Once a company has signed a contract to do business with the state of Vermont, that company is barred from giving gifts and money to state officials.
But contractors still funnel money into the pockets of politicians — in the form of campaign contributions, which are fully legal.
A Burlington Free Press analysis of campaign finance and contract records illustrates the comfortable intersection of business and politics, where state officials solicit contributions from companies that benefit from state activities.
Companies doing business with Vermont, along with their presidents and other related individuals, contributed at least $29,000 to four successful statewide candidates in the 2014 election. No state agency monitors these contributions.