Vermont Attorney General files suit against 2010 GOP gubernatorial candidate

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February 15, 2012

By Lauren Rodgers

Vermont

MONTPELIER, VT: The state of Vermont is suing both Brian Dubie, the state's former lieutenant governor and gubernatorial candidate in the 2010 election, and the Republican Governor's Association (RGA) for violating Vermont campaign finance laws. The suit, brought in the Vermont Superior Court, seeks "penalties of $10,000 for each violation the court determines did occur."[1]

Bill Sorrell, the Attorney General of Vermont, alleges Dubie's campaign provided the RGA with confidential polling data, which the national organization then used to "make strategic decisions regarding its advertisement in support of Mr. Dubie's bid for Governor."[2] In total, Sorrell's complaint values the RGA's total -kind contributions at more than $242,000 - a figure that far exceeds the $3,000 per-election limit on contributions from political committees to candidates. The office also valued the data that Dubie's campaign shared with the RGA at $93,000. Such contributions to a political committee in Vermont are capped at $2,000 per election cycle. Neither Dubie nor the RGA disclosed the contributions on any campaign finance report filed with the Vermont Secretary of State[2]

The two accused parties have asked the court to dismiss the case. Attorneys representing the two claim "sharing polling information does not constitute coordination" and argue "the State offers no evidence that Dubie knew what ads the RGA was going to air or wanted those ads aired." Dubie's attorney argues the attorney general's complaint is "meritless" and "violates fundamental and well-settled First Amendment rights," and adds "we look forward to fighting it."[1]

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