The Citizens' Election Program, which provides grants to qualified candidates, represents the broadest, most comprehensive and most successful effort to remove special interest money from the political system undertaken by any state in our nation's history. The Director leads the State of Connecticut's landmark Program and the Public Financing Unit. The Public Financing Unit includes two new subdivisions which were created to assist candidates with every aspect of compliance with the voluntary Program-the Legal and Compliance Team and the Candidate Services Team.
The Program and the team have passed an extremely important milestone-the first run of the voluntary Program for the 2008 General Assembly elections. The Program was successfully launched and fully implemented through the 2008 election cycle, and 75% of General Assembly candidates elected to participate in the Program. The public financing team has assisted these participating candidates with every aspect of Program compliance.
A few highlights from the team's efforts include:
(1) Drafting and enacting regulations to ensure that public money is spent on proper expenditures;
(2) Authoring key Commission declaratory rulings and advisory opinions about threshold issues;
(3) Creating training materials and leading educational and outreach sessions for participating candidates, their treasurers, town committees, political parties seeking to support participating candidates;
(4) Working closely with the Attorney General's office on litigation challenging the constitutionality of certain provisions of the public financing statutes;
(5) Administering the Program for three special elections in 2007 and early 2008; and
(6) Assisting the several hundred candidates who participating in the 2008 General Assembly Program with compliance.