By Tom Brown, VTDigger.org
A national Republican political action committee launched a six-figure statewide media campaign during the first week of October in support of GOP legislative candidates in Vermont.
The Republican State Leadership Committee is airing television and radio ads, urging Vermont voters to “vote for a brighter economic future” by choosing Republicans in the November election. “Vote for Republican candidates who can deliver on that future,” it says.
The video ad, shared with VTDigger by the RSLC, is entitled “Vermont’s Best Days.” It opens with iconic shots of Vermont landmarks and includes in the voiceover: “Vermont’s best days are always ahead.” It then segues into a series of slides with headlines citing Vermont media sources that say Democratic lawmakers in Montpelier increased property taxes by $50 million, raised spending by $62 million and cost the state 3,000 jobs.
Jill Bader, communications director for the RSLC, would not say how much the ads cost, but a mass media filing on the Vermont Secretary of State’s website shows an RSLC expenditure of $142,822 on Oct. 7.
The RSLC was founded in 2002 and focuses on electing GOP lieutenant governors, secretaries of state and state legislators. This is the first time the group has invested heavily in Vermont campaigns.
Rep. Don Turner, R-Milton, the House minority leader, said he welcomed the media campaign, but was unaware of it until VTDigger showed him the ad.
“Vermonters need to see compiled the things I’ve been trying to point out for the last four years,” Turner said. “I’m glad somebody has the money. The message (in the ad) is the truth … it’s not an attack ad; if it’s just laying out facts that are true then I’m happy to have the help.”
Turner said there are 83 or 84 Republicans vying for House seats in the Nov. 4 election and he hopes to grow the current 45-member caucus.
Turner’s Common Sense PAC has raised about $30,000 this campaign cycle and he said most of it was spent on helping candidates learn how to organize and conduct a campaign.