Tag Archives: Kristi Noem

I Guess That’s the End of the Mayonnaise Videos

Christina Nolan announced her candidacy for U.S. Senate almost four months ago, but her campaign hasn’t been able to name any paid staff until last Friday, when she finally hired a campaign manager.

Timely, that. Two months until the primary, five months before the election, she’s up against Peter Welch, the well-known and -liked and ridiculously well-funded U.S. Representative seeking to make the leap to the Senate. Given her dismal first-quarter fundraising haul, one suspects that the hiring delay was more financially motivated than anything else.

And of course, with no time for a new staffer to get a feel for the quirky politics of Vermont, she hired a complete outsider: Jake Monssen of the Mississippi-based consultancy Triumph Strategies.

I don’t need to remind you that outsiders who parachute into our brave-ish little state have a record of helming generic campaigns that fail to resonate. Who’s gonna ask him how many teats on a Holstein?

Monssen is touted as an experienced conservative campaign operative. But his resumé includes no blue states, or even purple ones. Until now, he has operated entirely in deep red precincts.

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VTGOP Chair Fires a Shot Across the Bow of Moderate Republicans

I don’t think Deb Billado is planning to resign anytime soon.

The Vermont Republican Party chair made that clear when she devoted her most recent weekly newsletter to a very fringey speech made by the very fringey South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem. It was a shot across the bow of Republican lawmakers who recently called for her resignation — and a slap in the face to Gov. Phil Scott.

You see, Scott and Noem are polar opposites on Covid-19 policy. Scott has proceeded with great caution, erring (mainly) on the side of public safety. Noem has kept her state wide open — including the granddaddy of all superspreaders, the Sturgis motorcycle rally.

The result: Vermont has a death rate of 27 per 100,000 residents, the second lowest among the states. South Dakota has lost 189 out of every 100,000, the seventh worst death rate in the nation. In total Covid-19 cases, Vermont is the best in the nation at 1,654 per 100K, while South Dakota is second-worst at 11,958 per 100K. How about testing? Vermont has conducted 133,174 tests per 100K — more than one test per resident. South Dakota? Way near the bottom, at 44,827 tests per 100K.

So, Vermont is doing far better at tracking the virus, keeping people healthy, and keeping them alive. I can’t say that Billado endorses South Dakota’s Covid “strategy,” but she went out of her way to highlight Noem’s views in a message to all Vermont Republicans. Now, maybe Billado didn’t intend it as direct criticism of Vermont’s govenror, but I bet you dollars to donuts that Team Scott sees it that way.

Beyond that, there’s the issue of Billado calling a collection of QAnon-adjacent nutbaggery a “thoughtful speech.” We’ll run it down after the jump.

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