Attorney General TJ Donovan Comes to Defense of Own Party and Swipes Blatant Campaign Finance Violation Under Rug

Questions loom as to whether he is serious about enforcing election laws.

Berlin, VT -  In response to Attorney General TJ Donovan ignoring campaign finance laws and disregarding his responsibilities to enforce them, Jeff Bartley, Executive Director of the Vermont Republican Party issued the following statement:

“We are not surprised Attorney General TJ Donovan is coming to the aide of his fellow Democrats by not enforcing current campaign finance laws. His ruling narrowly interprets the statute prohibiting sitting legislators from soliciting contributions from lobbyists to only direct solicitations - meaning solicitations for the legislators themselves.

“The Attorney General has now made clear that legislators may solicit lobbyists on behalf of third parties or at the very least allow third parties to use their names to solicit lobbyists. The Democrats seem to be circumventing the clear language and meaning of the statute and the Attorney General seems perfectly content to look the other way.

“Our complaint clearly articulated that Rep. Jill Krowinski signed a letter and fundraising plea distributed by the Vermont Democratic Party on her behalf.  The e-mail landed in the inboxes of many lobbyists -- and was distributed knowing their email list contained Vermont and Federal lobbyists.”

“If signing a letter ‘Jill Krowinski, Majority Leader, House Democratic Caucus’ on behalf of the Democratic Party does not violate the statutory prohibition against legislators soliciting lobbyists, then why have the law in the first place.”

“This lack of action calls into question whether the Attorney General is serious about developing and enforcing campaign finance laws. We strongly urge the Attorney General to re-examine this decision and the dangerous precedent it will set if it stands.”

A copy of our complaint can be downloaded by clicking here.
A copy of Rep. Jill Krowinski's e-mail can be downloaded by clicking here.
A copy of the Attorney General's response can be downloaded by clicking here.

 

Senate Finance Committee Takes A Disastrous Swipe At Vermont’s Tourism Industry

 The Progressive Leadership in the Senate, David Zuckerman and Tim Ashe, leading us down the wrong path.

Berlin, VT - In true fashion and matching the previous six years where Democrats and Progressives raised over $300-million in new taxes and fees, the Vermont Democrat controlled State Senate Finance Committee voted along party lines to support the creation of a $7.2-million occupancy tax on hotel rooms. The move, which happened late Thursday evening, will have a disastrous impact on Vermont’s tourism industry.

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Democrats Take Aim at Making Vermont the Nation’s Most Expensive State in Which to do Business

Paid Family Leave Legislation Passes House Committee -- Will Add $80-Million in New Taxes on Vermont’s Workforce

Berlin, VT - Today, the House Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs passed H.196, a bill imposing a substantial payroll tax on Vermonters and forces businesses to provide mandatory paid family leave.

In response, Jeff Bartley, Executive Director of the Vermont Republican Party, issued the following statement:

“This piece of legislation will add $80-million in new taxes to Vermont workers -- $5-million on state employees alone -- and is a step in completely the wrong direction.  Vermonters are begging for tax relief.

“It’s like the Vermont Democrats and Progressives have completely tuned out Vermonters, businesses and those struggling to provide for themselves and their families.  Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Lt. Governor David Zuckerman are personally shepherding legislation through committees that continue to lay dangerous burdens on businesses and job creators.

“As of November 2016 Forbes Magazine ranked Vermont the 2nd highest cost state in the nation in which to do business. With each bill and each statement by Lt. Governor Zuckerman and Speaker Johnson, Vermont inches closer and closer to becoming the most expensive state in the country in which to do business.

“This will add $7.5 million in costs in FY 2017, $17 million the year after, and an additional $20 million in lost productivity for the state of Vermont.

“As Governor Phil Scott highlighted in his statement earlier today, less than 10% of legislation proposed this session is economy-related. If we are going to tackle the affordability crisis and inspire students to stay in Vermont post graduation, we need to work with the private-sector to create jobs.  

“We are very thankful for the Vermont Republican House members on this committee who gave a voice to Vermonters who are suffering under the Vermont Democrat created affordability crisis in our state.  They unanimously stood against this tax hike on working Vermonters.  Thank you to:

Rep. Job Tate - Mendon

Rep. Heidi Scheuerman - Stowe

Rep. Brian Smith - Derby

Rep. Vicki Strong - Albany

“We continue to call on Lt. Governor Dave Zuckerman, Rep. Mitzi Johnson and the rest of the Vermont Democrats to be forthcoming about the additional taxes they plan to raise and how they expect hard-working Vermonters -- and the businesses they operate or work in --  to survive in an environment of ever decreasing affordability.”

Lt. Governor Zuckerman’s Actions Show Unwillingness to Address Hurdles Facing Vermonters

Vermont Republicans call on the Lt. Governor to share what taxes he wants to raise.

