HARTFORD, CT — “Hallelujah” blared from the phone of a Steve Obsitnik campaign consultant after the State Elections Enforcement Commission approved his $1.35 million grant.
Obsitnik was the only gubernatorial candidate participating in the clean election system who until today had not received the grant.
Obsitnik was able to raise more than $258,000 in small contributions to qualify for the public funding.
“While we wish the process was faster, we are pleased with the outcome,” said Obsitnik campaign manager Dan Debicella. “Our campaign can now fully focus on informing voters on Steve’s background as a veteran, high tech job creator, and outsider and his plan to create 300,000 jobs in the next eight years.”
However, the SEEC’s decision Wednesday to give him the grant doesn’t resolve the investigation.
Obsitnik’s campaign became the target of an SEEC investigation last month. Election regulators voted in June to look into “potential campaign finance violations pertaining to the solicitation on behalf of and the receipt of contributions by the ‘Obsitnik for Connecticut’ committee.” The investigation will also look to determine whether the campaign coordinated with FixCT, Inc., an independent expenditure group that has raised $137,000 and spent more than $111,000 mostly on digital media creation and ad buys on behalf of Obsitnik.
The State Elections Enforcement Commission has approved more than 120 clean election grants this election cycle and over the next two weeks they will focus solely on the grant applications for the candidates facing a primary, according to SEEC Executive Director Michael Brandi.
Brandi was unable to say how many of the 120 applications approved were for primaries, but there were at least 20 more primary grants on the agenda Wednesday.
The last day the SEEC plans to hand out grants for the primary is July 27.