LIBERTY MOVEMENT IN VERMONT : SiriusXM radio host and national tea party leader David Webb will deliver a speech in Burlington Sunday.
By Bruce Parker | Vermont Watchdog
BURLINGTON, Vt. — When David Webb arrives Sunday to speak in South Burlington, the national radio-show host and liberty-movement leader has a message for independent-minded Vermonters: “constitutional values are for everyone.”
“The tea party is about an awakening of Americans. It’s going back to constitutional values, the legal DNA for this country. It’s going back to who we are as a nation,” Webb said in an interview with Watchdog.org.
The popular host of The David Webb Show will be on hand at the Doubletree Hotel and Conference Center to rally liberty-minded Vermonters in support of Mark Donka, a Woodstock police officer who is throwing his hat in the ring to challenge four-term U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt.
Webb’s show is among the most listened to talk shows on SiriusXM Patriot channel. While many people know Webb as a Fox News contributor and columnist for Breitbart News and The Hill, the New York-based tea party leader talks politics every weeknight from behind his microphone in New York City.
Webb’s visit to the Green Mountain State isn’t random. Webb and Donka met in 2012 after the police officer became a regular caller to the show.
“We got to know each other because he would call in and talk about issues,” Webb said.
As Donka remembers, the two hit it off so well that Webb eventually asked him to be an on-air guest in the New York studio.
“We started going back and forth talking to each other on issues, and he said, ‘why don’t you call and we’ll do an interview on air some night.’ Then he invited me down to New York City to be on the show.” Donka told Watchdog.org.
Donka returned the invitation a few months ago, asking Webb to come speak in Vermont.
Webb’s visit appears to align with a new trend of tea party activity in U.S. congressional races. This week tea party favorite Ben Sasse shocked observers by winning Nebraska’s Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. Donka hopes to gain similar momentum from Webb’s visit to the Green Mountain State.
BEHIND THE MIC: The David Webb Show broadcasts weeknights on the SiriusXM Patriot channel and has a potential reach of 30 million listeners across North America.
“Vermont, like any other state, has its complexities,” Webb said. “When you speak to the issues, and when you talk to people, just put aside the party registration and the name, tea party, and talk to people about what’s important to them in their daily lives.”
When asked what issues he thought mattered most to people in Northeastern states, Webb spoke of health care and gun rights.
“Obamacare affects our economy, and our Second Amendment rights are sacrosanct. When people try to say which one is the most important and which one is least, I remind them that all of them interlock.”
Even if Webb is successful in rallying liberty-minded Vermonters, incumbency is hard to overcome. Welch has been Vermont’s sole U.S. representative since 2007.
“It is never easy to beat an incumbent, especially in Vermont,” Brady Toensing, vice chairman of the Vermont Republican Party, told Watchdog.org. “Mr. Donka is up against a good campaigner with a well-oiled machine.”
Whether the liberty movement can overcome incumbency — especially in the bluest of blue states — remains to be seen.
Nevertheless, Webb said the tea party experience in New York is a model for other states and crosses political boundaries.
“When you talk to them about the principles the tea party stands for, tens of thousands come out and support TeaParty365 (Webb’s NYC group). And by the way, those are Democrats, independents, libertarians, unregistered, unaffiliated voters — they’re New Yorkers.
Contact Bruce Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org