Senator McKinney Applauds Veto of Unconstitutional Campaign Finance Bill

June 15, 2012

Hartford, CT – State Senate Minority Leader John McKinney (R-28) today stood in support of Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s veto of an unconstitutional campaign finance bill that passed the General Assembly in May despite unanimous opposition from Senate Republicans.

The bill, House Bill 5556, was drafted by Democratic legislative leaders in response to the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens’ United v. Federal Election Commission. Republicans, including Sen. McKinney argued the bill was unconstitutional and imposed an unreasonable burden on businesses operating in Connecticut.

Senator McKinney and Governor Malloy also agreed that the bill defined “independent expenditures” far too broadly; potentially subjecting organizations who participate in almost any form of issue advocacy to new and intrusive disclosure requirements. For example, the broad definition would extend for the first time to non-profits and news organizations who host televised debates in the last 90 days before an election.

“While I am confident this bill eventually would have been ruled unconstitutional, it had the potential to negatively impact our upcoming election,” said Senator McKinney. “Regardless of what one thinks of the Citizens’ United decision, the Connecticut legislature does not have the authority to violate the constitutional rights of its citizens in enacting its own campaign finance laws. This bill went too far and I’m pleased with the Governor’s veto.”