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National GOP Talking Points  Echoed In Phil Scott's Campaign

September 27, 2016

 

Burlington, VT  Donald Trump is a terrifying candidate who has spewed rhetoric that the country has never heard from a political candidate before. Yet under his bombastic tendencies are some of the same national Republican talking points we’ve heard from candidates up and down the ballot, both in this year and years before.

 

“The campaign promises we’ve heard from the national Republican Party and its nominee are the same sort of things we’ve heard from Phil Scott,” said Christina Amestoy, VDP spokesperson. “Phil Scott’s platform and talking points are pulled right from the national Republicans’ playbook.”

 

Climate Change

Phil Scott’s Record: Scott refused to admit climate change was predominantly man-made, claiming it could be caused by “many different reasons.” [VT PBS, 7/19/16] When he finally chose to pivot back to the center, he used the excuse, “I’m not a scientist” to explain his denial. [Seven Day, 08/24/16]

 

Paul Ryan’s Record: In a 2014 Election debate in his district, Ryan was asked if he thought climate change was caused by human activity. He responded, “I don’t know the answer to that question. I don’t think science does either.” He added that climate change proposals were cost prohibitive, and ignore that “we’ve had climate change forever.” [Associated Press, 10/14/14]

 

Donald Trump’s Record: In a tweet posted on November 6th, 2012, Trump stated that “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.” [Washington Post, 09/27/16]

Furthermore, just this week, Trump’s campaign manager stated that Trump “believes global warming is naturally occurring.” [CNN, 09/27/16]

 

Middle-Class Policies

Minimum Wage

Phil Scott’s Record: Scott refused to support Vermont’s working families and declared a $15 minimum wage a “mistake.” Instead he offered,  “I think that everyone should make more money in Vermont. I think that’s the end goal. How we get there gets kind of messy.’” [VTDigger, 6/28/16]

 

Paul Ryan’s Record: Ryan said that Washington, D.C.’s effort to increase their minimum wage to $15 would “do more harm than good, because what it does is it prices entry-level jobs away from people.” [NPR, 6/7/16]

 

Donald Trump’s Record: Trump has repeatedly shifted his position on wages, but when asked directly about New York’s attempt to establish a $15 minimum wage in November of 2015, Trump said he opposed it because “wages are too high.” [Washington Post, 8/3/16]

 

Paid Leave

Phil Scott’s Record: Scott ignored Vermont families in favor of their employers saying, “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]

 

Paul Ryan’s Record: Paul Ryan voted against legislation that would have allowed federal employees to substitute up to four weeks of available paid leave to take parental leave. And he refused to sign onto a bill that guaranteed paid sick days to workers employed at businesses of 15 employees or more. [Politico, 10/21/15]

 

Donald Trump’s Record: Trump has offered up a plan for paid maternity leave, but his narrow definition excludes fathers, same-sex couples in which both partners are men, parents who adopt a child, unmarried parents, or single mothers. [NY Mag 9/21/16]. In addition, when asked about paid leave in October 2015, Trump responded that we need to be careful with it, because paid leave could impact our ability to remain competitive as a country. [NBC News, 05/26/16]

 

Women’s Economic Issues

Phil Scott’s Record: In his entire 15,000 word economic plan, Phil Scott did not refer to women’s economic issues once. He failed to talk about paid family leave, equal wages, or child care and has failed to champion these issues while in office. [Phil Scott’s Economic Plan]

 

Paul Ryan’s Record: Ryan voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which was implemented to give women greater recourse when they’ve been subject to wage discrimination based on their gender. [Govtrack.us, 01/09/09]

 

Donald Trump’s Record: When pressed on the issue of equal pay for men and women, Trump responded “You’re going to make the same if you do as good a job.” [Time, 08/05/16] Trump has also indicated in the past that he believes that pregnancy is “certainly an inconvenience for a business.” [NBC News, 05/26/16]

 

Trickle Down Economics:

Capital Gains

Phil Scott’s Plan: “As Governor, I will propose restoring the 40 percent exclusion for capital gains to encourage more investment and more savings, and thereby greater prosperity for Vermonters and long-term growth in our economy.” [Phil Scott’s Comprehensive Blueprint for Economic Growth, 9/15/16]

 

US House GOP Plan: “This Blueprint provides for reduced tax on investment income. Families and individuals will be able to deduct 50 percent of their net capital gains, dividends, and interest income, leading to basic rates of 6 percent, 12.5 percent, and 16.5 percent on such investment income depending on the individual’s tax bracket.” [A Better Way,6/24/16]

 

