Dems' election complaint against Hwang questions spending disclosure
Published 12:41 pm, Thursday, September 25, 2014
The complaint alleges that Hwang, who is running for the 28th state Senate seat this fall, failed to properly disclose clothing and signs that it contends may have been purchased with campaign funds in his SEEC filings in 2012 and 2014.
Hwang, however, dismissed the complaint, noting that it was filed fewer than 60 days before the Nov. 4 election and called it a "cheap shot." He added that he expects to be exonerated.
Hwang, a ranking member of the legislature's Government Administration and Elections Committee, said he understands that all complaints must be investigated, "regardless of how trivial or baseless it is" and is he is "fully cooperating" with the probe.
"The mere filing and docketing of a complaint does not mean a violation has occurred," SEEC spokesman Joshua Foley said in confirming that the SEEC is investigating the filing. "It merely means that a violation has been alleged and is within our jurisdiction to resolve."
The bulk of the Democrats' complaint consists of photos of Hwang wearing shirts, fleece vests and jackets with his campaign logo.
The sign referred to in the complaint is a permanent sign affixed at a hole marker at the Fairchild Wheeler Golf Course, a municipal course owned by the city of Bridgeport although it is located with Fairfield's borders.
In the complaint, she said the DTC reviewed Hwang's disclosure reports and "we believe they are lacking in this area and need clarification." According to Dean, election laws require that Hwang disclose whether the clothing was purchased with personal money or campaign funds.
Hwang said Dean could have asked him about the clothing. "They were my own clothes," he said.
Asked about the sign at the golf course, Hwang said, "It was for the 134th (District election), it's not even related to this campaign."
Dean said the initial complaint was made on Aug. 20, and an Aug. 25 was received from the SEEC indicating it would inform the DTC if it decided to follow through with an investigation.
"Three weeks later, I got the letter they were going to do an investigation," Dean said.
"Clearly, the DTC would rather try to distract voters of the 28th District with petty accusations, rather than discuss the important issues facing our state," Hwang said.
Foley said this is a busy time of year for the SEEC and that the amount of time needed to resolve a complaint depends on its complexity and the commission's workload.