HARTFORD – After the debate on the floor of the State House of Representatives regarding the elimination of the Citizens’ Election Program, Yankee Institute Policy Director Heath W. Fahle made the following remarks:
“The results from last year’s experiment with the Citizens’ Election Program clearly showed that the program is simply an Incumbent Protection Act,” said Fahle. “We shouldn’t be surprised when politicians vote to keep taking their cut first.”
Representative Corky Masurek from Wolcott (D-80th) introduced House Amendment A (LCO 9518) which would have eliminated the Citizens’ Election Program and saved the State of Connecticut more than $60 million.
In the coming days, the Yankee Institute for Public Policy will release the first independent analysis of the Citizens’ Election Program (CEP), entitled “A Need for Reform”. The report compares the stated goals of the CEP to the actual results.
• Publicly-financed campaigns cost the State of Connecticut $17,241,974 in 2008
• Although 79 percent of all State Senate candidates participated in the Citizens’ Election Program, 97 percent of Senate incumbents participating in the Program won their re-election contest
• Minor party and petitioning candidates are at a significant disadvantage to major party candidates under the Citizens’ Election Program
• Connecticut ranked 37th out of 50 states, and earned a D+ for its campaign disclosure and transparency efforts in 2008 according to the Campaign Disclosure Project
• SEEC has more than quadrupled its staff in order to administer the new program, growing from eleven to forty-nine employees between 2003 and 2008
Fahle concluded: “Politicians are paying politicians to be politicians while the State has an $8.5 billion deficit. It would be comical if it weren’t ridiculous.”