In the Matter Of: a Complaint By Norris
Connecticut General Statutes §9-610(d)(2) bans any individual from authorizing the use of public funds during the 12 months that precede an election for any promotional campaign or advertisement that "features the name, face or voice of a candidate for public office" or promotes the nomination or election of a candidate. The complainant, Jon Norris, filed a complaint, alleging that H. William Davis, then first selectman of the Town of Southbury, wrongly sent municipal workers, as his campaign representatives, to attend a candidates' forum on safety that Davis was unable to attend, when Davis was campaigning for re-election. Allegedly, Davis' assistant and the municipal director of public works attended the candidates' forum. Norris claimed that Davis improperly used public funds to promote his campaign for re-election. The State Elections Enforcement Commission found that Davis' assistant and the director of public works attended the candidates' forum to represent the municipality's interests and to discuss safety issues. "Based on the information provided by [the municipal workers] as well as the event's organizers," wrote the State Elections Enforcement Commission, "it does not appear that the two Town of Southbury employees attended the forum to promote Davis's candidacy, but rather as representatives of the town." The complainant failed to prove that Davis violated Connecticut campaign finance laws, as alleged, and the State Elections Enforcement Commission dismissed the complaint.