Brock fires back at Dems over LePage appearance criticism

Randy Brock and the GOP are fending off criticism from the Vermont Democratic Party over a July 11 campaign event in which Brock is hosting Maine Gov. Paul LePage, who has faced criticism for his aggressive cuts to social programs there.

A release from the Vermont Democratic Party yesterday said the event sheds light on Brock’s ideals.

“By inviting LePage to Vermont, Randy Brock confirms his allegiance to a radically conservative Republican agenda,” it reads. “This move began with his remarkably regressive healthcare proposal, designed by Tarren Bragdon, the same architect of LePage’s LD 1333, a law that rolled back coverage and accessibility for Maine’s elderly and rural populations, as well as people with pre-existing conditions and small businesses.”

But Brock and the GOP defended LePage’s appearance. In an interview last night, Brock condemned the release.

“The releases that the Democratic Party [sent out] were filled with misinformation, innuendo, and it’s not the kind of thing that we want to see here in Vermont. We want to see issues that are based on civility and fact,” he said.

A separate release from the GOP yesterday pointedly titled “Correction: Randy Brock invites a Reform Minded Governor to Vermont who has put his state back on a path to prosperity” called the Democrats’ release “vitriolic and venomous.”

In the release, Vermont GOP chairman Jack Lindley gave a strongly worded response.

“The name callers who dwell in the bowels at the Vermont Democratic Party might actually learn something from listening to the words of Governor LePage. And even if they don’t like his ideas, the least they could do is treat this man with the same civility that our side demonstrated during President Obama’s recent visit to Vermont,” said Lindley.

If you read us, please support us.

Comment Policy

VTDigger.org requires that all commenters identify themselves by their authentic first and last names. Initials, pseudonyms or screen names are not permissible.

No personal harrassment, abuse, or hate speech is permitted. Comments should be 1000 characters or fewer.

We moderate every comment. Please go to our FAQ for the full policy.

Taylor Dobbs

Recent Stories

  • Patricia Crocker

    The Democrats can use all the vitriol they want. Most Vermonters will not buy it. They can’t distract from the failing policies of the Shumlin Administration, including Shumlincare. Anyone with common sense knows that Vermont is moving along an unsustainable path and that some fiscal common sense is needed to correct that path. Vermont can learn from Maine’s governor who has rescued that state from spiraling deficits. Most people want a hand up not a hand out. Social programs are supposed to be temporary, when people need them, not a way of life. Jobs and economic security are what people and Vermonters want. Where are the jobs Governor Shumlin? It seems that many of them and businesses are moving out of Vermont, perhaps to Maine?

    • Bob Johnson

      “Where are the jobs Governor Shumlin?”

      Are you kidding?

      Unemployment is well below the national average, and has actually gone down.

      Most people want a decent social safety net, including healthcare; you may feel the path to “sustainability” involves leaving the poor to die in a ditch so someone else can make a quick buck, thankfully the state seems to disagree with you.

      • Craig Powers

        Your assertion about unemployment is incorrect. Please see the link provided for the reason the unemployment rate is artificially low:


        Yes, we do want a social safety net. We just do not want everyone in VT to be in the net based on human rights ideology that makes everything imaginable one.

        • Bob Johnson

          No, my statement was perfectly accurate (see http://www.vtlmi.info/).

          You source claims the May numbers “may be inaccurate” then attempts to redefine the term unemployment to support this nonsense. This is just more conspiracy theory drivel driven by cranks and conspiracy theorists for the benefit of koolaid drinkers.

          Secondly, I’m sorry you dislike the fact that humans have rights, or rather the popularity of this ideology, but if you feel so strongly about it, feel free to move to Somalia; where this ideology is not so popular.

      • patricia crocker

        The last financial report I read reported lower unemployment, but mentioned that the private sector lost 200 jobs, while the public sector gained 400 jobs. This distorts the real jobs picture. VT has the highest percentage of public sector employees than any other state. There needs to be a balance between private sector and public sector, and VT is very heavily weighted on one side.

