State Rep. and former Republican state party chairman Bill Hamzy (R-Bristol) is not seeking re-election this fall. Hopefully that will curtail his habit of twisting facts and outright misleading his constituents on what goes on at the state Capitol.
After the state legislature voted to amend the state’s landmark campaign finance reform law to bring it into compliance with a court’s ruling, Hamzy issued a press release that lacked truthfulness and was a blatant attempt to mislead voters. Even worse, Hamzy—a very smart lawmaker—obviously knew what he was saying was not truthful.
In the news release and in a report by the Bristol Press, Hamzy said of the campaign finance reform “fix,” “Instead of responsible governance, legislative Democrats went to extremes today [last Friday] to give their [gubernatorial] candidate, Dan Malloy, a $3 million gift of taxpayers’ money that the courts have ruled is unconstitutional. This money will certainly only go to pay for more negative political mailings and more negative television advertisements which residents of Connecticut are already fed up with.” Hamzy added, “This bill should be renamed ‘An Act Concerning Dan Malloy,’ because he is the only person affected by this vote.”
There are so many untruths about Hamzy’s statement, it’s hard to know where to start. Let’s try:
1. The vote last Friday, did not give a $3 million “gift” to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dan Malloy. The money was already budgeted for and earmarked for candidates participating in the Clean Elections Program. Yes, Malloy is participating. But so too, was Republican Mike Fedele. Malloy won his primary. Fedele lost his. All the vote did was change the way the already-budgeted-for money was dispersed.
2. The court did not rule that the money for the Clean Elections Program was unconstitutional. It ruled it could not be dispersed through “triggering provisions,” or by the amount of money an opponent spent. Hamzy is a lawyer and he knows his statement to be untrue.
3. It was Republicans who were so concerned that publicly financed candidates would be told what to do with their money. Hamzy now seems to be implying money should not be spent on negative ads. There’s a little thing call the First Amendment that might get in his way.
4. The campaign finance reform “fix” does not solely affect Dan Malloy. The original bill was passed and signed by Republican Gov. Rell when the race for governor was wide open (the original bill also allowed more money for candidates than the “fix” did). Further, the bill passed Friday will affect gubernatorial candidates for years to come.
In his last months in office, it would be nice to have Hamzy be straight with his constituents.