State Representative Chris Coutu, candidate for State Senate, debated his opponent on Thursday, September 6, and again requested the Democratic candidate Cathy Osten to publicly pledge "NO" to special interest Political Action Committee (PAC) organizational expenditures. Chris handed Ms. Osten the letter below after the debate. Ms. Osten stated, "she would not say NO."
Connecticut established the Citizens Election Program to keep special interests funds out of campaigns. Unfortunately, special interest tied candidates have a loophole that is being exploited. "In 2010, Cathy Osten obtained an additional $10,000 of traceable funds from special interests."
COUTU, CHRISTOPHER, REPUBLICAN House District 047 won 2010 $30,818
OSTEN, CATHERINE A., DEMOCRAT House District 047 lost-general election $40,259
These funds provided Cathy Osten, who was the President of SEBAC (State Employee Bargaining Coalition) and SEIU 2001, a 31% expenditure advantage. Reportable revenue did not include "free" resources, provided by organizations including SEIU and her special interest allies. "Out of 309 Connecticut House candidates, Mrs. Osten had one of the most expensive campaigns. It was funded by special interest funds and resources", stated Coutu.
After multiple communications with Chris Coutu, the loophole was recently talked about in the Norwich Bulletin. http://www.norwichbulletin.com/editorials/x1607168833/Our-View-Loophole-skews-playing-field
"After eight indictments from Speaker Donavan's leadership team we must SAY "NO!" The public trust is sacred and we must do everything to keep this trust," Coutu said. "By keeping special interest money and resources out of this election, we can help to ensure a more honest campaign that is focused on real issues and each candidate's record of accomplishment."
Coutu called on his opponent to publicly agree to the pledge by September 6th.
A copy of the letter to Ms. Osten follows:
I am sure you are aware of the recent FBI corruption indictments involving special interest money in Speaker Donovan's Congressional campaign. This investigation rocked Hartford and challenged the integrity of our legislative process. During these challenging times, elected officials and candidates must do all we can to make sure our loyalty is unquestionable. The public trust is sacred and we must do everything to keep this trust.
That is why I am asking that you join me and publicly pledge to say "NO" and not take any special interest Political Action Committee (PAC) organizational expenditures. The public deserves elected officials who are not beholden to anyone other than their constituents. With no special interest money or resources in this election, we can ensure an honest campaign.
I am looking forward to an honest, grass roots campaign, one where we can bring out plans for moving Connecticut forward to the voters. We can ensure that happens if you will join me in pledging to keep special interest money out of this election. Please let me know if you agree to this pledge.