In the Matter of: a Complaint by Halibozek
Connecticut General Statutes §9-621(h)(4) provides, "No entity shall make or incur an independent expenditure for automated telephone calls that promote the election or defeat of any candidate for nomination or election or promotes or opposes any political party or solicits funds to benefit any political party or committee, unless the narrative of the telephone call identifies the entity making the expenditure and its chief executive officer or equivalent." Ann Halibozek filed a complaint, alleging that the Cromwell Democratic Town Committee arranged to make automated calls to ask for support for a primary and also for the Nov. 8, 2011, municipal election and wrongly omitted the phrases "paid for by" and "approved by." The State Elections Enforcement Commission found that the automated calls included the attribution "Paid for and approved by the Cromwell Democratic Town Committee, Michael Gengler Treasurer." Connecticut General Statutes §9-601(19) excludes "committees" from the definition of "entity," which includes, "An organization, corporation, cooperative association, limited partnership, professional association, limited liability company, and limited liability partnership." The State Elections Enforcement Commission was not persuaded that a "political committee" qualifies as an "organization," because an "organization" is defined as a "labor organization." The State Elections Enforcement Commission concluded that "as party committees, town committees are not governed by §§9-621(b)(3) or 9-621(h)(4), the statutes governing attributions for automated calls." The complainant failed to prove that the Cromwell Democratic Town Committee violated C.G.S. §§9-621(b)(3) or 9-621(h)(4), and the State Elections Enforcement Committee dismissed the complaint.