SEEC grants Malloy campaign funds, rejects complaint

On separate votes Wednesday, the State Elections Enforcement Commission dismissed allegations of illegal fundraising and campaigning by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and approved a $6.5 million public financing grant for the re-election campaign of Malloy and his running mate, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman.

The commission postponed a vote on the public financing application by Tom Foley, one of three Republicans running for governor. Its examination found that Foley had not yet met the qualifying threshold of raising $250,000 in contributions of no more than $100 each.

“This committee has raised $264,148 in contributions. To date they have qualified $220,977. To date they have not met threshold,” said Linda Waterman, director of campaign disclosure and audit for the commission.

Chris Cooper, a spokesman for Foley, said the campaign believes that further documentation will allow sufficient contributions to be qualified. It hopes to win approval of its application next week, he said.

Three other statewide candidates also received public grants: Comptroller Kevin Lembo, a Democrat; and Penny Bacchiochi, a GOP candidate for lieutenant governor, and Tim Herbst, the GOP nominee for treasurer.

A complaint dismissed

The commission found no evidence to sustain a complaint against Malloy from a lawyer and Republican activist, Benjamin Ancona of Newington, that Malloy illegally benefitted from a poll conducted by an education reform group, ConnCAN, or that an adviser, Roy Occhiogrosso, had conducted campaign activities prior to Malloy formally declaring his candidacy.

Ancona offered allegations and speculation without “actual knowledge or proof” of illegal campaign expenditures or illegal coordination between Malloy and an independent issues group, the commission concluded in an 18-page decision.

The poll was conducted in January for ConnCAN by Global Strategy Group, a national political and marketing company that consulted for Malloy’s 2006 and 2010 campaigns, as well as for the Connecticut Democratic Party. ConnCAN told the commission the poll was used in its lobbying.

Occhiogrosso returned to Global after leaving the governor’s office, where he had been a senior adviser since Malloy took office.

Ancona, who could not be immediately reached for comment, recently filed suit in Superior Court, complaining that the commission had yet to rule on his complaint.

Legislative grants approved

The commission also approved grants for six state House and one Senate candidate:

  • Rep. Sam Belsito, R-Tolland.

  • Rep. Christie Carpino, R-Cromwell.

  • Rep. Dan Fox, D-Stamford.

  • Andy Garfunkel of Norwalk, a Democrat running for the 142nd House District seat.

  • Rep. Rick Lopes, D-New Britain.

  • Rep. James Maroney, D-Milford.

  • Marilyn Moore of Bridgeport, a Democrat running for the 22nd Senate District seat.

 

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