The two Super PACs that have spent the most money on Connecticut’s hotly contested governor’s race dumped even more money into the contest last week.
The group affiliated with the Republican Governors Association contributed $800,000 and two public employee unions used $1.15 million to help boost the group affiliated with the Democratic Governors Association.
Grow Connecticut, the group backed by the RGA which is supporting Tom Foley, released an ad last week focused on one of Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s past statements on taxes. Connecticut Forward, the group associated with the DGA, received $900,000 from the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees and $250,000 from AFT Solidarity.
That brings the total spending for Connecticut Forward up to $2.4 million. In 2010, the DGA spent about $1.78 million in order to help get Malloy elected. Their ads that year were similar to the ads they’ve been running this year.
The ads the group bought recently focus on Foley’s management of a textile mill in Georgia that went bankrupt in 1996. In 2010, the DGA ran a spot at saturation levels focused on Foley’s history with the Bibb Co. Two weeks ago, Connecticut Forward, the group affiliated with the DGA, ran an ad reminding voters of what happened at the Bibb Co. and more recently in Sprague, Conn. where Foley held a press conference about a shuttered paper mill at the end of July.
AFSCME and AFT Connecticut, two of the largest public employee unions in the state, have both endorsed Malloy’s re-election campaign despite some tough negotiations in 2011 that ended up with the unions agreeing to about $1.6 billion in concessions.
Previous animosity between Malloy and the labor unions, which was triggered by the budget deficit and calls for shared sacrifice in 2011, has disappeared, according to the unions.
Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie helped raise money for the Republican Party in July at the request of Foley. Christie, as head of the RGA, declined to say exactly how much money the RGA was willing to spend on the race in Connecticut.
The New Jersey governor said at a diner in Greenwich that he didn’t know how much money the RGA would dedicate to the race, “but we don’t pay for landslides and we don’t invest in lost causes.” He said he would dedicate the resources necessary to get Foley’s campaign over the finish line.
In addition to the outside groups, the two state parties are able to contribute unlimited amounts of money to the two publicly financed candidates. Both the Republican and Democratic parties have been busy raising money to support their candidates.
Through the end of July, the Democratic Party has raised about $4.2 million and the Republican Party has raised about $1.2 million in both their federal and state accounts. However, the parties can only use the money raised in its state account on the governor’s race. The federal account can only be used for Congressional candidates.