TIME Crime

Authorities Admit ‘No Information’ on Escaped Killers

"Trust me, these men are nothing to be trifled with"

(DANNEMORA, N.Y.) — Authorities searching for two escaped killers who have been on the loose for the better part of a week acknowledged being in the dark about their whereabouts or doings, even as the hunt for the men expanded past state borders into Vermont.

At a news conference outside the maximum-security prison on Wednesday, New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico said, “I have no information on where they are or what they’re doing, to be honest with you.”

But authorities were expanding the search after investigators learned that the inmates had talked before last weekend’s breakout about going to neighboring Vermont.

“We have information that suggests they thought New York was going to be hot. Vermont would be cooler, in terms of law enforcement,” said Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, at the news conference along with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

He and other officials would not say how authorities learned that information.

Meanwhile, Wednesday night another search was started closer to the prison.

D’Amico also said that a prison employee — identified in news reports as Joyce Mitchell, a training supervisor at the prison tailor shop — had befriended the killers and “may have had some role in assisting them.”

He would not elaborate.

Mitchell’s son, Tobey Mitchell, told NBC that she checked herself into a hospital with chest pains Saturday. He said she wouldn’t have helped the inmates escape.

Using power tools, inmates David Sweat and Richard Matt cut through a steel wall, broke through bricks and crawled through a steam pipe before emerging through a manhole in the street outside the 3,000-inmate Clinton Correctional Facility in far northern New York, about 20 miles from the Canadian border.

The breakout was discovered early Saturday, meaning the inmates may have had a head start of several hours, Cuomo said.

Authorities suspect they had help from the inside in obtaining the power tools. Unions representing guards and civilian staff members at the prison said many have been questioned by investigators but no one has been suspended, disciplined or charged.

Vermont authorities are patrolling Lake Champlain and areas alongside it, Shumlin said. Cuomo urged the people of Vermont to be on the alert and report anything suspicious, warning: “Trust me, these men are nothing to be trifled with.”

As part of the search, state troopers and correction officers in helmets and body armor retraced their steps around the prison, checking garage doors, sheds, windows and other structures for signs of a break-in or other clues.

More than 450 federal and state law enforcement officers were taking part in the search, including customs agents, federal marshals and park rangers.

New York State Police closed a road east of Dannemora late Wednesday to investigate a lead involving the escapees. The road was expected to remain closed through the morning, state police said in a statement.

The killers’ mugshots have been put on more than 50 digital billboards in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, state police said, and a $100,000 reward has been posted.

Law enforcement officials again asked the public to report anything out of the ordinary.

“We don’t want them out searching the woods,” Sheriff David Favro said. “But if you’re sitting on your porch, get your binoculars out and see if you see something unusual.”

In Dannemora, Barbara McCasland said officers asked to search her home but she told them no.

“I’m pretty battened down here,” she said. “My windows are locked and everything.”

As the manhunt dragged on, she said she was getting worried: “I wasn’t in the beginning, but seeing that they’ve been out there so long, I am a little nervous.”

Many in the prison town greeted the return of the searchers with a shrug. Many suspect Sweat and Matt are long gone and they are past any danger.

“I’m not worried about it,” Jackie Trombley said.

Referring to the searchers swarming the area, she said: “We’ve got these guys down the road. They’re everywhere, so it really doesn’t bother me.”

___

Virtanen reported from Albany.

TIME Bernie Sanders

The Radical Education of Bernie Sanders

bernie-sanders-chicago-university-sit-in
Special Collections Research Center/University of Chicago Library Bernie Sanders (R), member of the steering committee, stands next to George Beadle, University of Chicago president, who is speaking at a Committee On Racial Equality meeting on housing sit-ins. 1962.

Bernie Sanders was a prominent local activist in college, and not much has changed

Bernie Sanders won the first election he ever lost.

It was the late 1950s, and Sanders was still a teenager, running to be class president at James Madison High School in Brooklyn, New York. His platform promised to raise scholarship money for kids in Korea orphaned during the recent war. “It was an unusual thing for a person so young to be involved in,” remembers Larry Sanders, Bernie’s older brother. When the votes were tallied, the future Senator from Vermont fell short and lost, but the outcome set a precedent he would love to repeat on the national stage. The winner adopted the Korean scholarship idea and made it happen.

