Make Hay: Summer campaigning, and some are not

 Second quarter FEC campaign finance filings are available, and VTbuzz’s Nancy Remsen and Vermont Press Bureau’s Hirschfield sifted through the reports so you won’t have to, unless you want to. There aren’t any surprises reported, and the summary is almost completely predictable. Senators Leahy and Sanders have plenty of money on hand. Governor Shumlin is also doing very well for campaign cash. While the Freep highlights the $101,000 Rep. Welch pulled in this quarter from 67 PACs, a spokesman for the congressman counters that 68 percent of the new contributors were individuals. Well, that’s some good summer reading just before a nap.

With an eye on fall fundraising and next year’s campaign season, Hirschfield at Vermont Press Bureau (available free here) reports that a potential rematch between Vermont’s Attorney General Bill Sorrell and Chittenden County State’s Attorney TJ Donovan has “generated the most early interest.” No hint on who, what, or where  this early interest generation happens to be sourced.  

Sorrell and Donovan had a frustratingly close primary battle in the last election cycle, with only 700 votes dividing them. Donovan, it is noted, has kept a pretty high profile since returning to his job as Chittenden AG. And TJ sounds hungry for a rematch:

“There are many nights I’m waking up at 3 a.m. thinking about how I could have made up those 700 votes,” Donovan said.

Sorrell says he is concentrating on the job and isn’t thinking of politics until this fall. But when you listen closely, despite his disclaimers, he actually does sound like a man with politics on his mind, especially how much happier he’d be without having to bother with them. Sorrell mentions how much more pleasant it was this year not to have to march in six different parades on the fourth of July. He adds most stoically:

“I won’t let the fact that campaigning is not always enjoyable be the determinant factor in whether or not I run again.”

Even so, Sorrell likely will not allow Donovan to steal a march on him in a possible rematch primary campaign. He said last year that he’d learned his lesson after being spanked by the Vermont Democratic State Committee’s vote against endorsing him.

Sorrell speaks like a man who is late for an appointment. Maybe make that, he sounds like a man  late for a ‘re-appointment.’ Perhaps an appeal to Governor Shumlin for a non-elected job? Maybe Shummy could use another ‘former Attorney General’ in his stable of personal lawyers.

5 thoughts on “Make Hay: Summer campaigning, and some are not

  1. Props to Hirschfeld and Remsen and Heintz at 7days for covering campaign finance in the off year.  

    While it may be a snooze for some, the general public should be paying more attention to who funds the campaigns of our elected officials.  And that information should be readily available to any interested citizen in a searchable online database.

    Unfortunately, Vermont’s current campaign finance system is abysmal when it comes to transparency.  Case in point: the current state of the VT SOS campaign finance page.  (1999 called.  It wants its web site back.)

    It’s bad enough that unlike the majority of states in the country, candidates and PACs in Vermont are still required to file reports on paper – now we have to wait 10 days for them to be turned into PDFs for public viewing?

    We can do better than this.

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