Monday, February 27, 2012

Vermont Secessionist Robert Wagner's Campaign Finance Hanky Panky

Vermont secessionists have a well deserved reputation for playing fast and loose with the facts and the law. Usually what they assert as fact is a convoluted misrepresentation. On February 16 the announced secesher Vermont senate candidate for Addison County, Robert Wagner (who likes to call himself "Senator" despite never having served in the office and who has set up his provisional capitol in Hancock, VT for his secesher nation) unleashed a tirade of misinformation and invective against his Ripton, VT neighbor, Rep. Willem Jewett (D-Ripton) and Rutland County incumbent Vermont Senate member, Sen. Kevin J. Mullin while voicing his opposition in a matter of public policy before the legislature, a bill know as S.199.

It's an interesting charge since while Wagner makes no claim that a law has been violated by Rep. Jewett or Sen. Mullin, Wagner has been and is presently in violation of at least two campaign laws, in particular that which requires he register as a campaign committee due to his advocacy in opposition to S.199 as well as his urging support of other legislative bills and/or proposed legislation while trolling the legislative halls of the Montpelier Capitol building on behalf of his myriad pet causes. Since Wagner can not yet register legally as a candidate and may not do so until May 14, he is therefore not, in the official sense of the word, a candidate. His website and actions would very much seem to fail under the statutory definition of a lobbyist:
§ 261 (9) “Lobby” or “lobbying” means:
(A) to communicate orally or in writing with any legislator or administrative official for the purpose of influencing legislative or administrative action;
(B) solicitation of others to influence legislative or administrative action;
Since in his post Wagner sought to inoculate himself from the charge of being homophobic, I thought I'd take a crack at that nut first before I get to Wagner's violation of state campaign fundraising law.
"Kevin Mullen(sic)... was re-elected last year to the Rutland Senate District with $28,005 in campaign contributions. Only $1,628 of that was traceable to Vermont, according to Why should a single Vermont Senate Race be so important to out-of-state contributors?"

"In 2010, Mullin’s safe seat was in danger from two Independents in his district, Dennis Morrisseau and Bill Cruikshank, part of the Vermont Thirty. Somebody took this threat seriously!"
First off, Wagner's allegation that "only $1,628 of" Mullin's campaign contributions "was traceable to Vermont" is untrue. Perhaps if Wagner' mind hadn't become so addled processing 911 Truther falsehoods he'd have an easier time with actual records.

The not-yet-and-highly-unlikely-to-ever-be "Senator" Wagner suggests erroneously that Sen. Mullin's seat was under threat from two seceshers political wannabes in the 2010 election. That's shear crap. The only danger to Mullin was from radical right-wingers incensed over his vote on Vermont's groundbreaking marriage equality legislation. Secesh fringer candidates Bill Cruikshank and his neighbor, an anti-Semite of the worst kind and serial misogynist, Dennis Morrisseau, were never a threat to any of the other candidates for Rutland County's three senate seats. The suggestion that they ever could have been is laughable and confirmation of Wagner's delusional nature. Here's the truth: Cruikshank came in last with 1.7% of the vote, cheating Morrisseau of his usual showing in an election. Morrisseau got a whooping 1.8% of the vote, securing the next to last place slot. Oh, and Mullin finished first.

What Wagner didn't choose to say was that Mullin's largest contributors in and out of state were gay and lesbian. There is no gay issue before the legislature this year nor likely to be in coming years. This was a generous act on a part of a grateful community from across the country and that's why "a single Vermont Senate Race (was) so important to out-of-state contributors." Wagner may not be overtly homophobic (although given his range of hatreds I can't be so sure) but he's undoubtedly a willing nitwit whose accusation gives aid and comfort to the homophobic opponents of Mullin that did seek to unseat him in 2010. Maybe he can add to his phony charges against Mullin (someone he isn't even running against) that he's in the pocket of Big Gay - not that there's anything wrong with that.

