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Connecticut Attorney General election, 2010

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State Attorney General 2010 elections
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Candidates for State Attorney General, 2010


Polls, 2010 State Attorney General elections

2010 Election information
Primary election dates
Statewide elections, 2010
November 2nd General Election results

National Association of Attorneys General

AttyGenLogo.jpg Attorney General news headlines
The Connecticut Attorney General election of 2010 was held on November 2, 2010.

Candidates vied to replace five-term attorney general Richard Blumenthal, who had declared his intention to seek the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Christopher Dodd.[1]

Democrat George C. Jepsen won the race with 53.7 percent of the vote, while his Republican opponent Martha Dean received 43.6 percent. Mark Fournier of the Green Party received 2.7 percent of the vote.

Race tracking

See also: 2010 State Attorneys General/Election Racetracking

Both Ballotpedia and Governing magazine predicted a decisive Democratic victory in the attorney general's race.

2010 Race Rankings for Connecticut Attorney General
Race Tracker Race Rating
Ballotpedia Likely Democrat
Governing[2] Leans Democrat
Overall Call Likely Democrat

General election campaign

Candidates

Republican Party Republican Party - Private attorney Martha Dean
Democratic Party Democratic Party - Private attorney and former State Rep. George C. Jepsen
Green Party Green Party - Hartford attorney Stephen Fournier

General election results

2010 Race for Attorney General - General Election[3]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Approveda George C. Jepsen 53.7%
     Republican Party Martha Dean 43.6%
     Green Party Stephen Fournier 2.7%
Total Votes 1,101,794

Debates

September 23rd

The first debate between Republican Martha Dean and Democrat George C. Jepsen, the two major party candidates seeking to replace outgoing State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who has chosen to run for the United States Senate rather then seek re-election to his current statewide position, was held on Thursday, September 23rd at the University of Connecticut Law School. Sponsored by LexisNexis, the event featured Jeffrey Forte, publisher of the Connecticut Law Tribune, as moderator and Jeremy Paul (Dean of the UConn School of Law), Thomas Scheffey (senior writer for the Connecticut Law Tribune), Mark Pazniokas (Capital Bureau Chief of the Connecticut Mirror), and Yamuna Menon (President of the Student Bar Association) as panelists.

October 11th

The Quinnipiac University School of Law played host to the second state attorney general debate on Monday, October 11th. The event was sponsored by the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA), the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA), and the League of Women Voters of Connecticut, Inc. (LWVCT). Timothy S. Fisher, Hartford attorney and Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at Quinnipiac University School of Law, served as moderator with panelists including Livia DeFilippis Barndollar, CBA member and partner at New Canaan's Marvin Ferro Barndollar & Roberts LLC; David N. Rosen, of New Haven's David Rosen & Associates PC; and Christine Horrigan, vice president and board member of LWVCT.

Endorsements

Martha Dean

George C. Jepsen

Finances

According to the Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission, as of September 9, 2010, the breakdown of campaign finances in the general election was as follows:

Martha Dean Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions In-Kind [15] Other Sources Expenditures Cash on Hand
July 28 - September 2, 2010[16] September 9, 2010 $5,863.35 $8,920.00 $0.00 $0.00 $9,764.71 $5,018.64
George C. Jepsen Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions In-Kind [15] Other Sources Expenditures Cash on Hand
May 10 - July 11, 2010[17] July 15, 2010 $0.00 $84,521.00 $3,750.00 $0.00 $49,278.93 $35,242.07

Polling

See also: Polls, 2010 State Attorney General elections

Suffolk University Poll

Suffolk University Poll - October 19 - 20, 2010[18]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg George C. Jepsen (D) 40%
Martha Dean (R) 28%
Stephen Fournier (Green) 5%
Undecided 28%
Total voters 500

August 10, 2010 primaries

See also: Connecticut gubernatorial election, 2010; Connecticut Secretary of State election, 2010

