Stealth Conservatives: This Guy Might Actually Be Dangerous

Submitted for your consideration: Jarrod Sammis, Republican candidate for House in the Rutland-3 district and assiduous scrubber of his past social media activity.

There’s good reason for that. Said activity includes a nice helping of far-right ideology and stuff about guns. Lots and lots and lots of guns. Also, hints of militia leanings.

Until reapportionment, Rutland-3 was a two-person district including Castleton, Fair Haven, Hubbardton and West Haven. It was solidly Republican; its representatives are Bob Helm and Bill Canfield, who rarely drew Democratic opposition of any sort. “Rutland-3” is one-seat Castleton now; the other three towns are in other districts. Helm is retiring; Canfield is running in another district.

Since he won the primary in August, Sammis has been a busy bee. He’s appeared at many campaign events with many fellow Republicans including, um:

In future, I’d advise Governor Nice GuyTM to check credentials before letting himself be photographed with a candidate who (being charitable here) he’s never heard of before. It might come back to bite him in the plausibly moderate ass.

Sammis is opposed by Democrat Mary Droege, a credible candidate. But Rutland-3 looks to be Republican territory, which means Mr. Sammis may well be showing up in Montpelier in January. Here’s what he’d bring to the table.

Within the last few days, Sammis apparently wiped his entire YouTube channel. He had good reason to do so. It included numerous videos of Sammis happily firing an assortment of high-powered firearms, including assault weapons. The most disturbing video was a 30-second spot entitled “Beware the Rainbow Unicorn.” Here’s the beast in question.

I watched this video once before it was removed. As I recall, an off-screen voice asks the unicorn if he hates socialists and communists. The unicorn nods his head vigorously. He is then given an assault weapon. He turns around and blasts away at some brush in the background.

For context, “Rainbow Unicorns” is a Tennessee-based militia organization with a heavy YouTube presence of its own. Unlike Sammis, they aren’t running for public office so they aren’t hiding their beliefs.

Sammis’ now-deleted YouTube channel bore the name “JARRODES13.” “E’ is his middle initial, S his last. The “13” may be a reference to the Aryan Circle, a Texas-based white supremacist group that uses 13 as a cognomen signifying the first and third letters of the alphabet.

If you think I’m reaching, well, militia groups are very fond of these little games.

Sammis has also taken his Instagram feed private. His campaign Facebook page has 202 followers, but he’s concealed the list of followers so you can’t track the company he keeps.

Whether or not he’s a militia fan or just a guy who loves firing semiautomatic firearms in the woods (cough*Banyai*cough), there’s plenty of other material that shows where his heart lies.

This is a screenshot of a Sammis video clipped and saved by a diligent citizen. In it, Sammis says “Biden probably won. [whispers] Biden probably cheated.” Yep, he’s an election truther. Which makes sense, because he endorsed fellow election truther Gregory Thayer’s bid for lieutenant governor. That’s the Gregory Thayer who organized a bus trip to the January 6 insurrection.

IN late September, Sammis made an appearance on Thayer’s low-rent community access TV show. He did his best to answer Thayer’s out-there questions without letting his “reasonable” facade slip too badly. But slip it did, ohhhhh yeah.

Sammis danced around Covid denialism without coming right out and saying as much. He did offer praise for Florida’s keep-it-all-open pandemic policy, claimed that Covid vaccines had been “sent to market prematurely,” and decried “the politicization of public health” during the pandemic.

Referring to our workforce shortages, Thayer moaned that “People are staying home because the government is doing way too much” to help them. Sammis didn’t disagree; in fact, he said that “we went from a situation where people were struggling to survive to ‘OK, we’re going to take care of you now.'”

See, there’s no real threat to health and no economic or social disruption. It’s just that you people are lazy bastards.

When asked why he was running, Sammis talked about businesses struggling under the weight of excessive taxation and regulation. “We are so encompassed by the sheer amount of regulation that there isn’t liberty,” he said.

Finally, on climate change he cast doubt on the reality and said we should do nothing about it. “Whether people subscribe to global warming or not,” he said, “we have to keep the numbers in mind.”

“Or not” is something only a denialist would say.

“The numbers” are population figures. Vermont, he said, is so small that we’re just a drop in the rising flood tides of climate change. Anything we do will have no real effect.

Problem is, any jurisdiction could say the same thing. Even India or China could say, “Well, if we unilaterally stop burning fossil fuels, climate change will go on AND we’ll pay the economic price.” The point isn’t that Vermont or Wyoming or France or Brazil can end global warming on their own; it’s that we all have to do our part.

One more picture. This is Sammis, Thayer, state Rep. Sally Achey, and state Senate candidate Terry Williams (who may get an entry of his own in this ongoing series) at a fundraiser for… wait for it… the First Step Pregnancy Clinic, an anti-abortion outfit that specializes in convincing vulnerable women to bear their child, no matter what the circumstances.

This might shed some light on the fact that, when asked by the Rutland Herald, Sammis claimed to oppose Article 22 because it didn’t go far enough in guaranteeing individual liberty. (He also dodged the 2020 election question in that article.) Methinks he fabricated himself an allegedly plausible reason for voting “No,” because anti-abortion is polling terribly. But why is he proudly attending a fundraiser for a fake “pregnancy center?”

