This doesn’t add up. Take one Libertarian candidate for Governor; have him launch a write-in campaign for the Republican nomination, complete with the public support of exactly one Republican of any renown — Darcie Johnston, a Republican who’s on the outs with her party — shake it all up; and you have a serious, credible campaign?
Libertarian Dan Feliciano held a news conference today, standing behind a folding table in a public park, to criticize Governor Shumlin’s budget policies. Now, a Libertarian presser usually doesn’t draw flies; but this time, WPTZ’s Stewart Ledbetter and the Freeploid’s Terri Hallenbeck showed up. I’m not sure why; Feliciano ain’t winning the primary. And on the Libertarian slate, Feliciano ain’t pulling more than a small minority of votes in November.
Boy, with all this media attention, Darcie Johnston must be happy as a pig in its customary environs.
And Ledbetter’s story brands Feliciano only as a Republican. It doesn’t mention that he’s the Libertarian candidate. Rather, it puts him front and center in the Republican parade:
Republicans went on the offensive Thursday, a day after Gov. Peter Shumlin and a panel of state legislators agreed on $31 million in adjustments to the new state budget.
At a Burlington news conference, Dan Feliciano, a write-in candidate for the Republican nomination for governor, characterized Shumlin’s history of budget management a “carnival of incompetence.”
Ledbetter goes on to quote Feliciano, give space for comment from the Governor, and finally shoehorn House Minority Leader Don Turner into the final paragraph.
So, “Republicans” is defined as a lot of Feliciano and a skosh of Turner. Only the latter is an actual Republican.
In her story, Hallenbeck at least points out that Feliciano is, first and foremost, a Libertarian candidate. Still, she gives his presser plenty of space, tossing in a comment from Don Turner for a bit of variety.
I guess the Freeploid and Channel 5 wanted to run stories about a Republican response to this week’s budget tweaks. But shining the spotlight on Feliciano? Good grief. I wonder how Scott Milne feels about this; he’s had to cut back on campaign activity because HIS MOTHER DIED THIS WEEK. They haven’t even held the funeral yet, and reporters are chasing after Dan Feliciano because, I guess, Scott Milne isn’t returning phone calls?
If this keeps up, maybe Feliciano will be able to get himself an actual lectern.
Addendum. Lest anyone think I’m unfairly disparaging Mr. Feliciano, my point is this: Usually, a candidate has to show some level of real support before earning the media’s attention. You wouldn’t see TV cameras at an Emily Peyton presser, for example. It’s just strange that WPTZ and the Freeploid chose to give Feliciano this much attention. And anointed him a central figure in Republican politics. That’s the phenomenon I found worthy of comment.