One less blank spot on the Republican ticket

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.

As I reported three years ago at Green Mountain Daily, the Bucknam family has a (currently inactive) blog called The Bayley Hazen Blog, which is chock-full of hard-right dogma.

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.


9 thoughts on “One less blank spot on the Republican ticket

  1. newzjunqie

    Personally don’t think you understand the extent of voter outrage. US & VT liberal media exert almost Pravda-like control over dissent. Anyone who disagrees with agenda or leftist party platform, has a nuanced view, or simply does not march lockstep is labeled as flat-earther, climate-change denialist, science denier, homophobe, religious bigot etc etc.

    LTE, oped & commentary of dissent are sorely lacking in print media & personally believe are simply not being printed. Outrage & misery of VTers trying to deal with our broken mental health & healthcare system with deductibles that make it virtually worthless, ever increasing heavy-handed tax burden affecting primarily middle class, unhappiness of top-down takeover of education are huge issues.

    Arrogant silencing resulting from the tyranny of any one-party rule is suffocating. Objections are met with ridicule, derision & obligatory question of the very sanity of dissenters. Editorials & columnists even for online publications routinely present an extremely slanted view which reflects solely the opinion of the small amount of far-left VTers. There is a vastly more even-handed approach in nationwide online offerings such as Politico.

    This is the way it’s been since Obama ascention. Anyone who complained about his agenda was automatically labeled a racist – “hater” was the ready all-purpose insult from the brownshirts who dutifully turned over cell phone # to receive up-to-the-minute tweets & attacked upon command. As a dedicated supporter giving generously, stopped short of giving cell phone but was emailed expected positions & talking points in the early days. Can’t help wondering if Romney would have been better than lame-duck Obama dictatorship.

    Annette Smith ran as write-in & surprisingly got more votes than expected. Milne half-ran & could have won if VT media had released polls showing how close the race was. Majority of voters even in VT are swing and primarily D/R leaning moderates.

    Left in VT & US has failed spectacularly. Scott may be somewhat moderate but has clearly shown readiness to include VT republican establishment operatives, right-leaning platform, positions & is favored to win in blue state of VT?

    If undersanding the why, kinda looking like a throw-the-bums-out election, and as such would not count out Milne, Brock or Buckman. There may be more which will emerge for statehouse challenges.

    Donovan is a capable choice with good ideas but personally would heve preferred Sleigh-he has a sharp legal mind which seems uncommonly independent & somewhat intellectual.

    There may be more voters than you think who are desperate for change which could signal a complete purge, changing of the guard & tired of the usual slate of boring bureaucratic establishment functionaries.

    1. John S. Walters Post author

      Only people who have never experienced dictatorial rule could possibly compare American liberals to the Soviet Union. It is laughable, and an insult to those who suffered under the Communists.

      1. newzjunqie

        Really now – Edward Snowdon may disagree. He’s now in Russian exile for reporting massive US government spying program which kicked up Bushs’ freedom-killing Patriot Act many notches dwarfing Soviet-style massive spying program. Included cell & home phone records, email, and paying millions to all of the big US tech companies for their “services” – they’re all now distrusted worldwide:

        One of the bigger problems is all of Obamas EOs, Czars & routine bypassing of congress. These should disturb all of us as it will not always be the left in power. Since bar has been lowered, it will stay there & if organized crime-connected budding dictatorial egomaniac & Hitler-fan like Trump were to get in power – freedom, justice & safety for all are at great risk including risks to financial markets and worldwide global instability. If it were not a Dem running the show quite sure there would be more than the mildest of objections – if any.

        Objective commentary on US collective cluelessness:

        Lets see; Medical Industrial Complex now being turned on us as spies:

        Billing us for killing us-one-third of deaths caused by medical errors plus more for other medical categories:

  2. fayforstj

    You might find this interesting – the findings on the professional misconduct decision on Debbie Bucknam that resulted in the suspension of her law license for 30 days and a one-year suspension. A quick google search also revealed a lawsuit against her by former clients just last year. She’s pretty terrible.

    Click to access 28pcb.pdf

    Michelle Fay

    On Sat, May 14, 2016 at 12:00 AM, The Vermont Political Observer. wrote:

    > John S. Walters posted: “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 ” >

    1. Eddie Garcia

      Gee, it’s really amusing that you would talk about stuff that costs people elections.
      And I’m sure you’ll agree, this is gonna look like pretty weak tea compared to what’s in the past of the guy who, you know, beat you in 2014… 😉

      1. Brooke Paige

        Eddie, I know better than anyone else that the nearly 30% vote that I received in 2014 was because “Wild Willy” was so disliked, not because I was a pretty good choice. Hell, if Mickey Mouse had “his” name on the ballot – the little rat would have probably gotten north of 20% against Sorrell especially since Jim Condos believes he is powerless to keep “unqualified” candidates off the ballot !

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