Donald Trump’s Plan: “The Trump plan will retain the existing capital gains rate structure (maximum rate of 20 percent) with tax brackets shown above. Carried interest will be taxed as ordinary income. The 3.8 percent Obamacare tax on investment income will be repealed, as will the alternative minimum tax. […] The Trump plan will repeal the death tax, but capital gains held until death will be subject to tax, with the first $10 million tax-free as under current law to exempt small businesses and family farms.” [Donald J. Trump for President, accessed 9/26/16]

 

Lower Corporate Taxes

Phil Scott’s Plan: “My goal will be to lower personal and corporate income tax rates incrementally as spending becomes more sustainable and the economy grows…”[Phil Scott’s Comprehensive Blueprint for Economic Growth, 9/15/16]

 

US House GOP Plan: “This Blueprint will lower the corporate tax rate to a flat rate of 20 percent. This represents the largest corporate tax rate cut in U.S. history. […] This Blueprint will reduce the corporate tax rate by 43 percent (15 percentage points). […] This dramatic reduction in the corporate tax rate will mean a dramatic reduction in the drag on American economic growth that results from the corporate income tax. (For further discussion, see the Appendix.)” [A Better Way, 6/24/16]

 

Donald Trump’s Plan: “Under my plan, I'll be reducing taxes tremendously, from 35 percent to 15 percent for companies, small and big businesses. That's going to be a job creator like we haven't seen since Ronald Reagan. It's going to be a beautiful thing to watch.” [NBC Presidential Debate, 9/26/16]

 

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

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(802) 448-4239

camestoy@vtdemocrats.org

 

Phil Scott Silent on Ethics Commission

September 27, 2016

 

Burlington, VT  On Saturday, Phil Scott finally announced he would take steps to begin to address the questionable relationship between his duties if elected governor and DuBois Construction - something he has ignored throughout his entire campaign. Yet even in his announcement, he refused to admit the existence of a conflict of interest, instead calling it a “distraction.”

 

“Voters deserve to know, from day one, that their interests come first,” said Christina Amestoy, VDP spokesperson. “Phil left his constituents in the dark for over a year and still owes it to them to release full detail of the sale. Vermonters deserve to have answers upfront, not just when political pressures force them.”

 

On the Democratic side, Sue Minter has called for the establishment of a state ethics commission, stating its need as ‘imperative.’ An independent ethics commission would have addressed the relationship between Scott’s elected office and DuBois Construction - a relationship that has existed over the last 15 years. And it could have been able to offer a needed resolution as Scott seeks a promotion.

 

“Despite rhetoric about bringing back trust in government, Phil Scott is silent on what concrete steps he would take to prevent future ethical questions from going unanswered,” highlighted Amestoy. “If Scott refuses to admit his relationship with DuBois Construction is more than just a “distraction,” then voters deserve an independent authority to fully address the issue. Will Scott join Minter in calling for an ethics commission that would address questions like those surrounding his relationship and that of his family’s with DuBois Construction?”      

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

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camestoy@vtdemocrats.org

 

VDP Calls on Phil Scott to Completely Address Conflict of Interest

September 23, 2016

 

Burlington, VT  Today, Vermont Democratic Party Executive Director Conor Casey and Representative Willem Jewett called on Phil Scott to completely address his conflict of interest between his executive duties if elected governor and his personal finance interests tied up DuBois Construction tomorrow during his remarks.

 

If elected, Scott and his company could benefit from state program or budget allocations that Scott promotes as governor, receive preferential treatment during contract procurement processes, or receive advance notice of upcoming contracts.

 

Separating himself from the day-to-day business of DuBois Construction will not be enough.

 

Their request is below.

 

“Dear Lt. Gov. Scott,

 

It has been over a year since you announced that you would release a plan addressing the conflict of interest between your executive duties if elected and your ownership share in DuBois. Vermont voters are still waiting.

 

Today, we call on you to offer complete assurance to Vermont voters that there will be no conflict of interest if you are elected governor. Simply removing yourself from the day-to-day business of the company, as you’ve suggested before, will not go far enough. To prevent any conflict or perceived conflict, we call on you to take concrete steps that, at a minimum, address the following:

 

  • VT Dept of Human Resources personnel policy 11.5 that precludes any classified state employees from having “any personal interest in any business transactions within their area of influence in State Government.”

  • Executive Order 09-11 code of ethics which states “no Full-Time appointee shall be the owner of, or financially interest in directly or indirectly, in any private entity or private interest that is subject to the direct supervision of his or her department or agency.”

  • US Code of Federal Regulation (5 CFR 2634) that indicates that, “conflicted assets that are transferred into qualified blind trusts do not lose their taint and are still subject to conflict of interest restrictions until they are sold, because the government official who has contributed those assets to the trust still has sufficient knowledge of the assets to create possible conflicts with official duties.”

It is our belief that only a complete separation of your financial interests from DuBois Construction or a pledge that DuBois Construction will not receive state contracts while you are in office meets these requirements.

