VTGOP to stay aligned with GOP voters, to the chagrin of establishment Republicans

The chair of the Vermont Republican Party says she will not resign or sign a resolution calling for the impeachment of Donald Trump, but instead will remain aligned with the almost 113,000 Vermont voters who cast ballots for the former president.

Following the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol, establishment Republicans in Vermont called on VTGOP Chair Deb Billado to say the former president incited an insurrection and should be removed. Rep. Scott Beck, R-St. Johnsbury, and Kolby LaMarche, chair of the Burlington Republican Party, wrote commentaries criticizing GOP leadership and said Billado should resign if she does not comply with their demands. Sen. Joe Benning, R-Caledonia, wrote a scathing commentary comparing many Trump supporters to “extremists.”

“I will not be doing either,” Billado told True North Reports in an interview Wednesday.

Two weeks ago, the Vermont Legislature voted 130-16 on J.R.H.1, a resolution claiming, without evidence, that Trump incited a violent riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The U.S. House of Representatives impeached Trump days later and charged him with “incitement of insurrection.”

Deborah Billado, chairwoman of the Vermont GOP

Some Vermont lawmakers, however, refused to rush to judgment or blame the president for the actions of others.

“As you know, 16 or 17 House representatives did not sign it; one senator, Russ Ingalls [R-Essex/Orleans], did not sign it,” Billado told True North. “I’ve been in communication with both sides of the issue for almost two weeks now, and I will not be signing it.”

Since Jan. 6, federal investigators have identified BLM radicalsAntifaOath Keeper members and anti-Trump Boogaloo extremists who breached the U.S. Capitol building, in addition to some Trump supporters. Furthermore, in an admission to the Washington Post on Jan. 11, the FBI said top intelligence officials knew about plots against the Capitol days ahead of Jan. 6, effectively debunking the “Trump incitement” narrative.

Billado said many GOP lawmakers who voted for the resolution are starting to have regrets after hearing from their constituents.

“I’ve spoken with several of them that signed that resolution, and they’ve said that if they had to do it over again they would not have signed it. So I don’t know what level of pressure was put on people to sign this resolution,” she said.

Billado has the upper hand. More than 74 million Americans voted for Trump, and 112,704 Vermonters — more than 30 percent of voters in the 2020 election — cast ballots for the former president. All but two of the Vermont GOP county and town committees throughout the state have remained loyal to the former president.

“There was a huge amount of people — more than in 2016 — that voted for the president,” Billado said. “I’m guessing they would probably vote for him again, and it’s not my role as party leader to come … between a handful of legislators and a huge voting block.”

Nevertheless, Beck led the charge calling on Billado to step down. “If you cannot cross these bridges, I think it’s time for you to move on,” Beck told alternative newsweekly Seven Days last week. “ … My goal right now is to get them to resign.”

Billado has repeatedly condemned the violence that occurred at the Capitol, but she also says a full investigation is necessary to identify the rioters and bring them to justice.

“I think that there was an infiltration of people that wanted to do bad things — who’s behind those people we don’t know,” she said. “I think it was premature to jump and call for the resignation since all the data is not in yet. I reserve my opinion until we have more information on what happened. I think there are people that out of their dislike for President Trump were just waiting to attack him.”

Trump’s support remains strong despite negative publicity coming from the press and establishment politicians. The former president recently won Gallup’s most admired man for 2020, and more than nine-in-10 Trump voters say they would vote for him again in 2024. A CNN poll shows at least three in four Republicans in the nation think the election was stolen — a main source of anger driving the Jan. 6 protests.

On his final day in office, Jan. 19, Trump’s approval rating ticked up three points to 51% in the Rassmussen Reports daily presidential tracking poll.

CORRECTION: State Sen. Joe Benning did not call on VTGOP Chair Deb Billado to resign, as was stated in the original publication of the article.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at bielawski82@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/DonkeyHotey

81 thoughts on “VTGOP to stay aligned with GOP voters, to the chagrin of establishment Republicans

  1. It is time to stop the bickering in this state and nation and to show some respect and appreciation for the Founding documents of this country.
    We are blessed with the gifts of Freedom , Rights and Opportunities as the citizens of this nation.
    Our job is to be grateful and to teach our children to appreciate what American citizens have been given.For heavens’ sake, stop the bickering and be thankful that the Republican Party honors those Founding Principles for all who choose to respect and enjoy them. Please do not follow the lead of the evil forces that are trying to destroy the USA. We are smarter than that. Let’s work together.
    Deb Billado, our State GOP Chair, is a hardworking leader who does not cowtow to those who would like to admonish her. I have a great deal of respect for Deb Billado , a successful businesswoman, whom I have known for twenty years . With Deb’s leadership, we can bring some balance to the
    Vermont legislature. Let’s get beyond the conflicts and get to work!

  2. Calling bs on attacks directed at Deb Billado and the VTGOP no matter how carefully crafted to legitimize – they’re not – dogpiles never are.

    Newsflash: Ms Billado *has* set self apart from pretenders – pls note the title to above interview.

    While chiding others for engaging in fingerpointing fest Mr Eshelman then contributes to the fingerpointing-fest repeatedly chastising Ms Billado for various failures to meet his standards – admittedly does not support the party however slams Ms Billado’s perceived failure to respond to his liking to a request for Trump campaign flag which she did in fact do by directing requests to VT Trump campaign. Self-authorized to do this bc he’s a “business owner”. Uh huh. What exactly is wrong with using Trump campaign staffers to distribute Trump campaign materials – can think of many good reasons to do this.

    Completes commentary segueing to lipstick of customary quotes from founders and other quoters – and finally a placation of “Godspeed” – wow.

    Mr Holtz hurls insults at Ms Billado bc he didn’t get his flag – this is the responsibility of the requester when directed to the resource.

    TDS sufferer Gary Cassady reliably insults and slams Ms Billado and all who do not share misguided establishment-GOP views.

    Neil Johnson – not a party member – continues straw-manning of “Rinos” in the party by demanding Deb extricate them immediately – and has repeatedly called her “part of the problem” for failure to aquiesce to his demands. This is a false argument bc truth be told it cannot be done. These are elected officials and are dealt with for crimes – unfortunately being a Rino is not one of them. If I know this, so does – or can – everyone else, especially those who have experience in politics which render the histrionics to a sham and ongoing attack against the GOP instead of Democrats whose wrongheaded and pernicious views have made themselves the enemy of us all and our shared humanity.

