The case involves a publicly financed candidate for governor, Steve Obsitnik, and his relationship to a PAC.
A financially fortuitous moment in Republican Bob Stefanowski’s campaign for governor was the day in May when he thanked filmmaker Reverge C. Anselmo of Greenwich for a $3,500 contribution, the maximum allowed by state law. As they say in the movies, it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski shook hands with office workers at the pre-Labor Day picnic that real-estate developer Robert D. Scinto throws for tenants and their employees at his office park in Shelton. Then Stefanowski retired to a borrowed office in Scinto’s headquarters to make calls for money, an activity that consumes about half his working day. “It’s part of the game.”
Connecticut’s largest business trade group is stepping away from the aggressive role it played two years ago in the fight for control of the General Assembly: Instead of trying to influence legislative elections with independent expenditures this fall, it will spend $600,000 on advertising to shape a pro-business agenda in January.
Connecticut Democrats and Republicans go to the polls Tuesday to bring clarity to the unruliest of political seasons, making choices that not only will determine the major-party nominations for governor, but could forever change how candidates seek access to the primary ballots and encourage them to make sure a friendly super PACs is ready to supplement their campaigns.
The biggest contributions to CT Rising, an independent-expenditure group promoting the gubernatorial campaign of Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, came from the New York offices of a trash hauler with an affiliate in Danbury, according to a campaign finance report filed Saturday.
A Virginia super PAC is providing a way for seven supporters of Connecticut gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski to collectively spend nearly $350,000 on his behalf — 100 times the maximum $3,500 contribution each could give directly to Stefanowski’s campaign for the GOP nomination.
Thomas E. McInerney contributed $100 in February to the Republican gubernatorial campaign of his fellow Westport resident, Steve Obsitnik. It was the maximum Obsitnik could accept as a candidate seeking public financing under the Citizens’ Election Program created in 2005 to blunt the influence of money in Connecticut politics. But McInerney, a venture capitalist, was able and willing to do far more to support Obsitnik — giving $100,000 to FixCT, Inc., an independent-expenditure group promoting Obsitnik.
The Republican Governors Association is reserving $1.7 million in television time in the last six weeks of the Connecticut race for governor, but whether it ultimately spends the money will depend on how the RGA views the “electability” of the winner of the GOP primary in August.
Updated at 11:26 a.m.
Voters go to the polls today in special elections for three seats in the closely divided General Assembly, with one race drawing more than $50,000 in independent expenditures by a national group hoping to elect a Democratic senator in a solid Republican district. After voting this morning, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy shrugged off GOP efforts to make him a central issue and said, “I don’t think the outcome will be reflective of anything other than who did more work, quite frankly.”
Labor United for Connecticut, an independent expenditure group that came under fire for an attack ad in October, disbanded this week after refunding more than $100,000 to member unions.
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.
House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, told reporters Thursday morning that someone should lose their job over the digital attack ad a union political action committee placed against Dr. William Petit. By nightfall, someone did.