Joe Benning: Open letter to David Zuckerman, my opponent for Lt. Gov.

Editor’s note: This letter is by state Sen. Joe Benning.

This is an open letter to David Zuckerman, my opponent in the upcoming election for Lt. Governor.

Well David, looks like it’s me and you. I’ll repeat what I said when I called you a few months back when you were considering joining the race. We should use this as an opportunity to show Vermonters we can rise above the national fray and run only on our respective merits.

Vermont Office of the Lieutenant Governor

David Zuckerman

I suggest we first agree on the basic functions of the office we are actually running for: Lt. Governor. High platitudes, curing social ills and championing given causes have no realistic place in our race. Those discussions are dealt with in other offices. For those unaware, the job we’re running for has three basic functions. First, you moderate the Senate. Second, as part of a committee of three you decide which senators go on which committees and who chairs them. Finally, should the Governor be unable to continue his/her role, you take over that position.

I know this is boring inside baseball to some, but neither of us should use this race to tell Vermonters our election will cure climate change or provide health care for all, etc. That would be disrespectful to the voters. True, we can use the office to speak about things we appreciate, but we both know the Lt. Governor cannot draft legislation, cannot argue and vote in committee, and cannot debate or vote on the floor. At best, the Lt. Governor can break a tie. Simply put: advancing policy with legislation is not within the job description. Let’s agree we shouldn’t insult Vermonters by pretending the office is something it isn’t.

It is here I see the first of two major differences between us for voters to consider. For the entire primary, during your debates and press interactions, you’ve been speaking a language that appears (to me at least) not related to the job we’re running for. It appears you are using this campaign as a warm up for higher office. Having previously run against Phil Scott in 2020, it is pretty hard to now avoid the perception that you are using this race as a placeholder. We know Bernie’s term will expire in 2024 and it is quite possible Phil Scott may step down the same year. In either case, your present refusal to commit to re-election to Lt. Governor in 2024 makes your intention quite clear.

In my case, two things have me committed to running for Lt. Governor again in 2024. First, the Senate has just gone through Covid-19- the most trying time in its history since it was formed in 1836. We still have residual issues that will require institutional knowledge. You’ve been absent for almost all of that trying time. Secondly, one-third of the Senate is about to turn over. A revolving door Lt. Governor is the last thing the institution needs right now. My hope is that voters appreciate my commitment to that most august body.

The second major difference between us is how we’d treat this office in relation to Governor Phil Scott. The difference is especially glaring in the event either of us was expected to step into his shoes. On primary night you announced to your supporters that you were going back to Montpelier to “ride right over that hump” that was in your way. The “hump” you were referring to was Phil Scott. Of course, by extension you were also belittling his administrative team.

This is troubling on three counts. First, your election would set the stage for conflict between the two top constitutional offices at a time when the massive infusion of federal Covid-19 money is about to end. Secondly, as frugality becomes the order of the day, it is crucial that the Lt. Governor acts in support of a Governor who will need to deal with the pressures of critical needs versus a decreasing revenue stream. In your previous terms as Lt. Governor you were not welcomed in Phil Scott’s cabinet and, no matter who was to blame for that, it is clear the two of you would have difficulties being in sync. Finally, in the event you had to actually take the Governor’s place, your “hump” characterization doesn’t exactly endear you to the team currently running this 8.2 billion dollar corporation called the “State of Vermont.” That’s the team you’d have to rely on. Vermonters might consider that an important concern.

On the other hand, I’ve known Phil Scott for 12 years and consider him a friend. I’ve campaigned with him, advanced several of his bills through the legislature, and worked with his administrative team on a daily basis as Minority Leader and chair of Senate Institutions. A transition into his role with his team (should the need arise) would be virtually seamless for me. He knows that, which is one of the reasons he’s endorsed me in this campaign.

I’ll leave it to Vermonters to weigh whether these differences between us are worthy of their consideration.

Joe Benning
State Senator
Caledonia District
Candidate for Lt. Governor

Images courtesy of Bruce Parker/TNR and Vermont Office of the Lieutenant Governor

62 thoughts on “Joe Benning: Open letter to David Zuckerman, my opponent for Lt. Gov.

  1. Joe lost any credibility he had left for me when he called Jan 6 an insurrection and those involved insurrectionists. People did march to the capitol to show a force of protestors but if it weren’t for government agents such as Ray Epps it would not have gone out of control. He likes to ignore that simple fact.
    He would rather ignore the fact that if Pelosi and the DC mayor had accepted the increased security from then President Trump peace and order would have been maintained.
    But when Joe’s main objective is to smear the reputation of DJT and his supporters then he doesn’t deserve our support at all.
    The Lt. governor’s office is basically a do nothing one that wastes about $100K a year that could be spent more wisely, or better yet not taken from taxpayers.
    But since it still exists I will be writing in Greg Thayer.

