Daily Archives: November 4, 2022

The Saddest October Surprise Ever

Hey, I hadn’t realized that former VTGOP chair Deb Billado had made a comeback. Congratulations!!

But seriously, the above image is from a nasty little political ad created by the Vermont Republican Party. They waited until now because it’s too late for anyone to make a cogent response. On the other hand, it’s also too late for such a message to sink in, especially since the party can’t afford the kind of advertising blitzkrieg that would punch this message through the noise and smoke of the home stretch.

The 30-second spot features a man identified as “Nathan,” said to be a former employee of David Zuckerman’s Full Moon Farm. “Nathan,” last name not given, is dressed just like a farm worker and stands in front of a suitably well-worn farm-type truck as he unrolls a litany of complaints about Zuckerman as a boss. Low pay, no time off, substandard accommodations, etc.

There is no way to verify Nathan’s identity or his story. The VTGOP, as far as I know, has made no attempt to back up his assertions. He might be a former employee with an ax to grind, justifiably or otherwise. (Any employer will eventually rub some people the wrong way.)

He might also be a Young Republican who’s never gotten dirt under his fingernails.

The cherry on top: The person behind the ad appears to be Republican National Committeeman (and lamprey on the underbelly of Vermont Republicanism) Jay Shepard. His business, Junction Consulting, has been paid $14,450 since October 28 for “Media – TV,” according to party filings with the secretary of state*. The party has reported no other expenditures on mass media.

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Stealth Conservatives: The Angry Chiropractor

Meet Matthew Stralka, Thetford resident and chiropractor whose shingle hangs across the river in Hanover. He’s also the Republican candidate for House in the Windsor-Orange-2 district, currently represented by Democrat Jim Masland.

Almost forgot: Stralka is a Covid denialist of a particularly fulminant strain. And he thinks Gov. Phil Scott is a TRAITOR.

Funny that they’re now on the same ticket, but that’s what the Vermont Republican Party has been reduced to in the Year of Our Lord 2022.

The Republicans failed to recruit a candidate in the district. Stralka ran a last-minute write-in campaign, as did quote a few Republican nominees, and managed to snag the nomination. He appears to have done nothing whatsoever in terms of actual campaigning since. No campaign website or Facebook page, He hasn’t filed a campaign finance report since August 1 when he reported receipts of $682.50, all from himself, and zero expenditures. No filing on September 1 or October 1 or October 15.

Now, that’s a commitment to stealth.

He’s a blank slate with one exception. Stralka has a Twitter account. Not much of one; he has zero followers. He’s never Tweeted on his own. He has, however, occasionally replied to other people’s tweets, and done so in a remarkably incendiary manner.

The most frequent target of his ire is Governor Nice Guy. Let’s get to it!

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