Connecticut Democratic Party Denounced for Seeking Advisory Opinion - State and Federal Communications

October 15, 2014  •  

Connecticut Democratic Party Denounced for Seeking Advisory Opinion

Seal of ConnecticutThe State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) used unusually strong language while asking the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to prevent the Connecticut Democratic State Central Committee (CDSCC) from using federally designated funds for a state race. The state party has requested an advisory opinion from the FEC approving the use of funds in a federal campaign account to pay for a mailing encouraging the reelection of Gov. Dannel Malloy.

In a letter to the FEC, signed by all five members, the SEEC denounced the inquiry stating it would violate both the letter and spirit of state campaign finance laws. In response, the CDSCC argued it is simply seeking clarification where federal and state laws are in conflict.

Federal law requires certain “federal election activity,” potentially including mailings, be paid for with a minimum of 15 percent federal funds whereas Connecticut law requires state candidates be supported exclusively with state funds. The CDSCC believes, should its reading of the law be confirmed, federal law will preempt state statutes and the use of federal funds will be required.

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