Mission Accomplished – Dem Party’s Colonialism takes down country’s only big city Puerto Rican Mayor


Democrat Governor Dannel Malloy, Malloy’s entourage of neoliberals and Connecticut’s Democratic Establishment are doing the Happy Dance today with the news that their plan to install Greenwich native and political newbie, Luke Bronin, as the next Mayor of Hartford, Connecticut has taken a giant step forward with the news that Mayor Pedro Segarra has given up his re-election bid and endorsed the Bronin.

If independent candidate Joel Cruz fails to win the November general election, the outcome of the 2015 Democratic Primary will mean that the nation has lost the only Puerto Rican mayor of a major city in any of the fifty states.

An especially serious situation for the national Democratic Party considering the vital role Latino and Hispanic voters will play in the 2016 election.

While Luke Bronin eagerly plans for his installation as Hartford’s next chief elected official, much of the credit for the defeat of Hartford’s Latino Mayor rests with Governor Malloy and his political operatives.

Although Malloy, and to an even greater extent, Malloy’s Lt Governor, Nancy Wyman, appeared alongside Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra dozens and dozens of times over the past five years, always applauding Segarra, Malloy turned on his political ally earlier this year when Malloy’s protégée and lead legal counsel officially announced that having moved to Hartford, he was now ready to seek the Democratic nomination to become Hartford’s mayor.

While every major Democratic leader in Connecticut looked away, Malloy and his political operation kicked into high gear on Luke Bronin’s behalf.

As the most recent campaign finance report reveals, in the day leading up to last week’s Democratic Primary for Mayor, Bronin raised an additional $236,226 for his campaign, bringing his total cash haul to a record-breaking $835,000 and counting.

Bronin’s tsunami of campaign cash came from people who benefit from state government including contractors, lobbyists, Malloy appointees, Malloy donors, the charter school industry, and a significant number of large donors form Bronin’s hometown of Greenwich and his friends from around the country.

What makes Bronin’s campaign unique is not only the fact that it will go down in the record books as the most expensive mayoral campaign in state history, it will also be the only campaign in which the challenger benefited from huge amounts of money from state contractors, lobbyists and political appointees.

And for that, Bronin has Dannel Malloy to thank.

Not only did Malloy grease the money spout, but Malloy’s former mouthpiece served as Bronin’s spokesperson and Malloy’s chief adviser collected more than $58,000 in campaign consulting funds from Bonin.

Bronin’s political connection to Governor Malloy and Malloy’s role in helping to defeat one of the nation’s leading Puerto Rican leaders had already received coverage here at Wait, What?  See, for example, Malloy playing key role in the effort to unseat Pedro Segarra and install Luke Bronin as Hartford’s Mayor.

But as Bronin’s latest campaign finance report makes clear, even more state contractors, lobbyists, Malloy appointees, former Malloy donors and the biggest actors in the corporate education reform industry all wrote checks to Bronin’s campaign in the closing weeks of his primary.

The list of people giving Bronin the maximum allowable contributions of $1,000 per person included the President of Anthem, the State of Connecticut’s primary contractor for state employee and retiree health care.

Other major state contractors showing up on Bronin’s list of donors included executives with many of the companies that have received the largest state contracts during Malloy’s time in office, including executives from Newfield Construction, Suffolk Construction, Tomasso Brothers Construction, Manafort Construction, the Konover Company and from many others such as Figure 8, DATTCO, LAZ Parking and the list goes on and on.

Even Viking Construction, a Stamford company that was one of Malloy’s largest campaign contributors in his 2014 re-election effort gave even more money to Bronin.

In addition to the money flowing in from state contractors, almost twenty more state lobbyists or their spouses ponied up contributions worth thousands of dollars in recent weeks. The new donations bring the total number of state lobbyists who donated to Bronin’s campaign to approximately fifty, a total that is unprecedented when it comes to contributions to a municipal candidate from state lobbyists, especially to a candidate who is “challenging” an incumbent.

