Good morning. My name is Brenda Wright. I am currently Legal Director of the Democracy Program at Demos, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization established in 1999. I thank you for this opportunity to share our views on the important campaign reforms now under consideration by this Committee.
For the past several years, I have had the pleasure of working with Vermont legislators, the Vermont Attorney General’s office, and Vermont advocates and citizens on campaign finance reform issues, including the legal defense of Vermont’s landmark Act 64. I represented a number of legislators who intervened in the lawsuit, including former Rep. Marion Milne, Representative Daryl Pillsbury, the late Rep. Karen Kitzmiller, former Senator Cheryl Rivers, former Sen. Liz Ready, along with VPIRG, the League of Women Voters, the Older Women’s League, and numerous other groups and Vermont citizens.
The legislation before this Committee is an important first step to address the Supreme Court’s decision in Randall v. Sorrell, and to restore basic reasonable contribution limits that will allow Vermont to address the sometimes corrosive effect of money in politics. I believe that a system of full public financing is ultimately the way to go, but I recognize that is not part of the current proposed legislation.
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