September 28th, 2006

Sources: Vermont Business Coalition PAC Now Officially as Popular as Herpes

by Philip Baruth

Regular readers will remember our recent post on the Vermont Business Coalition and Political Action Committee (VBC). It produced a small tsunami of email, not surprising given the facts of the case.

The VBC sprang into existence in the final months of this election cycle, vowing to pour enough money into the election to defeat 57 separate House members deemed “anti-business,” 56 of whom — as coincidence would have it — were Democrats.

But even as the VBC geared up their attack, a backlash was taking shape: three respected business organizations went out of their way to repudiate the VBC tactics.

The Vermont Business Roundtable, the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation, and the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce all emailed lawmakers a few weeks back to say that they wanted no part of the smear campaign.

And now another heavy-hitter joins the ranks — the Vermont Retail Association:

Honorable Democratic Caucus Members:

I have recently been questioned whether Vermont Retail Association (“VRA”) is a member of the Vermont Business Coalition (“VBC”) and I am writing to clear-up any confusion on the subject. VRA is not (and never was) a member of the VBC (VBC’s website lists its member organizations).

Best wishes,

John H. Klesch, Esq.
Executive Director
Vermont Retail Association

As the VRA’s move demonstrates, your average businessman in Vermont knows exactly what’s bad for business: dragging it into the muck of blatantly partisan politics.

You go, John H. Klesch, Esquire.

Late Update, Thursday, September 28, 10:32 am:

Word comes via email that the VBC — who originally claimed 60k in start-up money, and another 40k in low-hanging fundraising fruit — have only put together about 10k thus far. Was the entire thing a desperate bluff? Word also has it that the entrepid Darren Allen is working up a definitive piece. Keep an eye peeled here.