  2. Neil Johnson and Jay Eshelmen: I recognize my lack of responding to your comments can be frustrating (in Jay’s words “crickets”). But my schedule of campaigning while running a full time law practice really inhibits my ability to scroll through various social media and responding to each and every comment. I too get frustrated when I see people posting things about me that aren’t true and I know I don’t have time to research and respond.

    It occurred to me that I don’t think I’ve ever met either one of you officially. I’d like to change that and give you all the time you need to get answers to whatever questions you have, or yell at me for whatever reason you like. You guys up for it? Coffee, on me. We can meet wherever you like, just let me know if you are interested and I’ll figure out a way to make it happen. My cell phone: 802-274-1346.

    • Joe,

      I’ll respond to you with the truth.

      I have to do it here because you block people who tell the truth.

      You do not deserve the support of Republicans in the state…

      You continue to deny the voter fraud that took place in the presidential election in spite of the fact it has been pointed out to you with facts from other people.

      You are a traitor to the people in the state and no one should trust you to represent the truth or the facts.

      I posted this on the article where your buddy Biden makes the same disgusting remarks you do about people who believe in the rule of law in America and support in our constitution and our right to participate in it

      I’m sure Senator Joe Benning was grinning ear to ear
      listening to his hero Joe Biden speak such discusting words REPUBLICANS.

      MANY of the same things Joe Benning calls REPUBLICANS.

      These are the same REPUBLICANS that Benning is now begging to vote for him for Lt. Governor.

      His claim that he is most qualified is …..he has campaigned for Phil Scott and supported Phil Scott for years now and if anything happens to Phil he can step right into position of GOVERNOR.

      Everyone should be very concerned. Joe Benning calls himself a “PHIL SCOTT REPUBLICAN”

      Scott voted for BIDEN and BENNING is a supporter of both.

      Benning claims to be a gun rights advocate but remains totally silent when Joe Biden calls for a gun grab affecting every American….Phil Scott pushes the gun grab in statements from his office…

      Benning the GREAT PROTECTOR of guns…SITS SILENT!

      Benning voted twice for PROP 5 and has stated he will support the slaughter of The unborn and the destruction of our children and their family by voting for ARTICLE 22.

      Benning brags about all of his endorsements. That’s all he has going for him.

      That raises questions for me…how deep does this hatred for REPUBLICANS exist in our state?

      We can make difference and we should.

      We are working hard to send a message to every politician in our state that regardless of who they choose to represent us we still CAN and SHOULD push back when it becomes necessary to preserve our state.

      We are working very hard to encourage everyone to write in Gregory M. Thayer of Vermont
      to become our next Lt. Governor.

      We have a web page and are asking that you share the information about Gregory with all of your friends on Facebook and other social media platforms so we can elect this fine gentleman to office.

      Thanks to all of you who are concerned about our beautiful state and the terrible direction some of these politicians are dragging us.

      Please share everywhere!

      Please visit

      Everyone should spread the word among friends and family, in the community, and on social media.

      Ballot MUST be filled out EXACTLY:

      “Gregory M. Thayer of Rutland

    • The illegitimate Biden regime stole the election by fraud and foreign interference.

      You collude in election theft by lying to voters “there’s no question the election was valid.”

      You spread vicious Democrat lies and attack patriotic Republican voters defending their stolen votes as “thugs,” “white supremacists,” “extremists” and “insurrectionists” and say they are “not patriots” and “not real Americans.”

      When voters provide you proof of election fraud and facts about January 6th you literally block the information from your sight by blocking them on social media and continue to lie.

      President Trump said the “real insurrection” was the November 3, 2020 election theft.

      That makes you the insurrectionist.

      You are a traitor against your fellow citizens, the lawfully elected President, and the United States of America.

  3. It is important to keep your eye on the prize. In this case it is electing 5 more Republicans or Independents to provide the needed margin in the Vermont House to sustain Phil Scott’s vetoes.
    If we had had that number in the past, ideologically driven legislation like the impractical Global Warming Soutions Bill would not have passed.

    Politics can be like driving on icy roads where if we are not careful can have wild swings to the left or right. Currently in the Vermont legislature we have swung way to far to the left and correction is greatly needed. Those who feel this way would be wise, for now, to create a united front and work towards electing Republicans chosen in the primary and Independents who could help alter the course in Monpelier. Dividing the vote only benefits Progressives like David Zuckerman.

