In a letter delivered to the Vermont Attorney General’s Office on Feb. 16, 2012, Let Vermont Vote outlines a money trail involving $139,000 of campaign donations during the 2010 gubernatorial campaign. The money flows from a handful of anonymous donors into the coffers of the Planned Parenthood of Northern New England’s Action Fund, a 501(c)4 (PPNNE AF). The donors are likely from out-of-state, the amounts are as high as $25,000 per donor and $134,837 ended buying TV ads attacking Brian Dubie during the last 3 weeks of the 2010 campaign.
As this money made its way from unknown sources to work on behalf of candidate Peter Shumlin, none of the funds stopped off at the PPNNE AF PAC. Nor did the PPNNE AF 501(c)4 bother to register as a Vermont PAC. Nor did the Shumlin For Governor campaign report the $134,837 of expenditures on its behalf.
Then there is the coincidence of the 2010 Planned Parenthood Of Northern New England Action Fund PAC reports and the Planned Parenthood Of Northern New England Action Fund Mass Media Activities forms both having been signed by Jill Krowinski who was recently appointed by Gov. Shumlin to a legislative seat. As a further coincidence, Deb Shumlin [Governor Peter Shumlin’s wife, though the two are separated] was the person signing the 2008 PPNNE AF PAC’s reports.
As Craig Bensen, Let Vermont Vote spokesman, explained, “The Attorney General’s Office has been working overtime on campaign finance issues. We thought that they should be apprised of these facts. The possibility of a quid pro quo involving a legislative appointment is especially troubling and merits the attention of Vermont’s campaign finance investigators.”