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Malloy Says DGA Responded ‘Appropriately’

by Hugh McQuaid | Apr 25, 2014 1:30pm
(9) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Campaign Finance, Election 2014

Hugh McQuaid Photo

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Friday the Democratic Governors Association’s recent legal action against state election regulators is an appropriate response to what it sees as a misinterpretation of Connecticut campaign finance laws.

“I’m not weighing in on the lawsuit. It is important that the laws be enforced and that the right laws be enforced in the right way. In this case [the DGA] feels that there is a misinterpretation of the law. So they’ve responded, I think appropriately but, you know, I hope for a swift decision,” Malloy said when asked about the complaint. 

Malloy, who is seeking reelection this year, has been a fundraiser for the DGA and member since winning his election in 2010 and the group is seeking to spend money to help his reelection bid. It filed a preemptive lawsuit in federal court Wednesday contesting the State Elections Enforcement Commission’s interpretation Connecticut’s campaign finance rules.

The lawsuit prompted Common Cause and the Connecticut Citizens Action Group to call on the governor to ask the DGA to drop the complaint. In an opinion article, Karen Hobert Flynn,  a senior vice president of Common Cause, questioned the group’s complaint.

Hobert Flynn said it is difficult for the DGA to make a case that its spending is independent of Malloy’s campaign. She pointed to the fundraising relationship and a common consultant, in Global Strategies Group.

Malloy’s former senior adviser Roy Occhiogrosso left the governor’s office in 2012 to return to Global. The DGA has paid Global about $258,000 for research and polling services over the past two years, according to its filings with the Internal Revenue Services.

“The problem for the DGA is that [Malloy] served as its Finance Chair in 2011 and helped them rake in more than $20 million; and at least $1.4 million of that came from Connecticut donors. So if the DGA spends millions on behalf of Malloy when he runs for Governor, can they say with a straight face that these expenditures are ‘independent?’” Hobert Flynn wrote.

On Friday, Malloy acknowledged that he has an interest in the matter.

“I don’t pretend to be a passive bystander. I’m a Democrat and I’m a governor and I’m standing for reelection. Having said that, with respect to this matter, folks have the right to do what they believe is their right to do,” he said.

The governor said the DGA was attempting to make sure it did not violate Connecticut law.

“They want to make sure there’s an agreement on what the law is. They want to protect themselves,” he said.

Asked if he felt Connecticut’s law should be changed, Malloy said he could not offer an opinion on the subject.

“First of all, what law would you change? There’s a disagreement as to what that law means,” he said.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, who chairs the DGA, did not return calls for comment.

In its 32-page lawsuit the DGA alleged that Connecticut’s campaign laws had “forced” it into “a constitutionally untenable choice: it can avoid protected speech in which it seeks to engage; it can forego the support and participation of Connecticut’s citizens in raising the funds that it needs to maintain a robust national program; or it can entertain very real threats of investigation, fines, and criminal prosecution.”

The lawsuit names members of the SEEC as well as Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane and Attorney General George Jepsen whose office is representing the regulators in the case.

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(9) Comments

posted by: PWS2003 | April 25, 2014  1:50pm

Surprise, surprise, Malloy believes that this help that is on the way is just fine and dandy. When the water is rising fast, a drowning person looks for anyone and anything to save them but in this case it will not help. As they say to you as you leave the plane, bye, bye, Governor.

posted by: Bethy | April 25, 2014  2:38pm

Bethy

Ohhhh I don’t think so PSW2003, I disagree with your comment for the simple fact that when he walked in office former Republican Governor Rell handed him a $3.6 Billion dollar deficit (leaving him absolutely nothing to work with during his term. He had to do what he had to do to make Connecticut flow without harm too much harm the middle class,working class, poor, disabled, elder and our veterans. The tax increase does NOT affect those individuals at all. And if they’re saying it does (which i doubt), it’s a lie!! Any Governor that would’ve came in office would have no choice but to increase the taxes for this state in an effort to lower our debt caused by previous administrations - regardless to who the heck was in office. The fact that convicted felon former Governor Rowland still can’t tell us what happened with all that “casino money” during his term, you Republicans never question that! Rather, you just sweep those things under the rug. Yet Malloy has to take the heat, even though it was not he did not cause the $3.6 dollar deficit.  He had no choice but to raise the taxes. Your party wouldn’t offer any solutions to balance the budget when he first walked in office but waited on the side lines to bash whatever outcome was approved by the “Legislature” to balance the budget. You continue to divert to “cut” life-depending programs for those vulnerable folks that need them the most, but when someone like yourself is in need of specific services, you demand justice….. You have to face the fact that former Gov Rell established rules in opposition of the sole purpose of the DGA. Connecticut’s Campaign laws conflict with what was federally established for the DGA and RCA. Long story short, the way CT Campaign Finance laws were rewritten by the Rell Administration is that the DGA can’t support any democratic governor - which conflicts federally why the DGA was established. CT’s Campaign laws as they are established today is whatever the DGA says or does no matter what - will set them up for prosecution. It gives the state too much power over the 1st Amendment. For example, if the DGA gives any democratic governor or candidate a blue shoe that says, “this guy is great”, the SEEC is gonna file a lawsuit…...seriously???? Nawww, the lawsuit must proceed to protect any future candidate for Governor. The courts must find Connecticut’s Campaign laws unconstitutional!

