Luke Bronin’s $1 million campaign to become the Hartford’s next Mayor has already shattered the record for the most expensive mayoral campaign in Connecticut history.
Under Connecticut law, a candidate committee for the position of Chief Executive Officer of a City (Mayor or First Selectperson) can only accept contributions of up to $1,000 per individual. (Connecticut State Statute Sec. 9-617)
Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of State contractors, Hartford contractors, wealthy out-of-state donors and residents of his own home town of Greenwich, Luke Bronin has collected hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of $1,000 checks for his campaign.
In fact, it is fair to say that no municipal candidate in state history has raised as much from those who do business with the State, those who do business with the City of Hartford and those who lobby state government.
But as if that wasn’t all incredible enough, Luke Bronin decided he needed even more money to grease the skids of his political aspirations.
While the letter and spirit of Connecticut law says an individual can give no more than $1,000 to a candidate for mayor, Bronin and his team of political operatives decided that $1,000 per person just wasn’t enough.
So in the sixty-six (66) days between the day that Luke Bronin got the Hartford Democratic Town Committee nomination for mayor and September 30th 2015, the Hartford Democrats collected an additional $88,000 to help fund Bronin’s Get-Out-The-Vote effort.
Of that total, about 80% came from just forty individuals.
As a result of the higher allowable donation level for a town committee, 27 individuals donated $2,000 each and 13 additional people donated at least $1,000 each.
And it should come as no surprise that nearly every single one of those individuals had already given Luke Bronin the maximum allowable contribution of $1,000.
True – Connecticut law SAYS that an individual cannot give a mayoral candidate more than $1,000, but here were about 3 dozen people who were giving far more than $1,000 to benefit their candidate of choice.
Some would call it a loophole, others would say it was the politics of the possible and sill others would recognize it as a flagrant violation of the spirit of Connecticut law.
But Luke Bronin and his campaign will tell you their actions were perfectly legal and that campaign donation limits are …
Well, when you have people with a lot of money and who want to give, campaign donations limits are flexible.
It is just how the “game” works.
Here is a simple example of the scheme
|NAME||CITY||STATE||DONATION TO BRONIN FOR MAYOR||DONATION TO HARTFORD DTC TO HELP BRONIN|
|Sue Ann Weinberg||Greenwich||CT||$1,000||$2,000|
|Francis Parnes||White Plains||NY||$1,000||$2,000|
|Jess Amit Gupta||San Franciso||CA||$1,000||$2,000|
|Alexander Gupta||Miami Beach||FL||$1,000||$2,000|
|George Schweitzer||Los Andgeles||CA||$1,000||$2,000|
|Eugen Berlanti||Palm Desert||CA||$1,000||$2,000|
|Cheryl Chase||West Hartford||CT||$1,000||$2,000|
|Andrew Pinkes||West Hartford||CT||$1,000||$2,000|
|Suzanne Pinkes||West Hartford||CT||$1,000||$2,000|
|William Peela||West Hartford||CT||$1,000||$2,000|