Ever since the election, there’s been a clear oddity about the public relationship between gubernatorial candidate Scott Milne and top Republicans. Which is basically this: They’re never, ever seen in public together. Not even when said Republicans were advocating for Milne’s election by the legislature.
Both sides denied any rift, sometimes with a cutting subtext. Like this, from Milne:
I think I helped the Republicans statewide about as much as they helped me. I’m not indebted to them, they’re not indebted to me. …I don’t owe the Republican Party anything in the state of Vermont. I clearly don’t owe the national Republican Party anything.
Yeah, that’s real warm and friendly-like.
But now, here’s a choice bit of evidence for my theory, courtesy of VTDigger’s Laura Krantz.
Bartley in 2014 served as a field director for the Republican party. The Colchester resident worked part-time out of Milne’s South Burlington office, where Milne’s campaign manager said he rarely interacted with him.
“He was perceived as a spy by his own party’s candidate for governor,” said Milne campaign manager Scott Fletcher.
Bartley denied being a spy, natch. But whether or not he was a spy, Fletcher’s statement tells me all I need to know about the state of candidate/party relations. If the campaign manager believes that the party planted a spy in his organization, there’s clearly no love (or trust, or respect) lost between the two.