Daily Archives: August 23, 2014

The Milne Insufficiency

Several days ago, I wrote a highlight-reel glance at this month’s campaign finance reports. Scott Milne’s meager report was mentioned; $22,370 for the past month, and $42,790 for the entire campaign.

That’s bad enough, but when you look more closely, things are… you guessed it… even worse. Milne’s fundraising effort, as unsuccessful as it’s been, is highly dependent on a handful of out-of-state donors who’ve already given the legal maximum of $2,000. Those top-dollar gifts account for $32,000 of Milne’s total. His in-state fundraising is nearly nonexistent, and he hasn’t roused any significant support among the Common Folk.

In my deadline-day post, I noted that $16,000 of Milne’s $42K was thanks to his connection to the Boies family, whose paterfamilias, David Boies, is a high-powered Washington attorney. His son, David Boies III, was a college roommate of Milne’s and is currently his business partner in a real estate development firm.

I was wrong. Let’s make that $20,000 in Boies-related cash. Two of the $2,000 donors on Milne’s reports are Timothy Battin and Rebecca Anderson. They are married, or at least an established couple, and he is a partner in daddy Boies’ law firm.

For those keeping score, that’s almost half of all Milne’s money coming from his Boies connection.

It might be even more. There are some common surnames on Milne’s max-money list, and those are tough to pin down via The Google. Any could have an undiscovered Boies tie. They include: John S. Edwards III and Mark Williams of California and Mark Sutton of Arizona. There’s also a New Jersey corporation, AJI, LLC, which I couldn’t positively identify.

But here’s something about Sutton. He is owner of Meridian Engineering, which also gave $2,000 to Milne for Governor. And here’s a possibly unrelated note from a recent Milne profile by The Freeploid’s Terri Hallenbeck:

He was living in Arizona in 1987, working as a field engineer for an electronics firm and starting a family, when his parents talked him into returning to Vermont and buying part of their travel agency.

So 18 years ago Milne was working “as a field engineer” in Arizona and now he’s pulled in $4,000 from a guy who owns an engineering firm in Arizona. That’s a stretch, but it makes more sense than “Some random dude gave Scott Milne four G’s.”

There’s reason to believe that Milne has received as much as three-quarters of his money from his well-tended Rolodex. He certainly hasn’t scored in his own home state; he’s raised roughly $10,000 from Vermonters. That’d be a nice total for a State Senate candidate, but it’s downright pathetic for a major-party gubernatorial hopeful. It’s surprising – shocking – to me that he hasn’t done better in-state. Even as a political outsider, an established businessman should have a lot of friends and associates who could be counted on to open their checkbooks. But no, not at all. And it seems obvious that the Republican establishment is giving him the cold shoulder.

As for Milne’s appeal to The Little Guy, he has raised a paltry $1,060 in gifts of under $100 from a whopping total of 24 separate donors. Not exactly evidence of a groundswell-in-the-making.

Maybe this is all part of His Big Plan, as Milne continues to insist. Maybe he turned to his old pals and partners to jumpstart his campaign, and now he’s cranking up the engine on his in-state machine.

Maybe. But I doubt it. And if that is, indeed, his plan, then it’s far too little and way too late.


It can’t get any worse, can it? …Yes, it can.

Just a note from the Ship Of Doom, a.k.a. the Vermont Republican Party. Honestly, being a Vermont Political Observer these days is like watching a budget remake of Das Boot — bad shit keeps happening and you know they’re not gonna make it back home, you just never know when the deathblow will actually come.

So anyway, the latest dispatch comes to us from the Twitter feed of Brady Toensing, the Vice Chair of the VTGOP. He Tweeted the news that he’d cast an absentee ballot in the gubernatorial primary.

For Dan Feliciano, the Libertarian.

Welp, that makes two of the Republican Party’s four top officers who’ve abandoned Scott Milne, the Party’s chosen candidate. The other, of course, was Mark “Little Snell” Snelling. Their endorsements came in spite of Party Chair “Super Dave” Sunderland’s strongly-worded letter warning fellow Republicans not to go Libertarian.  

This is not just bad news for the Milne campaign, but for the all-new Vermont Republican Party. Last fall, Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott promoted a slate of party officers in an effort to broaden the party’s appeal. Snelling and Toensing were holdovers from the Jack Lindley VTGOP.

And now they’ve turned their backs on Milne and Sunderland… and, implicitly, on Scott’s efforts to broaden the party. 

Best of luck to Victory Campaign Director Jeff Bartley. He’s got a hell of a job in front of him.