One of the more persistent strains of Philpuckey is his advocacy of Buying Local. He’s made it a regular theme of his Lite-Guvship, memorably captured in a front-page article in the Burlington Free Press last November that featured Phil Scott with his famous “Buy Local — It’s Not Just for Hippies Anymore” slogan.
(Which, first of all, “Buy Local” was never “just for hippies.” And second, it misunderstands the movement. Hippies were less concerned with where they bought their stuff, than with not buying stuff at all. It was an anti-consumption worldview. But hey, it’s just convenient shorthand for “long-haired weirdos”, right?)
“Buy Local” is an attractive pitch for Scott. It’s politically appealing, it reinforces his “real Vermonter” image and his status as a local business owner. It’s no-lose all the way around.
But coming from him, it’s effectively meaningless. Phil Scott may verbally support Buying Local, but if push comes to shove, he’ll opt for expediency. Proof: More than half his campaign’s total expenditures have gone to out-of-state firms and individuals. Latest example: a series of mass media buys since October 20, totaling $85,000, all going to out-of-state companies. That includes:
— $40,000 to D.C.-based Optimus Consulting, which has managed the Scott campaign’s media buys.
— $54,000 to Spectrum Marketing of Manchester, NH for “Media — Postcards.”
— $11,000 to SCM Associates of Dublin, NH, also for “Media — Postcards.”
Perhaps he needed some Washington Big Boys to buy spots on WCAX, but did he really need to go to New Hampshire for direct mail services?