More Dubie Material, of Dubious Origin
You’ll remember that last week, we captured a Facebook ad, encouraging folks to sign up, in order to encourage Brian Dubie to encourage himself to run for Governor. VDB made what seemed like a very plausible assertion: that while the Facebook effort purported to be independent of Dubie, in all likelihood it had probably been commenced with his assent.
But apparently we were wrong, or so says Aaron Melville, the Republican netroots type who whipped up the FB ad campaign. He sent the following email out to those who’d signed up on the Run Dubie Run page:
We have reached 500 members! This is more than twice the total of Deb Markowitz and more than all of the Democrats combined. Good work everyone.
Now I want to lay some items to rest. There are some in the news media that believe that this group is secretly funded or approved by Lt. Gov. Dubie before it and the adds [sic] went live. I want to make it clear to you all that Mr. Dubie did not ask that this group be formed. This was a page that I created on my own, they [sic] ads on facebook I am funding by myself. In fact I do not believe that I have actually met Mr. Dubie in person (we did have one brief business related phone conversation and I have been at some rallys and political events where he was present). This is simply a grassroots movement to recruit a good man to run for Governor of Vermont.
So, I hope you all have an enjoyable weekend, please continue recruiting your friends to join our group.
We take Aaron Melville at his word, and congratulate him on a solid burst of early support. Fully believable that the effort has no connection with the candidate involved; wouldn’t be the first time that a netroots encouragement campaign gets folded into a later official campaign.
But that doesn’t stop the hunt for Dubie’s fingerprints on early campaign maneuvers. Latest bit of evidence to come in over the transom? This description of a polling call, received two nights ago by VDB-reader Elaine, in the Chittenden County area. Elaine writes:
I thought you’d be interested to hear that I received a call from a pollster yesterday, asking me all sorts of comparative questions about whether I supported liberals or conservatives, and whether I liked various VT politicians. The caller asked me to choose between many people, including Markowitz, Shumlin, Racine, Randy Brock, Shap Smith. No mention of Pollina or Salmon.
The name that came up most, though, was Dubie.
What annoyed me most about this call (though I guess most polls do this) is that they wanted me to make choices between unpalatable alternatives. In particular, did I want a liberal who isn’t focused on financial issues but who talks a lot about social plans, or someone who is fiscally conservative and can control the liberal legislature when they go off on social problems like abortion? I mean, what kind of choice is that?
The company that called was Central Marketing (pretty sure—left my note to self at home), and they are out of NYC. She could not tell me who hired them as this particular poll had “no sponsor,” as she put it, whereas others frequently do.
We’ll leave this description of the call to more or less stand on its own. Clearly the person/persons funding the calls is interested in finding out where Dubie stands, in the grand scheme of voter preferences, and how social issues impact that standing. But that’s not to say that it’s Dubie himself asking how Dubie’s doing.
At this point, might just as easily be Tom Salmon, Jr.