Legal Center, Connecticut Watchdogs, File Supplemental Brief in Defense of State’s Post-Citizens United Campaign Finance Reforms


On Friday, the Campaign Legal Center, joined by three Connecticut watchdog groups, filed a supplemental amici brief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut urging the court to reject an attempt by the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) to broaden the scope of its recently filed challenge to Connecticut’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. Now, the DGA seeks 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.

“It is clear that the Democratic Governors Association’s ultimate goal is to take down a whole range of Connecticut’s post-Citizens United reforms,” said Larry Noble, Of Counsel to the Campaign Legal Center.  “If successful, the activities of organizations, like the DGA, that are actively trying to elect or defeat candidates in Connecticut will move into the shadows. This audacious effort is an affront to the ideals of transparency and good government that Governor Malloy purports to uphold.” 

The DGA’s more aggressive attack on the campaign finance reforms Governor Malloy signed into law last year came in its most recent filings with the court, where it argues that the fact that a group’s purpose is to elect candidates and it spends money in Connecticut elections does not mean it can be required to register as a political committee and abide by Connecticut’s limits, prohibitions and reporting rules. The initial brief filed by the reform groups asked the court to dismiss the DGA suit outright or to deny the motion for a preliminary injunction on grounds that the DGA is unlikely to succeed on the merits of its claims; the supplemental brief filed Friday repeats that request, and urges the Court to refuse DGA’s improper attempts to transform and broaden its claims in the lawsuit. 

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 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.