Common Cause

For Immediate Release

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Karen Hobert Flynn (202) 736-5770

Connecticut Can't Return to the Days of 'Corrupticut'

WASHINGTON - In the wake of a ruling overturning provisions in Connecticut's landmark state public financing program, Common Cause is vowing to work with the state attorney general to file an immediate stay of the decision and work to overturn it.

"Connecticut can't return to the days when the state was known as 'Corrupticut,'" said Karen Hobert Flynn, vice president for state operations who helped champion passage of the Citizens' Election Program by the state General Assembly in 2005, in the wake of former
Gov. John Rowland's resignation on corruption charges. The enactment of the public financing program, called the Citizens' Election Program, was a crucial part of the state's effort to turn the tide of corruption that had earned it the nickname 'Corrupticut.'

US District Court Judge Stefan Underhill on Thursday overturned two provisions of the Citizens' Election Program.

Common Cause in Connecticut will work with Speaker Donovan, Senator Williams, Governor Rell and the General Assembly to insure the law's funding and provisions remain intact while an expedited appeal of this radical decision is pending.

The program has been popular among voters and candidates alike: Last year, 73 percent of state candidates participated in the program in its first election cycle, and 81 percent of those serving in the 2009 Connecticut General Assembly are Citizens' Elections officials. Similar provisions in other states have been upheld. "We are hopeful that the second circuit will overturn this decision," said Hobert Flynn.

The Citizens Election Program frees participating candidates from the endless and constant demands of fundraising that occupy huge portions of elected officials' time and attention.

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Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

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