Nearly 80 Percent Of Successful 2012 Candidates Were Publicly Financed, Report Finds

by Categorized: Connecticut, Denise Merrill Date:

More than 77 percent of successful candidates in 2012 and all current statewide office holders were publicly financed, a report released Monday found.

Fresh Start: The Impact Of Public Campaign Financing In Connecticut,  was authored by Miles Rapoport, president of left-leaning policy center Demos and former Secretary of the State. In addition to the report, Rapoport and current Secretary of the State Denise Merrill wrote a letter to New York lawmakers, urging them to adopt a public financing system in their state.

Connecticut\’s voluntary public financing system was launched in 2008 as part of the state\’s 2005 legislative response to the corruption scandal of former Gov. John Rowland. Named the \”Connecticut Citizens\’ Election Program,\” the program offers grant money to candidates who raise a certain amount of money through small donations.

The report touted the state\’s public financing program after finding that it reduces special interest influence, allows more people to run for office, and results in a more diverse group of candidates elected.

“There is no longer a need for the financial connection,\” said Sen. Majority Leader Martin Looney. \”The playing field has been leveled and everyone has to compete based on the merits of their proposals.\”

Arguing that public financing results in a government that better serves the interests of Connecticut\’s working and middle class residents, report authors pointed to legislation passed since the program\’s inception, like paid sick leave for service workers, a minimum wage increase and the state\’s Earned Income Tax Credit.

\”Arbitrary obstruction measures done as favors to special interests are declining,\” the report found. Used to support that claim was a quote from former House Speaker Chris Donovan, whose congressional campaign fell apart last summer amidst an investigation into fraudulent campaign contributions.


The Courant is using Facebook comments on stories. To comment on articles, sign into Facebook and enter your comment in the field below. Comments will appear in your Facebook News Feed unless you choose otherwise. To report spam or abuse, click the X next to the comment. For guidelines on commenting, click here.

6 thoughts on “Nearly 80 Percent Of Successful 2012 Candidates Were Publicly Financed, Report Finds

  1. Richard

    What the law did was make government even more insular and beholden to majority party vote and public sector unions. What? The Malloy camp is short of cash? Then change the rules! See, the system works! The majority party changes the rules as needed mid-campaign.

    Ask the Donovan Campaign.

    BTW, did anyone ever answer the question as to why a former Government Union Treasurer and former Government Union President thought the Donovan campaign was open for doing business and treated it as a business as usual arrangement?

    I thought not.

  2. Don Pesci

    There is a dreadful information deficit in the published report. Here is what we want to know:
    1) What is the ratio if Republican to Democrat politicians who have accepted public funding?
    2) Of the incumbents in either party who have been returned to office, what is the ratio of those who have and have not accepted public funding?
    3) Of incumbents in either party who have been returned to office, what is the ratio of Republicans to Democrats who have self-funded.
    4) What conservative programs have been successfully implemented as a result of public financing?

    1. Richard

      Then there’s the stats on how much money it takes to defeat an incumbent which would really shake things up if the goal was a level playing field each election and eliminating incumbent advantage.

      I never got the impression fairness was the goal here. It merely helps keeps majority party incumbents in office. Much like voting to enrichen benefits

        1. bill

          Wait a minute Don and Richard. No Bingo yet. There is a trade off to accepting public financing. (And BTW, I think everyone should accept it.) The trade off is that you only have a finite amount to spend. If public funding is refused, then you may raise as much as your deal-making little favor-tooting hearts may find.

          Don’t try and make this a partisan divide as you always do. Let’s have real campaign finance reform and make the process as removed from special interests as possible – on both sides.

          But of course, now that the conservative Court has ruled that corporations are people and can donate till their hearts are content, we have pushed financing in the wrong direction.

Comments are closed.