In 2014, Republicans filed a complaint against Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy, alleging that he and the Democratic Party used state contractor funds in violation of state law for Malloy’s campaign. A legal battle has ensued, raising questions about the interplay between state and federal campaign finance laws, as well as the jurisdictional reach of the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) to conduct investigations. Connecticut law does not allow parties to use contributions from state contractors in state campaigns. Federal law, however, permits parties to use state contractor funds during federal election years for federal election activities, which includes “get-out-the-vote” efforts. Get-out-the-vote activities are those that promote voting in elections in general. For example, they include “encouraging or urging potential voters to vote,” providing information via mail about polling location hours, or communicating information about absentee voting. (11 C.F.R. § 100.24(a)(3)(1)).
In the 2014 campaign, the Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC) used federal funds that included state contractor contributions to send out a mass mailing advertisement containing pictures of Malloy and information about his platform. Republicans argue that this action clearly violated the state rule. The DSCC, however, maintains that the mailing was a proper “get-out-the-vote” activity since the advertisement included some general information about the voting process.
The allegations against Malloy have raised public concern and received a lot of press attention, especially because Connecticut has a history of “pay-to-play” elections. In the early 2000s, numerous scandals emerged where elected officials used illegal funds in their campaigns— earning Connecticut the nickname “Corrupticut.”
Full Article: Connecticut’s Current Battle over Campaign Contributions |.