CT Reforms

Connecticut’s landmark campaign finance program is cleansing the election system of lobbyists and state contractors, sending a shiver of change through the political culture. Whether they like it or not, hundreds of General Assembly members and wannabes are adapting to the first campaign that excludes special interest money.

Election officials say the 151 House and 36 Senate contests seem to be running smoothly as they dole out public dollars for the Aug. 12 primaries. But some local political operatives are grousing about the new rules, and one veteran legislator already has been booted out of the program.

Eight-term Sen. Joseph J. Crisco Jr., D-Woodbridge, chairman of the legislative Insurance & Real Estate Committee, has been disqualified from receiving public financing.

The State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC), which was reorganized and massively enlarged after the landmark 2005 law, recently ruled that Crisco is ineligible for $85,000 in state funding after his treasurer’s office secretary wrote her boss’ name on Crisco’s CEP filing.

“I wasn’t thinking when I had her sign it,” Crisco, 72, said in an interview last week, adding that he found out about the error four or five weeks ago. The secretary had signed the treasurer’s name because he was out of state at the time, Crisco said.

‘Stupid or dumb?’

 Connpost.com has the story.

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