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.

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    Margolis: The hostility gulf between left and right

    Bernie Sanders’ statements can be criticized as bad policy, unrealistic, even downright silly. But it is all but impossible to find a sentence that could be interpreted as encouraging shooting people.

    Margolis: Teacher animosity tied to taxpayer anxiety

    Demonizing teachers undermines schools.

    Margolis: Democracy needs a little secrecy

    We need not know everything the government thought about doing but decided against, or every conversation that went into every decision.

    Margolis: How to win by losing

    Scott has been in the enviable position of looking like the governor who is trying to cut taxes. Being the governor when the state parks shut down for even a few days is a very unenviable position.

    Margolis: It’s time for secrecy, rumor and exaggeration

    The political drama over teacher health care benefits is following the usual script for the final days before adjournment.

    Margolis: Democrats politically tone deaf on property tax issue

    The tussle over taxes and teacher health care illustrates their shortcoming: Logic and analysis — even if it’s right — will never trump a simple message like the governor’s.

    Margolis: If Vermont had a nickel every time

    The bottle and can deposit represents cash worth fighting — or waxing philosophical — over. “What’s our right to take this money?” asked one lawmaker recently.

    Margolis: Good score on the midterm, but more tests to come

    The governor and House speaker are both taking credit for a budget that doesn’t raise taxes. But part of the reason is Democrats’ fear of Donald Trump and his anticipated funding cuts.

    Margolis: How to avoid a political hangover

    Liquor Control Commissioner Patrick Delaney should have thought before disparaging a product that’s more American than apple pie.

    Margolis: Practicing the art of distraction

    When it comes to public subsidies of arts and culture, the federal agencies that the president is targeting are all but inconsequential.

    Margolis: Rubbing elbows in the new, richer Vermont

    Vermonters might have to consider the possibility that if thousands of new residents could be wooed, the vast majority might opt for Chittenden County.

    Margolis: ‘Affordable’ Vermont? That would be Kentucky

    A new data analysis ranks Vermont the 10th “best” state, based largely on some big-ticket items: public safety, health care and education.

    Margolis: The inanity of the Murray flap

    What has happened when students and faculty try to stop someone from speaking is that: (1) the speaker speaks anyway; (2) to a larger crowd; (3) making him a bigger draw on the lecture circuit; (4) making the college and the faculty that tried to prevent the speech look like would-be totalitarians.

    Margolis: The substance of symbolism

    For all the enthusiasm (and intense if minimal opposition) it has generated, S.79, the Scott administration’s immigration bill, doesn’t do much.