 

Vermonters deserve to know that their interests will always come first, not those of personal finances or business. You left them without an answer when they went to the polls in August and even now as early voting starts, they’re still waiting. Vermonters deserve to know.

 

Sincerely,

Conor Casey, VDP Executive Director

Rep Willem Jewett, Addison 2

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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Phil Scott Ignores Women and Family Issues in Economic Plan

September 22, 2016

 

Burlington, VT  Today, Phil Scott will appear at the Vermont Commission on Women’s forum to discuss an issue that has been strangely absent from his campaign: women’s economic issues. In his entire 15,000 word economic plan, Phil Scott only mentioned Vermont women twice - once in reference to his daughters and to pregnant women suffering from addiction. Women make up 51% of Vermont’s population, 45% of its full-time workforce, and 71% of its year-round, part-time workforce. Yet Phil Scott has repeatedly ignored their interests.

 

“Ensuring women thrive in Vermont’s economy is vital to the future of our state, and yet Phil Scott has repeatedly ignored women in his platform and in his record” said Christina Amestoy, VDP spokesperson. “Scott has failed to talk about paid family leave, equal wages, or child care in his economic plan or champion these issues while in office.”

 

“Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Don Turner has been happy to speak up, offering policies pulled straight from the national Republican playbook. His suggestions include cutting support for childcare, opioid treatment, and even the Vermont Commission on Women.”

 

“These are not just women’s issues, these are economic issues. If Phil Scott can not even identify the issue enough to recognize them in a 39 page economic plan, how we can we expect him to solve them?”

 

 

Know the facts:

(Source: Change the Story: 2016 Status Report - Women, Work and Wages in Vermont)

  • Women make up 51% of Vermont’s population

  • 66% of adult women participate in the labor force with is 8% higher than the national average

  • Women make up 45% of Vermont’s full-time workforce and 71% of its part-time workforce

  • Of Vermont working women, 75% work full-time while 25% work part-time

  • In ⅓ of Vermont families, women contribute at least 40% of the income

  • 43% of Vermont women working full-time do not make enough to cover basic living expenses (as defined by the JFO)

  • Across the US, women are nine times more likely than men to cite family care issues as the reason for working part-time rather than full-time

  • Across all age groups and all education levels, women working full-time are disproportionately employed in low-wage jobs

  • 57% of women are making less than $30,000 a year, while 57% of men are making more than that amount

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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VDP Files Coordination Complaint with VTAG

September 21, 2016

 

Burlington, VT  Yesterday, the Vermont Democratic Party asked the Vermont Attorney General’s office to investigate potentially illegal coordination between the Republican Governors Association (RGA) and the Phil Scott for Governor campaign. The complaint focuses on three recent television ads produced by the RGA’s Super PAC, “A Stronger Vermont.”

 

State law defines the standard for improper coordination as requiring “knowledge of the fact, or willful blindness toward the fact that the action will be used in connection with an activity or expenditure on the candidate’s behalf.”



The nature of the footage strongly suggests that the candidate allowed the RGA to film the candidate in extremely close proximity at private events and provided details of where the RGA could film. The most recent ad also includes high-quality audio from a Scott campaign event, raising even more questions about coordination between the two entities.


 

“This doesn’t pass the straight-face test,” said VDP Executive Director Conor Casey. “The day after the Republican primary ended, these ads were up on the air. These scenes look more like a Hollywood movie set than a backyard fundraiser.”



The last time the RGA played such a large role in Vermont elections, both the organization and their candidate, Brian Dubie, were fined a combined $90,000 for running afoul of campaign finance laws in a similar fashion.     



The Party has asked that the Attorney General’s office review this matter immediately.



“In a post-Citizens United landscape, independent expenditures are part of our reality,” said Casey. “However, if you’re going to spend more than $600,000 propping up a candidate with television ads you had better make sure the footage you’re using was indeed acquired independently.”

 

A copy of the complaint has been attached.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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Clean Energy Sector Glaringly Absent from Phil Scott’s Econ Plan

September 20, 2016

 

Burlington, VT  Last Thursday, Phil Scott rolled out an economic plan riddled with holes. One of the most glaring omissions was that of policies supporting Vermont’s growing clean energy sector. When asked if he could elaborate to help provide details for his clean and affordable energy plan, Phil Scott responded “No, I can’t.”

 

“Phil Scott’s view of economic growth is handing out tax credits that will only benefit developers and the construction industry while ignoring other thriving sectors of Vermont’s economy,” said Christina Amestoy, VDP spokesperson. “Scott’s inability to offer up one specific about his energy policy highlights his complete disregard for an entire industry that will help Vermont continue to be a leader in renewable energy technology, attract new, high-paying jobs, and to lower Vermonters’ energy bill.”

