It's taken a few weeks, but the Pollina
campaign has decided to keep the money it received from contributors who donated more than $1,000 -- which totals about $28,000.
The campaign says it can keep the money because by its interpretation of the law that may or may not be governing campaign spending these days, they accepted most of the extra money when Anthony Pollina
was still a Progressive Party candidate for governor and would have theoretically had a primary election. When he decided to become an independent, he no longer had a primary and according to the interpretation of law by state officials could not longer accept donations up to $2,000 per individual. His limit became $1,000.Pollina
and staff argue, "The law says nothing about what happens if you change party affiliation."
In a statement issued last night (sorry we are so slow to post but we've had some other things on our minds here at the Free Press in recent days), the Pollina
campaign wrote, "The interpretation of the law now being suggested discriminates
against independent and minor party candidates. Vermont law traditionally called for contribution limits to be per election cycle (a two-year period."
The campaign points to a guide that says "A candidate may accept $2,000 so long as it is with the intent of applying $1,000 for use in paying expenses related to the primary and $1,000 for the General Election." Pollina
accepted most of the money when he expected to be in the Progressive Party Primary.
Most, but not all. According to his campaign finance report of July 31, he received six contributions that brought the contributors totals to more than $1,000 after he said he would run as an independent. Martha Abbott made two $1,000 contributions on July 27.
Elections Director Kathy DeWolfe
, said there is no question but that the law requires Pollina
to return the extra money. "He chose not to run in the primary so he can't keep it."
So the question here is who is going to challenge Pollina
about this money? If no one does, why?
-- Nancy Remsen