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Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:20 PM

Vermont officials say money doesn't buy elections

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Experts-Vt-election-shows-GOP-in-disarray-4017636.php

* The one Republican who won in Vermont is a stock car racer!

---snip

"You can spend a lot of loot. You can buy a lot of those out-of-state ads," said Gov. Peter Shumlin, who easily won re-election on Tuesday. "But in the end, Vermonters judge you by who you are, what you stand for and whether they meet you, whether you knock on their door, whether they look you in the eye and decide whether your character and your vision is the right thing for Vermont."

The comments came at the end of an election cycle that began with the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which took the lid off expenditures by groups not affiliated with candidates but seeking to influence election outcomes just the same.

It featured a Republican candidate for state treasurer who got a big boost from the newly created political action committee Vermonters First but still lost badly. It featured the same group spending to elect more Republicans to the state House and Senate, only to make no gains there either.

Neither the lone staff member with Vermonters First, Tayt Brooks, nor its principal funder, Burlington heiress Lenore Broughton, could be reached for comment Wednesday. A phone number could not be found for Brooks and Broughton did not immediately return a message left at her home.

Jack Lindley, chairman of the Vermont Republican Party, attributed some of his party's lack of success it won just one of eight statewide offices to the fact that Democratic-leaning PACS spent heavily in the state as well.

But political money aside, "Democrats in Vermont have a better mousetrap than I've got," Lindley acknowledged. "I've got to go about building a better mousetrap."

He pointed to the fact that the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, Cassandra Gekas, a former Statehouse lobbyist and newcomer to electoral politics who jumped into her race in June, ended up with more votes in her loss to incumbent Republican Phil Scott than Randy Brock, the state senator and former auditor, got in his bid to unseat Shumlin.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, also cruised to re-election, as did U.S. Rep. Peter Welch and the Democratic candidates for state treasurer, auditor, attorney general and secretary of state.

The near-Democratic sweep concluded an election cycle in which many on the left in Vermont sought to raise an alarm about the effects of the Citizens United decision.

One of them was Montpelier lobbyist Todd Bailey, who formed a sort of anti-PAC PAC that ran an ad calling for an end to super PACS. The 60-second ad ran Tuesday night on Burlington television station WCAX, as election results showing how ineffective the new PAC spending had been were just coming in.

"In just two years, super PACS have hijacked our democracy in America, and right here in Vermont," Bailey said into the camera in the ad, which concluded with him holding a sign saying, "Please put us out of a job."


Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Vt-officials-say-money-doesn-t-buy-elections-4017636.php#ixzz2BhCeOImt



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Reply Vermont officials say money doesn't buy elections (Original post)
flamingdem Nov 2012 OP
cali Nov 2012 #1
flamingdem Nov 2012 #2
flamingdem Nov 2012 #3
cali Nov 2012 #4

Response to flamingdem (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:39 PM

1. That one republican- Scott- scares me.

He's an excellent politician and folks here like him. We can be dumb about things here. Jim Douglas is testament to that. Scott rode his bicycle all over the state this summer campaigning. He's quiet and seemingly humble and funny. And Peter Shumlin is not beloved even though we like his politics. He's broadly known as really arrogant.

Scott is dangerous.

And no, money doesn't buy political office here. In fact, Vermonters, time after time after time, vote against it.

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Response to cali (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:44 PM

2. Oh thanks, I'll have to follow him more closely

I thought he might be good as a balance to all the flatlanders and liberals. Looks like he has the common touch and that works there. What's up with Shumlin, how do Vermonters become arrogant..

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Response to cali (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:47 PM

3. I'm researching him, seems okay until you hear "small government" "fiscal conservative"


Scott called himself a fiscal conservative; a believer in smaller government who wants to make Vermont a more affordable place to live and work. He's also a champion stock car racer and the co-owner of a construction firm. But what may have ensured this Republican would reach victory lane with voters on a night Democrats got most of the attention, is his stance on social issues. Scott told New England Cable News he's pro-choice and supported Vermont's same-sex marriage law; positions he believes sent a message to Democrats that this Republican can be trusted. "We have to live and work with each other, and I think that's how we get along," Scott said.

Chris Graff covered Vermont for 30 years as a journalist and is now a political analyst. He told NECN Scott cemented his reputation with independent voters through extensive Tropical Storm Irene relief work. "It's a real significant win," Graff said of Scott's 2010 ascension from Vt. State Senator to higher office. "The right person can win an election, even if they have an 'R' next to their name."

Graff noted that historically, Vt. has not always been a blue state. "There is a pendulum that swings back and forth," he explained. "This is clearly a period of Democratic dominance. But you know, Republicans dominated the state for more than 100 years."

Scott admitted Republican candidates have an uphill climb in Democrat-controlled Vermont when it comes to money and organization. Nationally, he said he thinks the party would've done better Tuesday if there were more moderate voices. "Just be part of the solution, not the problem," he said.

When it comes to his own future, in politics and on the track, Phil Scott said, "As long as I'm competitive, I'll continue to race."

Read more: http://www.wptz.com/news/vermont-new-york/burlington/In-liberal-Vt-Republican-Lt-Gov-manages-win/-/8869880/17317148/-/uuc006z/-/index.html#ixzz2BhJQsJfN

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Response to flamingdem (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 12:02 AM

4. Yeah, Scott could run against Peter in two years and

conceivably win. Peter Shumlin has turned off an awful lot of people over the years. In MontP, among those at the Statehouse and the reporters and others who hang there, he's not a popular figure.

Scott's right though; there is virtually no republican infrastructure left in Vermont. They don't have the bucks to pay staffers so there really is no repub organization.

I don't think repubs have a chance of getting voted to D.C.- that's why Douglas didn't run despite his popularity. Dems have a great "farm" team so when Leahy, Sanders or Peter Welch retire, there will be plenty of really, really good progressives who are popular.

David Zuckerman, Progressive, who served in the VT House for 12 years and just got elected to the state senate, is great and he's only in his late 30s. Shap Smith, Dem, Speaker of the VT House, Tim Ashe, Progressive/Dem, State Senator. And there are quite a few more rising in the ranks.

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