Illuzzi, Hoffer get into tiff over Senate campaign money

Doug Hoffer, the Democratic candidate for state auditor, accused his opponent, Sen. Vincent Illuzzi, on Tuesday of failing to account for more than $17,000 that was carried over from his Senate Campaign’s July 2011 filing.

Illuzzi’s July 2011 campaign finance report stated a “carry-forward” or leftover fund balance of $30,923 from his Senate campaign. Additionally, Illuzzi’s filing last week disclosed a $13,105 donation from his Senate campaign.

From there, Hoffer does the math: “It is characterized as ‘surplus’ which suggests that it is all that remains from that account.  Since there has been no election for Senator Illuzzi since July 2011, there remains a question about what happened to the other $17,818 from his Senate campaign account.  Mr. Illuzzi did not file a finance report for his Senate campaign.”

All of the facts Hoffer laid out are correct, except his last sentence. Illuzzi didn’t file a finance report for his Senate campaign in the Secretary of State’s office; he filed it with the Orleans County Clerk, as Senate Campaigns are required to do under statute.

Illuzzi says his final campaign finance report from “Vincent Illuzzi for Senate,” is en route via mail to the Secretary of State’s office.

That report laid out, line by line, where the $17,000 in expenditures went. Illuzzi spent some campaign funds on political trips around the state and a large chunk of it – $10,000 – on a San Francisco consulting firm in April.

“There may well be a good explanation for the inconsistency but it is for Mr. Illuzzi to clear it up,” Hoffer said in his statement.

Illuzzi wasn’t happy with Hoffer’s release.

“For him to suggest that $17,000 was missing is borderline slander, and if he read the report, it’s clearly itemized,” he said.

Illuzzi said it was “disappointing” to see the campaign start out this way.

“I really think it’s an outrageous way to start a campaign. It really is. It shows desperation more than anything else,” he said.

Hoffer said he didn’t mean to imply any inappropriate behavior and he was simply asking a question. Illuzzi’s response, he said, “answers the question.”

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Taylor Dobbs

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  • Doug Hoffer

    Mr. Dobbs said that Sen. Illuzzi “filed [his report] with the Orleans County Clerk, as Senate Campaigns are required to do under statute.”

    Actually, that’s only half right. According to the Sec. of State’s elections guide, the reports must be submitted to both places.

    “Candidates for general assembly (state senate/state representative) who spend or raise $500 or more in a calendar year file campaign finance disclosure reports with both the Vermont Secretary of State and the candidate’s district clerk on the filing deadlines detailed below.”


    As for Mr. Illuzzi’s rather heated comment (“borderline slander”), he should re-read the press release. I made it very clear that my comments were based on “documents available on the Sec. of State’s website.” His senate campaign report was not (and is still not) available on the Sec. of State’s website so I couldn’t have read it.

    In any case, I never suggested the money was “missing.” I simply asked for an accounting as is required. To suggest that candidates for State Auditor shouldn’t concern themselves with such matters is a surprising statement because following the money is at the heart of the job.

  • Patrick Cashman

    Mr. Hoffer,
    Have you released a follow up press release clarifying that your original accusation was only half right?

  • Steve Merrill

    I’ve met Doug and I know Vince, he’s as honest as the day is long..Anything is better than Salmon as he promised to come here to North Troy and hear us out, a lone elected auditor (trustees refused to appt. 2 others as the law mandates) and the local biz owners who can add and subtract, looked at the Water/Sewer Dept. “losses” amounting to $639,913 for just five years and some 200 customers, then claimed he HAD to be “asked” in by the village trustees! And this when the hired CPA said that bank acct.’s were being open and closed w/no authority nor permission, a drop in W/S revenue “with no reasonable explanation as to why this occurred”, etc. etc. We need an auditor who can show up when asked by folks who find these “anomalies” and then do a forensic audit to see where the money went and why there’s a cover up..The statutes were routinely violated yet the AG would do nothing either, thanks goodness we have all this on videotape and maybe we can (finally) show a judge and let him bind it over to the AG or VSP to find the massive “losses”..SM

  • Eric Bradford

    “following the money is at the heart of the job.”

    Is it SOP for an auditor to track down paperwork that they can’t find by issuing a press release?