Half a century later, the populist and self-proclaimed socialist is now 73 years old, and he’s running for president of the United States with a solid shot at second place in the Democratic nomination fight. Win or lose, he will force the frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, to take a serious look at his progressive platform, which resonates with a big chunk of the party’s base. “Today, we stand here and say loudly and clearly, enough is enough!” said Sanders on Tuesday evening at his official campaign kickoff in Vermont. “This great nation and its government belong to all of the people, and not to a handful of billionaires.”

“Here is my promise to you for this campaign,” Sanders continued. “Not only will I fight to protect the working families of this country, but we’re going to build a movement of millions of Americans who are prepared to stand up and fight back.”

For Sanders, who maintains he is running to win, pushing Clinton to the left would be fitting capstone to a lifetime spent agitating from the sidelines of powerful American institutions. As a teenager, he read Karl Marx, and as a college student he organized sit-ins against segregation, worked for a union, protested police brutality and attended the 1963 March on Washington. Throughout that time, the central theme of his life has never wavered. “We were concerned obviously about economic injustice,” says Sanders of his college days. “And we were concerned with the question, ‘How do you make change?’”

Sanders’ education in socialism began at home, in a three-and-a-half room apartment in Flatbush, Brooklyn. His father was a paint salesman from Poland and a high school dropout, and the family lived paycheck-to-paycheck. When Sanders’ father went with his wife to see the play The Death of a Salesman, his father so identified with the underemployed Willy Loman that he broke down in tears. “The lack of money caused stress in my family and fights between my mother and father,” Sanders explained to TIME in an interview this month. “That is a reality I have never forgotten: today, there are many millions of families who are living under the circumstances that we lived under.”

Bernie’s older brother, Larry, was a student at Brooklyn College who would come home and discuss Marx and Freud with the high school kid. They talked about democracy in ancient Greece, and Larry took the young Bernie to local Democratic Party meetings. Bernie followed his older brother to Brooklyn College, but when his mother died unexpectedly young, he left Brooklyn and transferred to the University of Chicago.

In Chicago, Sanders threw himself into activism—civil rights, economic justice, volunteering, organizing. “I received more of an education off campus than I did in the classroom,” Sanders says. By his 23rd birthday, Sanders had worked for a meatpackers union, marched for civil rights in Washington D.C., joined the university socialists and been arrested at a civil rights demonstration. He delivered jeremiads to young crowds. The police called him an outside agitator, Sanders said. He was a sloppy student, and the dean asked him to take a year off. He inspired his classmates. “He knows how to talk to people now,” said Robin Kaufman, a student who knew Sanders in 1960s Chicago, “and he knew how to do it then.” He was a radical before it was cool.

He also met regularly with the Young Peoples Socialist League in the student center, where students talked about nuclear disarmament, former Socialist Party Presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs, the lessons of the Russian revolution, and how to implement socialism, though his vision did not match up with the already faltering Soviet experiment. He talks today about expanding government programs like social security and Medicare, and tuition-free college. “Should the government be running the restaurant across the street?” says Sanders today. “Obviously not!”

The civil rights movement also became a home for him. He became leaders of an NAACP ally called the Congress of Racial Equality at a time when most civil rights activists were black. He was arrested while demonstrating for desegregated public schools in Chicago. (No big deal, says Sanders: “You can go outside and get arrested, too!” he jokes. “It’s not that hard if you put your mind to it.”) He once walked around Chicago putting up fliers protesting police brutality. After half an hour, he realized a police car was following him, taking down every paper he’d up, one by one. “Are these yours?” he remembers the officer telling him, holding up the stack of the fliers.

In his second year at college, Sanders made national news. On a frigid Tuesday afternoon in January, 1962 the 20-year-old from Brooklyn stood on the steps of University of Chicago administration building and railed in the wind against the college’s housing segregation policy. “We feel it is an intolerable situation, when Negro and white students of the university cannot live together in university owned apartments,” the young bespectacled student told the few-dozen classmates gathered there. Then he led them into the building in protest, and camped the night outside the president’s office. It was Chicago’s first civil rights sit-in.

