FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Christina Amestoy, VDP Communications Director
VDP Files Coordination Complaint with VTAG
September 21, 2016
Burlington, VT Yesterday, the Vermont Democratic Party asked the Vermont Attorney General’s office to investigate potentially illegal coordination between the Republican Governors Association (RGA) and the Phil Scott for Governor campaign. The complaint focuses on three recent television ads produced by the RGA’s Super PAC, “A Stronger Vermont.”
State law defines the standard for improper coordination as requiring “knowledge of the fact, or willful blindness toward the fact that the action will be used in connection with an activity or expenditure on the candidate’s behalf.”
The nature of the footage strongly suggests that the candidate allowed the RGA to film the candidate in extremely close proximity at private events and provided details of where the RGA could film. The most recent ad also includes high-quality audio from a Scott campaign event, raising even more questions about coordination between the two entities.
“This doesn’t pass the straight-face test,” said VDP Executive Director Conor Casey. “The day after the Republican primary ended, these ads were up on the air. These scenes look more like a Hollywood movie set than a backyard fundraiser.”
The last time the RGA played such a large role in Vermont elections, both the organization and their candidate, Brian Dubie, were fined a combined $90,000 for running afoul of campaign finance laws in a similar fashion.
The Party has asked that the Attorney General’s office review this matter immediately.
“In a post-Citizens United landscape, independent expenditures are part of our reality,” said Casey. “However, if you’re going to spend more than $600,000 propping up a candidate with television ads you had better make sure the footage you’re using was indeed acquired independently.”
A copy of the complaint has been attached.
Paid for by the Vermont Democratic Party and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
www.vtdemocrats.org; P.O. Box 1220 Montpelier, VT 05602; (802) 229-1783