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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



The least perfect union

The Second Vermont Republic has always had a nice ring to it, especially in a state that celebrates its independent streak and maverick political heritage. SVR touts the idea that Vermont ought to sucede from the US of A and its entangling military and economic commitments and strike out on its own. Sounds sort of cool, right?

Trouble is, the group has been revealed to have ties to a white supremacist Southern group that's been designated a "hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Now comes a detailed article in The Intelligence Report, a newsletter the center publishes, that examines the connection in depth.

According to the piece, SVR leader Thomas Naylor and others associated with the organization have established a partnership with the League of the South, a connection cemented last fall during a conference in Tennessee where the two signed off on the Chattanooga Declaration," which proclaimed the demise of the split between the left and right in the nation.

This is truly an odd union. The SVR hails from a state that was first in the nation to abolish slavery. The League of the South opposes interracial marriage, thinks slavery was "God ordained" and promotes the delusion that the Confederacy never really surrendered at Appomattax.

Get this: According to the Intelligence Report article league members purportedly offered housing to "whites only" refugees from New Orleans after the Katrina disaster. For a full read of the article, click HERE.

SVR and Naylor have been afforded some credibility in these parts. Naylor has been interviewed about SVR's plans on mainstream TV and UVM political science Prof. Frank Bryan has been an unofficial advisor to the group.

Bryan, asked in The Intelligence Report what he makes of the liaisaon with the League of the South, remarked "If (Naylor) was very flattering toward the League of the South, and they're racist, that was probably a bad idea."

Naylor was defiant about the relationship in a quote attributed to him in the article. "If someone tells me that I shouldn't associate with the League of the South, it guarantees that I will associate with the League of the South."


-- Sam Hemingway

"Sen. John McCain (R-Campaign Trail) missed another vote today on a resolution related to the Iraq war, skipping a procedural move on a war funding measure in favor of hitting the campaign trail in New York.

"In fact, McCain's missed vote today marked his fifth straight week without casting a vote on the Senate floor, with this morning's vote marking the 42nd straight roll call that he has missed.

"McCain's campaign said, "Regrettably, it is impossible for a presidential candidate to avoid missing votes."
John McCain has missed 353 votes (60.4%) during the current Congress.

Barack Obama has missed 245 votes (42.0%) during the current Congress.

Naylor sounds like an idiot.
McCain has missed more votes than any other senator in the 110th congress.

The Southern Poverty law Center report is even more damming than Sam has mentioned in his blog post. According to the SPLC, Naylor was involved in the southern separatist movement long before he came to Vermont, and his racist leaning values are well documented. The SPLC report paints a chilling portrait that marginalizes Mr. Naylor, and his Vermont organization.

Take this excerpt from the SPLC report as an example:

"...Naylor's reasons for moving to Vermont are explained in Downsizing the U.S.A. He portrays his then-hometown of Richmond, Va., as overcome by crime and angry African Americans, saying it was in a "death spiral." When he moved to Vermont in 1993, Naylor almost immediately started calling for an independent state. He pines for a separate Vermont, perhaps allied with other Atlantic maritime entities, that would resemble Switzerland or Luxembourg — countries Naylor considers as close to perfect as possible. In Downsizing the U.S.A., Naylor sounds a theme similar to that of many white supremacists, suggesting that some parts of the country could be broken up according to ethnicity. "If Palestine could be divided into a Jewish state and an Arab state, why can't independent African American, Hispanic, and Native American states be carved out of the United States?..."
Well, if nothing else, the SPLC has certainly solved the mystery of brain-dead bubba's true ignorant-trash identity.
Naylor sounds misguided and mistaken. He should step forward and explain to Vermonters what he believes.

But SPLC has a very strong slant on things. For example, if you oppose illegal immigration, they say you are in effect a racist. There are many non-racist reasons to oppose illegal immigration or amnesty.
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