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October 16, 2012

Conservative Super PAC Raises Half a Million in Broughton Bucks; Shumlin Campaign Has a Million in the Bank

Holy crap!

That's pretty much all there is to say about the latest campaign finance filing from the conservative super PAC Vermonters First, which has now raised an eye-popping $685,000 and spent $561,000 of it.

In a month and a half!

Most of that, of course, comes from Lenore Broughton, the little-known — but apparently totally loaded — conservative donor from Burlington. Broughton gave the super PAC another $548,000 in the last month, bringing her total contribution level to $682,500. Her checks rolled in every week or so:

  • $100,000 on Sept. 14
  • $140,000 on Sept. 21
  • $140,000 on Oct. 1
  • $130,000 on Oct. 5
  • $38,000 on Oct. 9

By my back-of-the-envelope calculations, that indicates Broughton should be opening up her checkbook right about... now!

Broughton's bucks are mostly going toward TV ads and direct mail. In total, Vermonters First has spent at least $265,000 on TV, $200,000 on mail, $17,500 on polling and $2000 on robo-calls. It also paid consultant and treasurer Tayt Brooks, who appears to be dodging media phone calls these days, $8000.

We can no longer say Broughton is the super PAC's sole donor, however. The group picked up a $150 check from Stan Webster of Randolph, $250 from Keith Stern of North Springfield and $500 from Joyce Errecart of Shelburne.

But those sure ain't Broughton bucks!

The super PAC's fundraising numbers came out Monday afternoon in time for the last campaign finance filing deadline before election day. We'll be mining the numbers in this week's Fair Game. But, for the time being, here are some top-line figures for your perusal:


Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin brought in another $173,000 in the past month — up from last month's $161,000. His reelection campaign has now raised a grand total of $1.17 million and spent, well, only $160,000. Total. During the past month, he spent just $33,000. That leaves him with a little over a million bucks to spend in the closing weeks of the campaign.

His opponent, Sen. Randy Brock (R-Franklin), raised only $45,000 last month, less than the $62,000 he took in the previous month. He's now raised $692,000 this campaign — $300,000 of which came from a personal loan — and spent $585,000 of it. In the past month he burned through $177,000 — five times as much as Shumlin. He now has just $107,000 in cash to work with.

Lite Gov.

Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott raised $54,000 last month, while his Progressive and Democratic opponent, Cassandra Gekas, took in $12,000. Throughout the campaign, Scott has raised $151,000, compared with Gekas' $39,000.

Scott picked up his spending pace too, doling out $52,000 last month — much of it on television and radio advertising — while Gekas spent $14,000.


In the hottest race around, incumbent Democrat Beth Pearce raised an impressive $53,000 last month, while her Republican rival, Rutland State Treasurer Wendy Wilton, raised a little less than half that: $25,000. Of course, those numbers don't mean too much, given that the Vermonters First super PAC appears to be spending the bulk of its resources backing Wilton's campaign.

In the past month, Pearce spent $70,000, $40,000 of which went to television advertising. Wilton also ponied up a little more than $16,000 on TV ads. As if the Vermonters First spots weren't enough!

Attorney General

Though incumbent Democratic Attorney General Bill Sorrell appears to have called it a day since surviving primary season, his Republican opponent, Jack McMullen certainly hasn't. The Burlington businessman loaned his campaign $144,000 in the past month, bringing his total investment in his own campaign — including loans and donations — to $157,000. McMullen also raised another $14,000 from other sources, leaving him with a little over $25,000 in the bank.

Sorrell, meanwhile, raised $12,000 last month. He has just $4000 cash-on-hand. Progressive Ed Stanak raised his first $4000 and spent $3000 of it.


In the race for state auditor, Democrat and Progressive Doug Hoffer raised $15,000 last month, while Sen. Vince Illuzzi (R-Essex/Orleans) took in $11,000. The Republican spent far more of his treasury:$45,000 in the past month, compared with $20,000 from Hoffer.

In cash-on-hand, Hoffer has $14,000, while Illuzzi has $6000.

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