Decades later, Sanders rarely raises his past activism in public. In fact, he generally hates talking about his own story. During a recent interview with TIME, the senator from Vermont sunk deep into a sofa in his office and resigned himself to doing just that. “Too much of media looks at politics as a soap opera,” Sanders said in a deep bass. “I have my views, Ted Cruz has his views, that’s fine: let’s lay them out and let the American people decide.”

That aversion to storytelling is part of what makes Sanders a long shot for the Democratic nomination. He polls at around 15% in the early primary states compared with Hillary Clinton’s 60%. And his longtime aversion to the Democratic Party, which he only just formally joined, will be a headwind, as will explaining his identification with “socialism,” a virtual epithet in American politics. “Don’t underestimate me,” Sanders likes to tell reporters.

People who know Bernie best say that beneath the grumpy prognostications about social inequality and climate change is a softy at heart. A few months after he arrived at the University of Chicago, Sanders went to a center in a rough Chicago neighborhood run by a Quaker service group, the American Friends Service Committee. He ventured out to local apartments, painting walls. Back at the house, the 19-year-old was fascinated by the 2-month-old daughter of the home’s caretakers. His friends say he brings that spirit to politics. “His feeling for people is something he had back then, and it’s something he still has,” says Jim Rader, a friend of Sanders’ who ran the Quaker house in Chicago. “He always had a sympathy for the underdog.”

Sanders has lost six major elections since his race for high school class president. But persistence has brought him to his current post, and he’s seeking to be the oldest candidate ever to go to the White House. His goal, at the very least, is to foist his ideas in the Democratic primary. Now, as before, victory can be seen broadly: He can win the nomination himself, or embed his ideas with the person who does.

TIME Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders: The Populist Preacher Runs for President

Bernie Sanders Leads March Against Fast Track Trade
Win McNamee—Getty Images Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) participates in a "Don't Trade Our Future" march organized by the group Campaign for America's Future in Washington on April 20, 2015.

"People should not underestimate me," the Vermont Senator says

Bernie Sanders can kvetch like the great end-of-days preachers of old. When the white-haired senator stands behind the podium, he hunches, and punctuates his points with the tips of his fingers close together, as if grasping a jelly bean. He still has not lost his gravelly Brooklynese after decades in the backhills of Vermont. Income inequality, jobs, financial security—it’s all going to hell in a hand basket. To merely call Sanders a complainer, however, would ignore the urgency of his message: America really is in trouble.

“All of you know what’s going on in America today!” the Vermont senator said in a speech last week in Washington, D.C., where federal workers were rallying for better pay. “We have millions of working people living in poverty, and 99% of all new income is going to the top 1%. That is not what America is supposed to be about!”

The crowd surrounding him murmured its assent, and Sanders continued. “A great nation will not survive when so few have so much, and so many have so little!”

It is a prophecy that Sanders has been preaching for many years. Billionaires are buying our elections, too many Americans aren’t getting by, income inequality is becoming so extreme, and the country is reaching a breaking point.

Now, Sanders, the son of a Polish-Jewish paint salesman, a Brooklyn native and Vermont Senator, a former carpenter, filmmaker and writer, is running for president. Sanders confirmed his decision with the Associated Press on Wednesday, and by the end of May, he will officially kick off his campaign with an event in Burlington, Vt.

He is a blip in the polls, and he faces one of the strongest candidates ever to run in a primary, Hillary Clinton. But he has a deeply devoted following in Vermont, where he won his last reelection with 71% of the vote. He has friends in the primary states, and a grassroots fundraising operation. He’s a hardscrabble politician: he lost repeated races before getting elected mayor of Burlington in 1981. He represented Vermont for 16 years in the House and is midway through his second Senate term. He has a message that resonates, and he plans to run a serious campaign.

“People should not underestimate me,” Sanders told the AP on Wednesday night. “I’ve run outside of the two-party system, defeating Democrats and Republicans, taking on big-money candidates and, you know, I think the message that has resonated in Vermont is a message that can resonate all over this country.”

