That’ll Be $30K Please

East Rock Alderman Justin Elicker Tuesday filed papers that could result in a check for as much as $30,000 to fund his quest to become New Haven’s next mayor.

Elicker’s mayoral campaign Tuesday officially submitted to the New Haven Democracy Fund records of 237 donations from campaign supporters. If and when those submissions are approved, Elicker’s campaign will receive a $19,000 grant, plus matching funds.

The Democracy Fund is the city’s public campaign financing program. It doles out lump sums and matching dollars to mayoral candidates who abide by certain fundraising requirements. Participating candidates may accept donations of up to $370, and may not to accept contributions from outside committees. Candidates who collect at least 200 donations of at least $10 can quality for a $19,000 grant plus matching dollars. The fund matches the first $25 of donations at a rate of two to one.

Elicker, a 37-year-old Democrat, is running to replace Mayor John DeStefano, who will step down at the end of the year after two decades in office.

Elicker said Tuesday evening that his campaign submitted records of contributions from 237 people, which could mean $10,190 in matching dollars from the fund. Elicker said he anticipates the actual amount will be slightly less because some of the contributions may not be approved for various technical reasons, like improperly filled-out forms.

State Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield, the only other official candidate in the race, has said that he plans to participate in the Democracy Fund as well. Fund administrator Ken Krayeske said Tuesday evening, however, that Holder-Winfield has not yet signed a contract with the fund, the first step of official participation. That means Holder-Winfield’s campaign has not received the official donor forms it will need to submit in order to receive the $19,000 grant and matching funds. Without those completed forms, any money that the Holder-Winfield campaign is currently collecting won’t count toward qualifying for the fund, Krayeske said.

“Ken and I have to set up a meeting. That’s the only reason I don’t have the forms. I am participating in the fund,” Holder-Winfield said.

Krayeske said he now has five business days to check Elicker’s submitted forms. Once that is done, and all requirements are met, Krayeske will ask the city’s finance department to cut Elicker a check. The city will have five days to do so, Krayeske said.

Krayeske has been having trouble convening the board of the Democracy Fund, which has only four of seven member slots filled. The board was supposed to meet last week, but then Winter Storm Nemo hit. The next meeting is scheduled for March 4.

That delay won’t slow down the processing of Elicker’s submission, Krayeske said. He’s empowered as administrator to carry out that process even if the board doesn’t meet.

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posted by: anonymous on February 20, 2013  12:03pm

Good.  Any candidate who does not participate in this fund should be immediately disregarded by any progressive and principled voter in New Haven.  We need to get big money out of politics.

posted by: SaveOurCity on February 20, 2013  12:31pm

Gary doesn’t have the paperwork yet?  Is he really serious about participating?

posted by: kenneth_krayeske on February 20, 2013  1:25pm

Just a quick note - Elicker cannot receive the $19,000 grant until the election is contested, meaning that another candidate has raised or spent $5,500.00.

Ken Krayeske, Administrator
New Haven Democracy Fund

posted by: ElmCityMama on February 20, 2013  3:08pm

Let’s hear it for clean politics! Yet another reason that it is Justin Time!

posted by: Fair and Honest on February 20, 2013  8:10pm

I’m glad the city implemented this program.  It is NOT easy money—there are lots of rules and restrictions intended to guarantee transparency and privacy. 

Even though it’s a hassle, I hope that all the mayoral candidates will commit to using the Democracy Fund—it is good for the city.

posted by: SaveOurCity on February 21, 2013  9:12am

NHI - could you consider an in-depth story on the Democracy Fund?  It sounds good in principal but I’m sure it would make us better informed citizens and voters if we knew the details.

If a story has been done in the past, I apologize for the request.