While Rome Burned: Part (Darn, I’ve lost count)

23 Comments

So despite all the new laws and changes that came after John Rowland resigned, due in part for directing state contracts to certain people, Governor Malloy and Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor were able to run two no bid contracts through a quasi state-entity.  Readers will remember that this is really the second and third time the Malloy  has used the State Education Resource Center to get no-bid contracts to their colleagues.  Steven Adamowski of – I want more pension credits fame – became Malloy’s “Special Master” for the Windham Schools through a no-bid contract via SERC.

Now we learn that by using the “competitive bidding is for weenies school of thought”, state officials retained Leeds Global Partners for $195,000 and a $60,000 contract to DSA Capitol.

By the way, state law does allow a “sole source” contract when a particular vendor is absolutely needed for a specific project and for a specific reason.  While the process is relatively easy to use, it does require the state agency to specifically lay out their rationale as to why a contract should be granted on a sole sources basis.  For reasons yet to be known, the Administration chose not to follow that process.

Meanwhile, legislative Republicans are happy because  staff from Malloy’s office have been engaged in “shuttle diplomacy” to ensure that the Republicans have the opportunity to participate in the behind closed doors negotiations that are taking place about the bill.

As the Connecticut Post first reported, with the Courant and others now delving into the controversy, Malloy’s education commissioner ran a no bid contract through SERC in order to retain the services of Jonathan Gyurko, who a founder and senior vice president of New York based Leeds Global Partners.

Since Gyurko had previously worked for the American Federation of Teachers, Commission Pryor told the Hartford Courant that Gyurko was “uniquely familiar with pro-union reforms that involve innovations within the context of public education” and was hired “because of his expertise in matters pertaining to pro-union, pro-public education reforms.”

Again, why the Malloy Administration couldn’t go through any bidding process whatsoever to hire a consultant with these skills remains a mystery considering they’ve known for a long time that 2012 was Malloy’s “Year of Education.”

For more on the latest check out the Courant at http://www.courant.com/news/education/hc-education-reform-0421-20120420,0,6381070.story

As for DSA Capitol’s connection, a fellow blogger who goes by the name jerseyjazzman wrote http://jerseyjazzman.blogspot.com/2012/04/reformy-tentacles-everywhere.html:

“Wait a minute – DSA Capital. Where have I heard that name before? Could it be New Jersey?

TRENTON — A private consultant is being paid $60,000 by a California philanthropic foundation to help reorganize the New Jersey Department of Education, acting education Commissioner Christopher Cerf said during today’s Assembly Budget Committee hearing.

Asked by Assemblywoman Joan Quigley (D-Hudson) if the department had hired such a consultant, Cerf said he was working with someone on a part-time basis, describing the man as a “friend” who is “very well respected” in education reform circles across the country.

After the hearing, Cerf confirmed the adviser is William Cox, who owns consulting company DSA Capital, state Treasury records show.”

And of course, as we know, Malloy recruited Pryor from New Jersey.

Stay tuned – more to come!

  • Guset

    And as I’ve stated earlier, nothing will be done. The ethics commission will do nothing. The state police will do nothing, the FBI will do nothing. Dannel is the Teflon governor, breaking laws and getting away with theft for years and years. Dan isn’t a democrat in the old school style. Dan is a corporatist in the new progressive style of democrat politics. Privatize government so that the government serves the corporation. 

    • jonpelto

      At least they’ll have to deal with the bright lights – but you may be right – amazing what has become “acceptable” practice,

