State Contractors can’t make political donations – oh – except to benefit Malloy

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The driving force behind Connecticut’s successful effort to reform its campaign finance system ten years ago was the revelation that disgraced Governor John Rowland had used his position to solicit gifts and campaign donations from state contractors and others who directly benefited from the expenditure of taxpayer funds.

Following its passage in 2005, Connecticut’s new campaign finance law was heralded as one of the strongest in the nation.

Putting aside the way the new law unfairly treated third party candidates, Connecticut’s lawmakers passed, and Governor Jodi Rell signed, a sweeping piece of legislation that systematically outlawed state contractors from making campaign donations to benefit a political candidate.

Whereas John Rowland’s campaign finance reports were filled with the names of major state contractors such as the Tomasso Brothers Corporation, the Gilbane Company and the Manafort Brothers, as a direct result of Connecticut’s landmark campaign finance reform legislation, every governor and gubernatorial candidate after Rowland would be prohibited from accessing state contractor money.

However, as the final round of campaign finance reports are submitted for Connecticut’s 2014 gubernatorial campaign, it is becoming increasingly clear that when it came the prohibition on state contractor donations, Governor Dannel Malloy and his political operation fundamentally violated the spirit of Connecticut’s campaign finance law and, quite possibly, the letter of the law as well.

As has been widely reported, in addition to collecting the $6.5 million taxpayer funded check from the State Elections Enforcement Commission, the Malloy campaign funneled at least $5.1 million into the Connecticut Democratic State Central Committee’s “Federal Account,” where a significant portion of those funds were used for the exclusive benefit of Malloy’s campaign for re-election.

A review of the list of those who donated that $5.1 million includes dozens of state contractors including the some of the very companies associated with John Rowland’s downfall, including the Tomasso Brothers Corporation, the Gilbane Company, the Manafort Brothers and others whose campaign donations tarnished Connecticut’s reputation and sent a sitting governor to prison.

The role state contractor donations played in the Malloy campaign has received a fair amount of media coverage, such as Jon Lender’s investigative series in the Hartford Courant’s reporting on how top executives at Northeast Utilities donated more than $50,000 to benefit Malloy’s campaign.  The head of NU instructed subordinates that they could support Malloy by making their checks out to the Connecticut Democrat’s “Federal Account.”  (See details about the NU story via NU Chief Asks Subordinates To Support Malloy By Giving To Democratic Party and Election Agency Probes Legality Of NU Chief’s Solicitation For Malloy.)  The latest campaign reports indicate that NU officials helped Malloy by donating at least $56,750 to that Democratic account, as instructed.

But the full extent of the Malloy campaign unethical use of state contractor donations goes well beyond the Northeast Utilities example.

HAKS Engineering of New York collected more than $18 million from the State of Connecticut since Dannel Malloy took office.  Some of their work was part of a new contract to inspect overhead power lines on the New Haven Line of Metro North.  A May 2014 article in the CT Mirror reported that executives of HAKS Engineering had donated $45,000 to the account the Malloy campaign was using to sidestep Connecticut’s law prohibiting state contractors from giving funds to benefit Connecticut candidates.

In fact, by the end of the 2014 campaign cycle, HAKS executives and their families, along with their related companies, had actually donated about $80,000 the Democrat’s “Federal Account,” including $32,000 from Hasam Ahmad and his wife, $10,000 from Shahida Akhtar, $10,000 from Elliot Gene Sander, and donations in the range of $5,000 or more from other HAKS employees including Franco Balassone, Mahmood Mohammed, Louis Torelli and Mubbashir Rahman.

Another example of the Malloy campaign collecting campaign donations from those who have directly benefited from the Malloy administrations actions is Winstanley Enterprises, the lead developer of New Haven’s Downtown Crossing.  The publicly funded project is now home to Alexion Pharmaceuticals, the company that received a $51 million corporate welfare package from the Malloy administration to move to that property.  Adam and Carter Winstanley each donated to $20,000 to the Democrat’s Malloy oriented “Federal Account,” while David Winstanley pitched in $10,000 for a total of at least $50,000 from the Winstanley family.

Another key source of campaign funds for the Malloy operation was the law firm of Pullman & Comley whose attorney provided more than $45,000 during the recent campaign.  The Bridgeport based law firm has snagged a series of extremely lucrative contract with various state agencies including the Attorney General’s Office, the State Treasurer’s Office, the University of Connecticut, the State Airport Authority and the Department of Transportation.  Since Malloy became governor, the firm has collected in excess of $2.7 million and that doesn’t even count the money billed in this fiscal year.

Yet another example is the one the CT Mirror noted in their May 2014 article where they wrote, “The Simon Konover Company, which the state pays $4.7 million annually to rent 55 Elm St. in Hartford, is up to $51,000 in donations, with $30,000 from three executives last month on top of $21,000 last year. Its tenants include the attorney general, treasurer and controller.” As the Malloy’s re-election campaign came to a close, the total raised from those directly associated with the Simon Konover Company reached $71,000.

And what about those big construction companies that were so generous to John Rowland.  The Malloy operation also managed to collect donations from officials the Tomasso Brothers Corporation, the Gilbane Company and the Manafort Brothers Company.   The Manafort Brothers Company led the pack with $22,000 in donations.

Check back tomorrow for even more examples of the role state contractors inappropriately played in Malloy’s re-election effort.

CT Teachers Union against charter schools, except when the vote counts

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Less than twelve hours after Governor Dannel Malloy took the stage to declare victory on Election Night 2014, Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor and Malloy’s political appointees on the State Board of Education met to unanimously endorse a proposal to open eight new charter schools in Connecticut.

A CT Mirror article at the time entitled “State education board wants to open eight new charter schools” reported that while the State of Connecticut faces a $1.4 billion projected budget deficit for next year, “The State Board of Education is asking the state for $11 million to fund eight new charter schools to open over the next two school years…The request, put forward by Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor and approved unanimously by the state board…”

The CT Mirror added that, “Allan B. Taylor, chairman of the 13-member state panel, said expanding school choice for students makes sense.”

The Hartford Courant covered the story as well noting;

Of the eight new charters proposed to open over the 2015-16 and 2016-17 fiscal years, two proposals were approved by the board at a lengthy meeting in April amid much testimony for and against new charter schools.

The charters already approved to open in 2015-16 include Stamford Charter School for Excellence and Capital Prep Harbor School in Bridgeport. Those proposals, however, are contingent on the availability of funding.

After funding for Steve Perry’s proposed Bridgeport charter school, along with money for seven others charter schools, won the full support of the State Board of Education, Melodie Peters, the President of the Connecticut Federation of Teachers, submitted a hard-hitting commentary piece to the CT Mirror entitled, “Plan for more charter schools flawed in many ways.”

Peters, one of Malloy’s biggest supporters began her article by saying, “The state education department commissioner’s proposal last week to hand over more public education resources to privately managed charter schools deserves an ‘F’ as both ‘incomplete’ and tone deaf.”

Peters added,

“Now is not the time to ask taxpayers for another $21 million on an experiment whose record of ensuring a quality education for all has yet to be demonstrated.

It has been just six months since the scandal involving the charter management outfit Family Urban Schools of Excellence (FUSE) and the schools it operated in Hartford and Bridgeport made headlines. Recall that the extent of the alleged corruption and nepotism quickly led to a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe of FUSE and its affiliated Jumoke schools that today is still ongoing.”

Having told members that Lt., Governor Nancy Wyman would be Malloy’s point person on education in Malloy’s second term, Peters added,

“In August, the Malloy-Wyman Administration rightly responded to the crisis by ordering a thorough review of the department of education’s policies governing charter management companies. The department quickly agreed to changes that echo what parents, educators, and advocates have been urging for years: charters should be held accountable to the same standard as traditional public schools.”

The AFT -CT President went on to blast Pryor’s decision to seek funding for eight more charter school saying, “The state should not green-light more charters or expand their reach without first verifying that education department oversight of charters has actually improved.

