Vermont Democrats attack governor over inviting LePage, others to fundraiser

Associated Press file photo

In this Dec. 7, 2011 file photo, Republican Vermont State Sen. Randy Brock hugs his daughter Natalia during his campaign announcement in Montpelier, Vt. Vermont’s Democratic Party is zeroing in on scheduled speakers for two of Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Brock’s fundraisers to paint Brock as guilty by association of being a hard-right conservative. Brock is calling the tactic nasty, negative campaigning, and says appearances by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Maine Gov. Paul LePage at his events don’t mean he agrees with them on every issue. The Democratic Party issued statement on Tuesday criticizing LePage’s stands on organized labor, health care and transgendered young people.

MONTPELIER, Vt. — Vermont's Democratic Party is trying to paint Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Brock as a hard-right conservative by criticizing his choice of political headliners for his upcoming fundraisers: the GOP governors of Maine and Virginia.

Brock is calling the tactic nasty, negative campaigning, and says appearances by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Maine Gov. Paul LePage at his events in the coming weeks don't mean he agrees with them on every issue.

The man Brock hopes to unseat is staying out of the fray for now. Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin announced last week he's seeking re-election to a second two-year term but said he doesn't want to engage the campaign until September.

The Democratic Party issued a statement Tuesday criticizing LePage's stands on organized labor, health care and other issues.

"If Vermonters want a taste of what Randy Brock would do as governor, they should look to Maine, where Governor LePage is overseeing a massive effort to cut essential public services, eviscerate collective bargaining, and make affordable health care even farther out of reach for Mainers," said a statement from Democratic state Chairman Jake Perkinson.

McDonnell has drawn fire from Democrats for signing a Virginia law requiring women to have an ultrasound before an abortion.

Brock said he planned to attend a fundraiser for his campaign with McDonnell in Washington on Monday. Events are scheduled in Vermont with LePage on July 11 and 12.

Brock said he thinks Vermont, which is in the process of moving toward a Canadian-style, government-run health care system, might be able to learn from Maine on health care.

"His solutions may not be the solutions we choose to adopt in Vermont," Brock said in an interview Wednesday. "But he's willing to come over and share those experiences, talk about what he's done and how he's done it. That's a dialogue we ought to have."

Brock said he is a "Vermont Republican" who is not in lockstep with the national party's conservative mainstream; he supports abortion rights, for example. But while he sought to distinguish his positions from those of LePage and McDonnell, the two governors won praise from the head of the Vermont Republican Party and a senior Brock campaign aide.

GOP Chairman Jack Lindley said in email that LePage had "helped create more than 4,000 new private sector jobs, pushed his state's unemployment rate below the national average, passed the largest cut tax in Maine's history, reformed welfare ... If only we could say the same thing about Vermont's Governor."

Brock campaign aide Darcie Johnston in an email lavished praise on McDonnell for improvements in Virginia's economy, and called the ultrasound bill a "common-sense pro-life bill that puts Virginia in line with a number of other states."

LePage won a five-way election for governor in 2010 with the support of tea party activists. He drew the ire of liberals by ordering the removal of a mural from the Maine Department of Labor depicting the history of the labor movement in the state.

LePage also has pushed to reduce benefits for low-income and elderly residents, to relax environmental regulation, and supports a school voucher system and merit pay for teachers.

LePage "excoriates labor, makes fun of transgendered people, he's unabashed about taking health care benefits from the poor and elderly," Perkinson said. "You do need to take responsibility for the people you invite to speak on your behalf," he said of Brock.

Both Brock and Jack Lindley, chairman of the state Republican Party, objected to Perkinson's comments.

"The name callers who dwell in the bowels at the Vermont Democratic Party might actually learn something from listening to the words of Gov. LePage," Lindley said. "And even if they don't like his ideas, the least they could do is treat this man with the same civility that our side demonstrated during President (Barack) Obama's recent visit to Vermont."

Perkinson replied that his criticisms were not a personal attack, but a commentary on LePage's policy decisions.

"We're not making an ad hominem attack, saying he's ugly or fat," he said. "We're saying this is what he does and we disagree with it."

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Roger Moulton's picture

Kudos again to LEPAGE!

