Judge hears arguments in Malloy mailings dispute

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HARTFORD — A Connecticut judge has heard arguments in a dispute over whether the state Democratic Party illegally spent money on Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s re-election campaign last year.

A hearing in Hartford Superior Court began Thursday. A judge will decide if election regulators can subpoena records from the party. The hearing is tentatively scheduled to resume Nov. 17.

The State Elections Enforcement Commission is investigating if the party illegally paid for a mass mailing supporting Malloy’s campaign with money from an account designated for federal office campaigns.

Republicans say the Democrats’ federal campaign account included money from state contractors allowed to contribute to the federal account but prohibited from giving money to state office candidates.

Democrats say federal campaign finance law pre-empts state law on get-out-the-vote materials and they were obligated to follow federal law.