He labored mightily, produced a mouse, and looks on it with pride

Mark Snelling, about to be mollywhopped by Phil Scott in 2010.

Mark Snelling, about to be mollywhomped by Phil Scott in 2010.

In a move likely to improve the financial condition of the Vermont Republican Party, Mark Snelling has stepped down as treasurer.

Okay, that first part was added by me. But Snelling’s four-year tenure has seen the party’s finances plunge from “healthy” to “dismal” and then slowly rise to “pathetic.”

And he’s proud of that.

During his time as treasurer, the party’s budget rose from a $50,000 deficit to a $50,000 surplus, Snelling said, adding that he does not take credit for that improvement.

Well, if that ain’t a big fat slice of humblebrag. He points out an improvement during his tenure, but good golly, he’s not claiming credit.

Beyond that bit of disingenuousness, there’s a bigger question: Accepting his numbers at face value, is improving a nearly bankrupt party’s finances by $100,000 in four years that much of an accomplishment? $25,000 per year? Really?

To be fair to Snelling, the treasurer isn’t in charge of fundraising; he keeps the books. But party officers do play a crucial role in beating the bushes for money, and Snelling is a (presumably) well-connected scion of one of Vermont Republicanism’s royal families.

His four-year cutoff is highly convenient. In the time just before he took office, the Republicans and Democrats were on more or less equal financial footing. The Dems had the electoral edge, but the GOP had the business community and other deep-pocketed denizens. In the 2010 Dubie/Shumlin gubernatorial campaign, the two men raised basically the same amount of money — in the range of $1.5 million.

Coincidence or not, while Snelling was party treasurer, the money shifted almost entirely to the Democrats. He wasn’t responsible for that, but he sure didn’t make it any better. And improving the fortunes of a major party by $25K per year, at a time when it had nowhere to go but up, is nothing to brag about.


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