Friday, October 07, 2005

Dems: No Campaign Finance Reform This Time

The Journal-Inquirer is reporting that Democratic leaders Rep. Jim Amann and Sen. Don Williams will not be bringing campaign finance reform to a vote during the upcoming special session. Both seem to be indicating that they don't have the votes right now. The J-I is also reporting that fundraising has increased dramatically as lawmakers try to grab as much money as possible before the laws change.

This is nonsense. Democrats (the ones who aren't currently holding office) want this bill done. Campaign finance reform is in the state's best interest, it should have been done last June. Democratic leaders continue to stall, however, making themselves look greedy and selfish in the process. Despite what they may think, it doesn't matter one way or the other to Governor Rell. She'll continue to look great next to the Democrats, and one way or the other campaign finance reform will probably get done.

Let's hope they figure this out soon.

Phaneuf, Keith. "Dems go for the Bucks." Journal-Inquirer 7 October, 2005.


FrankS said...

My previous post had expected this, but I would note that the Vermont cases before the U. S. Supreme Court were brought by the Vermont Republican Party, the Vermont Right to Life Committee and 18 candidates based on First Amendment protections for free speech. The U.S. Supreme Court’s 1976 ruling in Buckley v. Valeo, a decision that has stood the test of time, and challenges, essentially equates the right to free speech to campaign spending.

Vermont’s 1997 law, mirrors many of the current Connecticut proposals, that aimed to limit contributions, cap expenditures and increase public disclosures related to candidates and political organizations in state elections. The law barred candidates from taking more than $400 from a single source, and it capped what candidates can spend during an election cycle.

The Second Circuit had vacated an earlier district court ruling that had struck down Vermont’s limits on campaign spending. The appeals court found that Vermont had established two compelling interests to justify spending limits: “preventing the reality and appearance of corruption, and protecting the time of candidates and elected officials.”

It also ruled, however, that the case should go back to district court to address the question of “whether there are less restrictive means” for Vermont to achieve these goals.

With a viable legal challenge being heard in the next few months, no new legislation was likely. Rell grandstanded in calling the special session

Anonymous said...

no matter what the proposal, Democrats who have benefited dearly from all that special interest money will do everything they can to prevent true reform. Why would they want to change a system that gets them re-elected and keeps them in the majority? The Democrats have shown their true colors and motivations on this issue.

superD said...

Along the lines of campaign finance, the JI also reported that the DeStefano campaign has accepted contributions of $1,000 and more without collecting all of the information (employer and occuption) necessary for accepting such contributions. As a staffer at Election Enforcement states, the law is clear in stating that these contributions cannot in fact be accepted and cashed when all the information necessary to be compliant with the law is not collected. Colin McEnroe discussed the article on his show this afternoon as well.

MikeCT said...

Since the article is not online and I have not seen it, it is difficult to make conclusions. However, I don't think there was ever any expectation that they would vote on Tuesday. There is no final bill and they have not come to a consensus. Rell also (stupidly) scheduled the special session on the day before Yom Kippur. I think there was always an expectation - which Rell stated was OK with her - that they would meet, start discussions, then break and resume at a later date. So no vote on Tuesday does not mean no campaign finance reform.

However, this has dragged on far too long, and we need to ratchet up the pressure. So we'll need to do more than blog to push through real campaign finance reform. Here's what you can do today:

E-mail your legislators and leadership right now. Tell them the time for talk has passed - it's time for action.

Better yet, call them at the office on Tuesday (I'm guessing they're closed Monday):
* House Democrats 1-800-842-1902
* House Republicans 1-800-842-1423
* Senate Democrats 1-800-842-1420
* Senate Republicans 1-800-842-1421

Or better yet, call them at home this weekend.

If you don't know who your legislator is or need contact info, enter your Zip+4 at Project Vote Smart.

Rally for campaign finance reform with the Clean Up Connecticut campaign.

Tuesday October 11, 9:30am
Rally at South Side of the Capitol

And if possible, stick around for the special session that day. Your presence matters.

Independent1 said...

What a bunch of spineless fecks! How can Amann and Williams claim any sort of leadership if they can't even bring this to a vote.

Anonymous said...

Along the lines of campaign finance, the JI also reported that the DeStefano campaign has accepted contributions of $1,000 and more without collecting all of the information

I saw that as well, and was curious it wasn't a bigger story. Any thoughts Ghengis?

Anonymous said...


The comments page in the new open forum doesn't come up - get an error message: " The requested URL was not found on this server."

Genghis Conn said...

Huh. Working on it...

Genghis Conn said...

...fixed. Let me know if it happens again.

Anonymous said...

Although I personally welcome reform efforts that will leave me unable to give in to the pressure to donate to campaigns because I am a registered lobbyist, the proposed campaign finance reform is clearly a violation of my constitutional rights. Why should I be denied the opportunity to support the candidate of my choice simply because I have complied with the law and registered as a lobbyist? And frankly, who else will donate to the campaigns? I have worked on numerous state and local campaigns where we have tried to reach out to the average voter to attend a fundraiser - from offering $10.00 a plate fundraiser to free pizza parties with the candidates. Regardless of the ticket price, only the party faithful, the town committee members, elected officials and lobbyists, came out to support the candidates. The fact is, the town committees need to do a better job of reaching out to potential candidates and voters and encourage them to run and/or become active in the process. I truly resent campaign finance reform being placed on the backs of taxpayers. While I support strict limits on PACs and lobbyist contributions, I do not believe that taxpayers should have to finance marginal candidates, particularly when we have so few controls in place to ensure that such monies will be spent on actual campaign costs and not on personal expenditures. Let's face it, there is very little scrutiny of the cammpaign finance reports that are actually filed. Occasionally, a newspaper will mention that a form was filled out incorrectly. But in the long run, no one follows up on how the money is spent. The so-called Campaign Finance Reform Bills are simply another mechanism for wasteful government spending with little or no accountability for how the money is spent.

Anonymous said...

Annonymous Lobbyist,

Here, here! I'm glad someone has the courage to say the truth-- that this campaign finance reform is clearly unconstitutional. The Supreme Court will hopefully rule this is a violation of free speech in the Vermont case.

If we want real reform, we need to get rid of gerrymandered districts. You will never get money out of politics-- NEVER. All you can do is try to balance each district so it is competitive.

Campaign finance right now is just a political issue for both Rell and the legislative one wants it, and it will not pass at the end of the day.

former gop said...

Leadership (Amann and Williams) must allow the legislation to come before the GA in the special session. The task force has worked very very hard over the last weeks/months not to allow the legislation to get an up/down vote. Granted much monies have been collected by both sides for the 2006 election, but it must end!

We need to see more choice not the same faces year after year after year!