Responding to claims that Democrats want to reform campaign finance laws, House Republican Leader Themis Klarides today welcomed greater transparency laws, but said the GOP proposal to crack down on individual political action committees would clean up the system that has been gradually subverted since reforms were put in place.
Klarides said that the Democratic approach ignores the intent of those reforms as the individual PACs run by rank and file lawmakers pump more money into campaigns and get around earlier restrictions. She referenced recent testimony from GOP State Rep. Jason Perillo of Shelton to the Government Administration and Elections Committee that explains how the system is being subverted.
“The PACs were supposed to be limited to leadership and each caucus. We have seen in the last election cycle that more and more sitting members have created their own PACs in order to funnel more money into their colleagues campaigns in contested races,’’ Klarides said. “We welcome any efforts to make the system more transparent, but the Democratic proposal does not address these glaring issues.’’
Republicans have proposed restrictions on PACs that would ban contributions as described by Perillo in his testimony.
Democrats today proposed limiting outside independent contributions and requiring organizations or unions to approve of those donations – the so-called “dark money’’ donations.
“There should be greater disclosure throughout the campaign finance system;’’ Klarides said. “But the funneling of money raised right here at home into targeted races that have already received maximum contributions under the law is an obvious attempt to get around the intent of the reforms.’’