A complaint filed by Connecticut’s Republican Party chairman, J.R. Romano, against an anti-Trump group, alleging it illegally coordinated with Greenwich Democrats during the 2017 municipal elections, has been dismissed by the State Elections Enforcement Commission.
The commission ruled Wednesday that Indivisible Greenwich did not promote candidates for local office that election cycle, among them being Sandy Litvack, who was elected to the office of selectman and is married to Joanna Swomley, the group’s founder.
Election regulators said they reviewed bank records and other materials related to the nonprofit group’s activities in 2017.
“Those events, however, according to accounts and documentation supplied by Indivisible Greenwich, were organizational and focused broadly on opposing the agenda espoused by President Donald Trump,” the commission said.
Swomley said the ruling completely exonerated the organization, which has characterized its advocacy as grass-roots in nature and different from PACs and other so-called “dark money” groups that have been a major factor in Connecticut elections.
“We believed from the beginning the allegations had no merit and that this was merely calculated to harass us and force us to spend time and substantial legal fees defending our actions, and to try to learn more about our organization through an enforcement proceeding," Swomley said. “The SEEC’s methodical and lengthy decision refuting Mr. Romano’s claims vindicates our conclusion that this complaint was without merit.”
Romano said Friday he was frustrated by the outcome of the case and that Republicans are subjected to tougher scrutiny by election regulators.
“At times, they seem inconsistent,” Romano said.
A request for comment was left Friday with a commission spokesman.
The largest fine ever meted out by the five-member commission, totaling $325,000, was levied against the Connecticut Democrats for using state contractor money to help pay for a pair of mailers that benefited the 2014 re-election of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
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