(Adapted and condensed from posts on The Vermont Political Observer.)
Is it really happening? Is he really serious about running for Governor? Is this some bizarre work of performance art?
Who knows. Who cares, really. But just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, or stranger, for Scott Milne, it gets worserer. And strangerer.
Take his latest campaign finance statement, filed today.
Total donations, since the last filing deadline on August 18: $10,305. For his campaign so far: $53,000.
Total expenditures: $33,000 since August 18, and $62,000 for the campaign. In other words, it’s two months until election day and the Milne campaign is in the red.
Well, it would be, except that Milne loaned his own campaign $25,000. (Something that, earlier in his campaign, he vowed never to do.)
But wait, there’s more bad news within those numbers. Of the $10,305 total, $7,350 came from people named Milne or Milne-related businesses. The breakdown:
— $2,000 from Milne Travel
— $2,000 from B&M Realty, the firm co-owned by Scott Milne and David Boies III
— $2,000 from Donald Milne
— $1,000 from George Milne
— $350 from Jonathan and Nancy Milne
Aside from that, Milne managed to raise less than $3,000.
As for expenditures, he threw almost $19,000 into pre-primary TV ads. He also paid another $4,600 to campaign manager Brent Burns’ firm “Pure Campaigns LLC.” And he spent $2,500 on his infamous Tele-Town Meeting.
So here we are, at the launch point of Milne 2.0 – the time when he pivots from attacking Governor Shumlin’s record to finally, belatedly, rolling out his own policy ideas – and he’s in negative territory.
And on top of that, he doesn’t seem to be trying very hard. Last Saturday, the Milne campaign released his schedule for the coming week. It included the equivalent of approximately two days of campaign activity. In an entire week.
Sat 8/30: Four hours at the Champlain Valley Fair
Sun 8/31: No events.
Mon 9/1: Walking the Labor Day Parade in Northfield
Tue: 9/2: A full day of activities in Bennington County, from 9 am to 6 pm.
Wed 9/3: An apparent joint event with former Gov. Jim Douglas at 2 pm in Burlington, and a live interview on WCAX-TV in the late afternoon.
Thu 9/4: Nothing listed
Fri 9/5: “No Public Appearances – Meeting Policy Advisors”
It’s things like this that make me wonder if Scott Milne is actually running for Governor. Seriously. This is the last week before Governor Shumlin formally enters the race. It’s Milne’s last chance to have the stage to himself. And he’s doing nothing to draw media attention outside of the tiny Bennington market and one short interview on Channel 3.
When Milne formally announced his candidacy, he promised “a spirited, but unconventional” campaign. Well, it’s certainly unconventional. But spirited? Only if you mean it in the sense of “ghostly,” “apparitional,” or “insubstantial.”