There’s the evidence. Sammis is definitely a stealth conservative who’s gone to great lengths to conceal his extremist beliefs. He may also be a militiaman or, at least, militia-adjacent. Again, you can vote for him if you want, but you ought to know who he is and what he stands for.


26 thoughts on “Stealth Conservatives: This Guy Might Actually Be Dangerous

  1. Robin Scheu

    John –

    I so appreciate this series you’re running! I wish more people would read it. Please note, Bill Canfield IS indeed running for office again. He’s in Rutland -10.

    Thanks, Robin

    Robin Scheu

  2. Charles C. Jones

    This whole article reads more like phony panicked hyperbole than anything based on fact. At worse its defamation against a political candidate who has much to offer Rutland County and its citizenry. I say let the ballot speak for the public on who they want to represent them.

      1. Charles C. Jones

        Well given the article accuses Sammis of being both a member of white supremacist and militia groups but offers little evidence beyond mere accusatory speculation. Unless actual evidence for such claims can be presented and not fabricated out whole cloth by the author’s imagination, there is a fine line between stating one’s opinion of someone and attempting to make that opinion fact crosses a line both in a legal and moral sense. Freedom of speech is a valuable tool in political discourse but defamation, and character assassination are not covered by such a freedom. Such statements offer nothing to the voting public and only further the divisive nature of partisan politics which we’re all thoroughly tired of.

      2. John S. Walters Post author

        Wrong and wrong. I didn’t accuse him of membership in anything. Nothing was fabricated; everything was found online. And isn’t it a conservative first principle that there are no limits on free speech? Donald Trump engaged in character assassination every time he opened his mouth.

  3. P.

    Message to Mr Walters,
    This is the easiest way and you don’t need to publish it. I have 2 suggestions, do what you wish with them.
    First, might I suggest a story for you. A run down of the many, many vetoes of Phil Scott. A kind of greatest hits of passive-aggressive poli-tricks.
    Second, add a easy to find donate link. I remember you mentioned it once, but very few readers are going to track the link down. A tasteful tag in the home page upper corner, might be productive.
    As I have said before, thank you for your work and please continue to call out malfeasance on both sides. Best political writer in the state.

  4. Jenny

    This article is bogus. Created by liberal commies who are afraid to lose. I have known and been friends with this man for 10 years now and I can assure you he is in no way “dangerous” by any means. Very hard working, sweet person. Just another pathetic attempt by the left to cheat their way into winning.

  5. Bill Boardman

    I have to agree with Charlie Jones, some guy named Jim Byrne seemed to have started all this. I was curious as if it is true it should be published. As soon as I asked for any evidence to confirm his allegations he blocked me from social media. His actions seem to agree that this is nothing more than a smear campaign and does seem to fall under slander. Wouldn’t it be funny if a suit was brought up against him and all that passed on this stuff. Just as we don’t need wackos in government we don’t need people slandering candidates to try and make speaking fodder for their opponents. It’s called integrity.

      1. Bill Boardman

        That is a good thing for you as if a lawyer decides that this is indeed slander you have yourself protected showing hard verifiable evidence.

      2. Bill

        You may want to know why Jarrod wanted to protect his family and made the videos private. Christian will never man up and admit the truth. He either provided the video or pointed out where it is but he forgot one piece of fact, the whole narration was Christian. He was the one talking about killing communist and about the 2020 election, then he fabricated the lie and let it be passed on that it was all you. It takes a special special to lie and slander someone falsely and even a more special person to do it to his stepbrother. Maybe if the papers and blogs want a story they ought to go on Christian’s Facebook and pull down the video where he talks about his mental health then how Jarrod saved his life by preventing his suicide! Jarrod will continue on the high road to represent the district and state, the people of Castleton deserves it. A funny note how one of the people posting said they would attest via affidavit that everything he posted is true would feel now if the video was submitted as evidence in a Slander suit and found out Jarrod Sammis was not the one speaking on the video lol.

      3. John S. Walters Post author

        Two questions: 1. Who is Christian? I didn’t talk to or hear from anybody named Christian for this piece. 2. Are you capable of writing a coherent sentence?

  6. Pingback: Castleton House candidate’s online past draws criticism from Democrats - VTDigger

  7. Bubba

    Jarrod keeps deleting and hiding his past. The discussion points in this blog continue to be verified and Jarrod continues to try to dodge the questions. And now avoids even debating his opposition. He wants to be elected without any candidate debate. He wants to stealth take the elected position.

    Don’t be lemmings. Do your own research and make up your own mind. That’s part of being an informed electorate. You get what you deserve if you don’t do your due diligence.

  8. Christian

    Nice try “Bill”

    The video was filmed by me, but the question is asked: “Do YOU hate communists?” (Jarrod shakes his head vigourously)

    Also, the subtitle to the video implies letting “led fly” at communists. I’d hardly call anything that the author said slander.

    And FYI, I’ve never spoken to nor reached out to said author. So the only one slandering here…. Is you!

      1. Bill

        Well Christian, the issue at hand was the implication that Jarrod was speaking this but it was you. To infer contrary to that is not the truth and does go down the road of slander and defamation of character.

      2. Christian

        I wasn’t implying anything, I didn’t write the article or refer him to any video or send any information— so please leave me the hell alone with you and Angela’s “oh Christian did this” nonsense. Because I haven’t, and you need to stop. Cease and desist! I have screenshots of all of your nonsense online.

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