Fasano, Klarides Disappointed in Committee Approval of Bill that Does Little to Strengthen “Clean Elections”

March 31, 2015

HartfordSenate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby) released the following statement regarding yesterday’s approval of a campaign finance reform bill that misses the mark in closing loopholes that weaken clean elections.

“The sad truth here is that this bill does virtually nothing to close the loopholes in Connecticut’s clean elections laws. Republicans offered solid ideas to fix our broken system, but not one of these ideas is in the bill before us today. It’s ridiculous. We should all be on the same side when it comes to keeping elections clean,” said the leaders.

Connecticut Senate and House Republicans slammed Democrats last week for pushing forward SB 1126 An Act Concerning Revisions to Campaign Finance Laws, which fails to address the flaws exposed during the last election cycle.

GOP lawmakers were successful in getting two controversial pieces of the bill removed from the legislation voted on by the Government Administration & Elections Committee, including:

  • One section that would have changed regulations to limit the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) and prohibit audits on candidates who were audited in the previous election cycle.
  • Another section that would have opened the door to allow candidates to funnel their unused campaign funds to other candidates through coordinated campaign expenditures, thereby circumventing the intention of public financing.

In addition, the GAE Committee added a cap to prevent state party organizations from spending over $250,000 on individual Senate and House of Representative campaigns.

“We’re glad to see some of our warnings were heeded regarding the two controversial pieces of the bill that were removed, but honestly this is not good enough. The $250,000 cap is so absurdly high that it will do very little to curb the problematic spending we’ve witnessed and warned of. Taxpayers were promised clean elections in exchange for publicly financed campaigns. This is something Connecticut has to deliver on, truly and completely. This legislation is another slap in the face to everything the Citizens Election Program was supposed to stand for,” said Fasano and Klarides.