This past Sunday, in an editorial regarding Vermont's healthcare system system, Mullin's hometown newspaper, often described as "left-leaning" and occasionally dubbed "The Russian Herald" described the senior member of Rutland County's senate team of three thusly,
"Mullin may be the most influential Republican working on behalf of health care reform. Republicans are few in number in the Senate, but Mullin has assumed a constructive, positive role."
Wagner would do well to consider how a negative, extremely divisive and personally repugnant campaign will fair in Vermont over likely opponents with a reputation for honesty and comity. The Vermont political boneyard is littered with the remains of campaigns such as his - the similarly hateful Take Back Vermont crowd, the equally negative Six Pack, etc. In Vermont, successful politicians run for something, not at or against someone.

Recently at a legislative breakfast Wagner was called on one of his falsehoods by his neighbor and legislative representative, Willem Jewett (D-Ripton), specifically, that Vermonters don't have the same access that lobbyists have to legislative committees. Apparently the "Senator" didn't care for being challenged over one of his myths so he's now taking on another member of the legislature who's had it with his bullshit, as, I suppose, have most of his Ripton neighbors. When Rep. Jewett last ran he received 1,595 votes in the six towns that comprise the Addison-2 district he represents, 257 of which came from Ripton; non-Senator Wagner received only 1128 votes from the twenty-four towns of the Addison County senate seat (which includes Rutland County's Brandon), of which Ripton gave the anger challenged Wagner a total of 37! or 7% of his hometown vote. Perhaps a part what's made Wagner such a disliked figure in his hometown is his baseless and scurrilous attack on Ripton's selectboard that I reported on here.

Wagner has also used information that he obtained from an out-of-state website (all the while complaining about out-of-state financial support for candidates that he hates) that specifically precludes the Wagners of the world from using the information as he did. Directly beneath the information that Wagner quotes from Project Vote Smart about Rep. Jewett (information that is true for virtually every legislative member in Vermont who does not see the value in submitting to questionnaires from Texas as Wagner does) is this admonition in bold to political sleaze balls like Wagner:
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Putting what he found on his campaign website and using it as he did would certainly be a violation of Project Vote Smart's prohibition but I don't think that'll trouble what's already coming to be seen as the ugliest, searingly pessimistic and most negative campaign in the 2012 election - Robert Wagner's ill-fated campaign to wreck the Vermont's Senate, The Thirty. And just so there's no room for Wagner to try to weasel his way out of what he was doing, using Project Vote Smart in furtherance of his campaign, here's what he said about Jewett:
"My house rep stands for nothing but his political career, and votes as required to keep the corporate money and federal handouts flowing. Jewett must go."
Of course, I'll be keeping track of the totals, Wagner's dismal excuses and the lines he'll cavalierly cross in 2012, as well as his numerous hypocrisies and lies, but here's what this phony critic of his fellow Vermonters has done in the way of a blatant violation of Vermont's campaign law. I've learned from a source (two can play that game "Senator") that a complaint was submitted this fall to the Vermont Secretary of State's office regarding an illegal campaign solicitation that appeared on Wagner's fringer website.

Here's the scam that Wagner's pulling: candidates are permitted to “'passing-the-hat' at a fundraiser" but apparently Wagner is saying that his website is a "fundraiser" and that he's creating a new wrinkle to the public financing mess by claiming that he's merely passing his e-hat. On August 23, 2011 he had this pasted campaign donation box on his campaign website that also had next to it, under his mug, an admonishment that government should "respect the rule of law":

It's clear though that Wagner was willing to take donations in any amount from anonymous donors no matter what the law since, in fact, "the rule of law" doesn't really matter so much to him. His act was illegal no matter how he now spins it. After the complaint was made to Vermont Secretary of State's office, Wagner reduced the amount that he was willing to accept illegally to $50 or under. According to the Vermont Secretary of State's Campaign Finance law brochure, the law doesn't seem to include Wagner's self-serving thinking:
"Note that no individual can put more than $50.00 in cash into the hat because contributions in excess of $50.00 must be by check, credit card or debit card."
With all the problems today over fundraisering sleaze, it figures that Wagner would be the one to come up with calling a website a hat.

