Tag Archives: Shane McCormack

Countin’ scribbles

 The hardworkin’ town clerks of Vermont wake up this post-primary morning with an unfun little job ahead of them. They’ll actually have to count those pesky write-in votes, and the results will actually be meaningful.

 In one case, much more meaningful than any primary result involving names on the ballot. It’ll be a few more days before we get the tallies, so sit back, relax, and smoke ’em if you got ’em. (Preferably wacky tobacky; those ciggies’ll kill ya.)

The big unfinished business is the Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor. No names on the ballot, just a whole bunch of write-ins. As of this writing, 87% of the votes counted, a total of 5,126 write-in votes for Lite-Gov. The unknown: How many were for Progressive Dean Corren (who actively sought the Democratic nod) and how many were for incumbent Republican Phil Scott (whose supporters urged write-ins on the Democratic slate)?

I have to think it’s Corren, because a straight-ahead “Vote for Me” effort is an easier sell than “Vote for My Guy So We Can Screw the Dems and/or He Can Cruise to Re-election.” But we’ll have to wait and see.

Also left hanging are the un-valuable Republican nominations for Attorney General, Auditor, Secretary of State, and Treasurer. The VTGOP failed to identify candidates for any of the offices, although the ill-fated RecruitFour effort did produce one write-in candidate, Shane McCormack for AG, who now has the active backing of the state party. For what that’s worth.

There were far more write-in votes for AG, so I’m suspecting McCormack will be Bill Sorrell’s sacrificial lamb this fall. As for the other three contests, who the hell knows. I’ve been actively hoping for fringe candidates to fill out the ticket, to the lasting embarrassment of the VTGOP. A homegrown Vermin Supreme, or perhaps a one-issue zealot like Annette Smith.

If there were any organized write-in campaigns, they flew under the radar. So it’ll be a few days before Vermont Republicans find out exactly what kind of nutjobs will fill out their 2014 statewide ticket.



Concerning the further misadventures of RecruitFour, the one-man Facebook page attempting to identify write-in candidates for the four statewide vacancies on the VTGOP ballot — Attorney General, Auditor, Secretary of State, and Treasurer. 

When last we visited that sorry precinct, RF had put forward nominees for three of the four slots, only to have two of them decline the “honor.” Turned out, RF was promoting people without asking them first. Which would seem to be, y’know, a prerequisite. 

Anyway, the RecruitFour guy has scrubbed the page of all its references to the two decliners. Congrats on a belated burst of common sense, RF Guy. 

The third prospective write-in candidate, however, has stepped forward and accepted the honor. Burlington attorney Shane McCormack has launched a campaign for the Republican AG nomination. He’s got himself a nice basic WordPress site with minimal content, as befits a minimal candidate. 

Not that this will make any difference to incumbent Dem Bill Sorrell, but it’s nice to see that RecruitFour’s “efforts” haven’t been entirely misdirected. Its page still promises to identify write-in candidates for Auditor, Secretary of State and Treasurer; presumably, if RF Guy picks a name out of the phone book or whatever, he’ll have the decency to contact the potential candidate before putting him/her out in public view.

The implosion of RecruitFour

Ruh-roh. Something’s rotten in RecruitFour, the “movement” aimed at getting Republican write-in candidates for the four statewide offices without an official Republican on the ballot. As I’ve reported, RF has been unveiling their “slate,” beginning with Burlington attorney Shane McCormack for Attorney General and moving on to pro-F35 activist Nicole Citro for Secretary of State and Stefanie Webster Dion, budget director of Champlain College, for Treasurer.

Not so fast, my friend.

Turns out that RecruitFour has been promoting candidates without their permission. Two of the three, Citro and Dion, have gone on the RF page to decline the honor. Citro:

While I am flattered there are those who think I would make a great candidate for the Secretary of State of Vermont, I will be not running for this position. …I do not rule out a scenario in the future where I might use my ability to effectively communicate the voice of Vermonters again, but a run for any office is not in my plans right now. Thank you for your show of confidence!

And Dion:

I echo Nicole’s comments. I am flattered and won’t rule out future service to the State but I will not be running for this position. Thank you so much for your vote of confidence!

