The saying goes that when you don’t want something reported you should drop the news late Friday evening when most news rooms have gone to sleep.
Ned Lamont’s campaign may have been hoping that was the case when they sent out a statement at 8:26 p.m. Friday evening announcing that the campaign inadvertently donated more money than the new public campaign finance system allows for a primary without reporting it.
Under the new Citizens’ Election Program, being used by Lamont’s opponent, Dan Malloy, the Lamont campaign has to report within 48-hours any donation exceeding a specific amount. In this case, the Malloy campaign is claiming the Lamont campaign tried to conceal $1 million donation that Lamont and his wife made to the campaign.
“While you were sleeping on Friday night (okay, maybe only some of you were sleeping) Ned Lamont’s campaign tried to bury the fact that it had concealed a $1 million donation – a potential violation of campaign finance law – by releasing the news late in the evening when it hoped no one was paying attention,“ Dan Kelly, Malloy’s campaign manager said in a statement Sunday. “Unfortunately for Ned, not everyone was asleep, and some people were paying attention.”
The Lamont campaign said it wasn’t trying to conceal anything.
“Late last week, our campaign received contributions that will trigger the release of the last supplemental grant in the Democratic gubernatorial primary,” Justine Sessions, Lamont’s communications director, said Friday. “Due to an inadvertent oversight, the report was not filed within 48 hours of the triggering event. When we discovered that error, we immediately contacted the SEEC and worked directly with them to file the report today.”
Lamont’s campaign spending is likely to trigger the additional $312,500 supplemental grant Malloy can receive under the program for the primary. Malloy won’t be able to receive any more than $2.25 million.