By Michael Bielawski
Ivan Raiklin, a news media host conducted interviews with some of Vermont’s leading conservative voices at the Vermont Republican State Convention on Saturday. He was told by Vermont’s National GOP committeeman Jay Shepard that the legislature is full of lobbyists and that regular folks find it cost/time prohibitive to get into office.
Raiklin was also told by Mark Coester who is a member of the GOP elections committee that there is a new social media site set up largely to be a hub for election fraud headlines that are often censored by more mainstream outlets.
Raiklin is a retired Lieutenant Colonel and former Green Beret and Constitutional Attorney who served for 25 years in the Department of Defense among other experiences. He’s most recently become a popular conservative media personality, his X page can be seen here. The whole roughly 1-hour video including other Vermont voices can be seen here.
Jay Shepard said GOP donors fled Vermont
Shepard has been on the Republican National Committeeman for Vermont since 2012. He focused some on financial challenges facing the party, he noted that those who want to get involved in state politics essentially need to expect to do so largely on their own money.
Some of this situation is apparently due to wealthy conservatives fleeing the state.
“The biggest problem is that most of our donors no longer live in Vermont,” Shepard said. “The people who can leave have left, and the other people are finding out that it’s very hard to make a living here in Vermont.”
He spoke to other challenges that potential candidates face including they are too busy and lack political connections.
“One of the issues that we have is most Repubilicans in this state have full-time jobs, they are not part of the establishment, they are not part of the nonprofit organizations that are out there.”
Conversely, he suggested that the current majority liberal parties currently occupying the statehouse are connected politically including in some questionable ways. Rep. Jill Krowinski, D-Burlington, who is currently Speakers of the House and was previously a Planned Parenthood employee, was cited as an example of this.
“What’s happened is a lot of the people who are in the legislature now as Democrats and Progressives are really just full time lobyists for different organizations and the nonprofits that they came from,” he said.
Asked about the current status of politics in Vermont Shepard explained that it’s a though situation but that Republican Gov. Phil Scott deserves some credit for vetoing so many bills during his tenure.
“One of the things that you have to understand is that we have a Republican governor who has set the record for the most bills vetoed,” he said. “Where he is on social issues is different from where I am on social issues but we have to give him some credit he’s better than what we would have had had some of the people who ran against him in the past few years.”
Mark Coester talks election integrity
Coester, a former Windham County Senate candidate, is also on the state’s GOP Special Election Committee. He talked about the importance of a new social media website called FrankSocial.com,
“I would encourage concerned voters, concerned people who might be justices of the peace or on an election board to download Frank Social and when they see something, say something,” Coester said.
He explained that free speech will be protected on this platform and that it will be easy to cross share posts with other more mainstream platforms.
“It’s an awesome platform, it’s not censored, it’s the place where we are going to consolidate information about elections,” he said.
He suggested that it’s completed a test run after during the Nov. 7 elections “in eight different states it lit up like a Christmas tree. We got all those reports in real time.
One instance a suspected fraud from Nov. 7 involved voting machines in Pensylvania caught flipping votes in a race for a rate for a State Supreme Court seat. The GateWayPundit shared a video showing more than 300,000 votes for the GOP candidate being discarded on election night for the same race.
The author is a reporter for the Vermont Daily Chronicle and the Burlington Daily News