Senate Republican leader John McKinney called draft legislation that would bar the Independent Party of Connecticut from keeping its name a “disgusting, arrogant power grab,” by the Democratic majority. The working draft of the omnibus campaign finance bill would bar the use of the word “independent” in political party names. It’s a change that would force the Independent Party of Connecticut—which cross-endorsed several Republicans in legislative and Congressional races— to change its name. Sen. Michael McLachlan, R-Danbury, said the only reason the Democratic majority included that change in the bill is because the Independent Party of Connecticut received more votes than the Working Families Party, a third party that traditionally cross-endorses Democrats.
“They realized that the Independent Party of Connecticut has run ahead of the Working Families Party and they want to neuter them by eliminating them,” McLachlan said.
He said the Independent Party of Connecticut has a 30 year history in the state, first as a regional party and then as a statewide party.
In the last two statewide elections more votes were cast on the Independent Party line than the Working Families Party line.
House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero, R-Norwalk, called the proposal a “grand larceny of the political process.”
Sen. Anthony Musto, D-Trumbull, who helped draft the bill, said Tuesday that the word “independent” is often confused with the word “unaffiliated.”
“Independent’ is a word that people confuse with unaffiliated,” he said.