Sanders’ main problem is the only real one in politics: his electability. Sanders is the avowed contrarian of Washington. He’s a self-professed democratic socialist at a time when many Americans see the “S” word as the political equivalent of bed wetting. He’s one of just two Independents in Congress. (He will run for president as a Democrat.) He’s not afraid to compare the United States to other countries like Denmark and Norway. Born Jewish, he says he identifies with Pope Francis.

Read more: The Presidential Candidate Who Agrees the Most with Pope Francis

So naturally, in this time of polarization, Sanders has a devoted following. He’s made multiple trips in recent months to New Hampshire, Iowa, and other states around the country, and often attracted enthusiastic crowds. In recent polls in New Hampshire, he hovers above 10%. In late-April poll in Iowa, he got 14% of caucus-goers support. He attracts the discontented and the progressive.

“We had town hall meetings with Bernie Sanders,” said Hugh Espey, an Iowa-based activist who runs the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement. “He got a great reception from everyday folks. Grandmas, grandpas, regular people. Fifteen hundred people came out to four town hall meetings. People are hungry for a fighter.”

The 2016 cycle will likely be the most expensive election in history by far. Hillary Clinton’s supporters and outside groups are seeking to raise well over $1 billion, and the Koch brothers plan to spend close to $900 million this election. For his part, Sanders won’t be waiting on wealthy donors in New York and Washington D.C. to write him checks, and there is no serious Bernie Sanders super PAC. Fundraising from millionaires, after all, is anathema to Sanders’ message.

To compensate, Sanders will rely on a not-so-secret money raiser: social media. Everybody’s doing it, but few will rely on it like the Vermont senator, whose team has a technological savvy that outpaces its political profile. With 291,000 Twitter followers and nearly 1,000,000 Facebook likes, he’s got a much bigger following than more powerful senators like minority leader Harry Reid, Mike Lee, and Elizabeth Warren. As any campaign handbook will tell you, social media outreach can seed small-dollar contributions and, eventually, votes.

If the social network lacks the firepower of multimillion-dollar donor network, or the closed-door fundraiser in Miami Beach, it has the potential to total many millions made up of $25 or $50 donations. That will complement the more than $4.5 million Sanders has on hand for his 2018 Senate reelection campaign, according to an FEC report, which he could use for a presidential race.

“We’re going to run a serious, credible campaign. It’s going to cost a lot of money,” said Tad Devine, who will be a top advisor to Sanders. (Devine held senior roles in the Al Gore and John Kerry presidential campaigns.)

“The front-end budget will be in the neighborhood of $50 million up and through the early states,” Devine said. “There will be a full-fledged campaign in some early states, and to gain access nationally and put the national campaign in scope, there’ll be costs.”

Sanders has earnest ideas, even if he hasn’t laid out all his policies in detail yet. He wants the United States to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure projects across the country, which Devine says could put more than one million people to work. He supports tighter regulations on Wall Street, opposes free-trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and proposes raising taxes on the rich. He will fight climate change, and push back against money in politics.

But Sanders biggest campaign theme could well be the campaign itself. It’s a meta-campaign—a campaign that is a message that is a campaign. In a note to his supporters, Sanders said early Thursday: “This campaign is not about Bernie Sanders. It about a grassroots movement of Americans standing up and saying: ‘Enough is enough. This country and our government belong to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires.’” It’s a campaign about populism, about running against giants like Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, and about underdogs—be they working families or presidential candidates.

The question is whether voters outside his home state will be able to picture him in the White House. In that way, his campaign is about to be like a piece of spaghetti, thrown at the wall.

“We have to see whether this translates into a powerful message, and into the more prescribed contours of a presidential campaign,” said Devine. “Not just union halls, town hall meetings and auditoriums, which he’s been using as sounding board. We have to see whether he gets in with real voters. Whether this moves them.”

MONEY Travel

Spring Ski Lift Pass Deals Offer the Best Value on Snow

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John W Banagan/Getty Images

Ski resorts around the country—and in New England in particular—have rolled out new springtime deals that promise tons of skiing for a relative pittance.

Walk up to the ticket window this weekend at Killington, the East Coast’s largest ski resort, and a one-day adult lift pass will cost a cool $92. For a little more than double that, however, the 1,509-acre Vermont resort is selling a special spring season pass that provides unlimited skiing for two months, or perhaps even more. Killington is known to stay open until June, depending on conditions, and the pass, dubbed the “Nor’Beaster” and priced at $199, grants lift access from March 14 until whenever the season ends.

