How Super PACs are Undermining Democracy in Connecticut

Connecticut is witnessing exactly what opponents of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizen United ruling warned us about.

In a comprehensive review of all reported Independent Expenditures through October 11th, entitled “Who is Buying Your Election? A Pre-Election Guide to Connecticut Super PACs,” Common Cause in Connecticut and the Connecticut Citizen Action Group (CCAG) attempt to shine a light on how dirty money is corrupting the principle of one person one vote in Connecticut and begin to educate the public about it.

“Voters deserve to know who is behind the ads we are seeing and the mailers we are receiving,” said Cheri Quickmire, Executive Director of Common Cause in Connecticut. “We are committed to exposing this dirty money and to making sure it doesn’t drown out people’s votes.”

The report is part of Connect the Dollars, a collaborative project to track independent expenditures in the state. Based upon filings by these PACs with the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) and the IRS through October 11, we have traced income all 19 active Connecticut super PACs and spending for the top five super PACs for the 2018 calendar year.

The findings included:

• Over $6 million in expenditures already with over three weeks left in the election cycle;

• Two of the Super PACs, Change CT PAC and Protect our Freedom PAC, are making a mockery of Connecticut’s
campaign finance disclosure laws;

• Over 80% of the money spent to date is to the benefit of Republican candidates;

• Bob Stefanowski has had more money spent on his behalf from Super PACs than his campaign has raised from
individuals. This circumvents Connecticut election laws and allows donors to hide their donations and
potentially, their efforts to buy future policies.

“The increased use of Super PACs by wealthy interests will create a level of corruption worse than the Rowland administration if we are not vigilant,” said Tom Swan, Executive Director of Connecticut Citizen Action Group. “This report is a significant step to arming the citizens of Connecticut with the information they need to decipher what is happening. We will continue to monitor Super PAC activity and to fight to protect the principle of one person, one vote.”