The liberal super PAC Vermont Priorities will run its first ad starting Wednesday and, as expected, it will back Democratic State Treasurer Beth Pearce.
The 30-second ad will air during the morning and evening news on WCAX-TV Thursday and Friday and will also run for a week on cable television, according to Todd Bailey, the group's consultant. The buy cost the group $15,000.
"We're anticipating other contributions coming in and, as those come in, we'll buy accordingly for this particular ad," Bailey says.
Here's what the ad looks like:
Vermont Priorities has been struggling to raise enough money to match that of Vermonters First, a conservative super PAC that has been hammering the airwaves with ads backing Pearce's Republican opponent, Rutland State Treasurer Wendy Wilton. The conservative group has spent in excess of $200,000 over the course of a month on ads supporting Wilton and Republican state auditor candidate Vince Illuzzi — and opposing Democrats generally.
While the liberal group's ad buy is small, it sends a significant message: that Democrats are concerned the pro-Wilton ads may be providing the GOP candidate a crucial advantage. This is the first television ad run for any Democratic campaign this cycle, though most Republican statewide candidates have been on-air for weeks.
So far, Vermont Priorities has derived all its funding from Shelburne real estate developer Lisa Steele. She has given the group and its PAC a total of $35,000.
Bailey clarified later Wednesday that Vermont Priorities has received five additional donations totalling $5000. The donors are: Addison Consulting LLC (consultant and former Rutland Herald editor Steve Terry), $500; Burlington Boys and Girls Club executive director Mary Alice McKenzie, $500; state Sen. Bill Carris (D-Rutland) and Barbara Carris, $1000; departing state Sen. Hinda Miller (D-Chittenden), $1000; and Governor's Council of Economic Advisers member David Coats, $2000.