Of the various issues associated with President Peters’ “blistering attack” on the decision to approve Pryor’s proposal for eight more charter schools, perhaps the most interesting is that Peters completely and utterly failed to mention that the newest member of the State Board of Education, Meriden Federation of Teachers President Erin Benham, voted IN FAVOR of the resolution to fund eight new charter schools.

In a political move to reward the AFT-CT for ramming through an endorsement of Dan Malloy, without even granting the other candidates [like myself] the opportunity to fill out a candidate questionnaire, meet with the AFT-CT PAC or address the AFT-CT Board of Directors, Malloy announced on August 21, 2014 that he was taking the unprecedented step of appointing Meriden AFT President Erin Benham to a four year position on the State Board of Education.

As the time, Peters wrote,

“We applaud the administration of Governor Dannel Malloy and Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman for selecting Erin Benham to serve on the State Board of Education. They have appointed a committed classroom educator and trusted labor leader with a long, successful record of direct engagement in grassroots efforts to improve schools in Meriden and across Connecticut.

“The SBOE, as well as the state’s education department, will greatly benefit from Erin’s experience in Meriden Public Schools. There, she and her fellow educators have proven that collaboration — not confrontation — is the way to form a productive working partnership with their district’s administration.

“Erin will bring tremendous value to the board with real-world teacher-student, educator-parent and labor-management experience. I have seen firsthand Erin’s passion for her vocation, and I have no doubt she will make a significant contribution to the board’s mission.

“We expect Erin to ensure that the voices of educators are heard and respected, and to play a role in helping to shape policy in all our state’s schools.

“We congratulate Erin on her appointment and look forward to her service on the SBOE throughout her four-year term.”

Two weeks later, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten came to Connecticut to endorse Governor Dannel Malloy for re-election, despite the fact that Malloy was, and is, the only Democratic governor in the nation to propose doing away with tenure for all public school teachers and unilaterally repealing collective bargaining rights for teachers in the poorest school districts in Connecticut, including some of the teachers who worked in Meriden.

And to drive home the special relationship between the AFT and Malloy – and Malloy and the AFT – AFT President Weingarten, AFT-CT President Peters and Malloy started their day with a tour and press conference at a Meriden public school, with none-other-than the newest member of the State Board of Education, Meriden AFT President Erin Benham.

Yet exactly sixty-one days later, Erin Benham, the teacher who Peters promised would, “ensure that the voices of educators are heard and respected, and [who would] play a role in helping to shape policy in all our state’s schools,” joined Malloy’s other political appointees on the day after the election to vote in favor of diverting millions of dollars to even more privately run, publicly funded charter schools.

In her commentary piece a week after the vote, AFT-CT Peters wrote,

Another unanswered question is why we aren’t investing education resources in community schools that will educate all children, instead of cherry-picking students to boost standardized test scores. An investigation by Reuters in 2013 found charters across the country imposing “significant barriers” that result in “skimming the most motivated, disciplined students and leaving the hardest-to-reach behind….Wouldn’t we all be better served investing our tax dollars in traditional neighborhood schools that do not exclude our special education, ELLs, and children with behavioral disorders?”

And AFT President Peters concluded her commentary piece with the observation, “And until the department can demonstrate that it can, the State Board of Education should deny the outgoing commissioner’s request.”

Over the course of Malloy’s 2014 campaign for re-election, the American Federation for Teachers Federal Political Action Committee donated $10,000 to the Committee Democratic State Central Committee “Federal Account,” the fund that the Malloy campaign used to launder lobbyist, state contractor and political action committee funds into a program to assist the Malloy campaign.

In addition, the American Federation of Teachers Federal Political Action Committee threw in $600,000 to the Democratic Governor’s Association’s $5.7 million Independent Expenditure campaign to support Malloy’s re-election.

But putting aside, for the moment, AFT President Melodie Peters’s anti-charter school editorial of November 17, 2014, when the real vote on the motion to adopt the Malloy administration’s proposal to fund eight more charter schools was taken, it passed the State Board of Education unanimously….with the support of AFT’s representative along with Chairman Allan Taylor, Vice Chair Theresa Hopkins-Staten, Charles Jaskiewicz, Patricia Keavney-Maruca, Maria Mojica and Joseph Vrabely.

That is a lot of teacher’s money for an investment that appears to be ending in disaster.

Some would even call the whole thing yet another Wait, What? moment.

Illegal Political Action Committee donations will haunt Malloy’s campaign

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A Wait, What? blog earlier this week entitled, “Lobbyists ponied up more than $95,000 for Malloy campaign operation,” explained how Governor Malloy, his campaign committee and the Democratic Party appears to have violated what remains of Connecticut’s once prominent campaign finance law by accepting more than $95,000 in contributions from registered lobbyists.

As noted, Connecticut state law prohibits registered lobbyists from contributing more than $100 to any candidate participating in the state’s Citizens’ Election Program.

As a candidate for governor, Dan Malloy participated in Connecticut’s public campaign finance program.

Not only did Malloy accept the $6.5 million grant in public funds that comes with Connecticut’s “Clean Election program,” but he signed an oath promising to abide by all of the aspects of the Citizens’ Election Program, which includes the provision prohibiting candidates from taking larger contributions from lobbyists and from accepting any contributions from Political Action Committees and those who have state contracts.

However, as has been reported here and elsewhere, in an effort to augment their campaign war chest, not only did Malloy take the $6.5 million in public funds to pay for his campaign, but his political operation funneled another $5.1 million in donations through the Democratic State Central Committee’s “Federal Account.”

Considering a significant amount of those funds were spent on activities designed to directly promote Malloy’s re-election campaign, it appears that Malloy and the Democrats violated both Connecticut and Federal law.

In response to the allegations of wrongdoing, Malloy’s campaign has consistently claimed that while their effort to launder money through the Democratic Party may have violated the spirit of the law, their actions were “technically” legal.

But one area where their legal theory collapses relates to the extremely serious legal violation associated with running over $559,000 in political action committee contributions through the Connecticut Democratic Party’s “Federal Account.”

Connecticut State law is extremely clear about what political action committees must do before they can donate money to benefit a candidate running for a state office in Connecticut.

Section 9-605 of the Connecticut State Statutes requires political action committees to register with the Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission before donating funds that will benefit a candidate running for office in Connecticut.

The law reads,

 “The chairperson of each political committee shall designate a campaign treasurer and may designate a deputy campaign treasurer. The campaign treasurer and any deputy campaign treasurer so designated shall sign a statement accepting the designation. The chairperson of each political committee shall file a registration statement described in subsection (b) of this section along with the statement signed by the designated campaign treasurer and deputy campaign treasurer with the proper authority, within ten days after its organization…

Subsection (B) of the statute adds, “The registration statement shall include: (1) The name and address of the committee; (2) a statement of the purpose of the committee; (3) the name and address of its campaign treasurer, and deputy campaign treasurer if applicable; (4) the name, address and position of its chairman, and other principal officers if applicable; (5) the name and address of the depository institution for its funds; … (10) if the committee is established by a business entity or organization, the name of the entity or organization; (11) if the committee is established by an organization, whether it will receive its funds from the organization’s treasury or from voluntary contributions; (12) if the committee files reports with the Federal Elections Commission or any out-of-state agency, a statement to that effect including the name of the agency; (13) a statement indicating whether the committee is established for a single primary, election or referendum or for ongoing political activities; (14) if the committee is established or controlled by a lobbyist, a statement to that effect and the name of the lobbyist; (15) the name and address of the person making the initial contribution or disbursement, if any, to the committee; and (16) any information that the State Elections Enforcement Commission requires to facilitate compliance with the provisions of this chapter or chapter 157. If no such initial contribution or disbursement has been made at the time of the filing of such statement, the campaign treasurer of the committee shall, not later than forty-eight hours after receipt of such contribution or disbursement, file a report with the State Elections Enforcement Commission. The report shall be in the same form as statements filed under section 9-608.”

The net impact of this law is that in order to make political donations in Connecticut, a Political Action Committee MUST register with Connecticut’s Election Enforcement Commission.

