The State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) is trying to have it both ways in the case of Northeast Utilities (NU) CEO Thomas May and his solicitation of campaign contributions from people working for him. Tuesday the commission found May didn’t violate any laws but that his actions were “…offensive and disturbing and violates the spirit and intent of the Connecticut State Contractor Ban…” The thought here is that it’s the SEEC’s job to determine whether laws were violated, not to provide commentary on the case.
The SEEC seems fairly gutless in this case. May was able to squeeze some $50,000 in donations to Gov. Dannel Malloy from his NU subordinates. Seems to be pretty shady and certainly worthy the commission’s review. Did it violate state election law? No, they determined, but then provided the criticism of May. It was kind of like saying, “You didn’t break the law but look everyone! We’re on the case!” The commission should simply determine any violation and shut up.
Politically speaking, the SEEC is providing fodder to Malloy’s opponent in the race for governor Republican Tom Foley. Foley will no doubt use the SEEC’s written determination that May broke no laws but still did wrong something wrong in some sort of campaign advertising. All the more reason the commission should simply do its job without further coment.