      Sent from my BlackBerry please excuss typos

  • Buygoldandprosper

    Dan and his family have a skewed view of the laws that seem to govern the rest of us. Rules are for others,not the Malloy clan. From the 80′s S&L crisis (the family was neck deep) to his troubled kids, to his wife and her rapid and  profitable career growth AND his house improvements that got a cursory look by investigators, Dan has taken his cavalier,corrupt small town attitude to Hartford and has tried to play his game on the state level. 
    This Ed Reform is a joke and one can see how he is using it to line the pockets of his supporters AND deflect attention from the day to day activities in Hartford. Can anyone say BUDGET DEFICIT?!
    Jon,you are doing a great job with this story but there are many stories building behind this one. Dan’s modus opandi has been to keep moving as quickly as possible…even though he may be slipping backwards. As long as he is moving,nothing will stick. Davos. DC.Afghanistan. Zipping around the state in his chauffeured vehicles (love that helicopter!) while most of his campaign promises and half-baked initiatives collapse under the weight of their own hubris.
    Dan keeps pounding the pavement,showing his loyalty to the party and passing out favors (FirstFive,etc) but he would have been wiser to take his narrow win and do the work,boring though it might be,of running the state and not running for his next office.
     http://blog.stamfordadvocate.com/stamford411/2012/04/18/gov-malloy-address-dcc/

    • jonpelto

      Makes you wonder…….
      And remember – no wonder people are so put off by government these days.

      Sent from my BlackBerry please excuss typos

  • guest

    I wouldn’t say that this type of wheeling and dealing is completely new… wherever you have had private monied interests, no matter what form of government, you have influence peddlers.  You have people buying politicians.  It just so happens that they are trying to purchase our public education system.

  • guest

    I meant to add–I think that we need a “recall Pryor” movement.  And then we need to take SERC out of its limbo of “quasi public” and return it to public control and scrutiny.

  • CONconn

    So now that the cat is out of the bag, will legislators listen  and stay far away from this big greasy ball of corruption? People are commenting on all of the news sites in an unprecedented manner. It seems like more and more people are finally aware of what is happening. But will it be enough? 

  • jschmidt2

    I’m shocked, simply shocked, that no bid contracts are going on. But wait, it is a Democrat doing it. So that’s OK. It must be approved by the Democrats in state house and since the voters keep electing Democrats, it must be OK with them. Jonathan, don’t worry about it. Obama, I mean Malloy, is taking care of it and he must know what he is doing. He’s a Democrat not a Republican. You worry to much. The wonderful Democrats have everything well in hand. And if we can send Donavan to Congress in the 5th, that will another Democrat watching out for CT, getting back our 60cents for every dollar we send to DC. What could go wrong in the highest taxed state in the country.
    This sarcasm was approved by jschmidt2.

    • jonpelto

      I’d try and come up with some snide remark – but I always say – we have to hold OUR OWN to at least the same standard we hold our opponents and since if a Republican was doing some of these things we Democrats will be howling – I’ll hold the remark and just say … ah…. Yeah… ditto to that. J

    • TMS

      jschmidt2, what are you  talking about? Who here on this blog has said anything about it being okay because Malloy is a democrate? There have been many bloggers who have stated they regret having voted for Malloy. What does that have to do with the issue? You’re rant serves no purpose to the fight that we have all taken on, democrats, independents and republicans, so what is your point beside being angry that democrats are popular in CT. Now that we all know you dislike democrats, do you have any plans to help fight the corruption. What have your wonderful republicans done in DC since they hold the majority in congress? We all need to grow up and start taking control and act to  stop the nonsense on BOTH sides.Corruption knows no boundaries in politics.

      • jschmidt2

         The Dems control the Senate and that is why nothing is being done in DC. The voters gave control of CT to the Dems. Now we can suffer the consequences. The people, voters, have little control over the party in power, when it is a sure thing the Democrats will get voted in. This is all about who you select and you can’t vote a party in and then expect them to act any different than they have ever acted. Malloy said he was going to change things. He never said how he was going to solve the deficit. We found out if was through massive tax increases and little givebacks. Now you having turning around education. Guess he didn’t say how he was going to do that either. So you elected a Democrat not knowing how he was going to solve the problems of the state. So how is that working for you?

  • jschmidt2

    Don’t blame me, I didn’t vote for these clowns here or in DC.

    • jonpelto

      No comment J

  • jschmidt2

    Jon- keep trying to keep both sides honest. My point was, 1 party rule in this state has not been a plus for the state.

