Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Another Connection of a VT GOP Heavy Hitter to Kevin Blier


W
e've found a reference to an email reportedly sent to the UVM College Republicans VRWC (cute!) by Jim Barnett, VTGOP Chairman, concerning last fall's State GOP Fall Dinner.   Seems that the contact person for a pre-dinner reception for Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) (You remember him?   The beneficiary of the voter suppression effort in the NH GOP Phone-jamming scandal? [1] [2] [3]) was none other than Kevin Blier.   Barnett directed informational inquiries be made to Kevin at his Center for American Cultural Renewal email address.

Since these things have a way of disappearing from the web after they've been discovered, we're reproducing the entire thread below:
JAK
John Sununu in Burlington
« on: November 02, 2005, 03:23:24 PM »
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sent to me by Jim Barnett. If you can go you should.

"CALLING ALL YOUNG REPUBLICANS!

The Vermont Federation of Young Republicans is hosting a reception with special guest Senator John Sununu of New Hampshire on Saturday, November 5th, at 5:00 p.m. in the Kingsland Room at the Sheraton Burlington.

All Republicans, age 18-40 are welcome to attend. This reception will be the kick-off YR event for the 2006 elections. Come and meet Senator Sununu and get acquainted with other Young Republicans from around the state.

The State GOP's Fall Dinner will be at the hotel following the YR reception and YR's are entitled to a discounted ticket price.

For more information, please contact Kevin Blier at 775-6247 or by email at kevin@cfacr.org.

WHAT: Young Republican Reception With Sen. John Sununu

WHEN: Saturday, November 5

TIME: 5:00-6:00PM

WHERE: Sheraton Burlington, Kingsland Room

CONTACT: Kevin Blier, 775-6247 or Kevin@cfacr.org"
Brad Willey
Re: John Sununu in Burlington
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2005, 08:03:44 PM »
-------------------------------------------------------------------
yeah, i was gonna go.

then i learned it was $100!!!!!! no thanks. gotta go home and take care of the dogs this weekend, anyway. BTW.... a lady may be contacting you guys about a possible free ticket or two to go.

Todd VE
Re: John Sununu in Burlington
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2005, 07:54:24 AM »
--------------------------------------------------------------------
I believe there is a reception beforehand (from 5-6) that is open to all, then the dinner afterward is what the $100 is for. But they also just announced that due to the large amount of people already signed up, the price has been lowered to $35. Anyone who is interested should contact me, i'm still debating whether or not to do it...

Brad Willey
Re: John Sununu in Burlington
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2005, 03:23:23 PM »
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Quote from: Todd VE on November 04, 2005, 07:54:24 AM
["I believe there is a reception... "]

did you go, and how was it if you did?

Todd VE
Re: John Sununu in Burlington
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2005, 08:46:50 AM »
---------------------------------------------------------------------
I did go. It turns out there were two different events: one was a VT Young Republican (18-40) meeting with Sununu, then afterward there was a separate event for the VT Senate (which was $35). The meeting was free and GREAT-- I talked to Sununu for a bit, and Douglas, Dubie, Terrant(sic), and Barnet(sic) were all there. In total there were about 15 people in the room, 3 of which were Me, Greg and Rick. It was great!
Sadly for them, Kevin Blier may turn out to be the VT GOP's own "Tony Perkins" in the making.

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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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Don't ya just love it when that happens?


W
e were snarkin'
away on the extremist newbie, GreenMountainHardRight!, during the morning a few days ago:
"... does he just keep losing the passwords?"
Later that evening he confirmed our suggestion:
"Special Note On This Site

Just a quick note: This is now the official site of Green Mountain Hard Right! The old site that I had began will no longer have new posts and is only up and running since I seem to have lost my old password to close it."

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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Friday, September 22, 2006

"So... what about you, Helen?"


I
n a recent post about our site, odum has said that our focus on Kevin Blier has, in the past, been somewhat myopic.   Perhaps so.

