The State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) has ruled on what Democrat good government types have repeatedly insisted was a baseless complaint concerning the $343,500 spent to elect them. Turns out, the expenditures were illegal.
2017 BET candidate and (now deposed) Chairman of the Greenwich Democratic Party Tony Turner was the individual subject of the official complaint filed by Republicans, but the SEEC’s findings make clear that the money: $350,000, poured into what was ostensibly Turner’s own campaign was in fact intended to and did benefit the entire Greenwich Democrat election slate, from Selectmen candidates to the BET. Turner’s memo to party members announcing the creation of an election committee explicitly stated that the purpose of his spending would be “to promote all Ds and down ballot for BET all with view to gaining BET control and not breaking any rules”. Nice touch adding the phony pledge of legality but in fact, as the SEEC decision maker clear, a Candidate Committee such as that formed by Turner can only benefit that single candidate, not his party, and not other candidates. Turner and his cohort were breaking the law the minute the committee was formed with an illegal purpose. Tuner’s betters spent his (?) money gleefully, assuming that if anyone was left holding the bag, it’d be poor, dumb Tony. It gives a new meaning to “chump change”.
Reached for comment by FWIW, the beneficiary of that spending, current First Selectman candidate Jill Oberlander was unapologetic: “This is all on Tony, and we had nothin’ to do with it. If he wanted to throw some barbecues at the beach to entertain himself, so what? And if he wanted to put out a couple of mailings touting the Party, is that any business of yours, of the State Fucking Election Commission?
“Yeah, maybe $60 grand for ribs and lobsters, seventy for mailings and maybe two-fifty for miscellaneous shit sounds like a lot for a two-bit election, but that was all Tony, and if the dumb fuck wanted to blow his cash on getting me elected chairman of the BET what, we should complain? Gimme a break; this is hardball, baby.
“And besides, I only went to one of those goddamned barbecues of his; after that, Tony just propped a cardboard cutout of me against the picnic tables and used a tape-recording of my stump speech to make it seem like I was there. Really. And the mailings? I never even read ‘em, so how was I to know what they said? Screw the SEEC, screw the election laws, and screw you very much for pestering me about this shit. I’m outta here, fella.”