HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)- The State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) has opposed a new series of negative candidate mailers in a “news advisory opinion”. The decision rules that “expenditures for communications that refer to—and oppose or feature in a negative light—other candidates who are not their direct opponents” are illegal.
Last week, political postcards were distributed targeting governor Malloy.The postcards were sent by the GOP through individual accounts of Citizens Election Program legislative candidates, did not focus on Republican candidates themselves, or their opponents.
Now, the Dems say the SEEC ruling makes the Republican mailers illegal, saying:
“…when a CEP candidate makes a communication that is not directly related to the candidate’s own race and that also promotes the defeat of or attacks a candidate that is not opponent direct opponent of the candidate sponsoring the communication, but is in a different race, then the cost of that communication must be properly allocated.”
“These mail pieces distort the facts, revise history, and root for Connecticut to fail. Now, we’ve found out they’re illegal. The GOP and Republicans across the state must immediately stop sending these attack pieces, which are paid for with public funds but say almost nothing about candidates’ individual races,” said Devon Puglia, Democratic Party spokesman.
Today the Communications Director for the Connecticut Republican party said in a statement that the SEEC did not rule the flyers illegal. “While the Connecticut Democrats are understandably eager to distract from their illegal activities, their desperation is becoming laughable.First of all, the SEEC advisory opinion confirms that the mailers they’re referring to did not violate the law. Second, the CT GOP did not send the mailers to which they referred nor does the state party control their content. And lastly, the SEEC’s opinion is an “advisory” opinion – it does not declare that any mailer is illegal. They should be embarrassed by their overwhelming inability to properly read the opinion or understand its meaning,” said Zak Sanders.