The implosion of RecruitFour

Ruh-roh. Something’s rotten in RecruitFour, the “movement” aimed at getting Republican write-in candidates for the four statewide offices without an official Republican on the ballot. As I’ve reported, RF has been unveiling their “slate,” beginning with Burlington attorney Shane McCormack for Attorney General and moving on to pro-F35 activist Nicole Citro for Secretary of State and Stefanie Webster Dion, budget director of Champlain College, for Treasurer.

Not so fast, my friend.

Turns out that RecruitFour has been promoting candidates without their permission. Two of the three, Citro and Dion, have gone on the RF page to decline the honor. Citro:

While I am flattered there are those who think I would make a great candidate for the Secretary of State of Vermont, I will be not running for this position. …I do not rule out a scenario in the future where I might use my ability to effectively communicate the voice of Vermonters again, but a run for any office is not in my plans right now. Thank you for your show of confidence!

And Dion:

I echo Nicole’s comments. I am flattered and won’t rule out future service to the State but I will not be running for this position. Thank you so much for your vote of confidence!

Okay, how can I describe this nutty endeavor? Counterproductive? Wacko? Doomed? Creepy?

Yeah, I think “creepy” is about right. Publicly promoting a candidacy without the candidate’s permission? That’s closer to identity theft than it is to responsible, effective politics. No wonder the “brains” behind RecruitFour hasn’t publicly identified him/herself.

Speaking of which, said “brains” did post a brief explainer a couple days ago:

This effort started with one Republican–not the establishment, not the party apparatus–just one Republican. Just one Republican who believes in a state of 600,000 people we can find four qualified Republican candidates to run for Auditor, Treasurer, Secretary of State, and Attorney General.

The folks we are trying to draft did not encourage this effort, they are merely the recipients of this bottom up effort from the people of Vermont.

Keep this in mind as you fail to see a multi-million dollar campaign for this effort. This is grassroots baby, all the way. Freedom and Unity!

See,that’s the problem with Facebook: it only takes one person to erect a plausible a Potemkin village.

As for the identity of this “one Republican,” I have no idea and I really don’t care. The name “Jeff Bartley” has been suggested to me — the state GOP’s “Victory Campaign Director” and chair of the Chittenden County GOP. I dunno; he’s served on his share of Titanics in the past (notably Len Britton’s Senate bid, which ended with Bartley suing Britton for unpaid wages), but this seems awfully sad even by his standards.

Anyway, I think it’s safe to bid a fond farewell to this stillborn “movement.” RecruitFour, we hardly knew ye.

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