In case you haven’t had the pleasure, allow me to introduce you to Tim Boltin, candidate for Barre City Council in Ward 1. Boltin owns Delicate Decadence, a downtown bakery, and this isn’t his first run for office.
Back in 2021, Boltin was one of two hardcore Trumpers who ran for City Council. The other was the infamous Brian Judd, who lost his race and refused to accept the result. His fruitless legal challenges took more than a year to resolve, and the only result was a waste of the city’s time and resources. Boltin also lost, by a 57% to 43% margin. He did not take the city to court.
Judd isn’t running this year but Boltin is, challenging Emel Cambel, the person who beat him in 2021. This time, Boltin is trying to conceal his extremism behind a bunch of bland, content-free statements and noises that, ahem, never mention city policy or city government. He also scrubbed his Facebook page of the offensive content that branded him a far-righter in 2021. Unfortunately for him, I harvested some of those posts back then, and you can find them here.
I’ll just briefly recap if you choose not to click on the link. Boltin posted a meme showing an incredibly stereotypical Mexican guy (big sombrero, mustache, etc.) with the caption “Mexican Word of the Day: BODYWASH. Biden was on TV but no BODYWASH him.” Hardy har har. Then there was a photo of President Biden with the caption “My Head is So Far Up China’s Ass, I Shit Fortune Cookes.” Another image made fun of Biden’s alleged senility. A fourth was the inevitable attack on Nancy Pelosi.
His campaign Facebook page is a hell of a lot blander this time around, but occasionally the extremism sticks its nose above the surface. For example, his campaign Facebook page has linked to videos posted by Brian Judd that purport to show how Judd was “verbally assaulted” by city councilors. This was during the time when Judd was repeatedly approaching Council with a request to hang a giant American flag over Main Street, a request that Council rebuffed because they saw it as a political stunt on Judd’s part. Which, given his track record, is a reasonable conclusion.
Also, Boltin made a big show of declining to attend a candidate forum sponsored by Barre Values*, which describes itself as “a Facebook group of folks supporting progressive values in Barre.” Boltin describes Barre Values as “abhorrent,” and accuses its members of “the most egregious violations of democracy every week from the school board to city council and subcommittees.”
*Update: Two different people have informed me that the forum in question was sponsored by the League of Women Voters. Apologies for assuming Boltin was telling the truth.
Elsewhere, Boltin speaks of the need for civility and an end to divisiveness. Obviously, what he means is unilateral disarmament on the liberal-progressive side. They are the ones peddling hateful rhetoric, not the guy who called Joe Biden senile and Nancy Pelosi a liar.
There’s one more piece of business, and it’s a weird one. Boltin has posted a 3 1/2-minute campaign video in which he purports to outline his beliefs. In it, he says nothing about city governance or policy or specific issues. It’s overly broad to the point of absurdity. And grinding away in the background is a heavy metal instrumental track with a pounding beat, which is de rigueur for archconservatives.
I recommend you watch the thing to get the flavor of it. But here are a few highlights.
First he dismisses “silliness on the Internet,” which presumably means people like me calling out his extremism. Then he ticks off the “things that I believe.” Strap in.
He believes that the United States is “the richest and most powerful country in the world,” and posits that in America “there should never be hunger, there should never be homelessness, and no one should ever need medical care, ever.” But if you’re expecting policy ideas on how to prevent hunger, homelessness and lack of access to health care, you’re not going to get them.
Instead, he goes on to say he believes in diversity. “I like a rich, diversive [sic] culture.” He believes in equality. And he believes “we need to build a culture where we actually care about one another.”
He goes on to talk about how he has given food and shelter to homeless people, and has hired “those marginalized from the Department of Justice, the Department of Education, Department of Social Services, Department of Labor.”
I don’t really know what the hell he means by that. I suspect that he thinks that Big Government is the cause of our social ills, because he closes the passage by noting that “I have [helped the marginalized] on my own.”
See, we wouldn’t need social programs if Big Government would only get out of the way and let individuals act on their beliefs and their sense of compassion.
Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt on his charitable claims and assume he’s telling the truth. Bully for him. But his video is completely irrelevant to the actual business of the Barre City Council.
In closing, he says “I do not have my own agenda, nor do I want one.” Which does nothing to explain why he’s running. It’s the kind of verbal Cream O’ Wheat you recite (he was reading from a script) when you’re trying to conceal your political positions.
And that’s what Tim Boltin is clearly doing. Too bad he came to this realization two ;years too late. It’ll be a surprise if the voters don’t see through his verbal smoke screen and, once again, reject his bid for city leadership.
That’s not “heavy metal” music in the background in Boltin’s vid, you’ve turned into my parents John without the prog politics 😉
I might be old enough to be your grandparent, so I consider myself one generation ahead.
I’d also like to add that Mr. Boltin, despite his claim to want to represent all of his constituents, is quite fond of deleting critical comments/questions from his campaign page and blocking the people who made them.
I rarely go to Barre, but if I do for some reason I will make sure to avoid the bakery, Delicate Decadence, at all costs.