Daily Archives: August 7, 2014

Johnston, Feliciano and Sunderland: Closing the circle

After writing my previous posts about Darcie “Hack” Johnston’s personal attacks on Scott Milne, I happened to check my other other email account, which I sometimes neglect. And there I found the trigger to all this garbage: a press release by VTGOP Chair “Super Dave” Sunderland attacking the Libertarian Party in very extrreme terms. Specifically, the Libs’ stand on drug legalization.

Sunderland meant to remind Republicans that if they support Libertarian Dan Feliciano in the gubernatorial primary, they’re effectively endorsing a very fringey set of principles. That’s all fine, but his letter included this incendiary passage:

Let’s be clear about this:  Vermont Libertarians would release all the heroin traffickers and professional dealers who have peddled their poison on our streets.  And all those felons who were arrested, charged and brought to justice by dedicated members of law enforcement for importing and profiting from the hardest and most addictive drugs would be set free and have their criminal records expunged if the Vermont Libertarians had their way.  Then what?  You know the answer:  They’d be back at it.

That’a a very inflammatory accusation. Let’s check it. From the Vermont Libertarian Party platform: 

7. CRIME: Repeal all consensual crime laws to focus police resources on crimes to property and persons. To ease the strain on our judicial systems, we support greater use of alternative dispute solutions. We propose amnesty for all convicted non-violent drug offenders.

There’s a huge difference between the Libs’ stand and Sunderland’s characterization, and the key phrase is “non-violent.” Sunderland would be right if, and only if, all our imprisoned drug dealers were purely nonviolent offenders. And that is simply not true: the real bad guys in the drug trade commit acts of violence and are punished for same. The vast majority of non-violent offenders are either consumers or low-level dealers.

In short, Sunderland stretched the truth beyond recognition. And that explains Johnston’s Twitter rampage.

Note: I said “explains,” not “justifies.” Johnston took it from the realm of distorting a political position to attacking a person’s integrity. That’s still outrageous, and Johnston should still take it back.

But the real news here is this: Why the hell did Sunderland jam a stick into the hornets’ nest? The Libertarians are not a serious threat to our two biggest parties. At least, not usually.

My inference is that Sunderland is truly worried about Feliciano’s write-in campaign. He’s worried that Feliciano could actually beat Scott Milne on August 26. That shows how desperate things are getting in Republicanland.

Feliciano: It’s worse than I thought

No sooner did I post my last entry, than I got some new information that  changes things for the worse. As you will recall, Republican political consultant Darcie “Hack” Johnston took to Twitter yesterday to basically accuse Scott Milne of being a druggie — or at least potentially drug-friendly — based on Milne’s youthful indiscretions from more than 30 years ago.

Feliciano’s only Twitter response was to correct a minor factual error in the Hack’s Tweets; he didn’t address her attempted sliming of Milne.

Turns out he didn’t do so on Twitter, but he did send a message to his supporters. To wit:

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 12.59.36 PM

Wow, there’s a real two-for-one shot. He signs onto Johnston’s vile attack, and elides the fundamental contradiction between Libertarianism and employing anti-drug panic to slam an opponent. Because after all, decriminalization is one of Libertarianism’s core principles.

Well, Dan, you’re wrong, and dangerously so. This kind of baseless attack has no business in a political campaign. If you can’t beat Scott Milne on the issues, then this kind of stuff will bring more shame to yourself and your cause than to Mr. Milne.

Also, you’re wrong about “some Vermont GOPers…trying to make this an issue.” Ask any Republican: I am not a GOPer. I am a liberal observer of the political process, and I think Johnston’s words are despicable.

Besides, it’s not Vermont GOPers making this an issue; it’s you and Darcie Johnston. Please take the honorable course, or I will have to assume that you have no honor when it comes to political ambition.

Dan Feliciano lets Darcie Johnston go there

Yesterday, Republican political consultant Darcie “Hack” Johnston, now tooting her horn for Libertarian Dan Feliciano, unleashed a truly nasty personal attack against Scott Milne. In case you need a reminder:

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 6.45.53 PM

When I reported on her gratuitous slimeballing, I called on Feliciano to disassociate himself from the Hack’s Milne-shaming. Well, the candidate himself took to Twitter to issue a correction, to wit:

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 12.33.37 PM

Ohhhh. So I guess there’s no problem with insinuating that Milne is pro-drugs, as long as you get Feliciano’s resume right.

This is like a detective walking into a crime scene with a pool of blood on the floor, and stepping over it to straighten a crooked picture frame on the wall. C’mon, Dan, you can do better. I hope.

Darcie Johnston goes there

My very (un)favorite hapless loser of a political consultant has hit a new low. Darcie “Hack” Johnston, longtime Republican now rooting for Libertarian Dan Feliciano (because Scott Milne is too damn wishy-washy for her red-meat taste), sent out a couple of really nasty Tweets today.

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 6.45.53 PM

About a month ago, you may recall, Milne voluntarily revealed some unfortunate indiscretions from his youth; they all took place place more than three decades ago. The revelations were greeted with a small burst of publicity and then nothing. Because nobody cares. Milne may be a lousy candidate, but he’s been a solid citizen for a long time.

This, from Johnston, is not even bottom of the barrel; it’s the stuff you’d scrape from underneath the barrel if it’d been sitting in an alley for a while. It’s poisonous garbage. It’s baseless character assassination. It is vile. It has no place in politics.

I hope Mr. Feliciano will step forward and condemn Johnston’s attacks. It’s the least he can do. I’d also hope that Johnston would apologize and retract her words. If she does, I will report it in this space.