    More relevant than how some people voted in the past years is how others, including those who got on the ballot now like John Klar and those who did not like Gregory Thayer, feel about a potential write in effort in response to Joe Benning being the Republican candidate to Lt. Governor.

    Bottom line: there will be time after the election for furhter discussion on how to proceed with a Republican agenda in Vermont and time again in two years for candidates who did not win this time round to make their case again in the primaries. Keep your eye on the prize.

    • The eye on the prize is to build a winning American team, not commie and commie light.

      Glad you enjoy Vermont’s current political climate, some of us are tired of it. Entirely.

  4. Both Zuckerman and Benning are a disgrace. I am voting for neither. Writing in Greg Thayer looks good to me. I have a feeling there will be a lot of write-ins by the real Republican voters, and in the case of Ericka Redic crossing party lines to vote for her on the Libertarian ballot. If Phil Scott and Joe Benning can do it in a Presidential election, so can we. We real Republicans need to get out and vote!! We cannot sit by idly and refuse to become involved. That’s how we ended up with NOT A REPUBLICAN Liam Madden on the Republican ticket. I am not voting for him either. We need some serious write-ins, people!

    • Oh, and while we’re at it, please vote NO on Article 22! It is an amendment that is heinous and cruel.

  5. And there John Freitag goes again. Deflecting on behalf of Joe Benning. Read Freitag’s comments below.

    While we’re trying to find out whether or not Benning supported Trump (if, indeed, he didn’t vote for Biden as he now proclaims), and determine if a Thayer write-in campaign is reasonable, Freitag says (and I’m paraphrasing) – don’t pay any attention to that man behind the curtain, look over here folks, climate change is what we need to pay attention to… as if we’re not already paying attention.

    Keep in mind that Benning, himself, stated above that “ …curing social ills and championing given causes have no realistic place in our race.”

    Now Freitag is trying to recast this reality. And Benning practices the same obfuscation by challenging readers to substantiate what he now says is the false claim that he (Benning) voted for Biden… knowing full well that the allegation can’t be proven. After all, we can’t prove that Benning or Freitag, or anyone else for that matter, actually voted at all, let alone who they voted for.

    It seems to me that Vermonters have nothing to lose in writing in Greg Thayer for Lt. Governor, nothing to lose except the possibility, distant as it may be, that the more than 300,000 Vermont voters who didn’t vote in the primaries, and who appreciate true conservative values over Zuckerman’s progressive pipe-dreams, may also be inclined to vote for an alternative to the disingenuous malarky posited by Freitag and Benning.

    • Jay:

      I’m not sure how to convince you that Biden did not receive my vote. Although I have my suspicions on who started that rumor, I’ve thus far not been able to prove it was who I think it was. So in the absence of that, I’ll again challenge anyone who thinks otherwise to find something anywhere in which I’m quoted that I did. If nobody can (and they won’t), consider that I’ve got the same problem in trying to prove the reverse.

      As a side note, I’ve suggested on a couple of occasions that Governor Scott was wrong to announce who he voted for. Can we at least agree on that?

      • First, Mr. Benning, thank you for engaging. I hope this isn’t the last time.

        But please, ‘the rumor’ you cite is nothing more than a convenient scapegoat, a deflection, a typical false dichotomy ploy. You could squelch the rumor by telling us who you voted for.

        Keep in mind, however, that how you voted wasn’t, and isn’t, the initial point that was being made by the various TNR and VDC commentors, no matter who accused you (wrongly or rightly) of voting for Biden, the first time or the last time. And that Phil Scott voted for Biden isn’t the point either.

        The issue you continue to ‘deflect’, at least one of the initial criticisms directed to you… is, specifically, that you cast unwarranted aspersions on those Vermonters who went to Washington D.C. on January 6 ‘…peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances’.

        • I’ve never had a problem with folks who went to Washington to peaceably assemble. My beef has always been with those who intended to disrupt a peaceful transfer of power, especially with those who breached police lines. The former were practicing free speech; the latter have given the GOP a black eye.

          • And how many Vermonters are the latter, Mr. Benning? Was Greg Thayer, for example, one of those who “breached police lines”?

          • Joe Benning you are a disgrace to the Republican party.
            You are truly a Scott Republican whatever that is.
            You are hell-bent on destroying America continuing to lie about a fraudulent election that is being exposed every day and trying to denounce and disgrace the best president in recent history.
            You support Governor Phil Scott and the Biden agenda and look what it has done to destroy America..

            Joe Benning has got to go…

            Joe Benning: Extremists posing as Republicans
            By Commentary Jan 15 2021

            Editor’s note: This commentary is by state Sen. Joe Benning, the former Senate minority leader who represents the Caledonia-Orange District in the Vermont Senate.

