Foley pumps another $4.6 M into his campaign

Greenwich businessman Tom Foley has lent another $4.6 million of his own funds to his gubernatorial campaign, bringing his total personal investment to $9.85 million, according to a new campaign finance report filed this week with the State Elections Enforcement Commission.

Foley, the Republican nominee, has raised nearly $11.39 million in total throughout the campaign, though 86 percent of the funding came from him.

“It’s another rich guy trying to buy the election,” Roy Occhiogrosso, senior campaign advisor to Democratic nominee Dan Malloy, said Thursday. “I think he (Foley) is going to find out on Tuesday that democracy’s not for sale in Connecticut.”

But Foley has argued that Malloy, who is participating in the state’s public financing program, has received preferential treatment due to a summer vote of the Democrat-controlled General Assembly.

During a mid-August special session, the legislature overrode a veto by Gov. M. Jodi Rell, a Republican, and doubled the general election grant for gubernatorial candidates.

That meant Malloy, who was scheduled to receive a base grant of $3 million, was entitled to $6 million. He already had received $2.5 million in public funds to wage his Democratic primary battle against Greenwich cable television executive Ned Lamont.

“Tom is not trying to buy the election, he is just trying to keep up with the $8 million Democrats in the legislature gave Dannel to run his campaign,” Foley campaign spokeswoman Liz Osborn said.

Democrats defended the additional funding by arguing that $3 million was insufficient and that no gubernatorial candidate had won with so little general election money in recent decades.

Rell spent $4 million on her 2006 campaign, while Gov. John G. Rowland spent $6.6 million in 2002 and $6.9 million in 1998.

The latest campaign finance filings, which covered activity through the first three weeks of October, showed Foley had a big cash advantage heading into race’s final 12 days. Foley had $1,057,354 on hand, compared to $367,767 for Malloy.

But Occhiogrosso said the Malloy camp already has taken steps to ensure its message will remain strong down the final stretch. “What we needed to pay for has already been paid for,” he said.