After much hemming and hawing, Ned Lamont of Greenwich, will face off with Dan Malloy of Stamford, next Tuesday in Rocky Hill. It will be carried on Channel 3 and CPTV. Malloy, the gubernatorial candidate endorsed in the Democratic state convention in May, is behind Lamont in the polls and probably needs a clear victory to gain the nearly 10 points he’s behind, heading into the August 10 primary. Malloy has been pretty relentless in hammering Lamont for a one-on-one. In the spirit of Linda McMahaon, the WWE exec running for US Senate, will face raking be allowing in the Malloy\Lamont cage match? Maybe the debate will generate actual voter interest in the primary.
Archive for July, 2010
A Year After Federal Court First Attacked CT Campaign Law, Legislature is Now on the Verge of Stirring?
Since the landmark campaign-reform legislation was beaten up by a federal judge last summer, the Senate and House have never been on the same page. The Blogster has no reason to be optimistic for a compromise now, either. But the recent Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruling has cornered Democratic leaders. This release this morning from Rep. James Spallone, House co-chair of the Government Administration & Elections Committee, following a meeting between legislative leadership and Gov. M. Jodi Rell yesterday, could be an optimistic sign that a legislative cdeal could finally occur. The Blogster still remembers Senate President Don Williams and House Speaker Chris Donovan back at the start of the 2010 legislative session saying revisions to the 2005 law were a slam dunk. But it never happened.
Here’s the release from Spallone, D-Essex:
State Rep. James F. Spallone (D-Essex), the co-chair of the legislature’s Government Administration and Elections Committee, today called for increasing the clean elections grants for candidates for governor in response to a federal appeals court ruling striking down a provision for supplemental grants.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, earlier this month, affirmed a trial court decision holding parts of Connecticut’s landmark campaign finance reform law unconstitutional. One part of the law that was stricken provided so-called supplemental grants to publicly financed candidates facing high-spending opponents who had opted out of the Citizens Election Program (CEP). The supplemental grants for governor were capped at $3 million and would have been triggered by the spending of the candidate’s opponent. The appeals court held that tying the extra grants to the opponent’s spending could “chill” the free speech of the high spending opponent.
“The supplemental grants were an important part of the program, giving clean elections candidates a fighting chance against high spenders,” Spallone said. “We now have four candidates for governor from the major parties, one Republican and one Democrat who are participating in the program and one Republican and one Democrat who are not participating and have indicated they would spend record amounts in the campaign.
“It is the duty of the General Assembly and Governor Rell, in response to the court’s decision, to repair the program in way that keeps it as intact as possible. Given the fact that the court ruled less than one month before a primary and less than four months before the general election, our options are limited.
“Under these circumstances, the simplest, fairest way to address the loss of the supplemental grants is to raise the base grants to levels commensurate with recent spending levels.”
Spallone pointed out that raising the base grants would not represent new spending.
“First, we would only be raising the base grants for governor, not for the underticket or the legislature.
“Second, the funds were already projected to be spent for supplemental grants–at all levels–so the money is in the Citizens Election Fund (CEF), and less would be spent.
“Third, it is clear that if a privately funded candidate were running against a CEP candidate this year, the supplemental grants would have been triggered during the general election.”
Spallone also said there are issues of fundamental fairness at play.
“Lt. Governor Fedele and Mayor Malloy opted into a program knowing they could receive up to $6 million for the general election campaign if facing a high spending opponent. They have upheld their end of the bargain, raising qualifying contributions, agreeing not to accept political action committee contributions and agreeing to the spending cap. They have planned their campaigns accordingly and have been able to end their fundraising so they can concentrate on meeting voters. For the state to fail to repair the supplemental grant provisions now would be fundamentally unfair, and a failure to hold up our end of the bargain.
“In order to preserve the integrity of this worthy system, designed to reduce special interest influence in our politics, we must make this repair. Next year, we can take on longer term fixes to deal with the loss of supplemental grants and other issues,” Spallone said.
Spallone also said he is encouraged that a consensus is emerging concerning elimination of the so-called “time bomb” provision that could result in automatic repeal of the CEP in the face of a court injunction and on the regulation of lobbyist contributions and fundraising, recently allowed by the court’s decision.
