Midday Newscast: March 12, 2009

President Obama has signed into law a restriction on exporting cluster bombs that Senator Patrick Leahy wrote; advocates say the plan to turn our next week for a health care reform forum that Governor Jim Douglas is co-hosting;

Secretary of State Deb Markowitz

Bob Kinzel talks with Secretary of State Deb Markowitz about two election-related bills that have been vetoed, and their implications for the November election. VPR’s Ross Sneyd analyzes the top stories this week, and we listen back to some of the voices in the week’s news.

VT House sustains Governor’s veto

The House has voted to sustain Governor Douglas’s veto of a campaign finance reform bill by a one-vote margin. Backers of the the legislation said it’s needed to keep big money out of Vermont politics, but opponents argued that it gives incumbents an unfair advantage.

Debate ahead on campaign finance reform

The House this week is set to debate a new campaign finance reform law. Supporters say the bill will help reduce the influence of money in Vermont campaigns. But opponents argue it will undermine the role of political parties, and that the legislation is unconstitutional.

Campaign finance reform

The Legislature is eager to pass new campaign finance rules in time for the 2008 elections. Bob Kinzel’s guests look at the bill’s prospects. Also in the program, news analysis from VPR’s John Dillon, and we hear from NPR’s Juan Williams. Williams was in Vermont this week to speak to teachers for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.