But I guess if you're an aspiring political wannabe, details like following the law, as well as its spirit, don't really matter when the ultimate goal is to smear others who've not violated the law. Wagner's really just following the lead from July of last year of his mentor, Thomas Naylor, who sought to act as a super-PAC until it was revealed on this blog here. You see, Naylor offered to send a free book of his (Amazon stats reveal that Naylor's books can't sell except in the category of +1,000,000 others sell better than his) to $100 contributors to the 2012 Vermont secesher legislator's campaign. Naylor illegally solicited funds without registering as a PAC (political action committee) via this on his website:
Support Us
"Please help us save Vermont, America, and the rest of the world from the American Empire by helping tiny Vermont lead the nation into disunion. If SVR is to move to the next level, electing members of the state legislature who are open secessionists, we need your financial support. Those who contribute $100 or more receive a complimentary copy of Thomas H. Naylor’s provocative, 100-page, unpublished monograph Rebél, a philosophy of peaceful rebellion against the human condition and the American Empire."

"Complete this form and return it with your check to The Second Vermont Republic, P.O. Box ***, *********, VT 05***."
Shortly after I revealed Naylor's electoral impropriety in July, he took that legislative campaign solicitation off of his website.

I wonder how long it'll take Wagner's "The 30" campaign to also come into complete compliance with the letter and as well as the spirit of the law, rather than the self-serving and most likely illegal interpretation that a hat can be passed on a website.

Meanwhile, in closing, there's still been no word yet about whether Wagner will be returning the $288.30 subsidy he received while flying out of the airport in Rutland, VT, which is exactly the kind of subsidy that he "is strongly opposed to" and has argued harms Vermonters that I revealed he'd hypocritically availed himself of (as in sticking his snout in the federal money trough) here.

Wagner must publicly give back that subsidy money or he'll be exposed for the hypocrite and fraud that so many of us Vermonters now know him to be.

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Sunday, February 26, 2012


I know that most people, like myself, don't spend a lot of time on a blog's Links column but I thought I'd note a few changes in the Links column to the right that in two cases mark recognitions, in one a transition and in another mark the link as something that I put up a few months back but that I'd like to make further mention as being a worthwhile blog to visit.

Starting with that last one first, The Blood of My Kindred is a well written examination of Civil War history along with exposés of the historical revisionism being perpetrated by League of the South types.

I'm adding the not-so-"Senator" Wagner website to the list of websites that I identify as "neo-Confederate, neo-Nazi, Paleoconservative, Racist, White Separatist, anti-Government Sovereignty Activists and Related Links, as well as Their Enablers and Supporters." Certainly, Wagner qualifies as an "anti-Government Sovereignty Activist" if not an outright enabler of misogynists, racists, anti-Semites and homophobes. Also joining that list will be a League of the South website run by a piece of dirt called Mike Tuggle. He's a former North Carolina League of the South Chairman and a current Board of Director member of the national (?) League of the South who serves there alongside such white supremacist notables as Michael Hill and Franklin Sanders, and is a supporter of Thomas Naylor's moribund Second Vermont Republic "think tank." His blog specializes in secession, dog-whistle racism and anti-Semitism, alongside overtly homophobic diatribes, and his sole claim to meaningful accomplishment seems to be mastery of the Spell Check tab in Blogger.

On a more personally disappointing note, I've moving the Ohio Republic blog to the same column as Wagner's and Tuggle's, not so much because its author, Harold Thomas, espouses the sort of virulent hatred that oozes from sites like Wagner's, Tuggle's and, of course, Naylor's, but because of the open support he offers Tuggle's vile LOS website.

An item that I've added above the links areas is the new Eye on the "30" feature that will carry direct links to posts that rectify the records and fact check the various secessionist or secesher candidates that announce for this year. The 2010 election proved to be a watershed occasion as a result of the falsehoods, negativity and downright nuttiness of the various secesher campaigns. With one truly announced secessionist candidate thus far, Robert Wagner, 2012 looks open to equally, if not more so, unsatisfactory and deliberately hurtful secesher campaigns.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Vermont Secessionist Senate Candidate and Vermont's Biggest Crybaby, Robert Wagner, Isn't Just Going After Vermont's Legislature...

... No, no. He's had the Ripton, VT selectboard in his sights for awhile now.

