John Klar responds to article about Hallquist, transphobia claims

Editor’s note: This response to a recent VTDigger article is by John Klar, an “Agripublican” candidate running for the Republican nomination for governor in 2020.

An article on vtdigger by Grace Ellitson on January 21 was entitled “Halquist calls for Agri-publicans to condemn candidate’s ‘transphobic’ comments.” In response … [I] requested that H Brooke Paige, the author of these facebook posts from his previous run(s) for office, disassociate from the agripublican campaign, and Mr. Paige has complied.

I was called on January 13th by Grace Ellitson, the vtdigger reporter who wrote this article, and asked to comment about Mr. Paige’s two-year-old facebook comments. As reported by vtdigger, I said I could neither condone nor condemn the comments without seeing them, that I was unfamiliar with Mr. Paige’s facebook page or posts, that there were no such comments on my page, that I have worked pro bono as an attorney for gay friends, and had a transgender neighbor for many years with whom I was friends. I also stated that at some level I may have to stand against such conduct, and Ms. Ellitson said she would send me the screenshots for consideration, which I invited her to do. Those were never forwarded, so I had assumed that after conferring with Mr. Paige vtdigger had decided not to publish a story. Today I learned differently.

John Klar

John Klar

I had an extended private “chat” on facebook with Christine Halquist on the day of the announcement of my run for governor (October 30), after I was attacked by the Democratic Party and vtdigger as hateful for an article in which I questioned the correctness of providing transgender surgeries and hormone therapy for young children. I explained my past to Christine, and submitted that she has experience in accounting which would be a valuable contribution to Vermont’s shared fiscal problems. I offered to have coffee to discuss my positions, and she responded: “That sounds great. I will follow up with you.” Apparently, this coordinated attack with vtdigger is that follow-up.

I do not condone Mr. Paige’s comments — I still have not seen the posts, but personal attacks are distasteful to me (though apparently embraced by vtdigger), and my request that Mr. Paige disassociate from the agripublicans also considers the fact that he did not seek to retract his posts in this interview (unknown to me until today). However, I cannot prevent Mr. Paige from running as a Republican: if he does so now, Mrs. Halquist and vtdigger will have to address their concerns to Phil Scott or the Vermont GOP.

It is impossible for me to vet every detail of every potential agripublican’s past history — we will soon be announcing additional motivated candidates, as Vermonters come forward in support of our common policy list, even as Phil Scott (in contrast) does not attempt anything of the sort. My hope is that vtdigger will be more “shallow” in it’s future digging: instead of scrounging for old comments by people I barely know, they could dig less deep, and simply address our agripublican prescriptions to confront Vermont’s profound fiscal problems in its state pensions, skyrocketing healthcare and schooling costs, failed efforts to improve local schools and local control, and increasing efforts to stem the flow of opioid abuse (all of which are compounded by continuing economic decline). There is plenty there to dig into, if they choose.

Vtdigger calls itself “News in Pursuit of Truth.” Efforts at guilt by association seek to tarnish not just me, but all of our accomplished and brave agripublican candidates, and our exceptional policy ideas. I invite voters to look for themselves and see what vtdigger seeks to discredit: In these volatile times, Vermonters should look closely for truth.

Today’s vtdigger article on behalf of a Canadian (Halquist, who has fled the state like so many seeking work outside of the state house) is particularly ironic, since vtdigger has refused to acknowledge the agripublican slate of candidates in its announcements of new gubernatorial and other challengers; refused to elicit my opinion in an article by Xander Landen specifically about the TCI (even as I had just issued a press release and article calling for Phil Scott to stand with New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu against that scam); and refuses to post my comments in protest of those articles. Yet, digger invested a full week in a guilt-by-association hitjob to slander me for comments I never had any association with, and which I hereby, in accordance with Christine’s demand, heartily denounce.

Image courtesy of John Klar

6 thoughts on “John Klar responds to article about Hallquist, transphobia claims

  1. Typical main stream press. Take things out of context or promise to follow up after doing the research necessary to verify than moving ahead to slander folks with whom they disagreee.

  2. This is a comment I did on the VT Digger article herein mentioned. It was “under moderation” and eliminated. I commented about people to jumping to conclusions without knowing all the facts. They don’t like honesty.

    tom chase Comment awaiting moderation
    I wouldn’t doubt that in a conversation to a reporter the material can be manipulated, and regurgitated for public viewing and the unbeknownst reader wouldn’t have a clue and react in a negative manner. Understand the publishing business in it’s total and history disclosures. There has been much a-do about fake news. There has been a lot of biased reporting.
    I’m for people speaking honestly and expect the same of the writer and publisher. I cross link all data encompassing many sources to arrive at a bifida picture. Others herein should do the same. I don’t take one sided stated material. Instead of lambasting, obtain info and then offer your opinions.
    Thank you, wonder if this will see the light of day knowing past experiences.

    They have problems and a waste. First and last time with them.

  3. A lot of people, even people way left of me question out oppose hormone therapy and surgery children. The sports question is also a question.

    Questioning isn’t phobic, it’s what intelligent beings do when confronted with new situations.

  4. Vtdigger’s Internal Revenue Service Problem !

    Vtdigger, time and time again, proves itself to be a partisan media outlet for the Democratic Party forces in Vermont and beyond. If they were a commercial (for profit) organization this would be “all well and good” – they would certainly be free to take any stand and support any party or candidates they chose to.

    However, Vtdigger and its parent organization, the Vermont Journalism Trust, function under special conditions and receive special considerations as a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity – with this designation comes specific requirements that the act as a non-patrician entity – providing even-handed support and refraining from any significant lobbying on behalf of any special interests ! Vtdigger daily violates this requirement and obligation !

    from the Internal Revenue Service Code:

    IRS Exemption Requirements – 501(c)(3) Charitable Organizations

    To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

    Vtdigger will not stop this prohibited activity and the IRS should reclassify them as a 527 Political Organization, which would allow them to act as the political apparatus they in fact are !

    IRS Exemption Requirements – 527 Political Organizations

    A political organization subject to section 527 is a party, committee, association, fund, or other organization (whether or not incorporated) organized and operated primarily for the purpose of directly or indirectly accepting contributions or making expenditures, or both, for an exempt function.

    A political organization must be organized for the primary purpose of carrying on exempt function activities. A political organization’s primary activities must be exempt function activities. A political organization may engage in activities that are not exempt function activities, but these may not be its primary activities.

    To be exempt, a political organization must file a timely notice with the IRS that it is to be treated as a tax-exempt organization.

    • There needs to be a concerted effort including citizens contacting the oversight entity…if enough ppl call them out they will be forced to rectify this situation.

      The use of Politifact as fig-leaf in actuality proves the onesided partisan political activity. If they do not evenhandedly cover campaigns such as John Klar and Agripublicans this needs to be reported.

      Any info RE a contact should be published so ppl can contact rules enforcement with our findings and experiences. Theres an unlimited supply!

  5. Nicely done and well spoken sir. Your comments and positions are a breath of fresh air in the partisan climate of hot-air and overheated rhetoric courtesy of the usual suspects – deeply dishonest Dems and other assorted leftwingers – *sigh*
    Keep fighting the good fight 🙂
    John Klar for VT Governer 2020

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