Attorney General George Jepsen recused himself from representing the state Elections Enforcement Commission in the lawsuit filed last week by the Democratic Governors Association.
In a letter to Deputy Attorney General Perry Zinn Rowthorn, Jepsen said he’s an active member of the Democratic Attorneys General Association and has fundraised for the organization, much like Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has fundraised for the Democratic Governors Association.
“Some of the issues at stake in the DGA litigation could affect future action by DAGA as it pertains to my candidacy for re-election in 2014,” Jepsen wrote. “There must not be any perception in the minds of the public — even an inaccurate one — that my personal circumstances as a candidate or membership in the DAGA have impacted the defense of this case.”
He said he’s confident he would vigorously defend the state’s position in this matter, but “the wiser course and the public interest is that I recuse myself at this time.”
Meanwhile, clean election advocates urged the state to vigorously defend the law.
“If the DGA were to succeed in neutering Connecticut’s coordination laws, we might as well put out a welcome mat for the Koch brothers or other outside groups to coordinate with candidates, which makes a mockery of the strong reforms we fought to enact in the wake of the Rowland scandal,” Tom Swan of Connecticut Citizen Action Group said.
Cheryl Dunson, co-president, League of Women Voters of Connecticut, added that “we strongly urge the Office of the Attorney General to vigorously defend the challenged statutes because the integrity of Connecticut’s Citizens’ Election Program and its campaign finance laws are at stake.”
Common Cause of Connecticut, along with Dunson, Swan and other clean election advocates sent a letter to Jepsen last week outlining their case in support of the current law.