Last summer he thought he had them in how they'd managed funds from a Federal/State grant. I know, I know, Wagner, who likes to call himself "Senator," has claimed to oppose all federal grants as a burden on his grandchildren but in this case he wanted the selectboard to illegally set aside the funds for Riptonites first and apparently believed that Ripton residents had somehow been shortchanged. It wasn't good enough to him that the grant work had been awarded under criteria required by law to benefit the entire community and had gone to a local river engineer from just a few miles down that same river in East Middlebury. I don't believe that he really cared one way or the other. You see, Wagner's had a wicked hard on for the board since they passed him over for a board seat. It was all about intimating that the board had handled the grant improperly even though Wagner had no evidence whatsoever in support of that assertion.

Here's the likely reason why Wagner went after the selectboard: in August of 2009 Wagner volunteered to takeover a vacant Ripton, VT selectboard seat. According to the selectboard's minutes for August 17, 2009, the board spent the least amount of time of that spent with the four candidates interviewing Wagner. Apparently that didn't go down so well. Figures.

Wagner is a slavish follower the dictum of the baas of the Second Vermont Republic founder, the Dixie singin' Magnolia Vermonter Thomas Naylor who asserts that,
"In a left-wing state like Vermont, politics are basically grounded in anger and fear..."
Wagner's doing his best this electoral go around in 2012 to exceed the secesher excesses of 2010.

Wagner was invited to discuss his concerns with the board, as he had requested, but when the time set aside came the weasel didn't even bother to show up. Needless to say, he's dropped this particular matter. Probably being totally wrong had something to do with that.

As I mentioned earlier in the post below this one, the Vermont secessionist or independence or liberty or whatever the hell he's calling himself today candidate for one of the Vermont Senate seats for Addison County in west central Vermont, Robert Wagner, has yet again announced that he's running. "Senator" (as he likes to call himself despite never having held the office) Wagner, in his usual doomsayer fashion, starts out by telling his Addison County neighbors that "a storm is coming."


Let's take a look at the storm known as "Senator" Robert Wagner.

In December of 2010, after suffering a crushing defeat for the Addison County senate seat due in part to his hypocritical campaign rhetoric pertaining to community sponsored and funded bridgework in Middlebury, VT versus the special treatment he pleaded for in a bridge replacement project in his hometown of Ripton, VT, Wagner delared Hancock, VT to be his new provisional capitol for his new state, er, republic or whatever it is that he was thinking might boost secesher spirits in the aftermath of their 2010 across the board defeats.

You see, a potential detour would have impacted his personal neighborhood, so Wagner demanded temporary bridges be erected despite the fact that Vermont's Agency of Transportation deems such an alternative to be the least cost effect method of completing such a project. I guess that unlike when Wagner worries about accumulating debt for his grandchicldren, as he said in his announcement, he has no such worries when shifting costs to his statewide neighbors.

Around the same time that Wagner was trying to stir up a stink with the Ripton selectboard, a meeting was held by the Addison County Regional Planning Commission Transportation Advisory Committee where Mike Hedges, head of VTRANS Bridges section advised (as I'd written a year earlier) that:
"(W)herever possible, (VTRANS is) eliminating temporary structures that allow for free flow traffic detours during construction. Though this creates some very short term inconvenience, it can dramatically simplify design, construction, and overall cost. It also can significantly reduce project timeline because it reduces impact and simplifies permitting. VTrans is also trying to scale projects in such a way to avoid Act 250 permitting. Together, these have a significant impact on reducing the amount of time, and resource necessary to complete a project."

Wagner had argued in 2010 that there is some temporary bridge piggy bank maintained by the state would easily rectify his issues. What a fraud.

As for his confusion about the flood mitigation project Wagner might have consulted a local Ripton blog nearly a year earlier here, here, here, here and here or in 2011 here.

In closing, there's been no word yet about whether Wagner will be returning the $288.30 subsidy he received while flying out of the airport in Rutland, VT, which is exactly the kind of subsidy that he "is strongly opposed to" and has argued harms Vermonters, that I revealed he'd hypocritically availed himself of (as in sticking his snout in the federal money trough) here.

