Common Cause of Connecticut on Wednesday called upon the Connecticut Democratic Party to drop its challenge of the state’s clean election laws. The lawsuit served Tuesday is the second since the start of the 10-month investigation into mailings the party did on behalf of Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy during the 2014 election cycle. The Democratic Party believes federal law trumps state law when it comes to the mailings, but the State Elections Enforcement Commission told the Federal Elections Commission in October 2014 that it would be wrong for federal regulators to assume they have jurisdiction over the mailing because it “glibly” includes “a stray get-out-the-vote message.” However, a draft decision by the FEC shows that it was poised in October to rule against the Connecticut Democratic Party. But the party withdrew its request for the ruling before it could be issued and went ahead and sent the mailings to prospective voters anyway shortly before the election.
A spokesman for the Democratic Party has said it’s far from clear that the FEC was going to rule against it, and also that key lawyers were “required to be in court in Connecticut, defending the Connecticut Republican Party’s lawsuit, at the same time the FEC hearing was scheduled in Washington.”
Common Cause defended state election regulators Wednesday.
“The Clean Election Law works and is popular with everyone but partisan hacks,” Cheri Quickmire, executive director for Common Cause in Connecticut, said in a press release Wednesday. “The state Democratic Party seeks to undermine Connecticut’s 10-year-old campaign finance laws, passed with strong bipartisan support in 2005.”