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Corren Launches Media Blitz, Shumlin Spending Big On Campaign

Dean Corren’s media blitz is in full swing in October, as the Progressive/Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor’s $34,500 in media buys this month more than quadruple his previous spending. But the big increase doesn’t push Corren past incumbent Phil Scott, who dropped $50,000 this month for media help from Hen House Media in Williston.

Corren attributed his weak polling numbers earlier this month to the fact his media campaign hadn’t heated up yet. He said at the time: "We're going to be doing a lot more ads.” That new spending is reflected in the latest round of campaign finance reports, filed Wednesday, but no new polling data are available to show what impact the ads may have had.

The biggest spending remains at the top of the ballot. Gov. Peter Shumlin spent $235,983 in the first half of October (a rate of more than $15,000 per day), more than $200,000 of which was spent on advertising. The governor also paid $22,000 for “research” conducted by the Washington, D.C. based Feldman Group.

Scott Milne, Shumlin’s Republican challenger, didn’t spend much, and spent no money on TV ads, which were the main cost driver in other candidates’ campaign spending. All of Milne’s ad buys this month were on Facebook, where he spent a total of $2,370.

Shumlin also raised $64,643 to Milne’s $7,018 in the first half of October.

Many of Shumlin’s biggest contributions came from businesses with interests in the state:

  • The American Beverage Association and Coca-Cola both gave the governor $2,000; the industry is opposed to a potential tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, which is likely to be an issue in the upcoming legislative session.
  • Georgia Mountain Company Wind also gave the governor $2,000. That company – and alternative energy in general – has enjoyed political support from the Shumlin administration.
  • Shumlin got $1,000 from the National Rifle Association as well; he has consistently advocated against any new gun laws in the state.
  • Vermont Telephone Company (VTEL) also gave $6,000 through its umbrella corporation Vermont National Telephone Company and its subsidiary VTEL Wireless.
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