BLOOMFIELD/WINDSOR — State Rep. David Baram, who serves Bloomfield and Windsor, is one of the first eight politicians to receive grant payments for the August primaries and the November election.
The State Elections Enforcement Commission announced on Friday that it will make its first public grant payments under the Citizens’ Election Program for the Aug. 12 primaries and the Nov. 4 general election.
The CEP program is a voluntary program that gives money to those seeking public office in the General Assembly and other statewide offices.
To qualify for public campaign financing,candidates must demonstrate they have adequate support from the public. Candidates running for state representative must also raise $5,000 from at least 150 individuals living in their district.
Candidates for state senate accomplish this by raising $15,000 from at least 300 individuals residing in municipalities in their district. Participating candidates may only accept small dollar contributions from certain individuals—the maximum contribution is $100—and no contributions from state contractors or PACs.
Grant amounts vary.
Officials said that the grant program was designed, in part, to reduce the influence of special interests in state politics. In its fourth full cycle of providing public funding to General Assembly candidates, the CEP continues to provide a seawall against the rising tide of special interest money in today’s elections.
The Commission determined that state representative candidates Tim Ackert (R – 8th District), David Baram (D – 15th District), Gail Lavielle (R – 143rd District), Joseph Polletta (D – 68th District), Robert Sampson (R – 80th District), Mary Stone (D – 23rd District), Emily Wilson (R – 142nd District) and Melissa Ziobron (R – 34th District) were eligible to receive Program grants. The Commission also determined that state senate candidate Bob Duff (D – 25th District) was eligible to receive a Program grant. Baram (D – 15th District) began serving in March 2009 and is one the Judiciary and Banking committees.
The Commission will be accepting applications from candidates in primaries until July 18 and, for candidates in the general election, until Oct. 10.
The Citizens’ Election Program is a voluntary program which allows qualifying candidates for General Assembly and statewide offices to receive full public financing.
To qualify for public campaign financing,candidates must demonstrate they have adequate support from the public. Typically, primary grant amounts are $11,140 for state representative candidates and $38,990 for state senate candidates, but amounts are higher if the candidates run in districts where one major party has a large advantage in the number of electors registered with that party.