  • Doug Gibson

    Yeah, LePage is a real model for Vermont. This is from a March ’12 release from Public Policy Polling:

    “Maine voters regret electing Republican Paul LePage Governor and would choose Independent Eliot Cutler if they could do the 2010 election over again, a new poll from Public Policy Polling finds. When asked who they would vote for if they could do the election over, 43% of Maine voters chose Eliot Cutler, 35% chose Paul LePage, and 19% chose Democrat Libby Mitchell. LePage suffers from a negative job approval rating, with just 41% of voters approving of his job performance and 52% disapproving.”

    LePage is also the one who ordered an 11-panel mural honoring Maine’s workers removed from Maine’s Dept. of Labor. Does Mr. Brock condone that action? Is he going to strip VT State office buildings of paintings or murals depicting dairy farmers or sugarers? Maybe put up new pictures of CCA and HP employees?

  • Walter Carpenter

    “Vermont can learn from Maine’s governor who has rescued that state from spiraling deficits. ”

    Yes, we can learn what not to do. Maine’s economy is not better than ours; their new health care law actually denies more people health care, especially the most vulnerable, and does not do anything to address the out-of-control costs coupled with economic rationing that is so characteristic of our our failing health care non-system.

    “social programs are supposed to be temporary, when people need them, not a way of life.”

    Tell that to all those billionaires getting the corporate welfare that we so generously give to them as a way of life which they believe is their right.

    “They can’t distract from the failing policies of the Shumlin administration, including shumlincare.”.

    How is it failing? How has Shumlincare, as you put it, failed when it has not even been implemented yet?

  • Ralph Colin

    Mr. Dobbs, as he seems wont to do in his frequently inaccurate reports, didn’t even get the date of the Governor’s appearance correctly. It is Wednesday, 11 July, not the 18th.

    • Cate Chant

      Thank you for pointing out the error. It has been corrected.

  • Tom Licata

    If it weren’t for my good neighbor, Jake Perkinson, I never would have considered purchasing my ticket to Sen. Brock’s event. Thank you, Jake.

    Years ago I was standing behind Jake, in line to vote in one of our elections, as I overheard him make derogatory remarks about religion and priests, specifically. It was classy to watch as it displayed the progressive distain for all things of virtue. For, virtue requires reverence for a higher power, that is, of our Creator-endowed rights as articulated in our Declaration of Independence, as opposed to government-contracted rights, promulgated by Vermont’s Democratic Progressives.

    Try this on for size, Jake:

    “If Vermonters want a taste of what Gov. Shumlin is doing as governor, they should look to Greece and Spain, where the democratic-socialists are overseeing a massive effort to cut essential public services, eviscerate collective bargaining, and make affordable health care even farther out of reach for their people, as they have found that they have run out of other people’s money.”

    • Bob Johnson


      Funny little fairy tale.

      For the record, Creator can mean anything; God, aliens, your parents. The founding fathers were very specific about keeping God out of Constitution, the whole freedom of religion includes being an atheist.

      As for Spain, maybe you didn’t hear about the last election, where the Socialist party was removed. The right wing runs Spain now. And, just like their predecessors, they take their orders from the German government and banks that own their debt. Spanish debt to GDP ratio was going down in the leadup to the financial crisis, not up. The “running out of money” thing was the result of massive bank bailouts combined with an economy that tanked.

      Seriously, do you people ever even make a cursory effort to read the facts?

  • Tom Licata

    Bob, Deception and ignorance are hallmarks of Progressives, and, Bob, you don’t disappoint.

    Prime Minister Zapatero and his Socialist Workers Party weren’t just “removed” in Spain’s November, 2011 elections, they were thrown out on their rear-ends, losing nearly 40% of their seats in the lower house of parliament, as it was the Socialists’ worst showing in 30 years. It was the Socialist Workers Party’s policies – much like the egalitarian and utopian policies of Vermont’s Democratic-Progressive Party & Gov. Shumlin – which brought Spain to where it is today. Shifting blame to Germany or to anyone for that matter is a hallmark of Progressivism’s inability to accept responsibility.

