Pollina’s independent switch could cost him

PolitickerVT informs us that independent Vermont Gubernatorial candidate Anthony Pollina may have found himself facing a major campaign finance obstacle he was not expecting:

Independent gubernatorial candidate Anthony Pollina’s campaign will review a hard copy of the Vermont pre-campaign finance reform law from 1997 tonight after learning several days ago from the secretary of state’s office it may have to return approximately $28,000 in campaign contributions due to his switch from the Progressive Party.

After reviewing Pollina’s July 31 campaign finance report, the Elections Director at the secretary of state’s office, Kathy DeWolfe, notified the campaign last week that some of his contributors exceeded the limit of what an individual can donate to an independent candidate.

Partisan candidates are permitted to receive donations of up to $2,000 from an individual, ostensibly $1,000 for their primary and $1,000 for the general election. After deciding to continue his candidacy as an independent rather than a Progressive candidate (IPR story here), Pollina is considered limited to the general election ceiling. “Approximately 34 individuals” have donated in excess of that amount. According to a parallel story in the Barre Montpelier Times Argus, the topic of a lower limit in contributions was not broached in the discussions leading up to the decision to go independent.

With less than $23,000 cash on hand, complying with the law as it’s been related to the campaign would have dire financial consequences. Though Assistant Attorney General Mark Shane has stated that no action against Pollina will be taken without a complaint concerning the donations, the campaign insists it will comply with the law once it resolves whether the State’s interpretation is correct. Commenting on that perceived ambiguity, Pollina campaign manager Meg Brook argued that the controversy presented an opportunity to demonstrates the flaws of the two-party system, remarking: “The laws are written through the lens to further that system and narrow the debate.”

17 thoughts on “Pollina’s independent switch could cost him

  1. G.E.

    Why is it that the Vermont Progressives aren’t more federalist? If they were, and other progressives could learn from their example, there could be a REAL libertarian-progressive alliance (with the CP, too).

    After all, many of these progressive states are the ones who are footing the bill for the South’s welfare statism. Why should Vermont and California, etc., allow the feds to take their wealth and redistribute it to the Red States? Someone with more tact than me needs to try to explain this to them. Let there be a dozen little Vermont-like socialist republic states, which there could be under federalism.

  2. Trent Hill


    The Vermont Progressive Party actually is quite federalist in its tendencies…at least…as far as a progressive party goes.

  3. G.E.

    This would be a good book project for someone. A state like California creates tons of wealth, is a liberal-progressive “blue” state, and basically begs the federal government to steal more from it in order to give it to ungrateful southerners. Federalism and secession should be left-wing ideas, as I can guarantee you it is the South that would object most vociferously at this point. No offense, Trent.

  4. G.E.

    .. or to any of the many good “conservative” and libertarian southerners. I myself am a bit of a copperhead, but facts are facts.

  5. Trent Hill


    Could you show me statistics that say the South soak up more welfare? I was under the impression that the dominant urban areas (including New York, California, and Illinois) soaked up more.

    Secondly–why does the South soak up more?

  6. G.E.

    The South is a net-tax receiver, while California and New York are big-time net-tax payers.

  7. Trent Hill


    I asked for statistics. Not that I dont believe you, but I’d like to see them. Also, do ethnic or poverty indexes give us any indications as to why?

  8. G.E.

    To be clear, that chart shows how much money each state gets back for each $1 they send the feds. The South, and red states in general, feed off the blue states — even poor Michigan.

  9. Trent Hill

    So we arent strictly talking about WELFARE programs, but programs–more widely defined as welfare.

  10. G.E.

    Trent – Right. Not welfare as Rush Limbaugh defines it, very narrowly, but as any sensible human being would define it. The fact of the matter is, it doesn’t matter if it’s being spent on food stamps or something else — money is being taken out of productive states and redistributed to the South.

  11. Trent Hill

    Id say “the South” is an unfair characterization.

    Amongst the top ten welfare states are Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico, and West Virginia. The only southern states in the top 10 are Virginia, Alabama, and Mississippi.

  12. G.E.

    West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, and New Mexico ALL receive more in federal money than they chip in. Only Texas and Georgia are net-taxpayer states (and barely).

    Conversely, take a look at the West Coast — California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington (all blue states) are net-taxpayers. On the East Coast, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Mass., Connecticut, and Delaware all net-taxpayers.

    Midwest: Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and Indiana all net-taxpayers. Ohio is just about even ($1.01 for every $1).

    It is the South and the Mountain West — the Red States — who benefit from big government; while the productive Blue States foot the bill.

    And YES, it is THE SOUTH, by and large. Only two southern states are not parasites. The Mountain North and Mountain West are very very small in comparison. The South is where the money goes.

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