Friday, July 30, 2010

Democrats Continue Their Bad Habits of Increased Spending

Connecticut has a public-financed, taxpayer-funded campaign finance system. What does that mean? Political campaigns for the state legislature and the Governor raise a portion of their campaign budget from individual contributors and get the rest of their funding from the “Citizen’s Election Program.”

The current program was ruled unconstitutional by two federal judges over the past year. The Connecticut General Assembly is in special session today to “fix” the program so that it complies with the court order and preserves the program.

Somehow the Democrats in Hartford think we should increase spending by awarding more “grants” to candidates for governor. This means Connecticut state government spends (paid for by taxpayers) another $6 million for political television advertising, bumper stickers and junk mail at a time when the food pantry cupboards are running bare.

When the federal courts ruled the Connecticut public-financed, taxpayer-funded campaign finance system unconstitutional they did not say we had to spend more money. No, that decision was made by the Democrats in Hartford.

It is no secret I am not a fan of public-financed, taxpayer-funded campaigns. I have voted on several occasions to remove funding for the program. I reluctantly participated in the voluntary program as the rules prove onerous for a traditional campaign funded by private contributors.

During my first campaign for the state senate in 2008 I was the first candidate to qualify for the Citizen Election Program (CEP). This required me to recruit over 300 contributors from within my district with a minimum $5 donation and raise at least $15,000. CEP then provided $85,000 to my campaign if I agreed to a spending limit of $100,000.

Candidates for governor may qualify for a grant of $3 million if they achieve similar success on a statewide basis. Today the Democrats in Hartford argued $3 million from the public-financed, taxpayer-funded campaign fund was insufficient and we should DOUBLE the spending to $6 million per candidate!

Connecticut residents are frustrated with state government’s disconnect from the realities of a recession. Somehow the Hartford Democrats keep spending more money and suggest this is necessary for one reason or another. Connecticut residents have a clear message for the State Capitol – CUT SPENDING!

There is no reason to increase spending for political campaigns. If there is $6 million “sitting there” then we should begin paying off the $2 billion we borrowed to pay regular expenses in the last year because the Hartford Democrats would not CUT SPENDING!