Okay, how can I describe this nutty endeavor? Counterproductive? Wacko? Doomed? Creepy?

Yeah, I think “creepy” is about right. Publicly promoting a candidacy without the candidate’s permission? That’s closer to identity theft than it is to responsible, effective politics. No wonder the “brains” behind RecruitFour hasn’t publicly identified him/herself.

Speaking of which, said “brains” did post a brief explainer a couple days ago:

This effort started with one Republican–not the establishment, not the party apparatus–just one Republican. Just one Republican who believes in a state of 600,000 people we can find four qualified Republican candidates to run for Auditor, Treasurer, Secretary of State, and Attorney General.

The folks we are trying to draft did not encourage this effort, they are merely the recipients of this bottom up effort from the people of Vermont.

Keep this in mind as you fail to see a multi-million dollar campaign for this effort. This is grassroots baby, all the way. Freedom and Unity!

See,that’s the problem with Facebook: it only takes one person to erect a plausible a Potemkin village.

As for the identity of this “one Republican,” I have no idea and I really don’t care. The name “Jeff Bartley” has been suggested to me — the state GOP’s “Victory Campaign Director” and chair of the Chittenden County GOP. I dunno; he’s served on his share of Titanics in the past (notably Len Britton’s Senate bid, which ended with Bartley suing Britton for unpaid wages), but this seems awfully sad even by his standards.

Anyway, I think it’s safe to bid a fond farewell to this stillborn “movement.” RecruitFour, we hardly knew ye.

Another Republican hopeful steps forward

The industrious (and so far anonymous) folks behind RecruitFour, the drive to mount Republican write-in candidacies for Attorney General, Auditor, Secretary of State and Treasurer, has unveiled the second of its four.

The first, as reported in this space earlier today, is Burlington attorney Shane McCormack, who hopes to snag the AG nomination. The second, just announced, is Nicole Citro for Secretary of State.

Citro is co-owner of an insurance agency in South Burlington, but she’s best known as a public supporter of basing F35 jets at the Burlington airport. She’s the brains behind “Green Ribbons for the F35,” which foments support for the planes and the Vermont Air National Guard. From the Green Ribbons website:

Tie a Green Ribbon  on a tree in front of your home, on a porch railing, on your mailbox… some place where your neighbors will see you support The Vermont Air National Guard with the basing of the F35 in Burlington, Vermont.

The Green Ribbon campaign began in July of 2012 when Nicole Citro, a South Burlington business owner, felt frustrated with the way the debate over the basing of the F35 in Vermont was being waged.  It seemed all the attention was being given to the very small contingency of those in opposition. Yet all around her, Nicole was finding her friends, families and customers were expressing their support for the new jet.  … Much like the yellow ribbons used to show support for the troops in the Gulf War, Nicole determined green ribbons would be used to show support for the Green Mountain Boys.

Her advocacy won’t win her any points in liberal/progressive circles, but hell, they weren’t voting for a Republican anyway. Not that it matters much; even if she does get the nomination, she’ll be an underfunded unknown getting an extremely late start against established incumbent Jim Condos. And frankly, her credentials for the job seem a bit… er… slim. Here’s some of RecruitFour’s pitch:

We all know Nicole as the woman behind the Green Ribbons for the F35. And isn’t the point of elections, choosing individuals with leadership skills? Well just as Jim=Jobs, Nicole=Leadership. Nicole created a movement out of chaos.

Presently Nicole runs The Citro Agency with her sister. Nicole started at the agency 27 years ago and as with most things, she stays committed. … Let’s have Nicole run the Secretary of State’s office as well as she runs The Citro Agency and the Green Ribbons for the F35!

Um, yeah, well, there’s not much valid comparison there. It’s not even apples to oranges — it’s more like one apple to an orange grove. Managing a family business and launching a smallish grassroots organization is hardly adequate prep for becoming Secretary of State. Nonetheless, I applaud her willingness to step forward.

And, I assume, we can expect two more announcements from RecruitFour in the very near future. Perhaps at some point the organizers will step out from behind their nascent Facebook page and discuss their agenda and their plans to turn the Four into credible candidates rather than placeholders. I’m here if you want to talk, and I’ll give you a fair hearing.