The Connecticut Republican Party intervened Thursday on the side of the State Elections Enforcement Commission in the campaign-finance lawsuit filed against the state last week by the Democratic Governors Association.

Two lawyers from the law firm of Rome McGuigan filed appearance notices stating they are representing the Republican Party as intervenor-defendants, meaning the GOP will be fighting Democrats in court over the DGA’s challenge to the state’s rules on independent expenditures.

Jerry Labriola, the state Republican chairman, could not be reached for comment. One of the named partners in the firm is Lewis Rome, the GOP’s 1982 nominee for governor. The other is former Chief State’s Attorney Austin McGuigan.

The Democratic Governors Association seeks an injunction barring the State Elections Enforcement Commission, the chief state’s attorney’s office and the attorney general from enforcing what it says are overly broad rules regulating independent campaign expenditures.

The DGA says that the commission’s aggressive interpretation of state campaign-finance laws could expose the group to an accusation of illegal coordination with the Malloy campaign.

The lawsuit is a pre-emptive move against any claim that Malloy’s fundraising for the group should be construed as illegal coordination under state law, which could either keep the DGA on the sidelines in Connecticut or expose it to prosecution.

Richard P. Healey and Proloy K. Das are the two Rome McGuigan lawyers representing the GOP.

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Mark PazniokasCapitol Bureau Chief

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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