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Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Attorney General TJ Donovan Dismisses Complaint against Corren

November 21, 2017

CONTACT: TJ Donovan, Attorney General, 802-595-8679

November 21, 2017

Attorney General T.J. Donovan announced today that his office has reached a settlement with Dean Corren in a campaign finance enforcement action arising out of Corren’s 2014 campaign for lieutenant governor. The parties filed a stipulation of dismissal with the Superior Court today. By the terms of the settlement, Corren will pay $255 to a Vermont charitable organization.

The Attorney General’s Office brought the action in 2015 to enforce laws that prohibit publicly financed candidates from soliciting or accepting private contributions to their campaigns. By participating in the Public Financing Option, Dean Corren received more than $180,000 in public money. In return, he agreed to abide by restrictions on private contributions.

Despite these restrictions, the Corren campaign repeatedly asked the Vermont Democratic Party (VDP) for in-kind contributions to the Corren campaign. On October 13, 2014, Corren’s campaign sent the text of an email to the VDP and asked it to send the message to the VDP’s extensive email list. On October 24, 2014, the VDP sent an edited version of the message to more than 16,000 people promoting Corren. The parties to this action agreed that the mass email had a value of $255.

In July of this year, the Court ruled that the mass email was a contribution by the VDP to the Corren campaign. Further, the Court ruled that the mass email did not qualify for any exemptions from the legal definition of contribution. The Court left other matters open and set the matter for trial in December.

Last modified: January 4, 2018