After his disastrous attempt to answer a simple question, our favorite Wall Street panjandrum made a strategic retreat and worked out a new story. With rather hilarious results.
For those just joining us, VPR’s Peter Hirschfeld discovered that someone was doing opposition research on Lt. Gov. Phil Scott. Hirschfeld asked the obvious suspect, Bruce Lisman, the only declared Republican in the race.
And Lisman basically soiled his britches. He said “it’s possible,” then denied contracting with anyone, then admitted “it could be,” and closed with “A note to self: I’m going to go find out.”
Apparently, even Lisman realized how much of a disaster that was. Because shortly after Hirschfeld’s story went up online, Lisman called him back with Version 2.0.
Which was a little more coherent, but barely credible.
Now he claims that the opposition research firm, Jackson Alvarez, did the research on its own dime without his knowledge or consent.
Further explanation, just as mind-bending: He hired a guy named Gary Maloney to do opposition research on Lisman himself. That’s a standard political tactic: dig up your own dirt before someone else does.
But then he claims he didn’t know Maloney was affiliated with Jackson Alvarez, hence his confusion at Hirschfeld’s initial inquiry.
Problem: Gary Maloney is the goddamn PRESIDENT of Jackson Alvarez. I guess Bruce forgot to check his credentials when he hired the guy. Sheesh.
But wait, there’s more.
Lisman said that unbeknownst to him, someone at the firm, “or possibly Gary himself, took it upon themselves” to conduct opposition research on Scott.
A high-powered Washington D.C. muckraking firm spends its valuable time on a job it wasn’t hired to do? Seems, shall we say, a tad unlikely.
Lisman claims to be “very upset about it, obviously,” but says he hasn’t decided whether to cut ties with Jackson Alvarez.
This is the man who used to be a top executive at a global financial firm?
The Bruce Lisman campaign has yet to officially get off the ground, and it already promises to be a Comedy Fest for the ages.
One of two things is true here:
— Lisman is lying. In which case the foundational premise of his candidacy (transparency and ethics, yo) is already in doubt.
— Lisman is telling the truth. In which case he’s having a whole lot of trouble managing his campaign. Curious for someone who used to be a top executive at a major Wall Street financial firm.
On the other hand, it might explain how he was able to stand on a desk and rally his troops only days before Bear Stearns imploded.