One reader has suggested to us that we have become to the Vermont blogosphere, vis à vis Kevin, what Helen Sharp/Goldie Hawn was to her group session regarding her own, ummm, preoccupation with Madeline Asheton/Meryl Streep in the movie "Death Becomes Her," and that also, not unlike Helen, we hadn't been heard "from... in awhile."

You be the judge:




"What?"


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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Thursday, September 21, 2006

More Reaction


L
ooks like the Faerie Faggot Farmer has found the bilious, racist, homophobic hate oozing from the nether links on the website maintained by the Kevin Blier jackboot-licker, GreenMountainHardRight! , a bit distasteful.


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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NH GOP Jammin'    Part Three


M
ore reporting on this growing regional story that also points to an issue raised here.   This analysis by the New Hampshire based political blog, Lost Nation TV, goes a step further to suggest that, based on his own statements, Kevin Blier may have been a participant, in some fashion, in a cover-up of the NH GOP phone-jamming scandal.
Kevin Blier (link as embedded in story) – who went on to run an antigay organization in Vermont...  denies that he had prior knowledge of the scheme, and that McGee told him about it election night.   Which, if true, means McGee’s testimony to the FBI is wrong, or as Blier insists, “I believe the FBI made a mistake in how they reported it.”

According to the NH Union Leader, Blier claims, "The inference (sic) that I knew about the phone-jamming ahead of time is dead wrong.   I deeply resent the insinuation.   I knew about it on election night.   I knew about it after it had occurred."

Which, if true, may make him part of the cover-up.   As the NHDSC motion puts it, the GOP operatives “were all likely to have been aware of the impending felony.   Not a single one of them sought to dissuade McGee; no one warned the intended victims; no one called the police.”   McGee described himself to the FBI as “stoked” about the phone jamming plan.   Who else was stoked?

The complete Lost Nation TV story here.


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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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Local Reaction To The Recent Revelations About Kevin Blier's Ties To The NH GOP Phone-jamming Scandal and Other Stuff


O
ne blogger finds it "skanky."   Well put.

Also, odum at Green Mountain Daily has found the second GreenMountainHardRight! site that we'd noted below in the Friends post.   We thought it odd, and odum found it weird.   But for downright freaky, here's the Kevin Blier acolyte's third site.   We wonder, is he aping his "Machiavelli of the Vermont New Right" by creating mirrored sites like Blier's CFACR and Vermont Renewal or does he just keep losing the passwords?


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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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What Did Kevin Blier Know About The NH GOP Phone-jamming Scandal...  Part Two


T
he original feature story in the Manchester, NH Union Leader on the New Hampshire phone-jamming scheme hatched by a NH GOP party executive director, and that was reportedly known in advance by several of his confidants, and that subsequently prompted Kevin Blier's problematic denial, is posted below. It's interesting to note how that organization, whose so-called "rogue" members who were the source of the felonious attempt to suppress voter turnout, tries to paint itself as the victim.

Sound familiar?

Battle rages on over GOP phone-jamming
By John DiStaso
(Union Leader) Senior Political Reporter
Friday, Aug. 11, 2006

MANCHESTER -- Nearly four years after the incident occurred, allegations continue to fly in a two-year-old civil suit pitting the state Democratic Party against the state GOP over a Republican Election Day 2002 phone jamming scheme.

In a motion filed this week in Hillsborough County Superior Court, Democrats say FBI files show several former state Republican officials and/or staffers appeared to have had advance knowledge of former party executive director Charles McGee's plan to jam Democratic and firefighters' union get-out-the-vote telephone lines with hang-up calls.

The state GOP has long insisted the McGee masterminded the operation as a "rogue" employee. GOP attorney Ovide Lamontagne said yesterday the new motion and FBI files contain nothing new to contradict its stance and adds nothing new to the suit.

Republicans, meanwhile, charge the civil suit, filed by the Democrats nearly two years after the incident occurred, is part of a ploy to manipulate the court system and media for political gain.

