Daily Archives: February 21, 2022

Racine Mulls Run for Governor

Doug Racine, the former lieutenant governor, state senator and Human Services secretary, is considering a third run for the state’s top job. Racine had been considering a candidacy for lieutenant governor, but that field has gotten crowded. He told methat as he was gauging potential support for an LG run, he was encouraged to set his sights higher.

His willingness to run, he said, depends on assurances that he’d have the necessary support from state and federal Democratic donors and organizations. “The question is, is it a viable race or not?” Racine said. “The answer depends on the level of support.” He said he’s getting “a lot of enthusiasm” for his potential candidacy, but “that doesn’t pay the bills.” Especially since, he pointed out, the Republican Governors Association has spent millions on behalf of Gov. Phil Scott in 2016 and 2018.

Although, he said, there’s bit of uncertainty on that front. “I don’t know if Trump would let them” spend on Scott’s behalf, Racine said. “Phil is not the most popular guy in Republican circles.”

“Others who have explored a run for governor have something to lose,” he noted. “I’m retired. It’s not like I’d have to leave my job.” That’s a very real consideration for many — especially since a race against Scott is a risky endeavor.

The 69-year-old Racine was the Democratic candidate for governor in 2002; he lost narrowly in a three-way race with Republican Jim Douglas and independent Con Hogan. He sought the party’s nomination again in 2010, but lost a squeaker of a five-way primary to eventual governor Peter Shumlin, whose margin of victory was a mere 197 votes. He was Shumlin’s human services secretary from 2011 to 2014.

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Dregs of the Ballot: Beware the Humble “Tree Farmer”

Pictured above is Jason Herron, self-described “maple farmer,” candidate for Select Board in Guilford and believer in a bunch of ultra-conservative nonsense. Like other stealth candidates for local office around Vermont, he presents himself as a simple guy who merely wants “transparency” in town government.

Transparency, as we have seen before, is one of the code words used by far-right candidates in an effort to con mainstream voters. Because, you know, if these candidates came right out and said what they believe, they’d get a tiny sliver of the vote and they know it.

Some of his supporters have been writing letters to local media endorsing Herron in the most generic of terms: “tree farmer,” “open, sincere, honest,” “no hidden agenda.” I have seen three such letters, and they make the same arguments using the same phrases. Almost as if they’re working from the same set of bullet points.

Herron is known among a certain tranche of the community as the organizer and presenter of a series of “educational” events under the rubric of “Constitution Alive!” That sounds benign enough, but “Constitution Alive!” is headed by David Barton, disgraced amateur historian, and Rick Green, identified by a far-right website as “the man Chuck Norris calls a ‘Constitutional Expert.'”

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