Donkey symbol.png Democratic primary

Candidates

Electoral results

Drop outs

  • Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, who in January 2009 initially announced that she would be entering the 2010 race for Governor of Connecticut, reversed course a year later and decided to run for attorney general instead.[21][22] After a five month legal battle over her eligibility as dictated by state law, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled on May 18, 2010, that she failed to meet the standard qualifications to campaign for the statewide office.
  • State Representative Cameron Staples, who entered the state attorney general race in January 2010, withdrew four months later after assessing that he could not win if his candidacy forced a primary contest.[23][24]

Finances

According to the Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission, as of July 22, 2010, the breakdown of campaign finances in the Democratic primary were at follows:

Susan Bysiewicz Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions In-Kind [15] Other Sources Expenditures Cash on Hand
April 1 - June 30, 2010[25] July 12, 2010 $345,718.44 $22,940.00 $0.00 $0.00 $91,002.34 $277,656.10
January 1 - March 31, 2010[26] April 12, 2010 $0.00 $427,191.25 $0.00 $0.00 $81,472.81 $345,718.44
Cameron Staples Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions In-Kind [15] Other Sources Expenditures Cash on Hand
April 1 - June 30, 2010[27] July 12, 2010 $20,528.24 $13,300.00 $0.00 $0.00 $24,913.80 $8,914.44
January 1 - March 31, 2010[28] April 12, 2010 $0.00 $26,805.00 $0.00 $0.00 $6,276.76 $20,528.24

Gop logo2.jpg Republican primary

Candidates

Electoral results

2010 Race for Attorney General - Republican Primary[32]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Martha Dean 60.5%
     Republican Party Ross Garber 39.5%
Total Votes 112,912

Drop outs

Endorsements

Martha Dean

Ross Garber

Finances

According to the Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission, as of August 9, 2010, the breakdown of campaign finances in the Republican primary were as follows:

Martha Dean Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions In-Kind [15] Other Sources Expenditures Cash on Hand
July 1 - July 27, 2010[48] August 3, 2010 $13,833.63 $5,620.70 $512.50 $0.00 $13,590.98 $5,863.35
April 1 - June 30, 2010[49] July 12, 2010 $4,235.35 $21,437.00 $1,040.00 $0.00 $11,838.72 $13,833.63
January 1 - March 31, 2010[50] April 12, 2010 $0.00 $4,500.00 $0.00 $0.00 $264.65 $4,235.35
Ross Garber Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions In-Kind [15] Other Sources Expenditures Cash on Hand
July 1 - July 27, 2010[51] August 3, 2010 $60,936.87 $24,085.00 $0.00 $0.00 $56,858.78 $28,163.09
April 1 - June 30, 2010[52] July 12, 2010 $0.00 $72,640.00 $0.00 $0.00 $11,703.13 $60,936.87

Controversies

Breach of peace

Just two days before the state primary election, Malcolm McGough, campaign manager and husband of Republican candidate Martha Dean, was arrested and charged with breach of the peace following a tense altercation with Betty Fiora, a resident of Canton. Fiora called police contending that McGough "shoved her and took signs from her hands after an altercation about signs on her Albany Turnpike property."[53] She insisted that she was removing the signs because they had been placed there without her permission. McGough, who was driving in the area, pulled over and confronted Fiora about she was doing. Another witness to incident said that while there was no shoving, McGough did remove the signs from Fiora's hand with some force.[54]

Defamation accusation

On Wednesday, August 4, 2010, Republican candidate Martha Dean announced that she would pursue a defamation suit against her primary competitor, attorney Ross Garber unless he retracted "statements made about her stance on decriminalizing drugs," specifically cocaine and heroin.[55] Paul Pacelli, spokesman for the Dean campaign, has accused Garber of taking "her positions on some social issues and twist[ing] them every which way, trying to convince people that Martha is out of step with Connecticut voters."[56] Furthermore, he contended that since the primary campaign started Garber's campaign has sought to shape the contest in terms of social issues when it should be about being the state's top law enforcement official.[57] Ultimately, Dean chose not to pursue legal action against Garber.