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Second Vermont Republic's Thomas Naylor Lashes Out At Vermont Occupiers

As a part of his continuing campaign to promote the notion that the baas knows best, the Second Vermont Republic's Dixie singin' founder unleashed a barrage of criticism at Occupy Vermont in his most recent essay, Occupy Wall Street Revisited: Who Is Being Occupied By Whom?

Naylor's claim in his essay that the "(f)rom the very outset (he) was an enthusiastic supporter of Occupy Wall Street" is, like much of what he says, untrue. He'd been a hectoring observer, at best. But he really went into overdrive last week in a broad spectrum attack on virtually every aspect of the Occupy movement in Vermont.

This sort of attack is nothing new for Naylor. Whenever some part of society disappoints him by not playing his secessionist game entirely by his rules, he strikes back and pillories the offender(s) for their not going secesher - when Bernie Sanders didn't quit his day job in Congress to run as Naylor's anointed Vermont gubernatorial candidate, Naylor viciously attacked him (and still does to this date); he attacked all of Vermont's voters when more than 99% of them didn't vote for his unhinged gubernatorial candidate in 2010; he's smeared all of Vermont's legislature, executive branch, statewide officials and congressional delegation for not seeing things his way; he's spewed hate for all of Vermont's churches, schools, institutes of higher learning and beloved public institutions for not becoming his a shill and, as I wrote here:
"He's condemned prominent state environmentalists, the churches ("No group is more loyal to the American Empire than are the Vermont clergy"), attorneys, all of the instate media including his former SVR flack, Shay Totten... He's likened the Vermont left to the "White Citizen Council" (sic) and the KGB. So what's left?"
Well, me. He's said something about me being a "CIA-style cyber smearer" or words to that effect. I'm surprised he hasn't sought to link me to the Mossad.

So it should come as no surprise that Naylor's turned his out of control enmity on the local Occupy movement when it failed to follow the directions meant for the Vermont occupiers that he'd fired off in several essays this fall and winter. The short version of that message: "Sezession über alles!"

Admittedly, I've had my own issues with a small segment of the Vermont occupiers who promote the highly criticized research work of racists and anti-Semites to explain economics and have provided an information portal to some of the most hateful websites imaginable, but overall my belief is that every group deserves a turn at bat. If such a group should fail, it's not going to be the fault of some diabolical conspiracy but, rather, a failure mostly of their own creation.

It is not an overstatement to say that the occupiers have substantively accomplished more in their brief existence than Thomas Naylor and his tiny claque of spellbound supporters have in the twenty or so years since he first began peddling his personal fantasy of secession. Under Naylor's highly incompetent leadership, SVR, seceshers as a group and the idea that Vermont will secede from the US has become an embarrassing joke.

Naylor's had more time at bat than he and his band of nincompoops deserve and it's long past time that they left the field in shame. Shame for their years long alliances with racists, anti-Semites and homophobes; shame for the vitriol they've injected into statewide forums and the election process; shame for their reliance on whacked out conspiracy theories to explain their inability to gain any traction whatsoever with the Vermont electorate; shame for their ongoing efforts to to establish partnerships with out of state extremists and the fringiest of nutters; and shame for their continuing treatment of their Vermont neighbors and political adversaries as enemies to be turned out and destroyed.

In his diatribe against all Occupiers in Vermont, Naylor wrote:
"Until Occupy Vermont came along, I thought surely the Second Vermont Republic had already attracted most of the crazies in Vermont. I was mistaken."
A surprising admission from someone who'd argued that his crazies were the right stuff to lead and govern Vermont in the future. But clearly his delusions persist when he suggests that there could be anyone crazier than someone who'd follow him.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Occupy Vermont Burlington: Still Honoring The Work Of An Anti-Semite On Its Facebook Page

I'd have thought by this point that Occupy Vermont Burlington might have considered honoring a neo-Nazi scumbag like Eustace Mullins to be not in the best interest of the Occupy movement. I was wrong. OVB is dumber than I thought. They posted this from Eamon James Cahall's Facebook worship page devoted to Eustace Mullins "research" that's saturated with lies and ethnic hatred of the sort normally found in this century on the websites of David Duke and (White Pride Worldwide) this past Sunday:

You can read more about the racist, anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi, Hitler loving lowlife, Eustace Mullins, that some occupiers in Burlington,VT and Amherst, MA are so fixated with here, here and here.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Ripton Vermont's Robert Wagner Throws A Hissy Fit Over A Delayed Flight Out Of Rutland's Airport

By now you've all heard of Vermont secessionist Robert Wagner's tendency to fly off the handle for the slightest perceived cause, whether it be communities solving and paying for local needs that he disapproves of based on his own specious reasoning while at the same time seeking to bellying up to the state and federal funding trough to get some goodies delivered to his community at statewide expense.

