7-7-14 – Spotlighting Hypocrisy: This Is Why EAI’s Roll Call Profiles Are So Valuable

Posted by Rob Roper

Today someone forwarded me a fundraising email from Vermont State Senator Ann Cummings (D-Washington County), who is facing a tough challenge in the November election. Her plea for cash opens with the line, “Dear Constituent; You are receiving this message because I know you share my concern over the corrupting influence of big corporate dollars in the elections process.”

Yes, we hear a lot from our politicians about the evils of “big corporate money” and its “corrupting influence” while they’re on the campaign trail and in their campaign materials. But what about when they’re on the floor of the House or Senate voting on these issues?

Turns out, for example, that when Sen. Cummings had a chance to put her corporate money where her mouth was by voting for legislation that would rein corporate money in Vermont, she voted “NO.”

On April 18, 2013, as the Vermont Senate debated campaign finance reform measures (S.82), Senator Peter Galbraith proposed an amendment that would:

(A)  For the purpose of calculating the limits on contributions from a single source under this section, if a single source is a natural person who owns a business which also makes contributions, the contributions from that business shall be considered a contribution from the single source.

(B)  Except in the case of publicly traded corporations, if a business is owned by more than one natural person, the contributions from that business shall be calculated pro rata among those persons based on their ownership interest.

In other words, it would have kept wealthy owners of corporations from being able to double, triple, quadruple, etc. their political donating power by giving through their companies. Galbraith’s amendment failed 9-20, with Cummings joining the majority in voting NO.

Those Senators who voted in the negative were: Ayer, Bray, Campbell, Collins, Cummings, Doyle, Flory, Fox, French, Hartwell, Kitchel, Lyons, Mazza, McAllister, Mullin, Nitka, Rodgers, Sears, Snelling, Starr, White.

Those Senators who voted in the affirmative were: Ashe, Baruth, Benning, Galbraith, MacDonald, McCormack, Pollina, Westman, Zuckerman.

This is why EAI’s Legislator Roll Call Profiles are such a valuable tool for citizens. When your representatives tell you at the 4th of July parade, or on your doorstep, or in a fundraising letter that they’re really for lower taxes, or job creation, or, of course, getting all that big corporate money out of politics, you’ve got an easy reference to see if they’re living up to their promises when it counts – when they vote!

The Ethan Allen Institute is a 501c3 non profit organization dedicated to promoting liberty and free market solutions for Vermont. We are supported by small, local donors such as yourself. Join the cause. Be part of the solution! JOIN HERE! Contributions are tax deductible.



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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

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