In an amended counter-claim currently under advisement by the court, the state GOP points to a 66-page manual that the Democratic National Committee distributed to its state affiliates prior to the 2004 election. "How to Prevent and Combat Voter Intimidation" instructed party organizers to devise strategies that would publicize alleged GOP efforts to suppress voter turnout.

"Significantly," the Republican motion states, "the manual proposed that even where no evidence of voter suppression exists, organizers should nevertheless launch a 'pre-emptive strike' - including litigation - to alert the public of past instances of alleged Republican misconduct."

The GOP motion says the state Democratic Party's conduct in the lawsuit "parallels to an astonishing degree the very tactics called for by the DNC manual."

It says the Democratic Party, while refusing to discuss a settlement, treats the litigation "as a continuous media event" and "is the very embodiment of the DNC's national strategy of using the judicial system and media to launch a 'pre-emptive strike' and legal action against Republicans prior to the 2004 election."

Democratic attorney Paul Twomey's motion asks Superior Court Judge Philip Mangones to release all Republican State Committee documents related to an internal party probe of the phone-jam that had been sealed under the attorney-client privilege.

Twomey said the privilege has been rendered inapplicable because the Republicans "engaged in a pattern of fraudulent concealment of their real role" in the operation.

GOP attorney Lamontagne said the court "has already ruled on the motion that they raise" when the documents were initially sealed.

"There is nothing new here," Lamontagne said. "This is a continuation of their victimization of our party and further evidence of the efforts by the Democrats to use the litigation for political purposes."

Twomey's motion contains FBI interviews of McGee, former state GOP chairman John Dowd, former party finance director Kristy Stuart and Concord GOP chairman Jeffrey Newman.

McGee, who last year served seven months in prison after pleading guilty to federal charges, told the FBI that he came up with the idea of blocking the phone lines a few weeks before the 2002 election. He said he contacted veteran strategist Brian McCabe, who told McGee he had "never heard of an idea such as this," according to the FBI report.

McGee told investigators that former Republican National Committee regional political director James Tobin, who is appealing a December 2005 conviction on telephone harassment conspiracy charges, "did not say 'no' when he brought up the idea of phone blocking on election day." Tobin gave McGee the telephone number of former GOP consultant Allen Raymond, who McGee later hired to set up the phone jam and who subcontracted with an Idaho telemarketer to make the calls.

The FBI file says McGee "believes he told (GOP activists) Chris Wood, Kevin Blier, (former party vice chair) Marc Pappas and (former state party public relations specialist) Jeff Fontaine about the idea. McGee told the FBI Pappas gave McGee the telephone number of the Manchester Professional Fire Fighters Association, whose telephones were jammed along with those in five Democratic Party offices.

McGee said he told Dowd about his idea a day or two before the election. McGee said Dowd told him he would check with former party legal council David Vicinanzo.

But McGee said Dowd did not initially veto the idea, which McGee viewed as an "OK."

Dowd told the FBI that McGee informed him of the operation the evening before Election Day. Dowd said he told McGee he would think about it and did not give him an answer.

Dowd, after speaking with Vicinanzo early on Election Day morning, called off the phone-jam, but only after it had begun and had been underway for more than an hour.

The Democratic motion alleges, "By Election Day, 2002, the Chair, the Vice Chair, the Executive Director, the Finance Director, the Concord GOP Chair and three other staffers at the (GOP state committee) were all likely to have been aware of the impending felony. Not a single one of them sought to dissuade McGee; no one warned the intended victims; no one called the police."

Stuart told the FBI she drafted and signed Dowd's name to a state GOP's check to Raymond's GOP Marketplace firm after McGee told her it would pay a firm to "make repeated hang-up calls to the Democratic offices in New Hampshire on election day."

She said that under instructions by McGee, she reported purpose of the disbursement to the Federal Election Commission as "get out the vote." The Democratic motion charges the "false" purpose was entered "to cover up the crimes" of the state committee.


