Democratic Governors Association Drops Challenge to Connecticut’s Post-Citizens United Campaign Finance Reforms


The Democratic Governors Association (DGA) has withdrawn its challenge to Connecticut’s campaign finance laws enacted in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC.  The Campaign Legal Center, joined by three Connecticut watchdog groups, had filed amici briefs in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut urging the court to reject the DGA’s attempt to have much of the organization’s election related activity to be declared outside of  Connecticut’s campaign finance laws. The DGA dropped its challenge after the court rejected its attempt to obtain a preliminary injunction against enforcement of key provisions of the law, finding DGA was unlikely to prevail on its claims.

“The voluntary dismissal of this suit is a victory for sensible campaign finance reforms and the citizens of Connecticut as the DGA was attempting to open the door for groups seeking to support candidates in Connecticut elections yet avoid registering as political committees and abiding by the state’s limits, prohibitions and reporting rules,” said Larry Noble, Of Counsel to the Campaign Legal Center.  “It is unfortunate that the State Elections Enforcement Commission had to fight this lawsuit in the first place and expend resources that could have been put to far better use actually enforcing the state’s campaign finance laws.”

DGA initially sought to bar the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) from considering Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy’s fundraising activities for the DGA if questions arise as to whether the DGA’s expenditures for Governor Malloy’s reelection were truly independent of his campaign.  The DGA later sought to reinvent its case as a broad attack on all of the rules applicable to organizations whose major purpose is election or defeat of candidates in Connecticut.

Common Cause of Connecticut, Connecticut Citizen Action Group and the League of Women Voters of Connecticut joined in the brief.  Patrick Tomasiewicz, of Fazzano & Tomasiewicz, is serving as Counsel of Record in the filings.

To read the notice of voluntary dismissal filed by the DGA, click here.

To read the supplemental amici brief filed by the Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause of Connecticut, Connecticut Citizen Action Group and the League of Women Voters of Connecticut (June 6, 2014), click here.

To read the groups’ first amici brief (May 13, 2014), click here.