Senate President Pro Tempore John Campbell, D-Windsor after his budget address at the Statehouse Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

    *+-There’s a long way to go in a challenging legislative session, but the often-feisty Gov. Peter Shumlin is not drawing any lines in the sand as long as lawmakers achieve his overall goals.

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