Bronin’s take from state lobbyists included at least five maximum one thousand dollar contributions from the lobbying firm that Hartford hired to represent the city in its dealings with Governor Malloy and the Connecticut General Assembly.  The checks to Bonin are certainly ironic since one of Bronin’s false claims in his attack on Segarra was that the mayor had not done enough to lobby Malloy and the General Assembly for state funds.

Bronin’s latest campaign finance report also clears up some of the mystery about why Bronin was unwilling to forgo political donations from the charter school industry, a move that cost him the endorsement of the Hartford Federation of Teachers. See: Luke Bronin’s failure to stand with Hartford’s teachers, students and parents cost him key HFT union endorsement

According to the report, Bronin collected $2,000 from charter school champion Jonathan Sackler and his wife.  Sackler, a Greenwich resident whose company, Purdue Pharma, makes OxyContin, is Connecticut’s leading pro-charter school advocate, having founded and funded Connecticut’s major Corporate Education Reform Industry advocacy groups including ConnCAN, ConnAD and A Better Connecticut.  Sackler also created 50 CAN, a national charter school advocacy group and Sackler was a major financial backer and advocate for Achievement First, Inc. the large charter school management company formed by Stefan Pryor, Malloy’s former commissioner of and his associate, Dacia Toll, who now serves as the CEO of Achievement First, Inc.

Another new Bronin donor, Jeff Klaus,  Toll‘s husband and serves as a Regional President at Webster Bank.  Interestingly, Bronin’s most recent campaign finance report also records that Bronin collected a $1,000 contribution from Webster Bank’s political action committee.

Not satisfied with outspending his opponent by at least a 5-1 margin, Bronin also collected more than $17,000 from residents of his hometown of Greenwich in recent weeks and another $42,000 or more from out-of-state donors.  The total amount Bronin raised from out-of-state and Greenwich donors is now close to $300,000.

But Hartford citizens need not worry since Bronin has promised to cut taxes, increase spending, expand programs and successfully plow all of Hartford’s city streets when winter comes.

Luke & Sara Bronin and the “Laws are only for the Little People” Crowd

1 Comment

For weeks, Hartford mayoral candidate Luke Bronin was breaking Connecticut law by accepting a significant in-kind corporate contribution from the New York public relations firm that had hired Governor Dannel Malloy’s former spokesperson.

By using Andrew Doba as his own Press Secretary and Communications Director Bronin was violating two of Connecticut’s most important campaign finance laws, a prohibition on corporate contributions and a prohibition on contributions in excess of $1,000 when running for mayor.

It was only after Wait, What? reported on the Bronin campaign’s violations that Luke Bronin finally saw fit to end the illegal maneuver.  Connecticut’s State Elections Enforcement Commission has yet to fine Bronin’s campaign.

And yesterday, it was attorney and UConn Law School Professor Sara Bronin whose activities violated both Connecticut’s campaign finance law, and of even greater consequence, the Connecticut State Statutes that prohibits state employees from utilizing state resources to engage in political activities.

Fellow blogger and commentator Kevin Rennie revealed the latest chapter in the Bronins’ stunning and wonton disregard for the laws related to state employees and campaign finance in an article entitled, “Sara Bronin Has a Primary Request–and Sent It From Her UConn Email Account and published yesterday on his Blog, Daily Ructions.

In 2007, a similar violation by a Department of Transportation employees who was also a South Windsor Republican office holder and candidate led to punishment that included a 6 month suspension and unpaid leave that cost her $8,160 a month in her state salary.

As for Sara Bronin’s action, Kevin Rennie writes;

They are throwing everything they have at befuddled incumbent Pedro Segarra in his Hartford Democratic mayoral primary with Greenwich Brahmin Luke Bronin and Company. Below is an email Sara Bronin, the candidate’s abrasive spouse, sent today to University of Connecticut School of Law community from her UConn email account.