            Today I saw a picture of a busload of Vermonters on their way to Washington, D.C. They were Donald Trump supporters who remain convinced that his election was stolen. I want to believe that all of them on that bus were heading down for a peaceful protest. But after witnessing several different news reports, and listening to the speeches of President Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Rudy Giuliani urging them to go to the Capitol, I have to wonder whether anyone in that group got duped into joining the assault of that beautiful and historic building.

            I’d be interested to know because, as someone who has spent years trying to convince Vermonters that conservative and constitutional principles have merit, that message will be made all the more difficult to deliver if it is associated with those extremists who also call themselves Republicans.

            Please don’t embarrass us by saying these extremists were antifa. Don’t try to deflect by saying BLM or liberals started it Don’t try to deflect liberals started it or are just as bad. These thugs were Republicans devoted completely to Donald Trump. They are not “patriots.” They are not “real Americans.” They are anarchists who believe in mob rule, plain and simple.

            Many of them were egged on by a Donald Trump tweet that alleged Vice President Mike Pence would be shirking his constitutional responsibilities if he didn’t reject elector certificates. Not only is the potential precedent of such a claim a direct threat to every election in the future, it has absolutely no foundation whatsoever in the one simple sentence (Article II, §1) in the Constitution that specifically directs the president of the Senate (Mike Pence) to open “all certificates.” The president, in other words, was directing Pence to take an unconstitutional action.

            I will credit Mike Pence for recognizing the Constitution does not allow him to reject elector certificates and its language limited him to a ceremonial role. But the extremists latched onto the president’s false tweet to bash in the Capitol doors in an action that has resulted in a woman’s death.

            It is further troubling that these same extremists continue to believe the president’s tweets over all the legal and factual arguments that counter them. Sixty courts at all federal and state levels, Senate Majority Leader (Republican) Mitch McConnell, the president’s own Attorney General William Barr, and Republican secretaries of state and state attorneys general in all the states being contested have all concluded this election was not “stolen” and has never produced clear, unambiguous evidence of widespread fraud.

            Yet some continue to cling to individual instances of alleged fraud and thus call for overturning the votes of millions of fellow Americans. They will accept nothing less than reelection of the candidate who lost both the majority and Electoral College vote counts. And as I type this, the citadel of liberty and freedom, our nation’s capital, is shut down. I cannot imagine the glee now emanating from governments in Iran, Russia and China.

            Enough is enough. Even Twitter has finally shut down the president’s tweet account. Republicans like Mike Pence, who courageously upheld the Constitution over the president’s public insults, need to find our voices. This is not the Republican Party we are witnessing, but make no mistake it will be labeled so by those who seek scapegoats.

            I have another picture of a group on a bus trip going to Washington, D.C., to visit the Capitol. A young eighthgrade boy is seen at the top of the photo, peering over the seats of his sleeping classmates. On his visit to the nation’s capital, he was left with a wonderful idea of what America is supposed to be about. His class picture was taken on the very steps that Trump extremists invaded last week. Fifty years later, he officially stepped down as minority leader of the Vermont state Senate. He will continue to espouse the Republican principles embodied in the VTGOP party platform as a state senator, but he can no longer tolerate extremists posing as Republicans. He also prays other Republicans who believe in those principles will stand with him to reject the chaos and anarchy these extremists represent.

  6. Hey, David Zuckerman are you going to continue to lie and steal from the Vermont Citizens and laugh about it as you did for yrs as a legislator and Lt Gov.. You are nothing but a lying thief plain and simple.
    Plus your stupid idea of saying that 8th-grade kids should be introduced to pot. why not 1st graders?
    Man, you are dreaming if you think true Vermonters have forgotten what you did…

  7. Had David Zuckerman written this same letter telling Joe Benning what topics to discuss during the campaign, the Benning campaign would be OUTRAGED! I don’t agree with David Zuckerman on anything, but he can talk about whatever he damn well pleases without Joe Benning’s prior approval.

  8. While I don’t vote in primaries I’m more concerned with the vote splitting which can subsequently occur during the general election. That usually occurs due to poor voter education and biased media reports.

    • Issue we have here is there is voter education and we cannot support the turncoat Joe Benning…

      He claims to be a Phil Scott republican if there is such a thing.

      Phil Scott voted for Joe Biden and I’m positive Joe Benning did as well.

      Phil Scott has spoken up in favor of the gun control the Biden wants to implement against every American… Joe Benning remains silent…

      It’s time for real republicans in the state of Vermont to put an end to these fence walkers and these people that pretend to be one thing when they are completely against vermonters and our freedoms.