Qualifications

Almost immediately after Susan Bysiewicz announced she would enter the attorney general race, questions concerning her legal qualifications to hold the position were raised by state political commentators. Critics specifically cited Title III, Chapter 35, Section 3-124 of the General Statutes of Connecticut, which states, "The Attorney General shall be an attorney of law of at least ten years’ active practice at the bar of this state," as to her disqualification from running for the statewide office.[58] Although she received a law degree and became an attorney in the state of Connecticut in 1986, she had only actively practiced for six years before becoming a state legislator and then secretary of state.

At the same time, however, others argued that the state constitution, which takes precedence over the general statutes, cites the minimum age of eighteen as the only requirement in order to be considered for any state office.[59]

Upon seeking a legal opinion from the current State Attorney General to clear up the matter, Blumenthal responded that, although he believed the law to be valid, this was something that could only be rectified by either the courts or legislature.[60][61]

Connecticut

Bysiewicz announced on February 18 that she would seek a ruling from a Hartford Superior Court judge to determine her eligibility.[62]

A little over a month later, the Connecticut Secretary of State fielded questions for over five hours "during an all-day, pretrial deposition in her lawsuit seeking a judge's declaration that she is eligible to run for state attorney general."[63] Her lawyer, Wesley W. Horton, then filed a "protective order" motion to prevent either the transcript or videotape of the deposition from being released, though no justification for the motion was given.[64] The next day, however, Horton withdrew this request, acknowledging local newspapers had a right to these documents.[65]

With just three weeks left until state Democrats meet to endorse party candidates for the 2010 election cycle, Superior Court Judge Michael Sheldon ruled on Wednesday, May 6, 2010, "that Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz meets the qualifications to hold the office of attorney general."[66] Nearly ten days after the ruling was issued, the state GOP filed an appeal challenging the ruling.[67]

The state Supreme Court, which ordered attorneys on both sides to file briefs Friday, May 14, set Tuesday, May 18, as the date that it would hear oral arguments.[68] Rather surprisingly, on the exact same day the justices convened to hear the grievance, they announced that they had unanimously reached a decision. The seven justices, "troubled by the minimal standards set by Superior Court Judge Sheldon," reversed the decision and declared that Bysiewicz was ineligible to run for the statewide office of attorney general.[69] The Connecticut Secretary of State, who was not present at the hearing, released a statement in which she expressed her disappointment "with the court's decision overturning Judge Michael Sheldon's ruling" and that while she strongly disagreed with the "decision both on the eligibility and the constitutionality issue," she does "respect the rule of law and will abide by it."[69] In a statement released on Thursday, May 20, she announced that not only would she not seek the office of state attorney general, but she would also not seek re-election in her current state governmental position.[70] One of the mitigating factors for this course of action was finances. After having transferred all her gubernatorial campaign contributions into her campaign for attorney general, Bysiewicz was forbidden by state law from doing so for another race. In other words, to raise the financial capital necessary to run a successful campaign, she would have to start from scratch, which, relatively late in the race, would be very difficult.

Use of database information

A state Republican political activist filed a complaint in October 2009 charging that Bysiewicz used "a database of citizens' names to send out unsoliticed emails seeking campaign contributions."[71] Bysiewicz insisted that "what she did was legal because the database is a public document." Regardless, her challengers for the Democratic nomination in the state's attorney general contest have criticized her actions, arguing that "this kind of gaming the system is what makes people cynical about government and politics."[72]

A month later, however, the Hartford Courant published an article on March 10, 2010, describing the database as something more than just a list of names. The database of over thirty-six thousand individuals contained "thousands of what are labeled 'special notes' on people's political connections and personal characteristics, including some medical conditions [as well as] 'Ethnicity,' which identifies 2,431 people as either Jewish, Greek, Polish, African American, Hispanic or Native American."[73]

Shortly after a State Superior Court Judge ruled that Bysiewicz met the qualifications to hold the office of state attorney general, Blumenthal released a statement that his office was "reviewing all of the whistle-blower allegations made against the Secretary of the State, including some received very recently" regarding the use of the database information.[74] The state Republican Party put pressure on Blumenthal to reach a decision about the matter, arguing that "three months is more than enough time to find out whether Bysiewicz illegally used state resources for political purposes."[74] Blumenthal's decision was ultimately rendered moot when Bysiewicz was ruled ineligible to run for attorney general by the Connecticut Supreme Court.

