Mayor Mark Lauretti is in a race against time when it comes to getting the petition signatures he needs to qualify for the Aug. 12 Republican primary for lieutenant governor.
Lauretti has to collect the signatures of 8,190 registered Republicans in the state by the end of the business day on June 10, which now is less than two weeks away.
The 12-term mayor of Shelton hopes to run in the primary as part of a team with Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, who is a GOP candidate for governor.
And, like some other candidates have in the past, the Boughton-Lauretti campaign team is using money as an incentive to try to get those petition signatures.
Offering $2 per signature to circulators
According to an email blast from Team Boughton, they will pay petition circulators $2 for each signature they gather.
Based on when Lauretti filled out the necessary paperwork to begin collecting signatures for lieutenant governor (May 23), his campaign must average about 430 signatures a day.
“I don’t waste a lot of time thinking about it,” Lauretti said of his personal involvement in getting the signatures. “I go to work.”
That per-day signature count may very well be higher now, depending on how the first week or so of circulating the petitions went.
“It is a great way to make money fast,” states the Team Boughton email. “If you are a registered Republican in Connecticut and would like to make easy money by collecting signatures from other Republicans, apply here.”
(See the complete text of the Team Boughton email at the end of this article.)
By state law, the people collecting petitions to qualify a candidate for a party primary must be members of the same political party.
Using paid circulators
Paid petition circulators are legal in Connecticut and nothing new in politics. In fact, in some states there are people and firms than make a living from being in the business (especially in states where they are ballot or citizens’ initiatives, which are referendum questions that anyone can get on the ballot by collecting a certain amount of voter signatures).
This is a bit unusual of an approach for Connecticut, however.
Want to qualify for public financing
Lauretti and Boughton want to run as a team because combining their campaign contributions will make it easier for them to qualify for the state’s public financing program for the primary. They also face a deadline on that front as well.
Lauretti had been running for governor, but decided to run for lieutenant governor after not doing well with delegates in the gubernatorial nomination process at the state Republican State Convention.
Text of the email
Below is an unedited version of the email message from Team Boughton, which promotes itself as putting “People Over Politics.”
Team Boughton-Lauretti needs your help!
We are hiring petition circulators — registered Connecticut Republicans to collect signatures from fellow Republicans — so the Boughton-Lauretti team will appear on the August Republican Primary ballot.
We need to collect 8,190 signatures by June 10th at 4pm. We have already collected more than 1,000 signatures but need additional help to complete the task in time.
We pay circulators $2 per valid unique signature collected plus bonuses and other incentives!
It is a great way to make money fast. If you are a registered Republican in Connecticut and would like to make easy money by collecting signatures from other Republicans, apply here. Additional terms and conditions apply.
— Eager to help Mayor Mark Boughton and Mayor Mark Lauretti?
— Know a college student looking for summer work?
—Are you looking for ways to earn a little extra money?
This opportunity is for you!