Keeping Dark Money Out Of Elections

May 30, 2017

Representative Dan Fox (D-Stamford) applauded the House passage of a bill he championed that will reduce the role of special interest “dark money” in state election campaigns.

The legislation, HB 5589, An Act Concerning Campaign Finance Reform, would strengthen the law for disclosure and regulation of the growing use of anonymous bundled campaign money, known as independent expenditures, which are playing an increasingly prominent role in our elections.

The new legislation:

  • Codifies “independent expenditure political committees” as a type of political committee (PAC)
  • Requires governing board approval by entities making political disbursements over $10,000
  • Limits contributions of any super PAC making independent expenditures to an aggregate of $70,000 in a calendar year,
  • Prohibits foreign influenced entities from making independent expenditures or covered transfers, closing a loophole created by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.
  • Provides for expedited review by SEEC of certain campaign complaints
  • Reduces grants for CEP candidates who file late in the election cycle
  • Clarifies exceptions from disclaimer requirements for small-sized internet or social media ads or links to same

The House passed HB 5589 by a 79-70 vote. It now goes to the Senate for its consideration.