NRN - An Election Story Out of CT Deserving Some Attention

Hey Everyone,

A friend of mine is working on a race up in CT and brought this to my attention. This is fairly interesting, as this is the type of political dark arts that needs to be exposed and called for the sham it is. I figured I would pass it along and see if any of you could also help expose this.

CT Sate Senator Sam Caligiuri is declaring himslef the GOP nominee, even though the primary is still upcoming.  Caligiuri is openly telling voters verbally and in print that he is the Republican nominee one week before the primary... a major case of election fraud.  He is also committing absentee ballot fraud.  If there is any way you can help this story grow legs, I would truly appreciate it.  Look at the attached PDF as well.

Below is some information from Andrew Biemer, the Campaign Manager for one of the other candidates in the race. He is also available for interview should you wish to speak further with him (his contact info is below or reach him on his cell 225.581.7787).

This not the type of action we should tolerate from candidates in this crucial election year. If he were in Congress right now, he would fit in well with Rangel and Waters.


P.S.: TPM has picked up the story but more folks should be calling this out.

Bernier Questions Opponent's Tactics

PLAINVILLE, Conn. (August 3, 2010) – A representative from Bernier for Congress has asked the Connecticut Secretary of the State to investigate a recent mailer from Waterbury state senator Sam Caligiuri to voters in the 5th Congressional District.
In the letter, accompanied by an unsolicited absentee ballot application, Caligiuri falsely identifies himself as the “Republican Nominee” and commits an apparent violation of Connecticut General Statutes, Chapter 145, Section 9-140, pertaining to the distribution of absentee ballot applications.
Absentee ballot applications must be signed out at the local clerk's office and strictly accounted for in a pre-primary report.  It is also illegal to falsely claim status as an official party nominee before the official party nominating contest.  The letter solicits a legal opinion on both counts.
"The legal requirements of this provision make it impossible to mail applications and account for them properly.  It looks like Sam Caligiuiri embarked on this project knowing that he could not satisfy these requirements," said Bernier Campaign Manager, Andrew Biemer.
“When Sam Caligiuiri refers to himself as the ‘Republican Nominee’ he is demonstrating an unprecedented sense of entitlement,” said Biemer.  “The power to decide the Republican nominee is in the hands of voters in this district, not in the imagination of a single candidate."
Connecticut state law requires absentee ballots applications to be strictly accounted for before the election if mailed unsolicited to voters.  The fulfillment of this provision may not be possible once applications have been mailed en masse.
The full text of the letter follows:

Dear Secretary Bysiewicz:

I am writing to you in regard to an unsolicited absentee ballot application mailed by the campaign of Sam Caligiuri, candidate for US Congress.  I believe the mailing may be in violation of Connecticut General Statutes, Chapter 145, Section 9-140, pertaining to the distribution of absentee ballot applications.
First, the letter accompanying the absentee ballot application refers to State Senator Caligiuri as the “Republican Nominee” for the 5th Congressional District.  This statement is a calculated and deliberate attempt to mislead voters.  As the Republican convention winner, Sam Caligiuri was “endorsed” by the party, whereas the “nominee” is decided in the August 10th Republican Primary.  In recent months Mr. Caligiuri has repeatedly made this false statement and been made aware of its falsehood.
Second, Mr. Caligiuri's campaign has been obtaining large numbers of absentee ballot applications from Town Clerks throughout the district.  His campaign has been sending out these applications unsolicited to voters throughout the district.  His workers, or any individual who obtains these applications, has a duty to account to the various town clerks for each application prior to Election Day. 
We ask that your office opine on two specific issues:

1. Is it legal for Mr. Caligiuri's letter to mislead voters by telling them that he is the nominee when, in fact, he knows that he is not?

2. Is it legal for a campaign to obtain such large numbers of absentee ballot applications when the ability to properly account for all of them by election day is inherently doubtful?

At a time when public perceptions of those running for office are already low, we are concerned that the behavior leading to these questions could further erode these perceptions.  We thank you for your assistance and look forward to your answers.