    Perhaps Mr Johnson could restart his GMP platform and unite those he wishes to join as a caucus.

    The only way forward is to primary Rinos with constitutional conservatives whose goal it is to serve their district and our state while preserving constitutional mandates.

    • What exactly is wrong with using Trump campaign staffers to distribute Trump campaign materials – can think of many good reasons to do this?

      Yes, Stardust. When the referral fails to deliver. What other ‘good reasons to do this’ come to your mind?

      • We do not know what happened or what communication took place – or if delivery is included lol. Had he made contact with Trump team – why wouldn’t he receive items requested – presuming there is a charge for merchandise?

        — 1. Access to a dedicated resource to provide distribution is smart – why have two sources

        — 2. Security – limiting access of GOP staff to VTs own AntifaBLM is also smart given the hostility and nationwide threats to MAGA supporters…we do not know what we don’t know and the random wanton violence displayed in Montpelier during a Back the Blue rally with police standing down and allowing the thugs to disrupt it a huge tell.

        Deb has publicly come out wholeheartedly for Donald Trump even infuriating the party.

        • Let’s talk about what we do know, Stardust.

          We know, according to Mr. Holtz, that he didn’t get his flags and signs when he requested them. We know that Ms. Billado ‘redirected’ requests “to that Trump Maga chair… in Bennington Cty.” And we know that Ms. Billado apologized (sort of), but deflected responsibility when she claimed it wasn’t her ‘mission’, even though she made the referrals.

          Do we know the details of the communication that transpired? No. That’s the point. The only way to solve a problem is to identify it. Not push off the responsibility as someone else’s mission.

          And please don’t deflect and divert attention by changing the subject, the way some others on this forum do from time to time. I didn’t question Ms. Billado’s commitment to the Republican Party or to Trump. I criticized Ms. Billado’s effectiveness and recommended she be more proactive in her hands-on management.

          If you all want to know why so many people can’t stand Trump, it’s because he doesn’t deflect. He calls it like it is and gets the job done. The people who don’t get the job done, who deflect and divert attention to cover there own butts, can’t stand it when someone like Trump exposes them as ineffective, be they Progressive Democrats, RINOs or anyone else who points the finger at others before considering the facts.

          And, lastly, Stardust, I didn’t just point my finger in the typical self-righteous indignation so prevalent here. Before I cited the wisdom of our Founders, I said to Ms. Billado: “It’s all part of your mission. It’s part of my mission too.”

          And it should be part of your mission, Stardust.

          • Pls don’t tell me what should be my “mission” should be – I take orders from no one and not a collectivist. A well known form of critique in human resource management is to list the positives and then cut to the chase of criticism – however Ms Billado is not and employee and should not be the object of such condescention.

            I *never* deflect or change the subject and answer all queries to the extent necessary – reflecting honesty including calling out dishonesty and contributing relevant info is my “mission”. We cannot survive as a community if dishonest ppl are allowed to run the show, lift up and maintain their flawed standard.

            No – we don’t *know* anything based on a blog post from an unknown voice. It is my belief you have devoted far too much time to an issue on the word of an unknown individual with far too many additional unknowns.

            Deb responded the only way possible – respectfully taking Mr Holz’s word at face value and offering apology and stating the policy. Her statement could also be accepted at face value as truthful and sincere whether you like it or not? But now Mr Holz is the victim here – really? Most ppl are reasonable and easily understand these things are not exactly emergencies. Criticizing Deb due to the aforementioned evidence or lack thereof – unfair imo.

            Adding voice to the chorus of whiners who have issues of their own bad optics. Issues are either falsely framed, rude or just plain silly – all directed at Deb is the problem here and seems to occur whenever a post concerning her appears – when does it become harrassment? No one needs to be treated this way. One thing for sure Ms Billado is the star of the show.

          • Your deflecting again by misrepresenting my comments. The nature of the probelm is apparent. TNR readers can judge for themselves. Enough said.

          • Post Script:
            Speaking of “…a blog post from an unknown voice”, are we to take as gospel the remarks of someone who only posts under the pseudonym of ‘Stardust’?

          • Mr. Holtz (apologies due for past misspelling) is new to community the point. We are known by our screennames whether full first and/or last or “pseudonym”. So if Jay Eshelman, James Lanese or Dano for example were to reiterate same story I for one would probably believe it happened but still would have requested deets to arrive at a decision as to validity.
            What is alleged:
            Earl Holtz
            January 24, 2021 at 7:34 pm
            With all due respect, where were you when I was looking for Trump flags, crickets… Now your sweating what 113,000 Vermont Rinos will do – nothing.
            I think of you as just another Rino, so I am going back to being just another inconsequential Independent!

            This is all – no deets as to interaction if any. Ms Billado merely reiterated policy and here we are. FYI: have posted as “stardust” two decades and regularly to VT blogosphere community for 13 years including other screennames.

          • While I enjoy reading many of the comments by Jay, I remember one time I dared to criticize his words and like you Stardust I was immediately modestly reputed by same.

            Many of us here comment when we think we have something to offer to the discussion. Then there are those who comment all the time and assume the role of appointed leader. I, like you have reasons for not exposing my name to the public and it involves my work.

            If any of us feel it’s proper to criticize, we must also be able to accept criticism in return. We should be discussing how to defeat the enemy and not ourselves. Calling the other side pimps for the new world order doesn’t bring fence sitters to our party. We all know who they are and what their mission is and if you notice they rarely criticize each other. The liberals work as one voice to defeat conservatives. Perhaps we could tone it down and use the same standard. Our goal is to defeat them politically and return the state to sanity. Just hearing ourselves talk because we like to see our words in print accomplishes nothing. Think before we speak should be the rule and go after those who wish to destroy the mission.

          • To be fair Jay was asking how I could call someone “unknown” whilst using a screenname – a fair query.

            The full-name fallacy a fools-errand – unless everyone can be verified somehow – we don’t know who anyone is. I could pick the identity of any living person and voila – instant verification. Or – as many others do simply choose a respectable sounding name – Susan Smith, Jane O’Neil, Tupac Shakur, Marshall Mathers etc etc – and there are those who do this to slip past the papers-please police and authoritarian arrogance.

