Connecticut’s Democratic Party continued its fierce fundraising effort in December raising $137,376 and bringing its year end total to $2.1 million.
The year end total turns the tide on a fundraising season that started with the Republican Party having three times as much cash on hand as the Democratic Party. Now the Democratic Party has $369,422 in cash and $7,628 in debts, while the Republicans have $19,242 in cash and $8,213 in debts. That means the Democrats have a 33 times more cash on hand than the Republicans at the moment.
On the brink of a statewide election year, the $10,000 checks started rolling in for the Democratic Party after the end of the legislative session. Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who has not said yet whether he is seeking re-election, has been actively fundraising for the party. He even traveled to California in October with Democratic Party Executive Director Jonathan Harris to raise money.
According to the year end federal filings, the Republican Party raised about $528,503 in 2013. They ended the year by raising about $44,986 in December with two $10,000 donations from Francine Carrier of JFC Endeavors Inc. in Bristol, and Rosalind Shenkman of Greenwich.
The Democratic Party, on the other hand, ended the year with six $10,000 checks, mostly from state contractors involved with a Department of Transportation project in Stamford.
Morgan Venture LLC of Orchard Park, New York and Dennis Penman, a real estate developer from Orchard Park, New York both gave $10,000. John Gizzi and Raymond Gizzi, of ECCO III Enterprises Inc. each gave $10,000. All are associated in some way with redevelopment efforts in Stamford, according to Raising Hale. The Gizzi’s firm is listed on the Department of Transportation’s list of pre-qualified construction companies. The list was released in September.
John Ferris of Roger Ferris and Partners, an architectural firm, gave $10,000. Marianna Kulak McCall of the McCall Kulak Foundation gave $10,000.
The state’s two Indian casinos also gave money to the Democratic Party. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe gave $1,000 bringing their 2013 donations up to $1,500. The Mohegan Tribe gave the party $5,000 in December bringing their annual total up to $10,000.
The Democratic Party has maintained said that it doesn’t comment on the strategy of how it raises money or how it spends it. Malloy has said the party will continue to follow all fundraising rules.
The fundraising rules allow state contractors to give money to a party’s federal account, but not a state party account.
In January, the Democratic Party reported refunding four $10,000 checks it received to its state account. Three of the four refunded checks belonged to people with ties to companies that do business with the state. At least one of them was on a state list of prohibited donors.