Hey, the first campaign finance reporting deadline has come and gone. And the big news — just about the only news of significance — is the size of Governor Shumlin’s war chest.
One… MEEELLLLEEEEOOONNNNN… dollars.
Well, to be precise, one million seven thousand five hundred dollars and sixty-two cents. As proudly displayed on the superfluous cover sheet accompanying his finance report. (Hey, you can see all the reports online at the Secretary of State’s website! Fun times.)
I suspect the purpose of the cover sheet is to get that seven-figure total RIGHT IN YOUR FACE. It’s certainly got to be a daunting sight; and I daresay it’s unprecedented for any state-level candidate at such an early point in the season.
Gotta be giving any potential Republican challenger a serious case of Shumlin Affective Disorder, which inflicts Vermont Republicans with an ominous, all-encompassing sense of dread that Peter Shumlin will be Governor as long as he damn well wants to be.
This isn’t all new cash; the Gov had nearly $700,000 in his kitty from 2012, when he spent very little while breezing to re-election. He did, however, raise about $320,000 in a time when other candidates are barely getting their acts together. Can you say “perpetual campaign,” boys and girls?
The other thing worth pointing out is that (as VPR’s Peter Hirschfeld pointed out) Shumlin raised the bulk of the new money from out of state: $240,000 from outside Vermont compared to $80,000 from within. That new gig as head of the Democratic Governors Association really helps, doesn’t it?
I’m sure the Republican response will be “Governor Shumlin Is Beholden To Out Of State Interests And Doesn’t Care About Vermonters,” which, pfui. If the Republicans had enough pull to bring in out-of-state money themselves, they’d do it in a Dick Cheney auto-tuned heartbeat. I think the Governor did a smart and, well, in a way, generous thing by going outside Vermont to stuff his vault. After all, he’s leaving the fertile fields of Vermont Democratic fundraising potential to other candidates who can’t go elsewhere and who will actually need the money.
Maybe he’s even telling local donors to spread their money elsewhere — say, for instance, defending the Dems’ legislative majorities and its statewide officeholders. Or even putting a little cash into the Lieutenant Governor’s race. Spread the wealth, spread the victory.