Shumlin Ramps Up Campaign Spending | Off Message

Shumlin Ramps Up Campaign Spending


Gov. Peter Shumlin's reelection campaign spent nearly a quarter-million dollars in the past two weeks, according to a new report filed Wednesday — ten times more than his next closest competitor. 

The vast majority of the two-term Democrat's $236,000 in spending went toward television advertising. In the first 15 days of the month, he paid $160,000 to run the ads, $44,000 to produce them and another $22,000 on polling. 

Neither Republican Scott Milne nor Libertarian Dan Feliciano bought a single commercial. The former spent nearly $18,000 during the two-week period, while the latter spent just $3,451. 

The two leading candidates in the race for lieutenant governor also amped up their spending. Incumbent Republican Phil Scott spent more than $73,000 — $50,000 of which went toward television advertising and nearly $18,000 to mailings. His Progressive/Democratic opponent, Dean Corren, spent $45,000 — $35,000 of it on television, radio and online advertising. 

Shumlin doled out far more than the $65,000 he took in this period. Throughout the two-year campaign cycle, he's raised $777,000.

As usual, the vast majority of Shumlin's contributions came from major individual and corporate donors, many of which lobby state government.

Notable contributors included: the American Beverage Association ($2,000), Corrections Corporation of America ($500), Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm Civitas Public Affairs Group ($2,000), Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England ($2,000), Georgia Mountain Wind ($2,000), Lorillard Tobacco Company ($1,000), Mount Snow ($2,000), Mylan, Inc. ($3,000), National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws ($500), tobacco company Reynolds American, Inc. ($2,000) and D.C. lobbyists Smith, Dawson and Andrews, Inc. ($2,000). 

Shumlin's biggest contributors in the past two weeks were entities associated with Vermont Telephone Company, which has been awarded millions in federal and state funding to build out cellular service in Vermont. Three companies sharing VTEL's Springfield address donated $2,000 apiece. VTEL president Michel Guite's wife, Eva, also contributed $2,000. 

Though Shumlin raised far more cash this period, Milne actually received more small contributions totaling $100 or less. He received 59 such checks, while Shumlin collected 52. Three people donated $1,000 to the Pomfret Republican, including his son, Keith, who had previously donated $9,900. 

Scott, Vermont's sole statewide Republican, received contributions from a number of politicos who worked for former governor Jim Douglas, including Dennise Casey, Tom Evslin, Tim Hayward, Neale Lunderville, Heidi Tringe, Jim Reardon, Charlie Smith and Mike Smith.

Among the corporations and political action committees contributing to the lieutenant governor were Pfizer ($500), Wells Fargo ($500), Vermont Ski Areas Association ($2,000), Vermont Realtor PAC ($3,000) and the Vermont Troopers Association ($2,000). Other notable contributors included Maplefield's owner and Republican provocateur Skip Vallee ($2,000); Burlington developers Ernie ($1,000) and Tony Pomerleau ($1,000); Democratic Sen. Dick Mazza ($500) and wife Dorothy ($500); and WVMT radio host Charlie Papillo ($1,000). 

Having qualified for up to $200,000 in public financing in June, Corren was barred from raising more money.