Gov. Jodi Rell yesterday vetoed the legislature’s “fix” of the state’s campaign finance reform law just as she said she would before the special session last week. Sources in both the state House and Senate say leaders have the required number of votes for an override but they may not be able to find a date for which enough legislators can gather to vote.
Rell vetoed the bill because she objects to doubling the initial public financing grants—from $3 million to $6 million—even though the $6 million is already budgeted for. “I am disappointed that the Legislature saw fit to potentially add $6 million in public spending on gubernatorial races at a time when our economy continues to be weak, jobs continue to be lost and families continue to struggle,” the governor wrote in her veto message. “It begs an obvious question from the taxpayers: ‘What is the Legislature thinking?’ They have taken a program that was intended to remove the taint of special interests and corruption from political campaigns and turned it into a welfare program for politicians.”
Actually, the $6 million is already budgeted for but was to be doled out by triggering provisions for participating candidates instead of upfront. A federal appeals court found that to be unconstitutional.
The legislature has the votes to override the veto, sources tell The Shad, but what they have don’t have yet is a date on which enough lawmakers can make it to the capitol to vote. It puts both the House and Senate in the rather embarrassing position of possibly not being able to override a veto of the fix of a major piece of legislation because enough lawmakers can’t or won’t interrupt their summer plans.