In the weeks leading up to Hartford’s Democratic Mayoral Primary, Greenwich native and political newcomer Luke Bronin repeatedly attacked incumbent Mayor Pedro Segarra for his support of the minor league baseball stadium that is now under construction in Hartford.
Luke Bronin told the Hartford Courant,
“I had real concerns about it. I still have real concerns about it and our ability to fund it.”
But despite Bronin’s “real concerns” about the stadium, the moment Luke Bronin got past the deadline for making his campaign contributions public prior to Primary Day he started loading up with money from the very developers who were given the extraordinary contract to build the stadium.
Connecticut State Law required that Bronin and any other candidate running for municipal office file a special campaign finance report exactly one week before the September 16, 2015 Primary Day.
However, although the filing date for the report was Wednesday, September 9, 2015, only contributions received by Monday, September 7, 2015 had to be listed on the report.
On Tuesday, September 8, 2015, only hours after a contribution reporting deadline had passed, Luke Bronin received eight $1,000 checks from individuals associated with the stadium developer.
And as Bronin’s latest campaign finance report reveals, the $8,000 collected on September 8, 2015 was only the beginning.
In the following days, the Bronin campaign pocketed additional $1,000 checks from the corporate executives of DONO Hartford LLC, CENTERPLAN DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, LLC, and CENTERPLAN CONSTRUCTION LLC.
Michael Lomardi, Jason Rudnick and Yves Georges Joseph each dropped $1,000 into Bronin’s coffers.
Michael Lombardi is President of Centerplan Construction and Comptroller of Centerplan Development.
Jason Rudnick is President of Centerplan Development and the agent of record for about 20 other companies owned by Centerplan Construction and Centerplan Development’s CEO Bob Landino.
Joseph is Vice President of Centerplan Development.
In September 2014, the City of Hartford selected DoNo Hartford LLC to develop the stadium.
The companies included in DONO Hartford’s plan included Centerplan Development, LeylandAlliance, Centerplan Construction Company, JCJ Architecture, Sports Contracting Group, Urban Design Associates, Freeman Companies, BETA, McDowell Jewett and Greenskies Renewable Energy.
Bronin has now collected campaign contributions from executives and employees at JCJ Architecture, Freeman Companies, BETA and Greenskies Renewable, in addition to the money from the companies directly owned by Centerplan.
DONO Hartford LLC, Centerplan Development, Centerplan Construction and Greenskies Renewable Energy are all owned by former State Representative Bob Landino who also formed BL Companies, a successful engineering firm that is also working on the stadium project.
Greenskies Renewable Energy was incorporated into Landino’s “CenterPlan” operation in 2009.
According to the company’s website, Stadium developer Bob Landino serves as Greenskies’ Chairman, Jason Rudnick is Vice Chairman and the three other board members are the company’s original founders, Arthur Linares, Michael Silvestrini and Andrew Chester.
Greenskies’ Arthur Linares serves as a Republican member of the Connecticut State Senate. Senator Linares’ brother, Ryan, who also served as the senator’s campaign manager, is listed as an Associate for Centerplan Development, according to that company’s website.
The renewable energy company received a lucrative “economic development” package from Governor Dannel Malloy’s corporate welfare program. In return for hiring four new employees, Malloy gave Greenskies Renewable LLC a $100,000 grant and a $250,000 forgivable “incentive loan” in the spring of 2012. Greenskies now has the contract to equip the new stadium with solar power panels.
While the stadium developers and contractors may have made additional contributions to Bronin’s campaign as well, a review of the candidate’s campaign finance reports show that despite the “real concerns” that Luke Bronin has about the Dunkin’ Donuts Yard Goat Stadium project, his campaign has collected nearly $15,000 from the executives and employees of the companies directly associated with the construction project.
Of course, even before the checks arrived from the stadium developers, Luke Bronin had already ensured that his campaign was the most expensive mayoral campaign in Connecticut history.
As of September 7th, 2015, two months before Election Day, Luke Bronin had already broken the $1 million barrier with $947,628 raised into his own campaign and another $88,000 into the Hartford Democratic Town Committee fund that was helping to pay for a portion of Bronin’s get out the vote effort.
Bronin also took a $1,000 check last month from Dillon Stadium co-developer James Duckett, the CEO of Black Diamond Consulting group whose company is now caught up in the federal investigation into overbilling with that Hartford project.