Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Governor's Press Conference:  Will Kevin Blier Become Vermont's Jeff Gannon?

here has been much discussion of late about the weekly Governor's Press Conference and who may ask Jim Douglas questions.  Should bloggers be included in the scrum and, if so, what kind of blogger?  We were struck by a comment of Cathy Resmer's at 802online that the focus of all the attention, Adam Quinn, wasn't "a reverse Guckert, but he's close".  Over the weekend we received an email informing us that Kevin Blier had attended past press conferences of Douglas'.  We've checked it out and have confirmed that Blier has been there but he has not posed questions, according to the observer.  People do stop in to these press conferences who are not members of the press but in light of the recent discussion we wondered, how unlikely would it be that Blier wouldn't eventually try to join the Montpelier press gaggle?

Like James D. Guckert aka Jeff Gannon, Blier is a political activist.  Gannon attended a two-day journalism seminar put on by a conservative group and worked for a conservative propaganda organization, Talon News.  Kevin Blier works for a conservative propaganda organization that has an irregular news service called Real Vermont News.  Reportedly, Blier has taped his first television program on Adelphia’s Public Access channel 15 called “The Right Perspective”.  There's at least one previous questioner at the press conferences that barely has Blier's "qualifications".  His publication is similar to Blier's group in content, point of view and regularity.

Unless some criteria is established for who may offer questions, there is a real potential that we could one day face a situation where a enterprising questioner of the governor could, on the same day, conduct a rally on the State House steps, buttonhole legislators on behalf of or in opposition to legislation, lead election campaigns (as in judicial retention votes) against certain judicial candidates, issue demands for the resignation of legislators who are gay, and also drop off his lobbyist registration fee.  That wouldn't be a press conference, that would be a farce.

What do fellow GOP conservatives say about The Center for American Cultural Renewal? "...(A)n organization with no Washington presence and little clout with social conservatives outside Vermont where it is based."


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