Super PAC Formed in Vermont

Jul 20, 2012

A liberal Vermont group is forming what they hope will be the first in-state Super PAC.

The Priorities Super PAC is an offshoot of Vermont Priorities, a group that advocates for liberal issues in Vermont.  Lobbyist Bob Stannard is the Super PAC’s Treasurer and Vermont Priorities Chair. Stannard  says he actually dislikes the concept of Super PACs, but formed it for a couple reasons.

Super Pacs are a gray area in Vermont law, and this is the first filing that creates one within the state. The Vermont Secretary of State’s office has received its bank designation form as required. But Secretary of State Jim Condos is waiting for a ruling from the state attorney general's office as to the legality of the group.

Vermont’s Attorney General is expected to rule next week.  Again, Bob Stannard.

Middlebury College Professor Emeritus of Political Science Eric Davis believes Vermont would be on shaky legal ground if they try to regulate organizations that are truly independent of candidates running for public office.

The Vermont Secretary of State notes that under Vermont law a  PAC can donate directly to an individual candidate and can act on behalf of a candidate.  SuperPacs are intended to operate independently of candidates and to have no contact nor coordination with a candidate.
Calls to the Vermont Attorney General’s Office were not returned in time for this broadcast.