Last week, Randy Brock kinda re-introduced his bid for lieutenant governor at the same news conferece where a bunch of Republicans threw their lot in with Marco Rubio, the presidential candidate last seen telling dick jokes about Donald Trump.
Brock made headlines by claiming he knows how to boost state tax revenue by $100 million, and I’ll be writing more about that in the near future. But he also showcased his campaign team. And the media coverage was notable for what it didn’t say.
VTDigger identified campaign manager Brad Ferland in passing, without specifying his credentials. The Vermont Press Bureau named Ferland*
(listing his day job as deputy commissioner of the state Department of Finance and Management) and two others: Brent Burns, credentials unspecified; and Guy Page, identified as “field director for VT Watchdog.”
*UPDATE: The VPB was in error. There are two Brad Ferlands. The one who works for the state is not connected with the Brock campaign in any way.
The latter is interesting enough; VT Watchdog is the Green Mountain outpost of the national Watchdog network, which is funded by far-right wealthy donors in the Koch brothers orbit.
But what’s even more interesting about Page and Ferland is what wasn’t reported: both are on the payroll of the Vermont Energy Partnership. For those unfamiliar, this bland-sounding organization is basically a sounding board for corporate energy interests in Vermont. As Green Mountain Daily put it:
The Vermont Energy Partnership was founded by [some] of the most powerful corporations, few from Windham County, including IBM, Casella Waste Management, and Pizzagalli Construction, plus business associations like the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association. And, of course, Entergy.
So Randy Brock’s campaign staff is loaded with very public advocates for Vermont Yankee, and for corporate energy interests in general.
We’ve also seen other indications that the shuttering of Yankee — a decision made by its corporate owner for purely financial reasons, not to mention a fait accompli — still burns in Republican hearts. Another example was the recent opinion piece co-authored by Republican Senator Peg Flory and might-as-well-be-Republican Senators Dick Mazza and Bobby Starr, seeking to hang VY’s closure around the necks of top Democrats.
Can serious Republicans possibly think that Vermont Yankee is an issue that will resonate with the voters? Seriously?
Hard to believe. But the bread crumbs are leading in that direction.