Yet despite this law, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission, a total of $400,475 of the $559,063 deposited into the Connecticut Democratic Party’s account came from Political Action Committees that WERE NOT registered with the Connecticut State Elections Commission.

Only $60,853 (10.8 percent) of the PAC money funneled through the Democratic State Central Committee’s “Federal Account” came from Political Action Committees appropriately registered with the state.  It is unclear how the law applies to an additional $97,735 that was deposited into that account.

What is certain is that over 70 percent, and potentially as much as 90 percent, of the PAC money the Malloy campaign raised and put into the Party checking account came from political action committees that could not legally donate to a candidate running for governor and yet that is exactly how those funds were used for.

While Malloy and his operatives can try to claim that their campaign activities didn’t actually violate Connecticut law, by raising and depositing contributions into the Democratic Party’s “Federal Account” from Political Action Committees that were not registered in Connecticut and then using all or some of those funds to support the governor’s re-election campaign raises extraordinarily serious legal questions.

Not only can intentionally violating the state’ campaign finance laws led to criminal charges, but by raising and spending illegal PAC money, the Malloy campaign openly violated the core requirement of Connecticut’s Public Financing Program and if found guilty should be required to reimburse the public for the $6.5 million campaign finance grant he took to pay for the rest of his campaign.

It is now up to the State Elections Enforcement Commission to pursue this vital issue.

Non-Connecticut Registered Political Action Committee State Amount
HARTFORD FINANCIAL SERVICES GROUP INC ADVOCATES FU CT $15,000
COZEN O’CONNOR PAC PA $11,000
UAW V CAP MI $10,000
UNITEDHEALTH GROUP, INC. PAC MN $10,000
THE TRAVELERS COMPANIES PAC CT $10,000
SHEET METAL WORKERS’ INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION POL DC $10,000
ROBINSON & COLE FEDERAL PAC CT $10,000
PFIZER INC. PAC NY $10,000
NEA FUND FOR CHILDREN AND PUBLIC ED DC $10,000
GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTE DC $10,000
COMCAST CORPORATION PAC – FEDERAL PA $10,000
CIGNA CORPORATION PAC DC $10,000
BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM PAC CT $10,000
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS – COPE DC $10,000
COVANTA ENERGY PAC NJ $8,500
SPECTRA ENERGY CORP PAC TX $7,500
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF IRONWORKERS PAC DC $7,500
WELLPOINT, INC. WELLPAC IN $7,000
INTERNATIONAL UNION OF PAINTERS AND ALLIED TRADES PAC DC $7,000
DRIVE COMMITTEE DC $7,000
XEROX CORPORATION PAC DC $5,000
WAL-MART STORES INC. PAC FOR RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT AR $5,000
UFCW INTERNATIONAL UNION PAC DC $5,000
THE WALT DISNEY PRODUCTIONS EMPLOYEES PAC DC $5,000
SYNERGY PAC VA $5,000
SEIU COPE PAC PCC DC $5,000
PURDUE PHARMA PAC CT $5,000
PRAXAIR, INC. PAC CT $5,000
NEW DEMOCRAT COALITION PAC DC $5,000
MAXIMUS INC. PAC VA $5,000
MACHINISTS NON-PARTISAN POLITICAL LEAGUE MD $5,000
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF HEAT & FROST INSULATORS AND ASBESTOS WORKERS P A C MD $5,000
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIRE FIGHTERS PAC DC $5,000
IBEW PAC VOLUNTARY FUND DC $5,000
IBEW PAC VOLUNTARY FUND DC $5,000
HUMANE SOCIETY LEGISLATIVE FUND PAC DC $5,000
HNTB HOLDINGS LTD. POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE MO $5,000
GHC ANCILLARY CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE PA $5,000
GENERAL DYNAMICS PAC VA $5,000
FOXPAC DC $5,000
ENGINEERS PAC DC $5,000
DEMOCRATS FOR EDUCATION REFORM PAC DC $5,000
COMPUTER SCIENCES CORPORATION PAC VA $5,000
BANK OF AMERICA CORPORATION PAC (FKA MBNA CORPORATION FEDERAL DE $5,000
AT&T INC. FEDERAL PAC TX $5,000
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE COUNTY & MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES DC $5,000
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR JUSTICE PAC DC $5,000
AMALGAMATED TRANSIT UNION-COPE DC $5,000
ALVAREZ & MARSAL HOLDINGS LLC PAC DC $5,000
AFL-CIO COPE PAC DC $5,000
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF BOILERMAKERS CAMPAIGN PAC KS $4,000
THE PHOENIX COMPANIES PAC CT $3,500
PITNEY BOWES, INC. PAC CT $3,500
DOMINIONPAC VA $3,500
WEBSTER BANK PAC-FEDERAL CT $3,000
NATIONAL AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS DC $3,000
PULLMAN & COMLEY PAC CT $2,850
WALGREEN CO PAC IL $2,500
UNITED ASSOCIATION PAC MD $2,500
OLDCASTLE MATERIALS INC. PAC DC $2,500
NORTHEAST UTILITIES PAC-FEDEDERAL DC $2,500
NATIONAL CONFECTIONERS ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED STATES, INC. PAC DC $2,500
MINERALS TECHNOLOGIES INC. PAC NY $2,500
FUELCELL ENERGY PAC CT $2,500
CERNER CORPORATION PAC MO $2,500
ALEXION PAC CT $2,500
ALCOA INC. PAC – FEDERAL NY $2,500
AETNA INC. PAC DC $2,500
THERMO FISHER SCIENTIFIC INC. PAC MA $2,000
THE NESTLE WATERS NORTH AMERICA INC. POLITICAL ACT CT $2,000
SAFELITE GROUP INC. PAC OH $2,000
O’NEILL & ASSOC. PAC MA $2,000
INTL UNION OF BRICKLAYERS & ALLIED CRAFTWORKERS PAC DC $2,000
AMERICAN MEDICAL RESPONSE, INC. PAC CO $2,000
XL AMERICA. INC. – PAC CONTRIBUTION ACCOUNT CT $1,500
COHNREZNICK LLP PAC MD $1,500
PUBLIC SERVICE ENTERPRISE PAC NJ $1,000
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHAIN DRUG STORES  PAC VA $1,000
MARYLAND ASSOCIATION FOR CONCERNED CITIZENS PAC MD $1,000
LOCKHEED MARTIN PAC VA $1,000
HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN OF GREATER NEW YORK FEDERAL NY $1,000
GREENBERG TRAURIG, P.A. PAC NY $1,000
ENTERPRISE HOLDINGS INC. PAC MO $1,000
CBS CORPORATION PAC DC $1,000
AMERICAN OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATION PAC VA $1,000
REPAC- REINSURANCE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA PAC DC $500
UNITY9 PAC DC $250

 

*Note:  A number of major Connecticut companies have failed to register Connecticut PACS and only have Federal PACS.

In addition, some organizations that have Connecticut PACs still made the contribution using their Federal account and some organizations that have both Connecticut and Federal PACS made contributions from both organizations, such as the AFL-CIO.

Inaugurations – Did you help finance Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s reelection campaign?

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Today it is Dannel Malloy who is being sworn into a second term as Connecticut’s governor.

Two days ago it was Wisconsin’s conservative, Tea-Bag Party Governor and presidential wannabe Scott Walker.

While there are stark differences between the two, on the issues related to public education, teachers and the corporate education reform industry, Malloy and Walker have shockingly similar platforms.

Like Malloy, Walker spent his first term trying to destroy teacher tenure, eliminate collective bargaining rights for teachers and dramatically expand public funding for charter schools and the overall effort to privatize public education.

The primary difference was the same in Connecticut, thanks to a Democrat-controlled legislature, Malloy’s worst proposals were removed from his “education reform initiative.”  Whereas in Wisconsin, a right-wing, Republican-controlled legislature passed Walker’s proposals and made Wisconsin ground-zero for the corporate education reform effort to destroy teachers, the teaching profession and teacher unions.

Another major similarity between the two individuals is that both candidates relied heavily on the support of special interests to fund their campaign operations.