From: Bronin, Sara <[email protected]>
Date: Mon, Sep 14, 2015 at 8:18 AM
Subject: Election Law Monitoring 9/16
To: [email protected]

Hi everyone,

Putting on my Hartford resident hat, rather than professor hat for this community listserve announcement:  For those of you who may not know, there is a municipal election happening in Hartford this Wednesday, 9/16, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.  One of the Democratic candidates is seeking law student/attorney poll monitors to ensure that the election runs more smoothly than last time.  (It was so bad that the State mandated a monitor to oversee the City registrar…)  For those of you who want to get some hands-on experience in election law, now’s your chance!

If you’re interested, please get in touch with Laura at 860-318-5279 or [email protected] and she will provide further instruction.  If you speak Spanish, please let her know.


Sara Bronin

Of course, as Sara and Luke Bronin must certainly know, the Connecticut state laws prohibiting state employees from using public resources to further a political campaign or engaging in political activities on state time could not be clearer.

And those laws have been regularly enforced…

In a similar situation in 2007, the focus was on Janice Snyder, a South Windsor Republican and DOT employee.

On November 3, 2007, the Hartford Courant wrote;

The chairwoman of the board of education, a Republican up for reelection Tuesday, has been placed on paid administrative leave from her job at the state Department of Transportation after local Democrats asked for copies of e-mails sent to and from her work e-mail account.

Janice Snyder, who has worked 32 years for the state Department of Transportation, was placed on leave Monday. Judd Everhart, a DOT spokesman, said Snyder would remain on leave “pending an internal investigation of the use of her computer.” Snyder is an assistant director of purchasing for the DOT.

The e-mails came to light after a member of South Windsor’s Democratic Town Committee sent a request under the state Freedom of Information Act to DOT Commissioner Ralph Carpenter.

While Snyder was eventually allowed to return to work, her punishment for violating Connecticut law was significant and costly.

Lets face it…Claiming ignorance of the law won’t be a good defense, especially since both Luke and Sara Bronin received their law degrees from the prestigious Yale University School of Law.

Perhaps even more relevant is the fact that Luke Bronin, who served as Governor Malloy’s chief lawyer from 2013-2015 and collected nearly $400,000 in taxpayer funded salary and benefits knows, or should have known, all about Connecticut’s ethics and campaign finance laws.

And there is certainly no excuse for Sara Bronin, who as a law professor at the UConn School of Law, has collected, over the years, a publicly funded salary and benefits in excess of $780,000 from the University of Connecticut.

The truth is that when other state employees and candidates have violated Connecticut State Law they have been held accountable.

It will certainly be interesting to see whether these two key allies of Governor Malloy are treated differently than everyone else has and would be treated.

Maybe, in the end, the Bronins are right…  Maybe when you travel in the “right” circles you get to play by a different set of rules because, when all is said and done, the laws really are only for the Little People.

Malloy playing key role in the effort to unseat Pedro Segarra and install Luke Bronin as Hartford’s Mayor


With “challenger” Luke Bronin’s campaign on track to become the most expensive mayoral campaign in Connecticut history, the Hartford Democratic primary has become much more than simply a battle between the two opposing candidates – Mayor Pedro Segarra and political newcomer Luke Bronin.

Of the many interesting factors impacting next week’s Democratic Primary for Mayor in Hartford is the role Governor Dannel Malloy is playing on behalf of his former aide, Luke Bronin.

In addition to anti-Segarra comments Governor Malloy’s spokesperson has made about Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, a review of Luke Bronin’s campaign finance reports reveal that while Bronin has raised considerable amounts of money from out-of-state and from his hometown of Greenwich, Bronin’s massive financial advantage is due, in no small part, from the money Bronin has raised from Malloy’s gubernatorial staff, former members of Malloy’s campaign staff, Malloy’s political appointees and Malloy’s campaign contributors.

