Joe Crisco’s name was on a campaign billboard in his hometown of Woodbridge. His lawn signs dotted the seven towns in his state Senate district to the west and north of New Haven. His flyers arrived in the mail, same as every other race the Democrat has run since 1992. You just couldn’t find him on your computer or smartphone.
Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, blames the rare loss of Democratic legislative seats in a presidential year on the targeted spending by business groups, not voter dissatisfaction with Hartford after two decades of Democratic control of the Connecticut General Assembly. His GOP counterpart’s view: “Hogwash.”
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.
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.
Grow Connecticut, a Super PAC indirectly funded by Sheldon G. Adelson, Wal-Mart, Koch Industries and other major corporate and conservative donors, is targeting state legislative races in Connecticut with a mix of television and digital ads boosting Republicans and attacking Democrats.
Outside spending on Connecticut’s closely contested race for governor reached a record $18.2 million in 2014, a five-fold increase from 2010 that dwarfed the $6.5 million in public financing allotted to each of the major-party candidates. But fears of heavy independent spending on legislative races went unrealized.
Grow Connecticut, the Republican super PAC, is closing its effort to unseat Gov. Dannel P. Malloy with its toughest ad of the campaign, a piece that is largely based on outdated economic data and backed by a $600,000 contribution that brings the group’s total spending to $7.3 million.
A new player entered Connecticut’s race for governor Saturday as a “dark money” group from Ohio contributed $1.17 million to Grow Connecticut, the super PAC behind a $6.7 million advertising campaign to defeat Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. Outside spending now is $15 million.
A super PAC allied with the Democratic Governors Association reported another $200,000 in receipts at 3:40 p.m. Wednesday, bringing its total investment in Connecticut’s governor’s race to $4.4 million. At 6:06 p.m., the PAC allied with the Republican Governors Association reported another $574,500, bringing its total to $5.7 million.
Another $1.2 million flowed into Connecticut’s deadlocked race for governor over the past 48 hours as two super PACs allied with the Democratic and Republican governors’ associations fought for superiority in a war of negative advertising. Outside politicians are joining the flow of dollars into the state, with visits next week from President Obama, Bill Clinton and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
The Republican Governors Association has put another $610,020 into its campaign to unseat first-term Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, raising its total spending in Connecticut above $2.1 million for 2014, according to a filing early Saturday with the State Elections Enforcement Commission.
The Democratic Governors Association has made its first major expenditure supporting the 2014 re-election of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, giving $1.25 million to its Connecticut affiliate for television ads attacking the Republican nominee, Tom Foley. Its first ad takes viewers back to Fusion Paperboard in Sprague, where Foley went to criticize Malloy’s economic policies, but ended up in an argument with a local official and workers.
Grow Connecticut, as independent expenditure group buying air time to oppose the re-election of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, was created last year by the campaign-finance law firm of Tom Foley, the Republican nominee for governor, after Foley’s ties to another super PAC were exposed by an elections enforcement case.