What a rotten, unwarranted attack on Ryan Fazio and his campaign by Greenwich Democrats, who have lowered the political tenor in this town right into the gutter.
I have never seen the State Election Enforcement Commission (SEEC) move as quickly as they did in April dismissing Democrats’ complaint against Fazio’s Senate campaign and the Connecticut GOP. They expeditiously, without taking testimony, cleared Ryan Fazio, his campaign, and the Connecticut Republican Party because the phantom charges were so ridiculous.
Clearly the SEEC wanted to quickly dispel any impression of a campaign violation. The member of the Greenwich Democratic Party who signed the complaint, Bob Brady, admits he didn’t even read the applicable regulations before filing the complaint. Yet he refused to apologize for his action or his ignorance.
We’ve now seen several petty filings by Greenwich Democrats in the last two years. One might ask why they are doing it.
After all, campaign treasurers, who bear the brunt of such investigations, are usually just kind local volunteers trying to help a campaign with paperwork. Violations, if there are any, are almost always unintentional, clerical mistakes. Complaints over such minor items are divisive and upsetting, not only to the individual but also their families. Is that how we should treat kindly volunteers? Greenwich Democrats clearly do.
But what is motivating Greenwich Democrats’ meanness?
I think they’re looking for retribution against Republicans because Board of Estimate and Taxation Democrats were held responsible for epic and historic SEEC violations right before the 2019 municipal election. By making these petty filings against local campaigns they are also trying to minimize the enormous impact of their own, well-documented, campaign financing wrongdoing.
As a reminder, Democrat Tony Turner funded his last BET campaign committee with close to $250,000 of mostly his own money, which is perfectly legal.
But what was a violation was that the other BET Democrats — attorney Jeff Ramer, attorney Jill Oberlander (now Selectperson Oberlander), Leslie Moriarty, and others allowed his campaign to fund many of their own campaign activities. Now, that is not perfectly legal.
After a long investigation, the six Democrat BET members were all fined by the SEEC. Together the BET Democrat6 and their staff received the largest cumulative fine for a local campaign in Connecticut history, totaling $72,000.
The amount of the cumulative fine was staggering. Most local campaigns, if they are fined, are fined $100 or less. A cumulative fine of $72,000 is a clear message that their wrongdoing was extensive and severe. Many of the BET Democrat6 still lack remorse for their actions and try to blame others, but, of course, not themselves.
So now the Democrats attack honest men, like Ryan Fazio, and, when proven wrong, refuse to apologize or show remorse for their actions. This is the Greenwich Democratic Party today.
Edward Dadakis is a former chair of the Greenwich Republican Town Committee and a former member of the Republican State Central Committee.