Vermont town to lose biggest taxpayer as nuclear plant shutters

By Yaël Ossowski | When nuclear power finally vanishes from Vermont’s borders this year, the town of Vernon will suffer the loss of its biggest taxpayer. As discovered in tax agreements with city officials, the announced shutdown of the Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, owned by Entergy, a New Orleans-based energy conglomerate, will not only reduce the choice in the […]

From horse lying to lengthy beer tasting, the 10 strangest Vermont laws

By Yaël Ossowski | In many aspects, Vermont isn’t not afraid to buck the status quo. After the Revolutionary War, it existed as its own republic for nearly 14 years. It was the first state to introduce women’s suffrage in 1880, allow civil unions in 2000 and pass same-sex marriage in 2009. And while it may be a trendsetter, it […]

Vermont says ‘tis the season’ to hike texting fines

By Yaël Ossowski | As Old Man Winter swoops into Vermont, the state government wants to be sure drivers are paying attention. “Our crews just completed a weekend marathon of plowing, and are now here preparing for the next storm to arrive,” announced Gov. Peter Shumlin at a press conference Tuesday. “And as hard as they work plowing snow, they […]

Bitcoin politician wants to upgrade democracy in Vermont

By Yaël Ossowski | When Jeremy Hansen ran for political office in 2012, he had no idea his candidacy would spark imaginations across the country. The assistant professor of computer science at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt., ran for the Vermont state Senate for Washington County on a bold platform of using online technology to ask every citizen their view on a particular […]

Relaxed Vermont pot laws may lead to legalization

By Yaël Ossowski | In July of this year, Vermont lawmakers took a bold step. They removed criminal penalties for those caught with small amounts of marijuana. Now, 5 months later, decriminalization of pot is generally judged to be a great success in the Green Mountain State, a sentiment which could push Vermont to be the third […]

Passing gas: Will seized private land clear way for pipeline?

By Yaël Ossowski | If you build it, they will come … and take your land. Vermonters might face that scenario if the state’s largest private energy company can get approval for its new natural gas pipeline. Vermont Gas Systems put forth a proposed extension of the Addison Rutland Natural Gas Project pipeline project to bring natural gas to […]

Fox News: Natural gas in Vermont? No fracking way, say green groups

By Yaël Ossowski | Fox News Published November 20, 2013 No drilling, no pipelines, and no natural gas. If environmental groups in Vermont get their way, this could be the new slogan of the Green Mountain state. That’s the message of their latest campaign to oppose the extension of a Vermont Gas Systems pipeline intended to […]

Natural gas in Vermont? No fracking way, say green groups

By Yaël Ossowski | No drilling, no pipelines, and no natural gas. If environmental groups in Vermont get their way, this could be the new slogan of the Green Mountain state. That’s the message of their latest campaign to oppose the extension of a Vermont Gas Systems pipeline intended to transport shale gas from Canada to New York. Vermont already became […]

Vermont uses Democratic state rep’s brother to push state health exchange

By Yaël Ossowski | In the effort to promote the new health insurance exchange required by Obamacare, Vermont might have gone a little overboard. In a promotional advertisement posted to its social media accounts, Vermont Health Connect, the state’s health insurance exchange, posted a testimonial featuring Brian D. McCarthy, a father of two from Swanton. Hepraises the exchange. […]

Christie’s gubernatorial re-election bucks D.C. establishment

By Yaël Ossowski | Even before the ink on the final ballot was dry Tuesday, a certain class of political observers were busying their keyboards with the takeaway that the vote in New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie‘s favor served as nothing more than a proverbial catapult for the nation’s highest office in Washington, D.C. “The win gives […]

Lonegan-Booker: If blacks stay away from New Jersey polls, could the Republican win?

By Yaël Ossowski | If black voters in New Jersey don’t come out Wednesday in full force for Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker, it could be an easy victory for Republican Steve Lonegan, former mayor of Bogota, in the race to become New Jersey‘s next U.S. Senator. That’s the analysis by one prominent mathematician and political observer who […]

VIDEO: Cory Booker-Steve Lonegan Oct. 9 debate REMIX

By Yaël Ossowski | Here’s a mash-up of the best moments from the New Jersey U.S. Senate debate between Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Republican former mayor of Bogota, Steve Lonegan. The debate originally aired on Oct. 9. Enjoy: Contact Yaël Ossowski at and follow him @YaelOss.

Booker and Lonegan’s New Jersey consensus: The taxes are too damn high

By Yaël Ossowski | TRENTON — One is a tea partyer and the other is a Twitter partyer. One runs New Jersey’s most populist city and the other runs the state’s biggest conservative organization. While they have many conflicting views, Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Bookerand his Republic opponent, Steve Lonegan, former mayor of Bogota and head ofAmericans […]

The 10 most GIFable moments from the Booker-Lonegan debate

By Yaël Ossowski | There was a grand debate at Channel 6 Studios in Trenton, N.J., on Friday to determine who would be the best candidate for U.S. Senate. There was this guy, Cory Booker, the Democratic candidate and establishment favorite: And his opponent, the Republican conservative activist who gave Gov. Chris Christie a run for his money in the […]

Billionaire Bloomberg bails out Booker

BIG FRIENDS: This ad for New Jersey U.S. Senate candidate Cory Booker was paid for by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Super PAC. By Yaël Ossowski | NEWARK, N.J. — A large cornerstone of Newark Mayor Cory Booker‘s campaign centers on his ability to attract millions in outside investment to his city, but now it seems the same logic […]