Regardless of whatever the truth may be about when he learned of the criminal plan, the question still remains, why didn't Kevin Blier come forward to report what he knew about the crime? What does this say about him as a would-be public policy advocate and executive director for a holier-than-thou group like Vermont Renewal?


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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Monday, September 18, 2006

Friends


O
ne would think that in a pro-civil union state like Vermont most politicians would think twice about attending an affair hosted by the most bigoted, extremist, anti-civil rights organization to rear its head here since the Klan disbanded in 1944.   Down south it doesn't come as much of a surprise when a future Republican governor goes to a fund-raising cookout held by the former White Citizens Council.   Given his veto this year of transgender civil rights legislation, it came as No Surprise Here that our governor attended the annual summer shindig thrown by the champions of discrimination, Vermont Renewal.   However it's the other names on the list of guests that caught our eye on a new blog called GreenMountainHardRight.

GreenMountainHardRight is Vermont's own entrant into the fun world of the genteel, racialist (read: racist) right.   Don't take our word for it.   Just look at some of the posts.   The very first post on the blog indicates that it takes a part of its name, HardRight, from the term created by the racist writer, Samuel Francis.   Before his death last year (a "must read" obituary here ), Francis had been a favorite speaker of white nationalist groups like American Renaissance and the segregationist organization mentioned above, now known as the Council of Conservative Citizens.   The few mainstream publications that carried him dropped him like the hot-rock he'd become when he said this:
"breaking down the sexual barriers between the races is a major weapon of cultural destruction"
This quote was from a piece that he wrote for the racist website VDare, a featured website on GreenMountainHardRight's National Blogroll.   (Read the piece if you must, but don't forget to wash up when you're done.)

Also listed on his National Blogroll is Steve Sailer, who wrote this in VDare about some of the victims of Hurricane Katrina:
"What you won't hear, except from me, is that 'Let the good times roll' is an especially risky message for African-Americans.   The plain fact is that they tend to possess poorer native judgment than members of better-educated groups.   Thus they need stricter moral guidance from society. ... In contrast to New Orleans, there was only minimal looting after the horrendous 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan — because, when you get down to it, Japanese aren't blacks."
Well, you get the idea.

The writer at GreenMountainHardRight is typical of the perverse erudition on the New Racialist Right.   Same old hooded bedsheet, just a better verbal threadcount.   (And nothing helps the Kool-Aid go down easier than heapin' spoonfuls of academic references, eh perfessor?)



(Note to Cathy Resmer at 802online:   Give'em a look and add it to your Vermont blogroll - it should be a fun, hardcore, winger blog, although somewhat pretentious, in a church-lady kinda way!   Oddly, GMHD maintains a creepy conservative funhouse mirror site here, sans most of the piety.)

We were recognized by a tip of GreenMountainHardRight's hooded sheet right there in the intro paragraph on Vermont Renewal president Stephen Cable, vice-president Judith Sargent and executive director Kevin Blier, who he descibe as "a veritable Machiavelli of the Vermont New Right."   Lucky us.   After adding the blogs GreenMountainDaily and Freyneland (not his first swipe at dear Peter on GMHR blog, btw) to their growing enemies list, GreenMountainHardRight got down to the business of talking up the picnic and the list of GOP "bigwigs."   In addition to the guv and his wife, attending were:
"Windsor County GOP Chairman Suzanne Butterfield... (former) U.S. Senate candidate Greg Parke, Bennington County State Senator and (former) U.S. House candidate Mark Shepard, Attorney General GOP primary opponents Dennis Carver and Karen Karin, Chittenden County State Senate GOP candidate Agnes Clift, and Brandon State Representative Joe Acinapura"
It was at this point that the self-described "reactionary" blogger threw a blogging hissy-fit over the presence of GOP US House candidate Martha Rainville at the event.
"The interesting part of the cookout was when former Adjunct General Martha Rainville decided to show up to eat hamburgers and potato salad the assembled red-headed stepchildren of the Republican Party (Christians and conservatives and anti-abortionists, oh, my!).   It was clear that Rainville was trying to gain a few votes at theevent, an irony given that she has virtually ignored most conservatives during her whole campaign (except to kiss the ring of a few who for some reason her campaign believes are "key" Movement figures."

