Super PAC That Backed Sorrell Fails to File Mandatory Report | Off Message

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Super PAC That Backed Sorrell Fails to File Mandatory Report

Posted By on Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Dozens of political action committees — and two super PACs — filed mandatory fundraising reports with the Vermont Secretary of State's Office on October 15.

But not the Committee For Justice and Fairness — the super PAC whose $194,000 in advertising helped Attorney General Bill Sorrell beat back a primary challenge from Democrat T.J. Donovan this summer.

The D.C.-based super PAC did file its quarterly report with the Federal Election Commission this month, confirming that its funding came solely from the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA) — in two payments of $100,000 each — and went almost entirely to support Sorrell's bid for an eighth term in office.

According to Will Senning of the secretary of state's office, the super PAC is required by law to file that portion of its federal disclosure form that relates to spending in Vermont elections — in this case, almost all of it. But Senning said that as of Wednesday, his office had received nothing.

Of course, there's no penalty for failing to file campaign reports unless someone makes a formal complaint to the attorney general's office. And to date, the office has received no such complaint, said Assistant Attorney General Megan Shafritz. Under state law, violations of campaign finance can be subject to hefty fines — up to $10,000 per offense.

According to its federal filing, the Committee For Justice and Fairness PAC raised $200,000 between July and September. Aside from $1500 paid to the D.C. law firm of Sandler, Reiff, Young and Lamb, every dime of that went to the media buyers that purchased the air time in support of Sorrell.

As we've pointed out before, DAGA's top contributors for the 2012 election cycle include Walmart, the Teamsters, Pfizer, Google and Monsanto. The No. 2 donor to DAGA in 2012 was Citigroup Global Markets —the same "Citi” that the super PAC's pro-Sorrell ad cast as a Wall Street villain.

The Committee For Justice and Fairness' treasurer, Dana Bykowski, did not immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday. The super PAC has not spent any money during the general election, in which Sorrell faces Republican Jack McMullen and Progressive Ed Stanak.

Photo credit: Andy Bromage

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About The Author

Andy Bromage

Andy Bromage

Andy Bromage was a Seven Days staff writer from 2009-2012, and the news editor from 2012-2013.

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