Recently, I heard a debate between the two major candidates for Vermont Attorney General, Democratic Chittenden County State’s Attorney T. J. Donovan and Republican private lawyer Deborah Bucknam. Their answers to one question showed that the Republican candidate was out of touch with political morality and reality.
The question was whether the candidates agreed with the U. S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case. That was the 5 to 4 decision that freedom of speech prohibited the government from restricting “independent” political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation. Citizens United has been interpreted to mean that all corporations, labor unions and other associations can spend limitless amounts of money as long as they don’t collaborate with a candidate. The rationales for the decision were that spending money politically was the same as speaking politically and that corporations had the same free speech rights as real people.
Republican Bucknam said she though this was a good decision.
Democrat Donovan said he thought it was very bad for democracy, just as Bernie Sanders and many others have said.
If you want the state’s top law enforcement agent to be a lawyer who thinks that spending money is the same as speaking and that corporations have the same rights as people, then you may vote for Ms. Bucknam. On the other hand, if you want our attorney general to be a prosecutor who rejects these fictions and wants to reduce money’s influence in politics, please vote for T. J. Donovan.
Herbert Ogden, Mt. Tabor