Killington isn’t the only mountain with springtime lift ticket deals featuring seemingly screwy pricing. Okemo, just south of Killington, offers a Spring Skiesta Card for $99, allowing unlimited lift tickets from March 20 through the end of the season. Further south still, the $119 Spring Loaded pass at Bromley provides four days of skiing any day now through December 18, 2015. Considering that the walkup price for lift tickets at Okemo and Bromley go as high as $92 and $71, it’s easy to see how these passes can pay off in as little as two days.

How could it make sense for mountains to offer multi-day passes at rates that seem phenomenally cheap compared with the regular walkup price? Especially given that it’s been an absolutely amazing winter for skiing in the Northeast, and it sure looks like the record snowfall is leading right into a terrific, long spring ski season?

One explanation is that resorts are trying to eke out every last dollar from customers during a time of year when—regardless of how much snow is still on the ground—attention shifts away from winter sports toward golf, baseball, or pretty much anything that doesn’t involve snow and cold.

On the one hand, these resorts are theoretically losing money from guests who would have paid full price for several days’ worth of lift tickets during the spring season. On the other, the mountains are potentially cashing in from guests who are nudged into the upsell of a pricier pass, which they might not even use for more than a single day. As for those skiers and riders who do get the most bang out of their spring passes, they’re likely eating, drinking, getting tune-ups, booking hotels, and otherwise spending money that the resort probably wouldn’t otherwise see had the deals not been so tempting. If they get you to come back one more weekend than you planned on, that’s a win for the resort.

At some point, resorts are also simply compelled to offer super cheap spring promotions because that’s what the competition is doing. The mountains that don’t enter the game will lose the battle to woo a pool of skiers that shrinks smaller and smaller as the season comes to a close.

While cheap, end-of-season passes have grown particularly popular in the Northeast, there are plenty of deals out West as well. Oregon’s Timberline, for instance, is selling a spring pass with unlimited skiing and riding now through May 25 for just $99. Steamboat in Colorado, meanwhile, offers a “Springalicious” pass good for any three days from April 5 to 12, as well as a Double Dip Pass valid for unlimited skiing from April 5 at Steamboat and Winter Park/Mary Jane, starting at $169.

Multi-day passes are hardly the only kinds of deals waved in front of skiers to keep them coming back to the mountains in springtime. A common marketing strategy to get customers to pay up for season passes early is to let them ski for free in the spring on a pass that’s valid for the following winter. There are also wacky one-day deals aimed at attracting skiers for one last spring hurrah, like Patriot’s Day at Bretton Woods in New Hampshire, when a lift ticket purchased on April 20 not only costs just $17.76, it comes with a voucher good for a second day early next season.

Let’s also not forget that the vast majority of ski mountains now utilize dynamic pricing sites like Liftopia and GetSkiTickets.com to sell discounted tickets at whatever price the laws of supply and demand dictate. It goes without saying that prices at these discount sites are substantially cheaper in the spring than they are during peak winter weeks.

It also goes without saying that there’s rarely any reason to pay the full walkup price for lift tickets anywhere, no matter what time of year.

TIME Appreciation

Retired Janitor Shocks Community With $8 Million Bequest

Surprise Benefactor
AP—AP In this December 2011 photo, Connie Howe pours coffee for Ronald Read, left, and Dave Smith during the Charlie Slate Memorial Christmas breakfast at the American Legion in Brattleboro, Vt.

He left the money to a local hospital and library

A former gas-station attendant who lived a modest life in Vermont surprised even his friends and family with a $6 million posthumous gift to his local library and hospital.

Ronald Read, who died in June at age 92, made his fortune in the stock market but never changed his frugal habits and never revealed the fortune he had amassed, according to the Brattleboro Reformer. The only hint? His regular reading of the Wall Street Journal, stepson Philip Brown told the Reformer.

His $4.8 million gift to the local hospital and $1.2 million gift to the local library represent the largest donations in the history of either institution.

