politics

Madden explains family campaign contributions

Called ‘blatantly illegal’ by a George Soros-backed group and ‘questionable’ by Libertarian Party, contributions needed to qualify for debate

Liam Madden and family, campaign photo

By Guy Page

GOP nominee for Congress Liam Madden told WVMT’s Morning Drive Thursday morning he had accepted a campaign contribution from his wife’s business and another campaign contribution from his toddler son. The announcement drew a strong reaction from a George Soros-backed election watchdog and the Vermont Libertarian Party.

Madden, Democrat Becca Balint, and Libertarian Ericka Redic are seeking voters’ approval to sit in the 2023-24 U.S. House of Representatives.  

Madden told Morning Drive the whole point of the family contributions to his campaign was to meet the $25,000 campaign contribution threshold required by some Vermont media to qualify for participating in candidate debate. 

“In order to qualify for a couple of debates in the primary, there was a minimum bar of fundraising you had to do, which I thought was BS,” Madden said. “And so the legal loophole around that was to basically just drain all the funds out of my wife’s business operating account and distribute that to members of my family to donate to my campaign. And since we can’t actually afford to donate $25,000, we had to basically pay that back by, quote unquote, paying the candidate, which is also legal. So I basically just made some legal loopholes happen to be resourceful to actually get into the debates, which helped me win the primary.”

Some Vermont media pounced. VTDigger – criticized by supporters of Democratic challenger Molly Gray for its pro-Balint bias – on Friday ran a story headlined “‘So blatantly illegal:’ Liam Madden admits to funneling money…..” The ‘so blatantly illegal’ quote was from a spokesman for the Campaign Legal Center, which bills itself as non-partisan, but which has received funding from George Soros’ Open Society Institute.

Now Madden’s calling foul on the Balint campaign’s hypocrisy – and on his apparent lack of access to GOP party donor lists. 

“This whole story is hypocritical hysteria on behalf of Balint supporters who don’t see a problem crucifying a working class candidate without party donor lists for essentially loaning himself the money to get past their gatekeeping mechanisms,” Madden said in an October 31 email to VDC. 

The Vermont Libertarian Party agreed with Madden about the exclusionary, artificial nature of the campaign contribution threshold for debates – while at the same time calling out his “questionable tactics.” 

“This incident spotlights the inherent unfairness in the system and how it favors party insiders, well connected candidates and the wealthy. Mr. Madden used questionable tactics to be allowed to debate, while our candidate, complying with the rules, was excluded in many cases. Ericka Redic is someone you can count on to put principles above all else. Mr. Madden, like his counterpart Becca Balint, are focusing on what is in their best interest, instead of the Vermonters they are seeking to represent.”

Federal election law prohibits corporations and most LLC’s from making campaign donations. 

No problem, Madden claims: “Sole proprietorships are not corporations. My wife’s business is a sole proprietorship. It’s just our own money.”

But the published FEC guidelines are frustratingly obtuse about sole proprietor contributions. Individuals may contribute. But not Individuals and sole proprietors who are federal contractors

Does that mean, then, that non-federal contractor sole proprietorships – the category into which his wife’s business falls, he said – may contribute? Are individuals and sole proprietor businesses equal under the eyes of federal election law? We couldn’t find out yea or nay.  

The FEC guidelines say a minor may contribute. However – and it’s a pretty big ‘however’ in the case of a two-year-old – federal law requires “the decision to contribute is made knowingly and voluntarily by the minor.”

Madden calls the ‘knowingly and voluntarily’ requirement “incredibly subjective.” 

“There is no specific age limit listed on the FEC website, just the incredibly subjective criteria of what is an expectation of donation,” he told VDC.

Madden’s statement to VDC is published below:

Corporations can’t donate. Sole proprietorships are not corporations. My wife’s business is a sole proprietorship. It’s just our own money. There is no specific age limit listed on the FEC website, just the incredibly subjective criteria of what is an expectation of donation. The farce of it is, I am allowed to make unlimited donations to my own campaign as a candidate. The donation in question wasn’t used for any expenditure, it was returned, legally, to my family (we can’t afford $18000 in political donations), so the only real utility was to help me be able to debate.

“The double farce of it is, a SuperPAC can make unlimited expenditures, so the entire point of the rule I’m supposedly violating, of limiting donations – is to prevent the rich from having undue influence on a candidate, which is totally irrelevant because they already can donate unlimited amounts. This whole story is hypocritical hysteria on behalf of Balint supporters who don’t see a problem crucifying a working class candidate without party donor lists for essentially loaning himself the money to get past their gatekeeping mechanisms. I’m a person of integrity, my actions are not hiding anything about my funding, and are not allowing influence on my campaign from anyone that isn’t legally allowed to have unlimited influence on my campaign. It’s a giant nothing burger with a heaping side of liberal hypocrisy and self righteousness.”

“I would add to this, that if I broke a rule, that’s on me, and I have no problem being accountable to that.”

Categories: politics

10 replies »

  1. Let me think here now. Vermont Digger smears Liam, in return for Becca being outed for her almost 1 million in one shot, from an out of state ‘Crypto’ donor man? Yup. The George Soros sponsored group just can t get over this. Ho Ho. And the Vermont Libertarian (Who) Party is upset also because they are trying to split Liam’s potential votes running a revenge Candidate. You can t make this up.

    • I like your comment, Patrick. I like that you called it like it is, that the Libertarian Party is running a “revenge Candidate”, because that’s exactly what that is. Liam – NOT Ericka – actually has a chance to best Becca if not for the Libertarian vote-splitting. If we’re talking principles for a higher purpose, who benefits from the revenge candidate splitting the vote?

    • Exactly and now with the blow out of the FTX ponzi scheme, we can now see that Bought Becca was taking hot money, that might well have been stolen from US Taxpayers through the funding of Ukraine Nazionist to then be spun back to FTX to fund Democrat through cut out groups like LGBTQ hangouts….

  2. The Truth is I have looked at local, State, and Federal campaign records. I found ethics violations, conflicts of interest, and other blatant, nepotistic, neighborly lobbiest funding. I cross referenced names with their employers, the boards and committees, registered shell companies, federal tax filings, etc. The fact is no one is checking the records, no one is raising the issue who has authority to do something about it, and we, the People, are flim-flammed and fleeced as a result. The fraud is ignored.

  3. Politics is a blood sport. Too bad Redic didn’t think to do the same. Maybe the money given to UVM can teach how to cheat in the name of equity. I vote for Liam to become a teaching professor at UVM. Redic has suffered equity discrimination and Balint is silent. How hypocritical is that?

  4. Maybe now would be a good time to inquire about Balint’s million dollar donation from the spectacularly criminal FTX exchange, and the company executive Nishad Singh. You know, the exchange whose CEO was also funneling tens of millions of dollars to Democrats, second only to George Soros? The one that was cooking the books to the tune of nine billion dollars? Laundering money through Ukraine? Whose app just auto-updated to steal the last bits of cryptocurrency from customers? Whose CEO is rumored to have fled to Argentina? The one that imploded immediately upon the election’s… “success?” That’s some dirty, dirty money, Miss Balint!

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