Tag Archives: Carbon tax

When the truth isn’t truthy enough

The Phil Scott and Sue Minter campaigns are in full froth over alleged negative advertising. Each accuses the other of willful distortion: Team Scott is upset over ads questioning his pro-choice credentials; the Scott campaign, meanwhile, is slammed for tying Minter to a proposed carbon tax.

Funny thing is, they’re both right on both counts. The attacks are based in fact, but are designed to mislead.

The pro-choice ads were produced by the Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund. They cite two pieces of evidence that call Scott’s abortion stance into question. The first: his past support for some restrictions on access to abortion. The second: the fact that Right to Life Vermont “recommended” Scott.

Both are accurate. But still misleading.

Second point first. RTL did not endorse Scott, but it did “recommend” him as, basically, the best of an inadequate lot. RTL doesn’t particularly like Scott, and they’d much prefer a harder-line candidate, but he was, in RTL’s view, the least bad option.

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More tax-baiting from your VTGOP

Any day now, I expect Phil Scott to disavow the dishonest campaign tactics of his own Vermont Republican ParBWAHAHAHAHAHA Sorry, I thought I could get through that with a straight face.

At issue is VTGOP Executive Director Jeff Bartley’s continuing attacks on Sue Minter’s allegedly tax-happy ways. Problem: to make his case, he has to resort to fearmongering, gross exaggeration, and outright falsehood. So yeah, if Phil Scott were serious about negative campaigning, he’d clean up his own house first.

But I’m not holding my breah.

Bartley presents a two-fer in his latest press release, attacking Minter incorrectly for supporting a Vermont carbon tax (she doesn’t) and for pondering an expansion of the sales tax to include services (she’s considering it). The argument is taken further in this Tweet from @VTGOP.

Awww. Mean old lady wants to tax cute little boy’s haircut.

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There’s been an outbreak of negative campaigning! Quick, alert Phil Scott!

Our lieutenant governor slash governor-wannabe has been ultra-vigilant during this campaign season, ever on the lookout for negative tactics and quick to criticize those (cough*BruceLisman*cough) dastardly enough to join the Dark Side.

Well, warm up the ScottSignal (searchlight w/stencil of the big green #14), because we’ve got a dangerous outbreak of negative campaigning.

Surely, under the circumstances, Our Hero will leap into action and upbraid the miscreants.

Over there, Phil — Look! it’s the Vermont Republican Party!

Go get ’em!

Hey, Phil, wait up! Where you going?

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The Lisman/Scott imbroglio

In its closing days, the Republican gubernatorial campaign has turned into a game of Crying Foul, in which accuracy takes a back seat to volume.

The latest round kicked off Friday evening, when Bruce Lisman’s campaign issued a press release crying foul over an alleged push poll aiming to convince Lisman supporters to abandon their man — and telling those who stuck with him “don’t forget to vote on August 23rd.”

The primary is, of course, August 9th. Team Lisman essentially accused Phil Scott of being behind the push poll, and called on him to denounce the apparent dirty trick.

Team Phil Scott responded by, yep, crying foul over what it called negative campaigning by a desperate opponent. And Scott’s chosen VTGOP chair, David Sunderland, waded in with an even louder cry of his own. He called on Lisman…

… to prove or withdraw an accusation that rival Phil Scott was behind a series of phone calls attempting to deceive voters.

His intervention might prove embarrassing should Lisman win the primary. Probably won’t happen, but the picture of Sunderland and Lisman shaking hands would be worth a thousand words.

So here’s what I think.

I think the push polls are real. I don’t think Phil Scott is behind them, or had anything to do with them. I suspect an outside Super PAC or some other agency unrelated to Scott. Lisman’s attempts to tie the push poll directly to Scott are very close to the line; but he’s right in saying that Scott ought to denounce the push poll instead of denying its existence and trashing Lisman.

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Son Of The VTGOP’s Super Deluxe Trip to the Bennington Battle Monument

Okay, I screwed up in my most recent post. Surprisingly, my math was okay — but I misread Google Maps. 133 miles is the one-way distance between Burlington and Bennington. A roundtrip is 266 miles.

But my basic point still stands: the Vermont Republicans vastly overstated the impact of a carbon tax on a hypothetical family excursion to the Bennington Battle Monument.

Not to mention that a re-examination of the VTGOP’s fantastical Tweet shows that their exaggeration was even greater than I gave them credit for. They claim that the carbon tax will impose “an additional $236” in costs. Not that the whole trip will cost $236, but that the carbon tax alone will raise the cost by $236. Which is truly ridiculous.

So let’s redo this thing with the correct assumptions, shall we?

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The VTGOP’s Super Deluxe Trip to the Bennington Battle Monument

:UPDATE: I got a crucial bit of information wrong in this post: the mileage for a roundtrip from Burlington to Bennington is twice what I stated below. My point is still valid, however. Please see my next post for the rest of the story.

Vermont Republicans continue to yammer endlessly about an item that wasn’t on the Legislature’s agenda this year and won’t be anytime soon: the notorious, job-killing and family-devastating carbon tax.

(Cue theremin: woooooooo-OOOOOOOO-oooooo)

This, despite the inconvenient fact that none of the Democrats running for governor or lieutenant governor actually supports the thing. (David Zuckerman does, but he’s a Prog flying a flag of convenience.)

But as outlandish as their attacks have been until now, the Republicans have outdone themselves in less than 140 characters. Behold the Tweet From Hell!

Wow. 236 dollars for a trip downstate. That’s really something. That’s…

… wait a minute.

That can’t be right.

And as a matter of fact, it’s not. Not even close.

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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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