Democrats file election complaint against Foley

Seen in this screen capture, taken July 7, 2014, is Republican Tom Foley's first television ad of the GOP primary race for governor.

Seen in this screen capture, taken July 7, 2014, is Republican Tom Foley’s first television ad of the GOP primary race for governor.

The Democratic State Central Committee leveled allegations Monday that Republican Tom Foley exceeded spending caps for publicly-funded candidates for governor.

It filed a six-page complaint with the state Elections Enforcement Commission, the same day that Foley released his first television ad in the GOP primary race for governor.

The Connecticut Democrats say that there is no way that Foley could have afforded the ad buy — one estimated to have cost $35,000 — and also met his campaign’s payroll without going over a $270,000 cap for publicly-financed candidates.

“We know Tom Foley has been cavalier in his fundraising, reckless in his filings, and incompetent in his organizational management, so this blatant campaign finance violation should come as no surprise. He’s trying to circumvent the rules,” Devon Puglia, a state Democratic Party spokesman, said in a statement. “Tom Foley belittled the public finance system when he was a self-funded candidate in 2010. Now, he’s breaking the law – and taxpayer dollars are at stake. With such gross violations, he has shown he is unfit to be governor.”

UPDATE: Foley’s campaign issued a statement touting its compliance with state election laws.

“The Foley campaign has worked closely with the SEEC staff since opening the campaign to assure that we are compliant with the Commission’s rules and regulations,” the statement read. “We are confident we have been and remain compliant with the SEEC rules and regulations.”

Foley’s campaign characterized the complaint as a classic case of deflection by Democrats, including Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

“The filing by the Democratic State Central Committee is one more attempt by Governor Malloy and his surrogates to distract attention from the woeful record Malloy has compiled as governor — a record that includes one of the worst job recovery rates of any state in the nation, spending that remains out of control despite a record-setting tax hike of $1.5 billion, a CNBC ranking as the fifth worst state for doing business in the country, the highest debt per capita in the nation, and a looming billion dollar state budget deficit.”

Foley, who is seeking a rematch Malloy in November, qualified July 2 for $1.4 million in taxpayer funds for his primary campaign against state Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield.

Major party candidates must raise $250,000 in $100 increments from contributors under the state’s so-called clean elections program.

Campaign expenditures are capped at $250,000 — $270,000 when supplemented by personal funds — before a candidate qualifies for the program, according to the complaint.

Neil Vigdor