Phil Scott

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Economists: state revenues to grow less than expected

Economists Tom Kavet, right, and Jeff Carr, left, present a new revenue forecast to the Emergency Board on Thursday, July 21. (VPB/Neal Goswami)

MONTPELIER — Economists for the Shumlin administration and Legislature issued a revised state revenue forecast for the current fiscal year Thursday that projects a total of $28 million less in revenue, but growth over the 2016 fiscal revenues. Tom Kavet and Jeff Carr, consulting economists for the administration and lawmakers, issued their revised revenue forecast Thursday to the state’s Emergency Board, which includes the governor and the four chairs of the Legislature’s money committees. Revenue for the state’s general fund was lowered by $21 million, while revenues for the transportation and education funds were lowered by $3.5 million and $3.4 million, respectively. Still, revenues are expected to grow above the 2016 fiscal year, which closed on June 30, both Kavet and Carr said. “The upturn continues, that’s the good news,” Carr told the Emergency Board. Continue Reading →

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Scott launches first TV ad in gubernatorial primary

Lt. Gov. Phil Scott

MONTPELIER — Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott has released his first television ad, calling out primary rival Bruce Lisman for “misleading” attacks. The 30-second Scott ad is the first in a series that will run through the Aug. 9 primary, according to the campaign. “What might pass for business as usual on Wall Street has never been in line with Vermont values,” Scott says at the outside. “While my opponent’s misleading ads are disappointing, Vermonters know the truth.”

Scott also highlights his small business, a construction firm, in the ad. Continue Reading →

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Story-Video-Podcast: Lisman touts career, new ideas

Bruce Lisman
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Listen to Lisman discuss the issues:

MONTPELIER — After a long and lucrative career on Wall Street, Bruce Lisman is looking to transition from high finance to politics in his bid for governor. The 69-year-old Burlington native is facing off in a Republican primary against Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, a popular politician with a nice-guy image. Despite having founded the advocacy group Campaign for Vermont in 2011 and serving as its voice and face, Lisman has faced a substantial disadvantage in name recognition. As a result, he has launched several television ads seeking to link Scott with Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin, who is not seeking a fourth two-year term. For some, the commercials have come across as negative campaigning, but Lisman has maintained that they are contrast ads designed to show how Lisman would take Vermont in a new direction. Continue Reading →

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Candidates raise big bucks

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MONTPELIER — Candidates for Vermont’s top statewide offices have reported big fundraising hauls since March, led by Republican Bruce Lisman, a former Wall Street executive, who has contributed more than $1 million to his own campaign for governor. Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott reported Friday that he has raised $350,000 since the last reporting period on March 15. According to his campaign finance disclosure form filed with the secretary of state’s office Friday, Scott has spent about $250,000 in the past four months. Overall, Scott has raised about $860,000 and spent about $467,000. He has $370,000 cash on hand with less than a month to go before the Aug. Continue Reading →

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Poll gives Scott, Minter edge in primaries

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MONTPELIER — Sue Minter has a slight edge over gubernatorial primary rival Matt Dunne, according to a new poll commissioned and released Thursday by Energy Independent Vermont. The telephone poll of 600 Vermonters, which focuses on Vermonters’ opinions about climate change and efforts to combat it, also queried Vermonters’ on their choice for governor in both the Democratic and Republican Primaries. On the Democratic side, Minter, a former secretary of the Agency of Transportation, garnered the support of 36 percent of those who said they planned to vote in the Democratic primary. Dunne, a former state senator and Google executive, tallied 31 percent support. Peter Galbraith, a former diplomat and state senator had 8 percent support. Continue Reading →

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Candidates increase mass media expenditures

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MONTPELIER — Candidates for the state’s top two offices are ramping up spending on mass media as they look to reach voters and spread their message as the Aug. 9 primary approaches. State law requires candidates to report any spending of at least $500 on mass media activity within 45 days of an election. For the Aug. 9 primary, mandated reported began on June 25. Continue Reading →

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Dunne discloses raising $717,855 in voluntary filing

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Matt Dunne discusses his campaign contributions at a news conference Wednesday. (VPB/Neal Goswami)

MONTPELIER — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Matt Dunne has raised $717,855 for his campaign, including $150,387 since March 15, according to a voluntary financial disclosure he filed with the Secretary of State’s Office Wednesday. Dunne, a former Windsor County state senator, called on all candidates to voluntarily release information about campaign contributions and expenditures on June 15. But the four other main candidates — Democrats Sue Minter and Peter Galbraith and Republicans Phil Scott and Bruce Lisman — all declined to do so. State law requires candidates to next file that information on July 15, the only required filing before the Aug. 9 primary date. Continue Reading →

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Story & Video: Gubernatorial candidates pounce on alleged EB-5 fraud, call for transparency and release of documents

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Peter Galbraith calls for an independent commission to investigate the state's role in EB-5 projects that are the subject of civil fraud litigation. (VPB/Neal Goswami)

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MONTPELIER — Candidates seeking to succeed Gov. Peter Shumlin are calling for transparency and one is seeking an independent commission to review the state’s involvement as a federal and state fraud case against two Northeast Kingdom developers proceeds. Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Peter Galbraith, a former Windham County state senator, held a State House news conference Monday to call for an independent commission appointed by the chief justice of the Vermont Supreme Court to investigate the state’s role in the fraud case against Bill Stenger and Ariel Quiros. The two men are facing civil litigation filed by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission and the state for allegedly misusing $200 million in investor funds they raised through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. Quiros is accused of using $50 million of investor funds for his own personal gain. Galbraith said the two men have contributed significant amounts of money to Gov. Peter Shumlin and the Vermont Democratic Party and it should be determined if those contributions resulted in any favorable treatment for the EB-5 projects led by Quiros and Stenger at the Jay Peak and Q Burke Mountain resorts, and other projects in Newport. Continue Reading →

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Gubernatorial candidates raise big money

MONTPELIER — All four declared candidates for governor posted big fundraising hauls Tuesday, the first reporting deadline since last July, in what is likely to be the most expensive gubernatorial race in state history. On the Democratic side, Dunne, a former senator from Windsor County, reported raising $452,436 and spending $134,668 during the eight-month reporting period. That brings his total contributions for the campaign to $567,469, and his total spending to $136,314. Dunne now has more than $430,000 in cash-on-hand — the most of any gubernatorial candidate — for the remainder of the primary season and into the general election if he wins the nomination. Sue Minter, the former secretary of the Agency of Transportation Secretary and Dunne’s primary opponent, reported raising $487,557 and spending $159,044, leaving her with about $328,500 cash on hand. Continue Reading →

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Scott promises to ditch Vermont Health Connect as governor

Lt. Gov. Phil Scott

MONTPELIER — Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott reiterated his call to abandon Vermont Health Connect in a web video released Thursday by his gubernatorial campaign. Scott is facing off in a primary with former Wall Street executive Bruce Lisman, who is also calling for shutting down the state’s online health insurance marketplace. In an email sent to supporters Thursday morning, Scott’s campaign said he has been calling for “real” solutions for “more than two years” to fix the exchange, which has faced technological shortcomings since it launched in October 2013. “Elect Phil Scott and Vermont will transition to a better, less costly model that provides Vermonters more affordable health insurance choices,” the campaign wrote in the email. Vermont Health Connect launched without some major functions that were expected, including the ability for consumers to make changes to personal information online, such as their address or marital status. Continue Reading →

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