Lenore Broughton’s pointlessly expensive superPAC, Vermonters First, isn’t known for putting out press releases. Its activities were ultra-top-secret in its own self-aggrandizing view of the world. Broughton is notorious for dodging photographers, and I gave her right-hand man the nickname “Tayt Brooks, International Man of Mystery” for his refusal to speak with reporters. And outfitted his photo with an impenetrable disguise.
The Tayter managed to spend more than a million dollars of Broughton’s inheritance while doing absolutely nothing to move the needle of the 2012 campaign. Still, he seemed to be in her good graces.
But last week’s “Fair Game” column by Paul “The Huntsman” Heintz brought some fresh news. Heintz referred to Brooks’ tenure with VF in the past tense, and reported that since January, Brooks has been the Vermont executive director of American Majority, a national conservative astroturf group with shadowy connections to the Koch Brothers empire.
Yeah, American Majority’s not big on press releases either. The only sign of Brooks on the organization’s website is a pair of brief posts about current events; no hint of his organizational role.
For those just joining us, AM is a tea party-connected group that focuses on raising “a national farm team of conservative leaders.” Last month, it held a seminar in Rutland for aspiring conservative candidates, as documented on GMD here. And, as noted by colleague Jack McCullough, Brooks has claimed credit for the electoral success of Burlington School Board candidate Scot Shumski — a fact that apparently caught Shumski by surprise.
Anyhoo, nice to know that the Tayter has found himself a comfy landing spot.
As I’ve said, repeatedly, ad infinitum, ad nauseam, the conservative movement’s ability to keep on employing the same ol’ same ol’ hacks, no matter how many times they lose, is both inspiring and befuddling. The movement certainly doesn’t operate on free-market principles; otherwise, they’d ditch these no-account losers.
As, apparently, Lenore Broughton finally did with the I.M.O.M. It’ll be interesting to see if Vermonters First tries again Under New Management, or if (as I suspect) Broughton has had her fill of writing big checks and getting nothing in return.
One curious thing, though: the undistinguished men of Vermont conservatism — Brooks, Rob Roper, John McClaughry, Jim Barnett, Corry Bliss, et al. — have no trouble getting gigs no matter how many times they crap out. It’s different for Darcie Johnston, the only woman in the Green Mountain Tea Party Brigade; she’s too aggressive, too scorched-earth. And she’s having a hard time finding work.
Could it be that the treehouse of Vermont conservatism is basically a little boys’ club, more welcoming to those endowed with external genitalia? It would seem so.