John Bauer, Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor, has announced he fell short of qualifying for public financing. Further, he’s withdrawing from the race, leaving Progressive Dean Corren to challenge Phil Scott.
It’s disappointing. Although Bauer and Corren are fairly similar policy-wise, I think a name-brand Democrat would have had an easier time than a Progressive in mounting an effective challenge to Scott.
And it’s disappointing that the Democratic Party failed — or didn’t try — to help Bauer qualify for public funds while the Progs did manage the trick.
No, wait. It’s not disappointing. It’s shameful. Limiting the influence of money in politics is supposed to be a Democratic issue. And in the post-Citizens United world, offering a robust public-financing option is one of the best ways to level the playing field. In this case, the Democratic Party failed to live up to its principles.
I have to suspect the Powers That Be didn’t really want a liberal Democrat on the ticket. They gave Bauer lip service, but was there any effort to get loyal party members to kick in a few bucks to Bauer’s campaign? I doubt it. Because if there had been, he could have qualified.
As it is, the Dems can leave the Lt. Gov. race alone and let Scott cruise to re-election and return to his cushy spot in the Shumlin Cabinet. Dirty deals done dirt cheap.
(Note to 80s rock devotees: Yes, I know it’s “deeds.” Accept the pun.)