Perpetual candidate Cris Ericson didn’t quite manage to corner the market on Progressive nominations, and she just can’t take it.
Per VTDigger, an unofficial count of the Progressive vote indicates that the Democratic nominee, Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, earned juuuuuust enough write-in votes to secure the Prog nom. He leads Ericson, who was actually on the ballot, by 273 to 254.
Ericson ought to be embarrassed by the tiny sliver of votes she received… but instead, she launched an all-out attack on Zuckerman, by way of an email to Secretary of State Jim Condos. She referred to Mr. Heartbeat Away as “a slimy spoiled brat” and “a low-life flatlander.”
For the record, the 49-year-old Zuckerman has been a resident of Vermont since his college days. So, more than half his life. But the attack springs from the obvious nativist impulses behind her candidacy. For instance, she advocates for closing the state’s borders to block the spread of Covid-19. (She’d exempt long-distance truckers because, I guess, they’re known for their hygiene?)
I could go rooting around in Ericson’s political past to provide more evidence of her nutbaggery, such as this candidate’s statement in which she is interviewed by a rat puppet, but I’d rather eat compost.
Ericson answered VTDigger’s interview request with a hearty “The mass media can go to hell.” She doesn’t do interviews or fill out candidate questionnaires because she wasn’t invited to one of the statewide candidates’ debates in the 2018 campaign.
Awww. The poor deluded soul apparently believes that, simply by putting her name up for office, she deserves the opportunity to inflict herself on TV viewers across Vermont. But she can’t be bothered with the basic tasks of candidacy that help inform the voters.
She plans to ask for a recount in the gubernatorial race. But even if she doesn’t win that one, she’ll still be on the Progressive ballot for attorney general, auditor, treasurer and secretary of state. And she’ll be demanding a seat at the various debating tables.
If I were a Vermont media mogul, I’d tell her to go to hell. Perhaps in more judicious language, but the point is, she has done nothing to earn herself a spot at the adults’ table. Not this year, not ever.
And it would be quite possible to craft guidelines that would establish a reasonable line between credible candidates and the Ericsons of the world. An outlet could, for instance, restrict participation to those who’ve earned the endorsement of a significant statewide party (in my mind, Dem, Repub, Prog and Libertarian). Or it could tell candidates that if they’re running for multiple offices, they can only appear in one debate.
Unfortunately, some of our media outlets believe that inclusiveness is the highest priority. Trouble is, that policy leads to cluttered, diffuse debates that diminish the opportunities for meaningful interaction among the candidates who really matter. It makes the debates less useful for voters who are honestly trying to make a decision.
It’s all about public service, or it should be. It’s not about servicing fringe characters with no real constituency. I don’t ever want to see Cris Ericson on my TV again.
Regarding Ericson’s derisive tone toward flatlanders: is she a “native” Vermonter? That is to say is she 100% Native American? Does she have any Abenaki blood? Nulhegan? I think not.
My sense of Ericson is that her grip on reality is tenuous, so maybe she’s convinced herself otherwise at this point — but not only is the answer to that question no, she wasn’t born or raised in Vermont, either. She came here in the ’70s to attend college. In other words, she’s every bit as much, or as little, of a “low-life flatlander” as Zuckerman is. (A distinction that this native Vermonter of many generations’ standing has little patience for, btw; way too many natives love to blame all our problems on flatlanders rather than look in the damn mirror once in awhile.)