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A Circular Firing Squad: VT's GOP Intraparty Fighting Explodes

Talk about your circular firing squads – the already measly ranks of Vermont conservatism are in danger of being decimated from within, as various worthies battle for pieces of a very tiny pie.  

The first shot was fired by VTGOP Chair "Super Dave" Sunderland who, faced with something of a revolt in his ranks, sent out a letter warning fellow Republicans not to associate with the Libertarian Party because Dan Feliciano, their gubernatorial candidate, is openly courting write-in votes in the Republican primary. Sunderland's note included the following:

Let's be clear about this:  Vermont Libertarians would release all the heroin traffickers and professional dealers who have peddled their poison on our streets.  And all those felons who were arrested, charged and brought to justice by dedicated members of law enforcement for importing and profiting from the hardest and most addictive drugs would be set free and have their criminal records expunged if the Vermont Libertarians had their way.  Then what?  You know the answer:  They'd be back at it.

That's a rank exaggeration of the Libertarian party's stance on drugs. They favor decriminalization and the release of all prisoners convicted of nonviolent drug offenses. Most of the high-level bad guys are in stir for violent crimes as well as drug charges, and Libertarians have no intention of releasing them.

It makes me wonder what Sunderland is so worried about. Usually, the Libs wouldn't be worth his time. Can it be that he actually fears a Feliciano victory over Milne? If so, it speaks volumes to the state of Vermont's Grand Old Party.  

Sunderland's rant triggered a very unfortunate reaction on Twitter by Darcie "Hack" Johnston, failed Republican operative turned Feliciano supporter.

She brought up Republican Scott Milne's youthful violations – which happened more than thirty years ago – and painted Milne as "more likely to be in favor of illicit hardcore drugs" than Feliciano.

It's an extremely low blow even by the Hack's standards. And Feliciano, rather than disavowing those gutter tactics, basically echoed Johnston's words.

And the cherry on this shit sundae? The Freeploid's Terri Hallenbeck reports an emerging split in Libertarian ranks over Feliciano's solicitation of Republican support, and his failure to support key parts of the Libertarian platform, including their stand on drugs.

To sum up, we have mud-slinging Republicans battling each other in very harsh terms, we have the party's choice for Governor in a very serious fight with an unknown Libertarian for the Republican nomination, and the tiny Libertarian Party itself is splitting over Feliciano's candidacy.

Should be an entertaining last couple of weeks before the primary.

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