Oh hey, who dat?
It’s Gerald Malloy, our very own Republican candidate for Senate, yukkin’ it up with insurrectionist fraudster Steve Bannon!
This is an image from Malloy’s October 17 appearance on Bannon’s “War Room” show, during which Bannon called on his legions of followers to volunteer for, or donate to, Malloy’s campaign.
Hmm… October 17… that date rings a bell… right, right. That was the day federal prosecutors called for Bannon to be locked up for six months for defying a Congressional subpoena.
Well, as old Aesop once said, “A man is known by the company he keeps.”
Speaking of which, do you remember the Mark Coester hullaballoo? The archconservative Senate candidate ‘s logging truck was in Colchester’s Fourth of July Parade, festooned with fascist and alt-right banners.
And Malloy for Senate campaign materials.
“…the company he keeps.”
Malloy has been the Republican nominee for more than two months. For the most part, the media coverage of him has been awfully polite and incurious. (One exception: Kevin McCallum’s deep dive in Seven Days.) This is probably because no one thinks he’s going to win, so why bother going beneath the surface? But still, he is a major party candidate for high office. He ought to get as much scrutiny as any other candidate.
Malloy’s general election persona is that of a no-nonsense conventional conservative. In reality he’s an all-out extremist who’s tried to soften the edges since the primary. But c’mon. The guy seems to be an election denialist; when McCallum asked if the 2020 election was free and fair, the brave military veteran ducked the question: “I believe President Biden is the president, and he was installed as president.” That’s what people say when they don’t want to out themselves as denialists. McCallum also wrote that Malloy “wanted to attend the January 6 rally but couldn’t because of work and family obligations.” Maybe he had to wash his hair that day, too.
And reminder: he eagerly hangs out with the odious Steve Bannon.
Malloy has called for building the border wall and has accused President Biden of “trying to kill the oil and gas industry.” He has softened his extreme stance on abortion since he won the Republican primary. He now says the matter should be decided state by state… except that he hasn’t ruled out supporting a nationwide abortion ban. It’s the kind of duplicity we don’t normally expect from a 20-year military vet who looks like he was born to the role.
Next, there are the twin issues of residency and voting. Malloy moved to Vermont only two years ago, still owns a million-dollar-plus house in Baltimore and works for a D.C.-area military contractor. VTDigger’s Sarah Mearhoff uncritically reported this in her Malloy profile and didn’t inquire any further. McCallum at least looked into his voting record, and found that after settling in Baltimore, he voted by mail for a decade in Wrentham, Massachusetts, where his family owns property.
Well, that’s more than a little shady, isn’t it? Voting where you don’t live? Also ironic, since Malloy opposes vote-by-mail. He wants in-person voting on paper ballots only.
He is now registered to vote in Vermont. But he’s only voted twice in the state: this year’s Town Meeting Day and the August primary.
Carpetbaggers are usually met with scorn. Previous examples: Molly Gray, Rich Tarrant, Jack McMullen. It’s pretty much a campaign killer if you just got here. It doesn’t seem to hurt Malloy, and I don’t know why.
Plus, I’d like to know where Malloy’s legal residence is, where he pays state taxes, and how much time he actually spent in Vermont before he started running for office. Recall that he’ didn’t vote here until after he launched his candidacy.
On to campaign finance. As we all know, Malloy’s campaign was a low-budget affair from jump. In fact, he loaned his own campaign $60,000 in May and another $35,000 in July to prime the pump. Since the primary his fundraising has improved somewhat. So what did he do? He repaid himself a total of $32,242. In the homestretch of his campaign, with money still hard to come by!
The positive interpretation cash-flow trouble in his personal finances. The other interpretation is that his campaign is more than a little bit scammy. Did post-primary donors really expect their dollars to go straight into Malloy’s pocket?
Malloy doesn’t have the means to mount a TV ad campaign, but he has produced a couple of 30-second spots. It’s probably just as well he can’t go on TV because his videos are so amateurish, they’d probably be a net negative for his hopes.
He does his own narration, and uses a trick customarily associated with breathless radio ads. Quite literally breathless; Malloy’s breaths are edited out so he can fit more words into 30 seconds. It’s vaguely unsettling because you expect people to breathe.
The first spot attacks (without naming) Peter Welch for being just another big-spending D.C. liberal.
I’m curious about that font. Looks a little like the opening credits to “The Munsters.”
His other spot is all about the guns, and of course features the candidate with his shootin’ iron.
At least he’s not pretending to shoot liberals or some such. This ad also features the breath-free narration, but fills the first four seconds with a full-screen image of an American flag. Sure he wants to accentuate his patriotism, but four seconds is an eternity in a short TV spot. It just seems like poor editing.
Funny thing about the homemade vids. Before the primary, Malloy paid for a professionally-produced spot with all the usual touches: Aggressive announcer, hard right politics, dramatic music, quality graphics. Now he can’t afford that stuff? Maybe because of that $32K he put in his own pocket?
There’s one more thing, and it’s a mere bagatelle by comparison. VTDigger’s Sarah Mearhoff wrote a truly inadequate piece that slid right by the residency questions and really pumped up the quirky side of Malloy, right down to the taxidermied bear in the living room.
In the living room window is a stuffed black bear cub, an animal Malloy said he found struck dead on the side of the road while he was driving in the Northeast Kingdom. He scooped up the roadkill and took it to a taxidermist. Now named Boo Boo, the cub wears a red Make America Great Again cap.
Aww. What a character, right? But unasked and unanswered: Did he report the bear to Fish and Game? If not, well, he broke the law.
That’s small beer compared to all the other stuff, but it’s an example of how blithe reportage can miss the mark. Assuming Welch safely disposes of the guy, this will be no harm, no foul. But by and large the Vermont press has failed to put Gerald Malloy under the microscope. If he somehow wins the thing, it’ll be partly on their hands.