Hey, the VTGOP has a candidate for Attorney General!
The challenger to putative Democratic nominee TJ Donovan is none other than Deb Bucknam, an attorney based in St. Johnsbury. She’s a former VTGOP state vice chair and Caledonia County GOP chair, and she once managed her husband Charlie’s extremely unsuccessful campaign for State Senate. That appears to be the extent of her political experience; at age 69, she will be making her first bid for public office.
Seven Days’ Paul Heintz first reported the news, in a friendly piece about how Donovan will face a challenge, after all, from this nice lady out of the Northeast Kingdom.
Not much of a challenge, I’m afraid. I give Bucknam virtually zero chance to beat Donovan, who has already raised more than enough money for a robust campaign and who will have the advantages of a well-funded, muscular party apparatus and a ticket with Hillary Clinton and Pat Leahy at the top. Bucknam will get the usual bag o’ beans from the VTGOP.
Besides, Bucknam is an ideologue through and through, a far-right Tea Party type.
Heintz didn’t get into this and she didn’t volunteer the information, but it’s not hard to find traces of her hyper-conservatism online.
She wants open competition in public education, which would mean starving public schools of resources to feed private-sector operations. She slams the teachers’ unions and government bureaucracy for the rising cost of public schools. Which has led, she asserted, to Vermonters “rejecting school budgets in droves.”
Unfortunately, that’s not true. Recent years have seen the vast majority of school budgets sail through, thanks to the strong support most Vermonters feel for their local schools.
She also supports “retirement choice,” meaning an end to Social Security; “individual choice” in health care, meaning no government programs or support or regulation; she claims that modern government imposes “a 21st century Puritanism more rigorous than the 17th century version,” which would be big news to those witches tortured and burned at Salem.
She’s a huge fan of the Citizens United ruling, so I don’t want to hear any complaining from her about the superiority of Donovan’s campaign warchest. Hey, it’s only free speech at work, Deb.
And, laughably in the Age of Trump, she writes that “Republicans believe [in] civil discourse and civilized debate.” Need I list the many offensive things that the Republican standard-bearer has said — and continues to say just about every time he gets near a microphone?
I could keep going. Back in 2011, she endorsed Herman Cain’s absurd 9-9-9 tax plan. She called Calvin Coolidge “one of the most underrated presidents in U.S. history.” And, natch, she’s a full-bore climate change denier.
That’s enough to prove my point. Deb Bucknam’s worldview is far, far out of the Vermont mainstream. If she had any chance of beating Donovan, or even giving him a serious run, I imagine that chance will vanish once she starts opening her mouth on the campaign trail.