Since I posted my previous piece on Phil Scott’s out-of-state expenses, I’ve learned a little bit about how to use the Secretary of State’s campaign finance portal. And so, without having to hand-tabulate dozens and dozens of small expenses, I can painlessly report that the Scott campaign has used its VISA card to pay $27,321.32 in expenses.
That’s the VISA card issued by Capital One Bank.
Charlotte, North Carolina-based Capital One Bank.
North Carolina as in HB2, the “Bathroom Bill” that forces transgender persons to use public restrooms according to the gender on their birth certificate. And that also enshrines other forms of gender-based discrimination.
The passage of HB2 prompted many corporations and organizations to refrain from doing business in North Carolina. Even the ethics-challenged world of big-time sports has taken up the cause. And, of course, Governor Shumlin imposed a ban on official state travel to North Carolina.
And yet, Phil Scott’s campaign took out a credit card from a North Carolina bank.
It’s not like he didn’t have any choice. Vermont has plenty of local banks and credit unions. Indeed, the Scott campaign has a checking account through Northfield Savings Bank. So why go to North Carolina to get a credit card?
This is a small point in the grand scheme of things, but it raises a few pertinent questions.
First, does Phil Scott still believe in buying local? If so, then why go out-of-state for a service easily obtainable in Vermont?
Second, why go to a bank in North Carolina, of all places? Does Scott care about HB2? If so, is it the type of caring that doesn’t have any effect on his decision-making? (See: climate change, child care, equal pay, family leave, etc.)
Third, if elected governor, would he rescind Shumlin’s travel ban?
I don’t believe that there are any remaining Vermont banks that actually “issue” their own credit cards. At best a local bank has a credit card which is “private labelled” through one of the large non Vermont processors via an agent bank relationship. 90% of credit cards in the United States are issued by only 10 issuers. You tagged NSB in your post but when I took a look at the NSB website, credit cards are not listed as a product offering. The technology now embedded in credit cards (particularly the relatively new chip technology) coupled with the tremendous costs related to fraud detection and protection have made the credit card business one where large scale is necessary. Even if your credit card has a Vermont bank name on it it is highly unlikely that the Vermont Bank actually owns your account. It is simply offering the service as an agent for a large credit card processor.
How about credit unions? Ours is through VSECU, which Phil Scott might have a passing familiarity with.
John I suspect VSECU is not the issuer. Give me the first six digits of the card (trust me this is not a scam) and I can tell you who issues it. The first six digits is the BIN or Bank Identification Number and each issuer has a unique identifier (the first six digits are the same). E-mail be privately if you want and I will run it to the ground. Getting a local credit card is like buying local oranges at the farmer’s market.
I have no reason to doubt you, but even so, if a candidate hangs his hat on being local, why not get a card issued by (or through, if you prefer) a local institution? It shows a lack of real attention to the issues, which is (in my view) a fundamental problem with the Scott candidacy.
$27,321,32 as stated? or $27,321.32? Big difference!
Northfield Savings Bank doesn’t offer a national credit card. I’m sure he did not select Capital One because its home base is in NC. I am sure the company was selected because they have excellent terms – political correctness isn’t everything ! John, I think you may have ventured a little too far into the “weeds” on this one !
I’m sure he didn’t select CapitalOne because it’s in North Carolina, nor did I imply. It’s more likely that he didn’t think of it at all, which bespeaks a lack of concern/awareness of the issue.