Tag Archives: Associated General Contractors of Vermont

Two-Biter Bites Again

Remember my pre-election post about Vermont’s Two-Biters? The Progressives who ran in Democratic primaries, lost, and then ran as Progressives?

Well, one of them cost the Democrats a seat in the House.

Up in the two-seat Lamoille-Washington district, which stretches from Morrisville to Worcester along Route 12, Democrat David Yacovone and Republican Gary Nolan were elected. Incumbent Democrat Avram Patt finished a close third.

Prog-turned-Dem-turned-Prog Marci Young siphoned off more than enough votes to elect the Republican Nolan. The final returns:

Yacovone 2,449

Nolan 1,915

Patt 1,698

Young   865

Patt lost by 219 votes, roughly one-fourth of Young’s total. I think we can safely assume that without Young in the race, he would have picked up enough additional votes to finish second.

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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.

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How green is your campaign cash?

Campaign finance filing day always brings out a mild strain of Vermont nativism, as candidates rush to claim a Real People Badge of Honor by touting contributions from small donors and authentic Vermonters and throwing shade on opponents who dare to import their campaign cash.

This week, Republicans are touting the fact that Phil Scott took in more cash from Vermonters than anyone else (not including Bruce Lisman’s self-funding). More than three-fourths of Scott’s money is Vermont green.

The most flatlander-oriented campaign, on the other hand, is Matt Dunne’s. He raised $322,000 in Other People’s Money, thanks in large part to his years in the tech industry. Shocking! Dunne’s bankroll is as much California pastel as Green Mountain Green.

Which, honestly, who cares?

Well, the media do — on campaign finance filing day, at least. The writers of political press releases certainly make a big deal of it, seeking that real-deal Green Mountainicity.

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Wait, was that Vermont or Texas?

Imagine, if you will, a high-profile statewide campaign launch held in the ballroom of a semi-swanky hotel.

In addition to the usual banners, balloons, etc., the room also contains four gas-powered vehicles (or representations thereof): a vintage tractor, a miniature race car and bulldozer, and a full-sized stock car. The candidate himself is a stock car driver; the car is decked out as a rolling campaign billboard; and his logo features a checkered flag. All that’s missing is a model of an oil derrick.

The event occurs in late afternoon. For most of the day, the same room had hosted the annual meeting of the state’s biggest construction trade association. The candidate is a prominent member of the group.

Now tell me: what kind of environmental policy would you expect from this candidate?

I’m speaking, as you already know, of putative moderate Phil Scott. The trade group? The Associated General Contractors of Vermont. (You don’t often see so many portly, pasty-faced men in one place. It was like hippos at the watering hole, except with suits and ties.)

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