by Guy Page
The Vermont Republican Party will take legal action against the non-citizen voting law passed by the Democratic controlled Legislature, Party Chair Deb Billado told attendees Saturday at the quarterly meeting of the state Republican Committee in Montpelier.
The Legislature last month overrode the veto of Gov. Phil Scott of two bills allowing non-citizen voting in Montpelier and Winooski respectively.
In response to questions by Patti Howes and Wendy Wilton, House Minority Chair Pattie McCoy also said the GOP caucus would support introduction of a voter ID bill.
But in addition to bill introduction and legal action, Vermont needs more GOP seats in the Legislature, party officials stressed. The House and Senate both about four more GOP members to sustain a governor’s veto. And there’s encouraging news for Republicans on that front.
In recent years, Vermont has seen more towns organized with local parties and more women involved, especially among top leaders. Of the estimated 95,000 Republican voters, about 1600 are actual VT GOP members. The state party Facebook page has more followers than the Vermont State Democratic Party.
“Many of those people are working hard to get more people elected,” Billado said. “That’s the only way to stop what I would call the dangerous legislation coming out of Montpelier.”
The keynote speaker was Tommy Hicks, a Texan with an interesting resume: former Golden Gloves boxer, University of Texas graduate, former Chairman of the America First Action PAC, co-chair of the Trump campaign, and leader in Turning Point USA.
“I don’t need to tell y’all about the dangers of socialism,” Hicks said. “You get to hear it from Bernie Sanders.”
He also weighed in on the Biden administration’s disastrous impact on the national economy.
“Inflation is the highest since, well, Joe Biden was vice-president,” Hicks said. “They’re doing it by blowing out the national budget.”
“Love or hate President Trump, we had the best economy before the pandemic.”
On the issue of defunding the police: “GOP candidates and officials will continue to be behind supporting police. That is a critical issue for Republicans,” Hicks said.
Vermont Daily asked Hicks: “People say I feel all alone, everything is changing, I don’t know what to do. What would you tell them?”
“Please get involved,” Hicks said. “Run for office. Run for schoolboard. Don’t assume your neighbor is going to do it.”
Young Republicans looking to expand – the president of the University of Vermont Republicans said his group has featured Vermont elected officials and candidates like Phil Scott, Scott Milne, and Sens. Joe Benning, Corey Parent, and Randy Brock. And they’re looking to expand.
“We are proactively searching for students at St. Mike’s, Champlain College, and Castleton,” UVM student Franklin Cody, 21, of Bennington said.
A resolution banning vaccine passports passed unanimously.