The Judean People’s Front of Vermont

6230474_stdDamn splitters. Being on wingnut watch is real work, and here in my neck of the woods it’s a bit of a challenge to keep up with all the splinter fractions of tea baggers and their fellow travellers.

But let’s see: there’s the “official” Vermont Tea Party (Jon Wallace and Peg Coutermarsh), which apparently is more like the Rutland branch of the cult. Then there’s the countrywide Patriot Action Network, which evidently is the successor to the old — they have a Vermont branch (the Vermont Patriots, also known as Vermont Resistance, lead by John W. Stevens), which in turn has split itself into three sections (North, Central, and South Vermont). Then there’s the Green Mountain Patriots (Patricia Crocker, Angela Chagnon and Dan Bower, focused on the Burlington area), and the Mountain Rangers Tea Party (focused on the Connecticut River Valley, run by Peg Coutermarsh — see above, and her husband, along with Vanetta Darby). There is also the Vermont Tea Party Patriots, but as with most of the groups listed above, this appears to mainly be a bit of astro-turfing undertaken by one or more of the other groups (Jon Wallace is the key contact there — but then he’s also the guy behind the main Vermont Tea Party website).There’s also the Upper Valley Tea Party, which is listed as an Enfield, NH based outfit (probably run by a Joe Frazier of Canaan, NH) claiming to represent both sides of the Connecticut river. Down south, the recently formed Catamount Room is apparently a joint effort of three different splinter groups, under the leadership of Audrey Pietrucha. Finally, in Essex, there’s the VT 9/12 Project (Ron Lawrence, Ellen Martin and former state senate candidate Annette Renaud). 

Then there are the related groups, like the Vermont Liberty Alliance, a sort of wingnut umbrella organization; in addition to some of the tea party outfits listed above, they draw in groups such as the Vermont Campaign for Liberty (Steven Howard — who oddly lives in Albany, Jessica Bernier and Hunter Melville are the contacts there) and  Vermonters for Economic Health.

In addition to the Ethan Allen Institute (headed by John McClaughry), the John Birch Society has a presence in VT in the form of Henry Lampman

I’ve no doubt only scratched the surface of the teapot, as it were, and will find more fractions and splinters as I dig further into the dark, dark world of tea bags and pretend-patriots.