State Democratic Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo filed a formal complaint today with the Federal Elections Commission, alleging that Janet Peckinpaugh of Essex, the former TV news reader and Second Congressional District Republican candidate who is now running for a state House vacancy left by James Spallone’s move to the Secretary of the State’s office, cheated on her campaigning filings.
“Peckinpaugh may have concealed $70,000 in expenditures, illegally used campaign funds for personal use, and failed to pay thousands to staff and small businesses,’’ DiNardo said in a statement. “She should address these issues immediately, or drop her candidacy for state representative.”
DiNardo’s complaint alleges:
-Expenditures totaling $68,090.57, or 25% of her overall expenditures were filed without description.
-Peckinpaugh’s campaign made $8,051.52 in unspecified “reimbursements” to Peckinpaugh that should be documented under FEC rules.
-Failure to disclose a debt of $22,359.12, and to whom this debt is owed.
“These campaign finance laws are there to increase transparency, and to keep candidates from illegally using campaign funds for personal use. Peckinpaugh’s report – which contained nearly $70,000 in unspecified expenditures, and over $8,000 in unspecified reimbursements – is full of egregious violations. She is one of the worst offenders of campaign finance law that I’ve seen in years,” DiNardo said. “Starting another run for office when you’re $20,000 in debt from your last run is unconscionable. These funds could be owed to campaign staffers, vendors, and Connecticut small businesses who helped her campaign.”
Chris Healy, GOP state chairman, reacts:
“The pathetic complaint by Connecticut Democrats against Republican Janet Peckinpaugh demonstrated the political ruling class is frightened that she will win the Special Legislative race in the 36th District. Janet Peckinpaugh raised and spent her campaign funds for Congress legally and ethically. If the Democrats or her opponent, Congressman Joe Courtney had issues with her reporting, they were free to raise them weeks ago. The problem with the Hartford Democrats is Janet Peckinpaugh and her desire to stop spending and cut taxes. Janet Peckinpaugh is a working person not a career politician like Democrat Phil Miller and she will represent the people of Essex, Chester, Deep River and Haddam with integrity. Democrats in Connecticut have no place in criticizing any one on campaign irregularities. They wrote the book on it and have a rogue’s gallery of elected leaders who have routinely violated or broken campaign laws. Not one Democrat has offered any comment or complaint about those violations.”