Vermont House Speaker Mitzi Johnson is 1 of just 8 female Speakers of the House in US legislatures. Johnson was elected to the VT House of Reps in 2002. She rose to be chair of the powerful Appropriations Committee, and was elected Speaker in 2017. She discusses the recent historic veto override of Vermont Gov. Phil Scott on raising the minimum wage — the first such override in the state since 2009. She also discusses the presidential run of Bernie Sanders, a tax and regulate system for marijuana, climate change, sexism, and how women lead. (March 4, 2020 broadcast)
Mitzi Johnson, Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives
Do the rich pay enough taxes? Self described “Patriotic Millionaire” Alan Davis says no. The Patriotic Millionaires are a group of more than 200 individuals with annual incomes over $1 million and/or assets over $5 million who are committed to raising the minimum wage, combating the influence of big money in politics, and advancing a progressive tax structure. Davis says that Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez don’t go far enough in their various proposals to address growing inequality. He proposes a 10 percent surtax on all income over $2 million. He discusses how he became a millionaire, and why he is begging to pay more taxes. (May 21, 2019 broadcast)
Bestselling author, activist and filmmaker Naomi Klein is known for her critical writings on corporate globalization and capitalism. Her books include No Logo (1999), The Shock Doctrine:The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007) and This Changes Everything: Capitalism Versus the Climate (2014). Her newest book is No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need (Haymarket, 2017), has been nominated for a National Book Award. In our interview, Klein discusses climate catastrophes, the rise of Trump, what Democrats and have done wrong, and resistance. (September 20, 2017 broadcast)
Naomi Klein, author, No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need
Hillary Clinton murdered her political opponents, used body doubles, and ran child sex rings. Sounds absurd? It is. But these stories were part of a tidal wave of fake news that hit the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders. Where did it come from? An explosive Huffington Post expose details how fake news from Russia and Eastern Europe — from the same shadowy sources that were working to promote Donald Trump — began overwhelming Sander’s social media in mid-2016. We discuss the story, fake news, and its impact with two investigators.
Ryan Grim, Washington bureau chief for The Huffington Post and an MSNBC contributor
John Mattes, former Emmy-award winning investigative consultant for ABC World News I-Team in Miami and reporter.
“What would greet President-elect Bernie Sanders after the victory parties die down and residents of Burlington, VT awaken to their first cup of coffee? …The economics of ‘capital strike’ would threaten to trump the verdict of democracy.”
In his book Brown is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority, author Steve Phillips argues that “many progressives and Democrats continue to waste millions dollars chasing white swing voters. In fact, explosive population growth of people of color in American over the past 50 years has laid the foundation for a New American Majority consisting of progressive people of color (23 percent of all eligible voters) and progressive whites (28 percent of all eligible voters) — comprising 51 percent of all eligible voters in America right now.”
Steve Phillips was the youngest person ever elected to public office in San Francisco and went on to serve as president of the Board of Education. He is a co-founder of PowerPAC.org, a social justice organization that conducted the largest independent voter mobilization efforts backing Barack Obama. He discusses the new American majority, and the forces behind Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and prospects for the 2016 election. (March 23, 2016 broadcast)
On December 19, 2008 University of Utah student Tim DeChristopher disrupted an oil and gas lease auction, effectively saving thousands of acres of pristine Utah land slated for oil and gas drilling. Rather than protest outside, DeChristopher entered the auction hall and registered as bidder #70. He outbid oil industry representatives on land parcels (some of which, starting at $2 an acre, were adjacent to Canyonlands National Park), winning 22,000 acres of land worth $1.7 million before the auction was halted. DeChristopher was removed from the auction by federal agents and taken into custody, Prior to his 2011 trial, DeChristopher toured the country, speaking to crowds of thousands. He co-founded the environmental group Peaceful Uprising. He eventually served 21 months in prison, including time in solitary confinement. He is the subject of the award winning documentary film Bidder 70. He is now a nationally known climate activist and frequent speaker.
The Essential Bernie Sanders and his Vision for America (Chelsea Green) is a new book by veteran journalist Jonathan Tasini that features speeches by and analysis of presidential candidate Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Tasini is the former president of the National Writers Union and a political analyst. He is the publisher of Working Life, a popular progressive blog on work and the economy. In 2006, he ran against Sen. Hillary Clinton in New York. He talks about his new book, Sanders, Clinton, Donald Trump, the decline of the labor movement, and his own insights on what it takes to run a major campaign.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. From early efforts by business people who dubbed themselves “socialists for capitalism,” Vermont has been at the forefront of the socially responsible business movement. VBSR is now the largest statewide socially business association in the country. As home to iconic socially responsible brands such as Ben & Jerry’s, Gardener’s Supply and Seventh Generation, Vermont businesses have pioneered the idea of businesses with a “triple bottom line:” measuring success in terms of people, profits and the environment. We speak with Vermont business leaders who have nurtured this movement since its inception:
Dave Barash, co-founder of VBSR, longtime social entrepreneur who worked for Ben & Jerry’s, currently Director of New Ventures for Vermont Energy Investment Corp.
Allison Hooper, co-founder of Vermont Creamery, early VBSR board member and on the original board of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund
Bruce Seifer, VBSR founding member, appointed by Burlington Mayor Bernie Sanders to lead the City of Burlington’s economic development efforts, which he did for three decades
Julie Lineberger, former VBSR board chair, co-owner with her husband of LineSync, an architectural firm
Will Patten, former VBSR executive director, co-owner of Hinesburgh Public House, a socially responsible restaurant