I suppose David Sunderland got what he wanted.
His complaint to the Secretary of State’s office, which he made public even before Jim Condos had a chance to respond, gave him a few headlines on the slowest news day of the week. And that’s all Sunderland really wanted; if he had had an honest beef, he would have taken it to Condos first and gone to the media only if he was dissatisfied with the official response.
In the process, Sunderland blithely imperiled a member of Condos’ staff.
For those just tuning in, Sunderland’s ire was directed at JP Isabelle, who offended Sunderland’s tender sensibilities by posting a comment on this here blog. Sunderland asserted that “Isabelle’s credentials as a neutral and nonpartisan administrator have been irreversibly undermined,” and demanded that Isabelle be removed from any “administrative obligations, input or influence in elections.”
Which stops just short of demanding Isabelle’s termination, but c’mon. He’s an administrator in the Elections Division. What kind of job could he hold where he wouldn’t have any “input or influence in elections”?
It seems that Sunderland doesn’t mind jeopardizing a person’s livelihood and reputation if he can score a cheap political point in the process. JP Isabelle is simply collateral damage. And that, in my view, is despicable.
What’s even worse, Sunderland knows damn well that Isabelle doesn’t let his personal opinions affect his professional conduct. Seven Days’ Terri Hallenbeck:
Sunderland acknowledged that the Republican party and Republican candidates who frequently work with Isabelle on campaign filings have never indicated he treated them unfairly.
If pressed, I’m sure he would say the same thing about Republicans’ treatment at the hands of longtime and loyal Democrat Jim Condos, who places a high value on impartiality in his official duties. He had already taken action on the Isabelle matter before Sunderland had written his letter, and made it very clear that Sunderland is always welcome to contact him with any questions, concerns, or complaints.
Sunderland chose to go public instead, showing that he was less interested in equity than in grabbing a few headlines. Congratulations, Dave. You got your wish.
If I were Jim Condos, this incident would make me less inclined to give the VTGOP fair treatment. After all, Sunderland just failed to offer the same courtesy. It’s a good thing for Dave and his party that our Secretary of State is a better man than I.