Complaint by: Diamond
Good-faith reliance on the advice of an attorney can mitigate a campaign treasurer's violations of Connecticut General Statutes §§9-601a(b)(10), 9-613 and 9-622, which prohibit sales of advertising in program booklets to raise money for political slate committees of municipal candidates. Allegedly, the Voice of the People, a political slate committee for municipal candidates for the Board of Finance in Stamford, sold advertising for a program booklet at a fundraising event. James Diamond filed a complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission, alleging that the respondent treasurer, Kathleen Murphy, received $700 worth of prohibited receipts from ad book sales for a Voice of the People program booklet. C.G.S. §9-601a(b)(10)(A) excepts advertisement sales and purchases in a program booklet from the definition of a "contribution" and applies to fundraising events sponsored by a candidate committee of a candidate for municipal office. The State Elections Enforcement Commission found that the respondent treasurer violated C.G.S. §§9-601a(b)(10), 9-613 and 9-622, which prohibit the use of sales of advertising in a program booklet to raise money from business entities by political slate committees of municipal candidates, and the receipt of business entity contributions by such committees. The respondent treasurer relied in good faith on legal advice. An attorney allegedly instructed the treasurer that the Voice of the People committee was allowed to sell ads for a program booklet for a fundraising event and take advantage of an exception to the definition of "contribution" in C.G.S. §9-601a(b)(10)(A). The State Elections Enforcement Commission exercised its discretion and did not order any penalty.