Crunch time

Wow, it’s the second week of June already. Summertime is upon us…and so is the filing deadline for Vermont candidates. June 12, it is. One week from yesterday, it is.

David Sunderland, I’m guessing, is frantically working the phones trying to find Republicans to fill out his statewide ticket. Or, he’s thrown in the towel and is planning a long weekend of slammin’ the Bud Light and wondering why he ever took Phil Scott’s call in the first place.

But something more significant than impotent Republican flailing is going on. That would be John Bauer’s effort to qualify for public financing in his run for Lieutenant Governor. His deadline is also June 12. A reminder: he needs at least 750 donations — of less than $50 apiece — to qualify for a pot of public financing that would make him financially competitive with Phil Scott.

Plus, if he makes it, it’d be a significant victory for the concept of public financing. It’d say that an energetic hopeful with good ideas can earn enough scratch to mount a solid campaign, which is the purpose of the public option. That alone is worthy of support, but Bauer himself is also worthy.

He’s been working hard, traveling the state, speaking to anyone who will listen. Still, he’ll need a strong push to qualify; 750 is a challenge.

The work continues. Indeed, I got a call yesterday from a Bauer volunteer. I had to tell him I’d already donated… but since then I’ve learned that family members, including spouses, count towards the goal. So I’ll give ten more bucks in my loyal spouse’s name, and we’ll count for two.  

Bauer would make a strong candidate, but he doesn’t have deep pockets. He needs the public financing. He’s articulate, engaging, and he’s full of good ideas on making Vermont a better place for everyone, especially working folks. Read my earlier report here, or visit Bauer’s website for more.  

You can donate online via ActBlue, reachable through Bauer’s website. Or send a check to John Bauer for Vermont, PO Box 454, Jeffersonville VT 05464.

And remember, because of the public financing rules, a small contribution is truly meaningful. He’s gotten donations as small as $1, and the maximum is $50.

Postscript. Yes, I know that Progressive Dean Corren is also pushing for public financing, and I wish him well. But I’ve met John Bauer and I like him and his ideas, so he’s my guy. Plus, talking realpolitik, a Democrat would be better-positioned to give Scott a run for his money than a Prog, if only because of internal party organization. And Bauer is a very progressive fellow, so there isn’t much separating him from Corren in policy terms.

But if you prefer Corren, that’s fine by me. I’d urge everyone to give a donation to either guy, just for the purposes of boosting the public financing concept. We liberals spend a lot of time and energy bemoaning the influence of big money in politics; this is a rare opportunity to do something about it. And it’s a pretty darn simple thing to do.  

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