Douglas Flies To The Rescue Of "Copilot" Dubie
During their eight years serving together in Vermont’s top elected offices, former governor Jim Douglas often referred to his lieutenant governor, Brian Dubie — a commercial airline captain — as his copilot.
Last night, during the latest of his regular Vermont Public Radio commentaries, Douglas flew to Dubie’s rescue, arguing that his copilot should not be held personally liable for misdeeds allegedly committed by his 2010 gubernatorial campaign.
“The cost to Brian and his family of defending himself has become steep,” Douglas told VPR listerners. “And I can only assume that a protracted lawsuit such as this one — years after the campaign is over — will only discourage other decent and hardworking people from running.”
In December, the Vermont attorney general’s office sued Dubie and the Republican Governors Association for allegedly violating campaign finance laws by illegally coordinating campaign activities with one another. According to the complaint, Dubie’s campaign shared $93,000 worth of polling information with the RGA, which then used the data to produce $242,000 worth of television commercials on Dubie’s behalf. Those figures, if counted as in-kind contributions between the two entities, exceed legal limits.
Reached at his Middlebury office Wednesday, where he is serving as an "executive in residence," Douglas elaborated on his commentary, arguing that it’s fine for the attorney general to sue a political committee, but it shouldn’t sue a former candidate unless he or she personally broke the law.
“There’s lots of criminal and civil actions against candidates and parties and political entities, but targeting someone personally is what’s different here,” Douglas said. “Targeting an individual and putting them through a very emotionally and financially draining experience isn’t fair. The state has unlimited resources. It’s out of your pockets and mine.”