Category Archives: Bruce Lisman

A curious duality of nothingness, and a rhetorical faceplant

Welp, I forced myself to go back and watch last week’s gubernatorial forum on Vermont’s economic future in a time of climate change, as the organizers dubbed it. And I found something fascinating on the Republican side. As in the way a child is fascinated by turning over a rock and watching the critters disperse.

On the one hand, you had a guy who acknowledges the reality of climate change and the human role in it, but doesn’t want to do anything to address it. On the other, you had a guy who questions the scientific consensus on climate change but has a bunch of ideas that are kinda-sorta related to the issue.

Candidate A is Bruce Lisman. Candidate B is Phil Scott.

Most of this essay will concern Scott, because (1) his presentation was an appalling mess, and (2) he’s going to win the primary, so Lisman’s brand of environmental unconcern is of little relevance.

Continue reading


Hey, they fixed Bruce’s banner!

As I surf the web, the banner ads for Phil Scott and Bruce Lisman continue to follow me like the shambling monster in “It Follows.” Last week, I noted the graphic-design shortcomings of both campaigns’ efforts — with Lisman’s being the worse of the two.

Well, maybe they read my post, because they’ve put up a new and much better banner ad.

Continue reading

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.


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

Continue reading

Adventures in bad banner design

You know how online advertising works. You shop for something on the Internet — socks, refrigerators, hotels — and you get a torrent of related banner ads wherever you browse.

So me, politics. I’m getting a load of banner ads from candidates. Ironically, mostly Republicans. (The tracking software doesn’t detect sarcasm.) And, given the relative rate of spending, mostly about Bruce Lisman.

My conclusion: whatever he’s spending all that money on, he’s getting screwed on graphics. Just look at this.

Lisman banner ad from Politico

Ugh. Looks like a quick cut-and-paste job by a hyperactive five-year-old with a rudimentary grasp of Photoshop. Cluttered, random, doesn’t stand out, doesn’t guide the eye, too many messages. And then there’s that terrible photo crammed into the middle: why would you want to show your candidate squinting?

More bad banners… after the jump.

Continue reading

Bruce’s Worst Investment, and Other Gleanings from Campaign Finance Day

So, finally, we get our second window into the money game behind the primary campaigns. A few toplines:

— Bruce Lisman is spending gobs of cash and getting bupkis in return

— Phil Scott’s chugging along; will have to pick up the pace after the primary

— Sue Minter pulls ahead in the Democratic fundraising game

— Matt Dunne’s early momentum slows a bit

— Peter Galbraith is keeping his own campaign alive. Barely

And now, the details.

Wall Street millionaire Bruce Lisman has put $1.6 million of his own money into his campaign, raised precious little money from others, and has been spending at a blistering pace. He’s raised more than $1.8 million, but he has less than $200,000 cash on hand.

Well, he can always write more checks.

But let’s stop for a moment and savor the fact that Bruce Lisman has already spent more money than any gubernatorial candidate in Vermont history — and the primary is still three and a half weeks away. And he places dismally in the available polls.

Continue reading

Lisman highlights curiously lukewarm endorsement

Let’s see if Bruce Lisman is getting his money’s worth out of his social media team.

Well, here’s the latest in a series of Tweets entitled “Why are you voting for Bruce?”

Embarrassing Bruce Lisman Tweet

Wow. Gee whiz.

“… may have some solid ideas”?

“… could be the guy to right this ship of state”?

Methinks Mr. Lisman is scraping the bottom of the barrel.

About the poll

So finally we have a new poll of the gubernatorial primary races. The first, I believe, since the VPR Poll way back in February. The usual caveats apply: a single poll doesn’t prove a damn thing, etc. Still, there are at least a couple of points to be gleaned,

The poll was commissioned by Energy Independent Vermont, a “group of groups” promoting a low-carbon, high-renewable energy future. There were numerous questions about climate change and renewables policy, and the results were nothing new: broad consensus that climate change is real and (at least partly) human-caused; broad support for Vermont’s renewable energy policy and our goal of 90% renewable energy by 2050; and even substantial support for a carbon tax — when the question is carefully worded.

Those results are heartening to supporters of renewable energy, and are similar to numbers in past surveys. For us political junkies, though, the more interesting numbers are in the race for governor.

Continue reading