Ned Lamont, ahead slightly in the polls heading into the August 10 Democratic gubernatorial primary against Dan Malloy, spent about an hour and a half this afternoon touring the Family ReEntry program on Bridgeport’s Main Street and it’s East Side facility to meet some of the employees and clients.Ken Jackson, director of the Beacon program, aimed at keeping kids out of the prison system, said that if Lamont wins election “give us a call.” Lamont, who also talked with a group of 21 Harding High students, promised Jackson “I won’t forget about you,” if he wins election. The programs help stop the revolving door in the state’s prison system, where most inmates find themselves back in prison because they can’t make it on the outside.
This from the Malloy camp this morning after Ned Lamont launched a new TV ad.
“Dan Kelly, Campaign Manager for the Dan Malloy for Governor Campaign, today released the following statement in response to new attack ads that Ned Lamont’s campaign began airing this morning on TV and radio across the state. Said Kelly:
“It’s unfortunate Ned would resort to these attacks – attacks he knows are untrue. Let’s take Ned’s ridiculous claims one by one.
“Ned says he’s debated Dan numerous times, but they’ve had exactly one head-to-head debate on TV, and none in the closing weeks of this election when many voters are just tuning in. Ned has made a choice not to stand next to Dan on stage and let voters compare the candidates’ records and visions. The idea that Ned Lamont isn’t dodging debates is, frankly, laughable:
“It’s also ironic that Ned would attack Dan’s record on clean elections and clean government, considering Dan is abiding by Connecticut’s clean elections law and Ned isn’t. It’s another baseless attack. Dan’s campaign is built on small dollar contributions of $375 and less, while Ned has supplemented the millions he’s spent of his family’s money with millions in individual contributions of up to $3,500 each from Wall Street special interests, including some from the U.S. Virgin Islands, and he’s taken $3,500 from kids barely old enough to drive, but who have wealthy parents.
“While Ned was doing that, here’s what newspapers in Connecticut were saying about Dan’s fundraising:
“Finally, it’s both sad and telling that Ned would bring up the question of debates while making these baseless accusations. If Ned would simply join Dan on August 3 for the scheduled debate hosted by Ch. 3 and CPBN, they could have an open dialogue about all of these issues and more. What’s Ned got to lose? Or rather, what’s Ned got to hide?”
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Dannel Malloy could not gain the endorsement of the Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee, but today he’ll get the backing of one of the city’s Democratic renegades, Rep. Chris Caruso, the longest-serving member of the city’s legislative delegation. Malloy, fighting to win the August 10 primary against Ned Lamont, who had a single-digit lead in the last Q Poll, will meet Caruso at 1 p.m. at the Virginia Avenue location where Gov. Jodi Rell targeted a detention center for girls, only to bow to local pressure led by Caruso.
He’ll always have the Lembo Limbo to fall back on, but Waterbury Mayor Mike Jarjura was just rejected by a state judge. The conservative Jarjura – who’s taking credit for turning around the city from the brink of bankruptcy, conveniently forgetting that the state ran the city’s budget for years- said that Kevin Lembo, endorsed by state Democrats in their May convention, should not have been awarded his financing under the Citizens Election Program. Here’s the ruling:
07/23/10 100.35 MOTION FOR TEMPORARY INJUNCTION
The foregoing, having been heard by the Court, is hereby:
Temporary injunction is denied. Memorandum of decision or bench decision to follow.
Judge: JAMES T GRAHAM
The Blogster is fairly disappointed that the recent routine investigation of the quasi-public Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority by the state Auditors of Public Accounts has yielded nothing in the way of juicy public outrages. In fact, it is very rare for the auditors to write “No recommendation resulted from our current review.” But that’s indeed what occurred in the review issued the other day. Of the eight bullet points in the “Recommendations” pages, on the audit of the 2007, only one seems to be lingering and that’s because the state DEP has dropped the ball on approving a statewide solid waste plan. Otherwise, the CRRA has resolved billing problems; strengthened internal controls; scheduled regular monthly meetings; posted required information on the Internet; stopped borrowing money from the state; and fixed procurement problems.
Wow, the Blogster has just checked out the video at Lembolies.com, a site sponsored by Waterbury Mayor Mike Jarjura, who is opposing state Healthcare Advocate Kevin Lembo for the Democratic comptroller nomination August 10. Check out the “Lembo Limbo.” Right now they’re in state court arguing whether Lembo is qualified for a public-financing grant for the Citizen’s Election Program.