From a national perspective, the connection between Malloy and Bronin’s successful campaign fundraising is particularly noteworthy since Pedro Segarra is the only Puerto Rican mayor of a large city in the continental United States.

In addition to his duties here in Connecticut, Governor Dannel Malloy will become the Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) in just a few months.   In that role Malloy’s duty will be to raise money for the various Democratic candidates running for governor in 2016, while helping to get out the vote on behalf of the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate. Malloy has already been to New Hampshire to campaign for Hilary Clinton.

Considering the incredible importance of Hispanic and Latino voters across the nation, Malloy’s involvement in helping to take down a major Latino leader will certainly not go unnoticed.

While Malloy claims to be neutral in the Hartford mayor’s race, the list of Bronin’s donors speaks volumes about the connection Malloy and his campaign operatives have been playing in the Hartford race thus far.

The latest campaign finance reports from Hartford’s mayoral candidates are due today, but as of the July 1, 2015 report, Luke Bronin had raised $611,000.

Bronin’s donors list includes many individuals who presently work in Governor Malloy’s Office or worked on Malloy’s campaign, including Malloy’s former chief of staff, his former campaign manager, his former campaign treasurer, and other who presently work for Malloy or were paid employees during the 2010 and 2014 gubernatorial campaigns.

Bronin’s campaign donor list is also flush with more than 50 of Malloy political appointees, including many who are collecting six figure incomes after getting appointed to state jobs by Malloy over the past few years.  The list includes present and former state commissioners and deputy commissioners, executive assistants and appointees to various boards and commissions including the Parole Board, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority and the Board of Regents.

Perhaps most telling of all is the extraordinary and unprecedented amount of donations that Luke Bronin has received from state lobbyists.

As of the last campaign report, at least 33 state lobbyists, along with a number of their spouses had given to Luke Bronin’s campaign.  The list includes many of the most influential names in the lobbying business.

While a handful of lobbyist donations to incumbent mayors and first selectman are not uncommon, the outpouring of campaign donations to Bronin, a mayoral challenger is unprecedented.

As the Hartford Courant reported in a story about the money influencing the Hartford Mayoral race last weekend,

“Nine of the lobbyist donors belong to the prominent lobbying firm Gaffney, Bennett & Associates, which held a fundraising cocktail reception at its New Britain offices in March. Employees there have contributed $2,575 to Bronin, according to campaign filings.”  Bronin’s donors from the firm include John Rowland’s former campaign manager and Chris Dodd’s closest advisor.

When asked by the Hartford Courant whose idea it was to hold the fundraiser for Bronin, Gaffney Bennett’s managing partner, Jay Malcynsky, responded, “I can’t remember, to be honest, what the circumstances were.”

Luke Bronin has also cashed in with those many of Malloy’s previous donors, especially those who have state contracts.

For example, The Konover Company, a real estate management firm that profits from state contracts poured at least $71,000 into Malloy’s 2014 campaign effort via the Democratic Party’s “Federal Account.”  Those same individuals are among Luke Bronin’s largest campaign contributors.

Another prime example of the Malloy/Bronin reach is the fact that Bronin has collected $4,000 from Anthony Gaglio, Anthony Gaglio Jr. and their spouses.

The Gaglios own Viking Construction Inc. a company that donated $63,500 to Malloy via what the Harford Courant called, “a controversial state Democratic Party federal account that supported Malloy’s re-election.”

Reporting on Viking Construction’s donations to Luke Bronin, the Hartford Courant explained,

“Calls to Viking were not returned Thursday or Friday. Viking, a major player in residential construction, was general contractor for an affordable housing development recently built in Darien in cooperation with Malloy and state economic development officials.

Bronin, responding to a question about the Gaglios’ contributions, said in an email Friday, “I was introduced to them by a supporter, and after sharing my vision for a vibrant Hartford, I was pleased to get their support.”

As previously reported here at Wait, What? another significant pool of money for Bronin’s effort to defeat Hartford’s incumbent mayor comes from Connecticut’s largest law firms, most of which also have lucrative state contracts.

