What interest does a family of gay marriage opposition activists in Massachusetts have in heavily funding one Franklin County Republican House member’s campaigns, in particular?
I was taken aback the first time a billboard-size banner for local Republican senate candidate Dustin Degree popped up near the access road to I-89 in St. Albans. When an equally gigantic banner for Republican House candidate Corey Parent joined it, I must confess I almost veered off the road! Phil Scott’s banner at the same location is roughly one-third the size!
Now I know where some of the money is coming from.
When this story first came to my attention more than a week ago, I decided to do a little additional digging to try and put some flesh on the bones before setting the question before GMD readers.
I am honestly stumped.
According to records, one Carol Breuer of Winchester Massachusetts, and her husband Tom Breuer, appear to have given my St. Albans City Representative, Corey Parent, the princely sum of $8,000. in campaign contributions since 2013.
In the notorious world of quid-pro-quo (gleefully played like a fiddle by Donald J. Trump), one must ask what exactly they expect to get in return for their considerable investment?
Several Franklin County Republican candidates received support form the Breuers in 2013-2014, including Larry Fiske (Franklin 7) who was also remembered in 2016. His total in contributions from the Breuers for both campaigns has run to $4,000., with only $1,000. so far in 2016.
In 2013-2014 Tom Breuer also gave $4,000. each in contributions to Franklin County Senators Norm McAllister and Dustin Degree among a host of statewide Republican candidates including Phil Scott who netted a relatively modest total of $4,000. for 2014 and 2016 combined.
Though they seem to be Massachusetts based, the Breuers appear to have acquired a property in Stowe in 2013, and have contributed heavily to Vermont Republicans ever since. Whereas most candidates get only one bite of the Breuer apple, Parent is one of the very few in 2016 to get $1,000. from Carol and then another $1,000. from Tom.
Other “big winners” from the Breuer bankroll have been Robert L. Bancroft (Chittenden 8-3) $7,000. since 2013; Scott L. Beck (Caledonia 3) $6,250 since 2013; and Warren Van Wyck (Addison 3) $6,000. since 2013). Details of all contributions are available on the Secretary of State’s website, if you have a lot of time to kill.
Overall, the Breuers have invested more in Parent ($8,000.) than in any other individual candidate. As a constituent, this has definitely provoked my interest.
These seem extraordinarily high figures for what are essentially out-of-state, individual contributions to a House race representing relatively few constituents.
In July and August of 2016, the Breuers also contributed $8,000. to Commonsense Leadership, a PAC heavily weighted with tobacco and pharmaceutical industry interests.
Commonsense recently ran afoul of Vermont campaign finance law, as detailed in Seven Days on March 18, by Paul Heinz
There is an intolerant tinge to the money that comes from the Breuers and we must wonder what they are peddling this time. http://bluemassgroup.com/2008/09/gang-of-three-state-republicans-get-funding-from-bigoted-group/
The Breuers have supported the Massachusetts Independent Political Action Committee for Working Families, (MIPAC) and the Family Research Council Political Action Committee, identified in 2010 as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center https:// www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/family-research-council.
All of these entities have focussed on undermining the rights of the LGBTQ community.
I, for one, would appreciate a much more in-depth examination by the media of where the big money that is invading our local races is coming from.
One has to ask why a Massachusetts-based family with such a negative political agenda has chosen to focus so much of their financial support on my legislative representative, and why he has chosen to accept it.
*(Here again is the link that the SS office gave me to campaign finance filings from 2014: https://www.sec.state.vt.us/elections/campaign-finance/search-previous-years-reports/ post-2009-report-search.aspx )