Sue Minter’s strategy tells us she is getting increasingly desperate in the final weeks of the campaign.
While Phil has made the economy his priority (see Phil’s plan at www.PhilScott.org), Minter has not introduced a comprehensive plan to strengthen the economy or make Vermont affordable. Instead Minter has indicated she will support new sales taxes, propose a new “cap and trade” fee system on gasoline and diesel, sign a carbon tax on home heating and transportation fuel, and create a “free” education program funded by higher fees on your checking account and ATM transactions. And, unlike Phil Scott, Minter has no plans to modernize state government or address the mismanagement of the last six years. Minter’s vision for Vermont can be summarized in four words: More of the same.
So, as Election Day draws near, Minter’s plan appears to be to attack Phil with a series of dishonest statements and deceitful distortions. How do we know? Well, there is her latest ad…But, wait!…there’s more!
Minter’s pollster has also been calling Vermonter’s homes to ask questions about the effectiveness of these misleading attacks. We can only assume that Minter plans to use these dishonest statements in more mail, Internet television and radio advertisements as the election nears.
Vermonters know Phil and they know better than to believe the negative ads. So, we thought we’d save you the time and address the most egregious mistruths here:
|MINTER’S DECEPTIVE DISTORTIONS||PHIL SCOTT’S HONEST FACTS|
|Phil’s Position & Record on the Gas & Mileage Tax||This one takes the cake. Phil has made it clear: He’ll oppose anything that increases transportation costs on families and businesses. Here’s the truth about the 2009 Transportation Bill (a.k.a. “The T Bill”): Then-Senator Phil Scott stripped out a gas tax proposal proposed and passed by then-Representative Sue Minter and replaced it with a change that was revenue neutral (which means it would not cost drivers more). In the final negotiations between the House and Senate, Sue Minter’s team continued to insist on a higher gas tax, but Phil (even though a member of the minority party) remained staunchly opposed – and his opposition to the gas tax threatened to scuttle months of work on the legislation, which also contained approval for dozens of important local projects. At the end of that process, he reluctantly conceded to a 3-cent gas tax increase, which, he continued to note he was opposed to, in order for the legislation to move forward. And, as a member of the minority, he didn’t have the votes to stop it. As a legislator, you don’t have a veto. As a Governor you do. Phil will oppose any increase in the cost of transportation on families and businesses and will veto a mileage tax; a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade fee system that adds to the cost of living.|
|Phil’s Position on Women’s Rights||Sorry Sue, Phil is unabashedly pro-choice, supports a woman’s right to choose and defended Planned Parenthood’s funding when national Republicans tried to defund the organization. Phil also raised two strong, independent daughters and will fight for them and their rights, and the rights of all women.|
|Phil’s Record on the Sales Tax||First, over the period of several months, Sue has stated on numerous occasions that Vermont should expand its sales tax to services, citing a commission report that called for adding a tax to 160+ services. This would raise the cost of virtually everything – childcare, haircuts, and other everyday services Vermonters depend on. It would crush seniors on fixed incomes. Now, weeks before the election, she’s running away from her own statements.
Contrary to how Minter falsely distorts Phil’s vote, he voted in 2003 to use one penny on the sales tax to reduce property taxes, which it did. He also voted to reduce the non-residential property tax rate, which is made up, in large part, of Vermont small businesses, not “vacation homeowners” as Minter’s rhetoric implies. The problem was that the Sue Minter’s Democrat majority later refused to follow through on the cost containment commitments made when Act 68 lowered the property tax and Vermonters ended up with a higher sales tax and a higher property tax. This is a point that Governor Jim Douglas has also confirmed. Phil has said this is an important lesson for why we shouldn’t expand the state government’s taxing capacity by adding a sales tax to any service and why he would veto any expansion of the sales tax to services.
