Is a Secession Supporter Running in the Burlington, VT Mayoral Race?
UPDATE: Wednesday, Dec. 3, 4:00 PM Secession flack and political drama queen Greg Guma to announce Burlington mayoral election bid on Thursday, Dec. 4. Yawn...
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Well, certainly stranger campaigns have occurred in Burlington's past. But this year's musing by longtime political wannabe and unsuccessful influence on the body politic, Greg Guma, deserve a look if not much more.
Guma's been on the edge of the Burlington political scene for what seems like forever. One news organization even made the mistake of using him for past Burlington political campaign coverage and learned that with Guma's "journalism" comes his inevitable slant.
Last week I learned of Guma's latest ploy in a post of his at the Second Vermont Republic hate site (and, no, I don't link to there). I then found a similar advisory on the all-Guma-all-the-time blog here. In a tired and typical pol style, Guma self flogs his importance to the political scene despite his abundant lack of real accomplishment; it's like he's made it notwithstanding his never having done so. His brief tenure at Pacifica was wracked with conflict that led inevitably to his departure with little to show for his time there. Hell, he once had a largely self written Wikipedia article that Wikipedia dropped due to his "lack of notability."
Guma gives himself a backslapping blurb in the announcement post from some other non-notable and even hints at his crucial role in the ascent of Vermont's star and possible presidential contender Bernie Sanders.
Guma goes on at some length about a December 2 meeting without providing a link or a place whereat some might ponder the importance and relevance of a Guma candidacy to the public weal.
"In short, the question I am now considering is whether to proceed anyway or, as I did 35 years ago when Bernie Sanders and I were both organizing mayoral campaigns, step aside for someone else. I'll be listening, watching closely, and thinking it over between now and Dec. 2. In the meantime, I have asked my current supporters to spread the word, invite others, and let me know what they think. If the prevailing sentiment is that Steve (Goodkind) is the right person and the only challenger needed, I need to hear why. The responses, along with discussion on Dec. 2, will be a significant factor in my choice."Okay. We can probably agree that for such a non-player on the political scene Greg Guma has a pretty inflated sense of self-importance. But by this point one or two of you may be asking why-TF does Rowley give a shit about this loser? Well, Guma comes from a short list of flacks for the so-called "Second Vermont Republic." It's a really short list that includes basically Christopher Ketcham and Shay Totten. Ketcham's published a book on the topic that's gone nowhere, acknowledged that he snuck in a piece for Time that he later admitted was "a favor" for his Vermont Secesher friends and Totten now flacks books since Thomas Naylor is no longer his meal ticket - you'd of thought they might have gotten together on it but seceshers aren't exactly the brightest bulbs. In 2008 Guma wrote one piece that pushes what he thought were the strengths of secession without really telling the whole truth; some "muckraker," as he likes to characterize himself. Here's how he colored the controversy that sent SVR into its death spiral:
"... The controversy began when the Southern Poverty Law Center accused (Thomas) Naylor and the group of talking to an allegedly racist group, the League of the South. Critics pounced, and Seven Days, a liberal weekly in Vermont that was distributing Vermont Commons as an insert, decided to end the arrangement. Labor groups soon demanded the removal of offensive web links on Second Vermont Republic's website, disassociation from certain groups or individuals, and the release of a statement clearly opposing racism, fascism, bigotry, and discrimination. Although there is no evidence that Vermont secessionists condone such things, they've been pressured to prove it."Actually, Greg, the"critics pounced" before the Southern Poverty Law Center took an interest in SVR and Naylor, and there's nothing "alleged" about the overt racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism and homophobia of the League of the South, in fact they're quite proud of their various hatreds. This blog and two others published extensively and were quite involved in petitioning the SPLC to take a look at Naylor and his flying monkeys. And there was plenty of evidence at the time that SVR condoned institutionalized homophobia, segregation, anti-Semitism and racism; all one had to do was read their publication, Vermont Commons, and Naylor's own website.
Guma has written other dishonest representations of the Vermont secesher movement but that could be the basis for a future post - who knows? Until then Guma will be consumed with his bloatedly self-important decision.
"This is an important moment for Burlington. In the next few years, decisions will be made that could transform the community for generations. If I do run, my goal will not be just to win, but to challenge complacency, provincialism, gentrification and the current redevelopment push, and to open up debate on crucial choices facing the city we love. What I find out in the next two weeks will determine whether that happens. I look forward to hearing what Burlington residents have to say and how they feel about a real independent voice in the race."Yes, Greg. I'm sure that there are tens of Burlingtonians awaiting your decision.
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