Wagner, who prefers to be called "Senator" despite having never held such an office, is once again running for the Addison County senate seat in the Vermont legislature; he proclaims such again for the umpteenth time in this recent announcement. Perhaps it's because the media doesn't immediately scrub the news lineup to highlight the latest Wagner barrage of hate directed at his neighbors from Addison County who serve in the legislature that Wagner feels compelled to offer these serial announcements, but whatever the reason it's all getting quite old - like his lie about having six others (that he alleges will ultimately will become thirty) who are running arm in arm with him to takeover the Vermont Senate from those already there who are "corrupt" and are "thieves," as Wagner wrote in his post "How the Vermont Legislature Steals From Us". None of the four (not five) candidates that he lists at his website are as yet registered candidates for Senate; some of their nonsense websites have even gone "dark." Even "Senator" Wagner hasn't bothered to complete the necessary registration form, despite his redundant announcements. What's his strategy this time - a write-in November surprise?

We can now add to the river of nonsense that spews from candidate Wagner his thoughts on flight operations. You see, Wagner would have us believe that flight control is dictated merely by the the weather at the end of his nose. In what can only be described as Wagner's "air rage" snit in his recent rant here over his delayed departure from the Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport (RUT) we learn that he was told that weather was the cause for his hour long delayed departure. Never mind his muddled understanding of modern, more effective weather services, such delays are not uncommon in the airline industry. Delays or cancellations are normally due to weather or mechanics, mechanics being something as mundane as a malfunctioning gauge where no true mechanical issue is involved other than a minor electrical fix.

Bear with me as I explain a few air industry fundamentals since there's one helluva punchline to the whole fuss that Wagner raised on the ramp at RUT.

Wagner's sophomoric misunderstanding of the essentials of Air Traffic Flow Management are breathtaking. Ground stops that necessitate aircraft to remain on the ramp or runway awaiting takeoff clearance are not exceptional when varying weather conditions en route or at the destination require readiness to rejoin the "flow" at a few minutes notice. Necessary pre-flight check procedures when re-starting an aircraft can lead to a missed opportunity to rejoin that "flow," particularly in the case of small aircraft such as the small twin engine, nine seat Cessna 402 (oh, yeah, Wagner didn't tell you about that in his rant, did he?). Also, Cessna 402s are much more subject to wind activity at an arrival airport such as at his destination, Logan Airport, than are the larger, instrument heavy aircraft that can handle the tricky Boston Harbor offshore winds (believe me, I know), if not on runway 19 at RUT.

Certainly, this isn't the first time that Wagner's, willfully or not, displayed a self-serving ignorance of basic facts in order to advance his meme-of-the-day. But in this case it flies (pun intended again) in the face of his oft stated principles as a candidate for the Vermont Senate. Let me quote the would be senator from his most recent campaign announcement:
Question: "Would you vote to end government subsidies to private industry?"
Answer: "End them immediately!"

"In 2012, I’m going to be a grandpa. Folks, it takes something like this to broaden your perspective… and now it’s personal for me: I am strongly opposed to Vermont taking federal money, because it’s borrowed money that my grandchildren will get stuck paying back. Deprived of the opportunities that I had, simply because of one short-sighted, greedy generation."

"I say this now: the job of a State Legislator is to protect the rights and fortunes of the people who sent him
(why not her, Robert?) to Montpelier. Not; I repeat NOT to give up those rights to gain federal grants for make-work projects in his district."

"These federal grants, stimulus and other welfare is DEBT: money borrowed from my grandkids without my consent and spent today. We Vermonters would be better off holding onto our hard-earned cash. It is a traditional Vermont value to do without what we cannot yet afford, to scrimp & save until we can buy something honestly. Handouts simply aren’t the Vermont way."

