Scott Milne at his campaign launch for U.S. Senate on Sept. 10, 2016.
Seven-term US Sen. Patrick Leahy had already scheduled a press event at the Burlington High School one recent crisp September morning to discuss college funding when his opponent, Scott Milne, summoned reporters with a 5:30 a.m. email announcing an impromptu press conference in the school parking lot — a half an hour before Leahy’s event.
Milne’s chum to reporters included a promise to continue bashing Leahy for refusing to release emails Milne hoped would show wrongdoing — or at least portray Leahy in a poor light — in connection with the troubled EB-5 immigrant investment program. The senator was a huge champion of the program, which is now sullied nationally by allegations of abuse, including charges of fraud leveled in Leahy’s home state against two men, one of them his friend, Bill Stenger.
A few hundred yards from the school entrance, in front of the football field, Milne set up a makeshift podium that he picked up at Sears on the way to the event. The “podium” was actually an old display sign holder that a store employee had thrown away that Milne, running a low-budget campaign, happily took off his hands.
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