News Column

Democrats File Complaint Over Foley's TV Ad Expenses

July 16, 2014

By Christopher Keating, The Hartford Courant



July 16--HARTFORD -- State Democrats have filed their second complaint in two weeks against Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley over unreported campaign expenses.

The Democrats charge that Foley has not disclosed the expenses to create a television commercial that is currently on the air on multiple stations across the state. The Democrats say that "no payments or obligations regarding advertisement production costs have been disclosed in Mr. Foley's most recent filings" on July 10.

The production costs to create the commercial "typically run in the tens of thousands of dollars," the party said.

Devon Puglia, a Democratic Party spokesman, said Foley's "filings have been disorganized and error-ridden" and did not include any expenses for the advertising team hired to create the ads.

In the same manner that the Foley campaign rejected the first complaint the Democrats made to the State Elections Enforcement Commission, Foley campaign spokesman Christopher Cooper said, "This is another attempt by Governor Malloy and his surrogates to distract attention from his failed leadership and his terrible record as governor."

He added, "The Foley campaign has been working with the SEEC on nearly everything we do, and we are confident that we are in compliance with all SEEC procedures."

Seeking a wide audience, Foley booked ads for news shows in the morning, at noon and at night, starting last Monday, July 7.

The campaign purchased 30 seconds of time on "Hawaii 5-0" last Friday night for $700, the "2 Broke Girls" sitcom for $1,000 and two times on "The Price is Right" before the noon news on WFSB-TV, Channel 3. The campaign is paying $1,000 for 30 seconds on "NCIS: LA," while the same commercial costs only $175 when shown on the noon news on Channel 3, according to public records that were filed with the complaint.

The package of 28 commercial spots on Channel 3 costs more than $12,500, including commissions to place the ads, according to the contract between the station and Foley's campaign.

At night, Foley booked ads on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Channel 8 as part of a week-long package to broadcast the commercial 48 times for more than $18,000, according to public records. With commissions paid to place the commercials, the total cost to Foley's campaign for the Channel 8 ads was nearly $22,000 for the week. The 48-spot package also included spots on "Judge Judy" and "Good Morning America," among other programs.

The ad features Foley's wife, Leslie, and his two young children who are 2 1/2 years old. The opening "get-to-know-the-candidate" ad does not mention any of Foley's opponents or provide details on any policy positions.

Foley, who ran unsuccessfully against Malloy in 2010 in the closest gubernatorial election in Connecticut in more than 50 years, is running in the Aug. 12 primary against Senate Minority Leader John McKinney of Fairfield. McKinney has qualified for public financing and this week started his own TV campaign. Malloy, too, started an ad campaign that began Monday and costs more than $250,000.

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(c)2014 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)

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Source: Hartford Courant (CT)


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