Dunne Unveils 8-Point Plan To Strengthen Ethical Standards
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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Matt Dunne outlined an eight-point plan to rebuild trust in state government Thursday, asserting that the Vermont’s lax ethical standards have created a toxic political atmosphere.
“Trust is the foundation that allows us to continue building on our legacy of progress, and when that foundation cracks — when people lose trust in their government, when they stop believing government has their interests at heart — progress grinds to a halt,” Dunne said in a press conference at the Statehouse.
“Make no mistake,” Dunne continued, “that foundation here in Vermont is cracking.”
Vermont lags behind many other states in its oversight measures for state government. Unlike other states, Vermont has no ethics commission, few financial disclosure requirements and allows direct corporate contributions to candidates. A 2015 state accountability assessment conducted by the Center for Public Integrity gave Vermont a D- for its lack of checks on power, ranking it 37th in the nation.
Dunne’s proposals would, among others things, require monthly campaign finance disclosures, strengthen Vermont’s public financing system, create an ethics commission and institute a two-year “cooling off period” before former politicians are allowed to enter the world of lobbying.
“We still have good intentions and noble ideas,” Dunne said. “But we need to do some work on the foundation of our government before we can act on any of them.”