I've said it before and I'll say it again- Paul Lepage is the FIRST politician that I have seen actually make every attempt to do what he said he would during his campaign. Can you tell me Mr. Earley what Mr. Lepage has done to negatively affect your life? Or are you just on of those crazy liberals? I tend to lean republican but think they are all crooks. Lepage is trying to make cuts where they have been needed for a long time. I'm sick of everyone in the "entitlement" state getting angry when Lepage actually tries to save us money. If you people would just back him and help push his ideas it wouldn't be long before Maine's economy picked up and some of your kids would actually stay home in Maine to make a living. But you'll just fight him tooth and nail and so will your liberal buddies in our state house and then you'll all say "why did my kids grow up and move away". Or you are one of the ones on state aid and your children will stay because they will follow in your footsteps and suck the rest of us dry. You people need to wake up and notice the trend. The kids that go to college leave and the kids that watch there parents enjoy the couch while we pay for it will stay. Well eventually whether it's 200 years from now or 20 enough of us working people will leave the state and you lazy bones won't have anyone to get your freebies from.

 's picture

LePage has ideas? How absurd. He's bully through and through

and his ideas are piped directly from the Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C.
His accomplishments - Maine is the only state in New England whose economy has shrunk and worst yet Maine's economy is the third worst economy in the United States. If we help puch his ideas along Maine will be the worst economy in the Western Hemisphere and the only state that solves its housing crisis by building mud huts for workers.
Leans Republican. Their is no lean in the above comment.

Roger Moulton's picture

hahaha you make me laugh out loud and chuckle.

I bet you are another one of the dems that says the national economy is Bush's fault and Obama is just trying to recover it yet you think Paul Lepage has the ability to turn this state around already? Remember this state has been run by democrats for how long? Oh but I'm sure that it is only since Lepage took office that we went south. Remember your democratic friends are the ones that messed this state up enough that we elected the Florida resident Mr. Paul Lepage. My above comment was not directed toward any parties at all so if you are saying I'm am a hardcore republican because I expect all ABLE BODIED(for you Mr. Earley) to go get a job. I don't buy into the ptsd crap and all of that. If you are so "mentally" messed up that you can't work you should be in a treatment facility not on your couch snorting pills and smoking dope but so many in this state do just that. And I'm not saying PTSD isn't real again though if it's that bad you should be in a treatment facitility. And to you Mr. Earley we've had this discussion I am not against people who are truely not able bodied people getting help, I think or know they need and deserve it, especially you who has contributed to this society and made every attempt to keep that going. Unfortunately most in our state would act different in your situation, most would have given up the first time and not gone back for the second education. You need not take offense when people "crap" on welfare recipients they are talking about the ones that don't try and don't care if they spend all of our money. Had a friend kill a girl in a car accident and he gets disability for PTSD. He met that girl that evening and hit a telephone pole drunk at 105mph and I have to pay for him to sit at home now? He shows no remorse and have even heard him joke about the situation. It's ones like that I'm talking about. Unfortunately some deserving may get hurt in the long run but somebody needs to step up and do something. Taking the dems approach and adding more money to welfare funds is not what we need to do. We need to eliminate the liars, cheats, and lazy so that the deserving can receive an amount of money that they can actually live on.

 's picture

Just the facts please.

Of course I'm one of the democrats that explains the poor shape of the National Economy on Bush. He entered office with four previous years of budget surpluses, projections that showed surpluses throughout his first term and then deficits in the second if he did nothing, the economy growing at 3.5%, unemployment at 4.3% having gone down for each of the eight years of the Clinton administration. That's a growing, positive economy when he entered office. The dot com collapse did not slow that growth, cause a recession, or portend any economic difficulty for Bush. 9/11 caused a one-month recession (which is not a recession by definition) but was over in 30 days. The economy quickly recovered. Then Bush did something (big mistake). 2001 tax cuts. The Bush administration claimed that the tax cuts would "pay for themselves". In fact, they added more than 2 trillion dollars to the deficit; reduced demand (the rich spend 15-25% less of their income than the middle class does so about $400 billion was pulled out of the economy); slowed growth to under 2%; cut new employment. Then Bush doubled down with new tax cuts in 2003, started two unpaid for wars which increased the deficit by another 2 trillion while deregulating through legislation and a failure to enforce existing law commerce. The Bush administration approved plans by Countrywide to offer subprime mortgages and to securitize those mortgages for sale internationally. Greenspan and the other regulators met and agreed not to regulate these "innovations". Result the housing bubble and the Great Recession of 2008. Unemployment exploded to more than 750,000 jobs per month. The financial system collapsed; credit froze; the auto industry was about to shut its doors which would have ended manufacturing in the US. No president before Obama has entered office with a worse economy except Roosevelt in 1933.Obama's auto bailout (the most successful Federal intervention in the economy in history and the Recovery Act stopped the collapse, reversed the shrinking job market and restored the economy to a positive direction. Meanwhile the minority Republicans controlling the Senate prevented any real recovery by filibustering any other effort to improve the economy. They have filibustered every piece of legislation to reach the Senate including the Dream Act. This has never before been done.
So yes, Bush is primarily responsible. Obama is partly responsible because he tried to work with the Republicans even though they made clear they would do nothing but sabotage the country's economy. That was an error in judgement Obama is now paying for.

