At a parade today in his home town of St. Albans, Republican candidate for governor Randy Brock will unveil his unofficial campaign mascot.
Brock calls it the “$21 million Bear,” and he’s hoping it adds a little more weight to what could end up being the heaviest political cross of 2012.
Gov. Peter Shumlin is suffering some short-term blowback for his endorsement of a plan by the state’s two largest electric utilities to compensate the CVPS ratepayers that bailed company out of a financial bind in 2001.
Brock is hoping to give the issue some legs. Some bear legs.
“Clearly one thing on a lot of people’s minds today is the $21 million,” Brock said by phone Sunday. “And we’d like to keep it on the forefront.”
The mascot – we’re told it will carry a sign with the number ‘$21 million’ – is of course a dual reference not only to the merger flap, but also to the four bears from which the governor ran, naked, after attempting to remove from his yard the birdfeeders from which they’d been eating.
Brock’s bear will literally walk alongside him during the obligatory summer parade tour.
“It’s a walking, moving, waving, candy-dispensing dispensing bear,” he said. “And it’s a Republican bear.”
The bear’s political leanings will be made evident by the “Brock for Governor” shirt (he? she?) will be wearing during the parade. Brock declined to name the human underneath the outfit.
“If that person wants to be known I’m sure he or she will do so,” Brock said. “Suffice it to say, it’s a bear that’s going to have lot of fun in the parades, and hopefully the kids can have some fun too. At the same, we’re making a political point on an important public policy issue.”
An administration official on Sunday declined comment. Shumlin has been coy about his reelection plans, saying he’ll begin thinking about politics around Labor Day. That hasn’t stopped him from raising money, lots and lot of money, or from lobbying his gubernatorial counterparts to become chairman of the Democratic Governors Association next year.
For political junkies wondering where the Brock campaign has been, silly season has finally begun.