      I I’m a lifelong vermonter and I will not sit back and allow Joe Benning to call me an insurrectionist and a white supremacist because I voted for the best president in recent history… Donald Trump

      Just look at where we are today because of Phil Scott and Joe Benning and any of the other brown nosers the fell in line with these two losers in the republican party to destroy us

      I am encouraging everyone to write in “Gregory Thayer of Rutland” exactly as I have written it here on their ballot..

      Let’s show everyone that we mean business in this election.

      Make your voice heard and vote for Gregory Thayer

    • I need to correct myself so that every vote counts for Greg..

      We need to write in exactly the following….


      We want to be sure every vote counts so please make a note of this..

      Let’s show everyone that we have a voice in our elections..

      Please share this with everyone.

  9. Ah yes – Mr. Zuckerman. I remember him from many years ago, crusading for 8th graders to be exposed to the joys of smoking pot. I shall be writing in the name of Greg Thayer.

    • They are back in the classrooms talking about MAP’s (minor attracted persons), how to start a career in sex work, and grants and special funding for minorities to become drug dealers. Talk about racists! Are they too dumb to be plumbers, talk about crushing lines of work.

  10. Greg Thayer

    So Vista print can produce a 1,000 yard signs for $2,000

    It would be a fun project to start a go fund me for the yard signs. There are at least 112,700 people who would vote for Thayer in the state.

    I’d contribute $300.

    It would be fun to have at least 3,000 signs across Vermont. Write in Thayer VT LT Gov

    I’d love to put one on my property.

    We could have drives with those large flags you can attach to your car, big flags saying Thayer LT Gov….write in…..get a few trains of 100-300 people Have fun, go out to dinner in a small town. Drive around with the flags….

    MAKE it a news story.

    We need to come together, to work together. It would be a ton of fun.

    • Neil Johnson has a really good idea about not only organizing around your write in Candidate but *more importantly* telling all the people about this.
      We can never underestimate the fallout of failed education and dumbed down people.
      How many people actually even know you can write in a candidate? (nevermind WHO)

      This is a really viable idea and plan.. IF you can get everyone all on the same page.

      And Neil, we’ve got a writer over here that is from the Upper Valley area that is now covering VT politics for NH.. (and what does the need for this say?)
      This article should be of interest to you all..
      These are some people you should hook up with to organize your write in campaign.

      • Thanks Neil and Laura!

        Re getting the word out, there will be a website and visuals to share on social media.

        Great idea about yard signs, Neil. Can you take charge of that?

        • I don’t know who you are. If there was a team or group working in harmony for Thayer…I’d be interested in discussing. Have yet to see a group working in harmony within GOP, it can happen.

          • Neil, yes, there is a group working in harmony for Thayer!

            Use the contact form to get in touch and discuss signs:



    • This is the best way to ensure the election of Progressive David Zuckerman. I am sure he would approve of your efforts. Perhaps he would be willing to donate as well.

      • We are the people that elected Donald Trump twice John Freitag.
        Which judging by the non-stop wailing and belly-aching, blew your eva-lovin’ minds.
        So it’s interesting that you have such little faith that the same people can get this done in Vermont.

        • Laura ,

          Three things:

          1.) Anyone who has followed the votes and policies of Joe Benning who served as the Republican leader in the Senate knows there is hugh difference between him and Zuckerman.

          2).While Georgy Thayer ran a strong campaign, Republican voters in the primary chose Benning by 48% to 40% to be the Party’s standard bearer in the Lt. Governor race. Sure it is tough when your candidate loses in the primary, but the focus should now be on winning in the general election.

          3.) Write in campaigns, even in the best of circumstances where there is only one candidate to run against, are a long shot. Progressive Daviid Zuckerman, who is about as far left as any politician in Montpelier, will be the only one who benefits from the Benning – Zuckerman race if Thayer is a write-in. Is this really what people want?

        • Laura, watch out for Mr. Freitag’s obfuscations. Yes, voters in the Republican primary chose Benning to be the Party’s standard bearer in the Lt. Governor race. But the voters may not have been all Republicans. Vermont uses an open primary system, in which registered voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party’s primary.

          Mr. Freitag is, purposely or ignorantly, discounting the closeness of the vote between Benning (14,678 or 53.3%) and Thayer (12,288 or 44.6%). 26,966 total votes. A difference of 2,390 votes. Note that Freitag’s assessment of 48% to 40% is inaccurate.

          Again, Freitag and Benning are peas from the same pod. I’m still waiting to hear if Mr. Benning ever said, publicly, that he voted for Donald Trump. And to assume Thayer voters are an unreasonable voting bloc, is presumptuous too. After all, while 14,678 people voted for Benning, more than 97,000 people voted in the Democrat Lt. Governor primary.

