Author’s note: Several hours after posting this, the site was taken down by Wix after a Twitter follower of mine complained to this website design firm. Thanks to all who read it, shared it, and spread the word. I’m still a little shocked that the GOP in Vermont would let this site stand for so long without comment. But, then again, look who’s in charge. So, thanks for reading, thanks for helping take this site offline. But, stay tuned as I’m sure this site, or something like it, will pop up again.
Woke up this morning to find myself tagged in a blog post on a website with the sole purpose of maligning the name and well-being of a friend of mine, James Ehlers (who also happens to be running for Governor).
Now, James is no stranger to controversy or courting political enemies. Maybe that’s why we get along. However, when we put something out on social media, or the Internets, or in print, and we call other people out by name, we at least have the decency to sign our names to it.
Apparently, that’s not everyone’s idea of decency. You see, the people behind this site haven’t identified themselves, other than claiming to be Stan Hardy to Seven Days‘ “Fair Game” columnist John Walters. I suppose Oliver Laurel didn’t have the same ring to it, but I digress.
It’s a pretty disturbing site, to be honest, even by parody standards. They’ve taken down some of the more toxic elements, such as putting the site’s main address at the psychiatric facility in Berlin. Pretty revolting, but what do you expect with a Fuhrer like Trump at the top of the GOP.
I did a quick online search to find the site’s owners, but the site was registered through a proxy service, who then also registered the domain for them, too. No easy way to trace them.
My guess is that the person(s) behind it have done this before and perhaps learned a lesson or two about putting your name to a fake website. I don’t think we have to look under too many rocks to find them. Since Slappy Whyte, er Scot Shumski, moved to North Carolina, we can possibly rule him out. (As an aside, the Ward 4 school commissioner still votes in Burlington and uses his parent’s home in Ward 7 – sure hope he’s not one of them there voter fraudsters! Don’t let James O’Keefe know!)
Anyway, back to our little website intrigue.
Some of you may recall that Executive Director of the Vermont GOP—Jeff Bartley—was a lackey for Republican Rich Tarrant’s senatorial suicide run against Sen. Bernie Sanders back in the day. And you may also recall that he made a fake news website during that campaign! He was outed by a real journalist who found the domain name registry. Like I said, some people learn their lessons.
Here’s where it gets fun.
Several years later, Bartley also worked for Republican Lenny Britton’s quixotic bid against Sen.Patrick Leahy. He and the “brain trust” of Hollywood wannabes Britton and Bradford Broyles came up with a couple of “funny” skits in their attempt take down ‘ol Sen. Leahy with a little creativity. But, mostly they spent other people’s money. And then sued each other. Britton and Broyles still cuddle up with each other, professionally, at a firm aptly called Public Spectacle Media.
I guess bygones are bygones between this trio now that Ehlers’ campaign is underway, and they’re plying away and bringing the political swampland to Vermont. They even have a nascent Twitter account, @VTDreamteam. Awww, how cute.
Ehlers must have really said something to annoy Bartley, Broyles, and other Vermont Trump lovers (like former Rep. Job Tate) on Facebook to get them to come together like this. Must be Ehlers is onto something.
Given the standards set by their Fuhrer in Washington, it’s clear that attacking a Veteran who has dedicated his life to fighting for the environment and the public health is par for the course in the GOP these days.
Seems to me the worst of Washington is now being embraced by Vermont Republicans.
I won’t be holding my breath for our aw shucks ’em golly good ‘ol boy Gov. Phil Scott to step in and say anything either to call off the demeaning attacks. I mean, that would require real leadership.