Skeleton hunt

Here’s a tidbit from Friday’s campaign finance filing deadline, first uncovered by April Burbank of the Burlington Free Press.

The Republican Governors Association gave $50,000 to a political action committee called “A Stronger Vermont,” which used the money exclusively for research at Old Dominion Research Group in Alexandria, Virginia.

Old Dominion Research Group promises on its website to provide “hard-hitting, precise intelligence based on the records of Democrat office holders and seekers.”

Technical detail: the RGA gave “A Stronger Vermont” $50,000; ASV spent $44K on Old Dominion Research Group, and still has the remainder.

But there’s a wakeup. 44 G’s on opposition research against Democratic (no, it’s not ’Democrat”) candidates.

Burbank pretty much left it there, but I did some additional Googling and turned up some fascinating information.

“A Stronger Vermont” is headquartered in Washington, D.C. Not in Burlington or Shelburne or Montpelier — Washington, D.C.

And not only in Washington, but at 1747 Pennsylvania Avenue, a purely hypothetical (stand down, Secret Service) stone’s throw from the White House, .

That’s an exclusive neighborhood. For those who love a bit of real estate porn, 1747 Penn is a 12-story office building with an underground parking garage. Its owner, global real estate firm Tishman Speyer, boasts that

This prestigious address offers its tenants an exclusive rooftop terrace with stunning views of the Pennsylvania Avenue parade route and extending beyond the Potomac River and is surrounded by copious amenities such as a private fitness facility, onsite below-grade parking and onsite property management.

Hmm. I wonder what the rent is. TheVPO could use a D.C. pied a terre.

But wait, there’s more. “A Stronger Vermont” was created earlier this year by — you guessed it — the Republican Governors Association. Seven Days’ Paul Heintz revealed that fact in March, and quoted an RGA spox as saying the Vermont gubernatorial race is “potentially very competitive this year.” And wouldn’t you know it, the RGA’s headquarters are at — wait for it — 1747 Pennsylvania Avenue.

According to ASV’s filing with the Secretary of State’s office, its treasurer is one Michael G. Adams, a high-flying D.C. attorney up to his neck in Republican politics. For the past nine years, he’s been General Counsel to the — need I tell you? — Republican Governors Association.

So yeah, there’s nothing at all Vermont about “A Stronger Vermont.” Nor is there anything Vermont about its purpose: to funnel money into opposition research and other anti-Democratic activities.

I wonder if they’ve started the skeleton hunt already, or if they’ll wait until the primary so they can focus on the Democratic nominee. I’ll bet the latter. Whoever the winner is, I hope their closets are skeleton-free; 50 G’s will buy a lot of research.

(In the unlikely event it’s Peter Galbraith, the Old Dominion Group should have a gay old time rooting around in his diplomatic slash financial past, and following the trail of enemies he’s left in his wake.)

(If it’s Minter, I wonder if they’ll focus on her husband David Goodman and, through the Transitive Sleaze Process, his famous sibling, notorious lefty journalist/broadcaster Amy Goodman.Minter’s family ties have never been an issue in Vermont politics, but I can see how an outside group accustomed to the brass-knuckles nature of national politics might seize on it as political gold. Should be interesting.)

(As for Matt Dunne, I got nothin’. Anyone like to suggest some potentially fertile ground for the bottom-feeders at Old Dominion?)

One more thing. Since Old Dominion is doing its dirty work on behalf of Phil Scott, would he care to make a comment? Perhaps disown this orchestrated effort to sandbag his potential opponent? Seeing as how Phil’s so, you know, pure and above politics and all about Vermont values.

Thought not.

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12 thoughts on “Skeleton hunt

  1. Brooke Paige

    Facts Not in Evidence!

    Always love to see the bottom of the pond stirred up, however I’m not so sure that Phil Scott is even aware of the RGA’s activities in this case or that he is aware what the Republicans expect of him (and if elected if they will be satisfied with his agenda or performance in office) – I’m just saying !

    Saying that Phil Scott is in on this deal is like Bruce Lisman claiming that Phil and Putney Pete have been best of friends and partners in crime for sixteen years – both fail for a lack of evidence !

    Brooke.

    Reply
    1. John S. Walters Post author

      I didn’t say Phil is in on the deal. I doubt that he is. But he would potentially benefit from the scum-stirring, and it’s not out of line to ask him to disavow it even if he can’t really stop it.

      Reply
      1. Brooke Paige

        Agree Completely ! Wonder if Uncle Bruce encouraged this in order to have the bad behavior blamed on Phil, $50,000 isn’t a lot of scratch to the Wizard of Wall Street – just seems a little early for opposition research when Democratic field is three, no four, no five contestants deep !

  2. chuck gregory

    There are writers of letters to the editor who would be more than happy to propagate whatever Old Dominion Research sends out.

    Reply
  3. Macy Franklin

    Yep. The sausage making. Glad the D’s never engage in this kind of skullduggery.
    As to Dunne’s potential closet skeletons the only thing I can come up with is that he may in fact actually be Tony Shaloub the lead actor in Monk. Seriously, the resemblance is uncanny.

    Reply
    1. John S. Walters Post author

      Everybody needs a hobby.

      And I’m not a socialist. I acknowledge the power of capitalism to drive human progress. I am also aware of its destructive power, and government is the only effective counterweight. So I like free enterprise AND a government robust enough to rein in its excesses.

      Reply
  4. g2-4defad001ff5faec21d31d0bd81192f6

    “One more thing. Since Old Dominion is doing its dirty work on behalf of Phil Scott, would he care to make a comment? Perhaps disown this orchestrated effort to sandbag his potential opponent? Seeing as how Phil’s so, you know, pure and above politics and all about Vermont values.”

    BREAKING: Political campaign does what political campaigns do, blowhard blogger decides to play butthurt over it. Film at 11.

    Reply

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