          What are the odds of Benning winning the election against Zuckerman? You be the judge. Does that make a write-in vote for Thayer unreasonable, especially given the dubious conservative nature of Benning? You be the judge.

          Take Freitag’s assessment with a grain of salt.

          • What matters in Vermont is opposing things like over-the-top stand alone climate legislation, that sets impossible to achieve goals and then provides individuals the right to sue the state if these goals are not met. Joe Benning led the opposition to the Global Warming Solutions Act in the Senate.

            While the real prize in this election is achieving a net gain of 5 seats in the House which would guarantee sustaining Governor Scott’s vetoes, electing as many Republicans and Independents to help stem the overreach of the Democratic/Progressive majority in the legislature is also important. You cannot do this when after a primary, people insits on dividing the vote.

            It would be interesting to know what Gregory Thayer feels about people pushing a write-in campaign at this point.

      • be real, Zuckerman is winning regardless. What might be of real value is getting the GOP off life support and building a team. We have no team, there is no party.

        The last two GOP candidates were much “stronger” and got their @$s handed to them. They too were worthless for the GOP and things generally speaking America.

        It’s a rally cry against the uniparty, against the same old, same old in Vermont. Benning nor Zuckerman are not going to change Vermont one iota, don’t fool yourself they play for the same team.

  11. Greg Thayer as a write in is probably the most profound thing conservatives and anyone how cares about this state could do.

    We saw how in Vermont Digger, our Congress woman was bought for a Million dollars, by one person. The system that supports something like that is so utterly corrupt, evil and against American values, it should be the biggest news in Vermont.


    When one person can choose the congresswoman by donating a million dollars, don’t you think they’ll want something for it? It has nothing to do with who you sleep with our what your sexual preference or position is. Well, I guess it does include screwing every Vermonter and not giving them a kiss….

    If there were a grass roots campaign for Thayer, would be time well spent. I know whom I’m voting for and it’s not commie one or commie two.

    He was the loan person running for office to stand up to the fascist puppet Trudeau….

    We have to be careful; we are very close to having the same situation.

  12. February 2019 – The CCP was invited to the State House. Photos posted of CCP operative meeting with Phil Scott (R), David Zuckerman (P) and Jim Condos (D). The highest political party representatives in our State meeting with a representative of the most dangerous, extreme Communist regime on the planet. No one seemed to notice, no one seemed to care. Yet, the political corruption of our election process (among other high level corruption) since that meeting says it all. Wake up!

    • I’ve been screaming from the rooftops about this for 2 1/2 years, ever since Secretary of State Pompeo’s February 2020 address to the National Governors Association.

      Governor Scott was among those rebuked by Pompeo for making the Chinese Communist Party “Friendly” list and engaging with the CCP in a manner that negatively “affects our capacity to perform America’s vital national security functions.”

      In February 2019, Scott, Zuckerman and Condos each met “separately” with Chinese Communist Party Consul General Huang Ping. The PRC stated on its official Ministry of Foreign Affairs government page that Governor Scott was “expecting to explore more chances for cooperation with China” and “willing to strengthen cooperation with the Consulate General.”

      “Friendly” Phil Scott and Jim Condos held private meetings with the Chinese Communist Party, undermined US national security, and are culpable in what you described as “the political corruption of our election process (among other high level corruption) since that meeting.”

      • And yet many will vote for these treasonous evil dogs because it’s better than the other person. Logic? There is none. The most ignorant citizens will continue to believe the evil dogs over any common sense. End of times indeed.

  13. Appreciate TNR for publishing this commentary by Joe Benning laying out what he feels are the differences between the Republican and Progressive/Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor.

    It is worth some thought and consideration as we make choices on where we want Vermont to head in this very important election year. The ideologically driven Democratic/Progressive legislature has taken us down a very impractical path that only the vetoes of Governor Scott has somewhat tempered.

    There is the opportunity this year, should we choose to focus on it, on electing enough Republicans and Independents to the House ( net gain of 5 seats) to prevent future overrides. Electing Republican and Independents to the Senate and other offices like Lt. Governor is the right thing to do now as well.

    • There are no differences between senator Joe Benning and those on the left

      They all voted for Biden and we ended up with his destructive measures

      There will be a solution to the problem and it won’t be to choose either one of these two who are hell-bent on destroying Vermont

  14. It looks like I have the choice of voting between a Commie and half a Commie. No thanks, I think I’ll write in Greg Thayer.