While the tea-party conservatives lined up for Walker and the unions lined up for Malloy, both candidates collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from major corporations.

Malloy’s corporate support came from political action committees including, Aetna, Alcoa, Alexion, American Medical Response, AQN, AT&T, Bank of America, Boehringer Ingelheim, CBS, Cerner Corporation, Cigna, Comcast, Computer Sciences Corporation, Covanta Energy, Dominion Energy, Enterprise Holding, FoxPAC (Yes, related to the Fox News Corp.), General Dynamics, General Electric, GHC Corporation, Guardian, Hartford Financial, HNTB Holdings, Maximus, Minerals Technologies Inc., National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Northeast Utilities, Pfizer, Pitney Bowes, Praxair, Public Service of New Jersey, Purdue Pharma, Reinsurance Association of America, Safelite, Spectra Energy, Synergy, Nestle Waters, The Phoenix, The Travelers, Walt Disney Productions, Thermo Fischer Scientific, UnitedHealth, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Webster Bank, Wellpoint, Xerox and the list goes on.

During the past gubernatorial campaign, Corporate America also invested in Scott Walker’s campaign, leaving one to ask…

Did your purchases help fund Walker (or Malloy’s) campaigns?

Did you buy a Pepsi, Coca-Cola or Snapple this year?  Do you have a cell phone, use a bank, take medication, buy insurance or purchase any number of other consumer products?

Well you may be among the millions of consumers who helped fund Scott Walker, the darling of the Koch Brothers and the right-wing in the United States.

Despite Walker’s controversial positions and record, Walker collected 53% of the vote in last November’s election, funding his campaign with donations from a plethora of “mainstream” American corporations.

A review of campaign finance records in Wisconsin show dozens of national corporations gave Walker money or provided financial support to organizations engaged in funneling money into Walker’s campaign.

Even the controversies surrounding Walker’s potentially illegal campaign activities didn’t stop major corporations from pumping consumers’ dollars into Walker’s political ambitions.

Walker’s dubious claim to fame is based on a variety of proposals and actions including the following;

  • On raising Wisconsin’s $7.25 minimum wage, Walker said discussing raising the amount had no ‘purpose’ and in October 2014, Walker’s administration wrote, “There is no reasonable cause to believe” that the state’s minimum wage isn’t a living wage.  This despite the fact that 700,000 people in Wisconsin – one in four workers – are earning poverty wages.
  • On the critical issue of reproductive rights, Walker signed sweeping new restrictions on reproductive rights in Wisconsin.  The law requires women, regardless of the patient’s wishes, to undergo a medically unnecessary ultrasound before they get an abortion, Said Walker, “I don’t have any problem with ultrasound.”
  • To those who say efforts are needed to ensure more American have health insurance; Walker recently explained that denying health coverage to additional low-income Americans helps more people “live the American Dream” because they won’t be “dependent on the American government.”
  • On the issue of “equal pay for women,” Walker successfully pushed to repeal Wisconsin’s Equal Pay Law.  One of Walker’s Senate Republican allies defending the effort by exclaiming, “Money is more important for men.
  • Walker’s attacks on public school and higher education have been unprecedented.  As widely reported, Walker’s cuts to public schools have cost more than 3,400 jobs, including more than 1,900 teachers.
  • And when it comes to promoting democracy, Walker “accomplishments” includes legislation to disenfranchise tens of thousands of young voters, senior citizens and minority voters as a result of his voter suppression and voter ID laws.

But despite Walker’s right-wing political agenda and offensive comments, corporations donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Walker.

The following is a just a partial list.

Corporation Contribution Amount
3M Company PAC $22,000
Abbott Labs Employee PAC $5,500
AT&T Wisconsin PAC $23,000
Centene Corporation PAC (Health Insurance) $21,000
CenturyLinkPAC $12,500
Citigroup Inc. PAC $1,000
Coca-Cola PAC $8,000
Deloitte Political Action Committee $10,000
Dominion Resources Inc. PAC $5,000
Dr Pepper Snapple Group PAC $3,000
Eli Lilly and Company PAC (Pharmaceuticals) $21,000
Enterprise Holdings, Inc. PAC (Car Rental) $14,000
Express Scripts, Inc. PAC $1,000
Federal Express PAC $10,000
General Electric Political Action Committee (GEPAC) $7,000
General Motors Company PAC $8,500
GlaxoSmithKline PAC (Pharmaceuticals) $4,000
Hewlett-Packard Company PAC $10,500
Honeywell International PAC $40,000
Humana Inc. PAC (Health Insurance) $18,000
Johnson & Johnson PAC $3,000
JPMorgan Chase & Co. PAC $3,500
Liberty Mutual Ins. Co. PAC $7,500
Marathon Petroleum Corporation PAC $16,500
Molina Healthcare Inc PAC $2,500
Monsanto Co. PAC $24,000
Motorola Solutions, Inc. PAC $2,000
Murray Energy Corporation PAC $15,000
Northwestern Mutual Life PAC $57,000
PepsiCo Inc PAC $2,000
Pfizer Inc PAC (Pharmaceuticals) $43,250
Sprint Corporation PAC 6500
The Caterpillar Inc. PAC $50,000
US Bancorp PAC $1,000
Valero Energy Corporation PAC $1,000
Walgreens Co. PAC $7,500
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. PAC $15,000
WellPoint, Inc. WELLPAC  (Health Insurance) $27,000
Xcel Energy-WI PAC $12,500
Xerox Corporation Political Action Committee $5,000
Zeneca Inc. PAC (Pharmaceuticals) $8,000

*Donations since 2011 from major U.S. corporations to Friends of Scott Walker, Scott Walker – Rebecca Kleefisch Victory Committee and the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

And this list doesn’t even highlight some of Governor Walker’s other corporate donors including $51,000 from the BNSF Railway (RailPAC), $45,000 from the national construction company HNTB Holdings Ltd. PAC, $27,000 from the Koch Brothers and $23,000 from Union Pacific Railway.

Which brings us back to the question; did your consumer spending help fund Walker’s successful re-election effort?

Or for that matter, did your consumer spending fund Malloy’s successful re-election effort.

And finally, what are the following companies doing supporting both Malloy and Walker?

AT&T, Dominion, Enterprise Holdings, General Electric, HTNB Holdings, Pfizer, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, WellPoint, Inc, and Xerox

Lobbyists ponied up more than $95,000 for Malloy campaign operation

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Connecticut state law prohibits registered lobbyists from contributing more than $100 to any candidate participating in the state’s Citizens’ Election Program.  A gubernatorial candidate who violates that law would be prohibited from getting the $6.5 million grant in public funds that comes with Connecticut’s “Clean Election program.”

However, tomorrow – January 7, 2015 – when Governor Dannel Malloy is sworn into office for a second term, there will be nearly sixty registered lobbyists in the Capitol beaming with pride that they were able to funnel more than $95,000 to help fund Malloy’s re-election effort.

The fact is that some of these lobbyists donated well over $5,000, even $10,000, to help cover some of the governor’s recent campaign expenses.

How did Malloy and the lobbyists do it?

In the closing weeks of the 2014 gubernatorial campaign, the Malloy campaign sent out a series of direct mail pieces that were aimed at winning back the support of Democratic households.

Like any candidate mailing, the pieces featured pictures and quotes from the candidate, including lines like, “DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR DAN MALLOY HAS PUT US ON A PATH OF PROGRESS,” and “On November 4th, Vote for Progress, Dan Malloy for Governor.”

But the pieces weren’t paid for by Dan Malloy’s campaign committee, even though they featured Malloy and included his campaign website, Facebook and Twitter Account.

The money for the mailings came out of the Democratic State Central Committee’s “Federal Account.”

Last summer, Malloy and his campaign committee collected and cashed the $6.5 million check they received from the State Elections Enforcement Commission for agreeing to participate and abide by Connecticut’s public financing system.  The campaign committee used those funds to pay for television ads and a variety of other campaign expenses.

