September 22, 2014 •

Former Connecticut Governor Convicted of Campaign Finance Violations

Former Gov. John G. Rowland was convicted Friday in federal court on seven counts of corrupt political acts. The charges, including obstructing justice, conspiracy, and falsifying documents, followed Rowland’s connection to the congressional campaigns of Lisa Wilson-Foley in 2012 and […]

John RowlandFormer Gov. John G. Rowland was convicted Friday in federal court on seven counts of corrupt political acts. The charges, including obstructing justice, conspiracy, and falsifying documents, followed Rowland’s connection to the congressional campaigns of Lisa Wilson-Foley in 2012 and Mark Greenberg in 2010.

Foley pleaded guilty to related crimes earlier this year and is awaiting sentencing. The obstruction charge in relation to Greenberg’s campaign centered around a contract presented to Greenberg by Rowland. Greenberg testified he was not interested and tore up the contract.

Facing a maximum of 57 years in prison, Rowland will be sentenced on December 12.

Photo of former Gov. John G. Rowland by CT State Library on Wikimedia Commons.

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August 19, 2014 •

Conservative Connecticut Super PAC Takes Aim at Governor with Television Ad

A group called Grow Connecticut recently paid $193,000 to produce a television ad targeting incumbent democratic governor Dannel Malloy. The conservative super PAC made the ad buy on the same day the state’s Republican Party filed a complaint against the […]

Connecticut Super PACsA group called Grow Connecticut recently paid $193,000 to produce a television ad targeting incumbent democratic governor Dannel Malloy. The conservative super PAC made the ad buy on the same day the state’s Republican Party filed a complaint against the Governor’s campaign and Connecticut Forward, a similar group, for illegal coordination.

Connecticut Forward, created and funded by the Democratic Governor’s Association, has also paid over $100,000 in support of Governor Malloy. The recent activity by these two groups brings to light the influence of outside groups on publicly funded campaigns.

Both Governor Malloy and the Republican nominee, Tom Foley, are participants in the Citizen’s Election Program, which caps their campaign funds to a $6.5 million grant from taxpayers. The program was created in an attempt to insulate state campaigns from special interest groups. Groups like Grow Connecticut, however, are allowed unlimited independent expenditures, increasing the call for greater transparency through disclosure to the voters.

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June 11, 2014 •

Federal Judge Denies Request to Enjoin Enforcement of Connecticut Campaign Finance Law

U.S. District Judge Janet Hall has denied an injunction request by the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) to enjoin the state’s campaign finance laws. DGA argued Connecticut’s campaign finance law limits the ability of political groups to buy independent ads supporting […]

DGAU.S. District Judge Janet Hall has denied an injunction request by the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) to enjoin the state’s campaign finance laws.

DGA argued Connecticut’s campaign finance law limits the ability of political groups to buy independent ads supporting candidates by treating such spending as a contribution to the candidates supported, thus making it subject to campaign finance limits.

In denying the injunction, Judge Hall found the DGA did not establish a likelihood it would prevail in its challenge of the law.

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May 19, 2014 •

Connecticut Will No Longer Enforce Aggregate Contribution Limits

The State Elections Enforcement Commission has announced it will no longer enforce the state’s aggregate contribution limit after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC. At its May 14 meeting, the Commission determined the McCutcheon decision called into […]

Connecticut Outline with Flag

The State Elections Enforcement Commission has announced it will no longer enforce the state’s aggregate contribution limit after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC. At its May 14 meeting, the Commission determined the McCutcheon decision called into question the enforceability of the aggregate limits and stated it will not enforce the limits absent further direction from the General Assembly or a court of competent jurisdiction. The Commission made clear, however, the base contribution limits remain in full force and effect.

The full text of the Commission’s opinion is available here.

 

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December 5, 2013 •

The World According to Carol Carson

Carol Carson is the executive director of the Connecticut Office of Government Accountability. In September she provided her Top 10 Tips at the Practising Law Institute’s Campaign Finance and Lobbying program in Washington, DC. 10.   Register. Register. Register. 9.     In Connecticut, you […]

Carol CarsonCarol Carson is the executive director of the Connecticut Office of Government Accountability. In September she provided her Top 10 Tips at the Practising Law Institute’s Campaign Finance and Lobbying program in Washington, DC.

10.   Register. Register. Register.

9.     In Connecticut, you are required to wear your lobbying badge… So wear your lobbying badge.

8.     Keep contemporaneous records.

7.     Get advice from the agency. We are here to help.

6.     If you mess up, fess up.

5.     Don’t play us.

4.     Work with us.

3.     Lobbying is a self-policing industry.

2.     Video surveillance is everywhere.

1.   We would rather help you get it right then catch you doing it wrong.

We are huge fans of Carol Carson because she is out there working with the registered community to file accurate and timely reports. Everyone should use her Top 10 Tips to manage compliance.

