01 October 2012

Outrageous: Outside Forces Influencing CT Elections!!!

From Press Release...but frighteningly true!
$32k Out-of-District Campaign Expenditure
Against Leo Canty

Windsor, CT – Area Democrats from Windsor and Hartford today condemned a massive independent expenditure aimed at defeating endorsed candidate Leo Canty in the Oct. 2 Democratic primary revote in the 5th House District.

According to a filing with the State Elections Enforcement Commission, a group called GNEPSA (Greater New England Public Schools Alliance) has pumped nearly $32,000 into the special election to fund Get Out the Vote operations on behalf of Brandon McGee, Canty’s opponent in the primary. GNEPSA is tied to Students First, the Sacremento, CA-based education advocacy organization headed by Michelle Rhee that was launched by Bain and Company, Mitt Romney’s private equity firm. Much of this organization’s money, both in-state and nationally, comes from Republican sources.

“I’m outraged that Mr. McGee would allow an out-of-district Republican-backed special interest group to try and buy this election,” said former Windsor Deputy Mayor and retired public school teacher Tim Curtis. “Elections are supposed to be about issues, not about money. Who will Mr. McGee fight for – the people of the 5th district or Bain Capital and other out-of-district Republican corporations?”

Another local Democrat, Vivian Cicero, expressed dismay that McGee would allow Republican Mitt Romney’s company to buy the election. Cicero is a Windsor Town Constable and a member of the Democratic Town Committee. “Brandon McGee should disavow himself from this expenditure and call on these groups to stay out of Hartford and Windsor. No Democrat should accept any form of support from Republicans working every day to defeat President Barack Obama and turn this country over completely to the super-rich and the big corporations,” Cicero said.

Windsor Town Councilor Bill Herzfeld also weighed in on the independent expenditure in the 5th District, calling it a textbook example of what’s wrong with Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision that treats corporations as people and allows unrestricted funding of campaigns by groups like Students First and GNEPSA:

“I never thought our community would be an example of how Citizens United can potentially corrupt elections. It’s outrageous GNEPSA and First Student will spend more in one week than state law allows candidates to spend on the entire primary. This is anti-democracy and anti-public education. McGee’s latest flyer says he will support public education yet he is benefiting from a group that wants to disinvest in public schools. Will the real Brandon McGee please stand up?”

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