During the last two years, however, Malloy’s fundraising operation also collected just over $5.1 million for the Connecticut Democratic State Central Committee’s “Federal Account.”

Under Federal law, the Democratic Party is allowed two accounts.

A “State Account” that is used to pay for state and local level campaign activities and the other, called the “Federal Account,” which is supposed to be used to support candidates who are running for federal offices and for other “party building activities.”

Of the $5.1 million raised into the “Federal Account” during 2013-2014, a significant portion came from Connecticut lobbyists, state contractors, political action committees and large donors who had directly benefited from Malloy’s corporate welfare program.

By depositing the funds into the Democratic Party’s “Federal Account,” the Malloy campaign claimed that it could legally circumvent the state law that clearly prohibits large contributions from lobbyists and those who do business with the state.

Whether the maneuver was illegal has yet to be determined.

The repercussions from the Malloy campaign’s antics will be play out as the State Elections Enforcement Commission and the Federal Elections Commission investigate the issues and potentially take action against the abuses.

But one thing is certain.

When Malloy was facing possible defeat and public opinion polls indicated that a majority of Connecticut residents didn’t like the governor or approve of the way he was doing his job, a group of generous lobbyists and state contractors came through with the money Malloy needed to fund various political operations including a series of campaign mailings aimed at persuading Democrats to cast their vote for Malloy.

The sad reality is that the political landscape has changed significantly since Connecticut adopted its landmark 2005 campaign finance reform legislation.

The original concept, which passed following the first conviction of Governor John Rowland in 2005, was that in return for a multi-million dollar grant in public funds, gubernatorial candidates would agree to forgo private funds raised from state contractors, lobbyists, political action committees, the wealthy and other special interests.

When the legislation passed, Speaker of the House Chris Donovan wrote,

 “Almost 230 years ago, the founding fathers took a huge risk when they signed the Declaration of Independence and set the wheels in motion for the world’s greatest democracy. Today, this historic campaign finance reform legislation reaffirms that this is a government for the people, not special interests. This campaign finance reform bill is our declaration of independence. We can look our constituents in the eye and say we created the strongest campaign laws in the United States.”

At the same time, State Senator Don Williams changed his official biography to read,

“Since his election as Senate President, Senator Williams has been a leading advocate for cleaning up government. He authored legislation to reform the State Ethics Commission and supported sweeping changes to the campaign finance system and the state contracting process. With the creation of a publicly funded campaign finance system in 2005, Connecticut now has the strongest reform laws in the nation.”

Even Governor Malloy claimed allegiance to Connecticut’s campaign finance law, telling Connecticut Magazine in 2011, “Quite frankly, anyone who is not willing to participate [in Connecticut’s campaign finance program] is really just attacking the system.”

When writing about Malloy’s first year in office, The American Prospect magazine observed,

“[T]he secret behind the Democrats’ success was sweeping campaign-finance reform enacted six years earlier. Reeling from the embarrassment of a corruption scandal that landed a governor in federal prison, Connecticut legislators grabbed the national spotlight in 2005 by stopping the flow of millions of special-interest dollars, banning lobbyist contributions, and instituting a public-financing system that record-setting numbers of candidates have embraced.”

But all that was before Malloy and the Democrats in the Connecticut General Assembly torpedoed many of the most important elements of the law over the past three years.

So, while Malloy swore off special interest money in his 2010 campaign, he embraced the tainted funds in 2014.

The final campaign finance reports have yet to be filed, but according to the reports that are available, at least 58 Connecticut lobbyists or their spouses donated a total of more than $95,000 to the Connecticut Democrats “Federal Account” during the 2014 campaign cycle.

At least four lobbyists donated in excess of $5,000 including Craig LeRoy and Tom Ritter, and about a dozen more helped Malloy’s campaign by donating at least $2,000 to the Democrats’ “Federal Account”.

Even lobbyist David O’Leary, who served as disgraced Governor John Rowland’s former chief of staff, kicked in $250 to the effort.

As disturbing as the lobbyist money is, just wait till you see what political action committees, state contractors and those who have benefited from Malloy’s corporate welfare program kicked into Malloy’s campaign operation.

Another Big Week for Corporate Welfare in Connecticut

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With Election Day almost upon us, Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy used the past week to continue his massive “Corporate Welfare” Program.

On Wednesday, Malloy delivered a $10 million dollar Corporate Welfare Check, on behalf of Connecticut’s taxpayers, to General Dynamic’s Electric Boat division to help the company renovate a building in Groton that had been vacated by Pfizer.

While most Connecticut taxpayers are still struggling under the weight of the Great Recession, General Dynamics is on track to pull in another $32 billion in revenue this year.  Thanks to the nation’s never-ending war effort, the defense giant has generated revenues in excess of $294 billion over the past ten years.  The company is doing well enough that they even paid their new CEO $18.8 million last year.  (For those that are keeping track, that would be nearly double what Connecticut taxpayers handed the company this week.)

On Thursday, the company receiving Malloy’s taxpayer funded largess was Fuel Cell Energy Inc. Fuel Cell Energy only collected $188 million in revenues last year, but that was up from just $70 million in 2010.  Malloy is giving the company $20 million in taxpayer funds so that they can expand their Torrington facility rather than have to rely on private investors.

And on Friday, Malloy was in Danbury, this time with a Corporate Welfare Check for $32.5 million to help Praxair fund their new corporate headquarters.

Praxair’s revenue last year was about $12 billion, enough to pay their CEO a salary and compensation package of 26.5 million, “earning” him the #33 spot on Forbes list of highest paid executives.    Praxair’s CEO has been paid more than $70.1 million over the past five years.

Of note is the fact that while Malloy was giving away taxpayer funds, Connecticut’s Office of Fiscal Analysis announced that the Malloy administration is overspending this year’s state budget allocation by at least $88 million.  It is grim news and reflects the reality that Connecticut will be facing a major budget deficit next year.

But the fiscal problems facing that state didn’t deter Governor Malloy from giving away $62.5 million more in corporate welfare, and that doesn’t even count the tens of millions of dollars in other checks he handed out this week to private corporations.

In return for all this money, Malloy says that Electric Boat and Praxair have promised to create a total of 330 jobs over the next five years, while Fuel Cell Energy has agreed to create 160 new positions and keep those jobs in place for at least 4 years.

Meanwhile, on the campaign finance front, it is undoubtedly a coincidence that all three of these financially successful companies have generously donated to the Connecticut Democratic Party’s “federal account.”

The campaign contributions from General Dynamics, Praxair and Fuel Cell Energy are just a tiny fraction of the $4.3 million that Malloy and his political operation have raised from state contractors, people who have benefited directly from Malloy’s corporate welfare program, federal Political Action Committees and other wealthy individuals.

While many believe that state law clearly prohibits these funds from being spent to benefit a state-level campaign, Malloy and his campaign have been using the Democratic Party’s “federal account” to pay for his campaign mailings and other campaign expenses, allowing him to augment the $6.5 million Malloy received in public funds from the Connecticut Public Financing Program.

It all leaves one wondering what the “True Capitalists” would think of this world in which public funds are used to subsidize private activities that help ensure corporate officers and investors can get a better return on their private investments?

Of course, as Haruki Murakami, one of my favorite authors has observed,

“Waste is the highest virtue one can achieve in advanced capitalist society.”

Malloy and Democrats are violating Connecticut law with use of Federal PAC funds

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With Election Day eleven days away, one thing is certain.  One of the biggest losers this year is the integrity of Connecticut’s once promising campaign finance reform law.

In addition to collecting $6.5 million in public funds for his campaign, Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy and his political operation have raised over $4.3 million into the Democratic State Central Committee’s “Federal Account.”  This $10.8 million doesn’t even count an additional $4.4 million that is being funneled into Connecticut in support of Malloy via a Super PAC ironically named “Connecticut Forward.”

Opposing Malloy’s $15.2 million is Foley’s campaign with $12.2 million, $6.5 million in public funds and another $5.7 million through the Grow Connecticut Super PAC.

