State Elections Enforcement Rules Ganim Ineligible For Public Campaign Funds, Ganim: Likely End Up In Court

As expected, the State Elections Enforcement Commission has ruled Mayor Joe Ganim is ineligible for public campaign funds under Connecticut’s Citizens Election Program of publicly funded races that is expected to dole out roughly $40 million to candidates in 2018. They ruled against Ganim citing his public corruption conviction in 2003. See SEEC decision here.

The SEEC delivered a “draft” decision that is expected to be validated by the board next month. It was based on a state law passed in 2013 that prohibits public campaign funds for elected officials who’ve violated their public oath. Ganim asked for a declaratory ruling to explore legal remedies.

Ganim has formed an exploratory committee for a long-shot statewide office in a growing field of candidates after Governor Dan Malloy announced he’ll not seek reelection next year. Ganim did not expect the state commission to side with him. To qualify for public funds he’ll need to file a court action.

If he does so and a court rules against Ganim he’s not prohibited from running. It means he’d have to raise money the old-fashioned way through large dollar contributions that would undercut his message of the need to eliminate dark money special interests from campaigns. Under the state’s public financing system, candidates must reach a threshold of small donations to achieve a large public grant. In the case of governor it represents millions in public dough.

Some state Republicans want to scuttle the public financing system, arguing the state cannot afford the program given the financial mess in Hartford.

While Ganim has formed an exploratory committee, he has done little so far to build a campaign infrastructure for a statewide run. If his statewide plan fails he has a backup. He has already raised nearly $200,000 for his mayoral reelection in 2019.

Statement from Ganim:

“There is absolutely no rationale for barring people who have committed prior bad acts from engaging in a system that is designed to prevent corruption and the influence of special interest in our elections. As a result of the lack of analysis on the deprivation of constitutional rights, this matter will likely end up in a court of law for final determination.”



  1. In these tough economic times Connecticut can’t afford the public financing system any longer. State officials said that public campaign financing awards to candidates for 2014 totalled more than $33 million – a record amount for Connecticut’s taxpayer-funded election system.

  2. Ganim2 asked once. They answered. Perhaps he is pursuing another “second chance” for a better answer? Perhaps now he will understand how many voters feel about him as we have been seeking ” a better answer”. Perhaps he will listen to the many questions and begin to answer them as a genuine “public servant” might do? LOL? Time will tell.

  3. Let it go Joey G. I supported you because I had hoped you’d bring back the energy and promise you displayed the first time around. Joey G’s ambition was always evident the first time around, but it was used to advance the city while advancing himself. Not this time, he has no energy, desire, or expectations of ever running for Governor or any other State office. This free press is a waste of ink, and shame on the Post for not using this space to inform the residents of Bridgeport of matters relevant to the real issues of our City.

  4. Joe Ganim has never had any problems with raising money to run for political office and he won’t have a problem when he runs for governor but he won’t win.

    1. He can raise money for sure. Here’s the kicker with that…if he raises a ton of money the state will give his qualified opponents extra money to offset his fundraising windfall.

  5. There was a typo in his statement. “There is no rationale for NOT barring public officials convicted on 16 charges of corruption from running again for office.” Fixed it.

    He is right that the system is broken, but he should be thanking his Gods that nobody has made the effort to fix it.

  6. Come to think of it, with the emphasis on “think” what does Ganim2 offer (and verified in the 18 months as Mayor) that might appear attractive to Connecticut voters? STOP RAISING TAXES as a banner for his campaign? Likely not as it was not verified by his budget action in 2016 when he returned to the Mayor’s office.

    Perhaps he will pose as a budget cutter, eliminating positions as some claim he has done. But if all he does is eliminate the chart showing each department and its number of full time employees, that does not cut payroll. And if he points to budgeted positions that fail to be filled for an entire year, that returns us to “ghost expenses”, where money gets spent, not in the line item approved for expense by the CC but in another line item that fails to be provided to the public when Ken Flatto fails to file the year end report (post audit) with full expense line item variation presentation.

    And would he say anything about how he directs “acting” classes for leadership appointments. How long does it take for Civil Service to convert “acting” positions into the “real thing”? Police chief? Civil Service director? Purchasing director? Port Authority executive director (where signmaker has created a conversion already)? Any other positions filled by Acting? Are they paid with real funds and earning real benefits? Time will tell.

      1. This is really one of the big issues. Bridgeport’s “Hidden Government.” All the parasites who are making money off the people of Bridgeport.

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