“The State Elections Enforcement Commission voted unanimously Thursday to award the grant to the combined committee of Fedele and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, who are running as a team. Under the law, the money is awarded to the committee as ‘a single grant, which can be used to benefit both candidates,'’ according to the commission.”That report is correct as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough. Actually, the State Elections Enforcement Commission broke new ground in its interpretation of the state statute that gives the commission the authority to disperse tax dollars to primary challengers. The commission’s ruling means that any two people, not nominated as a legitimate combination by the relevant party nominating apparatus, may join together as a team for the purpose of acquiring tax money to run their joint campaign.
Fedele had been having some difficulty raising the threshold amount necessary to trigger public financing until Boughton dumped the funds he had accumulated into Fedele’s piggy bank. The SEEC decision authorizes this practice when two politicians decide to run as a team, even though their nominating conventions have not sanctioned a joint campaign by nominating the team as a statutorily legitimate combination.
If all this seems fishy, it may be because the process gives off an odor of a mackerel stinking in the moonlight. The decision considerably advances the interest of the SEEC, which is charged with disbursing funds. Although both Oz Griebel and Foley are questioning the decision, a final resolution concerning the decision will be made long after the funds have been dispersed.