The Connecticut Republican party has filed a complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission alleging unlawful coordination between a committee established by the Democratic Governors Association and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s reelection campaign.
Democrats say the allegations are baseless.
The complaint, filed on Wednesday, asserts that $91,255 in expenditures made by Connecticut Forward, a committee established by the Democratic Governors Association, were coordinated with the Malloy campaign, a violation of state election law.
The complaint does not provide any details in support of its claim. However, Zak Sanders, spokesman for the Connecticut Republican party, said the very fact that Malloy is a member of the Democratic governors group is proof of coordination.
“Gov. Malloy sits on their board and has raised money for the organization,” Sanders said. “Now this money is coming back and is being spent on his behalf.”
“When the law gets in the way of Gov. Malloy’s plans for re-election, he either finds a way around it or blatantly ignores it,” said Jerry Labriola, Jr., chairman of the state Republican party. “We saw this first with his pay-to-play shakedown of state contractors for campaign cash, and we’re seeing it again now through his apparent illegal coordination with the Democratic Governors Association and Connecticut Forward.”
Devon Puglia, spokesman for the state Democratic party, said the complaint has no merit and contains no specifics. He dismissed it as a publicity stunt.
“This claim is utterly baseless, totally unsubstantiated, and unbelievably reckless,” Puglia said. “There are fewer specifics in this claim than the GOP’s policy proposals — and that’s next to nothing. If voters want to know why the GOP will take Connecticut backwards, this is it. Rooting for Connecticut to fail and trying to turn back the clock on this state, this is a cheap, paper-thin ploy to generate a headline.”
The Democratic Governors Association, and its Republican counterpart, are expected to big big players in gubernatorial campaign, which pits Malloy against Republican businessman Tom Foley.
Earlier this year, New Jersey Gov. Chris Chrisie, the head of the Republican Governors Association, came to Greenwich and pledged to “commit the resources that are necessary to try to get Tom’s campaign over the finishing line.”
Danny Kanner, spokesman for the Democratic Governors Association, called the Republcians’ complaint “frivolous.”
“While it’s nice to see erratic millionaire Tom Foley is taking time off from blaming workers for losing their jobs and driving his company into bankruptcy, he and his Republican hatchet men should use the opportunity to come clean about the devastating impact his hidden policies would have on middle-class families instead of filing frivolous legal complaints,” Kanner said.
The SEEC is expected to take up the complaint at its next meeting on Tuesday. At that time, it will determine whether the complaint is within the commission’s purview; it if it found to meet that standard, an investigation will be opened, a spokesman for the commission said.