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Filling In Phil's Blanks



Christina Amestoy, VDP Communications Director


Filling in Phil’s Blanks

September 15, 2016


Burlington, VT  As a candidate who has been in office for over 15 years and has now run for statewide office four times, Phil Scott knows that the Tunbridge Fair is a Vermont tradition. In fact, it’s a Vermont tradition that he has happily participated in three times. But this year, he changed his tune.


Citing concerns that the debate did not include the Liberty Union candidate on stage (a setup he had no qualms about in 2010, 2012, or 2014), Phil Scott chose to hold his own press conference rather than debate the issues with Democrat Sue Minter. So instead of voters having the chance to hear where Scott stands on important topics, an empty chair answered for him.


To help fill in some of the blanks left by that empty chair, here is how Phil Scott’s record would have responded to the topics discussed today:


Phil Scott’s record on standing up for middle-class, hard working Vermonters:


Phil Scott Said He Did Not Support Raising The Minimum Wage To $15 Per Hour. “Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour created what little daylight there might be between the three Democrats running for governor during a morning forum Tuesday featuring Republican and Democratic candidates… The three Democrats were joined on stage at the American Legion by the two Republicans, Lt. Gov. Phil Scott and businessman Bruce Lisman. About 200 people attended the early morning session. Both Republicans said they didn’t favor the increase, since it would put too much financial pressure on Vermont’s small businesses, which are already struggling and “just getting by.” [Times Argus, 6/29/16]


Scott Said Raising The Minimum Wage To $15 Per Hour Would Be A “Mistake.” “Scott, on the other hand, said a $15 minimum wage would be a "mistake" because it would hurt employers. "Let me be clear: I think that everyone should make more money in Vermont," Scott said. "I think that's the end goal. How we get there gets kind of messy." [, 7/7/16]


Scott Argued that Increasing the Minimum Wage “Just Ratchets Up the Cost of Living.” According to the Sun Community News, “Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, also a Republican candidate for governor, has operated a construction business for more than three decades. Scott, speaking at the Irasburg debate, said raising the minimum wage forces businesses to raise wages at all levels of the organization. ‘If there’s a $15 minimum wage, then my (current) $15-an-hour folks are going to want $18, and my $18-an-hour folks are going to want $21, and my $21-an-hour folks are going to want $24. That just ratchets up the cost of living. Who’s going to pay for that? You are,’ he said. […] Scott said the Legislature tied wages to the cost of living index years ago, and did so with a promise that it would fix the issue. ‘Well ten years later, we are having this conversation again,’ he said.” [Sun Community News, 6/19/16]


Phil Scott Voted Against a 25 Cent Minimum Wage Increase. In 2007, Phil Scott voted against a minimum wage increase that would have given hardworking Vermonters a $0.25 increase. Phil Scott was just one of four senators to vote against the increase. [S.27, 2007]


Scott Opposed Raising The Minimum Wage To $15/Hour. “The candidates also split on the question of mandating a minimum wage of $15 an hour, with Lisman arguing in favor of an expansion of the earned income tax credit instead, and Scott saying businesses do not need another mandate.” [Rutland Herald, 2/17/16]


October 2014 Debate: Scott Answered “No” When Asked if Businesses Should Have to Offer Paid Sick Days to Employees. Scott was the only candidate to oppose required paid sick days for employees in the October debate. [VT Digger, 10/14/14]


February 2014 Chamber of Commerce Event: Scott Opposed Legislation Requiring Paid Sick Leave Calling it Counterproductive for Good Businesses. Scott told the audience that paid sick leave is just “one more thing that gets in the way of us being able to do what we do best, and do what we do best for our employees.” [Brattleboro Reformer, 2/10/14;, 2/4/14]


December 2015: Scott Said “Paid Sick Leave is Something That I Think Would Fall Into That Category Of ‘We Don't Need That Right Now.’” Following his campaign announcement, Scott told WPTZ reporter that paid sick days aren’t necessary for Vermont workers.  [WPTZ, 12/3/15]


Phil Scott’s plan for helping Vermonters afford higher education:


Scott Opposed Offering Free College Tuition To Vermont Students. “Both candidates rejected the idea of offering free college tuition to Vermont students. All three major Democratic candidates have proposed free tuition to varying degrees. “There’s nothing free in this world. Somebody has to pay for it somewhere, and we can’t afford that right now,” Scott said, before suggesting a bonding program that would help students borrow money for college at better rates.” [Rutland Herald, 8/3/16]


Phil Scott’s plan to help Vermont adapt to climate change:


Scott Said He Favored A Moratorium On Wind Turbines. “Scott: He spoke of biking in the Northeast Kingdom and being "taken aback by the size" of the wind turbines. He has favored a moratorium on development to allow the state to "step back and see if this makes sense. We need to get data and make sure this is right for Vermont.” [Burlington Free Press, 9/13/14]


When Asked if Climate Change is Man Made, Scott Said “Whether It’s Man Made or Not is Almost Immaterial.” During a June 2016 radio interview, host Mike Smith asked, “Lieutenant Governor, let’s get right to it. I’ve got a whole host of questions. Do you believe in climate change and you believe it’s man made?” Scott answered, “I believe that the science is real, that the climate is changing, whether it’s man made or not is almost immaterial.” [WDEV, 6/2/16]


Scott Claims Climate Change Could be Caused by “Many Different Reasons.” During a gubernatorial forum on climate change in July 2016, Phil Scott was the only candidate on the stage not to immediately agree that climate change is being caused by human actions. Instead he responded, “it could be from many different reasons.” [VT PBS, 7/19/16]


Scott Says that Climate Change is Caused by a “Combination” of Factors

When asked where or not he believed that climate change was man made during his “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit, Scott responded that it was a “combination of man-made contributions as well as a natural phenomenon.” [AMA, Reddit, 07/07/16]



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