Why is an Ohio-based group, which gave $1.17 million Saturday to Grow Connecticut, a Republican affiliated Super PAC, interested in the Connecticut’s governor’s race?
It’s still unclear. Calls to David R. Langdon’s law office in West Chester, Ohio, where A Public Voice Inc. is located, were not returned Sunday.
A Public Voice Inc. is a nonprofit, which does not have to disclose its donors.
Liz Kurantowicz, treasurer of Grow Connecticut, which plans to use the money to run television and radio ads against Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, said she has no knowledge of their contributors.
According to the Alliance Defending Freedom, Langdon was instrumental in 2004 in getting Ohio to pass a referendum declaring marriage was between a man and a woman.
“Perhaps no one understands better than David Langdon how much heroic effort is being poured into defending marriage against the nationwide onslaughts of the homosexual legal agenda,” the Alliance Defending Freedom website reads.
In Connecticut marriage equality, which was won in 2008, hasn’t been an issue in the race between Malloy and Foley.
Foley was endorsed by the Family Institute of Connecticut, but has not made gay marriage an issue in the race. The Family Institute of Connecticut said it endorsed Foley because of his position on assisted-suicide. Foley denies seeking the endorsement, but said he was happy to have it.
“He’s trying to snipe votes from extremist groups with extremist agendas to roll back the clock for women, on marriage equality, and on so much more,” Devon Puglia, a spokesman for the Democratic Party said Sunday. “This is about the company he keeps — the FIC, Mike Pence, and now this dark money group bent on turning back the clock on marriage equality. If anything shows you that Tom Foley is a risk we cannot afford, this is it.”
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence stopped at Trumbull Kitchen in Hartford last Thursday for a “private reception.” Foley attended the event, but did not publicize it. The event was held the same day Foley skipped an NBC Connecticut debate with Malloy and third-party challenger Joe Visconti. Pence is the third member of the Republican Governors Association, which has spent nearly $5 million on Connecticut’s race for governor, to visit the state.
But money in politics is bipartisan. It’s pouring into Connecticut’s governor’s race and is benefiting both candidates.
On Saturday, Independence USA PAC, which was founded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, reported that it would spend $1.7 million on television ads touting the gun safety legislation Malloy championed in 2013.
According to the PACs website it “will support moderates on both sides of the aisle — as well as independents — who have shown a willingness to work in a bi-partisan fashion. It will also target candidates who support — and oppose — efforts to crack down on illegal guns and reform education policy.”
Common Sense Connecticut, another new PAC in favor of gun safety, has received $751,000 from Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC, a group founded by former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.
Giffords visited the state earlier this month, but did not appear with Malloy. The group recently spent about $200,000 on mailers against Foley.
In total, the amount of outside spending this year has eclipsed the amount of spending on the governor’s race just four years ago.
Even though both Malloy and Foley are using the public campaign finance system, each has benefited from outside spending to the tune of about $15 million. Malloy has benefited from about $8.3 million from the PAC affiliated with the Democratic Governors Association and Foley has benefited from about $6.7 million from the PAC affiliated with the Republican Governors Association. That’s in addition to the $6.5 million each candidate receives in public funding.