PAC to pay $30K for campaign finance violations
MONTPELIER — A Democratic advocacy group will pay a $30,000 settlement for violating Vermont’s campaign finance laws, Attorney General William Sorrell said Wednesday.
The settlement requires Green Mountain Future, a political action committee created by the Democratic Governors Association, to pay the state a $20,000 civil penalty for not including its address on its website or television ads against Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Dubie during the 2010 campaign, Sorrell said.
The group also must pay $10,000 for not registering as a PAC or filing campaign finance reports, he said.
“Voters are legally entitled to know who is seeking to influence them,” Sorrell said. “PACs need to obey the laws. They cannot hide. They must disclose their identity, including their address, their donors, and their expenditures, to the extent required by law.”
A trial court ruled in 2011 that GMF had violated the state’s campaign finance laws but did not impose a penalty. On appeal, the Vermont Supreme Court said the lower court was wrong not to impose a penalty so the case went back to the trial court. The trial court approved the settlement, Sorrell said.