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Statement on Phil Scott as VTGOP Gov Nominee



Christina Amestoy, VDP Communications Director


VDP Statement on Phil Scott as the VTGOP Nominee

August 9, 2016


Burlington, VT  Tonight, Phil Scott became the official Republican gubernatorial nominee. Vermonters now face a choice between a Democratic candidate with a clear forward-thinking agenda or a rudderless Republican who has failed to offer defined positions beyond those of national Republicans.


“On issue after issue Phil Scott has failed to stand with Vermont families, instead falling in line with the Republican national platform,” said VDP spokesperson Christina Amestoy. “Whether its opposing paid sick leave for Vermont families, being against a much-needed raise to the minimum wage for Vermont’s workers, or not believing human actions are causing climate change, Scott has chosen to represent a national Republican platform, not Vermont values.”


“This fall we will be focused on supporting our Democratic ticket and ensuring Vermont continues to move forward. We are confident Vermonters will reject Phil Scott and the out-of-touch Republican agenda he represents.”


Check the facts:


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.’” In December 2015 WPTZ reported on Scott’s campaign announcement and asked him about several issues. “Reporter: by Vermont standards it was lavish, but Scott shrugs off any criticism that he's opposed raising the minimum wage, and a bill to guarantee paid sick leave to working Vermonters. Scott: Paid sick leave is something that I think would fall into that category of ‘We don't need that right now.’ That would further burden many small businesses at this point.” [WPTZ, 12/3/15]


Scott Opposed Paid Sick Leave Legislation. According to the Valley News, “The state Senate on Wednesday approved a new mandate requiring all businesses in Vermont to offer sick leave benefits to employees. The legislation will now go back to the House, where lawmakers may concur or amend the Senate version. Gov. Peter Shumlin has said he would sign paid sick leave legislation. […] Senate President and Lt. Gov. Phil Scott was less than enthusiastic about the details of the bill, which he said ‘is not perfect’ and could hurt small companies. ‘I would have preferred to see the additional exemptions for small businesses offered by amendment today in the Senate,’ Scott said. ‘The timing of this legislation is unfortunate for Vermont’s small businesses who are struggling in light of the numerous mandates the Legislature has imposed on our businesses over the last few years, one example being mandating enrollment in Vermont Health Connect despite the fact that Vermont is the only state in the nation which enacted this for businesses with fewer than 50 employees. These types of mandates further Vermont’s reputation as being unfriendly to the challenges of building a small business.’” [Valley News, 2/5/16]


At a June 2016 Debate, Scott Said an Increased Minimum Wage Would Be a Mistake. According to VTDigger, “At a gubernatorial debate here Tuesday morning, Republican Phil Scott declared that the economy ‘should be the issue of this campaign.’ […] They pitched some specific ideas for southern Vermont in light of a recent report on the area’s economic problems. And they jousted on statewide issues including taxes and raising the minimum wage, a topic that came up repeatedly throughout the forum sponsored by the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce. […] 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.’” [VTDigger, 6/28/16]


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]


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]



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