Another step down the rabbit hole for the VTGOP

Terri Hallenbeck has livened up Your Monday Freeploid with an incendiary piece about Dan Feliciano, Liberatarian candidate for Governor. Well, the incendiary part isn’t about Feliciano; it’s about signs of Republican support for him. Hallenbeck quotes a few Republicans expressing interest in Feliciano because of his steadfast opposition to single-payer health care.

Including, most notably, one of the Vermont Republican Party’s top officials:

“I see people responding favorably to that,” said Mark Snelling, the Republican Party treasurer and son of former Gov. Richard Snelling and Lt. Gov. Barbara Snelling.

Snelling has yet to commit to a candidate. “I’m going to be interested in watching Dan Feliciano,” he said.

Oh, that’s just great. How about a little party loyalty there, Mark? I bet your far more distinguished parents are spinning in their graves.* Remember, this is the guy whose tenure as treasurer has corresponded to the bleakest period in history for the party’s finances. He was also, it must be said, part of “Angry Jack” Lindley’s team, and won re-election as treasurer last fall in spite of Phil Scott’s efforts to reshape the VTGOP hierarchy.

*Mark Snelling has corrected my egregious blunder; Barbara Snelling is, in fact, “alive and well.” I apologize, and thank him for the correction. 

Going even farther into quisling territory is state committee member Patricia Crocker, who outright says she’ll be voting Feliciano. Now, the state committee has a lot of members, so Snelling’s Lib-curious comment is more noteworthy than Crocker’s complete betrayal.

Hallenbeck also reveals that there was a petition movement in June to get Feliciano on the Republican primary ballot, which could have made the primary verrrrrry interesting. A sizable minority of the state committee was willing to back perpetual loser John MacGovern for party chair rather than voting for Phil Scott’s choice, “Super Dave” Sunderland. It would have been fascinating to see how much of the hard-core Republican primary electorate would have opted for Feliciano instead of the putatively moderate Scott Milne.

Especially since Milne’s initial forays into campaigning have been awfully dismal. More on that later.

Feliciano is encouraging supporters to cast write-in votes for him in the August primary. And Snelling openly muses that a Feliciano challenge to Milne would actually be a good thing:

Winning a write-in campaign for governor is a very long shot, Snelling noted. “I would be doubtful it would be possible,” he said. But Feliciano’s presence in the race could play a part in changing the debate, particularly on health care, Snelling said. “I would think the campaign trail is going to move Scott Milne to come out stronger.”

Hallenbeck chose not to quote, or seek comment from, notoriously unsuccessful Republican operative Darcie “Hack” Johnston, who has already voiced support for Feliciano. Johnston’s opinion shouldn’t have much pull in GOP circles, but I bet she’s still influential among the True Believers who’ve been dragging the party into electoral irrelevance.

With friends like those, Phil Scott and Super Dave don’t need enemies.


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