Entries in Vermont (2)


Obama to Draw Big Crowds, Modest Cash in Vermont and Maine

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama’s fundraising trip to Vermont and Maine on Friday won’t rank among his most lucrative, but it will turn out his largest crowds of the 2012 campaign.

An afternoon concert-fundraiser at the University of Vermont in Burlington is expected to draw 4,500 supporters, making it the single biggest Obama campaign event this election cycle.  General admission tickets for the event started at $100 apiece, campaign officials said, and include a performance by local rock band Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

Obama’s swing through the Green Mountain State -- the first by a sitting president since 1995 -- will conclude with a $7,500-per-plate luncheon with 100 donors at the Sheraton Burlington, according to an invitation for the event obtained by ABC News.   

Both Vermont fundraisers are expected to raise at least $1.2 million for the Obama Victory Fund, a joint account that funnels money to Obama’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

Obama will spend his evening fundraising in neighboring Maine, where he’ll headline another of his largest events of the campaign so far -- an 1,800-person rally at Southern Maine Community College in Portland -- and attend a more intimate, high-dollar dinner at the Portland Museum of Art.

Tickets for the college rally began at $100 and up, campaign officials said, while the dinner for 130 guests was $5,000 per person.

All told, the one-day New England foray will net at least $2 million for the 2012 election -- less than half of what Obama raised on a Friday of fundraising in Chicago and Atlanta two weeks ago.

The push for cash comes as the March fundraising period comes to a close and the Obama campaign prepares to file its monthly fundraising report with the Federal Election Commission.  The reports are seen as barometers of support and enthusiasm for a candidate and a measure of the competitiveness of a campaign.

Obama and Democrats reported raising $45 million in February, well ahead of their Republican rivals, but off their record-setting fundraising pace of four years ago for the second consecutive month.  With Friday’s fundraisers, Obama has attended 113 money events for the 2012 campaign, more than any of his predecessors at this point in his term. 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sen. Sanders Sends Out Fundraising Email Citing Arizona Tragedy

Photo Courtesy - Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(MONTPELIER, Vt.) -- Senator Bernie Sanders, I-VT, sent out a fundraising email Wednesday to supporters in which he includes his analysis of the Arizona shootings that ties the tragedy to “right-wing reactionaries.”

“This horrendous act of violence is not some kind of strange aberration for this area where, it appears, threats and acts of violence are part of the political climate,” Sanders said in his letter. “Nobody can honestly express surprise that such a tragedy finally occurred.”

The Vermont senator, who caucuses with Democrats, cited past Arizona incidents, such as vandalism at Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ district office after the health care reform vote and Sarah Palin’s “crosshairs” map, as well as other outbreaks of violence like when a bullet was shot into Rep. Raul Grijalva’s office.

"In light of all of this violence -- both actual and threatened -- is Arizona a state in which people who are not Republicans are able to participate freely and fully in the democratic process?” asks Sanders. “Have right-wing reactionaries, through threats and acts of violence, intimidated people with different points of view from expressing their political positions?”

“My colleague, Senator John McCain, issued a very strong statement after the shooting in which he condemned the perpetrator of the attack. I commend him for that. But I believe Senator McCain and other Arizona Republicans need to do more,” Sanders said. “As the elder statesman of Arizona politics McCain needs to stand up and denounce the increasingly violent rhetoric coming from the right-wing and exert his influence to create a civil political environment in his state.”

Republicans quickly started to flag the email as an attempt by Sanders to raise money off of the tragedy.

A spokesman for Sen. Sanders has defended the fundraising email by saying that Sanders regularly sends out such letters to supporters giving his views on key issues and “it would have been absurd not to comment on what happened” in Arizona.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio