Steve Obsitnik’s campaign for governor of Connecticut is hoping that its application for public money for the August 14th party primary will finally be granted this week. The State Elections Enforcement Commission has put the award of $1.3 million in public money to Obsitnik on hold pending an investigation into alleged illegal campaign contributions.
Obsitnik, a Westport entrepreneur and Navy veteran, is one of five Connecticut Republicans contesting in the party’s August 14th primary for governor. He is also one of three who applied for public financing under the state’s Citizens’ Election Program. The other two are Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton and former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst, who have been granted $1.3 million in state money for the primary.
Obsitnik’s campaign manager, Dan Debicella, a former Republican state senator from Shelton, says the delay in approving public money for Obsitnik might soon be a problem for the campaign.
“Realistically we have another two weeks before it seriously begins to impact the campaign. With a five-way primary we believe we can still be effective, but the clock is ticking.”
Debicella says the campaign might consider legal action if the matter is not resolved soon. SEEC Executive Director Michael Brandi is defending the delay. He says Connecticut is running a clean elections program so the commission has to make sure all private campaign contributions are properly vetted prior to giving out any grant.