    “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims but accomplices”.
    George Orwell

    • I’m writing in Greg Thayer. Something all true republicans can do. If the Lt. Governors job is as lame as Joe says Zuckerman can’t do anything anyway. Greg Thayer write-in and Kevin Hoyt for governor as an independent and Ericka for congress, Libertarian. We don’t have to vote for RINOs who voted for Joe Biden and locked the state down under incompetence ruining thousands of lives. These people stole two years of my life that I will never get back and they forced an experimental injection on thousands using media propaganda and coercion. Totally unconstitutional according to the Vermont and national constitutions.

  15. In reading your open letter to David Zuckerman it made me chuckle.

    Are you not aware David Zuckerman served as our lieutenant governor?

    And your statement, “let’s agree we shouldn’t insult Vermonters by pretending the office is something it isn’t.”

    You don’t think you insult Vermonters when you call them INSURRECTIONISTS and WHITE SUPREMACIST for practicing their constitutional rights?

    Do you really believe it was just the VERMONT senate that went through a hard time during covid-19 and that you are the “lone survivor”

    Joe you must have been asleep during the past 2 years when under the leadership of governor Phil Scott, with your help, Vermont destroyed businesses and went after people because they wanted to practice their constitutional rights. You have proven numerous times that you do not have the best interests of the people in the state of Vermont at heart.


    While some other states under
    proper leadership remained free you and our governor decided to destroy the middle class. You chose to do this along with president Biden, the man you both voted for, by permitting the lockdown of our government and our churches and the people that depend on real leadership but were destroyed as a result of your actions.

    I admire you for your scare tactics and claiming that Zuckerman was not welcomed in Phil Scott’s cabinet…

    Is that what you consider the ability to reach across the aisle?

    Sometimes that is a plus because it keeps both parties in check..

    I’m also glad you point out that this 8.2 billion dollar corporation called the state of Vermont is exactly what it means to you… You have absolutely no regard for the long time vermonters or the other residents who came to this state to enjoy the freedoms and the life we have come to love.

    Let’s remember one thing this corporation belongs to the people in the state of Vermont not to Phil Scott and not to Joe Benning and not to David Zuckerman or any other politician.

    Anyone that has followed you in the media realizes that you have no concern for the people in this state. It is all about your personal gain and power that drives you… And Vermonters should be very concerned.

    Every Vermonter that is paying attention knows that both you and Phil Scott voted for Joe Biden, who is destroying the United States of America under his failed leadership.

    You’re absolutely correct you side with Phil Scott we have become a sanctuary state we allowed crime to run rampant in the state of Vermont and our state is becoming like a third world banana republic… Could you point me to where you have spoken out against this decay of our state and what you are doing to prevent it?

    In spite of the inflation and what we are forced to pay for fuel and food and health items and clothing and anything else necessary to our survival I do not hear you speaking out. Your silence is deafening.

    As a so-called leader in this state I have never heard you speak out about the crazy spending that takes place that burdens the taxpayers and it will for decades.

    And you’re right. You work closely with governor Scott who has called for the GUN CONTROL that is being pushed by Joe Biden and will affect not only Vermonters but every American.

    You use your past voting record on guns as an excuse to keep being elected as a republican in the state of Vermont while you remain silent about a gun grab across America… How deceitful can you be Joe?

    There are big differences between you and David Zuckerman. You insult Vermonters and you deceive them with your propaganda.

    I have spoken with David Zuckerman under golden dome for a number of years now and never has that man been disrespectful in spite of the fact we disagree on everything.

    Joe maybe if you just block David, like you do to people who disagree with you, he will go away…

    Anyone that considers voting for you does not have the best interest of the state of Vermont at heart…

    If you can convince them that they do they certainly have not been paying attention.

    I’ve been a Vermonter all of my life and believe me I have the ability to sort through the bull crap of false promises when someone is begging for your vote and how they turn on you once they are elected.

    I sure hope Vermonters wake up and do some research on you because you do not represent us at all.

    A vote for you is a vote for more destruction of our beautiful state of Vermont

    • Great piece, Richard. Thank you for your due diligence in getting that out where at least some of the state (Minus some Herald readers) will see that there is turmoil, and there should be.
      A write in campaign for G Thayer meets with my approval, I hope this idea gets some traction, we need something to break up the Scott-Benning-Biden
      Focusing on Greg and his program is where we need to be.

