Roraback Returns Over $42,000 in Public Campaign Money Back to Citizens Election Fund

January 12, 2009

Hartford, CT – State Senator Andrew Roraback (R-30) today returned $42,789.82 in unused campaign funds back to the Citizens’ Election Program. The total represents more than half of the $85,000 state grant he was awarded earlier this year. The money will help reduce the taxpayer obligation to fund future grants under the Citizens’ Election Program.Check Returned to Citizens Election Fund

“While conventional wisdom dictates that the way to win political campaigns in the 21st Century is to outspend your opponent by as large a margin as possible, I was not comfortable in these difficult economic times being wasteful with taxpayer dollars. It has always been my philosophy to try to be as careful with public dollars as I am with my family’s personal finances,” said Senator Roraback. “I hope this contribution will enable the state to continue critical funding to our homeless shelters, food banks and other agencies which are facing such enormous challenges.”

The Citizens’ Election Program was established last year in an effort to level the financial playing field for candidates seeking state office. The program provides funding for such candidates once specific requirements are met. Candidates seeking the office of State Senator or State Representative in any election or special election in or after 2007 are eligible. The Program is funded by the sales of abandoned property in the state.

Major party candidates for State Senate in the general election are eligible for up to $85,000 in state funding only if they raise $15,000 in private donations. These donations must come from individual donors who live in their district. The donations may be as little as $5.00 but cannot exceed $100.00.

In addition, candidates must file an affidavit with the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) stating their status as a major, minor or petitioning candidate. In exchange for accepting this money, candidates agree to raise no additional money and use the funding only for campaign expenses. If a candidate does not use the entire grant, the money is to be returned to the fund and is used to finance future grants.