Thursday, July 29, 2010
I HOPE YOU ARE SITTING DOWN FOR THIS ONE
As much as I like uncovering things, it is also important to give credit when something is done right. If you read the earlier post regarding John Fonfara's fundraising efforts, my opinion is that it shows the flaws in the Citizen's Election Program. Fonfara received a large portion of his donations from energy company employees, companies that fall under the purview of his Energy and Technology Committee which he co-chairs in the legislature.
Many of those donations came from outside his district and most were even from outside the State of Connecticut. Is it legal? The answer is yes. Is it acceptable to me? No.
And okay, here's the part to make sure you are sitting down for. One of the candidates who did it right was rJo Winch. Yes, you read that right. She's not the only one, but in looking at her CEP (Citizen's Election Program) reports, almost all of her money came from Hartford, $5, $10, and $20 donations.
Winch did have some larger donations, up to $100.00 per person is allowed, but the few hundred contributions , for the most part, were on the smaller side.
Since the program was designed by politicians, it is no wonder that loopholes were built into it. Fonfara seems to skirt the actual intent of the program while Winch, keep sitting down, seems to embrace it. The intent of the program was to gauge a candidates support in the community and level the playing field for all candidates.
To avoid only candidates with money or big fundraising abilities to be able to wage a campaign, the program was established to allow anyone to run and wage a decent campaign. If you can meet the thresh hold by raising the $5 and $10 dollar donations, the State will kick in the rest to give those candidates a fair shot.
Winch (and others) did that and actually proved their support in their own neighborhoods. Unlike Fonfara , who proved that he has support in Wisconsin, Texas, Florida, Massachusetts and everywhere else, except in his own district.
The CEP program is controversial and needs tweaking, but the way Winch worked it is the way I would think it was intended. The way Fonfara worked it is a joke.
To search for any candidates filings, click here for the SEEC search page