Tag Archives: Tea Party

Berniesourcing

Just call him Mr. Moneybags.

Rep. Chris Pearson, candidate for State Senate, suddenly finds himself with a $60,000 war chest — thanks to Bernie Sanders.

Yes, the second wave of the Political Revolution is here, and it’s a tsunami of campaign cash, courtesy of Bernie’s unmatched network of small donors. This, folks, is a Big Biden Deal.

On Tuesday, Sanders posted a list of eight candidates for state legislature. Pearson was one of them. Anyone making a contribution through that webpage would see their money split nine ways — one share for each candidate and a ninth for Sanders.

As Seven Days’ Paul Heintz reports, in a matter of hours Pearson had received $30,000. That’s now doubled to $60,000. And it comes from an incredible 12,185 individual donations — or about two-fifty apiece.

What this means for Pearson is that he won’t have to go begging for money. He’s already got 50 percent more than he thought he needed for the entire campaign.

Just from Bernie. In less than four days.

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One less blank spot on the Republican ticket

Hey, the VTGOP has a candidate for Attorney General!

The challenger to putative Democratic nominee TJ Donovan is none other than Deb Bucknam, an attorney based in St. Johnsbury. She’s a former VTGOP state vice chair and Caledonia County GOP chair, and she once managed her husband Charlie’s extremely unsuccessful campaign for State Senate. That appears to be the extent of her political experience; at age 69, she will be making her first bid for public office.

Seven Days’ Paul Heintz first reported the news, in a friendly piece about how Donovan will face a challenge, after all, from this nice lady out of the Northeast Kingdom.

Not much of a challenge, I’m afraid. I give Bucknam virtually zero chance to beat Donovan, who has already raised more than enough money for a robust campaign and who will have the advantages of a well-funded, muscular party apparatus and a ticket with Hillary Clinton and Pat Leahy at the top. Bucknam will get the usual bag o’ beans from the VTGOP.

Besides, Bucknam is an ideologue through and through, a far-right Tea Party type.

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Phil Scott, ultraconservative

In my previous post, I explored the fiduciary contradictions of Lt. Gov. Phil Scott’s recently posted essay on VTDigger. For those just joining us, Scott believes he can hold the line on state spending and reject any tax or fee increases, while also increasing spending in several areas and somehow hold harmless our social safety net and environmental protections. Which, hahahaha.

That was enough for one post. But there’s something else in his essay that’s worthy of attention. It’s stunningly radical, putting him way, way out in Tea Party territory on a crucial, all-encompassing issue of governance.

… the Legislature needs to set a clear standard for all legislation. If a proposal responsibly decreases the costs of living and doing business in Vermont, they should pass it. If it increases costs in any way and leaves us open to financial uncertainty, they should set it aside.

Whoa. This ain’t the bland, inoffensive, centrist Phil Scott we’ve all come to know and love. This is a hard-line stance that would warm the cockles of David Koch’s heart, if he’s got one.

It’s also completely unworkable, natch. In the abstract it’s simple and elegant; in practice, it would create all sorts of problems.

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Bernie’s victory

Bernie Sanders’ campaign is a rousing success. He’s drawing huge — sorry, youuuuuge — crowds, he’s smashed expectations for fundraising, and he’s making noise in select polls.

None of which makes him a serious contender for the Democratic nomination. He still trails badly in national polls. And the dynamics of the primary system have shifted in favor of the frontrunner: an underdog can compete in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire, but then the primaries come fast and furious, and you need a strong national organization (and a youuuuuge amount of money) to stay competitive. Even lackluster frontrunners like John Kerry and Mitt Romney can use their “inevitability” to steamroll their opponents. Hillary generates a lot more enthusiasm than either of those legacy admissions.

So no, Bernie’s not winning the nomination. But he has already won a very important victory: he has shown the potential for game-changing enthusiasm on the Left. After Bernie, the Democratic Party will have a harder time taking the Left for granted.

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