$33 Million In Public Financing For State Races, Is It Worth It?

Okay, we’re seeing all kinds of spending records broken in this gubernatorial cycle, whether independent expenditures or from $33 million in Connecticut taxpayers funds. You’re paying for it in some fashion. Is it worth it? Hmmm, what Bridgeport could do with an extra $33 million. From Greg Hladky, Hartford Courant.

State officials said Monday that public campaign financing awards to candidates for 2014 will total more than $33 million–a record amount for Connecticut’s taxpayer-funded election system.

According to records from the State Elections Enforcement Commission, nearly 290 different candidates have been approved for campaign financing grants for this election.

“80 percent or more of the candidates [running this year] are receiving public financing,” Joshua Foley, a spokesman for the commission, said Monday.

Sept. 17 was the deadline for awarding of the public campaign grants. Recipients of the final round of awards included the Republican candidate for attorney general, Kie Westby, 11 candidates for the state House and three state Senate candidates. Foley said his office is still totaling up exact numbers on the amounts awarded and the number of candidates who received awards.

The previous campaign finance record was set during the last statewide election in 2010 when approximately $29 million in public financing was handed out to candidates.

Full story here.



  1. Absolutely not. There is sufficient evidence a majority of candidates receiving CEP funds have used it to operate their campaign as if it were a family & friends business. I put up $8,000 of my own money and I’m being conservative with my money. In 2008 I was the endorsed Republican candidate in the 130th and spent under $10 and still managed to do better than Rafael Mojica (MOJO). Talking about Mojo, where has he been? In 2010 Ezequiel Santiago claims to have been able to win with just under $900–this claim is currently being investigated by SEEC and is among the four last complaints I filed. There are tax implications too and I’m wondering where are the feds/IRS. It’s a piggybank for elected officials. I bet the 10% not receiving grants are minor party candidates. I also noticed Malloy received the CEP Grant and has the endorsement of WFP, a known Special Interest Party. No one receiving the CEP Grant should be allowed to be cross-endorsed by any party receiving special interest support–this defeats the purpose of the CEP.

  2. It’s hypocritical of Lennie Grimaldi to post this commentary and ask such a question. He was among the first I offered a look into the four complaints currently under investigation by the SEEC.
    The Bridgeport News, Jonathan Pelto, The CT Mirror all received the PDF files of all complaints. NOT ONE ARTICLE was written. The last reporter I reached out to was Brian Lockhart of the CT Post. I left the original letters I received from the SEEC at the CT Post for him; followed up with text messages.

    Here is how the text went:
    Joel Gonzalez to Brian Lockhart
    Been trying to reach you.
    Did you know that at the same time Christina Ayala was using 604 Noble Avenue address Andres received 6 contributions from people at the same address? SEEC is investigating all people mentioned in complaint including John Gomes among this clan.

    Ok I’ll write something if SEEc arrives at any conclusion.

    I then followed with a series of texts. Due to the fact that days before he interviewed John Gomes regarding Christina Ayala; I explained the SEEC did come to a conclusion when they voted to investigate and he had the documents in front of him. I pointed out the SEEC had not come to a conclusion on Ernie Newton nor Christina Ayala, yet The CT Post found sufficient time to write over and over again about them.

    Let me give you a few examples of how these moneys are funneled out of the campaign committees and PACs:
    In 2006 Friends of Andres Ayala is formed to defeat Lydia Martinez off 128th seat. Americo Santiago has control of JUNTOS PAC. He (Juntos) gives a $1000 contribution to Friends of Andres Ayala. Six months later after Andres Ayala wins the 128th seat, Friends of Andres Ayala pays Americo Santiago $1,200 for consulting work.

    From 2008 to 2010 John Gomes is the Campaign Treasurer for Andres Ayala (This is how and why he got the job with CitiStat). John Gomes saw no problem paying Red Rooster for food nor thousands of dollars to the likes of Eric Amado the son of Carmen Colon who is Andres Ayala’s long-time partner.

    2008-2012 Both of Ezequiel Santiago’s Campaign Treasurers (Michelle Retamar, Americo Santiago’s girlfriend all participate in questionable practices and fraud. Lots of other political operatives and elected officials participated.
    Two of Ezequiel Santiago’s Campaign Treasurers get jobs with the City of Bridgeport. Michellle Retamar had been separated from Americo Santiago for years before I filed the complaint regarding the 2008 activities. Soon after the complaint was filed and they were notified by SEEC, Americo Santiago a Commissioner of the Bridgeport Housing Authority, hires Michelle Retamar (was working for the New Haven Housing Authority) and is given a position she was not qualified for, at almost double the pay of her New Haven job in addition to a BRAND NEW SUV.

    Despite all the evidence of wrongdoing and ongoing investigation by Elected State Officials, Senator Andres Ayala, Rep. Ezequiel Santiago, Rep. Hilda Santiago of Meriden among the three I named in the complaint, the media has not written one article on them. The SEEC has again granted them Hundreds of Thousands of dollars in 2014. Plenty of money to continue to creatively funnel from their campaign committees to pay their lawyers and potentially bribe witnesses with money or jobs. But of course, they are innocent ’til proven guilty and I’m “crazy.”

  3. Lots of taxpayer money is out there. Does it bring more voters to the polls?
    When the State has its records in place for the 2014 election, maybe the election results for each district and for each candidate can be reviewed to give a sense of the “expense to reach out and produce a registered citizen who actually votes.” A further breakdown in terms of how this works with absentee v. those who vote at the polling place might also be enlightening. Time will tell.

  4. Having raised $$$ for candidates both under this program and not under this program, not under this program is far more fair and effective for all involved. No one should be forced to donate from income which should be in the general fund for tax relief for all. Entirely too much $$$ is spent on elections.


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