(Updated 1:27 p.m.) Two members of the Connecticut Republican Party have proposed a resolution to change how delegates to the party’s nominating convention identify themselves and seeks to discourage wealthy self-funded candidates from putting delegates on their payroll.
Mark Pappa, a Republican State Central Committee member who introduced the resolution, said Tuesday morning that the resolution has merit and will help delegates avoid potential conflicts of interest at the convention. The resolution would require delegates being paid by a campaign to wear an ID badge that says who is paying them.
Pappa, who supported former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons in his 2010 campaign against Linda McMahon, said it’s not an attempt to embarrass McMahon or go after her. He said it’s a very reasonable approach to make sure “no one hides behind a veil.“
“What happened, happened. Now let’s move forward and set some guidelines so something like that doesn’t happen again,” Pappa said.
Tonight will be the first time the resolution written by former Attorney General candidate Martha Dean appears on the party’s agenda, but it’s unlikely to come up for a vote until next year. Scott Veley is the other Republican State Central Committee member proposing the resolution.
Some Republicans believe that because McMahon had the money to hire people, she was able to win the 2010 convention by garnering 737 delegate votes compared to Simmons’ 632 votes. Party rules say a candidate must receive over 50 percent of the vote to receive the party’s endorsement and McMahon had almost 52 percent of the vote.
The resolution is thought to be favorable toward former U.S. Rep. Chris Shays who faces McMahon this year.
“It’s a no brainer,” Shays said Monday. “Let’s not make a big deal about it let’s just do it, if we want a process that really works.”
Asked if he thought his long-time friend and support Simmons was impacted by the lack of such a rule in the 2010 election, Shays said he didn’t want to dwell on the past.
As for McMahon, her campaign didn’t seemed fazed by the resolution. In fact, it supports it.
“As leaders within our party, we have every confidence that SCC members will make convention-related decisions that are best for our party,” Erin Isaac, McMahon’s spokesman, said.
The Republican Party leadership is taking a similar stance.
Republican Party Chairman Jerry Labriola Jr. has promised to be neutral to specific candidates in a year where multiple Republican candidates are competing for the same spot. Labriola was not immediately available for comment Monday, but he told the Hartford Courant, “I don’t intend to take a position on it as state chairman, I’m willing to let it be introduced and to allow a healthy debate by the members.”