Who’s paying Meg Hansen’s salary?

Yesterday I outlined the inflammatory, far-right views of Meg Hansen, the person handling “strategic communications” for the state House Republican Caucus.

And the more I thought about it, the more I wondered: who’s paying for her services?

It’s extremely unusual for a Vermont caucus — minority or majority — to have any paid staff whatsoever. The House Speaker has one staffer paid by the state; the Senate President Pro Tem historically has one, but John Campbell’s staff was expanded to two because he needed extra help to handle the job. Nobody else in the Legislature has any staff, unless they use their own money.

So, who’s paying Meg Hansen? Short answer: right now, I have no idea. We might find out more on July 15, the next campaign finance filing deadline; for now, the available information raises more questions than it answers.

One thing’s for sure: Vermont Republicans aren’t swimming in money. The VTGOP is perennially short of funds, and can barely keep the lights on at its headquarters.

As of April 30*, the party had a miserable $9,836 in cash on hand. They’ve been spending more than they’ve been taking in, which is an interesting thing for the Party of Fiscal Responsibility. But clearly, they aren’t the source of Meg Hansen’s money.

*The parties are required to file monthly reports with the feds. Even the state parties; most of their activities are legally defined as “federal.” That’s why we have more recent info on the VTGOP than other entities. 

The money could also be coming from the Vermont House Republican PAC. But on March 15, it had just over $7,000 on hand, which isn’t enough money for even a part-time position.

The PAC may have had an influx since mid-March; we won’t know until July 15. One interesting note from its March 15 filing: it received $4,000 in donations between July of last year and mid-March of this year. Every single dollar came from an out-of-state corporate source: $1,000 apiece from Monsanto and Altria, and $2,000 from Pfizer.

Respectively, that’s the world’s leading GMO pusher, the company formerly known as Philip Morris, and one of the giants of Big Pharma. It’s not a lot of money, but is it just the beginning? Is the House Republican PAC enjoying an influx of corporate funds? Tune in on July 15.

There’s also the Republican State Leadership Committee, which has already started advertising in Vermont (with its notorious mugshot mailer). The RSLC didn’t file a report on March 15, which means its spending didn’t begin until after that date. Again, we’ll have to wait for July 15 to learn if they’re funnelling money to Don Turner’s policy shop.

And I’ll just pause here to once again thank the Legislature for failing to implement a more rigorous campaign finance reporting schedule. They had the chance to require monthly reports during election years, and they refused.

So the question remains: who’s paying the freight for Turner’s hard-right Christian conservative “strategic communications” guru?

Stay tuned.

7 thoughts on “Who’s paying Meg Hansen’s salary?

  1. Thomas Spelling

    Ha! This dolt needs to stop. Did you read his Mahatma-Milne insults? It’s challenging to get through these ‘articles.’ He sounds like a far-left extremist. Really distasteful. I wonder how much allowance his mother allows for him to spend all this time thinking about ‘the far-right conspiracy?’ He’s likely paranoid- I’ll eat my hat if the Koche brothers are financing anything in Vt. I’ll give this site a few more tries, but I see really poor equipoise. Balance is all that will keep me here. Don’t you think there are more far-left liberals than far-right conservatives in the legislature? What’s the ugly left up to, sending more businesses away? I heard a good one at the center of Hartland last week: Q- Liberals, classy or smart? A= none of the above.
    Aim for objectivity vpo. I’ll try to stay tuned, but your anger is distracting and embarrasses fellow dems.

    1. John S. Walters Post author

      I have never, ever, ever pretended to be objective. Just look at the subhead: “analysis and observation… from a liberal viewpoint.”

      And enjoy your hat. The Koch (not “Koche”) brothers have put money into Vermont projects. Not indirectly, but through surrogate organizations like ALEC and Vermont Watchdog, among others. We’re also seeing a massive influx of money through outside groups like the Republican State Leadership Committee.

      Finally, please, if this blog is not to your liking, I shall defend to the death your right not to read it.

    2. newzjunqie

      Project much? Looks like a very raw nerve was struck, so sounds like this “anger” is your own. Which leads me to suspect you’re a rightwinger as there are few Dems or leftwingers period who would rush to Koch Bros defense much less claiming “paranoia” the root cause here in our post Citizen United world. Dark money flows freely amongst all of politics we all know this where have you been sir.

      Nothing wrong with any of this in and of itself, but gotta say your claim to be an “embarrassed fellow Dem” rings hollow. And hiding in the safety of we, now really, my my how brave. Surely your “fellow Dems” can speak for themselves.

      Interestingly VPO seems to be a direct cause of twisted tighty-whities & bunched-up panties as a few enraged individuals have clearly expressed themselves. But hey there’s plenty of ppl I will not read *ever*, just don’t feel the need to tell them & pretty sure they don’t care. We live in an increasingly polarized political climate so frequently outraged myself.

      Bloggers are a different breed of cat & the last bastion of creative expression & thought. VPO is not much different than any true blogger which many simply fail to recognize. If you want objectivity there’s a vast array of bird-cage liners to choose from-enjoy.

      So, you’re giving the VPO another chance huh. I double-dog dare you to *try* and stay away-you cant’t! Angry ppl love to get stoked. It’s what they do.

  2. Walter Carpenter

    “Is the House Republican PAC enjoying an influx of corporate funds? Tune in on July 15.”

    Oh, I’m sure and we’ll probably never know the half of it.

  3. Stuart Lindberg

    I remember a time when liberals were the greatest defenders of religious freedom for all religions. Describing Meg Hansen as a “hard-right Christian conservative.” seems more than just a little intolerant. In this modern Orwellian age the only kind of thinking liberals defend is atheism.


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