            Predicated upon a controlling and craven elitist mentality that needs all info possible very likely to cause harm to someone and occupy the province of bullies – my cats are my world lol. And – provides a map to our door and list of family members? Yikes!

            But has its roots in hatred for individualism, independence, secretive world of hackers, citizen journalism and shadow information of early blogosphere where screenname is linked to personality and veracity or lack thereof. Those who mock us reveal as authoritarians. Ye shall know them by their ask lol

            Mission is naming and numbering us as tagged cattle – bc in their evil worldview there is no ‘I’ in herd. Commenting is often considered a serious undertaking. Standards are actually strict – trolls when discovered are banned as are sockpuppet accounts and even ppl who refuse to provide source for info with verifiable links or refusal to answer questions when queried. Rules are often ruthlessly enforced.
            Dig this:
            Rules and Facts of the blog:
            Shiver me timbers!

          • Dano and Stardust (whoever you are). That you disagree with my opinion on a specific matter is one thing. But setting forth a double standard is another. On one hand you chastise other commentors for being ‘unknown’, while you choose to remain anonymous. If you want to know anything about me, ask. If you require references, say so.

            On the other hand, that you chastise me for the volume of my commentary (not its substance) all the while indulging your own voluminous analysis, gives the appearance that hypocrisy isn’t limited to one side of the aisle or the other. I gave Mr. Holtz his due, you didn’t. I’m asking Sen. Benning and Chairwoman Billado to explain themselves, while you accuse me of being an elitist for doing so. But hey, you’re entitled to your opinion – and so am I. Count on it.

            BTW – this business with VTGOP officials appears to be just warming up. Buckle your seatbelts.

          • This began when I found this interview and was astonished by the rude comments and continued attack on Deb Billado surrounde by chorus of Job’s comforters as well as ongoing attack of GOP.

            Most recent comment directed at me and including Dano is patently false and completely untrue sir – and now your new par. Comfortably within propaganda territory as you know allegations are false and amount to the sophistry you condemn. Ad hominems are reserved for those who cannot honestly debate and have no evidence to back their claims.

            “Whoever you are” really…really? My name is stardust if you don’t like it ignore me if you object to screennames – I’ve got plenty of company lol. Dano can speak for self.

            I do not need to know anything about you to interact in a comment platform – nor do I need “references” lol

            — 1. Did not set up a double standard kindly prove it w/o deflection or subject-changing
            — 2. Never chastised *any* “other commenters” for being unknown nor did Dano – pls present your evidence ask questions if unsure
            — 3. If you don’t like the rules of TNR anonymous posting chosen by majority of commenters – start your own platform where you get to make the rules and demand everyone present their papers notarized in hardcopy for the priviledge of posting an opinion
            — 4. Did not call or infer you were an elitist bc you did not question my use of screenname per se until now – reference was to those who do by trying to impose their rules on others in response to Dano. But by all means if shoe fits…lol
            — 5. I did not chastise for volume of comments nor request made to Senator Benning and Chairperson Ms Billado tho since ya brought it up a fools errand as these matters are customarily settled internally
            — 6. Did not give Mr Holtz “his due” but rushed to judgement w/o any questions to Mr Holtz re allegation slamming Ms Billado in the process. High-dudgeon much lol
            Perhaps unnoticed, but studiously avoid any direct contact Mr Eshelman bc of notably unpredictable rude comments except to support others who are subected to your biting snarls, and of which I have firsthand experience.

            Direct engagement is reserved for the approachable. I refuse to engage with anyone who launches personal attacks or refuses to be an honest broker.

            And still look forward to your continued commentary no matter the length – from afar. And will always support any commenter who is treated unjustly.

          • Geesh, who’s counting? In fact, I wonder who’s still reading this discourse. But, hey, I’ll stick with it as long as you care to do so.

            1. Did not set up a double standard kindly prove it w/o deflection or subject-changing.

            OK. You criticized Mr. Holtz’ comment as being from an unknown (see point 2 below), while making your comments on the same basis.

            2. Never chastised *any* “other commenters” for being unknown nor did Dano – pls present your evidence ask questions if unsure.

            What you wrote was: “…we don’t *know* anything based on a blog post from an unknown voice. It is my belief you have devoted far too much time to an issue on the word of an unknown individual with far too many additional unknowns.” So which ‘unknown voice’ were you talking about? And, no, Dano didn’t make the characterization, just you.

            3. If you don’t like the rules of TNR anonymous posting chosen by majority of commenters – start your own platform where you get to make the rules and demand everyone present their papers notarized in hardcopy for the priviledge (SIC) of posting an opinion.

            Re: ‘subject-changing’. I never said I didn’t like TNR rules.

            4. Did not call or infer you were an elitist bc you did not question my use of screenname per se until now – reference was to those who do by trying to impose their rules on others in response to Dano. But by all means if shoe fits…lol

            So, who were you addressing when you began your 1-27-21 2:59pm post with “To be fair Jay was asking….” followed in the 3rd paragraph… “Predicated upon a controlling and craven elitist mentality that needs all info possible very likely to cause harm to someone and occupy the province of bullies…”?

            Re: “in response to Dano”?? You never mentioned Dano in your 1-27-21 2:59pm post.

            5. I did not chastise for volume of comments nor request made to Senator Benning and Chairperson Ms Billado tho since ya brought it up a fools errand as these matters are customarily settled internally.

            5A. My mistake. It was Dano who said “…there are those who comment all the time and assume the role of appointed leader.” I must have thought you were speaking on his behalf again.

            5B. Nonetheless, if “these matters are customarily settled internally”, why then did Sen. Benning initiate the topic in the first place?

            6. Did not give Mr Holtz “his due” but rushed to judgement w/o any questions to Mr Holtz.

            Did I rush to judgment? It was Ms. Billado who said she was “sorry if you (Mr. Holtz) did not get what you were looking for.” If I’m at fault for this issue, it’s for assuming both Mr. Holtz and Ms. Billado were correct in their assessment.

            So, ‘biting snarls’ aside – 5.5 out of 6 isn’t bad.

