Chronicle readers make August the Month of Madden

By Guy Page

On August 1, he was “Liam who?” But by the morning of August 10, every Vermonter interested in the outcome of the August 9 primary knew who Liam Madden was. The Bellows Falls resident and avowed political independent won the GOP primary for the U.S. House. Madden then maddened many Republicans by accepting the nomination – something he’d promised not to do beforehand. 

“Madden will accept GOP House nomination” was last month’s most-read Vermont Daily Chronicle news story. Three related stories also finished in the top ten. 

High reader interest in the GOP figured in another Top 10 story – yesterday’s account of a man threatening Vermont House candidate Rebecca Pitre last Saturday at the Cambridge transfer station (AKA the town dump). 

Concern about the rise of violent crime in Burlington prompted two stories to make the Top 10. 

The news report about Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel retiring amid constant criticism evoked a strong show of support from readers, including this comment from former Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie: “Chief George Merkel has been a standard bearer for law enforcement in Vermont for decades. His primary concern has been the safety and welfare of the citizens of the City of Vergennes and our State.”

Chief Merkel responded to well-wishers with this comment: “thank you so much for your kind words. I will miss my “Little City” and my officer as they are my extended family, much the same as my brothers and sisters of the military. I did my best as the Chief of Police for the City of Vergennes and I would like to believe my officers and I have made it a better and safer place to live, work and visit.”

Progressives’ misuse of their government powers was the common theme behind the two other Top 10: a Barre ‘Diversity and Equity’ chair promising to hit the mute button if a pro-lifer attempted to speak, and the Vermont Human Rights Commission taking sides against a Vermont State Police officer in what was framed as a racial incident but was actually a landlord-tenant dispute. 

In no particular order, except for the first one, here are the Vermont Daily Chronicle Top 10 News Stories of August. All stories written by Guy Page unless otherwise indicated. 

Madden will accept GOP House nomination, Redic announces vigorous Libertarian campaign


“Liam let me tell you – you have messed with the wrong broad,” Redic said. “You have underestimated the will of the Republican Party in Vermont. And it will be to your detriment.”

Who is Liam Madden? Anti-war activist, solar developer, Idea Sex Lab CEO


Meet GOP House Liam Madden: raised in Vermont’s two extremes of wealth and poverty, the son of a father who struggled with addiction joined the Marines Corps, became a leader in the anti-war movement, solar power entrepreneur, and CEO of the Idea Sex Lab.

VT GOP grapples with unexpected House race outcome


The Vermont State GOP Committee went on record Saturday with a statement of non-support for reluctant House nominee and self-described independent Liam Madden of Bellows Falls.

Malloy, Madden, Benning, Scott win statewide GOP races


A pair of unknown ex-military men walked into the Vermont political arena months ago, and last night walked away with the party nominations for U.S. Senate and Congress.

GOP House candidate threatened


The Republican candidate for a key Vermont House district fears for her safety and the safety of others following a confrontation at the local transfer station.

Burlington violent crime explosion explained


By John Orlando – Studies show no connection between gun laws, gun ownership, and crime, a Williston Ph.D. says.

Understaffed Burlington cops unable to respond to 3 AM vandalism; two hours later perp broke 33 windows


A man broke bus station windows at 3 AM. Undermanned Burlington police had no-one to send. At 5 AM he terrorized two neighborhoods, smashing 33 windows.

Klar: Vermont legislator involved in voter fraud – but House panel says nothing


By John Klar – A longtime House Democratic leader and committee chair coached non-Windham residents to vote in a town voter decision on whether to close the local school.

Chair will mute pro-lifer on Barre ‘Diversity’ Committee


A pro-life member of Barre’s “Diversity & Equity” committee will be muted if he attempts to speak at future meetings due to what the chair calls his “misogynistic perspective.”

Vergennes police chief Merkel retires, amid “continuing and unwarranted disrespect”

AUGUST 24  • ( 16 COMMENTS )

An outspoken Vermont chief of police has announced his retirement. George Merkel isn’t happy with how he and the Vergennes Police Department have been treated.

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