Berlin, VT - Yesterday, Lt. Governor David Zuckerman whiffed in his attempt to call out Governor Phil Scott for a lack of leadership as it relates to the the State Budget.  This piggy-backs off recent public statements where Zuckerman and and House Democrats attempted to take aim at job creators, businesses, and the pockets of hard-working Vermonters.

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Dave Sunderland, Chair of the Vermont Republican Party issued the following statement:

“Governor Phil Scott is the only one who has proposed solutions that will make Vermont a more affordable place to live, work and raise a family.

“There has been a lot of noise coming from the Lt. Governor’s office lately.  The Vermont Democrat’s David Zuckerman and his staff have been distracted by Washington D.C. issues, an 88-cent/gallon carbon tax and instant runoff voting.  Lt. Governor Zuckerman’s apparent misunderstanding what really matters to everyday Vermonters shows how far out of the mainstream he and the rest of the Vermont Democrats really are.

In fact, it seems they are paying more attention to their supporters in ultra far left special interest groups than they are to hardworking Vermonters who struggle every day under the burden of Vermont’s growing -- and Vermont Democrat fueled -- affordability crisis.

We suggest the Lt. Governor research the budget process before taking ill-conceived pot shots at Governor Phil Scott. Additionally we demand David Zuckerman, who is so favorable to additional tax increases, immediately share what taxes and fees on Vermonters he would increase -- and by how much.  

Vermonters have not forgotten the failed policies of Governor Peter Shumlin and the lopsided Democrat majority in the legislature. When they overwhelmingly elected Phil Scott as Governor in November, Vermonters expected to see a laser focus on affordability, growing the economy, creating jobs and reducing our overwhelming tax burden -- created single handedly by Vermont Democrats. Governor Phil Scott and Vermont Republicans are following through.  

The out-of-the mainstream, far-left liberal majority are purposefully getting in the way of real progress and are distracted by “sound bite” issues. Two years from now, Vermonters will have another opportunity to choose change and Democrat/Progressive Lt. Governor Zuckerman is making it easier and easier for them to do so.”

Vermont Republicans Launch Statewide Campaign Highlighting Cronyism On H.R. 8

For Immediate Release
March 6, 2017

Contact: Jeff Bartley
jeff@vtgop.org, 802-223-3411

Vermont Republicans Launch Statewide Campaign Highlighting Cronyism On H.R. 8
Party leaders call on all Republicans to share this flyer at their town meeting and with local officials.

 

Berlin, VT -- Today, the Vermont Republican Party published 77 flyers online, one for each Vermont House member who voted for or supported House Resolution 8; an effort to undermine our electoral process and remove a duly elected Republican Representative.

“What Mitzi Johnson, Jill Krowinski, and their band of far-left Progressive Party members did on H.R. 8 was not only cronyism, it takes direct aim against our electoral process. They will be held accountable not only by Vermont Republicans, but by their constituents as well.” said Jeff Bartley, Executive Director of the Vermont Republican Party.

He continued: “We are asking all Republicans across the state to print out the flyer of their respective legislator and to bring it to their town meeting with them. Additionally, the Party will be sending a copy of the flyer to local Selectboard, School Board, and Board of Civil Authority members.”

“This should put all 77 House members on notice. We are paying attention. Vermonters are paying attention. Thus far, this has been one of the weakest and most unresponsive starts to a biennium in recent memory. It’s time Montpelier shifts focus to the crisis of affordability and work to alleviate the tax burden on Vermonters,” concluded Jeff Bartley.

A copy of all the flyers can be viewed and downloaded here.  Vermonters are encouraged to print the flyers out and distribute them at their town meeting and/or polling locations. Additionally, we ask Vermonters to share the flyers online via their social networks.

New Republican Leadership Elected in Burlington

 

For Immediate Release
February 27, 2017
 
Contact: Alex Farrell
(802) 503-5242, BTVGOP2@gmail.com

Burlington Republican Party Elects New Leadership
New team to focus on business relations, data, and recruitment

 
Burlington,VT - On February 16th, the Burlington Republican Party elected new leadership and charted a different course in an effort to revive a Party and bring a much needed balance to the political landscape in Burlington.
 
Alex Farrell, a long-time Burlington resident and graduate of the University of Vermont with a degree in Business was elected Chair. Alex currently works for Union Mutual as a Data Analyst.  Serving alongside Alex as Vice-Chair is Jason Maulucci, President of the University of Vermont’s Student Government Association, who is currently working for Governor Phil Scott.
 
After his unanimous election, Alex issued the following statement:
 
“In recent years, the Burlington Republican Party has been largely dormant. The city of Burlington has seen few Republican candidates and has elected few Republicans to office. This could be seen by some as an indication that Republicans cannot win in Burlington, or that the people of Burlington simply oppose Republican ideals.  I do not believe either of these to be true.  Representative Kurt Wright has shown us that Republicans can win consistently in Burlington, and that a Republican message, when articulated properly, resonates with the voters.
 
