In Race's Final Days, Burlington Mayoral Candidates Poured on the Cash | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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In Race's Final Days, Burlington Mayoral Candidates Poured on the Cash 

Published March 16, 2012 at 8:28 p.m.


In the closing days of the most expensive mayor’s race in Burlington’s history, two of the candidates — and one political party — continued to pour cash into their campaigns.

According to filings due Friday, Democrat Miro Weinberger, who won by 20 percent, raised $16,469 and spent $25,050 in the last week and a half of the race. The Vermont Democratic Party spent another $8,631 on his behalf during that period.

In total, Weinberger and his party raised $143,940 and spent $140,118 on the campaign, dwarfing all previous records. Close to $50,000 of that was spent on a heated four-way race for the Democratic nomination last fall.

Republican Kurt Wright also continued to raise and spend in the closing days of the race. He took in $11,694 and spent $18,074 in the same period. In total, he raised $60,358 and spent $58,261 on the campaign. Wright received no help from the state GOP and ran uncontested for his party’s nomination.

Independent Wanda Hines raised and spent just $2,930. Though she came in a distant third, Hines certainly got the best bang for her buck. She spent just $5.80 per vote, while Wright spent $15.55 and Weinberger spent $24.15 per vote.

Most voters, one might imagine, would have preferred a check in the mail.

Given that candidates don’t have to report what they raised or spent in the campaign’s final days until after voters head to the polls, post-election filings tend to include a few goodies. This batch is no exception.

The Vermont Dems paid Alabama-based Anzalone Research $2,500 to conduct a last-minute poll. The party also paid Texas-based AMM Political Strategies $2,097 for paid ID calls — meaning the company called Burlington residents to determine which voters they should concentrate on turning out on election day.

Weinberger’s campaign paid Burlington-based HearForward $3,000 for social media consulting and another $5,017 to buy the campaign’s Facebook advertisements. It also spent $1,255 on more traditional radio ads.

Interestingly, conservative boogeyman Bruce Lisman — whose Campaign for Vermont outfit saturates the airwaves with commercials not quite in line with Weinberger’s “fresh start agenda” — cut the Democrat a $250 check. But don’t worry; he also maxed out to the Wright campaign with a $1,000 check.

For his part, Wright pulled in a few more top-dollar contributions from the Pomerleau real estate clan. In total, the family gave him $4,000. Barre Mayor Tom Lauzon and his wife, Karen, also ponied up $1,000 each to the Wright campaign a week before election day.

The only candidate to go up on television, Wright spent $1,495 to produce an ad and $3,167 to air it on WCAX-TV. He spent $5,138 on a final mailer and paid Florida-based Political Marketing International $413 for robo-calls.

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About The Author

Paul Heintz

Paul Heintz

Paul Heintz was part of the Seven Days news team from 2012 to 2020. He served as political editor and wrote the "Fair Game" political column before becoming a staff writer.

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