February 28th, 2009

Mayoral Race, Final Weekend: Nadworny Drops Playboy Bomb on Republican Kurt Wright, And It Hurts So Good (Not)

by Philip Baruth

If you read the post below, you saw VDB make the argument that Instant Run-Off Voting forces candidates to buff down their edges, and encourages them to emulate the positions of the opposing party or parties. And we believe that to be true. But that doesn’t mean that voters will buy the repackaging. Case in point: Burlington advertising guru Rich Nadworny takes an axe to the Wright campaign’s portrayal of its candidate as a crusader for women’s rights.

After revisiting Wright’s chummy appearance on The O’Reilley Factor, during the Cashman affair a few years back, Nadworny takes up the Republican’s highly publicized support of a resolution condemning Burton for their Playboy-enhanced snowboard line. Wright has made the related case that pornography on the slopes begets violence against women, and no doubt that positioning has helped in the hunt for second-place Democratic votes. But Nadworny sees an irony, maybe more than one:

“What’s most surprising is that Kurt, as an employee of Kerry’s Kwik Stop, was actively involved, himself, in promoting the sales of pornography. A quick visit to Kerry’s has a rack full of Playboy, Penthouse and more! Why didn’t Kurt do anything to remove pornography from Kerry’s while he was there, if this issue was so important to him? I’m sure Kurt Wright had good reasons for promoting pornography in his former job. I just think Burlington deserves better from its next mayor.”

Ouch. Now that’s gotta hurt. And not the early John Cougar “Hurts So Good” kind of hurt, either.

Late Update, Saturday, 6:48 pm:

Longtime reader CM writes in with her own fond memories of the now-tripartisan Kurt Wright:

Greetings VDB!

Just wanted to send you a little “thank you” note on informing us of the Rich Nadworny “My Turn” piece. I’ve known Kurt quite well since he was the stock-boy at Kerry’s Kwik Stop, before being promoted to cashier . . .

During the year 2005, I was participating in a “military families speak out” anti-war tour, and speaking before the Vermont legislature (of which Mr. Wright was a member, if I have my facts straight) to ask them to develop a commission to study the effects of the war deployment on the VTANG and VT economy. At the same time, Mr. Wright was, NOT so quietly behind the scenes, referring to us as “radicals,” liberals, hippies, and heaven-forbid, I think the word “traitors” was even heard to dribble from his lips.

I guess he had no problem with Vermonters potentially having to KILL women and babies, or come home in body bags, but God help us if Vermonters are allowed to snow-board down our glorious ski slopes with the image of a hot babe staring up at them. Maybe somebody needs to clue Kurt in to the fact that participation in wars of aggression are most CERTAINLY known to be a causal factor relating to the incidence of domestic violence! Yup, Burlington deserves better. And you can quote me.