ConnCAN signs $200,000 contract with major Connecticut lobby firm

The Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now, Inc. (ConnCAN), the charter school advocacy group that was created by the founders of Achievement First, the state’s largest charter school management company, has signed a two-year, $200,000 lobbying contract with Connecticut government relations firm, Gaffney, Bennett and Associates.

In addition, ConnCAN staff will continue to lobby on behalf of Governor Malloy’s education reform initiatives.

Last year, ConnCAN and its sister organization, the Connecticut Coalition for Advocacy Now, Inc. (ConnAD) spent more than $693,000 lobbying for Malloy’s education bill.  Along with Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst and other corporate funded education reform groups, ConnCAN’s lobby levels broke all previous records for legislative lobbying.

In the month of January alone, ConnCAN spent more than $15,000 on its government relations activities.

However, interestingly, the January Client Lobbyist Financial Report that ConnCAN filed with the Office of State Ethics, as required by Chapter 10, Part II of the Connecticut General Statutes, makes absolutely no mention of the public opinion poll that ConnCAN conducted in January and released earlier this week.

The report, which covers the period from January 1 to January 31st, 2013 was filed with the Office of State Ethics on February 11th.

Failure to disclose expenditures for lobbying and expenditures for activities in furtherance of lobbying is a major violation of Connecticut law.

If the poll was shared with legislators or used as part of any communication seeking to persuade others to communicate with legislators then ConnCAN is required to include those expenses on its ethics report.

However, ConnCAN’s January Form ETH-2D failed to provide any information about the recent poll they conducted.

Meanwhile, the lobby firm of Gaffney, Bennett and Associates has been working for ConnCAN or ConnAD since the two organizations were formed about six years ago.

In addition to ConnCAN, Gaffney, Bennett’s clients include, AT&T Wireless, the City of Stamford,  Exxon/Mobil, GE, Hartford Healthcare Corporation, NBC, Pitney Bowes Corp., Procter & Gamble and Quinnipiac University to name a few.

  • Apartheid First

    I guess in this day and age, even a lobbyist needs a lobbyist.
    I’m just wondering who lobbies for Gaffney, Bennett, and Associates?

    • Linda174

      Occhiogrosso and Malloy…it is one big incestuous circle.

      They are all in bed together.

  • Jumangi

    Two things…

    Nice Letter to the Editor here…more people need to get heard in the papers repeating these points. Unfortunately it’s buried online.

    http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/letters/hcrs-12482hc–20130213,0,7434164.story

    Also, can someone tell this author to stop commenting on education using his high school experience from 30 years ago. I didn’t even read it all, but caught the last couple of paragraphs and gave up on him.

    http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/hc-op-thorson-connecticut-school-superintendents-r-20130123,0,4293945.column

    • Linda174

      Yes, I felt the same way when I read his first post and I gave up then. I suppose we should email him:

      [email protected]

  • RJEastHartford

    This is the business we have chosen. No, not Godfather II, but the industry of lobbyists – corporations, trade organizations, etc. If it is worth doing, it must be worth doing for money

    • Linda174

      And it is all for the children and the civil right$ i$$ue of our time.