        • “Geeesh?”…nerve was struck? – looks like Jay Eshelman is “still reading this” lol…reply is to your comment *yesterday* and do not care if anyone reads which includes you. I stand by my word…reply is mere noise and does not – you’ve fallen far fast Jay – watch that sword

          Defense rests…

          • Well, I gain some comfort knowing you’re still hovering here too, Stardust. No nerve struck. No offense taken. Just responding to your assertions (1 thru 6) – with the facts you appear now not to contest.

            And I agree, your reply is mere noise and does not change the record. So be it.

            The Prosecution rests too.

          • FYI: “Defense rests” a legal term which means I’ve made my case and stand by its evidence – nice try to sweep folly under rug, and gloss phony logic – as slippery as those you condemn. Pretzeling and parsing words doesn’t work either – your noise doesn’t change your record.

            Not fooled -exchange a reveal – pls remember living by the sword a losing game indulged only by fools – results are self-inflicted and cannot be escaped as “shall” doesn’t mean maybe and just as sowing and reaping is determinative – keep on digging sir

    • NH has the same problems with RINOs. Infested bc they’re heavily invested. We need to understand the intricasies of GOP party and why we cannot simply demand members who are often large donors to just get the hell out. Or for the Chair to chase them out the door.

      For those who are serious about learning what’s going on – highly recommend reading through the Granite Grok annals – required reading for citizens who are interested in involvement to make the party better by working from within. From our hardworking underpaid fellow conservatives who are actually doing something across the river in Live Free Or Die:
      Trump Drops the Idea of Starting a Third Political Party
      by Steve MacDonald / 25 January 2021
      emphasis added
      “Donald Trump has apparently dropped the idea of creating a third political party to pressure spineless Republicans. He has agreed to **focus on building a bench and taking back congress from within the GOP.”**

      • More:
        Is Donald Trump Forming a Third Political Party – The Patriot Party?
        by Steve MacDonald / 20 January 2021
        …More than a few of our authors or readers have abandoned the Republican party at one point or another or refused to join it. **I never left becasue it occurred to me that the only way to elicit change was from inside the party machine.**

        Donald Trump tried to do that…

        …The lesson? There are (at least) two.

        First, we need another disruptor to shake the barnacles off the ship of state (and the state of the state, here in NH). Two, the Republican party is no longer vehicle for doing that, nor ever shall it be….If we can’t sidestep the gatekeepers, we’re rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic.

  3. When it comes right down to it, I (white female) voted for Trump because he was not part of the entrenched, good ole boys, Washington, DC longevity club bent on keeping power rather than caring about the people. He was a Washington outsider. He put the American people first, and the American people sensed this. The people in our Vermont Congressional Delegation have been in power for decades. They do not put America first. They put the liberal, Socialist, Progressive agenda first. Their chief concern is staying in power, not serving the American people and being faithful to the Constitution. They, and others like them in Vermont, have sworn fidelity to an agenda, not to the Constitution. From where I sit, it hardly matters whether our RINO governor or some unhinged Democrat sits in the governor’s office. When I cast my ballot in 2020, I left the slot for governor blank. I couldn’t stomach either candidate. And I say this as a person who voted for Scott the first time he ran for governor. Not since that time. VT RINOs with no backbone are just as much to blame as Democrats and Progressives for the sorry state Vermont finds itself in. They want conservatives and Trump supporters to just go away so they can vote with the Democrats and not have to take a hard stand on anything. I am disgusted with this appeasement mentality. Want an example? Shame on all the Vermont Republican legislators who joined with the Democrats and Progressives in supporting an agenda and legislation to advance amending the VT Constitution to allow abortion all nine months. And shame on Phil Scott and other GOPers in Montpelier for every time they voted for the water torture of gun control drip by drip. I stand with Deb Billado, as do thousands of Vermont grassroots Republicans. We will not shut up. We will not go away. The timid VT GOP leadership in Montpelier needs to focus its ire on the liberal agenda, and not on conservatives and Trump supporters in its own grassroots. Tell the Democrats to take their purges elsewhere. Why don’t you stand up for the powerless citizens of Vermont with common-sense solutions? Why are you supporting a Lite version of the radical liberal agenda? And also, shame on every Republican legislator for such a quick rush to judgment in condemning Trump for his “role” in an “insurrection” just because Phil Scott told you to. Why did you not at least say you would reserve your right to cast such a vote later, after all the facts were known? Why not abstain? But you found Trump guilty without any evidence except that fed to you by the liberal media and the Democrats. You could at least have abstained. But no, you joined the Democrats as often happens in Vermont. The liberal media (ABC News, MSNBC) and more than a few Democrats in Congress and the Democratic Party in general have called for Trump supporters to be “cleansed” and for us to undergo forced re-education and have our free speech rights stripped. I am waiting for any Vermont Republican members of the legislature to stand up and repudiate these inflammatory statements in strong language in public. I haven’t seen it so far. You need to defend the Constitution and your own citizens. When the radical left tells you what they mean to do to us (and you, given the chance), they do indeed mean what they say. Never forget past history. We need you to be Winston Churchills, not Vidkun Quislings and Neville Chamberlains. Perhaps some “Republicans” would be more at home in the Democratic Party or even the Progressive Party. Please feel free to change parties. Stop trying to make the Vermont Republican party into a chimera. Stop the circular firing squad aimed at your low-tier town or city grassroots office holders as well as Deb Billado, instead of calling out Biden and Harris and defending Trump in a corrupt election. To do the right thing is hard. To appease is easy. Stand up and protect your ordinary citizens from the radical leftist agenda.

    • To Kay, Beautiful, thank you! We are represented by the democrat/progressive lite republican party shy of a few solid conservatives. Phil is thinking of flipping again. This time to the liberal party. That will open a spot for a true republican, (weasels need not apply). It’s long past time to, “TAKE BACK VERMONT”!

    • Well said and nicely put. Request: Block posting w/o paragraph breaks is difficult to read so I don’t read them – however make an exception for your commentary bc it’s always a great read. Also to your credit have taken on far left and held your own armed with indisputable facts – a force to be reckoned with 😀

  4. Mr. Bielawski and Ms. Billado: Joe Benning says there is a VTGOP officer who is proposing the U.S. become a dictatorship. Mr. Benning says he has passed the name of the official on to you, along with a proposed VTGOP rule that the Executive Committee of the VTGOP be authorized to consider certain actions to take with respect to any party officer who promotes such ‘nonsense’.

