Actually, that's selling Miss Daisy short.
Feel free to check my math, but here's what I get. $575 million (Presidential campaigns) divided by $312,000 (Treasurer and Auditor) is roughly 1,842. The two major Presidential candidates have spent 1,842 times as much money as Vermont's four major candidates for Treasurer and Auditor.
If Lenore Broughton has spent, say, $600,000 on those two races, then to have the same financial impact on the Presidential race, Sheldon Adelson would have to spend $1,105,200,000. That's one BILLION, one hundred million dollars.
Ten times as much as he threatened to spend.
Lenore Broughton, 74, has nearly singlehandedly funded a new super PAC called Vermonters First, a group that has been running ads supporting GOP candidates and opposing Gov. Peter Shumlin’s push for a single-payer health care system.This is what Citizens United has brought to the Green Mountain State.
Let's talk a little bit about Miss Daisy and her....lineage.
This Green Mountain Daily diarist pulled up some interesting stuff in an effort to answer the question, "Just who is this woman trying to buy our elections"?
Turns out she's the granddaughter of Sewell Avery.
Avery was a National Advisor of the Crusaders, a fascist front group of the American Liberty League... Avery gave generously to the Church League of America (CLA). Formed in 1937 to oppose the New Deal, it was “an information clearinghouse for industrial and business security agents” and gave employers blacklists of “unionists and subversives” (Public Eye Political Research Associates). The CLA, “one of the oldest private spy networks in the U.S., [created]… computerized files on U.S. citizens” and spearheaded religious propaganda to link communism with Satan and the Antichrist. Senator Joe McCarthy described the CLA as a “militant anti-Communist, Protestant group usefully serving the interests of America and God” (GroupWatch). More recently, it has helped homophobic crusades of the Christian Right.
Lurking in the background behind the plot to oust FDR was the American Liberty League, a pro-business think-tank and ultra-right wing lobby group. Its treasurer was Jerry MacGuire’s boss, Grayson Murphy, a leading J.P. Morgan broker. One of its top donors was Robert Clark, who also tried to recruit General Smedley Butler into the conspiracy to oust President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
At last check, Miss Daisy has bankrolled Vermonters First, a right wing SuperPAC, to the tune of $685,000. She's responsible for damn near every dime of cash they have. Vermonters First is pouring shit tons of money into races all over the ticket.
These names might not mean anything to you, but look at the long list of state Democrats (and at least one Progressive I see in there...remember, in Vermont, the Progressives are a relevant third party that holds seats in both houses in Montpelier) Miss Daisy's money is paying to attack.
John S. RodgersAnd that's just the state downticket.
Joan G. Lenes
John W. Malcolm
Kristy Kurt Spengler
Margaret "Peg" Andrews
John H. Taylor
Susan Hatch Davis
Today, Lenore Broughton provides funding for True North Reports, a Vermont-based conservative news website and True North Radio, a similarly hued radio program on WDEV in Waterbury. She’s a frequent donor to Republican candidates, including Michele Bachman and John McCain.Hey, didn't I say something about Sheldon Adelson a ways back there?
Broughton converted to Orthodox Judaism in the 1980s, her ex-husband said, and has been a staunch defender of Israel.
She fought unsuccessfully against the city-owned telecom system’s decision to include English language programming from the Qatar-based network Al Jazeera in its cable television offerings. She also served on the board of a pro-Israel lobbying group a decade ago with the now-disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, according to a Seattle newspaper.
I don't know what to do about this.
There are those who instinctively want to bust out with the signs and start protesting. I applaud this.
A lot of people don't like the "right to your front yard" tactic. I haven't forgotten how this community reacted when Mike Stark showed up on Bill O'Reilly's front porch. Hell, even Olbermann made him "second worst Person In The World" behind that shit, right between Rush and Billo himself....while Netroots Nation was underway. That had to sting.
But in this instance, I wonder if that might not be the thing to do, given that I can almost guarantee you that if you're reading this, you never heard of Lenore Broughton until now.
At any rate, we now see yet another example of the catastrophic effects of the Citizens United decision. I don't think enough attention is being paid to the effect this has on the state level...and how that INTERFACES on the national level...
But if you look at Broughton's past history, it's clear that her own political views are far to the right. Her political donations are mainly to Tea Partiers like Michelle Bachmann, Allen West, Sharron Angle and Christine O'Connell. The "charitable" donations of the Broughton Fund have gone almost entirely to "educational" ventures of the far right. (A fact that Seven Days' article completely obscures.) Given Broughton's own track record, it seems certain that in the future, Vermonters First will be an advocacy group for ultraconservative causes.I wonder. I just wonder.
And more than anything else?
We sent photographer Matthew Thorsen to the meeting. When he got there, Thorsen says, two members of the board had already arrived, but not Broughton. They asked who he was and what he was doing there, and Thorsen says he replied that he was taking pictures for the paper. Broughton showed up a few minutes later, Thorsen says, and asked the same question. Thorsen repeated who he was, at which point, he says, Broughton said, "No, no," put her hands across her face and bolted from the building.I wonder just how many Lenore Broughtons are out there.