Guest Opinion: The Executive Director of the Vermont Progressive Party issued the following statement calling on the Vermont Legislature to pass a ban on corporate donations to parties and candidates.
The Progressive Party analyzed the most recent campaign finance reports filed by the 3 major Vermont parties. We found that the Republican Party received 78% of their donations, over $50,000, from corporations. The Democratic party received 60% of their contributions, over $60,000, from corporate donors.
This demonstrates clearly that they are not primarily supported by individuals with a few corporate donations thrown in. They are both relying on corporate entities for the majority of their financial support. In many cases, these are corporations with business before the Legislature. They are not “mom and pop” stores.
AT & T, Walgreens, Anheuser Bush, and T Mobile made donations to both the Democratic and Republican Parties. Other corporate donors in the most recent reports include Comcast, Dish Network, Pfizer, and Burlington Town Center Mall Associates.
It is time for the Legislature to act. It is time for the candidates and parties who are leading our state and making crucial decisions about our future to return to getting their financial support from the people. Corporations are not people and we must act to ensure that they do not monopolize the political conversation.
In our two decade history as a statewide party, the Progressive Party has always refused to take corporate donations, and does not support candidates who do so. It has been a cornerstone of our Party from the beginning.