Read was born in Dummerston, Vermont in 1921 and served during World War II. He returned to Brattleboro where he worked at a gas station for 25 years and then as a janitor as a local J.C. Penny for nearly 20 years.

Read more at the Brattleboro Reformer

TIME marketing

Vermont Man Wins Right to Use ‘Eat More Kale’ Slogan, Despite Chick-Fil-A Objections

Bo Muller-Moore stands in his home studio in Montpelier, Vt. Muller-Moore, the Vermont man who is building a business around the term "eat more kale," which has been plastered on T-shirts, bumper stickers and other items, is running into opposition from the second largest fried chicken retailer in the country, Chick-fil-A, on Nov. 22, 2011.
Toby Talbot—AP Bo Muller-Moore stands in his home studio in Montpelier, Vt. Muller-Moore, the Vermont man who is building a business around the term "eat more kale," which has been plastered on T-shirts, bumper stickers and other items, is running into opposition from the second largest fried chicken retailer in the country, Chick-fil-A, on Nov. 22, 2011.

Bo Muller-Moore is now free to print the phrase on T-shirts

Correction appended

The Vermont man who went up against Chik-fil-A to defend his right to use the phrase “Eat More Kale” — which the fast food company argued was too close to its trademarked slogan “Eat Mor Chikin” — has won his legal battle to use the trademark.

Bo Muller-Moore can now silkscreen “Eat More Kale” onto T-shirts to his heart’s content, because the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved his request to trademark the phrase. The application was held up for a while, but a “black-out-period” for Muller-Moore’s request ended on Tuesday, his lawyer said.

The approval comes after a drawn-out battle with Chik-fil-A over the use of the slogan. Muller-Moore started selling T-shirts with the phrase “Eat More Kale” in 2000 after a kale farmer friend asked him to make them.

But shortly after Muller-Moore attempted to trademark the phrase in 2011, Chik-fil-A sent him a letter requesting he stop using the saying because it was too similar to their “Eat Mor Chikin” catchphrase, and listed 30 other companies who had agreed to stop using the “eat more” language in their marketing.

Muller-Moore is expected to make a formal announcement of the victory Friday with Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin.

The original version of this story misidentified Muller-Moore’s phrase, “Eat More Kale.” It is a trademark.

TIME Food & Drink

Starbucks Says It Has Nothing to Do With a High-Profile GMO Lawsuit

Sandy Roberts
Ted S. Warren—AP Sandy Roberts, Starbucks strategy manager for global coffee engagement, pours samples of coffee for shareholders and other guests at Starbucks' annual shareholders meeting in Seattle on March 19, 2014

Coffee chain issues denial after rocker Neil Young urges boycott

Starbucks has announced that it has nothing to do with litigation being brought against the state of Vermont over the labeling of genetically modified ingredients (GMOs).

Canadian rock legend Neil Young attempted to launch a boycott of Starbucks on Sunday, accusing it of joining forces with Monsanto “to sue Vermont, and stop accurate food labeling.”

Last spring, Vermont passed a law requiring all products containing GMOs to be properly labeled by July 1, 2016, reports People.

Young’s belief that Starbucks was part of a suit to have the law declared unconstitutional prompted him to declare on his website: “I used to line up and get my latte everyday, but yesterday was my last one.” He then appealed to the public to join him in a Starbucks boycott.

However, it looks like it could all be a storm in a coffee cup. The coffee giant released a statement denying that it is involved in the litigation.

“Starbucks is not a part of any lawsuit pertaining to GMO labeling nor have we provided funding for any campaign,” the statement says. “Starbucks is not aligned with Monsanto to stop food labeling or block Vermont State law.”

Young has yet to respond.

[People]

TIME 2014 Election

America Needs More Crazy Debates Like In Vermont

C-Span

Vermont's gubernatorial debate was a sure cure for the nation's political blues

Most televised political debate in the United States is a lifeless, platitude-laden sideshow with virtually no value except as a grim form of entertainment, like watching democracy itself fed to the lions at the Coliseum. That is why Vermont’s recent gubernatorial debate, in which every candidate on the ballot was invited to participate, was such a breath of fresh air.

