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Groups Pay $60,000 In Campaign Finance Disputes

Attorney General Bill Sorrell announced a $30,000 settlement with the Planned Parenthood Action Fund Tuesday over alleged campaign finance violations related to the 2010 gubernatorial election.

State campaign finance law requires groups taking donations and making large expenditures on political advertising to register as political action committees (PACs). Sorrell and Assistant Attorney General Eve Jacobs-Carnahan said in a release that the Planned Parenthood Action Fund spent almost $120,000 on political ads opposed to Republican candidate Brian Dubie in the 2010 election, but didn’t register as a PAC.

Planned Parenthood of New England disputed the state’s allegations but settled to avoid the “burden and expense of an examination,” according to the attorney general’s release.

The $30,000 settlement comes just a week after the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) settled for the same amount in an unrelated campaign finance case.

In that case, DGA-backed Green Mountain Future, which spent over $500,000 on ads opposed to Dubie in the 2010 election, did not file disclosure reports with the Secretary of State’s office as required by law.

Jacobs-Carnahan said the settlement money is paid into the General Fund, Vermont's main cash pool from which legislators appropriate money for various state programs.