(Updated) The Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Foley said Friday that he would like to take Democratic State Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo up on her offer to limit campaign spending to $3 million.
DiNardo made the offer two days after the party primary and one day before the House voted to override the governor’s veto and increase the gubernatorial grant for publicly finance candidates from $3 million to $6 million.
Standing outside JK’s Restaurant in Danbury Friday, Foley, the Greenwich millionaire, said “they had made an offer to limit campaign spending and we very much want to do that.”
As a participant in the public campaign financing system Democratic gubernatorial nominee Dan Malloy will receive $6 million to spend on the general election.
As part of the offer to limit spending to $3 million, Foley said he’d also like to prohibit the use of negative campaign ads and ban special interest advertising.
“If the Malloy campaign would be willing to agree to that there’s an opportunity there to save $3 million in taxpayer money,” Foley said.
But as of Monday, Malloy’s campaign seemed hesitant to accept such a conditional offer.
“We have played by the rules since day one,” Roy Occhiogrosso, a Malloy campaign consultant, said. “Dan has been a vocal supporter of the clean elections law.”
While he wouldn’t say whether the campaign will or won’t agree to a spending cap, Occhiogrosso did say it’s unusual for a candidate to spend more money on a primary than a general election campaign.
Occhiogrosso said he spoke with Foley’s campaign manager Justin Clark last week, but would not talk about their conversation.
However, Occhiogrosso is aware Foley, as a privately-funded, wealthy candidate, could steer large sums of money to other entities – including the State Republican Party – which in turn could help Foley’s campaign efforts.
Foley said he will be raising money the “old-fashioned way.”
“I’m personally supplementing my campaign, but we’re going to raise most of the money,” Foley said. “The same way Gov. Rell did last time.”
During the primary Foley loaned his campaign $3 million, an amount he will be able to recover with private fundraising should he wish to repay himself.