    I’ve seen straw man fallacies before, but none quite so blatant and demanding of exposure as this. If this circumstance actually warrants a ‘rule’ for the Executive Committee of the VTGOP to take certain actions, who are we talking about? What is the proposed rule? Vermont Republicans deserve to know. We all deserve to know.

  5. Thankfully we’re not the only ones with issues.


    On the floor of the Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, in what many said was a penetrating speech, accused Donald Trump of having “incited an erection”, instead of an insurrection. He immediately corrected himself, however, it was obvious that the horse was out of the barn. (So to speak). The speech was written out for him as usual so he could just read it and appear to know what he is talking about. (Nope sill didn’t work). Some of the Republican opposition said it may have been a psychosomatic slip due to the incredibly large number of unattractive females in his own Party.

  6. Truth be told, I’m not a Republican. I’m an Independent (whatever that means). Yes, I voted straight Republican last election because the alternatives were so unpleasant to consider. Nonetheless, I’m forever impressed with the mindset of everyone in today’s political arena. From disingenuous RINOs like Joe Benning, to Republican Chair Deb Billado, to candidate ‘wannabees’ like Neil Johnson. It’s a finger pointing fest.

    Clearly, running a political party is as close to herding cats as it gets. But Vermont did, apparently, gain 3 Republican seats in the State House and 1 seat in the State Senate. At least it wasn’t the other way around.

    My advice to Ms. Billado, for what its worth, set yourself apart from the pretenders. The last thing you should ever say, as Chair of the Vermont Republican Party, to anyone in the State’s political arena, from candidates, to voters requesting flags, is “It was not part of my mission“.

    It’s all part of your mission. It’s part of my mission too. No. I’m not going to run for office. But I am going to speak my mind. And when guys like Joe Benning demonstrate the hypocrisy to which we have become accustom, I say so. When Neil Johnson is being unfairly critical, I say so. And when you, Ms. Billado, shirk from the responsibilities of your position, I say so.

    I am forever impressed by the words of two of our Founders.

    “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.” George Washington

    “..and [I] believe farther that this[constitution] is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.” Benjamin Franklin

    Clearly, we have reached another crossroad, as we have in the past. Consider the admonition of George Bernard Shaw.
    “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”

    Godspeed to you all.

    • One of Shaw’s epigrams, so relevant to our relationship with the Progressives: “Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.” They have a dogmatic sense of what works. And it’s very wrong.

    • Guilty of running for office, guilty of starting a new political party with others, founded upon the needs of Vermonters and following the constitution. Yes, I’m a wanna be. I have no regrets to having stood in the ring and played the game. I will be paying for it for at least another two years.

      Yes, I’m a wanna be, I want our country to be better, following the truths, showing love for thy neighbors.

      There is no shame in trying and putting forth the best effort one can do. No shame at all.

  7. Deb, you gotta do it. It’s time to do some house cleaning. If the party doesn’t do some hous cleaning then the party is the problem. You can’t have it both ways. God Speed.

    It’s not like you are trying to remove them from office, like impeachment. You’re simply saying you no longer represent the Republican Party in the fashion we desire, so we are freeing you from the burden and turmoil, allowing you to be an independent, democrat. Communist, socialist, new world order pimp, what ever your heart desires.

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

      • If you want all the division caused by rino’s we’ve got that in spades for VT and the Nation…..if you don’t get to the core, away from establishment. we’ll never change. So yeah, the trio should be shown the door. They voted for impeachment with no facts or basis upon the constitution. That is particularly nasty in my book.

        • No one in Vermont has enough money to push a third party over the top!
          3rd parties always lose. We had Billy Clinton for 8 years because of Ross Perot and he was a billionaire! If he had thrown his money and establishment into the republican party he probably could have saved America from that mistake and his evil broom rider, Killery.

  8. The problem Trump had when he got elected wasn’t the Commiecrats, he knew what they were and was running circles around them. The problem was the RHINO’s all around him subverting his policies. Like Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, Jeff Flake, Bob Corker, Gen. John Kelly, Gen. Jim Mattis, John Bolton, Liz Cheney, Ben Sasse. If Trump did not have these ” Decepticons” trying to sabotage his administration things could have been different. 75 Million people need a voice and it’s called the PATRIOT PARTY !


    • Truer words have not been spoken.

      Just think, Washington DC is supposedly, 50% Dems 50% Repubs…

      Yet 96% voted for Biden. They voted establishment, corrupt, money grubbers. They voted to keep things as they have been for the last 30 years. Enriching themselves of the people and selling our country out.

      In many ways this has nothing at all to do with Trump. It has to do with honest representation, for the people, not the lobbyists, PAC’s, NWO pimps, industrialists and media types who would love for us to be a fascist state or oligarchy.

      You correctly defined the problem and everybody knows it now! Question is what are we going to do with it?

      What are Vermonters going to do with the truth. Montpelier is remarkably identical to D.C.

    • Amen! Those you’ve listed were so infuriating.(add Phil) Just imagine – as hard as Trump worked without batting haters off his back – “close” and opposite – dems/progs/media/hate night hollywood (small h intentional) tech. Just imagine what he could have further accomplished.

    • Some body should sponsor a bill for the agency of fish and wild life to open up a season for rino’s, they are overpopulated the state and have become a nuisance to the republic. I would suggest a limit of one per month for the year and an unlimited amount from the primary season of July through September. I would propose helicopter permits during this time period too.

      You are spot on. If Deb and the party doesn’t define themselves, they will be defined by their actions, the rabble rousers and the numbers, which goes back to your logo idea.

      We don’t need more establishment sophist politicians adept at stealing our liberties and money.

      Call the question, hold a vote! I know what 112,704 people within the party would vote for! They are SICK of this crap, RINO crap in particular. Oust the trio!

    • That or the elephants trunk up the Jackasses,well you get the picture,it’s the perfect symbol for RINO’s.

  9. As more and more of the January 6th Capital event timeline rolls out, this is beginning to exhibit the first fine traces of CIA DNA all over it.

  10. With all due respect, where were you when I was looking for Trump flags, crickets… Now your sweating what 113,000 Vermont Rinos will do – nothing.

    I think of you as just another Rino, so I am going back to being just another inconsequential Independent!