Roger Moulton's picture

You just proved your total ingnorance

While the stuff you just wrote (assumably copied from some left wing media fruitloop) sounds like it makes sense, however from everything you just said it sounds like you should have the same sympathy for Paul Lepage. How was our economy when Lepage took office? (and remember how long has Maine been controlled by democrats) But let's blame Lepage and not Obama. All of you people who strictly belong to one party and only side with that party, and do so on every issue are ignorant people that deserve to live in this messed up economy. Open your eyes. They both are right about some things and wrong about others. The problem is all of them and all "like you" will always agree with your party even when wrong and you will disagree with the other party even when they are right. Both parties suck, both parties are full of corrupt people that don't truly give a damn about anything except for the advancement of their party. And unfortunately they have followers like you. And let me leave you with this last thought-all of the information you just wrote along with the information in your head about why democrats are so great and Republicans are so bad must have taken you some amount of time to study and learn and your one single vote will never amount to a pee hole in the snow so you keep on arguing for a cause that doesn't care about you and you will NEVER be able to influence enough to matter. So enjoy your endless searches to have arguments against Republlican. I'll go on realizing there's not much I can do to change it and spend my time enjoying life rather than getting all mixed up in things I can't change. Here's my breakdown of the political parties
Dems-look out for minorities and poor, and love to give hand outs to both because it gets them to the polls.
Reps-look out for the wealthy, give tax cuts to large corporations, and only care about getting richer.

Both suck however the wealthy republicans give me a job where I can earn my own money, and the money they save those large corporations helps create jobs. Do you know what it cost before you even talk about hourly wage to have employees? So i guess I'll vote for the ones that may create jobs rather than for the ones that want you all to be dependent on their ability to give you MY money.

 's picture

Copied from nowhere. Unlike Republicans, I verify the

facts for myself and I repeat only what I have verified (primary source almanacs). Doesn't mean I'm not wrong but gives me a better chance than the 2/3rds of Republicans who believe things that are and have been well established to be lies i.e. anything on FoxNews or other RNC outlets.
Why should I have any sympathy for LePage. Maine is an end-of-road State far removed from commerce markets (Boston, New York). So until virtual commerce becomes the most important in the global economy. Maine will do relatively poorly as it has since the founding of the country. But 40 years of Democratic rule well it wasn't 40 years, CMP ran Maine until very recently. Maine has done much better than states in similiar circumstances New Hampshire not being one. LePage has and is wrecking it as the economic results of the last two years very clearly show. As the performance of the Bush Aministration clearly shows. They also show in Wisconcin, Michigan, and Ohio where this "serve the Rich, austerity for the poor" philosophy has been used and in Europe where these austerity programs have almost driven Europe into a double dip recession (England has succeeded in that effort).

FRANK EARLEY's picture

With Pleasure...

First, LePage seems to think that everyone who sits on a couch every day enjoys it and deserves retaliation. Take away their benefits and they'll get a job. We have no room for lazy, do nothing people.
I am one of those people. I'm sorry, I got sick. As a result I can't work. That's O.K. though, I was able to retire after twenty four years in one industry at the age of forty-four. I went back to school and got a second degree and returned to work at a second career. I managed to squeeze four and a half years out of that career before I had to stop due to illness. I am now fifty-four years old, and I can never work again. I don't like it, I also dislike being grouped by LePage into that group of lazy people.
Second, I don't get any help from the state of Maine. I'm afraid its only a matter of time before LePage over steps his boundaries and tries taking away the benefits I do get, that I earned. And furthermore, I don't like a guy who bullies the elderly and disabled. I could go on, but why bother. His speech in Vermont will speak for itself.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Its amazing....

They know how badly LePage has screwed the people of Maine, yet they still want him to tell the state of Vermont what a great job he's doing. Just one favor from the people of Vermont, after his speech, KEEP HIM....


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