Daily Archives: July 21, 2016

The Phil Scott auto-reply outrage machine

,The Scott/Lisman primary contest has taken on a predictable pattern. Bruce Lisman attacks Phil Scott; Scott replies with shocked outrage over Lisman’s negativity. Lather, rinse, repeat. It caused me to pose an existential Tweet:

The latest roundelay began when Lisman accused Scott of calling for “a mileage tax on all who drive.”

Which is a lie. In a Rutland debate Wednesday night, Scott discussed the certainty that, as cars become more efficient and we transition to ever more hybrids and electrics, the gas tax will become insufficient to pay for needed highway repairs. Here’s a portion of Scott’s remarks:

‘We are going to have to think about other ways, nationally, to tax and receive revenue from those who use our highways and byways. … So, we’re going to, in the future, have to look at some kind of a mileage tax.’”

That’s not “calling for” or “proposing” a mileage tax. It’s a self-evident observation on our changing transportation system. Scott is right to complain of an inaccurate attack from Lisman.

However…

Need I point out that this line of attack is standard operating procedure for Republicans, including Scott himself?

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The VTGOP is pretty much flat broke

I have occasionally chronicled the Vermont Republican Party’s perennially dire financial condition, but never have I seen the situation as bad as it is right now. Because heading into the heart of a campaign season, the state GOP is virtually out of funds.

Explanatory note: the VTGOP and Vermont Democratic Party file both state and federal reports. Because of the way federal law is written, the bulk of their activity is considered “federal” even though they are state parties.

In this case, it hardly matters; we’re talking peanuts wherever we turn. Its latest state filing listed less than $1,000 in cash on hand; its latest federal filing reported $1.104 in the bank.

(By contrast, the Vermont Dems filed a state report indicating it raised more than $100,000 in June and spent a little more than half that. Its federal filing indicates $120,000 cash on hand. The VDP’s fundraising and spending are in a completely different league than its Republican counterpart.)

Even on the VTGOP’s bare-bones budget, that’s less than two days’ worth of operating expenses. They’re tapped out, just when they need to kick things into high gear.

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