Vermont’s Democratic incumbent governor Peter Shumlin has a virtual lock on the election, with a double-digit lead over Republican challenger Scott Milne. Fortunately, the five other candidates on the ballot made for a lively discussion October 9.

In a world where political campaigning has been largely reduced to platitudes and soundbites, Vermonter and revolutionary socialist Pete Diamondstone called for the overthrow of the entire capitalist system and the outlawing of private enterprise. His solution for the problem of illegal drug use is to legalize everything and make the government the national drug dealer. One need not pass judgement on the quality of his program, but if suggesting that Uncle Sam start slinging smack isn’t thinking outside the box, pretty much nothing is. Plus the whole time, he appeared to be wearing jorts with suspenders and tall white socks, which counts for something as long as we’re going to fight about whether or not the president is allowed to wear a tan suit.

Emily Peyton

So much is taken for granted when our politicians get together to argue. Not so in Vermont last week, when self-described “lightworker” and most-chill candidate ever Emily Peyton answered a question about healthcare by suggesting we start by alleviating poverty. With poverty a major player in our obesity epidemic, her point may be too often left aside in our debates on healthcare. Peyton’s comment that money spent on healthcare “ought to go to the healers” may be a little rich in New Age lingo but her point is worth considering, with administrative costs a major driver of the increase on the pricetag of going to the doctor.

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 5.05.13 PM

And it’s not just the refreshing willingness of dark horse candidates to state the obvious that endears one to this debate, but the humble honesty on display. To a question about how to lower the cost of college in Vermont, Bernard Peters—who is either a Duck Dynasty fanboy, a very dedicated hipster or just extremely legit—said, more or less, that he had no idea. Later the Libertarian candidate Dan Feliciano was asked about the incumbent governor’s program to get drug offenders into recovery rather than behind bars. He said, without equivocation, that he’d do literally nothing different. Good luck finding a mainstream candidate who would publicly take that position.

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 6.06.40 PM

There’s the pure entertainment factor too (which was in no short display at Idaho’s similarly bizarre debate earlier this year). Through it all Cris Ericson and her extraordinary hat were fighting the good fight for highway rest area enthusiasts, chemtrail conspiracy theorists and food stamp recipients, who, she noted for reasons unknown to the rest of us, might be using food stamps to buy lottery tickets to get rich to be able to afford fruits and vegetables. So there’s also that, whatever that is.

Two of the candidates said one of the most important things they’d do if given the power is ensure that debates are open to every candidate on the ballot. Until Game of Thrones comes back there’s no better entertainment out there and with the dark horses thrown into the mix we might actually have some useful discussion.

You can watch the entire debate here.

TIME Exercise

The Worst States for Exercise

Running
Getty Images

A new Gallup survey finds that people in Delaware and West Virginia are the least likeliest Americans to take exercising seriously. Their counterparts? Vermont and Hawaii, where 65 percent of their state populations get active at least three days a week

Residents of states like Delaware and West Virginia are the least likely in the nation to take exercising seriously, according to a new Gallup survey. Declared the worst state for exercise, only 46.5% of Delaware inhabitants are likely to exercise for 30 or more minutes three days a week or more. Compare that to Vermont lovers, 65.3% of whom report exercising a minimum of three days a week for 30 minutes each, followed by Hawaii-dwellers (62.2%). Some might say those states, which are recognized for their wealth of outdoor activities, have a natural advantage.

Here are the 10 worst states for exercise (% exercising 3+ days a week):

1. Delaware 46.5%
2. West Virginia 47.1%
3. Alabama 47.5%
4. New Jersey 47.7%
5. Rhode Island 48.2%
6. Tennessee 49.2%
7. New York 49.3%
8. Ohio 49.3%
9. Indiana 49.4%
10. South Carolina 49.7%

And these are the 10 best states for exercise (% exercising 3+ days a week):

1. Vermont 65.3%
2. Hawaii 62.2%
3. Montana 60.1%
4. Alaska 60.1%
5. Colorado 59.8%
6. Oregon 58.0%
7. Idaho 57.7%
8. New Mexico 57.4%
9. Nebraska 56.3%
10. North Dakota 56.0%

Vermont also tops the poll of states most likely to eat produce, while Oklahoma is the least likely to do a good job at eating greens.

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