Senate president files election complaint against business lobby
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney is charging, in an election complaint, that the Connecticut Business & Industry Association is illegally coordinating with Republicans in this year’s election.
Looney, state senator from New Haven says the largest business organization in the state sent out invitations to Democratic lawmakers and one candidate asking them to visit CBIA member businesses in their districts and then disinvited them hours later.
Looney said Sen. Dante Bartolomeo, Sen. Joseph Crisco, Sen. Mae Flexer and Timothy Bowles were all invited and then disinvited to visit the businesses by CBIA Vice President and General Counsel Bonnie Stewart. He noted that CBIA is financially supporting Republican opponents in all those races.
CBIA has been public about its decision to spend $415,000 on 15 races this year — 4 in the Senate and 11 in the House.
While federal law allows groups like CBIA to spend money on clean election candidates, it doesn’t allow them to coordinate with those campaigns.
In his Oct. 7 complaint letter to Michael J. Brandi, executive director and general counsel of the State Elections Enforcement Commission, Looney states there was “improper coordination between CBIA and several campaigns.”