Legislative solutions considered in 2016:
HB 5511, AN ACT CONCERNING DISCLOSURE OF COORDINATED AND INDEPENDENT SPENDING IN CAMPAIGN FINANCE:
This bill passed the House, only to die waiting on the Senate Calendar to be called for a vote. Connecticut, due in large part to the work of the Government Administration And Elections committee over many years, has arguably the best campaign finance system in the country. But an activist Supreme Court has weakened some of our laws. New avenues have opened for moneyed interests to exert undue electoral influence. Proposed improvements in this bill tighten up disclosure and regulation of independent expenditures.
SB 342, An Act Concerning Electronic Filing of Campaign Reports: The bill passed! It requires electronic filing of campaign finance disclosure statements with the State Elections Enforcement Commission for certain committees that raise or spend one thousand dollars or more, with several weakening exceptions that may or may not be abused in the future (and thus bear scrutiny.)
Budget Threat Averted: As often happens in deficit years, an attempt was made to raid the Clean Elections Fund. This is the heart of CT's publicly funded election system, which CCAG believes is the best in the nation. CCAG worked tirelessly behind the scenes, with its allies, to stop this penny-wise and pound-foolish attempted raid.
Organizing, education, and monitoring goals in 2016:
Democracy Spring: CCAG went to Washington D.C. and joined with hundreds of national groups from across the country in calling for the end of big money in politics. CCAG Director Tom Swan joined the likes of Mark Ruffalo and Noam Chomsky in publicly endorsing and assisting with the event. Only public oversight and control of campaign funding can ensure that every American has equal access to our democracy. Find out more about Democracy Spring, a national week of civil disobedience that took place during the week of April 11th-16th. Visit www.democracyspring.org for details on how it was structured and what you might do to end the domination by concentrated private wealth over our national election system.