Tag Archives: Nader Hashim

Big Money in the Democratic LG Race (And Other Campaign Finance Notes)

The big takeaway from the first campaign finance deadline of 2022 (for state candidates only, not federal) is that the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor is going to be a heated affair. All four candidates raised respectable amounts of money, with a couple of them clearly rising to the top.

Disclaimer: Fundraising is not the only measure of a campaign’s health. Organization and grassroots appeal are also key, but it’s very hard to measure those and very simple to read financial filings, So we look for the missing keys under the streetlight where we can see.

Leading the pack is former state Rep. Kitty Toll, widely believed to be the choice of most party regulars. She raised $118,000, which is quite a lot for this early in an LG race. She had 323 separate donors, 227 of them giving less than $100 apiece.

Coming in a sollid second is former LG David Zuckerman, with $92,000. Patricia Preston, head of the Vermont Council on World Affairs, raised $89,000 with a big fat asterisk: $23,000 of her total came from in-kind donations. That’s a very high total, and it means she has far less cash on hand than it appears at first glance. Rep. Charlie Kimbell is a distant fourth with $44,000 raised.

You want deets? We got deets.

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More of This, Please

This piece of news made me much happier than it should have. I mean, it’s only one guy running for one seat in the State Senate.

But in his single term in the House, Nader Hashim distinguished himself in a pretty damn strong freshman class. He stepped aside in 2020 but now he’s ready to return, and I’ve gotta say I’m rooting for him.

It’s not a full-throated endorsement because we don’t yet know who else is running for Windham County’s two Senate seats, at least one of which will be vacant (Becca Balint running for Congress, Jeanette White undeclared on a re-election bid). But I’m certain that Hashim would be a valuable addition to the staid, stuffy, senior-laden Senate.

Our Most Barnacle-Encrusted Deliberative Body is so tenure-heavy that an entire generation of promising politicians have seen their way blocked by this or that immovable object. It’s a very talented generation, too. I’ll name some names in a moment.

Seniority has its advantages, and I’m not ignoring them. We need lawmakers who’ve been around the block a few times and know how the process works. But you need new blood as well, and the Senate is far too heavy on the older side of the ledger.

The average age of our 30 Senators is 64. There are three under 40, one of whom (Kesha Ram Hinsdale) is leaving to run for Congress. We’ve got two more in their 40s, and one of those (Chris Pearson) is about to turn 50. There are five Senators in their 50s, and two in their early 60s.

Everybody else — eighteen of the 30 — is at or over 65.

When you look at the chairs of the 12 policy committees, it’s even more extreme. Average age: 73. There is one chair — count ’em, one — under age 65.

The Senate would be stronger, more creative, and more representative of Vermont if a bunch of those people would just go ahead and retire, already. They seem to think they’re irreplaceable. Trust me, they’re not.

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