Only two weeks remain before the end of the 2015 legislative session, but the campaign finance reform bill-SB 1126-sits in limbo on the Senate Calendar. Despite public outcry and media calls that "reforms that would restore the luster to Connecticut's clean-elections law are urgently needed,"* no one is exercising the leadership necessary to get the bill discussed and voted on in the Senate.
Connecticut residents were appalled to find their highly acclaimed campaign finance reforms circumvented in the 2014 election campaign, where outside spending surged to $18 million in the competitive gubernatorial race, spending that dwarfed the $6.5 million in public financing allotted to each of the major party candidates from the state Citizens' Election Fund.
Big campaign donors have been able to shield their involvement in campaign funding by passing money through intermediaries, who then channel the funds to independent expenditure groups. Under the proposed campaign finance bill, large dark money sums coming in to support or oppose Connecticut candidates will be subject to disclosure if money flows through an outside group acting as an intermediary. The bill would close loopholes and require outside groups to reveal the source of funds for campaign-related expenditures.
It is crucial to maintain clean elections in this state by enacting campaign finance disclosure requirements to include the sources of funding for all groups that devote large sums to "independent expenditures" in state campaigns-expenditures that the Supreme Court has ruled can be unlimited under Citizens United.
Tell your Senator to help shine light on the "dark money" finding its way into campaigns by supporting the disclosure provisions of SB 1126.
You can find your legislators at the CT General Assembly Website: http://cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp
*"Last thing state elections need is 'dark money'," opinion, http://www.ctpost.com/opinion/article/Last-thing-state-elections-need-is-dark-money-6262089.php