November 1, 2016 (Pomfret, VT): Following a Boston Globe investigative piece, U.S. Senate Candidate Scott Milne called on his opponent to return the $5,000 in donations he received from the Thornton Law Firm.  The Globe uncovered the firm’s illegal practice of matching partners’ campaign contributions with bonuses, in an apparent straw donor scheme.

“It is shameful, but typical, that Sen. Leahy refuses to return this tainted money.  He should follow the lead of Congressman Welch, Hillary Clinton and over a dozen other leading Democrats, including eight other Democratic Senate candidates, who have recognized the impropriety of keeping these apparently illegal campaign contributions,” said Milne.


The donations, made from three partners at the Thornton Law Firm, were reported on August 22, 2003.  That was just three weeks after the 2003 Class Action Fairness Act, which would have hurt Thornton’s business and allowed asbestos victims to circumvent costly attorneys’ fees was reported out of the Judiciary Committee, where Leahy opposed the bill in every respect.

As is typical of the negative Leahy campaign, instead of simply returning the donations from Thornton—as have other Democratic candidates—it chose to deflect by criticizing Scott Milne for asking that these contributions be returned when questioned by VTDigger.