Tag Archives: Valerie Mullin

She’s spinning so fast, she’s gonna explode

DarcieThis is incredible, even by the standards of Darcie “Hack” Johnston.

She’s gone full Orwell on the election returns, which once again revealed her consistent wrongness. I’ve heard that she’s a nice person who’s always accessible and capable of turning on the charm,  especially with the media. But she’s just plain wrong. All the time.

She managed Randy Brock’s campaign to an embarrassing defeat. And this time, she managed Dan Feliciano to a disastrous 4% finish. Remember, in July and August this guy was widely believed to be a stronger candidate than Scott Milne. Who, lest we forget, outpolled Feliciano by a better than 10-to-1 margin.

But Johnston is desperately spinning the results to make herself look better. Or, should I say, less of a train wreck. From the Freeploid’s (sadly departing) Terri Hallenbeck:

Johnston… said she had no regrets pushing Feliciano as a candidate even though she was surprised at how well Milne did.

“It was never evident to me that Scott Milne had a chance to win,” she said.

This ace political strategist admits she missed the Milne trend. And, in retrospect, who does she credit for Milne’s showing? She and her candidate.

…she said Milne could have done more to prevail over Shumlin. She contended he was late to pick up on the problems with Vermont Health Connect and offered a split message on government-financed health care when he said he would consider it down the road if it worked elsewhere.

Okay, now that’s amazing. She says the candidate who got 45% of the vote should have been more like the guy who got 4%? I guess so. Plus, according to Johnston, Mr. Four Percent was actually the driving force behind Milne’s surge:

She argued that some voters would not have come out at all but for Feliciano. She also contended that Feliciano’s stance on health care helped generate supporters for some Republican legislative candidates who also hammered that issue, including Valerie Mullin, who ousted Democrat Mike Fisher, chairman of the House Health Care Committee.

Uhh, Darcie? (And, I hate to say it, Terri?)

Valerie Mullin lost.

She finished in fourth place, behind Mike Fisher, in spite of the fact that Mullin outspent her opponents. And put out a last-minute mailer falsely accusing the Democrats of plotting a Medicare takeover. The candidate who unseated Fisher, Fred Baser, is a widely-respected moderate Republican who refused to take part in the Johnston/Mullin health care bashing.

I don’t know whether the factual error was Johnston’s or Hallenbeck’s, but it’s a clear example of Johnston’s “black is white, war is peace” analysis of the election.

And if, after all this, Johnston is still taken seriously as a campaign consultant — if any candidate hires her ever again — well, there are no words.

Look, I’ve got nothing personal against Johnston. I just hate to see someone rewarded, over and over again, for brazen incompetence. And taken seriously as a political figure in spite of her repeated cluelessness.


Oh boy, oh boy, it’s last-minute dirty tricks time

The Republicans are targeting potentially vulnerable Democratic lawmakers with a mailer repeating the conservative lie that the Shumlin Administration wants to “take over” Medicare.

I’ve seen two mailers, identical except for the specific candidates involved. One is for Addison County Republican hopeful Valerie Mullin, and it targets incumbent Dems Mike Fisher and David Sharpe. The other is on behalf of Republican John Mattison, who’s challenging incumbent Herb Russell of Rutland City.

The Mullin flyer bears the return address of “Friends of Valerie Mullin,” her campaign committee, but it clearly was not produced by her campaign because, as I said, it’s identical to the Mattison flyer.

I’ve only seen these two, but it wouldn’t surprise me if identical mailers hadn’t been sent in all districts where a Republican has a chance to knock off a Democratic lawmaker.

So let’s review. In Act 48, the 2011 health care reform bill, there was a provision calling for the state to pursue administration of Medicare as part of single-payer health care. This provision is what’s called “session law,” and was intended as a guideline rather than a mandate.

“In 2011, we asked the administration to entertain lots of things, but it was in the context of ‘tell us whether you can do this,’” said Rep. Mike Fisher (D-Lincoln), who was on the House Health Care Committee when it drafted Act 48.

Administration officials subsequently discovered that the feds wouldn’t allow Vermont to manage Medicare. It was impossible in any case, because Medicare for the entire Northeast is in a single administrative district. Vermont would have had to take over the entire region, which was clearly out of the question. This year, Act 48 was amended and the provision was dropped.

Which hasn’t stopped the desperate Republicans from repeating the lie. And now they’ve produced mailers trumpeting the lie.

Bottom of the barrel, guys. Bottom of the barrel.

Here’s a picture of one flyer, for your edification:



The Mullin flyer is identical except for the names of the candidates.