Is the Small Free Vermont/Vt Commons/Second Vermont Republic Juggernaut Running Out of Gas?
When the fringers finally made it into a forum (it couldn't really be called a debate), there was plenty to write about in its aftermath. One "candidate" had a proposal that sounded more like a weird take-off, sort of, on The Running Man. Thomas Naylor's hand-picked gubernatorial candidate, Dennis Steele, who's fronting for the Second Vermont Republic while posing as an independent contributed, "Vermont should build an “industrial hemp barrier” around (Lake Champlain) to suck out the phosphorous." Since the lake isn't solely a Vermont body of water, one imagines that the details for Steeles' ambitious "plan" will be worked out by the SVR Foreign Minister (I kid you not) Dennis Morrisseau, the remaining United States (if New York hasn't declared independence by then), the Canadian federation and the Province de Québec. Good times.
While nutty notions aren't exclusively the property of the Free Vermont gang, they've explored quite a few, including tossing around the idea putting out feelers that could lead to alliances with other fringers, Tea Baggers and the always fun to look at, Oath Keepers. Since this post is more about the dwindling relevance of the FVers, those are subjects for future posts.
Those posts will be based on information gleaned from the Free Vermont Framework listserv.
The location of the listserv archive was obtained during the course of research on the true support for secessionists in Vermont (not the junk polling "commissioned" by Naylor - see Polling Section in the column to the right) based on the public records available from the Vermont Secretary of State's website for Elections - Campaign Finance (July, Aug, Sept).
Examining the list of contributions and contributors to the Steele campaign showed the top three to be #1 Naylor - $810; #2 Robert Wagner - $350; #3 (tied) Ian Baldwin/James Duncan - $300 each, and whose contributions constitute more than 80% of the $2175 raised to date from the 9 identified contributors. A third of the contributors give out of state residence addresses (NY/CO/SC).   
Seven years of SVR bloviating on and on about its growing support in Vermont; 9 known contributors, most who belong to the group's leadership. The sense of the excitement that's been generated across the state of Vermont is unmistakeable. Who knew?
While researching the backgrounds on the out-of-state contributors by using keywords associated with the Free Vermont group and the contributors names, one Google search caused the listserv for the Free Vermont Framework to show and, voilà, a more detailed look into the crazy of a Vermont fringe group that considers itself poised to assume leadership for all Vermonters.
The listserv, the Mailman.net Pipermail, is known to be an insecure archive. It's sort of The InterTubes version of walking around in public in your underwear, with you seemingly being the only one not aware. You'd have thought that the media and security "experts" on the list would have known that.
More to come.