CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM RALLY AT WESTON CENTER



How this began:  S.E.E.C. previous reports including 2014 election matter...latest...


NEWS: 


Two years later, Democrat candidate for State Senate fined.  He is running again.

S.E.E.C. fines losing candidate 2016.



State Elections Enforcement Commission June 20th Meeting
Recorded On: 6/20/2018





In the 2017 Implementer...LWVCT testified against provision, bill had PH but did not get to the floor:  https://ctmirror.org/2017/10/30/tucked-in-budget-shorter-leash-on-election-watchdogs/

http://www.courant.com/politics/government-watch/hc-jepsen-herring-fundraiser-20170927-story.html
Democrats pay off fine early:  https://ctmirror.org/2017/09/29/democrats-make-final-payment-on-325k-settlement/
BIG $$ SETTLEMENT: 
https://ctmirror.org/2016/06/15/democrats-agree-to-tentative-settlement-in-malloy-campaign-case/

Final decision by Feds:  http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/State-Democrats-off-the-hook-in-federal-probe-10903461.php
Foley decision by State:  https://ctmirror.org/2013/10/16/settlement-ends-seec-investigation-foley/
And another:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/upload/2014/09/File_No._2013-176.pdf

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Ted Kennedy Jr.'s 2014 Campaign, Still Under Scrutiny, Shows Election-Reform Troubles
Hartford Courant dates this story for Sunday, April 2???

http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-kennedy-campaign-finances-20170402-story.html




 
And read above how she closed it, too.
U.S. attorney opens probe of Malloy’s 2014 campaign fundraising
CT MIRROR
By: Keith M. Phaneuf and Mark Pazniokas | July 22, 2016

A federal grand jury with the power to subpoena documents and compel testimony is trying to do what state elections regulators could not: Resolve whether the Connecticut Democratic Party and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy broke the law in soliciting contributions from state contractors for his re-election in 2014....story in full:  http://ctmirror.org/2016/07/22/grand-jury-to-probe-democrats-fundraising-for-malloys-re-election/




Critic: Democrats In Effect Were 'Pleading The 5th
Hartford Courant
John Lender
June 18, 2016

When the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) and the state Democratic Party agreed in recent days to settle lawsuits and shut down a state investigation into Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's 2014 campaign finances, they failed to silence lingering criticisms, such as the claim that the deal cheats the public out of its right to know...

Story in full:  http://www.courant.com/politics/hc-lender-subpoena-deal-fallout-20160618-column.html




S.E.E.C. prior reports
Thumbs Down On The SEEC Settlement With State Dems
Dan Klau CT Good Governance Blog
June 17, 2016

Earlier this week the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) settled a long-running, high-profile case involving the Connecticut Democratic Party (CDP). Although the terms of the settlement are commendable in many respects–including imposing the largest election law violation fine (excuse me, “voluntary payment”) in state history–the SEEC exercised poor judgment in deciding to settle the case. Rightly or wrongly, justly or unjustly, the settlement creates the appearance that a major political party in Connecticut can “buy” its way out of an embarrassing investigation by the chief regulator of our state campaign finance laws. [Disclosure: I am a Democrat and have contributed to the CDP in the past.]...story in full:  https://ctgoodgov.com/2016/06/17/thumbs-down-on-the-seec-settlement-with-state-dems/




Pressure On For Lawyers To Settle Democratic Party Subpoena Case

Secret Talks Delay Ruling On Democrats' Defiance Of Subpoena For Malloy Campaign Emails
Hartford Courant
Jon Lender
June 4, 2016

It's decision time in the long-running lawsuit over whether Democrats can be forced to hand state investigators Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's 2014 campaign emails — but lawyers for both sides have asked a judge to delay his ruling for two more weeks to permit one final attempt at settling the case.

...For Democrats and Malloy, settling the case would mean the end of continual headlines about alleged illegal campaign spending and their defiance of an investigatory subpoena with another election approaching in November...

Story in full:   http://www.courant.com/politics/hc-lender-subpoena-talks-0605-20160604-column.html




Tuesday
Hearing to continue in Malloy mailings dispute
A.P.
Nov. 29, 2015  9:45amEST

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Lawyers for state elections officials and the state Democratic Party will be returning to court in a dispute over whether the party illegally spent money on Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's re-election campaign last year...http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CT_GOVERNOR_CONNECTICUT_CAMPAIGN_LAW_CTOL-?SITE=CTNHR&SECTION=STATE&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-11-29-09-45-34

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From Jon Lender at the Courant Nov. 21, 2015:  "'...At a time when upwards of 90 percent of voters in both major parties say money in politics is a problem, Connecticut Democrats are going backwards toward corruption and the era of John Rowland,' said Karen Hobert-Flynn, senior vice president of the advocacy group Common Cause..."


