Weeks after town Democrats filed a complaint to the State Elections Enforcement Commission against incumbent First Selectman Steve Vavrek for his use of email lists to send out campaign messages, town Republicans struck back.
On Monday, Republican Town Committee Chairman Jeff Guttman sent out a press release saying he submitted the paperwork for a complaint against the Democratic Town Committee for showing "a flagrant disregard of campaign finance laws".
He charges that Jason Maur being both treasurer for the Democratic Party and a candidate running for the Board of Education is a "direct violation" of General Statutes §§ 9-601(26), 9-606(d), 9-610(i) (as amended by P.A. 10-1), 9-622(11). He said Republicans found out about this while reviewing the DTC’s October 10, 2013 3rd quarter financials.
"These statutes clearly state a candidate may never serve as treasurer of a committee that is the authorized funding source of the candidate’s campaign, including a town committee," Guttman said. "In addition, as per statute, the Treasurer must resign immediately upon becoming a candidate on the slate. Based on Mr. Maur’s campaign filing for his candidacy for Board of Education, he stated the DTC would serve as his campaign committee and as such, he is in violation.”
"It is regrettable that we were forced to file this complaint," Guttman said. "However, when a candidate is running for a position on the Board that handles two thirds of the town budget, such disregard for state statute is disturbing."
DTC Chairman Nick Kapoor issue a response to the Republicans' complaint on Monday afternoon.
"The Republicans are responding to the complaint filed against the Vavrek campaign a few weeks ago," Kapoor said. "Unfortunately, this is a tit-for-tat and once again the Republicans are playing politics."On Oct. 21, the DTC released a letter from the Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission saying it believes there is enough information to warrant an investigation into the complaint against Vavrek's campaign filed by Susan Koneff, Monroe Democratic Registrar of Voters, and Alan Vaglivelo, a Board of Education member.
"Jason Maur has been the DTC Treasurer since March 2012 and has faithfully executed his duties," Kapoor said. "We will look into the allegations of the RTC and respond. I have not received any formal notification from anyone as of yet that there has been a complaint filed against the DTC. The DTC will be completely open and transparent with regards to this matter. If anyone knows about election law and Freedom of Information law violations however, it would be the Republicans due to their past history in Monroe.
"Jason Maur will be a phenomenal member of the Board of Education when he is elected. Mr. Maur is an attorney, former student Rep to the BOE and worked hand-in-hand with former Senator Christopher Dodd on education policy. I disagree with Mr. Guttman’s premise that Mr. Maur blatantly “disregarded” state law. Mr. Maur is a qualified, enthusiastic candidate and will be a huge asset to the Monroe Board of Education."
In the RTC press release, Guttman noted that all campaign finance reports are public information and available online through the State of Connecticut Elections Enforcement website or are on file with the Town Clerk's office.