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CT Dems Finish Paying $325K to Election Watchdog, Insist Settlement Was “Voluntary”

October 4, 2017 By Staff
CT Dems Finish Paying $325K to Election Watchdog, Insist Settlement Was “Voluntary”

The Connecticut Democratic Party spent years in hot water over alleged misuse of campaign contributions. They just finished paying a "voluntary" settlement.

The Connecticut Democratic Party just finished paying the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) a $325,000 settlement for alleged misuse of campaign contributions during the 2014 re-election of Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.), according to CT Post‘s Neil Vigdor.

Vigdor reported on Monday:

Dinged for using state contractor money to help the 2014 re-election of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, the Connecticut Democrats have finished paying off a $325,000 settlement with the state a year ahead of schedule.

…Democrats have termed the $325,000 settlement as a “voluntary” payment, but the head of the state Elections Enforcement Commission referred to it as a significant penalty last year.

A little history about the scandal, for those who forget:

  • In November 2014, The Connecticut Democratic Party used funds earmarked for the party’s “federal account” to pay for a mailer promoting the re-election of Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.); this firewall is up in part to prevent state contractors from having undue influence on state officeholders
  • In May 2015, the SEEC subpoenaed the party and staffers for Malloy; for months, Democrats efied SEEC orders
  • In June 2016, the SEEC settled with the party on a $325,000 payment, which was “not considered a penalty or a fee

The Connecticut Democratic Party continues to insist they did nothing wrong, but this three-year episode suggests they won’t try to use federal dollars for state campaigns again, even ahead of a competitive 2018 cycle.