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VTDigger reporter on Republican Liam Madden's 'paper donations' that helped launch his Congressional race

a white man in a black shirt and brown jacket looks into the camera while standing outside in front of blazing red autumn trees
Lisa Rathke
/
Associated Press
Liam Madden, a self-described independent who's running as the Republican nominee for Vermont's only seat in the U.S. House, told "The Morning Drive" on radio station WVMT that his campaign donations were "paper donations" from family members that helped him qualify for primary debates.

Last week, Republican candidate for Congress and self-described independent Liam Madden was interviewed on WVMT’s Morning Drive program. During that interview, Madden described how he distributed thousands of dollars to family members who then donated that money to his campaign. He's defended the donations as legal. We fact-check that claim with Sarah Mearhoff, political reporter with VT Digger.

Mearhoff's reporting on Madden's campaign donations:

Correction: The characterization in this segment that a cryptocurrency executive donated $1 million to the Balint campaign during the primary was incorrect. He donated $1.1 million to a PAC that then spent $991,911 on pro-Balint ads. The Balint campaign did not coordinate with the donor and has repeatedly denounced this type of campaign spending.

Broadcast live on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

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Mikaela Lefrak joined Vermont Public in 2021 as co-host and senior producer of Vermont Edition. Her stories have aired nationally on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Marketplace, The World and Here & Now. A seasoned local reporter, Mikaela has won two regional Edward R. Murrow awards and a Public Media Journalists Association award for her work.
Originally from Delaware, Matt moved to Alaska in 2010 for his first job in radio. He spent five years working as a radio and television reporter, radio producer, talk show host, and news director. His reporting received awards from the Alaska Press Club and the Alaska Broadcasters Association. Relocating to southwest Florida, he was a producer for television news and NPR member station WGCU for their daily radio show, Gulf Coast Live. He joined Vermont Public in October 2017 as producer of Vermont Edition.