Vermont Republican Party Submits Formal Complaint for Violation of Vermont Campaign Finance Law

Montpelier, Vt. — The Vermont Republican Party has filed a formal complaint with Attorney General Sorrell for violation of Vermont campaign finance law by and an independent Political Action Committee, based on illegal coordination with Sue Minter’s campaign.

Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund IE PAC is registered as an Independent-Expenditures only PAC, but has taken actions that demonstrate it is not operating entirely independent of the candidate, and thus forfeits its status as an Independent Expenditure and requiring immediate enforcement action by the Attorney General.

On September 2, 2016, the IE PAC distributed an online questionnaire to Vermont candidates that expressly asks candidates if they would like an endorsement from the organization, also offering a quid-pro-quo that expects endorsed candidates to vote 100% of the time in support of its positions. Further, the Minter campaign and Planned Parenthood use the same advertising agency, GMMB Inc., to produce and manage their media buying activities. GMMB has used footage they acquired explicitly for the Sue Minter campaign in ads being run by the PAC.  These actions disqualify it as an IE only PAC under Vermont Law and should compel the Attorney General to take immediate action.

“The activities of this IE only PAC and its connection to the Minter campaign through shared use of GMMB are a serious issue, and have allowed the PAC to solicit donations as an IE, while engaging in behavior that disallows this designation,” said Jeffrey Bartley, Executive Director of the Vermont Republican Party. “The fact that GMMB is involved is of no surprise, given the damage it’s already done in Vermont by promoting the Shumlin administration’s disastrous health exchange, Vermont Health Connect, while walking away with millions in taxpayer dollars. We hope, and expect, the Attorney General will take immediate and swift action.”

A formal complaint on the matter was filed with Attorney General Sorrell on Wednesday. The complaint also outlines a previous violation in 2010, when it ran more than $100,000 worth of illegal ads in the final weeks of the campaign.

A copy of the letter can be viewed by clicking here.