A second Connecticut business group is wading into the 2016 Election by forming a new political entity. The MetroHartford Alliance filed paperwork on Aug. 11 to create the MetroHartford Alliance Independent Expenditure Committee, or MHAIEC.
The Alliance announced Wednesday that it is planning to solicit candidates’ positions on public policy matters impacting the region. However, it doesn’t plan to go as far as the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, which is planning to use $400,000 to target 15 races, including four in the Senate and 11 in the House.
Instead, the Alliance, which represents businesses in 38 municipalities in the Greater Hartford area, will focus on critical issues impacting the state and region, including sustainable economic growth, the attraction and retention of private sector jobs, and increased capital investment.
“The Alliance represents hundreds of private sector employers who have a strong interest in the background, qualifications, and opinions of office seekers in the capitol region,” Oz Griebel, president and CEO of MetroHartford Alliance and chairman of the new committee, said. “As November 8th approaches, MHAIEC will provide greater Hartford’s voters with the opportunity to learn more about the candidates’ positions on issues critical to our state and region’s future.”
The group won’t be endorsing candidates, but they are hoping candidates in about 59 races will fill out its online questionnaire.
The questions are focused on what candidates would do to improve the economic climate in the state, how they would make structural reforms to the state budget, what they would do about Connecticut’s long-term pension and debt obligations, and how they would make Connecticut more competitive.
The issues included as part of the 15 questions for candidates have all been raised by the organization in the past even though this is its first time forming an independent expenditure committee.
The committee so far has spent $5,210 with Zag Interactive to design its website, which will post the answers to the questionnaires once they are submitted. Candidates must return their questionnaire by Friday, Sept. 16.