Scott Milne and his axe grinding campaign

In a recent statement, Republican US Senate candidate Scott Milne, reacting to the massive futuristic “utopian” city David Hall is planning for Vermont, makes it obvious he views the entire New Vista issue through his own peculiar personal lens. Milne zeroes in almost exclusively on his pet issue in his 2014 run for governor: alleged “overreach” by regional development boards and Act 250.milnesaxe

For a number of years Milne and his business partner (and campaign funder), attorney David Boise III have been attempting to build a mixed use development project on land they own in Hartford, Vermont.

The Quechee Highlands project, which borders Interstate 91 in Hartford, has wound its way through the development review process and various court cases for a number of years. After a defeat in one contentious hearing several years ago an angry Milne remarked: “I’m going to try to figure out if I’m going to do anything, and if I do, it’s probably going to involve more lawyers, and it’s just going to continue to brand Vermont as a bad place to do business,” Although the project recently won a significant court case, hurdles remain — along with apparently some bitter feelings on Milne’s part.

Milne’s comment (below) on the massive thousand-acre multi-town New Vista project was part of an ongoing batch of local and statewide candidates’ reactions gathered up by Nicole Antal, who follows this issue for the Daily Upper Valley community website.

Although I appreciate the candor of folks who are whispering about it not being right — because “it’s inspired by Mormons” or because it could attract hardworking Republicans to Vermont and upset one-party rule — particularly in Windsor County, [only two of the towns targeted by New Vista are in Windsor County]  I hope we will get folks with those prejudices out of the way as judges, juries, or regional planners — so Vermont can carefully and soberly review this idea.

Not sure what he even means by “the candor of folks who are whispering.” But Milne  could have taken the time to educate himself about the project’s origin and found that early on it was David Hall himself who said the project was partly inspired by his Mormon background, although Hall has maintained that he does not want the LDS Church’s official involvement. The official LDS (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) reaction to the project can be found here.

Generally, the reactions of all dozen or so Republican, Democratic, and Independent candidates for local and state offices indicated a basic level of caution over the massive project and sympathy for community concerns. And all save Milne seemed thankful to have the Act 250 development review process in place to regulate the process.

Let’s unpack his comment a bit. Milne alone of the candidates contacted fails to comment on objections to the size and scale Hall’s proposed population of up to 20,000 residents for the self-sufficient city/state he has in mind for the rural area. Without evidence, Milne implies New Vista will not get a fair hearing due to “one party rule — particularly in Windsor County” and suggests Democrats are acting out of fear of what Milne thinks would be an influx of “hardworking Republicans.”

While the contest he’s in is a low-key senate campaign for now, Scott Milne is again a man running with his own little axe to grind — a personal dislike, perhaps even a hatred of regional planning boards and the act 250 development review. One wonders how he thinks becoming a US Senator will solve his local development issues. What axe would he be able to wield? And how sharp would it have to be to cut through the red tape of local and state control?


7 thoughts on “Scott Milne and his axe grinding campaign

    1. I agree.
      But …he did come within 2,000 votes of winning the race for governor.Admittedly it was a fluke -to say the least.

  1. Good point to the story. But must admit his position woefully misguided.

    Well (deep subject heh) think he could make it. We’re experiencing an anti-establishment blowback from vast overreaches & widely unpopular decisions on VT & Washington horizon & more misery in the offing.

    Did anyone expect Bernie to nearly unseat Hellary — and if for not the closed polls he would have won imho. Believe it -we could’ve been looking at a Bernie WH, possibly HRC as veep haha. On second thought, probably no HRC, she’d be a twin-engine away from the WH & that would be waay too much temptation for the Bonnie & Clyde of US politics.

  2. Tho I think he could make it, would still be a veeery looong shot, he is very likely alienating the voters he would badly need which is rather a no-brainer. Can’t really afford to lose *any* voter in his precarious position or the good-will support that comes from friends & neighbors.

    Milne apparently blind to the many tricks up the sleeves that organized religion, esp the more cult-like, bring with them. difficult to say whether more of a subtraction than addition. Clearwater FL is has become a theme park & corporate residence for Scientology.

    Any entity with an outsized presence in any area basically owns the surroundings. Businesses owned by religious affiliates come with the unfair advantage of low-cost slave labor of its members & the joys of tax-free advantages other businesses may not have.

    And why personally believe *all* nonprofits should be taxed *something* including foundations, religious affiliates & churches, schools, universities if not already. Their CEOs make millions in compensation, then retire to a nice pension, while employees make zip. Commandeering building projects which are monolithic increasing their power & profitability.

    This is a huge deal for the surrounding area. The likes of David Hall & NewVista project embody the ruthlessness employed by the wealthy & privileged 1% using their wealth as a weapon to get what they want no matter how much damage they cause or the ripple effect resulting from their actions to the ppl in the surrounding area & why they’re so despised.

    In a small state like VT a very big deal. If Milne cannot let go of his bitterness & angst re Act 250 skirmish or any really — must say not ready for office of any kind which brings with it a bruising blood-sport style of hardball played by the big dogs he’ll be rolling with. It is what he has already gone through multiplied exponentially & primary reason many qualified talented ppl steer clear.

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