"Rainville was introduced by former Chittenden County GOP Chairman Rand Larson, who did his best to convince Vermont Renewal's guests that Rainville's stripes were redder than the shade of blue most of us perceived them to be.   It reminded me of the greedy relative who goes to see their rich aunt in the nursing home every few years in hopes of finding out that they are still in the Will.   Only in this case it was a middle-of-the-roader holding her nose in hopes of getting a few votes and maybe some footsoldiers.   It was rather comical, the attempt to mask Rainville's Ripon Society links by associating her with a pro-lifer.   Not even invoking the name of Phyllis Schlafly could convince me of that one.   Whether Rainville picked up any votes from her appearance at the Vermont Renewal Cookout remains to be seen, but I wonder how many she will lose once pro-choice former First Lady Barbara Bush comes to Vermont on her behalf.   Knowing this (and that at least three pro-choice PACs have given her money), I remain doubtful that the conservatives will be flocking to the Rainville camp if she wins September 12.   We've been fooled and stabbed in the back too many times to go that route again."
"Stabbed in the back?"   Yikes!   Wait'll real "moderate" Republicans hear about this trolling for votes at a cookout held by the state's most bigoted, right-wing, partisan, polarizing lobbying group by the now GOP candidate for the US House, Martha Rainville.   Kevin Blier's Vermont/Center for American Cultural Renewal has been noted for such attack's on Vermont's gay community as "Fag Commentary."   One hopes, to paraphrase this candidate's campaign pledge, that she, while not guilty herself of such talk, doesn't allow herself to become "guilty by association as well" with such campaign stops.   After all, is there really much difference between accepting dirty money from tainted groups or soliciting dirty votes from such groups?

"(Hold) her nose," indeed.   We doubt that her old Guard gas mask could keep out the stench of all the bigotry emanating from Vermont Renewal's hate mongers.   Hatred espoused in the name of religion is still hatred.   The cookout's guests need to ask themselves if there really is any dissimilarity in the agenda of the "islamofascists" and that of the christofascists, and can they really afford to be so closely affiliated with such groups?

Read the whole post about the picnic and its guests by Vermont's latest anonymous blogger, vtpaleocon, (welcome to the club!) at GreenMountainHardRight.   It comes as little surprise that Kevin Blier and Vermont Renewal draw such high praise from a blogger with self-made connections to the white nationalist/"white consciousness" community and its ideologues.   It wouldn't be the first time we've found the Blier mob mingling and mongering with the David Duke crowd.


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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Thursday, September 14, 2006

What Did Kevin Blier Know About The New Hampshire GOP Phone-jamming Scandal and When Did He Know It?

WELCOME  GreenMountainDaily and Newsie8200's Penndit readers.

S
ummer vacation is over and we returned expecting to find much of the same old stuff on Kevin Blier.   We weren't disappointed.

There were the usual angry, abusive, bloviating letters to local papers, along with a snippet of a classic Kevin whine buried in an AP story on a setback in his campaign to harm one Vermont family.   We'll come back to them in future posts.

