Message Loud And Clear: Leahy Lacks Vision, Loves Campaign Money, Double Talks On Term Limits

November 4, 2016 (Pomfret, VT): Just six days before the general election for a six year term, incumbent Senator Patrick Leahy sat down to the one and only head to head debate he agreed to with candidate Scott Milne.  Seven Days, VT Digger, The Vermont Press Bureau, and The Valley News all covered the debate.

LEAHY’S CAMPAIGN IS RUNNING A CAMPAIGN DEVOID OF IDEAS

Seven Days: Despite Attacks On Milne, Leahy Has “Done Little To Explain What Legislation He’d Seek.”  “Leahy himself has done little to explain what legislation he’d seek to pass if elected to an eighth six-year term. …  Asked by debate moderator Peter Hirschfeld what ‘specific policy initiatives’ he hoped to accomplish ‘in the next six years,’ Leahy instead highlighted successes from his past.”

NOTE: In his last term in office, Senator Leahy was only able to see less than 6.5% of the laws be introduced as lead sponsor become law, (7/108) and that figure includes the 2012 reauthorization of EB-5 while the scandal in the Kingdom raged on.

LEAHY LACKS COURAGE OF FELLOW DEMOCRATS TO REJECT CORPORATE PAC MONEY

VPR: Leahy Dependence On Corporate Money Differs From Sanders, Other Candidates. “The incumbent senator has raised more than $1 million in this cycle alone from political actions committees, many linked to corporate entities.  Though his fellow Vermont senator, Bernie Sanders, has sworn off contributions from corporate PACS…”

VTDigger: “[The moderator] pointed out that other candidates from Vermont — including … Sen. Bernie Sanders — have rejected corporate money this election season.”

NOTE: In 1998, after accepting PAC donations in prior re-election campaigns, Senator Leahy said in his VPR debate against Fred Tuttle that I’m the only person ever elected to federal office in Vermont who’s done it without taking PAC money.  And I don’t.  I’ve seen how the scramble for PAC money allows too many of the special interests to come in.”

UNLIKE FELLOW DEMOCRATS, LEAHY REFUSES TO RETURN TAINTED CAMPAIGN FUNDS

VTDigger: “Milne Landed Some Blows.” “Milne landed some blows.  He hit Leahy over the recent revelation that he accepted $5,000 in 2003 through a Massachusetts law firm’s legally dubious system in which donations from employees were offset by bonus payments.  ‘I’m sitting across from a man who got $5,000 in dirty money from a law firm in Boston and won’t return it, even though Hillary Clinton and Peter Welch and everybody else is returning the money,’ Milne said ….”

The Valley News: Leahy “refuse[s] to return $5,000 in campaign donations from a Boston-based law firm that effectively reimbursed its attorneys for such contributions.  Other lawmakers, including U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt, and Gov. Maggie Hassan, returned donations they had gotten for the firm, and Milne called it ‘dirty money.’”

NOTE: Senator Leahy refuses to return the three donations he received in 2003, around the same time he was working on a class action reform bill that would have hurt the Thornton Law Firm’s business by allowing asbestos victims to circumvent costly attorneys’ fees.  He opposed that bill in every respect.

LEAHY DOUBLE TALKS ON TERM LIMITS

Vermont Press Bureau: Leahy Waivers On Term Limits. “Leahy seemed to waiver on the issue of term limits when Milne asked Leahy if he would join him in seeking them. Leahy said term limits are up to voters on election day. But he seemed to suggest that he might support such a proposal.”

Two Weeks Earlier, Leahy Promised To Support Term Limits. Leahy stated on October 13th that he would be in favor of term limits, but in the debate forgot he had said so (Reporter: “… you would support the idea of term limits in the Senate?” Leahy:  “Oh, if we had term limits for everybody, sure.”).

But Leahy Has A Record Of Opposing Term Limits. He has in fact previously voted against term limits.

The picture painted?  Senator Leahy has no ideas for his eighth term in office, loves campaign money no matter where it comes from, and won’t give voters a straight answer on term limits.
Missed the VPR Debate?  See our fact check HERE.