Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Lisman Spent More Than $113 Per Vote in Failed Race for Governor

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 3:34 PM

Bruce Lisman campaigning Monday in Williston. - FILE: TERRI HALLENBECK
  • File: Terri Hallenbeck
  • Bruce Lisman campaigning Monday in Williston.
Updated Thursday, August 11, 2016. For the most up-to-date figures, click here.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Lisman spent much of his career on Wall Street. But in his unsuccessful bid to become Vermont’s next governor, he didn’t get much of a return on his investment.

Preliminary campaign finance and voting data indicate that Lisman spent more than $113 for every vote he received in Tuesday’s primary

That figure is likely to grow once Lisman and his fellow candidates report updated fundraising and spending information next week to the Secretary of State’s Office. For now, we know that Lisman spent nearly $1.85 million before July 15 and another $200,000 since on mass media, such as television and mailings. What we don’t know is how much he spent on non-media expenditures — such as payroll — in the nearly four weeks since his last comprehensive report.

Even without that information, we know that Lisman, who largely self-funded his campaign, spent at least $2.05 million to pick up 18,115 votes. 

The Shelburne Republican’s campaign manager, Shawn Shouldice, argued Wednesday that such operations are inherently expensive — particularly for a newcomer to politics.

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National GOP Group Launches ‘Significant’ Ad Campaign for Scott

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 1:57 PM

A new TV ad produced by a Republican Governors Association super PAC. - SCREENSHOT
  • Screenshot
  • A new TV ad produced by a Republican Governors Association super PAC.
Following Tuesday’s primary, the Republican Governors Association wasted little time jumping into Vermont’s gubernatorial race. 

Seven minutes after the Associated Press declared Lt. Gov. Phil Scott the GOP nominee, the RGA hailed him in a statement as a “leader who can restore trust in state government and solve the challenges facing [Vermont] families.”

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After Primary Victories, Minter and Scott to Vie for the Governorship

Posted By , , and on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 4:24 AM

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Sue Minter embraces former governor Madeleine Kunin Tuesday night in Burlington. - JAMES BUCK
  • James Buck
  • Democratic gubernatorial nominee Sue Minter embraces former governor Madeleine Kunin Tuesday night in Burlington.
Former transportation secretary Sue Minter defeated two Democratic rivals Tuesday to claim her party's gubernatorial nomination. The Waterbury resident won nearly 50 percent of the Democratic primary vote, while former senator Matt Dunne picked up 37 percent and former ambassador Peter Galbraith 9 percent.

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David Zuckerman Wins Democratic Nod for Lieutenant Governor

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 1:26 AM

Sen. David Zuckerman (P/D-Chittenden) celebrates winning the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor Tuesday. - TERRI HALLENBECK
  • TERRI HALLENBECK
  • Sen. David Zuckerman (P/D-Chittenden) celebrates winning the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor Tuesday.
Sen. David Zuckerman (P/D-Chittenden) pulled off a surprisingly strong win Tuesday in the Democratic race for lieutenant governor.

After securing a late-in-the-game endorsement from U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) last week, Zuckerman went on to defeat House Speaker Shap Smith (D-Morristown) and Rep. Kesha Ram (D-Burlington) in the Democratic Party primary.

Zuckerman was quick to credit his political mentor Tuesday, after the Associated Press declared him the winner around 10:30 p.m.

“Bernie inspired so many people in this room,” Zuckerman said as jubilant supporters surrounded him at Sweetwaters restaurant in downtown Burlington. “We have real opportunity and an obligation to carry this message forward in Vermont’s policy.”

The 44-year-old organic farmer from Hinesburg led the field of three with 43 percent of the vote. Smith earned 37 percent, followed by 17 percent for Ram.

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McAllister's Out; Other Legislative Incumbents Fare Well in Primaries

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 12:01 AM

Mitzi Johnson - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Mitzi Johnson
State Rep. Mitzi Johnson (D-South Hero), chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, survived a strong challenge on a primary day that saw most incumbent legislators coast to victory.

Johnson secured 772 votes to Andrew Julow’s 560 and Ben Joseph’s 550 in the two-seat Grand Isle County district. Johnson had been criticized for failing to bring back enough state resources to Grand Isle during the campaign.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Live Coverage of the Vermont Primary Results

Posted By on Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 7:20 PM

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Following the primary race for governor? Want to keep tabs on the candidates for lieutenant governor or your local senate races?

We've got you covered.

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Voting in Vermont's Primaries Is Off to a Sleepy Start

Posted By and on Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 11:51 AM

Election workers confer in Burlington’s Old North End. - ALICIA FREESE
  • Alicia Freese
  • Election workers confer in Burlington’s Old North End.
Tuesday is International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. And, according to not-totally-reputable websites, National Rice Pudding Day. Oh, and in Vermont, it’s primary day. 

The polls are open, if not exactly teeming with people. A trickle may be too generous a term to describe the traffic at the Sustainability Academy at Lawrence Barnes in Burlington’s Old North End Tuesday morning. The ratio of election workers to voters stayed at around 8-to-1.

Only a few people stood outside the school, where candidates or proxies often canvass at the last minute for votes. One man handed out fliers questioning the Burlington Town Center redevelopment; another collected signatures to re-reroute the Burlington Bike Path.
 
“It’s a primary,” said election clerk Charles Giannoni with a shrug.

As of 10 a.m., 153 ballots had been cast in Ward 3; another 200 absentee ballots had been cast previously. Giannoni pointed out a silver lining to the sparse crowd: It makes it easier for the four new election workers to learn the ropes.