|Phil’s Support from Employers & Associations||Phil’s proud to have the support of thousands of Vermonters. Nearly 90% of Phil’s total contributions have been from in-state Vermont workers, families, and small businesses, while Sue Minter has raised more than 40% of her contributions from out of state, including thousands from D.C. and New York special interests. Phil will always put what’s best for Vermonters first.|
|Phil’s Position on Local Control & Support for Giving Families More School Choice||Phil supports investing in innovation in our classrooms, early education, trades and technical training, and higher education by reducing overhead costs and finding efficiencies in our education financing system. He supports reforming Act 46 to ensure local control and school choice are preserved. Sue Minter hasn’t made her position on Act 46 clear to the voters, but has repeatedly made it clear that she opposes the rights of parents to choose where their child attends school. Minter has said: “I am not looking to expand [school choice].”|
|Phil’s Position on Education Spending||Phil’s the only candidate to acknowledge that we can provide the best education in the country, while reducing the property tax burden, if we’re willing to modernize how we’re administering our $1.6 billion education budget for 86,000 children. Sue Minter doesn’t think Vermont has a property tax problem and, unlike Phil, she certainly doesn’t have a plan to support innovation in our classrooms.|
Phil’s Plans & Priorities for Combatting the Opiate Epidemic and Ensuring Public Safety
|Phil has the most comprehensive plan to address the opiate crisis in this campaign. Phil’s plan addresses prevention, enforcement, and treatment. Phil has also been endorsed by the Vermont Sheriffs’ Association, the Vermont State Troopers Association and the Vermont Police Association. Alternatively, Sue Minter has dedicated a mere paragraph on her website to the massive opiate crisis that Vermont is facing and Minter has received no endorsements from Vermont’s public safety community. It’s time for Minter to take this issue seriously.|
|Phil’s Views on Climate Change & How to Address It||Sue, no matter how many times you say it, this statement will never be true. Phil believes the science: climate change is real and man made. That’s why Phil is committed to achieve energy efficiency through a balanced portfolio that includes solar and hydro – all with community input – rather than through destroying our ridgelines with industrial wind turbines that are forced on communities that do not want them.|
|Phil’s Decision to Sell His Business if Elected||Phil has said he will sell his business if elected. But, let’s break this one down because Minter is working overtime to smear Phil and a long-time family business: First, both the former Secretary of Transportation (Minter’s former boss) and the current Commissioner of Buildings and General Services in the Shumlin Administration have said that no one could influence the bid and contract process. Second, the state process is open, public and fully transparent. Go ahead, make a records request for all the documents, Phil’s opponent already has. And lastly, again, Phil will sell his company if elected Governor to focus full time on serving as Governor (that will be a nice change from the incumbent who has been out of state more than 20% of his entire time in office) and avoid any misperceptions while serving. The very fact that Sue Minter would smear a family business for political gain says all Vermonters need to know about how much she values small businesses in Vermont’s economy.|
|Phil’s Position on Unfunded Business Mandates Like Mandatory Paid Family Leave||Phil has received support from far more Vermont businesses because they understand what’s at stake in this election and want to elect a Governor who will help them create more and better paying jobs. Meanwhile, Sue Minter continues to take in thousands from out-of-state special interests in New York and D.C. and job-killing environmental groups who want to prevent Vermont’s economy from expanding. If jobs, the economy and affordability are your top concerns, the choice is crystal clear.|
|But…Selling His Business isn’t Enough!||Ah, this issue again. It’s a little sad how desperate they are to distract from the ethical failures of the Shumlin administration. Let’s see if we can help the Minter campaign get it this time: 1) Phil has said he will sell his company if elected Governor. 2) The state’s bid process has strict rules, is public, open and transparent and there would be no way for anyone, even a Governor, to influence that process. But that’s beside the point because PHIL IS SELLING HIS BUSINESS. 3) Before Phil announced his decision to sell, the Minter’s own people said he should sell in order to eliminate any perception of a conflict. Seriously. 4) Again, the very fact that Sue Minter would attack a family business for political gain says all Vermonters need to know about how much she values small businesses in Vermont’s economy.|
|Phil’s Support for Firearm Safety & Second Amendment Rights||Minter is trying to scare voters – plain and simple. Phil supports the current federal background check law. That’s right, Phil supports the current federal background check law. Phil also recognizes that Vermont is one of the very safest states in the country; and supports enforcing existing gun laws. Phil believes we should focus on the primary causes of violence in Vermont — mental illness and substance abuse. And Sue Minter has not yet cited one crime in Vermont that her proposal would have prevented.|