VT Parties React to Campaign Finance Reports

Published 03/18 2014 07:07PM

Updated 03/18 2014 08:12PM

MONTPELIER, Vt. - Vermont politicians’ campaign finances became an open book this week as their reports were released to the general public.

Among the headline grabbers was the amount of money Governor Peter Shumlin has raised. His campaign has $1,007,500 on hand. About $700,000 carried over from the last time he ran for governor.

A little more than 70 percent of the contributions to Shumlin’s campaign that totaled more than $100 since July 15, 2013 came from out of state donors.

“I’m happy that he’s earned money out of state so that more money can be focused into our party and into our state candidates,” Vermont Democratic Party Chair Dottie Deans said.

His campaign also spent $19,971 since July 2013. Most of that money went to day-today campaign expenses while $8,000 was spent on fundraising consulting.

Former gubernatorial candidate Randy Brock has raised $18,250 this campaign period. Brock also made a $318,250 loan to his campaign but there’s no indication yet he is planning another run for governor.

Other than Lt. Governor Phil Scott (who has raised $8,500) no other republican filed a campaign finance report for a statewide office. With elections coming up in November, Vermont GOP Chair David Sunderland says there is still plenty of time for the party to field a candidate for governor.

“There’s definitely time left for a gubernatorial candidate to become fully engaged in the race and get his message to Vermonters,” Sunderland said.

“I think Vermonters are less concerned with what the dollars in campaign accounts are as they are with what the message is from the candidate.”

Democrats say they aren’t resting on their laurels because of their edge in campaign finances and they’re main focus is getting out the vote.

“If democrats vote, democrats win,” Deans said.

“As we have seen in the previous election you can throw a lot of money at an election and not necessarily come out the victor,” Deans said referring to the roughly $800,000 Randy Brock’s campaign spent in his campaign for governor and on other political issues.

LINK: Vermont Campaign Finance Reports

Sunderland is taking another view at what the campaign finance reports mean.

Sunderland recently sent an email blast criticizing Governor Shumlin. In the email he said the governor is spending too much time out of state (for his role as Democratic Governors Association Chair and for taking a vacation during the legislative session). Sunderland also says more has to be done about recent job losses in Essex Junction and Bennington.

“I think the story behind the campaign finance report is while all of this has been happening Governor Shumlin has been out raising money in other parts of the country,” Sunderland said.

But democrats say the Governor has been entirely focused on the economy. They touted Vermont’s recently announced 4% unemployment rate and say even the Governor needs a break.

“For him to take a five days for himself to regenerate he deserves it,” Deans said.

The next campaign filing report isn’t due until July 15.

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