    • Earl, there was a Trump team in Vermont. It was not part of my mission. There were dedicated people to satisfy the needs of those who wanted flags etc. Everyone that came my way was redirected to that Trump Maga chair… in Bennington Cty.

      I am sorry if you did not get what you were looking for.


      • In my business, as the owner and CEO, the buck stops at my desk. If my customers aren’t satisifed, I pay the piper.

        So, as a local businessman, I’m curious what it means for the chair of the Vermont Republican Party to cite an in-state election issue as ‘not part of my mission’. You, after all, are the one who decided to redirect everyone to the Bennington ‘Trump Maga chair’ to get flags. Did you follow-up to be sure their requests were satified?

        • Good grief – a bunch of grown men crying about flags – and going after a woman who works as hard as Deb Billado? Get off your butts and find another way to get a dang flag and get off her back. You are going to become an independent because you didn’t get a flag? I’ll bet if either of you did as much for the Republican Party as Deb did the party would be better off. I think Republicans have internal trouble because we all think for ourselves and have brains and don’t just drink the cool aide. Let’s support Deb and ask how we can help instead of criticizing over such trivial issues.

  11. You hang in there Chair Deb Billado. You are representing the Real Republican and the hell with the elected republicans that have become part of the problem having spent too long in Montpelier. Time to make a few replacements and get some good Vermonters in office

    • Agree 100%. This entire ‘insurrection’ was a plan by the same cowards that brought us a year of anarchy topped off by an election planned with fraud and criminality, the DNC. We have a DNC that will do anything illegal to win.

  12. Mr. Bielawski, you’ve continued playing loose with some facts. At no point in my op-ed piece did I call for the resignation of Deb Billado as party chair. I have called for those pumping Q-Anon conspiracy theories, calling for Donald Trump to be installed as dictator and urging Mike Pence to violate the Constitution to step down from officer positions, but Deb is not one of those. Next time, before you write, please call if you want my opinion on something.

    • Pence was not asked to violate the Constitution. He was asked, as President of the Senate, to send back the electors from those states that had been charged of mass voter fraud and had sent two sets of electors to the Senate. There are as many legal eagles that thought this was within the constitutional framework as those not. Perhaps it would have taken SCOTUS to finally render a decision. Joe, this was fraud and criminality on a broad scale in a few districts that decided a national election. This is the DNC. They did it successfully in 1960 and have practiced fraud on a local level for decades. WHO will stop this assault on America?

      • Neil Johnson
        For your own ease and satisfaction please join the Democrat Party, or the Sanders party. Or organize a RINO Party? WOOPS we already have a RINO party!

        Back stabbing is not a Vermont a Vermont Tradition

        Deb Billado is a true Republican Her Essays are well written and documented

      • Bud, with respect I disagree. There are two reasons. First, there is only one very short phrase in the US Constitution that instructs a vice-president what to do with electoral certificates. It is found in Article II, §1. It doesn’t take a lawyer to read it, and no court has ever interpreted it to mean something different than what it actually says. It directs him to “open all” certificates. It does not empower him to reject whichever he chooses.

        I’ll pause here to ask where you got your information from that he was presented with “two sets of electors” from any state. Each state sends one set of state-certified elector certificates to the Senate. That’s what happened in this election. If there were two sets of state-certified elector certificates from any state, the same Article II, § 1 would still require him to open them all. That didn’t happen here because there wasn’t “two sets” of state-certified electoral certificates from any state.

        But the bigger problem is the precedent that would be established if Pence was authorized to reject certificates. Today’s Pence is tomorrow’s Kamala Harris. No future election would ever be safe if the then sitting vice-president were authorized to discard certificates they didn’t like. That would place the votes of hundreds of millions at the risk of being discounted by one individual. Something tells me our founders would be aghast at that idea.

        I know you believe “this was fraud and criminality on a broad scale” but we will have to agree to disagree. I’ll concede there were instances of fraud, there always are, but never on a scale wide enough to throw an election. I was one of the folks who argued that the president had every right to contest elections if there was evidence of widespread fraud. I waited patiently to hear it. But after sixty courts at all state and federal levels, the Trump-appointed Attorney General, the Trump-appointed Director of Homeland Security, various Republican Secretaries of State and elections supervisors who had all voted for Trump universally concluded, and kept repeating, there was no evidence of widespread fraud, I came to a different conclusion than you.

        Bud, I’ve heard from several that “the courts wouldn’t hear the evidence, they dismissed it on procedural grounds.” Unfortunately, those statements are coming from folks who never bothered actually reading the cases. As an example, of six cases filed in Pennsylvania, one was dismissed on procedural grounds because the case was untimely filed. The other five were very clear that they were being dismissed because the allegations raised were based on mere belief, not supported by evidence.

        The trouble I have through all this is that, with a little tracing, virtually every claim that the election was rigged can be traced back to one source. He began months before the election, by bragging that the only way he could lose the election was if it was rigged. He continued that drumbeat right up to the election, and then began beating the drum that said “I told you so.” It came as no surprise that he called believers to Washington on January 6th. Trouble is, we know he was being given security briefings well before January 6th describing the social media postings of the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, the Three Percenters and militia groups clearly signaling what they were going to do when they got there. Anybody familiar with Facebook was familiar with those intentions. I have to believe there was at least one White House advisor who had actually read and understood the single phrase in the Constitution that limited Pence’s ceremonial role in opening elector certificates, at the very same time he was telling supporters that Mike Pence should “do the right thing.” anyway. The rally goers were primed to help him, and it was quite disturbing to hear some of them chanting for Pence to be hung when he simply abided by the Constitution. But when Trump told the Capital invaders they were wonderful people and he loved them, well, it is frankly hard for me to believe there are still those who support him. All the good things he had done beforehand are rapidly fading into history.

        I’ve also watched a growing number of folks doing their best to put the blame of the Capital attack on left-wing infiltrators, including the author of the above article. I have no doubt left-wing agitators were present, but to suggest they are to blame for the attack is an insult to common sense. With each passing day the FBI is arresting people clearly associated with the right. Yes, there were good Trump supporters who tried to stop the attack, but they were far outnumbered by hundreds of right-wing extremists, many now in jail or subject to conditions of release after arraignment, who used the event to make their presence known. You can’t spin it any other way without losing the trust of the American people.

