Tag Archives: David Boies

As long as we’re considering youthful indiscretions…

In Thursday’s lieutenant governor debate, Republican Scott Milne launched an all-out attack on Democrat Molly Gray for her supposedly spendthrift agenda and, naturally, her spotty voting record. He scored some points in the process.

He also opened the door to an attack-oriented campaign at odds with his self-positioning as a moderate Nice Guy. And to considerations of each candidate’s personal history. He may live to regret that, since there are a few known skeletons in his otherwise unexplored closet. Let’s start by comparing the two candidates in their formative years.

While graduating from law school, becoming an attorney and establishing herself as a globetrotting professional deeply engaged in justice issues, Gray frequently failed to vote.

Meanwhile, in his youth, Milne was a cocaine user and impaired driver with two DUI arrests.

I dunno, seems like a wash to me.

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Bookshelf: Three Authors in Search of a Scumbag

There are two new books about the Harvey Weinstein scandal: She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, and Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow. Both are worth reading, for different reasons.

The three authors spent months and months uncovering Weinstein’s criminal sexual conduct, despite the film producer’s thorough, expensive and sometimes illegal efforts to thwart their work.

Oh, I guess I should say “alleged” criminal conduct, since Weinstein won’t go on trial until next month. But c’mon, the guy’s a scumbag. Throughout his movie career, he used his power to exploit women and destroy their lives and careers. These books remind you of exactly how evil he was.

Kantor and Twohey are reporters for the New York Times. Their book is more straightforward, and is a better primer on the scandal and how it turbocharged the #MeToo movement. If you’re going to read one book on this subject, make it She Said.

But after the Times published their Weinstein stories, they moved on to other assignments. The last section of the book, in fact, is about the Brett Kavanaugh/Christine Blasey Ford saga, which the two women also covered for the Times.

Farrow’s book goes deeper into the Weinstein case because he continued to follow the story for The New Yorker after the original stories were published. He also explores the complicity of the media and the legal system in helping Weinstein continue his predatory activities for years. And he exposes the efforts of an international web of operatives who worked for Weinstein in trying to uncover dirt on reporters and victims.

Catch and Kill also, somewhat problematically, presents as something akin to a spy novel. Take this author photo from the back cover.

The Spy Who Reported On Me
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The Milne Insufficiency

Several days ago, I wrote a highlight-reel glance at this month’s campaign finance reports. Scott Milne’s meager report was mentioned; $22,370 for the past month, and $42,790 for the entire campaign.

That’s bad enough, but when you look more closely, things are… you guessed it… even worse. Milne’s fundraising effort, as unsuccessful as it’s been, is highly dependent on a handful of out-of-state donors who’ve already given the legal maximum of $2,000. Those top-dollar gifts account for $32,000 of Milne’s total. His in-state fundraising is nearly nonexistent, and he hasn’t roused any significant support among the Common Folk.

In my deadline-day post, I noted that $16,000 of Milne’s $42K was thanks to his connection to the Boies family, whose paterfamilias, David Boies, is a high-powered Washington attorney. His son, David Boies III, was a college roommate of Milne’s and is currently his business partner in a real estate development firm.

I was wrong. Let’s make that $20,000 in Boies-related cash. Two of the $2,000 donors on Milne’s reports are Timothy Battin and Rebecca Anderson. They are married, or at least an established couple, and he is a partner in daddy Boies’ law firm.

For those keeping score, that’s almost half of all Milne’s money coming from his Boies connection.

It might be even more. There are some common surnames on Milne’s max-money list, and those are tough to pin down via The Google. Any could have an undiscovered Boies tie. They include: John S. Edwards III and Mark Williams of California and Mark Sutton of Arizona. There’s also a New Jersey corporation, AJI, LLC, which I couldn’t positively identify.

But here’s something about Sutton. He is owner of Meridian Engineering, which also gave $2,000 to Milne for Governor. And here’s a possibly unrelated note from a recent Milne profile by The Freeploid’s Terri Hallenbeck:

He was living in Arizona in 1987, working as a field engineer for an electronics firm and starting a family, when his parents talked him into returning to Vermont and buying part of their travel agency.

So 18 years ago Milne was working “as a field engineer” in Arizona and now he’s pulled in $4,000 from a guy who owns an engineering firm in Arizona. That’s a stretch, but it makes more sense than “Some random dude gave Scott Milne four G’s.”

There’s reason to believe that Milne has received as much as three-quarters of his money from his well-tended Rolodex. He certainly hasn’t scored in his own home state; he’s raised roughly $10,000 from Vermonters. That’d be a nice total for a State Senate candidate, but it’s downright pathetic for a major-party gubernatorial hopeful. It’s surprising – shocking – to me that he hasn’t done better in-state. Even as a political outsider, an established businessman should have a lot of friends and associates who could be counted on to open their checkbooks. But no, not at all. And it seems obvious that the Republican establishment is giving him the cold shoulder.

As for Milne’s appeal to The Little Guy, he has raised a paltry $1,060 in gifts of under $100 from a whopping total of 24 separate donors. Not exactly evidence of a groundswell-in-the-making.

Maybe this is all part of His Big Plan, as Milne continues to insist. Maybe he turned to his old pals and partners to jumpstart his campaign, and now he’s cranking up the engine on his in-state machine.

