MONTPELIER — A Democratic advocacy group violated the state’s campaign finance laws by running television ads against the Republican candidate for governor in 2010 without registering as a political action committee, the state Supreme Court said on Friday, upholding a lower court ruling.
The Supreme Court also ordered a lower court to reconsider the $10,000 civil penalty it imposed on the group, Green Mountain Future, which received most of its funding from the Democratic Governors Association.
During the last months of the 2010 political campaign, the group spent more than $500,000 on political advertisements attacking Republican candidate Brian Dubie. The ads ran more than 4,000 times in September and October of that year.
Green Mountain Future argued its advertisements were purely issue advocacy and didn’t seek to affect the outcome of the race between Dubie and Democrat Peter Shumlin, who were running for an open seat. Shumlin won that race and was re-elected in 2012.
The state attorney general’s office argued the group’s ads were designed to defeat Dubie “although they did not state so explicitly.”
“The State argues that (Green Mountain Future)’s advertisements were transparently employed to defeat the candidacy of Brian Dubie for Governor — indeed, they could have no other purpose — although they did not state so explicitly,” said the decision, written by Justice John Dooley.
A telephone call seeking comment from the Democratic Governors Association was not immediately returned on Friday.
Following the 2010 campaign, the attorney general’s office filed similar complaints against Democratic and Republican advocacy groups on the grounds they violated the state’s campaign finance laws.
In its original lawsuit, the state sought a $100,000 penalty from Green Mountain Future. But the lower court imposed a $10,000 penalty. The Supreme Court ordered the lower court to reconsider the amount of the penalty.MORE IN Vermont NewsDANVILLE — The town’s principal has resigned amid allegations that he embezzled money from the... Full StoryMONTPELIER — The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife is reminding ice anglers that they need ... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1843, British Naval officer GEORGE LORD PAULET obtains provisional cession of Hawaiian Islands; 1866, miners claim Calaveras skull found found in goldmine is remains of 5 million-year-old Pliocene man.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown