A Twitter account run by the Vermont Democratic Party on Sunday called David Sunderland, the former Vermont Republican Party chair, "a racist and a serial liar" — with no supporting evidence. It was the latest in a series of caustic tweets coming from the "VT House Dems" account.
VDP executive director Conor Casey declined Tuesday to disclose which staff member composed the tweets, telling Seven Days, “The buck stops with me.”
And while Casey conceded that “maybe calling someone a racist goes a bit far,” he defended the general tone and content of the tweets. “It’s a little more hard-hitting, a little more conversational,” he said.
Vermont Republicans have recently taken to Twitter to complain about the VT House Dems account. And in a Monday press release, Vermont GOP executive director Jeffrey Bartley characterized the tweets as “name calling, outlandish accusations, and outright hostility to anyone with whom they may have political differences.”
Arguing in good faith with a professional bad faith arguer and somebody dumb enough to follow his own sockpuppet doesn't really do anybody any good. #VTPoli
Many of the tweets have taken aim at Sunderland, calling him a "scumbag surrogate" as well as a racist. Other tweets refer to Gov. Phil Scott staffer Hayden Dublois as "dumb" and one-time Republican state legislative candidate Scot Shumski as a "crybaby bigot."
“I think their feelings were hurt,” Casey said. “It just seems like way overly sensitive.” He continued, “They’re the ones who are mostly engaging in this Twitter war.”
Btw “mendacious” means “lying”. I know it’s one syllable outside your comfort zone, just wanted to make sure we were on the same page. #vtpoli
How do top House Democrats feel about the content of an account being run in their name? House Speaker Mitzi Johnson (D-South Hero) and House Democratic Majority Leader Jill Krowinski (D-Burlington) did not immediately respond to requests for comment.