 

“For Vermont to continue to move forward, we need a governor who focuses on our entire economy - not just the sectors that fit what national Republicans believe our economy should look like or the sectors in which Phil Scott has built up his personal assets.”

 

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www.vtdemocrats.org; P.O. Box 1220 Montpelier, VT 05602; (802) 229-1783

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Christina Amestoy, VDP Communications Director

camestoy@vtdemocrats.org

 

VDP Releases #PhilintheBlanks Video

September 19, 2016

 

Burlington, VT  Today the Vermont Democratic Party released a new video entitled “#PhilintheBlanks,"  highlighting the gaps in Phil Scott’s economic plan rollout. The clips show Scott’s inability to answer questions about his plan for the economy, including questions concerning its impact, cost, and implementation.

 

When asked if he was able to provide more detail on his clean and affordable energy plan, Scott simply responded, “Uh, no. I can’t.” When asked what he considered the three most important ideas were in his plan, Scott struggled to list specific policy priorities in his four minute answer, finally offering up “opportunity here in the state” as his third proposal.



"Over and over again, Phil Scott has promised to be the governor with the policies to lead Vermont, but all he can deliver are vague national Republican talking points riddled with holes and lacking substance," said VDP spokesperson, Christina Amestoy. "The economic plan he delivered on Thursday which may have been applauded at an RGA conference,  failed to deliver policies that would help middle-class Vermonters and showed his inability to back up his platitudes with facts. Vermonters deserve a governor who not only has the right priorities, but the effective plans to achieve them as well. "



Watch the video here.

 

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Phil Scott’s Economic Plan Fails Middle-Class Vermonters

September 15, 2016

 

Burlington, VT  Today, Phil Scott, unwilling to defend his Republican agenda, ducked the historic Tunbridge debate with Sue Minter. Instead, Phil Scott held a press conference to unveil his economic plan - a long list of national Republican platitudes that fails to deliver for Vermont’s working families.

 

“Today, Phil Scott completely ignored the vital policies that will truly support our middle class and strengthen Vermont’s economy,” said Christina Amestoy, VDP spokesperson. “In his entire 15,000 word brochure, Scott failed to mention a minimum wage increase, paid sick leave, paid family leave, plans to address climate change, support our clean energy and agricultural industries, or revitalizing our downtowns. Phil Scott’s plan would fit well with the national Republican platform but it ignores the key issues facing Vermonters.”

 

“In order for Vermont to continue to move forward, we need a governor who supports the policies that will lift up our Vermont families, help our economy adapt to a changing environment, and let our downtowns and villages thrive again. Phil Scott has repeatedly opposed these policies throughout his career and, today, made clear that he wouldn’t fight for them if elected.”

 

Leaders in Vermont’s businesses community also expressed the importance of the policies so absent in Phil Scott’s plan to promote economic growth:

 

“Ensuring that workers have both a decent wage and the ability to care for their loved ones following a birth or during an illness is simply the right thing to do for Vermonters, their families and our businesses, especially when considering the bottom line,” said Nicole Grenier owner of Stowe Street Cafe in Waterbury. “We have much to learn from other states here in the US and other countries who have already recognized the need for and the benefits of researching and implementing such policies. The time is long overdue for us to do what is right for Vermonters.”



Phil Scott has made his position clear. To him, fighting for hardworking Vermonters so they can make ends meet isn’t a priority.

 

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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." [VermontBiz.com, 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; VTDigger.org, 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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www.vtdemocrats.org; P.O. Box 1220 Montpelier, VT 05602; (802) 229-1783

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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This Just In: Phil Scott’s No Scientist

August 24, 2016

 

Burlington, VT  After repeatedly refusing to admit that the majority of climate change is man-made, Phil Scott suddenly had a convenient change of heart during the first general election debate on Monday night.

 

What led to this drastic change? As Seven Days reports, it was a good old fashion evolution of course.

 

"Everything I've read since [the forum] has shown me that scientists believe it is man-made, and I believe in science," he clarified to Seven Days Monday afternoon. "So, you know, I evolve, as well. I am not a scientist — and I've never pretended to be." [Seven Day, 08/24/16]

 

Now I’m no scientist either, but here is what I understand from that quote:

  1. Phil Scott has never read a single study or article quoting a study on climate change before this July, even during his 15 years in public office

  2. Phil Scott believes that you need to be a scientist to digest and retain scientific information - a bachelor's of science degree just doesn’t make the cut

  3. Phil Scott believes in science - but only during a general election, never during a primary

 

So what’s my hypothesis based on what I’ve observed?

 

Phil Scott’s campaign is defined by only vague platitudes and positions pulled straight from the national GOP handbook.  

 

Scott chose to ignore decades of scientific facts to win over the support and funding of the national Republican Party. Now he is trying to crawl his way back to the center to try  and match Vermont values.

 

At least it sounds like he believes in evolution...for now.

 

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