Republican State Sen. Toni Boucher is calling on the state Democratic Party to return the $13,760 it cost state taxpayers to send state troopers with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on a fundraising trip to California in October.
“I believe that it is wrong to use state resources for the fundraising activities of any political party, and the state Democratic Party should reimburse the state for these expenses immediately. If the party does not do this, taxpayers need to know it and the administration must explain why,” Boucher, who is considering a run for governor, said.
Boucher said the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection told her that $8,080.71 of the $13,760 was payroll costs, including $2,570.70 in “compensatory time earned by an individual who is not part of the NP-1 bargaining unit” and $5,679.54 for airfare, lodging, transportation, and meals. Three troopers were involved in the planning of the trip.
Malloy traveled to California in October with Jonathan Harris, the executive director of the Democratic Party, to help it raise money. Malloy has not announced his 2014 re-election campaign, but earlier this year he signed a bill that changes how state parties participate in the electoral process. The bill gives parties the ability to give unlimited amounts of additional money to publicly funded candidates unable to raise money after receiving the public grant.
Asked Friday whether the Connecticut Democratic Party would reimburse the state, a spokesman for the party said “no.”
After the state Bond Commission meeting Friday, Malloy said the state has a long tradition of providing security to governors and he doesn’t believe he’s being treated any differently than previous governors.
“If I go to McDonald’s I have security,” Malloy said. “If I go to a movie I have security. If I travel anywhere in state or out-of-state, I have security. I don’t get to make those decisions.”
He said to some extent he wishes he had more privacy, but “when you’re in my position you turn yourself over to other people who make those decisions.”
He said he remains outside of the decision-making process when it comes to security details.