Opinion: Does money buy your vote?

There is plenty to be disturbed about in this election season, but Vermonters should be particularly troubled by the influx of money from out of state trying to influence how we vote. By some reports national Republican groups have already spent over half a million dollars buying television ads on behalf of Phil Scott’s gubernatorial campaign.
Of more local concern, an organization called the Republican State Leadership Committee recently announced the launch of a “five-figure digital ad buy” to encourage Vermonters to turn Democratic legislators out of office for what they call “disastrous” legislative policies. The group specifically targets two of our most capable and conscientious Addison County Representatives, Dave Sharpe of Bristol and Diane Lanpher of Vergennes.
Under Democratic leadership Vermont’s legislature has:
• Achieved 97 percent health insurance coverage for Vermonters.
• Done away with depending on one-time funds to balance the budget.
• Increased child protection and substance abuse services to meet our opiate crisis.
• Restrained overall annual budget growth to 2.4 percent of the total budget.
• Continued Vermont’s tradition of passing and living within a balanced budget.
• Maintained an AAA bond rating.
The list goes on, and Representatives Sharpe and Lanpher have played important and responsible roles in these achievements. They deserve to be reelected.
Vermont legislative districts are small. If you have questions for your representative or disagree with legislative action, you can easily take your concerns directly to your legislator. Vermonters can make up their own minds about how to vote — we don’t need out of state money from unknown donors to help us make our electoral decisions.
Spencer Putnam

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