More Republican flop sweat

Things are getting desperate on the Republican side of the campaign. We've got Wendy Wilton swinging and missing -- badly -- on a particularly baseless charge against Beth Pearce; and Randy Brock wanting to rifle through the state's files looking for anything he can use against Governor Shumlin.

First, Wilton. You may remember she was effectively blindsided in a debate on Monday, when Beth Pearce noted that Rutland had been returned to a bond-rating watch list. In June. WIlton's unfortunate response: "That's news to me."

Need I remind you that WIlton is Rutland's treasurer?

Well, apparently Wilton knew she'd been hit right where it hurts, because yesterday she made a lame attempt at the "I'm rubber, you're glue" defense. She accused Pearce of disclosing private information that might harm Rutland's fiscal reputation.

Problem, as VTDigger reports: the information ain't private. It's a freely-available public document, according to the rating organization, the Vermont Municipal Bond Bank.

And, as if to disprove her own point, Wilton then distributed the entire VMBB watch list to reporters. You know, that document she claimed was private, and damaging to the fiscal reputations of listed communities? At the same time, she claimed that Pearce should be held to a "higher standard" on such disclosure, and hinted at a formal complaint to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

After the jump: Wilton puts on her tinfoil hat, and Brock goes fishin',
And as if that weren't enough, she accused the VMBB Board of playing politics by putting Rutland on the watch list:

"The timeline here: I announced that I was running for state treasurer in the middle of May," said Wilton. "And then come June, at the next Vermont Municipal Bond  Bank meeting, there's this action: where the board, which includes several supporters of treasurer Pearce, and contributors to her campaign, makes a decision to develop this internal list, not shared with the communities affected...The whole thing seems rather coincidental in some way."

Oh great, drag out the conspiracy theories. Yeah, Wendy, maybe ACORN was behind the rating. Or Keith Ellis. Or, I don't know, Barack Obama's real father. IN KENYA. Or maybe the entire Vermont financial structure is against Wilton because she'd be such a junkyard dog of a treasurer that they fear her ascendancy.

Desperate. Undignified. Thin-skinned. Flailing. It's not a nice picture.

And now we have Randy Brock who, after months of fruitless attacks on Governor Shumlin's Teflon shield, is still looking for an angle. At Wednesday's Freeploid-sponsored debate, Brock ended the proceedings by pulling something out of thin air: accusing the Administration of spending thousands of dollars on confidential settlements with employees.

After the debate, Paul Heintz asked Brock what he was talking about, and Brock didn't really have much of an answer.

Is there a particular incident you're concerned about?

"I'm not prepared to say at this point," he said.

Uh, this seems kind of random and out of the blue. What's driving you to do this?

"It has been suggested to me that there are such payments that involve public money that would be important for the public to know about," he explained.

... "Someone has certainly told me, but whether it's true or not I have no idea," he said. "Whether there's anything there or not, I don't know.

So, like Wendy Wilton, he's not making charges -- he's just asking questions. Sad.

Undeterred by that shameful exchange, Brock doubled down on Thursday, demanding immediate and full transparency of something that might possibly exist but he doesn't really know. And shotgun-filing a batch of public records requests for all relevant documents from the offices of five top state officials.

Which will be an expensive, time-consuming operation. But we shouldn't worry about spending taxpayer dollars on a partisan fishing expedition, no sirree. Filing baseless complaints, asking loaded questions, and wasting everybody's time: there's your Republican strategery, 2012 style.

They don't have any actual issues or traction with the voters, so they have to make shit up.  

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