By Guy Page
Two Progressive members of the Barre City Council Tuesday night berated a citizen requesting to fly the American flag over Main Street on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11. They say they don’t “trust the intent” of the applicant, Brian Judd.
If Judd’s name rings a bell, it’s because he and friends successfully flew Old Glory from a crane over City Hall Park on the 20th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center, after the same city councilors refused to approve his application. One of the naysaying Progressives – Emel Cambel – said she was “intimidated” by the thought of the large flag flying prominently over the Barre park.
Judd also is suing the city for a hand recount of the March 2021 city council race he lost by 38 votes to Progressive Teddy Waszazak. Judd claimed one of the voting machines may have been showing erroneous totals. The City and a lower court denied his request. He is appealing that decision.
At the Nov. 2 council meeting, Progressive Councilor Teddy Waszazak accused Judd – seeking to fly the city-owned 20×30′ flag at the Keith Ave. intersection over Main St. – of “political maneuvering.” It’s a subject about which he professes expert knowledge.
“I think that you have to look at the intent, and I do not trust the intent of this for one second,” Waszazak said (1:32:17 on the video). “I am a professional political operative. A lot of people in town do not like that about me, and I am okay with that. I can smell political maneuvering a mile away, and this is political maneuvering.”
Like the good Progressive political operative he professes to be, Waszazak wants to deny Judd a platform to express himself, even if that expression is waving the American flag. Someone who Waszazak thinks doesn’t deserve a platform shouldn’t get one, he said.
“Just as the last flag request was, this flag request is meant to put this City Council in an uncomfortable political position, to give a platform for an individual I do not think should have a platform,” Waszazak said. “I do not think the applicant is asking to raise this flag because of values which I consider the American flag to represent – liberty, justice, freedom – this request just like the last one is made to put a political statement so the applicant can run for political office in Barre City again. This is a stunt to get on the front page of the newspaper.”
Fellow Progressive Jake Hemmerick (2:02:11 on video) bashed Judd for supposedly “cheerleading neo-Nazi white supremacist cop-killing thugs” during the Jan. 6 Capitol building incursion.
“I would want to know rightly about what his intents were,” Hemmerick said. “I saw him leading up to the January 6 insurrection cheerleading Neo-Nazis white supremacist cop-killing thugs that beat police officers with an American flag, calling for martial law. Intention is concerning.”
In an email to Vermont Daily Chronicle, Judd – a U.S. Navy veteran and Barre American Legion executive committee member – discussed the intent behind the flag raising application.
“I will go to the Veteran’s Day gathering in Barre City Park, and my intent on having our big beautiful American flag raised on Veteran’s Day is to honor those servicemen and servicewomen who gave their lives in wartime and for those servicemen and servicewomen who have passed away here at home.”
Hemmerick also pilloried Judd for contesting the March City Meeting election.
“A lower court’s already said this is ridiculous. I’m sure the Supreme Court will say the same thing,” Hemmerick predicted.