Shoales an alternative to White’s corporate-friendly stances

TOWNSHEND — I urge Windham County voters to join me in casting a vote for Dave Schoales for the Vermont State Senate. Schoales has said he is running to replace Senator Jeanette White.

As chair of the Government Operations Committee, Senator White has been the Legislature's leading proponent for allowing corporations to finance Vermont political campaigns. In 2011, she took the extreme step of not bringing a campaign finance reform bill that had been approved by her committee to the secretary of the Senate.

This unprecedented violation of Senate rules was intended to prevent a politically embarrassing vote on a floor amendment to ban corporate campaign contributions.

In 2013, she led the successful fight to preserve corporate campaign contributions and even opposed an amendment to prevent cheating (where wealthy contributors avoid the limits on individual contributions by giving the maximum personally and then additional amounts from companies that they control). Federal law has prohibited corporate campaign contributions since 1907, and it is significantly thanks to Senator White that these are still permitted in supposedly progressive Vermont.

Senator White has taken pro-corporation positions on other issues. She voted consistently to preserve special-interest tax breaks and subsidies for large corporations.

In one egregious case, she voted to protect the higher fees that Wall Street charges Vermonters for 529-plan college-savings accounts by insisting that Vermonters use a more expensive Wall Street plan than those available in other states in order to get a tax credit.

Sue Minter does not accept corporate contributions and wants to ban them. Phil Scott, the Republican candidate, has made full use of the corporate loophole that Senator White preserved, receiving one-third of his money from corporations.

To enact her reform agenda, Minter will need the votes of senators willing to stand up to the special interests and lobbyists who dominate Montpelier.

One such senator would be Dave Schoales, not Jeanette White.

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