Maybe. But I doubt it. And if that is, indeed, his plan, then it’s far too little and way too late.


Yes, it got worse for Vermont Republicans. Except Phil.

Notes and musings from the August 18 campaign finance report filings…

Governor Shumlin is in cruise control. His campaign raised another $67,000 this time, and spent only $11,000. He has almost $1.13 million in the bank.

Scott Milne continues to falter. He raised $22,370 this time, compared to $20,000 last time. That pace won’t get him anywhere near his stated goal of $200,000. And his total was again buoyed considerably by the Boies family: $2K from a Christopher Boies, $2K from daddy Boies’ law firm, and $2K from an LLC whose address is the same as the daddy Boies law firm. For those keeping track, the collective Boieses have donated $16,000 of Milne’s total of $42K. He also raised $2K from Altour International, a high-end travel agency based in New York. His biggest in-state donor was the Wayside Restaurant, which donated $2K. That’s a lot of ham and eggs.

Milne spent $28,000 in the past month, of which more than $18K went to campaign manager Brent Burns’ consulting firm.

— The alleged Republican upstart, Libertarian Dan Feliciano, reported raising $13,000. Sounds decent, but $10K of that came from Dan himself. He had only a handful of other donors — notably getting $200 from Republican Treasurer Mark “Little Snell” Snelling. There’s no sign of a Feliciano bandwagon to be found in his finance report.

— The Vermont Republican Party is still in the doldrums, raising $2,420 in the past month.

— The only Republican doing really well is Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott who, challenged by Progressive Dean Corren’s public financing, put his fundraising operation into high gear and pulled in $52,000 in the past month. He didn’t spend a whole lot, and has $120,000 in cash on hand. He got plenty of cash from construction firms (his line of work) and from some of his turncoat friends in the Senate Democratic majority — a total of $2500 from Dick and Dorothy Mazza, and $200 from “Bobby Star,” who I believe is actually State Sen. Bobby Starr.

Scott’s doing well for himself, but to judge from the latest reports, he ain’t lifting a finger for his beloved VTGOP.

Vermonters First, which spent a million Broughton Bucks in 2012, is still in hibernation. Raised zero, spent $25 for a bank account.

— Lenore Broughton did open her checkbook for a few Republican candidates and gave $2K to the Common Sense Leadership PAC. Said PAC didn’t raise any other money but managed to spend $3500 on consultants. Namely $2K to Shayne Spence, a staffer at the Ethan Allen Institute, and $1500 to Elizabeth Metraux who is apparently the PR person for Vermont PBS.

— Republicrat Senate hopeful Roger Allbee pulled in a decent $4760 this time around for a grand total of $6K. His total take included a nice $1,000 donation from soon-to-be-ex-Senator Peter Galbraith. The Slummin’ Solon, who has publicly endorsed Allbee, was nonetheless chosen to moderate one of the four Windham County Democratic Senatorial candidate forums, a curious move to be sure. (During that debate, he reportedly got into an argument with fellow Senator Jeanette White. Not very statesmanlike or diplomatic, Petey.)

— Celebrity tidbit: The aforementioned Senator White can brag of a $100 donation from Mr. Tom Bodett. Leavin’ the light on for ya!

The Milne/Boies connection

Big, important, can’t-miss story at Green Mountain Daily: my colleague BP has explained why an out-of-state family suddenly donated $10,000 to Scott Milne’s gubernatorial campaign — and, as a bonus, revealed Milne’s deep involvement in a high-stakes development project in the Upper Valley. It’s a story that Vermont’s professional media has completely whiffed on.

Milne, reports BP, is one half of B&M Realty and Development. The “B” is David Boies III, son of the David Boies best known for his advocacy on marriage equality.

B&M’s big project is Quechee Highlands, a 168-acre mixed-use development that would be built along I-89 near Exit 1. Reportedly, Milne has already invested $4 million in the deal, which has run into trouble with local and state regulators, and Milne himself has angrily threatened an all-out legal battle. Kind of at odds with his pleasant, moderate image, eh?

The most recent blow to QH was a decision in late May to modify local land-use rules in a way that would force changes to QH. That’s what touched off Milne’s threat — and it’s roughly contemporaneous with his sudden and late decision to run for Governor. Hmm.

Anyway, I highly recommend you click the link and read BP’s story.

Scott Milne’s first campaign finance report is in

Drumroll please…

Milne raised a total of $20,420 so far.

(Apparently he needs a little practice with the form; he reported $20,420 in gifts over $100, and another $20,420 in gifts under $100, for a grand total of, yep, $20,420. Oh,well.)

The fundraising total includes $900 from the candidate or immediate family. And $355 in loans forgiven.

The good news is, he’s only spent $600 so far (printing and T-shirts), so he’s still got some money left.

Odd factoid: Pretty much half of his total comes from a single, out-of-state family: the Boieses. David II, David III, Robin, Mary, and Jonathan Boies gave $2,000 apiece to Milne for Governor. Boies II is the famous lawyer of marriage-equality fame; the others are his wife and children. Go figure.

And only $1800 of his campaign kitty came from Vermont donors. $1200 of that is from people named Milne. Let’s say the candidate has yet to establish broad appeal, shall we?

Odd factoid #2: Virtually all of Milne’s donations came in on the same day: last Friday, July 11. Until then, his campaign had raised a mere $5,100.

Milne fever… catch it!