        Bud, I’ll close by saying I appreciate your reaching out the way you did with your comment. Somehow, someway, I want the Republican Party’s vision of a conservative/constitutionally-based platform to survive. That can’t happen if people like you and I can’t figure out a way to work with each other. My door is always open.

    • Talk about Republican in name only (RINO), and speaking of ‘playing loose with the facts’, sir, can you cite anyone, specifically, “..calling for Donald Trump to be installed as dictator”?

      • Actually, yes I can. And that person’s name has been passed on to Deb Billado, along with a proposed VTGOP rule that the Executive Committee of the VTGOP be authorized to consider what actions to take with respect to any party officer who promotes such nonsense.

        Mind you, I’m not calling for that person or anyone else to be purged from the party. As a constitutionalist, I am committed to freedom of speech and do my best to tolerate all opinions. But if left in the position of a party officer, the party is then painted with a brush of complacency, which is interpreted as agreement.

        • So this person wants the U.S. to become a ‘dictatorship’?

          Please, share the identiity of this person with us. Otherwise we have no alternative but to put your claim on the stack other self-serving ‘conspiracy theories’.

        • very rich, coming from a man who wouldn’t even ask the question, knowing the answer…is Molly Gray qualified to hold office of VT Lt Governor, for fear of the fall out.


  13. Thank you Deb.

    You will be on the right side of history and it will be you and others like you that will make the Republican Party great once again in Vermont as it was for generations before. I hope that someday you will see your Rosy Red Vermont.

    For Beck and the other boys, their bullying tactics show what real cowards they are. They think they have their finger on the pulse of the Vermont voter. I think they will find they poked themselves in the eye with that finger and will be in for a bad surprise in a couple of years, but sadly, then, there will be much damage caused by the ignorant road they chose to travel.

    Keep the faith! Hold onto the hope! Better times are ahead! Thanks again.

    • I can’t imagine that they think they have the pulse of the Vermont Republican voter. Those of us that voted for Trump IMHO, did so out of a deep conviction that Trump had done wonders for America across the board, coupled with the knowledge that Biden was a hopeless misfit for the POTUS of America, Both beliefs have not diminished one iota since the grandtheft. And whether we vote GOP or not will rest mostly in Trumps’ hands.

  14. Beck and Benning are rabble rousers, they might find comfort playing for a different team with a D on their ballot name.

    Question, If 80% of your baseball team, plays hockey, do you have a baseball team or a hockey team?

    The fans won’t even know which venue to go to, the baseball diamond or the hockey rink!

    The Democratic party was infiltrated by NWO pimps, they have hid under the banner for years. Bernie is the poster child for this. The Democratic party has been completely overtaken in Vermont with socialist organizers who have no respect for our constitution, as they clearly show us on a regular basis.

    Do we want this for the Republican Party too? Do we really want a UNI party? Does UNI stand for United Nations?

    It’s time to stop the bus. There is too much noise, too much dissention, too much back stabbing. We need to let a couple players off, otherwise it’s gonna be the same old song and dance, the same as it ever was.

    • Just say it Deb, Just say it…..

      You’re fired!

      You’ll feel great, everybody else will feel good too. There are good fires and bad fires. These three would be excellent fires, you’ll never, never regret it.

      Just say it Deb, Just do it. It gets easier after the first one. 🙂

      • To all the ships mates……you need to support the captain. She can’t run a ship all alone for god sakes. These three rabble rousers keep changing the ships direction to Venezuela in governance ideas. All hands on deck. 17 people in the right can stand strong. County chairs can help the captain plotting the course of this ship.

        We’re headed for a cat 3 or Cat 4 Hurricane these next 2 years. I voted that we set our ships course to America, hope you guys can help your captain.

    • Bingo,they are free to join the Mt. Stupid Marxist’s any old time,Deb Billado is on the correct side of history.

  15. Kudos to Deb Billado for not caving to the demands of our RINO leadership. Spineless worms like Phil Scott and Joe Benning should be ashamed of themselves to throw all of the peaceful, law-abiding Vermont Trump supporters under the bus that took them to DC, together with a president who did nothing to incite violence at the Capitol. I’ve witnessed extreme adversity toward President Trump among VT Republican leaders for a long time, but this behavior is appalling.

    • .S…Johnson, you got that right.. Scott is a coward Rino, Benning is just a bigger RINO. These friggin RINOs in Vermont are a disgrace to the Republican name and a disgrace to Vermont
      For that coward Scott who calls himself a Republican. He should be thrown in jail for impersonating a Vermonter and a Governor.!!! . Calling Vermonter’s thugs, terrorists. What kind of Governor would do that to his citizens??? Oh, wait a democRAT.. a democRAT would. I know people who were on the buses and they are not thugs or terrorists. They are good honest true VERMONTERS.!!!

  16. She is just as unthinking as possible. Those Republicans that she is “aligning” herself with got bamboozled by Trump and did not have a viable alternative. Her job (all Republicans) now should be to find the NEXT viable candidate, that has qualities that a majority of Americans can get behind! Being honest, moral, inclusive, moderately conservative,

    • Trump has strong odds to be the next viable candidate with the qualities a majority of Americans can get behind. Of course, if they could “get behind” Biden, the bar isn’t set very high. And the Democrats nominated Hillary before that. The last time I saw so many troops around a national capitol was 1960, before I departed Havana. Our new Commander in Chief has probably not established a good rapport with the boys by relegating them to an open parking garage for the night in freezing weather. Bad, bad idea.

    • Gary, No she isn’t! How would you like to be hounded for 4 years by a negative press and a corrupt political party run by Nancy Pelosi. No president in my life time has turned the country around for the benefit of the people more than Donald Trump. Perhaps you enjoy your old time republicans and professional, career, democrats who have indebted this country to the tune of $24 Trillion dollars, sold out our manufacturing to China, started endless wars killing and maiming Thousands of our young men and women in uniform and rebuilt countries around the world while Americans were fleeced by over taxation and the welfare industry. On top of all that, you condone the impeachment charges prior to any evidence. If you really want to see the problem with todays republicans, go look in the mirror!

      • You obviously do not understand what a moral political candidate is whatsoever. You obviously do not understand common decency whatsoever. You obviously do not understand what truth and honesty are whatsoever.
        So go into that dark night with your vision of Trumps White Nationalism…

        • A ‘moral’ person with ‘common decency’ surely doesn’t call all 75 million of his opponent’s supporters domestic enemies. ‘Moral’ people wouldn’t be rushing to cancel the opinions, thoughts and lives of the opposition.