2015 - House Democrats suggest eliminating Citizen's Election program..."
Cheri Quickmire, executive director of Connecticut’s Common Cause chapter, said voters across the country and in Connecticut want to know candidates are listening to them and not “big money.” She said there are things that need to be fixed, but 'we think the basic model is still viable and is still something we should be utilizing...'”

Article in full:   http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/public_financing_is_safe_for_now/

NOTE:
Campaign finance is an issue that merges with F.O.I. law - disclosure and timely disclosure can make a difference on elections, which in turn, affect political patronage.




RALLY:  April 12, 2014
AS YOU CAN SEE, IT WAS A LOVELY AFTERNOON...FOR ANYTHING...AND LATER, IN MAY, THIS, FROM COMMON CAUSE AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL...

Picture Story:

The people first.

Mother and daughter in league together to protest recent Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance.

Politicians second.

All three who came spoke: Rep. Fawcett, Rep. Steinberg and Rep. Hwang (above - link added Feb. 27, 2015).

Quite the rally!

Serious stuff, as the partners in the coalition: Common Cause (Cheri Quickmire), CT League of Women Voters and Connecticut Citizen Action Group, CONNPERG, and others.

And the legislators stand with the coalition...

Thank you organizers Common Cause and Fran!




PAC shielded $2.3 million in donations by L.A. charter school backers
Referenced in te Atlantic article is the above link.    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/06/the-rise-of-gray-money-in-politics/489002/



Courthouse News Service
Connecticut Presses Democrats on Subpoena
By CHRISTINE STUART , CTNEWSJUNKIE
Monday, August 10, 2015Last Update: 10:48 AM PT
 
HARTFORD, Ct. (CN) - Connecticut's attorney general has taken his own party, the Democrats, to court to enforce a subpoena issued by election regulators.  The enforcement action filed Wednesday stems from a 2014 complaint by the Republican Party with the state.  Connecticut's State Elections Enforcement Commission had opened an investigation into the complaint, but Democratic State Central Committee attorney David Golub sent a letter on June 15, three days before that deadline, saying it would not answer the subpoena for documents.  The Hartford Superior Court now faces a petition to enforce the subpoena after the commission voted to refer the matter to the Attorney General's Office for enforcement.
    
"The SEEC unsuccessfully sought to obtain the voluntary cooperation of the DSCC in its request for information relevant to its investigation of the complaint," the enforcement action states.

"Due to the DSCC's refusal to voluntarily comply with requests for information from the SEEC, on May 28, 2015, the Commission issued an investigatory subpoena."

Assistant Attorney General Maura Osborne alleges that the party has not produced copies of all bank statements for funds deposited into its federal account. It also has not produced documents to show that it segregated state contractor funds within the federal account.

Story in full:  www.courthousenews.com/2015/08/10/connecticut-presses-democrats-on-subpoena.htm




Cash Keeps Pouring In To Democratic Party Campaign Account At Center Of Probe
Hartford Courant
Jon Lender
August 8, 2015

Somebody might reasonably think that the state Democratic party would be slowing its use of its so-called "federal account" for campaign activities...story in full: 
http://www.courant.com/politics/hc-lender-dems-account-booming-0809-20150808-column.html




Unnoticed Legislation Converted 32 Merit-System Employees Into Political Appointees
Hartford Courant
Jon Lender
July 11, 2015

Tucked quietly into the massive state budget-implementation bill approved in a June 29 special legislative was an intriguing provision that removed 32 highly paid jobs at state executive-branch agencies – including communications directors and legislative liaisons – from the state's merit system...

However, when told of the legislative change Friday, a good-government advocate questioned the fact that it materialized seemingly out of nowhere in a one-day special session, after a five-month legislative session during which it never came up publicly...

Story from Hartford Courant - http://www.courant.com/politics/hc-lender-more-political-appointees-0712-20150711-column.html#page=1





Sharkey and GOP vs. Senate Democrats on campaign reform
CT MIRROR
By: Mark Pazniokas | March 26, 2015

Money illustrationThe Senate Democratic majority is blocking House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, and minority Republicans from closing a loophole in Connecticut’s system of publicly financing campaigns — the parties' ability to funnel unlimited special-interest money to taxpayer-supported candidates.