posted by: Bethy | April 25, 2014  3:28pm

Bethy

Ohhhh I don’t think so PSW2003, I disagree with your comment for the simple fact that when he walked in office, former Republican Governor Rell handed him a $3.6 Billion dollar deficit (leaving him absolutely nothing to work with during his term). He had to do what he had to do to make Connecticut flow without too much harm on the middle class,working class, poor, disabled, elderly and our veterans. The tax increase does NOT affect those individuals at all. And if they’re saying it does (which i doubt), it’s a lie!! Any Governor that would’ve came in office would have no choice but to increase the taxes for this state in an effort to lower our debt caused by previous administrations - regardless of who the heck was in office. The fact that convicted felon former Governor Rowland still can’t tell us what happened with all that “casino money” during his term, you Republicans never question that! Rather, you just sweep those things under the rug. Yet Malloy has to take the heat, even though he did not cause the $3.6 dollar deficit.  He had no choice but to raise the taxes. Your party wouldn’t offer any solutions to balance the budget when he first walked in office but waited on the side lines to bash whatever outcome was approved by the “Legislature” to balance the budget. You continue to divert to “cut” life-depending programs for those vulnerable folks that need them the most, but when someone like yourself is in need of specific services, you demand justice….. You have to face the fact that former Gov Rell established rules in opposition of the sole purpose of the DGA. Connecticut’s Campaign laws conflict with what was federally established for the DGA and RCA. Long story short, the way CT Campaign Finance laws were rewritten by the Rell Administration is that the DGA can’t support any democratic governor - which conflicts federally why the DGA was established. CT’s Campaign laws as they are established today is whatever the DGA says or does no matter what - will set them up for prosecution. It gives the state too much power over the 1st Amendment. For example, if the DGA gives any democratic governor or candidate a blue shoe that says, “this guy is great”, the SEEC is gonna file a lawsuit…...seriously???? Nawww, the lawsuit must proceed to protect any future candidate for Governor. The courts must find Connecticut’s Campaign laws unconstitutional! SORRY I HAD TO REPOST THIS MESSAGE, I WAS SPEED TYPING! smile

posted by: Chien DeBerger | April 25, 2014  3:38pm

Bethy-

Your premise is that Malloy could not stop spending and the problem is he has gone through 2 billion dollars in new taxes and as one article on this site reported, you had Beth Bye still wanting to spend more with this budget. It is time to stop the spending, cut the pandering to the democrap voting block and cut the cronyism.

posted by: UConnHoop | April 25, 2014  4:26pm

Bethy, did you conveniently forget that the legislature has been dominated by the Dems for nearly all of the past 40 years?  Or was it convenient to leave that small fact out of your tome?  I also have to disagree with your assertion that the tax increase implemented by Malloy and the Dems does not affect the poor, disabled, middle class, working class and every other class of CT residents.  The direct correlation between huge tax hikes, increased regulations and corporate bribery with the pathetic CT economy affects every resident of this state.

posted by: state_employee | April 25, 2014  4:53pm

Bethy, or occiogrosso?  Really?

posted by: Noteworthy | April 25, 2014  4:57pm

Malloy’s response is as predictable as it is sad. Here’s a guy who thinks he’s the smartest one in the room, rams through taxes and legislation without much regard or thought to the opposition or others of a different opinion and then proceeds to use every trick in the book to stack the deck in his favor: Handing out party favors; $55 checks which are our own money and then forcing us to pay $1.5 million to send them to ourselves; unraveling campaign finance reform last year; using the DGA to shoehorn more money for him this year; hitting up contractors and the wealthy for a fake federal election in order to avoid what few reforms are left.

It’s all ego. Too bad it’s not confidence.

posted by: PWS2003 | April 25, 2014  5:52pm

Beth, 1st off I am not a Republican. I am a retired teacher of 33 years and I did not sit on my backside during my career but I tried to teach. Gov. Malloy is the most anti-teacher, anti-public education,and pro-charter(corporate) school governor in CT history. He won by less than 7K votes out of about 1,300K votes cast and those citizens that support our public education system know of his agenda, so I say again, bye,bye. We do not want a DINO governor and if he really wanted to help the working poor in CT, he would have pushed for a $12.78 minimum wage because that is what it should be if adjusted for inflation. $10.10 in 2017 is a disgrace. Giving UTC more than $500 million so that money can trickle down to the smaller businesses makes make no sense. Small businesses create more jobs than big old MIC companies. They are the engines of growth not companies like UTC and that big hedge fund that he gave $114 million to. You defend him all you want but he and his bunch at the Dept. of Education that are out destroy CT’s public education system will soon be gone. Then maybe in a few years a real Democrat will step forward and push for the true values of the Democrat Party.

posted by: Bethy | April 26, 2014  1:19am

Bethy

PWS2003, you having been a teacher for 33 years should know better. I say shame on you! You go ahead and do what you have to do. Slap yourself right in the face.  You’re claiming not to be a republican, I think you better re-evaluate your party status because you sound like a typical republican…Shame on you teacher! I’m sticking with my party (democrat). I will never slap myself in the face again. I support $10.10 an hour. I support the Pre-K Package and I support our Governor and strongly feel that he deserves another term for all his hard works! i believe he is for the people of Connecticut - all zip codes! Have a great summer!