Christine Stuart file photo

The same day state Rep. Marie Kirkley-Bey, D-Hartford, received her public campaign finance funds from the state, her Democratic primary opponent’s campaign emailed a statement detailing an election complaint it had filed earlier in the day.

In the complaint, the treasurer of Abe Giles’ campaign alleges that on July 17 around 3:30 p.m.,
Kirkley-Bey campaign workers exited the Untied Way’s Johnson Stewart Family Center at 127 Martin Street carrying campaign literature.

“From my understanding, the use of a non-profit’s facilities constitutes an illegal contribution to a candidate committee,” says Radames Vazquez, Giles’ campaign treasurer, in the complaint to the State Elections Enforcement Commission.

Kirkley-Bey works at the center.

Vazquez continued: “I believe this illegal contribution disqualifies the Candidate Committee of Marie Kirkley-Bey from receiving funds from the Citizen’s Election Fund.”

Nancy Nicolescu, spokesman for the Citizens Election Fund, said Thursday that “the grant application for Marie Kirley-Bey was approved by the Commission and she will receive the grant. The complaint was received by the SEEC and is under review.”

Meanwhile, in a telephone interview Wednesday Kirkley-Bey said she has been receiving positive feedback from a number of people in the 5th General Assembly District willing to work for her campaign and give her money.

As for Giles, Kirkley-Bey said he is known for “saying what he thinks you want him to say.” Kirkley-Bey was responding specifically to a press release sent out by Giles’ campaign on July 21 spelling out his proposed debt relief and deferment program to help residents “facing crisis due to current economic conditions and energy costs.”

In the release, Giles says that if he is elected he will propose legislation that would allow people to defer their debt by applying for a three month waiver, three months at a time for up to two years. “During that time, people who cannot afford to make monthly payments won’t have to, interest will stop being charged on outstanding bills, and people’s credit scores cannot be negatively affected,” Giles said in the release.

Additionally, he added, repossession and foreclosure proceedings will be halted under the new program. He said he knows there will be a lot of opposition from lobbyists and big corporations, but, he added, “I will fight ‘tooth and nail’, as they say, for this legislation.”

Kirkley-Bey said she would support any legislation that will provide relief to individuals in the community if the legislation meets federal and state standards. She said she voted for more than $50 million in mortgage relief for residents facing foreclosure and has brought more than $169 million to her community from the state.

In the press release, Miles Wiles, Abe Giles’ grandson and campaign manager, said Giles will “do things that his opponent won’t and can’t.”

After taking money from political action committees and lobbyists, Wiles said, Kirkley-Bey has “lost the ability to think of new ideas that actually make things better for people in our community. She’ll pay her usual lip service and maybe even sponsor something like this [legislation], but she’ll make sure it dies in committee before it sees the light of day.”

Kirkley-Bey said Wiles must have been talking about his grandfather when he made those comments. She said that when Giles held the General Assembly’s 5th District seat years ago, a vote by his peers placed him among the worst legislators because he had a reputation for missing votes critical to his community.