    And, your ignorance is on full display with this:

    “For the record, Creator can mean anything; God, aliens, your parents. The founding fathers were very specific about keeping God out of Constitution, …”

    Bob, go to the Declaration of Independence, as God is referenced not once, not twice, not three but, four times.

    The Declaration of Independence gives our nation’s meaning and purpose and our Constitution gives our nation’s governing framework.

    To wit, General of the Revolutionary Army, president of the Constitutional Convention, First President of the United States and Father of our nation, George Washington said this:

    “Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society.”

    A signer of the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and our nation’s second President, John Adams said this:

    “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

    • Bob Johnson

      Tom, nice to see the lies and obfuscations of you conservatives; your response is nothing but a con job pulled by a Con.

      Regarding Spain, as I previously stated, they were running a fiscal surplus running up to the crisis, their problems were the result of a massive private sector housing bubble followed by a series of bank defaults, in short an unregulated private sector burning down the economy. I did not shift blame to Germany for the crisis, I pointed out the union busting, job killing austerity programs followed by BOTH parties were ordered by the German government, not blame, just facts. Name one single fact that disproves this (and your religious beliefs don’t qualify).

      The Declaration of Independence and the constitution are two separate documents; one gives us all men are created equal, the other give us a three fifths compromise. Similarly, the Constitution is the actual framework of our government; the declaration is not (again, regardless of your religious beliefs on the issue). Some of the founding fathers were religious, others weren’t, your quotes prove nothing but your inability to read the actual document you originally referenced and have since distanced yourself from.

      As always, nice to see you put as much lipstick on the pig of your beliefs as possible, but I’m afraid it is still a pig. The Constitution is not about God, Church and State are clearly separated, and you clearly know even less about economics than I originally thought, and that’s saying something.

  • tom price

    Please take a few years to think about the words SOCIETY and SOCIAL and all the ways they can be used and what it all means. In the Navy I protected, in the Coast Guard it was all about rescue and recovery. This was for all, rich and poor alike. That is socialism. We take care of our own, we do not throw our own under the bus. I learned this in service to this country over the course of ten years. I am proud of my time in service and would do it again. Mr. Brock needs to think about all this and maybe change his thinking a bit. Because he was successful in his particular line of work does not make him all knowing. We must pay to live free.

    • David Bell

      Tom, thank you for your service and your well reasoned arguments.

  • Tom Licata

    Bob, Now you are meandering all over the place – in incoherent fits and starts – which is again another hallmark of Progressivism, when stumped. This brings to mind a quote from H.L Mencken: “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

    • Bob Johnson

      Strange you make this claim and fail to point out a single example, or refute a single point I made. The hallmark of a pathological liar, or a typical conservative.

      I’d say no one could ever go broke underestimating your intelligence.

    • James Gill

      Mr. Licata, I think it is unfair to claim Mr. Johnson’s posts are a “hallmark of Progressivism”. There are many posts from other progressive minded people that are reasonable and present their position in a civil manner. Mr. Johnson has his own problems, since his posts are ‘combative’, ‘righteous’ and ‘arrogant’.

      As can be seen not many Progressives come to his defense. I suspect they are embarrassed.

      • Bob Johnson

        As opposed to the teams of conservatives who support the drivel you write?

      • David Bell

        The only thing I find embarrassing is the utter none sense spewed at Bob, and the fact that you actually think it is worth defending.

  • Tom Licata

    Tom Price: What you were doing in the Navy was securing our Creator-endowed individual liberties and defending our Constitution. What you were not doing, is social work. There is nothing preventing civil society and those individuals in civil society from “tak[ing] care of our own.” If anything, it is the very government you seemingly want to secure your necessities in life, which is inhibiting civil society’s progress and prosperity. It is not Mr. Brock who “needs to think about this and maybe change his thinking a bit,” rather, it is you. Progressivism, democratic-socialism, social democracy, pick your label, is all about control and power over the individual. Whereas our nation was founded on the idea of “freedom from coercion,” Progressivism is founded on the idea of “freedom from economic necessities,” which can’t be accomplished without living under a kind-of tyranny or authoritarianism, which our Founders warned of. Vermont’s Democratic-Progressive Party would rather seek equality in slavery rather than live in inequality with freedom. There is a cognitive dissonance here, for both equality and inequality are naturally occurring in life: Equality is found in man’s Creator-endowed natural rights, which all men have an equal right to; Inequality is found in the fact that each individual is a unique person with unique characteristics and possess free-will; as such, some men will make good and virtuous choices while others, less so. It is in society’s interest to reward the former and punish or at least frown upon, the latter. Look to what is going on in Europe today or even closer to home, California, as you will see Vermont’s future, should its course soon, not change.