It is a busy time of the year. Make sure your 2014 registrations are in order. Need help, call us. We Comply.

Thank you,

Elizabeth Bartz

President and CEO

@elizabethbartz

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June 7, 2013 •

Two State Legislatures Adjourn

Connecticut and Nebraska

government buildingThe Connecticut General Assembly adjourned on June 5, 2013.

The Nebraska Legislature adjourned sine die on June 5, 2013.

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April 29, 2013 •

Special Election Scheduled in Connecticut’s 53rd Assembly District

Replaces Rep. Bryan Hurlburt

Connecticut with FlagVoters in the 53rd Assembly District will head to the polls June 11, 2013, to select a successor for Representative Bryan Hurlburt.

Rep. Hurlburt resigned his seat in mid-April to accept an appointment to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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December 20, 2012 •

Connecticut General Assembly Holds Special Session on Budget

Session included memorial to shooting victims

Connecticut State CapitolThe General Assembly held a one-day special session December 19, 2012, to approve budget cuts to close the state’s budget deficit.

The session also included a one-hour memorial for the Newtown shooting victims.

Photo of the Connecticut State Capitol courtesy of Ragesoss on Wikipedia.

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September 24, 2012 •

Connecticut Judge Orders Runoff Election for 5th Assembly District

Primary candidates tied after second recount

Seal of ConnecticutA judge has set October 2, 2012 as the date for a runoff election for a state House primary race.

Two recounts were conducted in the democratic primary for the 5th assembly district between Brandon McGee and Leo Canty.

The second recount resulted in a tie between the two candidates.

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July 19, 2012 •

Connecticut Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board Plans Random Audits of Client Lobbyists

Audits expected to be completed by the end of the fiscal year

Connecticut SealThe Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board announced its plans to audit 10 randomly selected client lobbyists. All communicator lobbyists associated with the selected client lobbyists will also be audited. Client lobbyists are those who pay for lobbying services on their behalf, and communicator lobbyists are those who receive payment from a client lobbyist for lobbying services.

As part of its press release, the board noted that between January 1 and July 1, 2012, lobbying expenditures exceeded $31 million.

The selection will be made at the board’s meeting on July 19, 2012, and all audits are expected to be completed by the end of the fiscal year. The list of lobbyists to be audited will be available on the Office of State Ethics website after the random drawing.

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June 15, 2012 •

Connecticut Governor Vetoes Campaign Finance Bill

An override is unlikely

Flag of ConnecticutGovernor Dannel Malloy vetoed House Bill 5556 today, June 15, 2012. The campaign finance bill would have required corporate board authorization for campaign-related expenditures of $4,000 or more and disclosure of donor identities for donations aggregating $1,000 or more.

The bill was opposed by the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Connecticut Daily Newspaper Association, who argued that the bill would have a chilling effect on contributions.

The bill did not pass with a two-thirds vote, making a veto override unlikely.

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June 12, 2012 •

Connecticut Special Session Begins Today

House majority leader to preside over session

Connecticut State CapitolThe Connecticut General Assembly will convene a special session at 11 a.m. today, June 12, 2012.

House speaker Chris Donovan will not be presiding over the session, instead allowing the house majority leader to handle the leadership responsibilities after Speaker Donovan’s former campaign finance manager was arrested for allegedly conspiring to conceal the source of $20,000 in campaign contributions. The contributions were purportedly linked to a bill imposing taxes on roll-your-own cigarette businesses, which is expected to be voted on during today’s session.

Speaker Donovan does plan to participate in the session.

Photo of the Connecticut State Capitol by jglazer75 on Wikipedia.

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May 10, 2012 •

Two State Legislatures Adjourn

Colorado and Connecticut

government buildingColorado: The General Assembly adjourned May 9, 2012. Governor John Hickenlooper announced his intention to call a special session, primarily to address a civil unions bill. The special session could begin as early as Friday.

Connecticut: The General Assembly adjourned May 9, 2012.

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May 9, 2012 •

Connecticut General Assembly Approves Campaign Finance Disclosure Requirements

Bill now goes to Governor Malloy

ConnecticutThe Connecticut House and Senate passed House Bill 5556 on May 8, 2012. The bill makes changes to Connecticut’s campaign finance disclosure law, requiring corporate board authorization for campaign-related expenditures exceeding $4,000 and disclosure of donor identities for donations aggregating $1,000 or more.

The bill now awaits action by Governor Dannel P. Malloy, although the governor’s general counsel has indicated that there are constitutional concerns with the bill, raising the possibility of a veto.

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