Vermont political parties receive serious financial support from Democratic National Committee, Romney’s campaign
by Nat Rudarakanchana vtdigger.org Federal campaign finance reports show that the Vermont state Democratic and Republican parties have raised $302,104 and $59,242 respectively this year, with significant support from the Democratic National Committee and presidential election funds associated with Mitt Romney’s campaign.
Vermont state Republicans received $20,000 on June 30, 2012, from Romney Victory Inc., reportedly in return for helping Romney Victory channel funds into Romney’s presidential campaign, as the Burlington Free Press’ Nancy Remsen wrote yesterday.
The Romney Victory donation is associated with Wayne Reynolds, chairman of the Washington, D.C., nonprofit American Academy of Achievement, and Mara Sandler, a homemaker from New York City’s Upper East Side.
State GOP chair Jack Lindley said he knew little about Reynolds and Sandler, but anticipated that a monthly payment of $20,000 would continue until the end of the election season. Lindley said he felt “thrilled” that Vermont is one of four states, alongside Massachusetts, Idaho and Oklahoma, participating in the joint fundraising activity, which involves co-ordinating with the Republican National Committee and the Romney campaign.
He attributed the RNC’s choice of Vermont to his own status as a “grizzled veteran chairman.”
“Probably folks in the Romney campaign knew this grizzled chairman, and knew that we were anxious to help Romney carry Vermont,” Lindley remarked. But Lindley denied that the state party would become dependent on that monthly $20,000, even though it made up about a third of what they had raised for that federal account this calendar year.
Vermont state Republicans also received $1,000 from Romney for President, Inc., in late May.
Ariel Wengroff, communications director for the Vermont Democratic Party, said that the fundraising partnership indicated that the state Republican party continued “to embrace a Republican national agenda that most Vermont Republicans don’t stand for.”
While the Vermont Democratic Party did not receive any donations from groups affiliated with President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, they have received just over $88,000 from the Democratic National Committee this year.
Vermont state Democrats receive a monthly $10,000 stipend from the DNC, according Wengroff. The state party also received at least $9,000 this year from Dollars for Democrats, a fundraising partner specializing in state Democratic clients, alongside small amounts from the national committee’s state party victory fund.
Asked for comment on the much heftier campaign war chest raised by the state Democrats, which is about five times the amount state Republicans raised, Lindley said only: “All power to them: I’m sure it’s coming from places like Hollywood.”
“They’re doing a good job for their candidates, and we certainly intend to do a good job for our candidates,” said Lindley. Wengroff declined to comment.
Together the filings indicate that most of the money in party-level fundraising for both Democrats and Republicans lurks at the federal level. State records show that Democratic and Republican party committees registered with the state transferred about $36,000 and $19,900 back out to their federal campaign accounts last year, and raised only $98,605 and $45,272 respectively for 2012 to date.