  16. Only one major difference between Benning and Zuckerman, Zuckerman is honest when he tells you his agenda.
    You may like it, you may hate it, ( I disagree with almost everything Zuckermnan stands for )
    But I’ll give him this, he isn’t lying to you.
    Benning on the other hand will tell you how we need unity in the Republican Party. This after calling 116,000 Vermonters that voted for President Trump, ” White Supremacists and Racists. ”
    Echoing the words spoken by Scott the day before.
    Benning voted for Prop 5 twice to advance it to the House. Benning said in a forum at Rockingham he supports Article 22 and will vote for it in November.
    Benning spits in the face of the VTGOP Platform, and he has a lot of company.
    A previous commenter asks, ” is he running as a liberal ? ”
    So pick your poison, Zuckerman who tells you his agenda, or Benning, who will look you in the eyes and tell you he is a Republican while betraying the Platform he voted for.
    If you swallow the lies Benning is your man. If you hate Vermont Zuckerman is your man.

    There will be a write in candidate, maybe more than one.
    Write in someone who represents you and you’ll be able to look in the mirror November 9th.

  17. Zuckerman should terrify every Vermonter. When he welcomed the Chinese Consulate he told him that he would “introduce the Belt and Road ” construction which is also called the new ” Silk Road ” and will massively increase China’s ability to trade . It is unthinkable in my view that an American politician would favor that project .

    From the Chinese Consulate website :” According to David Zuckerman, the Lieutenant Governor of Vermont, he welcomes the Chinese Consulate General in New York to introduce and promote Vermont to more Chinese people. As a native of Vermont, he knows the overall strength of the diary, beer, and other industries in Vermont well, and he believes that China could definitely provide a broad market for them. He is willing to introduce the “The Belt and Road” construction and the holding of the Expo in China to relevant departments of the State Government and the enterprises in Vermont, and to promote more cooperation between China and these institutions’.”
    And more on the Belt and Road project.

    • Great catch and it should terrify everyone. It’s a race are we the first colony of the united nations…or the CCP.

      Track records favor China with Belt and Road….

    • So you would rather have war with China as is the want of Biden and the British Empire Deep State? Who do you think is pushing war against Russia…hint it was started by Obama and the neocons….thus all the liberals are supporting Nazi’s in the Ukraine and why?
      The reason is to stop Russia and China. And why? Because Biden is a Nazi, and Nazis are used by the British to prevent nations coming together.
      Obviously you do not understand that the whole attack on Trump was to prevent a Summit between Trump, Putin and Xi so that America and its traditional allies Russia and China could work together in world development, plans that have their roots in the work Abraham Lincoln with the transcontinental railway, and President McKinley who wanted extend the rail system through the western hemisphere and across the Bering Straits. Who murdered Lincoln and McKinley? The same people pushing war against Russia and China and destroying America.
      The Chinese have grown, like Russia, because they invest in their productive economies, along the lines of the American System of Economics and not as whores to monetarist money manipulation tricks of Wall Street/City or London and the Federal Reserve.
      Stop being a tool of warmongers.

  18. Well, Zuckerman is out in my voting book, he just doesn’t cut it pure BS, but maybe a
    bath and a haircut…what, Yeah, I’ve been near him, not good !!

    Now as far as Benning, he better change some of his ” standings “, like starting with
    ” Prop 5 / 22 ” for starters, is he running as a Liberal ???

    The clock is ticking towards November, and as a 71-year-old Conservative, it’s not
    looking good Joe…………….. fix it, before it’s too late !!

    • His support of Article 22 is only a portion of his socialist tendencies…

      Both Phil Scott and Benning voted for Biden and the destruction of America.

      He calls Vermonters and Patriots INSERRUCRIONISTS AND WHITE SUPREMISTS.

      Joe Benning is like a termite…destroying us from the inside while he claims to be supporting our views.

      He is worse than anything the left can throw at us.

      Benning needs to go.

  19. Joe Benning Has No redeming Qualities . and The Point of Law and Fact . he was not Legally Elected in 2020 This is why the Republican Party in Vermont refuses to address Election Fraud . as the Entire November 2020 Election is and was Illegal on Numerous Points of Law . Suck it Up Lawyer Dude , Im Your Huckleberry

  20. Re: “…curing social ills and championing given causes have no realistic place in our race.”

    Then what’s the point of your candidacy, Mr. Benning? Other than just listening to yourself speak sweet nothings to whoever will listen.

      • Well at least you know what you get with Zuckerman.

        Benning 34%
        Zuckerman 57%

        That’s my prediction

        If there is an alternative, that’s whom I’m voting for or writing in.

        • Greg Thayer as a write-in. Only 20% or less of republicans voted in the primary. I’m done with pick the lesser evil. My conscience says to vote for true republicans like Greg, Kevin Hoyt, independent and Ericka, Libertarian. Let’s not forgot what these people did for two years during the scamdemic and before voting for Biden. The only way to clean up the republican party is to kick these RINOs out.

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