Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Steele Campaign Continues to Play in the Political Campaign Mud

At the Vermont Press Association debate on October 3, Thomas Naylor's handpicked Second Vermont Republic candidate for governor, Connecticut native Dennis Steele, disingenuously complained that "'mindless bickering' between the major party candidates was the reason for the regrettable tone of the campaign."

Whoa there, Dennis! That's the same debate where you "repeatedly referred to the Republican lieutenant governor derisively as the 'Colonel'... and you "thanked the Vermont Press Association 'for allowing me to take pot shots at Colonel Dubie.'" You've also called Peter Shumlin an "aristocrat."

Recently your campaign released these two amateurish and childishly malicious YouTube videos about Peter Shumlin and Brian Dubie.

Meanwhile, in an effort to stir up controversy, you've made a public charge that is little more than an insinuation, again in the form of a Youtube video. The problem is, Dennis, if you put up campaign signs on public property or state highway rights of way, they are subject to removal without notice by the local or state highway agencies since those installations are illegal. Stop by the state highway garage or local public works and you'll probably find your illegally placed signs there.

But the most significant sign that Steele is getting desperate is this most ridiculous charge from his baas, Thomas Naylor:
Shumlin Supporter Hints Job Possibility for Dennis Steele Endorsement
Last night at the Vermont Law School gubernatorial debate Liberty Union candidate Ben Mitchell and independent candidate Em Peyton surprised the audience by dramatically endorsing Democratic nominee Peter Shumlin.

Shocked by this turn of events, independent candidate Dennis Steele speculated, “Did they receive the same telephone call which I received from a Shumlin supporter last week?” On October 21 Steele received a call from a well known, enthusiastic Shumlin supporter asking him to withdraw from the race. She expressed concern that, if Steele did not do so, Brian Dubie might be elected. She went on to hint that if Steele endorsed Peter Shumlin, there might be a job available for him in the Shumlin administration. Later that evening she followed up with an e-mail to Steele confirming her interest in him. Five days later she called him again.

Steele, who was unamused by the Shumlin campaign supporter’s overture, said, “This simply illustrates how morally and intellectually bankrupt the Democratic and Republican Parties have become in Vermont and elsewhere. I have no intention whatsoever of stepping aside. Peter often touts his jobs program,” said Steele, “Is this what he has in mind?” Continuing he added, “Both Dubie and Shumlin are gutless wimps afraid to confront the American Empire on behalf of the people of Vermont.”

Thomas H. Naylor

October 27, 2010

And how does calling someone a "gutless wimp" serve to improve the "regrettable tone of the campaign" that you've complained about, Dennis?

Fortunately, Terri Hallenbeck at the Burlington Free Press covered what Steele and Naylor left out of the discussion - like who spoke to Steele and what was really said:
Dennis Steele and the Indie Allegation
4:34 PM Wed., October 27, 2010

First Liberty Union Party candidate Ben Mitchell dropped out of the governor’s race Tuesday and endorsed Democrat Peter Shumlin, then independent Em Peyton apparently did the same at a Tuesday evening debate at Vermont Law School (which Republican Brian Dubie did not attend).

Enter Dennis Steele, the candidate who wants Vermont to secede from the union. Steele said he received a call from a woman named Nancy Mallary asking him to drop out of the race, which he said he has no plans to do. He claimed she also hinted that if he did there might be a job available for him from the Shumlin administration. “It was mentioned twice in the phone call,” Steele said.

Steele’s group, Second Vermont Republic, posted the allegation on its website.

It’s not true, said Mallary. The Westmore woman, a former Selectboard member, said she called Steele on her own initiative to encourage him to drop out, but she never said anything about a job. “I categorically deny that. I think it’s outrageous he’s making this statement,” she said.

Nor, she said, does she have that kind of sway with Shumlin. “I never alluded that I did.”

Mallary said she called Steele because she felt strongly that he would divert votes of young, disenfranchised voters and that that could hurt Shumlin’s chances against Republican Brian Dubie. She said she told him he’d be better off trying to get elected to a lower-level office than governor.

Steele said he didn’t know who Mallary was but that he later heard she was related to Peter Mallary, a Shumlin campaign supporter.

Nancy Mallary said she is the wife of Peter Mallary’s cousin, but that she and Peter Mallary never talked about the campaign.

Peter Mallary is a volunteer with Shumlin’s campaign and a former executive director of the Vermont Democratic Party. He said Wednesday that Nancy Mallary had no connection to the Shumlin campaign and he didn’t know who she was supporting politically.

Shumlin said Wednesday he didn’t ask any of the independents to drop out and had no contact with Nancy Mallary.

Mitchell, the Liberty Union candidate, said Wednesday he was not approached by the Shumlin campaign about dropping out, was never offered any job. Steele’s accusation that perhaps the independents who dropped out had been offered something has swirled through the Internet in the last day; Mitchell said he resents the insinuation.
Not only did Naylor and Steele engage in a ham-handed smear of Shumlin, but they also managed to sling their mud at the other independent candidates while doing so.

Too bad Steele's baseless accusations are going to cause him to lose his integrity as well as the governor's office in this election.

As the Vermont Press Bureau wryly wrote:
"Not everyone can make friends as quickly as Independent Dennis Steele."

You can vote on the job Steele might be best suited for in a Shumlin administration over at Green Mountain Daily by clicking here.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *For the archive of the Free Vermont Framework listserv, click here.

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