Dems bite Brock, GOP bites back

Vermont Democrats fired off a blistering missive this morning, calling out Randy Brock for his “allegiance to a radically conservative Republican agenda.”

The press release centers on Brock’s ties to Maine Gov. Paul LePage, who was invited by the Brock campaign to be the special guest at a fundraiser later this month.

LePage has been lionized by conservatives and vilified by liberals for shepherding through free-market health care reforms inMaine. One of the architects of that legislation, Tarren Bragdon, is helping Brock put together what could be a similar proposal forVermont.

Vermont Democratic Party Chairman Jake Perkinson says the LePage invite proves that Brock is a Tea Party-loving, poor-people hating, organized-labor killing politician who wants to feather the nests of corporate interests.

“That Randy Brock would consider it an honor to have someone like Gov. LePage campaign with him inVermontreveals just how extreme Brock’s agenda really is,” said VDP Chair Jake Perkinson. “If Vermonters want a taste of what Randy Brock would do as governor, they should look toMaine, where Governor LePage is overseeing a massive effort to cut essential public services, eviscerate collective bargaining, and make affordable health care even farther out of reach for Mainers.”

In a telephone interview this afternoon, Brock said he was taken aback by the severity of the Democratic rhetoric. Vermonters made it clear in 2010, Brock said, that they have no interest in viciously negative gubernatorial campaigns.

“This is one of a series of rather nasty personal attacks that I’ve seen coming out of the Vermont Democratic Party, and I don’t think Vermonters need or want this kind of negativity and name-calling,” Brock said.

Just because he and Peter Shumlin differ ideologically over the best approach for health care reform, Brock said, doesn’t mean he cares any less about people who lack insurance.  

“Let’s talk honestly and openly about the issues, and let’s debate them vigorously,” Brock said. “But to use that kind of invective to cast aspersions on other people and other parties is I think an inappropriate thing to do.”

Jack Lindley, chairman of the Vermont GOP, rushed to LePage’s offense. In a press release, he offered this:

“Rather than look at what LePage has accomplished and how he did it, the flamethrowers at the Vermont Democratic Party resort to hurling insults at a successful businessman who was orphaned at age 12, shined shoes to help feed himself, washed dishes, drove a truck, worked as a meatpacker to help put himself through school and went on to earn an advanced degree. The name callers who dwell in the bowels at the Vermont Democratic Party might actually learn something from listening to the words of Gov. 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 toVermont.”

Expect Round Two to begin shortly, when Dems find out that Brock also has a campaign event scheduled with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, another Republican lightning rod.