citizens election program

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SEEC to Boughton, Herbst & Obsitnik: Come back next week

The three gubernatorial candidates seeking public financing failed to win approval of their grants Wednesday by the State Elections Enforcement Commission, the result of deficiencies in their applications for $1.35 million each to wage a primary. All three are Republicans. They will have another chance next week. Continue Reading →

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Stefanowski: Crowded field makes public financing too expensive

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski is challenging his many opponents to drop out of the voluntary public financing program that pays qualifying candidates $1.25 million for a primary and $6 million for the general election. That probably won’t impress many delegates at nominating conventions, where a candidate’s ability to qualify for public funds is a sign of credibility. But his call underscores how expensive this crowded election might be for taxpayers. Continue Reading →

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An unlikely rebuke of the General Assembly over election laws

With a blandly titled “informational forum,” a Democratic state senator choreographed an unusual rebuke of the General Assembly and its leadership Friday, eliciting testimony about the systematic weakening of campaign finance laws in Connecticut, most recently by provisions inserted into the bipartisan budget adopted in special session last fall. Continue Reading →

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Counterattack at GOP effort to repeal public financing

Sen. Heather Somers, R-Groton, says she is grateful that she never ran for state office in the days before Connecticut’s public financing system, when a major portion of fundraising took place in Hartford and was geared to collecting checks from lobbyists and their clients. But that didn’t stop her from voting Friday for a budget that would repeal the system. Continue Reading →

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Campaign finance, minimum wage bills in the mix despite budget crush

With a little more than two weeks remaining until the session’s June 7 adjournment deadline, dozens of bills unrelated to the state’s budget are certain to be voted upon. Legislative leaders say campaign finance reform and a minimum wage increase are among the contentious issues that could come up in the session’s final days. Continue Reading →

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In CT Democrats’ new campaign ad, money is the message

With a new ad and press conference, Democrats made the corporate and billionaire backers of a Republican effort to gain seats in the Connecticut House an issue Thursday. The GOP called the effort a disingenuous gambit to distract voters from the state’s economic failings under a Democratic governor and legislature. Continue Reading →

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Business, labor bet big on fight for Connecticut Capitol

Business groups intent on boosting the influence of Republicans in the General Assembly outspent labor allies of majority Democrats by roughly a 2-1 margin in independent expenditures reported to the State Elections Enforcement Commission through Tuesday, according to an analysis by CT Mirror. Continue Reading →

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Investigator says Malloy settlement keeps voters in the dark

Near the end of his FBI career, Charles Urso helped send Republican Gov. John G. Rowland to prison in 2005. He said Thursday his second career as an elections cop ended in frustration — getting stonewalled trying to find out if Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy violated campaign finance reforms inspired by the Rowland scandal. Continue Reading →

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Campaign finance reform left for high-level negotiations

The Senate Democratic majority’s leadership yielded Monday to a toothless compromise on the question of capping the unlimited expenditures the state parties now can make on General Assembly races in Connecticut. The compromise: a $250,000 cap that wouldn’t have meant a difference in any campaign last year. Continue Reading →

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Sharkey and GOP vs. Senate Democrats on campaign reform

The Senate Democratic majority is blocking House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, and minority Republicans from closing what critics say is major loophole in Connecticut’s system of publicly financing campaigns — the parties ability to direct special-interest money to taxpayer-funded candidates. Continue Reading →

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A struggle for high ground on campaign reform in CT

The General Assembly’s Republican minority moved Thursday to shape the debate on Connecticut’s system of publicly financing campaigns, demanding that Democrats close loopholes undermining the state’s clean-elections law. The GOP offers itself as the savior of a system whose creation was opposed by most Republicans. Continue Reading →

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Can Connecticut’s campaign finance reforms be saved?

Reform it. Leave it alone. Blow it up. Prescriptions for fixing Connecticut’s system of publicly financing campaigns vary wildly. Its tight limits on contributions and spending turned porous in 2014, tarnishing what had been a shiny instrument of campaign finance reform. Continue Reading →

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