Green Party of Connecticut

December 03, 2005

Tim McKee, CT Green Party National Committee Person, (860) 643-2282 or cell (860) 324-1684
Mike DeRosa, State Co-Chair (860)956-8170 or (860) 919-4042 (cell)

HARTFORD, CT -- Green Party of Connecticut officials express outrage at anti-third party provisions in the Connecticut Campaign Finance Reform proposals that have the backing of many General Assembly Democrats and some "reform groups' such as Common Cause of CT.

Tim McKee, CT National Committee Person for the Greens said, "The Green Party has long backed so called 'Clean Money' or public financing of campaigns, both locally and nationally for years, but this current Democrat backed proposal has anti-third party with provisions. We would have to gather 20% of the almost two million state voter's signatures to qualify for any matching funds. Despite special rules that only third parties and Independent candidates must meet, such as qualifying for the ballot for offices such as Governor or other state wide offices with over 7,500 valid signatures, we would have to go thru even more special rules with another massive, expensive petition drive?"

McKee explained the other provision in the Democrat proposal calls for match funds for the Governor's race by collecting over an amount of $250,000 in small donations of less than $100 dollars each. He added " If we collect say, $50,000, $75,000 or even $100,000 dollars, most people would consider those to be very serious campaigns with serious candidates, but we would get NOTHING in matching funds. Greens would rather see prorated amounts to campaigns as incentives to show state wide support, rather than an everything or nothing approach than will shut out third parties."

Allan Brison, Chair of the New Haven Greens chapter wrote to CT. Common Cause and other CT. reform groups opposing these special anti-third party measures saying, "The bar set for donations and/or petition signatures is so high that no 3rd party candidate could ever qualify. We desperately need to open up the political process. The two major parties, even with campaign finance reform, with still continue to represent the same special interests they do today. We need more voices at the table."

McKee noted that even state Republicans, such as Senator Ward are saying this may be unconstitutional.

Mike DeRosa, Green Party Co-Chair, said, "We just want a level playing field for all candidates and parties, not rules that in practice, will shut out legitimate people running for office. We still want the fairest public financing of campaigns, but we may have to look to legal action if this passes."