Jack TenneyExtra Point

by Jack Tenney, Publisher

June 2016

Welcome to the first issue of the 33rd volume of this publication formerly know as Business Digest of Greater Burlington. Twelve times a year, for the past 32 years, I tried to make an extra point. From time to time, I reprise (play back) a former column.

I am quite tempted to go back to the June 2000 Extra Point. It recounted a meeting I had while representing Dick Snelling, then a 1976 candidate for Governor. He won ... and went on to win, and win, and win. What brought that meeting and that column back to mind was Bernie and his approach to campaign finance.

As you are well aware, Bernie is running again, this time for the White House. And he has perfected, it seems, the art of raising big money from small contributors.

The point of the meeting in 1976 was to negotiate a limit on campaign spending. Dick was the Republican candidate; Stella Hackel, the state treasurer, was the Democratic candidate; and Bernie was running as the Liberty Union candidate. An IBM guy, polished, poised, and politically savvy, represented Hackel, Bernie represented himself, and attorney Allen Paul and I represented Dick.

You can go online and read the old column. The punch line (extra point) was that after much bobbing and weaving, the target number seemed to be $40,000 (what will this year’s Governor’s race spend be?). Bernie ended the meeting with the suggestion that he thought $200 was the proper number.

Near zero inflation has been fun in our day-to-day lives (excepting tuition, real estate taxes, healthcare, and this and that). But campaign spending, oh my golly! It’s not only going through the overhead, it’s starting to cast doubts on the efficacy of my product: advertising.

How much was spent by candidates and so-called super PACs trying to dis the Donald? Did it work?

Whatever. Advertising with this magazine has worked every month really well for businesses wanting to reach Business People in Vermont. For the 32nd year in a row, thanks, readers and advertisers.