    • David Bell


      The only thing we will see in the future under our current path is the same lower costs and better outcomes fostered by every country in the developed world that has adopted the same healthcare policies.

      Your ignorance of economics is matched only by your hypocrisy, in claiming that it is the opposition that seeks to control people. Where do you get off telling people what their service to this country means to them? To claim that the poor must be left to starve in the name of freedom, that the sick should be turned out into the street if they can’t pony up the cash for their medical bills?

      If you truly believe the path to prosperity is paved by simply allowing the poor to suffer and starve so the rich can line their pockets, feel free to move to one of the many third world countries that holds to this “philosophy”.

      • Bruce Post

        David, I encourage you to follow Tom’s advice below. Learn more about Father Robert Sirico, President of the Acton Institute, which has been funded by Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, the mercenaries-for-hire group now known as XE, and his sister Betsy DeVos, who married into the Amway empire. While on the Acton Institute website, you can purchase an interview with Sirico “on the life and ideas of best-selling author and founder of Objectivism, Ayn Rand.”

        Of course, you might also read the late Pope John Paul’s Ecclesia in America. I particularly liked these two sections:

        — “However, if globalization is ruled merely by the laws of the market applied to suit the powerful, the consequences cannot but be negative. These are, for example, the absolutizing of the economy, unemployment, the reduction and deterioration of public services, the destruction of the environment and natural resources, the growing distance between rich and poor, unfair competition which puts the poor nations in a situation of ever increasing inferiority.(55) While acknowledging the positive values which come with globalization, the Church considers with concern the negative aspects which follow in its wake”; and

        — “Not infrequently, this leads some public institutions to ignore the actual social climate. More and more, in many countries of America, a system known as “neoliberalism” prevails; based on a purely economic conception of man, this system considers profit and the law of the market as its only parameters, to the detriment of the dignity of and the respect due to individuals and peoples.”

  • Tom Licata

    David, “A free economy—necessarily including private property, legally enforceable contracts, and prices and interest rates freely agreed to by willing parties to transactions (not set by government bureaucrats)—is the best way to meet society’s material needs, from basic nutrition to sophisticated health care technology. Well-intentioned activists who seek to enlarge the state’s economic role are only killing the goose that laid the golden egg. The fact is, private enterprise in the free market has lifted millions out of dire poverty—far more people than state welfare or private charity have ever rescued from want.

    But a free economy isn’t just by far the most efficient way of producing the largest amount of goods and services for the world’s population. Economic freedom is also an indispensable support to the other freedoms we prize—such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The right to economic freedom doesn’t make things more important than people—just the reverse. It’s only if we have economic rights that we can effectively protect ourselves from government encroachment into the most private areas of our lives—right down to our consciences.

    As governments across the globe continue to act with unprecedented irresponsibility—burdening the creators of wealth with ever more regulation and borrowing colossal sums of money just as populations are set to decline precipitately—our prosperity, our economic freedom, and our most basic rights are threatened. The comfortable lifestyles and plentiful goods we take for granted are at risk. But so is the liberty whose source is found in our inherent dignity as human beings, endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights.”

    David, Should you purchase and completely read Fr. Sirico’s “Defending the Free Market, The Moral Case for a Free Economy,” the above taken from his jacket cover, I will happily reimburse its cost.

