When Roy Occhiogrosso left his job as Governor Malloy’s $160,000 a- year-advisor and mouth-piece late last year, he re-joined Global Strategy Group, a political consulting firm that had worked on Malloy’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign.
And with that move, the education reform industry’s cash started pouring into Occhiogrosso’s company.
In just the last few months, Occhiogrosso and Global Strategies Group have signed contracts with Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now, Inc. (ConnCAN) and A Better Connecticut, the new education reform front group that was co-founded this year by ConnCAN’s CEO.
ConnCAN is the charter school advocacy lobby group that was created by the same donors who helped Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor; develop Achievement First, Inc. the charter school management company that now runs schools in Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island.
Occhiogrosso and Global Strategies were first hired by ConnCAN for $35,800 to develop a survey that would show widespread support for education reforms and Malloy. The profit for a survey like the one completed is in the range of $25,000 or more.
Then, with the survey in hand, A Better Connecticut provided Occhiogrosso and Global Strategies with a $200,000 contract to coordinate a PR campaign which spent $2,138,700 in April and May.
The official reports filed by A Better Connecticut with the Office of State Ethics fail to disclose whether Occhiogrosso and company are also collecting the traditional “buyers fee” for placing the advertising. Usually advertising companies collect a 15% fee when placing television and other advertising. Whether that $300,000 fee is on top of or part of the $200,000 contract isn’t clear.
What is clear is that education reform organizations are spending record amounts to thank Governor Malloy and lobby for his education reform initiatives and as a result of those efforts no one is benefiting more financially than Malloy’s former chief advisor and his company.