    • jonpelto

      Right – I agree….

    • sharewhut

      Dan Malloy, arm around Nancy Dinardo….
      “Flounder, you can’t spend your whole life worrying about your mistakes!
      You f***ed up… you trusted us! Hey, make the best of it! Maybe we can
      help”

      • Linda174

        You are very entertaining. Do people in your home appreciate you?  By the way..typo yesterday. I meant good buzz…chardonnay preferably.

  • sharewhut

    Jon, Jon. Jon….
    Can’t you give this whole Education Deform thing a rest?
    A compromise has been reached, our children’s, and therefore our own futures are secure.
    Now is the time to link arms around a campfire for a heartfelt chorus of “Kumbaya”.
    Peace Out, Dude!

    • sharewhut

       You know the other guys are…
      “Fill our purse, Pryor.
      Fill our purse…
      Fill our purse Malloy,
      Fill our purse….
      Fill our purse C T,
      Fill our purse….
      Oooooh suckers,
      Fill our purse!”

  • paulbogush

    This does not have any direct connection to this post, but I thought I would throw in a link for you and your readers:
    http://www.pasisahlberg.com/blog/?p=84 
    I truly appreciate everyone who points out the flaws in Malloy’s plan, but Malloy is winning.  He is dictating the conversation.  The “other side” is left backpedaling trying to point out flaws, or they take his points and offer compromises on his points.  Either way, he keeps the conversation going about what he wants the conversation to be about.  He will not get exactly what he wants, but at least a compromised version of it.  To date, there have been no real reforms suggested.  Just grandstanding ideas that to the public sound like big ideas, but will not have a positive change in the classroom.  I wish the CEA/others would be bold and offer ideas that would truly reform education and not ideas that are tit-for-tat with his.  

    This whole episode in ed-reform has simply made me realize that my profession will be suffering for many more years.  It has made me realize that the quality of teachers will decline–who would ever want to be a teacher when they actually realize what they have to do in a classroom nowadays.  If everyone has there way, it will become a good minimum wage job that just needs people to “show-up,” follow a script, and push scantron sheets through a computer.  

     

  • savage

    While I agree with you 100% regarding your analysis of Malloy, I still hold out hope that someone, perhaps at the national level (FBI?) wil take action. Heck, they’re already in CT for their investigation of the Community Renewal Team. It remains to be seen whether they’ll end up ferreting out much of the corruption that, by some accounts, has proliferated at the organization for years. Maybe when they’re done they can move into the capitol building and begin an investigation of the Malloy administration.
     
    My opinion–the corruption has reached an unprecedented level all over the country. At the same time, there are masses of ordinary folks who are extremely angry. The state of the economy has only added to the numbers of people who are angry and sick of the corruption that is in large part responsible for the deterioration of the U.S. economy. Many of those angry folks are staunch defenders of the the second amendment and owners of private arsenals. If the government doesn’t at least make an attempt to gain control over some of the corruption, my fear is that these weapons-owning folks will reach a boiling point and take matters into their own hands. What will happen from there is anyone’s guess.

    I guess I’m holding out hope that there are still enough decent people left in local, state and national government that we will see an attempt to ferret out the corruption before that boiling point is reached.

    • savage

      Sorry, the post above was intended to be a response to the post below:

      And as I’ve stated earlier, nothing will be done. The ethics commission will do nothing. The state police will do nothing, the FBI will do nothing.
      Dannel is the Teflon governor, breaking laws and getting away with theft for years and years. Dan isn’t a democrat in the old school style. Dan is a corporatist in the new progressive style of democrat politics. Privatize government so that the government serves the corporation.

  • Linda174

    However, the entire PEAC process was started way before this and before Pryor was hired. They had formulated a plan. Pryor canceled all the meetings. They are doing anything they can to make the union look bad. I don’t agree that Malloy is winning. Many do not trust him on many other issues as well.  I would never recommend anyone pursue a degree in education.  Who would want to work in a profession that so many disrepsect.