Local News

GOP group spends $267,000 in two weeks to boost Scott

By Morgan True and Elizabeth Hewitt, VTDigger.org
The Republican Governors Association continues to spend heavily on its efforts to elect Lt. Gov. Phil Scott to Vermont’s top office, campaign finance reports filed Thursday, Sept. 1, show.
The RGA super PAC, A Stronger Vermont, reported spending $267,000 in the two weeks since the last reports were filed Aug. 15, bringing its total for this election cycle to $522,675. The group, which has run TV ads for Scott, reported no new mass media buys but shelled out $157,000 to Virginia-based Pinpoint Media LLC.
On the other side, the Democrats appear to be holding their fire. The Democratic Governors Association has transferred $100,000 to its own super PAC, Our Vermont, but spent only $3,500 in the last two weeks and $11,000 for the cycle. The DGA super PAC has yet to run TV ads supporting former Transportation Secretary Sue Minter, the Democratic nominee.
As retired Middlebury College political science professor Eric Davis pointed out in a tweet, there are only a handful of competitive gubernatorial contests nationwide in 2016, and both major parties appear to feel the open governor’s seat in Vermont is winnable.
The next deadline for filing finance reports is Oct. 1.
Minter’s campaign out-raised Scott during this latest reporting period, bringing in $101,819 to Scott’s $55,267. However, Scott still outspent Minter, making several media buys on his own. He spent $95,411, including $12,000 on an internal poll and several thousand on online ads.
That brings Scott’s total spending for the cycle to $900,000. He has just $113,892 cash on hand.
Minter spent $67,767 in the second half of August. To date, her campaign has spent just over $1 million — a little more than half of which was on mass media buys. She has $85,842 cash on hand.
Minter picked up a number of high-profile donors from her party, including outgoing Gov. Peter Shumlin ($4,000), former Gov. Howard Dean ($2,000) and state Democratic Party Chair Dottie Deans ($500).
Minter also got $4,000 from the Vermont division of the National Education Association’s fund for children and public education. The Vermont-NEA endorsed her for governor earlier this week. She also picked up $2,700 each from Jake and Donna Carpenter of Burton Snowboards.
Scott got money from a governor, but not one of Vermont’s. Florida’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott donated $4,000 to the lieutenant governor’s campaign. Scott also received donations from Montpelier lobbying firm KSE Partners ($2,000), GW Plastics ($2,000), drugmaker AstraZeneca ($1,500) and the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association ($1,000).

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