          You obviously fail to recognize the similarities with the most evil regimes in world history.

        • So Gary the calling out of Cruz and Hawley as Nazis for wanting a fair election is your idea of a moral political candidate? He who said he’d like to take Trump behind the school? Who in this tough economic situation just dismissing over ten thousand employees with a stroke of a pen? We have you figured out, another liberal troll.

        • Read the Biden family history and Trump’s and decide what your morality is Gary, because it can’t possibly be what the Bidens have done to one another as well as to American voters. Jeeez!

        • Well Greg, thanks for knowing who I am without ever meeting me. So, here’s what I know about you even though I’ve never met you. You are not a republican and I am not a racist. Why don’t you just explain to all of us what a moral, political candidate is? I also know that common decency is not manufactured by whatever news you read or by what you think you know. And, since when did you become the arbiter of truth and honesty? A lie told a thousand times can become the truth to those who believe the lie with no proof. None are so blind as those who can not see. Your mirror is waiting!

    • I’m curious.
      Did you dislike that D. J. Trump made torture and cruelty to animals a FELONY, or dislike that he signed the ‘Save Our Seas Act’ which funds $10 million per year to help international efforts to clean tons of plastic and garbage from the ocean?

      Did your dislike stem from him giving billions to help in stopping the rampant opioid crisis, or because he wanted to secure the border to keep criminals, human trafficking and drugs from free flow into the country? Did you dislike that he has made a commitment to end child-trafficking and crimes against humanity that has resulted in 1000’s of arrests already? Surely not. It must be something else.

      Did you dislike him because he made us energy independent and a net exporter of oil to the world, or that ISIS is destroyed, and that Arabs and Jews are talking peace once again? Did you dislike that he ended wars?

      Did you dislike that he won and signed new trade deals that benefited Americans instead of costing us our economy? Or did you dislike him because he slashed the price for medications – in some cases 50% – which drove big Pharma nuts? Or did you dislike that he signed a law ending the gag-order on pharmacists that prevented them from sharing money-saving options on prescriptions?

      Did you dislike him because he was successful in returning some important manufacturing to our land and despite the health crisis, he created a record number of new jobs? Or did you dislike him because he signed USMCA and other international agreements bringing business to our farmers and small businesses, thus benefiting us all?

      Or maybe you just disliked the fact that he made a gay man the ambassador of Germany and then asked him to clean up national security and unclassified as much of it as possible for transparency? Or did you dislike that he kept almost every campaign promise (with a Congress who work against him daily!) plus many more promises he made later because Washington was much more broken than he thought? Did you dislike like that he worked for free, donating his salary to different charities?

      Or maybe you disliked what he did for the black community? Did you dislike that he listened to senator Scott and passed Invest In Opportunity Zones to help minority business? Did you dislike that he passed prison reform, which gave people a second chance and has made quite a huge difference for the black communities? I’ll bet it rubs you raw that he has been praised for his work by the most unlikely representatives of the black community.

      Did you dislike that he loves America and puts Americans first? Did you dislike that he loves his flag and his country, that he respects cops, veterans, ICE & First Responders? Did you dislike that he passed VA reforms to benefit the very people who served our country and defend our freedom? Did you dislike that he’s brought home over 40 Americans held captive, the last one from Iran?

      Did you dislike that he does not sell out America to other countries, like the leaders prior to him have done? Did you dislike that he’s making the world pay their fair share for the UN for protection?

      Could it be possible that the ones who SELL OUT America to line their pockets OWN THE MEDIA AND HOLLYWOOD and hate him so much for trying to expose them and hate him for putting the PEOPLE first, that they manipulate our thinking and control the information we get to steer US to hate him? Did you dislike that he calls out and has shown all of us that they ARE Fake News, and they twist the truth to control and mislead the people? These people benefit when you hate the man trying to stop them .… so they won’t have to give up the wealth they have gotten and continue to get thru taxation and control. Wouldn’t you at least want to RESEARCH this possibility?

      Do you actually believe the President encouraged America to inject bleach? They won’t tell you of the good he has done despite all the pushback, they just continued to lie. They wanted you to believe he was stupid because if you figure out that he wasn’t, they will lose billions of dollars and their control over you. Your cultivated BLIND hatred of this man, who was literally trying to stave off Socialism, was detrimental to our country as you continue to support their hatred. The media has hated him from day one. Impeachment was on the table before he even took the oath of office. He was never given a chance, yet in 4 years has shown unimagined results that would be hailed as greatness if done by others. He is far from the uncaring monster he was made out to be.

      Results don’t lie. Leftist Do.
      h/t to Diogenes

      • Thank you and I hope all those disrespectful, group nonthinkers read your words especially the RINOs mentioned above. I doubt most of them even knew what you wrote because nothing interferes with the hate of the hivemind mentality. The benevolence and caring of Donald Trump’s actions are well known prior to his political life. He has helped and employed thousands of people all over the world and yet these pinheads here and others look down on him because he’s not a polished, professional, career, political hack, who wanted to clean up the corrupt cesspool of DC. They wouldn’t have it. Political fortunes can’t be made through honesty. Please pass your writing on to others who might be capable of thinking outside of the hive. RINOs beware, we all all sick of your weakness and frat club follies. You will be voted out. Same for those who keep stealing our rights.

      • If you are not on MeWe or Gab, do I have you permission to post your comment on those sites? This requires a larger audience that Vermont…


      • All their hate – including Phil Scott – thwarted their ability to see or especially acknowledge Trump’s results. Thank God for Deb Billado. She is awesome a good strong Republican who doesn’t shrink under Democrat dishonesty and dirty tricks. Always working toward solutions and doing all she can in a Republican UN-friendly state.

        As far as I’m concerned the election was stolen and I’m going to use the democrat standard which is – they are guilty until they can prove they are innocent. You know, like what they did to Trump over and over and Kavanaugh. That way the evidence would have to be presented in its entirety. Instead they are using their typical fascists actions against anyone who believes or wants to review evidence of widespread voter fraud. Their cancel culture on and shut down/scarlet letter of those who speak out on voter fraud is proof of their guilt. If there was nothing to hide, these actions would not be necessary.

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