On July 22, 2020

“Vermont Trump Victory Team” binds Republican politicians to Trump

Dear Editor,

In November the Trump campaign and the Vermont Republican Party announced a partnership they labeled the “Vermont Trump Victory Team.” The announcement touted supposed Trump accomplishments—including, oddly, “controlling healthcare costs”—and announced a goal of “electing Republicans across Vermont…to ensure [Trump] can achieve more victories for the American people for many years to come.”

The chair of the state Republican Party, Deb Billado, has been a vocal and fervent fan of Donald Trump. She is now pushing hard to convince voters that they must elect many more Republicans to state offices.

So I have to ask, what additional Trump “victories” would the Vermont Trump Victory Team like to inflict on us?

Victories like his disastrous mismanagement of a rampaging viral epidemic? His blatant corruption in pardoning Roger Stone while driving Alexander Vindman out of a distinguished military career? More racial division? More healthcare “cost control” like the endless cost increases that are killing Vermont?

I see no evidence that the Vermont GOP has repudiated its alliance with the Trump campaign. Almost all the Republican candidates for Lt. Governor stood behind Trump at their debate on July 14. And the party’s chair, Billado, appears to be sticking pretty close to Trumpian ideas. In a recent commentary making the rounds of Vermont media, Billado offers up a critique of the Vermont legislature’s priorities for post-Covid recovery. Not a word about how Trump’s actions are extending the health emergency, or how many people are becoming sick and dying from lack of Trump leadership.

Billado does offer the standard conservative speech about regulations and taxes, though, even quoting a businesswoman’s statement that Vermont’s legislators “hate business.” Billado presumably agrees with the sentiment. I’m sure Trump would, too. But it’s nonsense. Not a single member of the state Legislature, from any party, comes anywhere near “hating business.”

Billado closes her commentary with a plea to “elect many more Republicans to the Vermont House and Senate, to get our economy moving in the right direction again.” I hope voters understand what that actually means coming from a party that’s on the Vermont Trump Victory Team.

Lee Russ, Bennington

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