Among the large law firms that have provided Bronin with campaign donations are Pullman & Comely; Updike, Kelly & Spellacy; Shipman & Goodwin; Murtha, Cullina; Day, Pitney and Robinson & Cole.

These same firms were instrumental in funding Malloy’s Democratic Party campaign slush fund with about $45,000 coming from Pullman & Comely, $30,000 from Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, $11,000 from Shipman & Goodwin, along with sizable donations from Day Pitney; Robinson & Cole and others.

Interestingly, Bronin’s campaign finance reports also show that he has also been able to cash in with the Democratic Party’s elite West Hartford donors, including $2,000 from West Hartford Deputy Mayor Shari Cantor and her husband and thousands more from other long-time West Hartford Democratic donors.

Of course, in addition to the campaign finance connection with Governor Dannel Malloy is Luke Bronin’s decision to hire Malloy’s former spokesperson, Andrew Doba, as his own Communications Director and his use of a number of campaign consultants that worked for Malloy’s campaign.

It is far too early to determine the political fallout from the Hartford mayor’s race, but as Latino and Hispanic leaders at the national level, and across the country, prepare for the 2016 campaign cycle, Governor Malloy’s efforts here in Connecticut to help unseat a major Latino leader will undoubtedly remain an issue of concern for the Democratic Party.

You can read more about Luke Bronin’s campaign donations and these issues at:

Connecticut State Contractors pouring money into Luke Bronin campaign

Charter School and Corporate Education Reform Industry lining up for Luke Bronin

Luke Bronin breaking the law with illegal corporate in-kind contributions

More and More and More out-of-state campaign money pours into Hartford for Bronin

Ridiculing Latino Leaders says volumes about Luke Bronin’s Campaign for Mayor of Hartford

Connecticut State Contractors pouring money into Luke Bronin campaign


Although Luke Bronin has never run for public office or worked in city government, the Greenwich native who moved to Hartford and is now running for mayor has built a massive campaign war chest including collecting significant amounts of money from those who do business with the State of Connecticut.

Connecticut state law is supposed to prohibit state candidates from receiving funds from state contractors but there is no prohibition on state contractors giving to municipal candidates and, as Bronin’s campaign finance reports reveal, companies that have collected tens of millions in state funds are now showing up among the list of Luke Bronin’s biggest contributors.

Major real estate and construction companies that have state contracts and have also provided campaign donations to Luke Bronin’s mayoral ambitions include the Simon Konover Company, Figure Eight Properties, The Downs Construction Company and even Tomasso Construction, the road builders associated with former Governor John Rowland downfall and initial trip to prison.

The contributions to Bronin from the Konover Company include $1,000 checks from Florida residents Simon and Doris Konover, as well as donations from other Konover executives.  The Simon Konover Company’s major holdings in Hartford include the State Office Building at 55 Elm Street, as well as residential properties such as Zion Park, Sigourney Square, Casa Verde Sur and Enfield Magnolia.

According to Bronin’s last campaign finance report, the Downs Construction Company had kicked in at least $6,000 with the maximum allowable $1,000 contributions coming from Downs Corporation President John Downs III, along with $1,000 contributions from the company’s Chief Executive Office, two of the companies Assistant Directors of Operations and the Company’s Project Executive.   Downs Construction projects in Hartford include M.D. Fox Elementary, Kinsella Magnet School for the Arts and the renovation of Capital Prep Magnet School.

Contributions to Bronin from Figure Eight Properties Inc. include donations from the company’s Founder, Chairman Emeritus, and four of the company’s principals.  The company website states, “Figure Eight Properties locates and leverages opportunity in the commercial real estate market” and the company and its principals have been involved in many of Hartford’s most significant development deals.

