Campaign Finance Complaint Filed Against "One Essex" for Negligence in Reporting
by Irene Wrenner
February 27, 2021
The Essex Retorter has learned that a complaint has been filed with the Vermont Attorney General's office regarding the lack of timely reporting by the pro-merger PAC known as "One Essex".
According to 17 V.S.A. § 2964 (b)(1), a PAC must file campaign finance reports 30 days before, 10 days before, and two weeks after the local election.
“One Essex” failed to file for the January 31st and February 20th deadlines as required by law. The purpose of the above filing dates is the public’s right to know the expenditures and contributors of the campaign.
The PAC's primary financial backer, Brian Shelden, and Treasurer Scott Moore were active as “One Essex” in the fall and filed reports on time in that election cycle.
Brian Shelden is head of the Essex Democrats, and Scott Moore is son-in-law of former Essex Statehouse Representative Linda Myers.
In its filing, "One Essex" checked the box affirming it was an independent expenditure-only PAC. meaning it "conducts its activities entirely independent of candidates", per 17 V.S.A. § 2901 (10).
According to the complaint, the PAC is promoted in a video by Shelden, in which he showed a ballot marked for certain candidates.
In its February 26, 2021 filing, "One Essex" listed Shelden as its major contributor, having spent $5,501.
Shelden, who lives outside-the-Village, would see a tax increase if merger passed. A request to him for comment went unanswered.