CT News Junkie: Two Republicans Sue Election Regulators (In the News)

CT News Junkie: Two Republicans Sue Election Regulators

By Christine Stuart

Two Republican lawmakers are appealing the ruling of the State Elections Enforcement Commission in Superior Court saying that election regulators violated their free speech rights in 2014.

The State Elections Enforcement Commission fined Sen. Joe Markley $2,000 and Rep. Rob Sampson $5,000 for failing to get Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s opponent or their party to help pay for mailers attacking Malloy…

The Institute for Free Speech has agreed to take the case to court on behalf of Markley and Sampson…

“Just as candidates for Congress must be able to discuss the president, candidates for state legislature must be able to discuss the governor,” Institute for Free Speech Legal Director Allen Dickerson said. “Yet Connecticut law prevents candidates for the General Assembly from criticizing the governor’s policies in ads unless they first secure the approval and funding of one of the governor’s opponents. This policy effectively bans candidates from speaking to voters about one of the most important responsibilities of the office they seek to hold – checking the power of the executive.”

Markley and Sampson through their attorneys are asking the court to dismiss the fines and declare the law unconstitutional.

“Requiring legislative candidates to get permission and funding from a gubernatorial candidate in order to discuss the governor in campaign ads violates the First Amendment,” the two said in a press release.

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.