Pomfret, VT (August 11, 2016) — Scott Milne today renewed his call for Senator Leahy to join him in running a clean general election campaign that limits campaign spending and eliminates corrosive special interest PAC money.
“Senator Leahy routinely bemoans big money politics, but he is more than happy to take it if it helps extend his 42-year career inside the beltway,” said Milne. “This is the sort of hypocrisy that has Vermonters and all Americans fed up with the political process.”
Milne’s challenge to Leahy is to [a] limit each campaign’s spending to $250,000, plus a factor of any hostile outside spending by a factor of two to one; [b] prohibit and return special-interest PAC money; and [c] close down and divest his Leadership PAC.
Leahy has so far rejected Milne’s clean campaign pledge even after Milne offered to amend his original pledge to remove the threat of outside spending by lifting the spending cap and allowing for a 2:1 match against any outside spending.
“The only thing that stands in the way of Senator Leahy accepting this pledge is his 42-year addiction to special interest money and the Beltway culture of corruption that accompanies it,” added Milne.
Milne did not have a primary opponent in Tuesday’s primary. He spent the day traveling across the state with his daughter Elise, visiting the polls, talking with voters, and not calling special interest donors to fund his campaign.
A July report in Seven Days showed how 42-year U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy traded favors with a defense contractor, including accepting a major contribution within a month of delivering a nearly $16 million federal contract, leading Scott Milne to challenge Leahy to agree to a “clean campaign pledge.” Milne’s proposed pledge would dramatically curtail campaign spending and prohibit special interest campaign contributions.
Milne’s 3-point plan to disinfect the Vermont Senate race from the influence of special interest money includes the following provisions he has challenged Senator Leahy to join him in abiding by:
- Limit Campaign Spending To $250,000. Vermonters want a grassroots campaign, not one dictated by millions in negative television advertising. $250,000 is enough to make our case to voters over three months as Scott Milne demonstrated in the 2014 governor’s race. This cap would be lifted to allow for any campaign to match outside spending by a factor of 2:1.
- Prohibit & Return Special Interest PAC Money. Special interest PAC money is legalized bribery. If Sen. Leahy means what he says about limiting “the undue influence of wealthy individuals and special interests in our elections,” then he can begin practicing what he preaches today by returning or donating to charity the nearly $1.3 million in PAC money he has already accepted, and shut the door on future PAC contributions.
- Close Down & Divest Leadership PAC. Sen. Leahy has accepted millions of dollars into his leadership PAC over the past decade, virtually all of it from special interests and their lobbyists. Milne called on Leahy to close down his leadership PAC and donate the remaining money to charity.
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