The real eye-opener was from a story in the Union Leader.   It details Kevin's denial of prior knowledge of the 2002 phone-jamming scheme perpetrated during the New Hampshire US Senate campaign.   The scheme led to a felony conviction and time for one unrepentant GOP official.   Other convictions have followed.   The New Hampshire Democratic Party has filed a civil action.   According to court documents (from the Talking Points Memo Document Collection) filed by the plaintiffs, NH Republican State Committee officials have, in statements to the press and in their pleadings, maintained that the crime was committed by "a single rogue employee acting alone."   In June of this year the plaintiffs requested that subpeonas be issued to depose top Republican officials in Washington, DC.   The court granted the request in July.   Also contained in the court documents (see pg 2 of the docs) are references to an FBI interview conducted by the agency and Justice Department attorneys in December of 2003.   In the FBI interview report (also from the Talking Points Memo Document Collection) the then Executive Director for the NH Republican State Committee, Charles "Chuck" McGee, "believes that he told... Kevin Blier," among others who McGee called his confidants, "about the idea" to jam the phones at NH Democratic Regional Offices for the purpose of disrupting their communications on the forthcoming Election Day (see pgs 4 & 6 of the FBI interview docs).   The August 10 TPM item, Dems Allege Broad Conspiracy among New Hampshire GOP can be read here.


Ex-GOP State Staffer Challenges FBI Report
By John DiStaso
(Union Leader) Senior Political Reporter
Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2006

A former state Republican Party staffer disputes an FBI report that he may have known about an election day 2002 Republican phone-jamming scheme before it occurred.

Kevin Blier said an FBI report quoted by the New Hampshire Union Leader is incorrect.   He said former state party executive director Charles McGee told him about the phone jam on election night, after the scheme had been put into operation and then halted about 90 minutes later, not before, as the report stated.

The FBI report on its agent's December 2003 interview with McGee was filed in Hillsborough County Superior Court earlier this month in the state Democratic Party's civil suit against the state Republican Party over the phone-jamming incident.

Several FBI interviews were included as an appendices to a motion by state Democratic Party attorney Paul Twomey asking a judge to unseal documents related to an internal state Republican Party probe of the phone jam.

According to the FBI report on its interview with McGee on Dec. 12, 2003, McGee said that after he came up with the idea of blocking Democratic get-out-the-vote lines, "he may have talked with confidants," including Blier, "and (McGee) said he wondered if this was something he could make happen."

In a second passage, the FBI reports, "McGee believes he told" Blier and other staffers "about the idea" before election day.

Blier said yesterday that after reading the Union Leader's initial report on the filing last Friday, he became concerned.

"The inference that I knew about the phone-jamming ahead of time is dead wrong," said Blier, who was the party's paid Rockingham County staff coordinator in 2002.   "I deeply resent the insinuation.   I knew about it on election night.   I knew about it after it had occurred."

Blier said while it is possible that McGee may have been mistaken in what he told the FBI, "I believe the FBI made a mistake in how they reported it.

"The FBI never interviewed me," said Blier. "I know that a lot of people were interviewed or testified, but I was never interviewed or never testified. I knew about it on election night, when Chuck (McGee) told me what had happened."

Blier said state Democratic Party chair Kathy Sullivan, by having court motions filed, "is just trying to get as much mileage as possible from this.   Chuck has been remorseful and has apologized and served time in federal prison.   There are some people who need to just let this thing go.

"This has been blown way out of proportion," Blier said.

"It's nothing more than a high school prank gone bad.   Nobody was denied their right to vote.   What other excuse will Kathy Sullivan make for her losses on election day 2002?"

But Sullivan said yesterday that McGee's FBI report shows that phone jam "goes from being the work of one rogue employee to having a number of people with prior knowledge."


While Blier makes clear that he wasn't interviewed by the FBI, he doesn't address whether he knew that what he alleges McGee subsequently told him constituted a crime and, when he did learn of the criminal investigation, why he didn't come forward to report to investigators what he did know about the crime.   Did he ever tell the FBI, or anyone else involved in the investigation, that he'd relocated to Vermont?   We'd also like to know if Kevin's alleged knowledge of the crime was explored in the NH Republican State Committee's internal investigation, a detail he's yet to address in any published report we could locate.

Given Blier's frequent moral holy-rollering in his capacity as a spokesperson for Vermont Renewal, you'd think he'd know better than to characterize a felony as a "prank."

Makes you wonder who Kevin could be a staffer for and "confidant" of in this year's upcoming Vermont election.


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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