Republican state senators convened a press conference today and demanded legislation to close a loophole in Connecticut’s new campaign finance reform law. The loophole allows leadership PAC’s to make unlimited in-kind contributions to so-called clean candidates.
“We’re here today because when the bill was debated, there was widespread acknowledgment that it had serious flaws that would need to be addressed, and we’re calling on all the members of the General Assembly to keep the promise to make this reform real,” said state Sen. Andrew Roraback (R-Goshen). “Let’s make it real.” (Levine)
Republicans, of course, opposed the bill en masse in December, despite the fact that their party's leader, Gov. Jodi Rell, supported it. The Democrats were quick to point out their change of mind:
Senate Democrats issued a statement criticizing the Republicans for suggesting changes to a bill they had opposed last December.
Had Republicans supplied their votes last fall, perhaps the campaign finance bill would have had enough support last fall to pass without the leadership PAC loophole, said state Rep. Chris Caruso (D-Bridgeport), co-chairman of the Government Administration and Elections Committee. (Levine)
It is pretty interesting that the Republicans seem to have quickly come around, but perhaps they are just being realists. They have two choices: defy the governor and the Democrats and try to repeal the bill (good luck), or try to shame the Democrats into making the bill more fair to everyone. The second option is infinitely preferable, because the Republicans can, in the process, look like reformers while the Democrats are stuck trying to explain how the PAC loophole got in there in the first place.
Hopefully this will mean that the Republicans are actually willing to work with Democrats to make this bill better, and that both parties will buy into real campaign finance reform. The bill does need fixing. If the Republicans want to help fix it, so much the better.
Levine, Dan. "Republicans Press Campaign Finance Issue." CT News Junkie 25 January, 2006. URL: http://ctnewsjunkie.com/index.php/2006/01/24/