As has been widely reported in the media, the ethical and legal controversy underling the 2014 gubernatorial campaign is the fact that the Democrat Party’s “Federal Account” received hundreds of thousands of dollars from people who have state contracts or have directly benefited from Governor Malloy’s corporate welfare program.

The use of campaign donations from state contractors to support Malloy’s re-election effort destroys the fundamental purpose of Connecticut’s landmark 2005 campaign finance reform law, a law that passed and signed into law to prevent any future governor from doing what helped send disgraced Governor John Rowland to prison.

However, less than ten years after Rowland went to prison and Connecticut adopted its sweeping campaign reform law, Malloy is using state contractor funds to pay for a series of campaign mailings to promote his re-election effort.

Even worse, the on-going violation of the spirit, and probably the letter, of Connecticut law goes well beyond the use of campaign donations from state contractors.

Malloy and his operatives have collected and deposited more than $425,000 from political action committees into that same Democratic Party “federal account.”

And the vast majority of those donations came from Federal Political Action committees THAT ARE PROHIBITED from using their funds to benefit a state-level candidate in Connecticut.

Connecticut law clearly requires that a political action committee (PAC) must register with the Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission before it can give money to benefit state candidates.

According to Connecticut law and the State Elections Enforcement Commission,

“A political committee registered with the Federal Election Commission under federal law or with another state other than Connecticut may not make contributions or expenditures to or for the benefit of a Connecticut state or municipal candidate or a Connecticut political committee or party committee. A separate committee must first be registered in Connecticut (by filing a SEEC Form 3, designating a treasurer and a depository institution situated in Connecticut) and then must solicit funds specifically for use in Connecticut campaigns in accordance with Connecticut’s campaign finance laws”

However, the Malloy campaign has been directly benefiting from money donated by political action committees that are registered with the Federal Election Commission BUT HAVE NOT registered with the State of Connecticut.

The following chart lists political action committee donations that have been deposited into the Connecticut Democratic State Central Committee’s “Federal Account” and identifies contributions that have come from PACS that are prohibited from helping the Malloy campaign because they are not registered in Connecticut.

While it is appalling that Malloy and his campaign would use money donated by state contractors and people who have directly benefited from Malloy’s corporate welfare program, it is equally disturbing that Malloy and the Democratic State Central Committee would utilize PAC funds that violate one of the most fundamental aspects of Connecticut’s campaign finance law.

NOT Registered in CT Political Action Committee Name City State Amount
X AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS COMMITTEE ON POLITICAL EDUCATION (COPE) WASHINGTON DC $15,000
X COZEN O’CONNOR POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE PHILADELPHIA PA $10,000
X HARTFORD FINANCIAL SERVICES GROUP INC ADVOCATES FU HARTFORD CT $10,000
X IBEW PAC VOLUNTARY FUND WASHINGTON DC $10,000
X JOBS AND INNOVATION MATTER PAC (JIM PAC) WASHINGTON DC $10,000
X PFIZER INC. PAC NEW YORK NY $10,000
X THE TRAVELERS COMPANIES PAC HARTFORD CT $10,000
X UNITEDHEALTH GROUP, INC. PAC HOPKINS MN $10,000
X SHEET METAL WORKERS’ INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION PAC WASHINGTON DC $9,500
X ROBINSON & COLE FEDERAL POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE HARTFORD CT $8,000
X UAW V CAP DETROIT MI $7,875
X BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE RIDGEFIELD CT $7,500
X COMCAST CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE- FEDERAL PHILADELPHIA PA $7,500
X COVANTA ENERGY CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMMITTEE MORRISTOWN NJ $7,500
UNITED BROTHERHOOD OF CARPENTERS/JOINERS OF AMER NEW ENGLAND REG CARPENTERS LEGIS EMP CMTE NORWALK CT $7,500
X INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF IRONWORKERS WASHINGTON DC $7,000
X NEA FUND FOR CHILDREN AND PUBLIC ED WASHINGTON DC $6,850
X GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTE WASHINGTON DC $6,000
X ALVAREZ & MARSAL HOLDINGS LLC PAC WASHINGTON DC $5,000
X AMALGAMATED TRANSIT UNION-COPE WASHINGTON DC $5,000
X AT&T INC. FEDERAL POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (AT&T DALLAS TX $5,000
X BANK OF AMERICA CORPORATION PAC (FKA MBNA CORPORATION FEDERAL PAC WILMINGTON DE $5,000
X CIGNA CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE WASHINGTON DC $5,000
X COMPUTER SCIENCES CORPORATION PAC FALLS CHURCH VA $5,000
X DEMOCRATS FOR EDUCATION REFORM WASHINGTON DC $5,000
X FOXPAC WASHINGTON DC $5,000
X INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIRE FIGHTERS PAC WASHINGTON DC $5,000
X INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF HEAT & FROST INSULATORS AND ASBESTOS WORKERS P A C LANHAM MD $5,000
X INTERNATIONAL UNION OF PAINTERS & ALLIED TRADES POLITICAL ACTION TOGETHER POLITICAL COMM LEESBURG VA $5,000
X MACHINISTS NON-PARTISAN POLITICAL LEAGUE UPPER MARLBORO MD $5,000
X NEW DEMOCRAT COALITION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE WASHINGTON DC $5,000
NEW ENGLAND REGIONAL COUNCIL OF CARPENTERS LEGIS EMP CMTE BOSTON MA $5,000
** NUTMEG PAC STAMFORD CT $5,000
OPERATING ENGINEERS LOCAL 478 POLITICAL ACTION COM HAMDEN CT $5,000
X PRAXAIR, INC. PAC DANBURY CT $5,000
X PURDUE PHARMA PAC STAMFORD CT $5,000
X SEIU COPE PAC PCC WASHINGTON DC $5,000
X SYNERGY PAC MCLEAN VA $5,000
X THE WALT DISNEY PRODUCTIONS EMPLOYEES PAC WASHINGTON DC $5,000
X WAL-MART STORES INC. PAC FOR RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT BENTONVILLE AR $5,000
X WELLPOINT, INC. WELLPAC INDIANAPOLIS IN $5,000
DOMINION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE RICHMOND VA $3,500
X PITNEY BOWES, INC. PAC STAMFORD CT $3,500
X THE PHOENIX COMPANIES PAC HARTFORD CT $3,500
X GHC ANCILLARY CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE KENNETT SQUARE PA $3,000
WEBSTER BANK PAC-FEDERAL WATERBURY CT $3,000
X PULLMAN & COMLEY FEDERAL PAC BRIDGEPORT CT $2,850
SENATE DEMOCRATS VICTORY PAC WEST HARTFORD CT $2,655
X AETNA INC. POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE WASHINGTON DC $2,500
ASSOCIATION OF COMMUTER RAIL EMPLOYEES PAC NEW YORK NY $2,500
X CERNER CORPORATION PAC KANSAS CITY MO $2,500
CT STATE COUNCIL OF MACHINISTS PAC KENSINGTON CT $2,500
X FUELCELL ENERGY PAC DANBURY CT $2,500
X GENERAL DYNAMICS VOLUNTARY POLITICAL CONTRIBUTION FALLS CHURCH VA $2,500
X MINERALS TECHNOLOGIES INC. POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (MTI PAC) NEW YORK NY $2,500
X MURPHPAC WASHINGTON DC $2,500
X NATIONAL CONFECTIONERS ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED STATES, INC. POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE WASHINGTON DC $2,500
X NORTHEAST UTILITIES EMPLOYEES POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE-FED WASHINGTON DC $2,500
X OLDCASTLE MATERIALS INC. PAC WASHINGTON DC $2,500
X SPECTRA ENERGY CORP POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (SPECTRA-DCP PAC) HOUSTON TX $2,500
X UNITED ASSOCIATION POLITICAL EDUCATION COMMITTEE ANNAPOLIS MD $2,500
X WALGREEN CO PAC DEERFIELD IL $2,500
X XEROX CORPORATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (XPAC WASHINGTON DC $2,500
CONNECTICUT BANKERS ASSOCIATION PAC, BANKPAC FARMINGTON CT $2,000
X DRIVE COMMITTEE WASHINGTON DC $2,000
X INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF BOILERMAKERS CAMPAIGN KANSAS CITY KS $2,000
X INTERNATIONAL UNION OF PAINTERS AND ALLIED TRADES WASHINGTON DC $2,000
X INTL UNION OF BRICKLAYERS & ALLIED CRAFTWORKERS PAC WASHINGTON DC $2,000
LD PAC FARMINGTON CT $2,000
X O’NEILL & ASSOC. PAC BOSTON MA $2,000
X THERMO FISHER SCIENTIFIC INC. PAC WALTHAM MA $2,000
CEUI PAC MIDDLETOWN CT $1,850
DREW PAC MIDDLETOWN CT $1,685
CT STATE EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION PAC HARTFORD CT $1,615
DEMOCRATS FOR NEW LEADERSHIP WETHERSFIELD CT $1,500
X XL AMERICA. INC. – PAC CONTRIBUTION ACCOUNT HARTFORD CT $1,500
PROPEL PAC ( PRO PROGRESSIVE ENERGETIC LEADERSHIP ) PAC NEW BRITAIN CT $1,430
X CBS CORPORATION PAC WASHINGTON DC $1,000
CONNECTICUT STATE UAW-PAC COUNCIL FARMINGTON CT $1,000
X DAVID WEPRIN FOR CONGRESS HOLLIS NY $1,000
X GREENBERG TRAURIG, P.A. PAC ALBANY NY $1,000
X HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN OF GREATER NEW YORK FEDERAL NEW YORK NY $1,000
X LOCKHEED MARTIN CORPORATION EMPLOYEES’ POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE ARLINGTON VA $1,000
X MARYLAND ASSOCIATION FOR CONCERNED CITIZENS POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE PIKESVILLE MD $1,000
X THE NESTLE WATERS NORTH AMERICA INC. POLITICAL ACT STAMFORD CT $1,000
LOCAL 387 CHESHIRE CORRECTION COMPLEX PAC MILLDALE CT $875
SEIU STATE COUNCIL PAC HARTFORD CT $875
** URBAN LEADERSHIP COMMITTEE BLOOMFIELD CT $850
** O’BRIEN ’13 WEST HAVEN CT $775
A BETTER CONNECTICUT PAC ROCKY HILL CT $725
C.P.F.U. (CONNECTICUT POLICE & FIRE UNION) PAC HARTFORD CT $600
** EILEEN HEAPHY FOR MAYOR STAMFORD CT $600
** MATT PAC WEST HARTFORD CT $570
STAMFORD PROFESSIONAL FIREFIGHTERS PAC FUND STAMFORD CT $525
THE GREATER HARTFORD PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATIC WOMEN’S CLUB SOUTH WINDSOR CT $525
AQN PAC BRIDGEPORT CT $500
CENTRAL CONNECTICUT CARPENTERS LOCAL UNION 24 PAC YALESVILLE CT $500
CONNECTICUT ASSOCIATION OF OPTOMETRISTS INC PAC ROCKY HILL CT $500
** PROJECT DEMOCRACY WEST HARTFORD CT $500
UNIFORMED PROFESSIONAL FIRE FIGHTERS ASSOCIATION OF CT PAC WEST HARTFORD CT $500
139TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATIC PAC WEST HARTFORD CT $450
30 PAC MARION CT $370
CWA LOCAL 1298 PAC HAMDEN CT $370
HERE LOCAL 35 PAC NEW HAVEN CT $350
SHEET METAL WORKERS LOCAL 40 PAC ROCKY HILL CT $350
CONNECTICUT YOUNG DEMOCRATS HARTFORD CT $300
AFT CONNECTICUT PAC ROCKY HILL CT $250
CHARTER OAK PAC HARTFORD CT $250
CONNECTICUT HISPANIC DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS NEW HAVEN CT $250
UCPEA PAC STORRS MANSFIELD CT $250
X UNITY9 PAC WASHINGTON DC $250
CENTRAL CONNECTICUT DEMOCRATS ROCKY HILL CT $200
WORKING WOMEN AND MEN OF CENTRAL CONNECTICUT ROCKY HILL CT $200
MIDDLESEX COUNTY LEADERSHIP PAC CLINTON CT $185
CT FEDERATION OF DEMOCRATIC WOMEN EAST HARTFORD CT $175
SOJOURNER NETWORK OF DEM. WOMEN PAC HARTFORD CT $175
STAMFORD GREEN LEADERSHIP COMMITTEE STAMFORD CT $175
X COMMITTEE TO RE-ELECT BRIAN CURTIN BURLINGTON MA $100
GUARDIAN FREEDOM PAC STAMFORD CT $100
SHORELINE LEAGUE OF DEMOCRATIC WOMEN POLITICAL ACCOUNT GUILFORD CT $100
THIRD STREET PAC WEST HARTFORD CT $100
COLCHESTER DEMOCRATIC WOMENS CLUB COLCHESTER CT $50
DEMOCRATIC VOICES FOR CHANGE LAKEVILLE CT $50
DEMOCRATIC WOMEN’S CLUB OF EAST HARTFORD GLASTONBURY CT $50