    What our nation has achieved in improving the human-condition over these past 236 years since our 1776 founding is nothing short of miraculous. To not recognize that these achievements were born in freedom, economic and otherwise, is just plain denial of our history. And to not recognize that these freedoms were born in rejecting the kind of tyranny, authoritarianism and, yes, control that Great Britain & other nations tried to impose on our ancestors; is to not recognize that a very similar kind of control and tyranny, coming out of Montpelier, will surly lead to the very poverty and economic hardships you write of.

    • David Bell


      As I actually have a life, I won’t waste time providing the dissertation level analysis of the nonesense you have provided deserves; taking it down point by point. I will simply say this.

      The “wealth creators” in the US have are only getting wealthier, if they have been burdened in any way, it clearly does not show on their income statements or bank balances.

      Let me repeat, the rich have never been richer; and this absurd, inane, asinine nostrem that the rich are soaked or clobbered or pilfered from is nothing more than the delusions of the Randians who simply believe the poor are some sort of parasitic vermin who deserve the slow and painful deaths without aid of healthcare that people like you seem so determined to inflict upon them.

      The fact that so many in this country have developed such a staggering compassion deficit saddens me. But I do find hope that this state has actually had the foresight, decency and morality to elect officials who have committed to a system that has provided safer, cheaper medicine for all with better results around the world.

  • Stan Hopson

    I take Licata in 5th round by TKO.

  • Tom Licata

    David, et al., pick your poison:

    “In a word, man is regarded now… as primarily a member of society and secondarily as an individual. The rights which he [an individual] possesses are, it is believed, conferred upon him, not by his Creator [God], but rather by the society to which he belongs. What they are [man’s rights] is to be determined by the legislative authority [government] in view of the needs of that society. Social expediency, rather than natural right, is thus to determine the sphere of individual freedom of action.”

    – Frank Goodnow, Leading 20th century Progressive and former president of John Hopkins University, “The American Conception of Liberty,” 1916

    “…Heath care coverage is a [contracted] “public good.” This means that it needs to be available to all Vermonters on a fair basis, like electricity, because just like all Vermonters rely on our electric system for power, we all depend at some point in our life on our health care system.”

    – Robin Lunge, Vermont director of health care reform, Burlington Free Press, March 6, 2012

    “We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word many mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name – liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names – liberty and tyranny.”

    – President Abraham Lincoln, 1864

  • Tom Licata

    Bruce, Classic Democratic-Progressivism, malign and denigrate the messenger, in this case, Fr. Sirico.

    Why can’t today’s Vermont Democratic-Progressives be more honest in their wants and desires? Like Frank Goodnow (see my prior post, above), or like Franklin Roosevelt and his Second Bill of (contracted) Rights or Woodrow Wilson and his statement that “If you want to understand the real Declaration of Independence, do not repeat the preface,” of course, the preface containing all that stuff about the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God and self-evident truths regarding our Creator-endowed unalienable Rights, strip those things out and all your left with are the King’s grievances. How convenient.

    Vermont’s Democratic-Progressives can’t be more honest because Vermonters wouldn’t buy into it. So, folks like Peter Shumlin, Shap Smith, Bernie Sanders, Tim Ashe, Phillip Baruth, Ginny Lyons, Anthony Pollina and Suzi Wizowaty, some of the more pernicious Vermont socialists though there are many others, hide under the guise of noble and benevolent aims.

    They are not “socialists” in the likes of Lenin, Castro or Mao but they are “socialists” like those of France’s Socialist Party or Spain’s Socialist-Workers Party (does Vermont Workers’ Center, Put People First, ring a bell?).

    19th Century Fabian Socialism tactics are to advance democratic-socialism through gradualism, ever so slowly, so as the people aren’t really aware of their rights being eroded by an ever-growing powerful state government.

    This is exactly what is occurring in Vermont.

    And, all the maligning and denigrating of messengers, whether it is Fr. Sirico, I or others, won’t change these facts.

  • Eric LeVasseur

    If you do not like what he has to say, do not listen. Mr. Brock has every right to invite him to speak. If the voters condemn him for this affiliation, then he can blame himself. If the voters don’t condemn him, then he can pat himself on the back.

    “America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You’ve gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say, “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.” Michael Douglas- The American President