Scott Milne challenges Pat Leahy to get money out of politics.

“What’s wrong with this picture?” asks Scott Milne. “Over the weekend, Pat Leahy’s campaign machine charged people $5,000 a plate for face time with Vermont’s senior Senator. I wasn’t there, but I am guessing folks got a few spoonfuls of inside-the-beltway talk, along with stories of the Castro brothers, the President, and the Pope.

“Senator Leahy hasn’t yet reported how much he raised in that event, but with a robust war chest this veteran politician expects to easily win an eighth six-year term in the U.S. Senate. He has served in the Senate for 42 years, longer than any other sitting U.S. Senator. George Aiken, his predecessor, knew enough to stop at 34 years.

“Senator Aiken spent $17.09 on his entire campaign for the Senate in 1968. He spent a total $4,423.03 for all six of his U.S. Senate campaigns combined.”

Milne says, “Money in politics is one of the biggest problems facing our nation. Our Senator is complicit in the growing influence of money in campaigns, and throughout our entire political system, since he took Aiken’s seat. The Senator has over two million dollars in his war chest and millions more in PACs. Much of that money has come from special interests and major donors.

“Senator Leahy could learn from Senator Aiken’s example. He could win his final campaign for the United States Senate by fundraising and spending like George Aiken. I challenge him to run a $100 campaign and to demand outside money stay out of Vermont in the 2016 United States Senate race.

“Vermont was the first state to abolish slavery, grant universal manhood suffrage, guarantee public education, and authorize civil unions. Senator Leahy can change the course of history by honoring our great Senator’s record in campaign spending. We may be a small state, but with strong leadership we can once again change America for the better.

“Give your money to Vermont charities, Senator,” Milne implored. “Show us by example how much you resemble George Aiken.”