** = Not registered with Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission but may be registered with local town clerk.

Breaking News: 3rd Malloy mailing paid for with dirty money arrives in mail boxes

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The Malloy campaign has been surrounded by controversy over the past couple of weeks following their announcement that the Connecticut Democratic Party intended to use money contributed by state contractors to pay for a mailing promoting Malloy’s bid for re-election.

Now it turns out that the tainted campaign funds have paid for at least three mailings, the 3rd arriving at households yesterday.

malloy brochures2 The money in question IS NOT the public funds that Malloy and Foley collected as participants in Connecticut’s Public Finance System nor is it the Super PAC money that has pouring into Connecticut in recent weeks.

The money that the Malloy campaign is using to pay for these mailings was raised and deposited into the Democratic State Central Committee’s “Federal Account” and comes from state contractors, people who have benefited from Malloy’s corporate welfare program, federal political action committees and wealthy donors from around the country.

Note:  Please read the following to understand how unethical this action is.

After former governor John Rowland was sent to prison, Connecticut adopted a sweeping campaign finance reform law.  As a result of that law, “State contractors may not contribute to a party committee, nor may they contribute to a candidate seeking office in the branch (legislative or executive) for which the contractor holds a contract.

The law means that a candidate for governor is prohibited from benefiting from any campaign donation that have been made by a state contractor or an entity that does business with the state of Connecticut.

The issue is as follows: Under Connecticut law, both Malloy and Foley received $6.2 million in taxpayer funds to pay for their gubernatorial campaigns.  By accepting the public funds, Malloy and Foley were prohibited from soliciting or accepting campaign donations in excess of $100 or receiving any campaign money from state contractors or political action committees.

Meanwhile, as a result of federal law, so-called Super PACS have been funneling millions of dollars into Connecticut in support or opposition to Malloy and Foley. The Malloy associated Super PAC is called Connecticut Forward, Inc. and has spent over $4.1 million to support Malloy and oppose Foley.

The Malloy money has come primarily from the national Democratic Governors Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the Service Employees Union (SEIU) and the American Federation of State, Country and Municipal Employees Union (AFSCME). On the other hand, the Foley associated Super PAC, Grown Connecticut Inc. has spent about $4.9 million.

The Foley money has come almost exclusively from the national Republican Governors Association.

The controversy surrounding the extra Malloy mailings is separate of the $12 million plus that taxpayers have given to Malloy and Foley or the $9 million that has been spent by the Super PACS.

The issue is that these Malloy mailings are being paid for with money that has been donated by state contractors, federal political action committees, lobbyists and others and is reaching they Malloy campaign by being laundered through the Connecticut Democratic State Central Committee’s “Federal Account.”

The Connecticut Democratic State Central Committee actually maintains two accounts – a state account and a federal account.  The state account CAN NOT ACCEPT MONEY FROM STATE CONTRACTORS OR FEDERAL POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEES.

