Connecticut Politics and Elections: Coverage, Analysis, Maps and Commentary
Ms Blondin Goes to Hartford Yesterday, the working group on Campaign Finance, led by Senator DeFronzo met at the Capitol legislative building to hear the views of the public and of activists groups on the topic of public financing of elections. Attended by groups like Common Cause, CCAG and the League of Women Voters. The tone coming from the floor and the committee wasn't " should we have publicly financed elections" but, How do we implement the changes? When do we want these changes to take effect? and Which bill is better at cleaning up our elections?. Nancy Dinardo and Geogre Jepsen talked a little about the role of the state party in a publicly financed system. They wanted to protect the role of the state party to give contributions to campaigns, along with continuing to provide Democrats with access to the voter file and other services that the state party pays for. Under the 2 new bills the party would be very limited in what they could give $2,750 (I think for Constitutional Officers), the problem that Nancy and George wanted to address was the other services: for example the voter file, they posed a question is this giving a contribution to a candidate? If so they would be even more limited in giving help to candidates. However, limiting the state party would take a degree of control away from the party showing favoritism to some candidates and then not giving to other candidates. Both points of view have merit and should be closely investigated. Most of the Citizens action groups like CCAG and Common Cause found it feasible to eliminate Ad books immediately, but would hold off implementing most of campaign finance until the 2008 election cycle, because candidates for 2006 have already started raising money. When you have two Democrat gubenatorial candidates that have raised over 2 million dollars each and a Republican who hasn't announced shes running and hasn't started raising money that leads to some problems. Finally, at the end, Audrey Blondin candidate for Secretary of the State spoke, mind you the only candidate for Secretary of the State that was there and testified on behalf of Campaign Finance Reform with Publicly financing of Campaigns. She spoke of her race and how she felt that she was at a great disadvantage coming from local government and not from state governmental. Audrey proclaimed her run the poster child race for Campaign Finance Reform. Audrey said, "There is no level playing field for someone from local government to compete at the same level as the Hartford insiders ". " Being the outsider, my campaign relies on small donations of $15, $25, $100 to push my message for what I would for the Secretary of the States office. Audrey said," I don't have the access to the PAC money, the lobbyist money and the Special Interest money that some of the other candidates have. " Audrey urged the Senators to take a look at the disparity between the different candidates in the Campaign Contribution Reports. " I almost have to self fund my campaign to be seen as a viable serious candidate." Senator Rorebeck asked Audrey " If you could pass Campaign Finance today and remove the influence of lobbyists and PACs in elections, would you? " Audrey's answer was unequivocally "Yes". My question is if all the other candidates are such strong supporters of campaign finance where were they for this important debate. The answer is their campaigns are unorganized and they were sitting on the side lines. Audrey Blondin is running for Secretary of the State, because she wants to be the Secretary of the State...not to test her name in the wind for another position.CTN ( Connecticut Television Network )( Channel 15 in most places ) will be re-running the program tonight at 1:55 Am to 7 Am. Also you can catch the program on CTN, Monday 7:30 Am to 12:30 Pm
Audrey,I don't think you meant to, but you also posted this in a slightly more recent post. I deleted the duplicate entry.I'm glad to see that the working group is at least active: any idea of whether there will be a bill this year?
A very interesting RUMOR that I heard yesterday:That Susie Bysiewicz was thinking about abandoning the Governor's race with the idea of simply maintaining her position as SOS.Before anyone gets ruffled, this is just something I heard being circulated in New Haven. But if you look at the overall math, it might be a sound move for Susie. If she fails to win even the Democratic primary, what then lies in store for her? Unfortunately, re-districting put Susie's hometown of Middletown in to DeLauro's 3rd CD. So no Congressional seat coming up. Attorney General? United States Senate?But anyway, a failed run could be damaging to her future.
DeanFan,I've actually heard the same rumor once or twice. She's still acting like a candidate, going around to town committee meetings and such, but her fundraising is lagging and her website hasn't changed in six months.She may end up as the Lt. Gov. choice. A DeStefano/Bysiewicz or a Malloy/Bysiewicz ticket would be very interesting. A Blumenthal/Bysiewicz ticket is probably out of the question (since he won't run), but that would be another strong pairing.She could also be the party chair, I suppose, but there's really nowhere else for her to go.
Everything I ever read about Susan seems to indicate that she wants to be governor more than anything. She has worshipped Ella Grasso her entire life and wants to emulate her. In fact it prob burns her up a bit that Rell got to be the second female Gov. of CT. As far as were this leaver her, who knows? If Blumenthal joins, I heard she might run for the AG nod against Jepsen. She is young, so she can always run for Guv. again.
Anonymous,You're right about Bysiewicz's Ella Grasso obsession... an article I read a long time ago said that whenever she took guests and media into the Capitol, she pointed out Ella's statue and broadly hinted that she'd be joining her up there someday.Of course, she may yet turn her fundraising numbers around. We'll see.
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