"As Republicans, we need to do more to deliver our message to the people of Burlington.  Not every Republican candidate will have the same plan, nor will they have identical policy positions, but the Burlington Republican Party will work toward fiscal responsibility, making Burlington more affordable, and fostering an environment in which entrepreneurs and small businesses can thrive.  Most importantly, we will be a Party of inclusion, and we encourage people of all backgrounds and varying viewpoints to assist us in these efforts.
 
"As Vermonters and as Burlingtonians, we pride ourselves on open-mindedness.  In that spirit, I ask the voters of Burlington to hear the message and the plan of Burlington Republican candidates, and consider what they can do for our city and our state.”
 

In the coming weeks, the Burlington Republican Party will announce a series of events and lend voice to businesses struggling to survive in Burlington.  Additionally, the BTV GOP will begin to switch focus and build our data and digital programs. The Party is already beginning to recruit candidates for the 2018 Town Meeting election -- including for mayor in 2018.

Vermont Democrats and Rep. Jill Krowinski Blatantly Violates Campaign Finance Law

Berlin, VT - This morning the Vermont Democratic Party sent a mass fundraising solicitation by email authored and signed by House Democratic Majority Leader Jill Krowinski asking for contributions on behalf of the Vermont Democratic Party. This fundraising plea was sent to and therefore solicited contributions from lobbyists, circumventing a Vermont state law (2 V.S.A. 266(3)(A)) prohibiting lawmakers from soliciting contributions from lobbyists during the legislative session.

Jeff Bartley, Executive Director of the Vermont Republican Party issued the following statement:

“Representative Krowinski’s priorities as a legislator are in question. Not only is she working to unseat a duly elected Representative, she’s spending more time turning President Trump into a human punching bag on the floor of the House of Representatives than addressing the critical issues facing Vermonters like job creation, the economy, and making Vermont more affordable.

“As a legislator serving her third term, a former Executive Director of the Vermont Democratic Party, and a former campaign manager, Rep. Krowinski should be more than familiar with Vermont’s campaign finance laws. Rep. Krowinski is more concerned with raising money for her reelection campaign in 2018, than doing the work her constituents elected her to do.

“Vermonters must be warned.  The majority party in Montpelier is taking a hard-left about-face. They are more focused with sharpening their partisan swords than looking out for the best interest of mainstream Vermonters.

“Today, we call on the Secretary of State and the Attorney General to investigate this blatant disregard of tri-partisan campaign finance laws.”

Background

In 2015, S.93 was passed by both chambers of the Vermont legislature and was signed into law by then Governor Shumlin. The bill was passed by the House on a roll call vote of 138-7, with Rep. Jill Krowinski voting in favor of the legislation she is currently circumventing.  The law took effect on July 1, 2015 and can be found at 2 V.S.A. Section 266(3)(A).

You can read the law by clicking here.

 

Vermont Republicans’ Statement on House Government Operations Action to Supersede Vote of Local Communities

Montpelier, VT - Nearly three months after the 2016 Election, Vermont Democrats and Progressives in the State House are actively seeking to unseat Rep. Robert Frenier (R) in favor of defeated former Progressive Party Rep. Susan Hatch Davis. The facts in this election are clear:

  1. Rep. Frenier was elected on November 8, 2016 by a margin of eight votes.
  2. On November 21, 2016, a recount was requested by Susan Hatch Davis and it was concluded on November 28, 2016.  The certified recount confirmed that Rep. Frenier won the election by seven votes.
  3. On December 1, 2016 Susan Hatch Davis requested a judge order a second recount, this time by hand versus a machine count. The judge rejected this request.
  4. At the start of this year’s legislative session this month, Vermont Democrat Secretary of State Jim Condos said the decision of the judge serves as Rep. Frenier’s certificate of election.

Today, the House Committee on Government Operations, a committee with lopsided Vermont Democrat/Progressive Party membership, sent a resolution to the full House of Representatives which would authorize them to conduct a second recount, superseding the responsibilities of locally elected Justice of the Peace and Board of Civil Authority members, town clerks, the certified election night results, the certified recount results, the certified results of the court challenge and the judicial branch of our state government itself.

We call on all Vermonters to contact their Legislators immediately to urge them to vote “no” on this resolution and to protect the integrity of our election process.

Today’s decision is a blatant display of negligent overreach by out-of-touch Vermont Democrats and Progressive Party legislators, the Committee on Government Operations and state government as a whole.

This action reeks of Montpelier insider cronyism and sets an unacceptable precedent for future elections: if you hold a lopsided majority in the legislature and you don’t like the outcome of an election, you can use your political power to reverse the clear and decided will of the people.

Today, the voice of the voters was overshadowed by the political will of Vermont Democrats and Progressive Party leaders in the State House. If this action stands, voters may no longer be the final voice in elections -- that voice may belong to an overreaching, unchecked and lopsided political party instead.

If Rep. Robert Frenier is removed from the office to which he was clearly and decidedly elected by the people of his district, not only will it be a travesty to the voters of Orange-1, but it will be an affront to the State of Vermont, the very core of our democracy and the legitimacy of our electoral process.