Here's the deal: Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport receives what's called an Essential Air Service federal grant subsidy (government documents file folder may be accessed here) in the amount of $797,151 per year to operate commercial flights using Cape Air's nine passenger Cessna 402 aircraft. A 14 day one way advance booking costs a passenger $49. Based on the CY 2010 enplanements, the taxpayer's federal subsidy for Robert Wagner's round trip excellent adventure computes to be $288.30! Cha-ching!

The question now for Vermonters is when will Wagner, who is "strongly opposed" to goverment subsidies and federal grants, reimburse the Vermont tax paying community for his recent (as well as possibly earlier) bellying up to the federal grant trough? How 'bout a check to the Vermont General Fund so that Vermonters and their grandchildren aren't saddled with underwriting Wagner's whiny travels, a luxury that many Vermonters in today's economic climate can little afford for themselves.

I wouldn't hold my breath but I'm gonna keep asking when he or his employer intend to pony up the $288.30 "handout" he so "strongly oppose(s)"; that is, when it's not him slopping at the federal subsidy trough that he demands not be afforded to his Vemont neighbors.

Robert Wagner - What. A. Flaming. Asshole. Hypocrite.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Vermont Secessionist and Occupy Vermont Activist, Matt Cropp, Plots Takeover of Vermont Credit Unions

Matthew Cropp, the 2010 campaign manager for one of the most inept, unhinged gubernatorial campaigns in recent memory, that of the middle-finger waving Dennis Steele; one of the founders of the secessionist provisional capitol in Hancock, VT; maintainer of an inneffectual website that has apparently met none of the goals he set for it; recipient of an internet head pat from the baas of Second Vermont Republic, the Dixie singin' Thomas Naylor; an editorial board member of the defunct Vermont Commons newsletter secessionist propaganda rag where he still blogs on their unpopular website; stunningly failed candidate for the board of directors of City Market/Onion River Co-op in Burlington; and one of the leaders of disastrously operated Occupy encampments - one dead - in City Hall Park, Burlington, and he's now got a new idea. He intends an Occupy Vermont takeover Vermont's various credit unions. He even scheduled to be held this past Saturday his first organizing meeting for the takeover of credit unions by Occupiers at the Fletcher Free Library in Burlington, VT between 1:00 and 3:00 PM.


I don't know whether to laugh or pee or both.

Here's Matt Cropp's plan:
Occupy Your Credit Union! A Tactic for Activist Members
"...Being a credit union member is not basically the same as being a bank customer who gets better rates and fewer fees; rather, at its core, credit union membership means that you own your bank. With that ownership comes not simply a claim to your fair share of the profits that Bank of America would otherwise have shipped off to its shareholders, but the right to have an equal say in determining the policies and priorities of your credit union."


"In order to wield that power to effectively advance our interests against the plutocracy, however, requires that we push for more participatory and responsive democratic processes in our credit unions. As long as the democratic deficit remains, credit unions will remain a passive counter-balance to the excesses of the Wall Street model; once we resolve it, however, I believe credit unions have the potential to become champions that can lend an enormous amount of weight to the struggle for a just financial order."

"Though there are many possible ways to increase the empowerment of credit union members, I propose that one effective strategy would be the formation of "Credit Union Members Associations." Open to all members of a particular credit union and run on the consensus model popularized by the Occupy movement, each Members Association will initially serve as a bi-monthly forum at which members can get to know each other and discuss their the credit union. Then, as the credit union's annual meeting approaches, members of the Association will nominate a slate of "Association Delegates" from their own ranks to challenge the incumbent members of the board of directors whose seats are up for election."

"To receive the endorsement of the Members Association, prospective candidates must meet a few requirements. As in credit union board elections, they must receive the support of the majority of Association members, and, if successfully elected to the credit union board, they must pledge to fulfill several key responsibilities. First, Association Delegates will be responsible for organizing a general meeting (run on the aforementioned consensus process) open to all members of the credit union every two months at which they will report on important news and developments. Second, during such meetings, should the assembled members come to consensus on a proposal (which any member is empowered to bring before the body), the Association Delegates will be obligated to do everything in their power to push for the enactment of the policies called for by the members. Finally, the Association Delegates will commit to pushing for the incorporation of the participatory processes of the Members Association into the structure of the credit union itself, with the aim of eventually making the Association redundant."

