Priorities PAC releases ad backing Pearce; discloses donors, amount paid for media buy

Bob Stannard. VTD/Josh Larkin
Bob Stannard. VTD File Photo/Josh Larkin

Priorities PAC, a liberal super PAC, will release its first ad on broadcast and cable television stations tomorrow. The 30-second spot is a feel-good narrative about State Treasurer Beth Pearce.

Priorities PAC, unlike its conservative counterpart, has released the names of the individuals behind its low-budget video advertisement and financial information about the media buy — including a list of contributors and the amount the PAC spent on the video and air time on local television and cable stations.

Priorities PAC was formed last summer by Bob Stannard, a former legislator from Bennington and lobbyist, as an anti-super PAC dedicated to financial transparency. Stannard and Todd Bailey, a consultant for the PAC and a member of the firm KSE Partners, said they would disclose the source of the PAC’s funding from the beginning. Typically, super PACs try to keep their finances under wraps.

“Priorities PAC is following through with what voters expect it to do,” Bailey said. “Voters will know which group is transparent and which one is hiding what they were doing. We want to be clear where our money comes from even though that technical difference may seem like splitting hairs.”

Vermonters First, a conservative super PAC largely backed by one donor, Lenore Broughton, has refused to disclose how much the group has received outside the monthly required campaign finance filings and has not said who has produced its ads. So far the group has spent about $200,000 on robocalls, mailings and advertisements.

The Priorities PAC ad and voiceover cost $2,500, according to Bailey. The group paid $15,000 for its first media buy.

Contributors include: Lisa Steele, who gave $10,000 for the ad (this is her second gift of that amount); David Coates, the former managing partner of the Vermont KPMG office; former Democratic Sen. Hinda Miller, who was the founder of JogBra; Democratic Sen. Bill Carris, owner of Carris Reels Inc.; Mary Alice McKenzie, executive director of the Burlington Boys and Girls Club; and Steve Terry, an executive at Green Mountain Power.

The ad emphasizes Pearce’s achievements in office. A female narrator, Lily Garmache of St. Albans, describes Pearce’s track record in general terms.

Vermont State Treasurer Beth Pearce protects your money. Every year she goes to Wall Street to keep Vermont’s state credit rating high. We now have the highest bond rating in New England. Pearce has saved us millions. Last August Pearce fast-tracked highway aid and education payments to towns hit by Tropical Storm Irene.

The ad, produced by Art Bell of Dreamlike Pictures, will air starting tomorrow on WCAX, CNN, Fox News and the Food Network among other cable channels.

The Priorities PAC ad is all Vermont-made, which Bailey says is another distinction between his group’s approach and that of Vermonters First.

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Anne Galloway

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  • Paula Schramm

    Thanks ,” Priorities” PAC, for showing how it should be done. Tayt Brooks, Leonore Broughton, and “Vermonters First” PAC : take notice ! Your shenanigans do reflect badly on the candidates you are trying to support.

  • Stan Hopson

    The Pearce ad looks like something my 11 year old puts together on her IPAD in 20 minutes.

  • walter carpenter

    Agreed, Paula. Agreed.

  • Rilla Murray

    This is transparency in action. Congratulations!

  • Robert Hooper

    I have worked with Beth long prior to the time she was appointed to be THE state treasurer, (not to be confused with the Wilton attempt to hijack the titlle in her campaign material) and I know her to be one if not the best people to hold the title in my tenure in Vermont. She is completely dedicated to insuring Vermont maintains the highest credit ratings, gains the highest returns on its investments such as retirement funds, and continues to give serious consideration to programs that favorably impact our state and citizens. Beth is a smart cookie with no political agenda to advance beyond good fiscal policy.

    Vermont would do well to look beyond the huge out of state cash infusion the Republican Party has offered to try to keep something in the game, and vote simply based upon the quality and dedication of Beth Pearce. A straightforward campaign with no “rental home” distractions or other foolishness! We need a dedicated Treasurer, someone who is serious and not driven by a political agenda.

    Voters who look beyond the slick but questionable advertisements will see that Our Treasurer is a jewel that we would be well served to retain.