Along with the list of real estate and construction companies that are providing Luke Bronin with campaign funds are a number of major Connecticut law firms, all of which have lucrative state contracts.  The list includes Bridgeport based Pullman & Comley, and Hartford based Robinson & Cole, Murtha Cullina, Shipman and Goodwin and Updike, Kelly and Spellacy.

According to the July 2015 campaign finance reports, Luke Bronin’s campaign for mayor is on track to become the most expensive mayoral campaign in Connecticut history.

The reports also indicated that Bronin had about $500,000 in campaign donations on hand compared to incumbent Mayor Pedro Segarra who only had about $100,000 available to spend as the campaigns headed toward Hartford’s September 16, 2015 Democratic primary for mayor.

A final campaign finance report is due before the primary, but those reports aren’t filed with the Hartford City Clerk’s Office until next week.

For more about Bronin’s campaign money see:

Big Money flowing through Bronin’s New York to Hartford pipeline 

More and More and More out-of-state campaign money pours into Hartford for Bronin 

Luke Bronin – Buying Hartford with the help of Greenwich money

Luke Bronin breaking the law with illegal corporate in-kind contributions


If elected Hartford Connecticut’s s next mayor, Greenwich native Luke Bronin says he’ll successfully plow the streets, solve the city’s crime problems and provide jobs for the residents of Connecticut’s poorest city.

In order to persuade the voters of Hartford to dump the only big city Puerto Rican mayor in the 50 States, Bronin has raised a record breaking amount of money.  Nearly a third of his campaign funds come from out-of-state donors and an additional $55,000 plus are from residents of his hometown of Greenwich.

But his 5 to 1 cash-on-hand advantage isn’t enough for the golden boy.

Among a series of questionable campaign finance issues that show up in his campaign finance reports is the fact that Bronin is breaking Connecticut law by accepting a massive in-kind contribution from Stu Loeser & Company, a New York based public relations firm.

Andrew Doba works as Bronin’s spokesperson and public relations flack.  He is also an employee of Stu Loeser & Company.  Bronin’s press releases are sent using Doba’s work email, [email protected]. It is the same email address found for Doba on the Stu Loeser & Company website and the same email address Doba uses to communicate with reporters about his other clients.

After working as Governor Dannel Malloy’s spokesperson for past two years, Doba left state employment earlier this year to join Stu Loeser & Company.

On his corporate website, Stu Loeser, who was New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s press’s secretary, describes himself by stating,

“Stu now puts these skills to use for some of the most prominent technology companies, Fortune 100 corporations, thriving start-ups and high net-worth individuals around the world.


Stu has been profiled as the “city’s foremost practitioner of the dark art known as opposition research” … Earlier in his career, he served as U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer’s Communications Director and worked on the Clinton/Gore and Gore/Lieberman presidential campaigns.

As for Doba, Loeser.com writes;

Andrew is a veteran communications operative with nearly a decade of experience in city and state government.

As the chief spokesman for Governor Malloy in Connecticut, Andrew was the architect of earned media campaigns advancing the Governor’s economic and public policy priorities…

He directly managed or had oversight of nearly 100 people in 30 state agencies, quasi-public entities and other cabinet level positions.

As an aside, who knew the Governor’s press secretary had management and oversight responsibility for 100 people in 30 agencies.

But back on the issue of  breaking state law, not only are Bronin’s press releases sent out by Doba, and Doba is by Bronin’s side at almost every public event, but Bronin’s Twitter account is dedicated to helping Bronin and Doba’s other corporate clients including the corporate funded charter school advocacy group “Save our Schools” and the UBER corporation.

Although Doba has been working for Bronin for months, Bronin’s campaign has failed to make and report appropriate expenditures to Stu Loeser & Company for Doba’s work, meaning Bronin is accepting an illegal campaign contribution from a corporate entity, a major violation of Connecticut law that would undoubtedly lead to a fine and other potential penalties if investigated by the State Elections Enforcement Commission.

Why would Luke Bronin think he is above the law?

