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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Eschewing Corporate Cash, Minter Still Outraises Scott

Posted By on Tue, Oct 18, 2016 at 12:13 AM

click to enlarge Sue Minter on Monday in Burlington - PAUL HEINTZ
  • Paul Heintz
  • Sue Minter on Monday in Burlington
Boatright Companies of Birmingham, Alabama. Parro's Gun Shop & Police Supplies of Waterbury, Vermont. Bread Loaf Corporation of Middlebury, Vermont.

These are just a few of the 46 businesses that donated to Republican Phil Scott's gubernatorial campaign in late September and early October, according to his latest filing with the Secretary of State's Office. All told, the companies contributed $49,050 — or 36 percent of the $135,000 Scott raised during the 15-day reporting period that ended October 12. 

It's been like this all along. Since launching his campaign last December, Scott has collected more than $429,000 from corporate entities. That's 33 percent of the $1.31 million he's raised to date. (The incumbent lieutenant governor has raised another $20,500 from political action committees — many of which represent corporations or trade groups.)

Scott's opponent, Democrat Sue Minter, hasn't taken a dime from corporate entities — at least, not lately. Last May, after facing sustained pressure from a Democratic primary opponent, Matt Dunne, she returned $11,055 in corporate contributions and promised to leave them on the table in the future. 

Remarkably, Minter has still managed to raise more money than Scott — every single reporting period. Her latest disclosure, filed Saturday, shows that she raised $165,000 in the latest 15-day period and nearly $1.7 million since joining the race last October. 

Minter has done it, in part, by raising money beyond Vermont's borders. To date, she has accepted nearly $648,000 from out-of-state donors, or 38 percent of her total. Scott has taken just $146,000 from non-Vermonters, or 11 percent of his.

The LG's out-of-state haul is less than the nearly $149,000 Minter has raised from Californians alone. She has collected another $128,000 from New Yorkers and the same amount from Massachusetts residents.
click to enlarge Phil Scott on Monday in Burlington - PAUL HEINTZ
  • Paul Heintz
  • Phil Scott on Monday in Burlington
There's an even simpler reason for Minter's fundraising advantage: She has more donors. The latest filings show that Minter has picked up 5,301 individual contributions since the start of her campaign, compared with 2,999 for Scott. Counting only contributions of $100 or less, Minter is beating Scott 3,820 to 2,072. 

For the most part, Scott's corporate contributions have come from Vermont businesses. But he has taken $62,000 from out-of-state corporations. In the most recent reporting period, those included Verizon Communications ($1,000), Delta Dental ($1,000) and Jointa Galusha of Wilton, N.Y. ($4,000). 

Scott's other top out-of-state donors throughout the campaign have included Walmart ($4,000), Astellas Pharma ($4,000), tobacco company Reynolds American ($4,000) and the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England ($4,000). 

Scott's decision to accept corporate cash brings with it another advantage: His donors can easily avoid the state's $4,000 contribution limits by giving money through the companies they control. Last Wednesday, for example, Scott took $4,000 from Boatright Companies, the Alabama-based business, and another $4,000 from its owner, Shane Boatright of Birmingham. 

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About The Author

Paul Heintz

Paul Heintz

Paul Heintz is Seven Days' political editor. He writes the weekly column, "Fair Game."

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