Democrats call for more transparency in funding political campai - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Democrats call for more transparency in funding political campaigns

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(WFSB file photo) (WFSB file photo)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

House democrats are calling for more transparency when it comes to funding political campaigns.

They’re blasting the GOP for accepting big money from outside interests, but Republicans said the democrats are hypocrites.

"When Koch Brothers and other big companies just dump money into a super PAC and that PAC dumps money into Connecticut house races. How is that fair,” said Democratic House Majority Leader State Rep. Joe Aresimowicz.

With less than a week before the election, house democrats want to change the state’s clean election laws to limit outside money. They’re running a digital ad to gain support.

However, the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in the “Citizens’ United” case prohibits the government from restricting independent political expenditures, and lets corporations and unions spend whatever they want on election ads.

Still, democrats want to force campaigns to disclose all donors above a certain threshold, instead of just divulging the “top 5 donors.”

They want to re-establish a trigger that would allow a clean election candidate to get additional money if they were the target of an independent expenditure.

Republicans said it’s disingenuous because democrats also rely on outside money.

Republican House Minority Leader Themis Klarides said if the democrats favor more transparency, they should agree to get rid of PACs for all individual members.

There was huge backlash last month when a union PAC ad ran against Republican Dr. William Petit, tying him with Donald Trump and accusing Petit of attacking women and families.

The money came from the state’s largest union, including union dues.

"To stand up here a few days before the election because you are panicked about the election and in trouble, to talk about expenditures and transparency, is hypocritical,” Klarides said.

Republicans said if the Petit incident hadn’t happened, there wouldn’t be talk about campaign finance reform just days before the election.

To see the democrats; vision statement, click here.

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