Pollina Shows His ‘True Colors’

Letters / Apr. 5, 2001 12:00am EDT

Pollina Shows His ‘True Colors’

This past week Progressive Party gubernatorial candidate Anthony Pollina showed his true colors once again. In an article about adjusting the public finance provisions of Vermont’s campaign finance law, Mr. Pollina stated that he saw a conspiracy to keep him from running for governor! Nothing is going to keep him from running for governor, including any adjustments to this law.

Mr. Pollina to his credit, was instrumental in crafting the public financing provisions of Vermont’s new campaign finances law. Many of us supported that endeavor and had little idea that he would be first in line when it came time to hand out $300,000 in public funds. His reaction to the Secretary of State’s proposal reinforces what we have suspected all along; now that his role has changed, he is very much more concerned with his own political advancement.

The purpose of public financing and campaign finance reform is to increase citizen participation at the grassroots level. Funding races for the state legislature will accomplish, this and Secretary Markowitz was correct to begin this discussion. Shifting public financing to legislative races, where it could actually make a difference, is good public policy and advances the goals of campaign finance reform. And honestly, by encouraging minor party and independent candidates to run for the house and Senate, this proposal may not benefit Democrats or Republicans in the long run.

If this past election proved anything, it is that public financing of the governor’s race is unworkable under the current circumstances. When the courts struck down the spending limits, in the governor’s race public financing was no longer a viable alternative for Democratic and Republican candidates. Vermonters must now decide what the limits will be, and how much campaign finance reform they want.

This proposal will give new life to Vermont’s groundbreaking campaign finance reform effort. Discussion will take place, about all of it. Mr. Pollina can be a constructive, positive voice in this discussion, if he can manage not to see everything as a conspiracy.

Holly Wilson,

Quechee

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