A foundational element of the voluntary public financing program was a cap on spending and contributions, but Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the Democratic majority neutered those caps in 2013 with revisions allowing unlimited coordinated expenditures on legislative races by the state parties.

The result is that state parties are free to funnel unlimited amounts of money from major donors to taxpayer-supported campaigns. Donors who can only give $100 directly to a publicly financed candidate can indirectly give them $10,000 through the state party.

Taxpayers spent $33.4 million on publicly financed campaigns in 2014.

With a committee deadline on campaign bills fast approaching, the Senate Democrats are standing fast, saying the parties must have the ability to pump unlimited funds into campaigns as a defense against independent expenditure groups.

“It’s still being driven by outside money. That is a major issue, millions of dollars are being thrown into elections that you can’t control,” said Sen. Steve Cassano, D-Manchester. “You have to have some protection against it. Nobody knows better than me.”

[Please read the rest of this article in the archives at the CT MIRROR website]






Story in full from CT MIRROR originally:  CTcampaignfinance2014-15.docx





Story in full:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/state_election_regulators_say_dem_request_would_cynically_circumvent_ct_law/






Commissioner speaks...

Election Regulators Call NU Solicitation ‘Egregious’
CTNEWSJUNKIE
by Christine Stuart | Sep 16, 2014 1:55pm

The State Elections Enforcement Commission dismissed a complaint against Northeast Utilities CEO Thomas May Tuesday, but not before offering some harsh criticism of the solicitation the state contractor sent last September to his employees.

“The next gubernatorial election is upon us, and I am asking each of you to join me in financially supporting Connecticut’s Governor Dannel P. Malloy,” May wrote in his Sept. 27, 2013 email to company managers. The email, which was sent from May’s gmail account, suggested that donations be made to the Connecticut Democratic State Central’s federal account.

State election law prohibits state contractors from contributing to state party accounts or the campaigns of statewide candidates.

“The Commission does conclude that the content of the solicitation by Mr. May is both offensive and disturbing and violates the spirit and intent of the Connecticut state contractor ban,” the 5-0 decision to dismiss the complaint reads.


[Please read the rest of this article in the archives at the CTNEWSJUNKIE website]





To read the full story:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/democratic_party_wants_to_use_federal_account_for_malloy_mailer/



DGA loses challenge, but can still support Malloy’s election

CT MIRROR
By: Mark Pazniokas
June 11, 2014

A federal judge's decision Tuesday leaves intact the state's regulatory authority over independent campaign expenditures by groups such as the Democratic Governors Association,  but it does not block the DGA from supporting the re-election of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

Chief U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall denied the association’s request for an injunction blocking the enforcement of state campaign finance laws, concluding that its speculation of possible unconstitutional enforcement action gave it no legal standing to sue.

In a 41-page decision, the judge offered sympathy regarding the difficulties of parsing evolving legal restrictions on campaign finance, but she made clear there is no evidence that the DGA is in imminent danger from the State Elections Enforcement Commission.

At issue was the question of potential illegal coordination between the DGA, which is expected to spend millions of dollars to support the first-term Democratic governor’s re-election this fall, and Malloy, who has been raising money for the association in Connecticut and elsewhere. 


[Please read the rest of this article in the archives at the CT Mirror website]




Common Cause to fight against income inequality
By Brian Charles, New Haven Register
Posted: 05/05/14, 3:34 PM EDT

NEW HAVEN >> Newly minted Common Cause President Miles Rapoport said his organization will begin to focus largely on inequality issues to combat the widening income and wealth divide.

“It seems to me that (if) John Gardner, who was the founder of Common Cause, was alive today, this would be front and center in his agenda, and it needs to be front and center in our agenda,” said Rapoport, a former secretary of the state. “We are now more unequal as a society than we were in 1913, when the federal income tax was enacted.”

Rapoport’s comments came during a Monday meeting with the New Haven Register editorial board.

Common Cause, established in 1970, has 35 chapters from Connecticut to California. The progressive-leaning advocacy group has long defended voting rights, fought for campaign finance reform and government accountability. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling and the subsequent rise of Super PACs, the wealthy have been able to exert more influence on politics, Rapoport said. That excessive influence was part of what moved the nonprofit to engage in the economic disparity fight.

“Do we want one-tenth of 1 percent (of the population) to be so dominant in politics?” he said.

The recent Supreme Court rulings on campaign finance have allowed hoards of cash to enter politics with little to no oversight, which Rapoport said was “a recipe for politics that doesn’t serve all people.”

[Please read the rest of this article in the archives at the New Haven Register website]