Voting was similarly slow across the river in Winooski.
David Zuckerman, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, votes with daughter Addie at the Hinesburg Town Hall on Tuesday afternoon. - TERRI HALLENBECK
  • Terri Hallenbeck
  • David Zuckerman, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, votes with daughter Addie at the Hinesburg Town Hall on Tuesday afternoon.
In Hinesburg, David Zuckerman, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, campaigned outside his own polling place before he and his wife, Rachel Nevitt, voted Tuesday afternoon. 

“It’s going to be neck and neck,” Zuckerman told voter Diane Derrick as Derrick headed into the town hall. 

“Really?” Derrick said.

Gauging the three-candidate race for lieutenant governor is tough, Zuckerman acknowledged. A farmer and state senator, he is competing with House Speaker Shap Smith of Morristown and state Rep. Kesha Ram of Burlington.

“The reality is, nobody knows,” Zuckerman said.

Voters have until 7 p.m. to cast ballots for statewide officials, senators, and representatives. If you’re looking for your polling place, check out the Secretary of State’s poll finder.
Voters fill out ballots at Sustainability Academy at Lawrence Barnes Elementary School. - ALICIA FREESE
  • Alicia Freese
  • Voters fill out ballots at Sustainability Academy at Lawrence Barnes Elementary School.
On the Republican side, the governor’s race — between Bruce Lisman and Lt. Gov. Phil Scott — is the one to watch. On the Democratic ballot, Matt Dunne, Peter Galbraith and Sue Minter are vying for governor.

Seven Days reporters will be out in the field compiling results and capturing the flavor of candidates’ post-election parties from Barre to Burlington.

Check out photos from primary day

Slideshow
Photos From the 2016 Vermont Primary
Photos From the 2016 Vermont Primary Photos From the 2016 Vermont Primary Photos From the 2016 Vermont Primary Photos From the 2016 Vermont Primary Photos From the 2016 Vermont Primary Photos From the 2016 Vermont Primary Photos From the 2016 Vermont Primary Photos From the 2016 Vermont Primary

Photos From the 2016 Vermont Primary


By James Buck, Matthew Thorsen, Alicia Freese, Terri Hallenbeck and Molly Walsh

Click to View 17 slides


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Democrats Make Final Arguments in Expensive Governor's Race

Posted By on Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 1:11 AM

Sue Minter addresses supporters Monday afternoon at Burlington's Main Street Landing. - PAUL HEINTZ
  • Paul Heintz
  • Sue Minter addresses supporters Monday afternoon at Burlington's Main Street Landing.
Vermont’s Democratic gubernatorial candidates spent their final day before Tuesday’s primary election rallying supporters, pressing the flesh and working the phones.

“A lot of well-informed voters are undecided,” former senator Peter Galbraith observed Monday after canvassing senior centers in Burlington.

Across town, rival Sue Minter said she’d detected a “shift” in the race to replace retiring Gov. Peter Shumlin as the party’s standard-bearer.

“I think people are finally actually paying attention,” the former transportation secretary said after hosting a rally near the Burlington waterfront. “It’s been great to have a field operation where we’ve made tons of touches, so by the time I’m talking to people, they’ve heard of me.”

The third major candidate in the race, former Google manager Matt Dunne, spent Monday hunkered down in his White River Junction office making phone calls, according to spokeswoman Jessica Bassett. She said he was not available for an interview.

As the candidates reached out to voters one by one, their campaigns and supporters bombarded the state with television advertising and mailings.

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Closer Than Expected? GOP Voters to Decide Between Scott, Lisman

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 8:15 PM

Bruce Lisman speaks Monday at a press conference outside his Williston campaign office. - TERRI HALLENBECK
  • TERRI HALLENBECK
  • Bruce Lisman speaks Monday at a press conference outside his Williston campaign office.
The day before voters decide who should be the Republican Party’s candidate for governor, candidates Phil Scott and Bruce Lisman pushed to connect with as many voters as they could.

“We’re doing everything we can possibly think of to get people to understand how important this is,” Scott said Monday morning as he waved to passersby on Shelburne Road in South Burlington. “What we’re finding is that a lot of people think we have this sewn up, so their natural instinct is to think this doesn’t matter.”

“I think it’s going to be a close race,” said Lisman, flanked by 41 supporters outside his Williston campaign office during a Monday morning press conference.

Scott, 58, went into the campaign as the clear favorite. He’s the co-owner of an excavation company, has been lieutenant governor for six years, was a state senator for 10 years before that, and is a popular race-car driver. But Lisman, a 69-year-old retired Wall Street executive who has never held public office, has spent at least $1.6 million of his own money airing continuous television ads portraying Scott as a go-along insider.

Observers say the ad assault is having an impact and the race could end up being closer than many thought when Lisman entered the campaign with little name recognition.

“I think it’s narrowed,” said former Republican governor Jim Douglas, a Scott supporter.

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Bernie Sanders Buys a Summer Home in North Hero

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 6:36 PM

Hero's Welcome staff pose with Sen. Bernie Sanders. - GABBY TIMMS
  • Gabby Timms
  • Hero's Welcome staff pose with Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is the proud new owner of a summer home in the Champlain Islands, Seven Days has confirmed.

The Burlington resident last week plopped down nearly $600,000 on a lakefront camp in North Hero.

Sanders’ new crib has four bedrooms and 500 feet of Lake Champlain beachfront on the east side of the island — facing Vermont, not New York. The Bern will keep his home in Burlington and use the new camp seasonally.

“We’ve traveled up to the islands many times over the years — almost always on day trips,” Sanders’ wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders, told Seven Days in a written statement. “We’ve been impressed with the North Hero community, eaten at the North Hero House and Shore Acres and have suggested them to friends who were looking for a beautiful place to stay or have dinner. St. Anne’s Shrine in Isle La Motte is my favorite church and it is nearby.”

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