State Democrats accused of violating election laws in Malloy campaign [WTNH]

June 1, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — There are allegations Connecticut Democrats violated election laws when it came to spending money on Governor Malloy’s re-election campaign. There is no indication the Governor did anything wrong, but party Democrats are accused of improperly spending federal money on the campaign.

“There’s got to be ramifications for bad behavior and breaking rules and laws,” said state Rep. Themis Klarides, R-Woodbridge.

The State Elections Enforcement Commission issued a subpoena for financial records from the Democratic State Central Committee on Friday morning. Republicans wasted no time speaking about the investigation.

At issue is whether the Democratic Central Committee used money from the federal elections account instead of the state elections account to pay for campaign mailers sent out during Governor Malloy’s re-election campaign. Top Republicans say they have an answer so similar allegations won’t happen again.

“Now we have a penalty,” said state Sen. Len Fasano, R-North Haven. “You can’t say oops, and move on. Now, if they find you violated law, you have to pay back what you received.”

The Democratic State Central Committee says they have followed all state and federal rules. They appealed for a ruling to the state supreme court on how state and federal campaign finance laws co-exist in Connecticut after their initial request was dismissed by the Elections Enforcement Commission.

Campaign finance laws were passed in 2005 in an attempt to restore public trust in the wake of the John Rowland scandal.

“We have slowly eroded that trust by breaking down campaign finance laws,” said said Klarides.

Celebrating house passage of a Republican-sponsored, bipartisan bill, Republicans called a press conference Friday to highlight how they say their efforts will bring more teeth to the state’s existing campaign finance laws.

“This will make a difference because it make people think twice because it will affect their elections,” said Klarides. “It will affect the outcome. It will affect their perception in public.”

The hearing regarding the subpoena issued Friday will be on June 18.