See also

External links

General Election candidates

Former candidates

References

  1. The Huffington Post, "Richard Blumenthal Will Run To Replace Dodd In Senate" 6 Jan. 2010
  2. Governing “Attorney General Race Ratings” 12 Oct. 2010
  3. Connecticut Secretary of State - 2010 General Election Results
  4. The Hartford Courant, "Mark Greenberg endorses Martha Dean" 20 Sept. 2010
  5. Communication Workers of America - Endorsements
  6. AFL-CIO - 2010 Endorsements
  7. Connecticut Citizen Action Group - CCAG Endorses Jepsen, Merrill, Lembo for Statewide Offices
  8. Connecticut News, "Congressman Murphy Announces Endorsement of George Jepsen for Attorney General" 16 April, 2010
  9. My Left Nutmeg, "Chris Murphy endorses George Jepsen for Attorney General" 16 April, 2010
  10. 10.0 10.1 Connecticut News, "George Jepsen endorsed by two unions" 15 July, 2010
  11. 11.0 11.1 CT News Wire, "Malloy and Lamont Endorse" 21 May, 2010
  12. Connecticut Plus, "Debate on the debates, pension and health care, eye on recovery" 13 Sept. 2010
  13. Love Makes a Family PAC "Endorsements for State Offices" 23 Aug. 2010
  14. Deliberate CT "NARAL Pro-Choice CT Endorses Democratic Slate" 23 Aug. 2010
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 [As these are not cash contributions, they are not reflected in the reported ending balance]
  16. State Elections Enforcement Commission - Martha Dean 30 Days Following Primary Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  17. State Elections Enforcement Commission - George C. Jepsen July 2010 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  18. Suffolk University, "Democrats Leading for Governor and U.S. Senate in Connecticut" 21 Oct. 2010
  19. New Haven Independent, "Jepsen’s Running For AG" 6 Jan. 2010
  20. YouTube, "George Jepsen acceptance speech" 26 May, 2010
  21. The Middletown Press, "Bysiewicz announces intention to run for governor" 27 Jan. 2009
  22. The Middletown Press, "Bysiewicz to seek AG spot" 13 Jan. 2010
  23. Connecticut News, "Attorney General Race Getting Crowded: Rep. Cam Staples Joins The Party" 20 Jan. 2010
  24. Connecticut Mirror, "Staples out, but Bysiewicz faces appeal" 12 May, 2010
  25. State Elections Enforcement Commission - Susan Bysiewicz July 2010 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  26. State Elections Enforcement Commission - Susan Bysiewicz April 2010 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  27. State Elections Enforcement Commission - Cameron Staples July 2010 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  28. State Elections Enforcement Commission - Cameron Staples April 2010 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  29. Connecticut Post, "Avon Republican enters attorney general race" 4 March, 2010
  30. The Hartford Courant, "Dean Wins 4-Way Race For Attorney General" 23 May, 2010
  31. The Hartford Courant, "Republican Ross Garber Is Running For Attorney General; Exit By Susan Bysiewicz, His Sister-in-Law, Opens Door" 19 May, 2010
  32. Connecticut Secretary of State - 2010 Primary Election Results
  33. The Hartford Courant, "Rep. Arthur O'Neill Running For Attorney General; Says Thursday Announcement Before Saturday is Not Last Minute" 20 May, 2010
  34. Hartford Courant, "GOP's John Pavia Running For Attorney General; Worked With Ex-Democratic State Chairman John Droney" 26 Jan. 2010
  35. Ammo Land, "Connecticut Citizens Defense League Endorses Martha Dean For Attorney General" 29 July, 2010
  36. 36.0 36.1 The Hartford Courant, "Martha Dean picks up a couple of endorsements" 2 June, 2010
  37. Christian News Wire, "Family Institute of Connecticut Action Committee Endorses Republican Martha Dean for Attorney General" 17 May, 2010