"This final goal will likely take time, since, in most credit unions, only a third of the board seats are up for reelection each year. Nonetheless, since credit union annual meeting attendance is (for complex historical reason, and with some exceptions) abysmally low, those seats should be easy pickings for the delegates of a well organized Members Association (as long as they make sure to check the credit union's bylaws to see if you have to turn in a petition in advance to be on the ballot; many credit unions don't allow for nominations from the floor at their annual meetings). In all honesty, a committed block of 25-50 people in a credit union of 20,000+ members would likely be sufficient for success, and, with a few seats at the table, the new board members could start successfully pushing for new initiatives to increase member engagement and participation right off the bat (one such idea: democratizing community giving)."

Great! If members want any say in how their credit union's run they'll need to attend one of those dopey finger wiggling General Assemblies that Ocuppiers think all decision making groups should be reduced to or lose their say as a credit union member. Matt's a little vague on who'll benefit most in this sweeping takeover but I think his focus on "community giving" is a hint. A small group of Occupiers - "25-50 people in a credit union of 20,000+ members" - calling the shots using their governing model and standing the local credit unions longtime very good relationship with its members on its head, all in furtherance of goals of what must be one of the most incompetent Occupy groups in the country, Occupy Burlington-Vermont. Matt's process outlined in his statement in bold is based on the anarchist model or principles called "direct democracy", not unlike the governing principles of a "dictatorship of the proletariat".

Like most of what Matt does, this probably will go nowhere and hopefully with no casualities this time, but it's interesting that Matt proposes that less than 1% of credit union members control the assests of the remaining more than 99% of credit union members. Odd, no?

If you are a member of one of Vermont's credit unions, you may want to let yours know what Matt Cropp is planning. You can find yours in this online list of 27 Vermont Credit Unions. Our Vermont credit unions have 290,000 members and assets totaling $2.4 billion. Wouldn't Matt just love to control that?

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Five Years of Exposing Vermont Secessionists and Their Associates

Seems like years (okay, it has been) since I began exposing racist ties to the baas of the Second Vermont Republic, the Dixie singin' Thomas Naylor, the Magnolia Vermonter.

Five years today, actually.

Naylor's been reduced to writing cheesy book reviews for his seceshers colleagues, like at Ian Baldwin's minor book barn, Chelsea Green, and his fellow America/Vermont haters. Baldwin has described the Vermont seceshers as a "small community." Much of the other junk that Naylor's now putting out goes unnoticed in Vermont despite his plastering it all over decentralist, secesher and other irrelevant websites that occupy the fringe of the internets. He's banished his membership and now calls his SVR a think tank, although SVR is still registered at the Vermont Secretary of State's website as a "civic club."

Naylor's former propagandist and self worshipping publisher of the now defunct "Vermont Commons" newsletter and promoter of various nutjob conspiracy theorists and 9/11 truthers, Rob Williams, is writing shamefully inept and unimportant movie reviews at his little read blog that serves as the remains of his once print publication.

But fear not, dear reader. There's one unhinged secesher candidate that I'll be writing about who likes to call himself "Senator" although he's never held such an office here in Vermont and makes no claim to have done so elsewhere. He claims that he'll be running 29 others as a part of his plan to unseat all 30 of Vermont's senators in the General Assembly in 2012. He also claims he has five others now running with him in Vermont but can only name four, one of whom's website is now gone. Oddly, not one of his group of fringers, including himself, has registered as a Senate candidate at the Vermont Secretary of State's website. You also really have to wonder how "Senator" Robert Wagner will be able to mount a credible campaign as he continues to smear his fellow Riptonites and Addison County neighbors (more on that later). This one's gonna be fun.

Vermont seceshers also continue to insinuate themselves into the Occupy Vermont movement and hatch schemes to takeover institutions cherished by Vermonter's - more on that soon as well.

Joyeux Anniversaire!

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