Responding to State Treasurer Denise Nappier’s Oct. 6 announcement of the new CHET Advisor college savings program, Republican Party Chairman Chris Healy filed a complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission alleging that Nappier’s press event promoting the program violated a state law prohibiting self promotion within a 60-day window of an election.
“Treasurer Nappier consciously violated the law when she allowed her staff to use tax payer resources in the Treasurer’s Office to plan and orchestrate a media event designed to promote her reelection,” Healy said in a press release announcing the complaint..
“Nappier has been in office long enough to know this is a prohibited activity within 60 days of an election,” Healy went on to say.
Healy also said that the announcement of the program, which is being managed by The Hartford Financial Services Group, was an attempt to compensate for the poor performance of the original CHET fund when compared to similar funds in other states.
The day after Healy’s announcement of the complaint the treasurer’s office responded with its own press release denying that Nappier had violated any laws with the unveiling of the CHET Advisor program and asserting that promoting the fund was, in fact, part of her duties as treasurer.
The press release also accuses Healy of being ill-informed of the details of the program’s promotion and the law he contends was violated.
While noting that they had yet to receive a copy of the complaint, the treasurer’s office said that “based upon the assertions in his press release, [Healy] is—simply put—wrong. No state funds were used to launch CHET Advisor. No laws were violated.”
Nappier’s press release said that all promotional material used for the program’s launch included this disclaimer: “No state funds have been used to produce these materials nor have materials been produced at taxpayer expense.”
The treasurer’s office also said that if it were to reimburse The Hartford for money spent promoting the program, as Healy had called on Nappier to do, it would be in violation of the same law he had accused her of breaking.
A spokesperson for the Elections Enforcement Commission confirmed that they had received the complaint, which is currently under review to determine whether or not it will be docketed.