Sixteen months after Progressive/Democrat Dean Corren lost his bid for lieutenant governor, he and the Attorney General’s Office still are embroiled in a double-barreled court fight over whether Corren violated Vermont’s campaign finance law. The case may turn on whether an email blast urging support for a candidate counts as an electioneering communication and therefore a political contribution, or, because it involves the use of computers and mailing lists, is exempt from the types of contributions that need to be reported to the secretary of state. The dust-up started in October 2014, when the Vermont Democratic Party sent out an email to 19,000 recipients inviting them to a series of rallies for the party’s candidates, including Corren, a former legislator from Burlington.
In March 2015, Attorney General William Sorrell announced that his office was taking a civil action against Corren saying that, because he had taken public financing for his campaign, he was barred from taking other contributions.
The email blast was a contribution, the Attorney General’s Office still argues. It initially sought more than $72,000 from Corren — $20,000 in penalties and $52,000 as the amount of public financing Corren allegedly had left in his campaign account on the day of the violation.
Full Article: Vermont Campaign finance battles continue in court.