  38. The Weston Forum, "FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL: Kezer endorses Martha Dean" 23 June, 2010
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 The Register Citizen News, "Witkos supports Martha Dean for attorney general" 5 Aug. 2010
  40. Connecticut News, "Rep. T.R. Rowe of Trumbull Endorses Martha Dean for GOP Attorney General Candidacy" 6 Aug. 2010
  41. Connecticut Plus, "Former candidate for Secretary of the State endorses Ross Garber for AG" 18 June, 2010
  42. Ethiopian Review, "Former U.S. Attorney Kevin O’Connor Now Serving As Ross Garber’s Campaign Chairman For CT Attorney General" 11 June, 2010
  43. Shoreline Plus, "Ross Garber wins Cafer endorsement" 21 July, 2010
  44. 44.0 44.1 Connecticut News, "Ross Garber gets McKinney endorsement" 4 Aug. 2010
  45. Connecticut Plus, "House Republican Whip Sawyer endorses Ross Garber for Attorney General" 7 Aug. 2010
  46. Stamford Plus, "Senator Tony Guglielmo backs Garber" 23 June, 2010
  47. Stamford Plus, "McKinney endorses Garber for Attorney General" 4 Aug. 2010
  48. State Elections Enforcement Commission - Martha Dean August 2010 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  49. State Elections Enforcement Commission - Martha Dean July 2010 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  50. State Elections Enforcement Commission - Martha Dean April 2010 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  51. State Elections Enforcement Commission - Ross Garber August 2010 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  52. State Elections Enforcement Commission - Ross Garber July 2010 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  53. NBC Connecticut, "Husband of AG Candidate Martha Dean Arrested: Cops" 9 Aug. 2010
  54. The Hartford Courant, "Martha Dean's husband arrested on breach of peace charges in lawn sign imbroglio" 9 Aug. 2010
  55. Stamford Advocate, "GOP attorney general candidate threatens opponent with defamation lawsuit" 4 Aug. 2010
  56. News Times, "GOP attorney general candidate Martha Dean to announce 'legal action' against opponent Ross Garber" 3 Aug. 2010
  57. The Register Citizen, "Martha Dean may sue rival in attorney general race" 3 Aug. 2010
  58. General Statutes of Connecticut - Chapter 35, sec. 3-124
  59. Connecticut State Library - Constitution of the State of Connecticut
  60. Middletown Press, "Bysiewicz seeks legal opinion on ‘active practice’" 21 Jan. 2010
  61. WTIC "AG Says Bysiewicz's Qualifications Still Unclear" 2 Feb. 2010
  62. News Times, "Bysiewicz to ask court to rule on AG viability" 18 Feb. 2010
  63. The Hartford Courant, "Bysiewicz Questioned In Deposition For Lawsuit On Attorney General Campaign" 1 April, 2010
  64. The Hartford Courant, "Bysiewicz Asks Judge To Block Release Of Her Testimony In Lawsuit" 6 April, 2010
  65. New Haven Register, "1,000 pages of transcripts released in Bysiewicz case (docs)" 6 April, 2010
  66. Boston Herald, "Judge rules Susan Bysiewicz is qualified for Conn. AG" 5 May, 2010
  67. Republican American, "Bysiewicz database adds to political challenges" 15 May, 2010
  68. The Hartford Courant, "Bysiewicz Case: Court To Hear Appeal Next Week" 13 May, 2010
  69. 69.0 69.1 The Hartford Courant, "Supreme Court Rules Against Bysiewicz" 19 May, 2010
  70. The Hartford Courant, "Susan Bysiewicz Says She Will Not Run For Any Office" 21 May, 2010
  71. Middletown Press, "Bysiewicz investigated for using taxpayer-funded database to aid her campaign" 7 Feb. 2010
  72. The Hartford Courant, "2 Democratic Rivals Criticize Bysiewicz's Use Of Database For Fundraising E-Mails" 12 Feb. 2010
  73. The Hartford Courant, "Bysiewicz's 'Notes' Criticized By GOP And By Democratic Rivals" 11 March, 2010
  74. 74.0 74.1 The Hartford Courant, "GOP Prods AG On Bysiewicz Inquiry" 9 May, 2010