Over the decades, the state account has been the party’s sole mechanism for supporting their Democratic nominee for governor. Under Federal Law, the “Federal Account” can only be used to support candidates running for a federal position (US Senate and US House of Representatives) or for general voter registration and Get-out-the-Vote activities.

Connecticut’s State Elections Enforcement Commission recently wrote that the Federal Election Commission has determined that,

“’get-out-the-vote-activity’ includes encouraging potential voters to vote; providing information about times when polling places are open, the location of particular polling places, early voting or voting by absentee ballot; and offering or arranging transportation to the polls. The regulations go on to provide, however, that ‘[a]ctivity is not get-out-the-vote activity solely because it includes a brief exhortation to vote, so long as the exhortation is incidental to a communication, activity, or event.’”

However, in an unprecedented maneuver, Governor Malloy and his political operation are using the Connecticut Democratic Party’s “Federal Account” to pay for mailings that are exclusively about Malloy.

In fact, Malloy and his political operatives have raised more than $4.3 million into the Party’s “Federal Account” – much of it from sources that are prohibited from giving to a state campaign – AND – they are now using that money to support Malloy. This charade allows Malloy and his campaign to utilize donations from state contractors and federal PACS to fund his campaign, a move that is unethical, immoral and I believe illegal.

The tainted money includes the following:

$50,000 plus in contributions from corporate officers of Northeast Utilities despite the fact that NU is prohibited from donating to state candidates because of their contracts with the state

$50,000 plus from the owners of Winstanley Enterprises, the developers of Downtown Crossing in New Haven who directly benefited from Malloy’s decision to give Alexion Pharmaceuticals $51 million in corporate welfare payments to move to their property.

$45,000 plus from the owners of HAKS, an engineering firm that received a $8.6 million contract to conduct inspections on the Metro North power lines. $40,000 plus from the owners and senior management of Bridgeport Landing, the company that owns the property where Bass Pro Shops is opening after getting $31 million in corporate welfare from Malloy.

$30,000 plus from the operators of the Bridgeport-Port Jefferson Ferry company who recently learned that the Connecticut Department of Transportation would no longer oppose their plan to move their dock in Bridgeport

And the list goes on and on with over $1 million coming from state contractors, people who have benefited directly from Malloy’s corporate welfare program and federal political action committees.

The fundamental issue is not whether Malloy, Foley and those who support each candidate can pump millions of dollars into the race for governor.  The issue is that Malloy’s action is making a mockery of Connecticut’s historic effort to keep state contractors and those who do business with the state from buying up our politicians and our democracy.

The corrupting influence of tainted money – A must read by Sarah Darer Littman

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In 2005, Connecticut adopted an absolute ban on campaign donations from state contractors and those who directly benefit from state contracts.  As the Hartford Courant recently explained;

“That ban on contractors’ money was approved by the legislature along with a public-financing system under which taxpayers pay for grants to fund state candidates’ campaigns. Having taxpayers fund the campaigns’ expenses was considered better than candidates indebting themselves to big-money contributors – including state contractors – who have special interests in government decisions.”

Faced with the question about why the Malloy campaign was circumventing state law and using money from state contracts to fund a campaign mailer, Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy told the media,

“We need to spend money”

CTNewsJunkie columnist has written yet another “MUST READ” commentary piece.  This week it is entitled, Bipartisan Lack of Integrity Destroys Confidence in Political System

Sarah Darer Littman writes,

“… integrity is a trait that’s increasingly rare in politics. In fact, in the last 24 months, I’ve begun to despair that we will ever shed our state’s reputation for an ingrained culture of political malfeasance.

[…]

Connecticut Democrats are working hard to weaken the very reforms they legislated, to the point that the party sent out a mailer paid for from its federal account, without waiting for a ruling from the Federal Election Commission, despite having sought the FEC’s opinion beforehand.

As State Election Commission officials observed, the move is an attempt to “cynically circumvent our state’s carefully tailored pay-to-play state contractor provisions.”

Evan Preston, director of the Connecticut Public Research Interest Group, told the FEC last week: “Our reforms were intended to improve public faith in our political process by showing who is supporting candidates, to curb contributions that are, or could seem, corrupting, and to raise the voices of ordinary citizens so they are not marginalized by donors with significantly deeper pockets.”

[…]

Doris Kearns Goodwin, a historian and writer whom I admire greatly, was a recent guest of the Connecticut Forum for a discussion called, “Debating Our Broken Political System.” She observed: “If I had to name one reason why it’s broken, it is power of money in the system today. It is the poison in the system . . . it is the amount of time that it takes our politicians to raise the funds, it’s the special interests that they are then beholden to, it’s the fact that they’re not doing the business of the country, and I blame everybody for it.”

Every Connecticut voter, Democrat, Republican or unaffiliated should take the time to read Sarah Darer Littman’s latest piece – which can be found at – http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/op_ed_bipartisan_lack_of_integrity_destroys_confidence_in_political_system/

Malloy’s “Final Destruction” of Connecticut’s Campaign Finance Reform Law

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Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy’s has finally succeeded in his effort to utterly destroy Connecticut’s Campaign Finance Reform Law.

In stark contrast to Malloy’s action this year, the Democratic Party has long claimed that eliminating the inappropriate influence of tainted political donations has been one of the its most important values.  Over the years, unions and progressive organizations have made campaign finance reform a cornerstone of their political agenda.

But in just one term in office, Governor Malloy and his political operatives have managed to undermine and now destroy Connecticut’s landmark campaign finance reform law of 2005.

Following the downfall of Governor Rowland, Connecticut adopted a nationally-recognized campaign finance reform law that provided political candidates with public funds, as long as they refused to take any additional money from political action committees, companies or individuals that do business with the state, large donors or any other special interests.

In his earlier campaigns, Malloy claimed to be a champion for campaign finance reform, but as a direct result of loopholes proposed by Governor Malloy and approved by the Democrats in the Connecticut General Assembly, Malloy has left the spirit and the letter of Connecticut’s campaign finance law in shambles.

Not only has Malloy taken the $6.2 million in public funds for his re-election campaign this year, but he has also inappropriately tapped into nearly $4 million in tainted money that has been laundered through the Democratic State Central Committee and another $3.5 million that has been funneled through a political action committee associated with Malloy’s campaign.

Malloy’s final blow to Connecticut’s commitment to “clean elections” came with the news that the Connecticut Democratic Party has sent out a “mass mailing to promote Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s re-election with money raised for federal congressional campaigns — even though state regulators have denounced the plan and the Federal Election Commission hasn’t yet said whether it’s legal.”

The details surrounding the Malloy campaign’s latest maneuver can be found at CTNewsJunkie Democratic Party Goes Forward With Malloy Mailer and the Hartford Courant at Democrats Send Controversial Pro-Malloy Mailing Without Waiting For Feds’ Opinion

What is particularly revolting about Malloy’s action it that it allows him to use money that comes directly from people who have state contracts or who have benefited from Malloy’s corporate welfare program.  By using money from the Democratic State Central Committee’s “federal account,” Malloy is also utilizing funds that came from Federal Political Action Committees, a source of money that we never allowed even in the Rowland and pre-Rowland era of pay to play politics.

Malloy’s attitude is either that the law simply doesn’t apply to him or that “the end justifies the means,” no matter how immoral those political actions may be.

As Jon Lender notes in his article,

The SEEC [State Election Enforcement Commission] sent a 10-page letter Tuesday to the FEC saying the Democrats’ mailing would undermine state clean-election laws passed after the 2004 corruption scandal surrounding then-governor Rowland. Those clean-election laws included a ban on state contractors’ money in election campaigns, which was supposed to keep special-interest money out of state elections

But rather than do the right thing, Malloy and the Democrats sent out their mailing using money from state contractors and other organizations that were banned as a result of Connecticut’s campaign finance reform legislation.

Dannel Malloy has turned Connecticut’s once prominent position on campaign finance reform into a joke.  Proponents of clean elections, including Democrats, union members and progressives should be ashamed by Malloy’s actions.

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