Perhaps is it is because he spent the last two years working as Governor Dannel Malloy whose 2014  campaign intentionally and flagrantly violated Connecticut’s campaign finance laws and continues to try and derail an investigation in Malloy’s political fundraising violations.

The following are just a few examples of Andrew Doba’s use of his Twitter page to promote his corporate clients, including Luke Bronin for Mayor.

Andrew Doba ‏@AndrewDoba  Outrageous that @segarra2015 needs a hand delivered invite to talk with #Hartford residents about gun violence http://cour.at/1IQNKpA 

Andrew Doba ‏@AndrewDoba  .@segarra2015 my job would be easier if you told the truth.

Andrew Doba ‏@AndrewDoba  With strong push from @GovMalloyOffice, Leg. made the right call in meeting its financial commitment to charter schools

Andrew Doba ‏@AndrewDoba  Thank you to our state leaders who showed a strong commitment to ensuring access to great school #ForEveryChild.

Andrew Doba ‏@AndrewDoba  Awesome video from the #SaveOurSchools rally #ForEveryChildCT http://bit.ly/1Fqu9gr 

Andrew Doba ‏@AndrewDoba  FYI – @Uber hearing being moved to 2E because so many Uber driver partners came out to show their support

Andrew Doba ‏@AndrewDoba   Thanks! RT@StamfordiCenter: We welcome our newest coworker, @AndrewDoba of Stu Loeser & Co. http://ow.ly/Ino0Q 

Andrew Doba ‏@AndrewDoba  New website (http://stuloeser.com ) AND new flack? Congrats to @AndrewDoba + thanks @mikeallen for nod in Playbook: http://www.politico.com/playbook/0115/playbook16920.html …

For more about the Bronin Campaign’s attempt to buy Hartford see;

Luke Bronin – Buying Hartford with the help of Greenwich money

Big Money flowing through Bronin’s New York to Hartford pipeline

Ridiculing Latino Leaders says volumes about Luke Bronin’s Campaign for Mayor of Hartford

More and More and More out-of-state campaign money pours into Hartford for Bronin

More and More and More out-of-state campaign money pours into Hartford for Bronin


Going once…

Going twice…


And Hartford goes to the High Bidder, Luke Bronin!

Or so Bronin and his allies believe.

With Hartford’s 2015 mayoral campaign ramping up, despite having never run for office and lacking any experience with municipal government, Luke Bronin has already raised a record amount of money.

Nearly all of the contributions come from people who live outside of Hartford and much of it has been donated by people who don’t even live in Connecticut.

Of course, for starters there was the $54,525 in donations from his home town of Greenwich (See: Luke Bronin – Buying Hartford with the help of Greenwich money)

And then comes the out-of-state money.

At least $84,210 from New Yorkers (See: Big Money flowing through Bronin’s New York to Hartford pipeline)

Add $29,205 in contributions from people who live in Washington, D.C.

$16,459 from California donors

Floridians have kicked in another $16,545

$12,190 from Massachusetts residents

Virginia donors have sent $9,240

$8,860 from Texans

Rhode Islanders have donated $8,550

$8,375 from Marylanders

New Jersey residents have been good for $4,685

$4,625 from Pennsylvania donors

And that doesn’t even include the campaign donations from Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Delaware, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana,  Louisiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Montana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma,  Oregon, Washington State, Vermont, Wisconsin, and overseas.

In just the first 150 days of the campaign, nearly 600 people from outside of Connecticut have given a total of almost $220,000 to help Greenwich’s Luke Bronin buy the mayor’s office in Hartford, Connecticut.

It makes you wonder….

Big Money flowing through Bronin’s New York to Hartford pipeline


Forget the notion of a high-speed train from New York to New Haven to Hartford, there is already a big money pipeline that is carrying unprecedented amounts of campaign cash from New York to Hartford.

In fact, Luke Bronin’s audacious plan of moving to Hartford and defeating the nation’s only major city Latino mayor has been getting a huge boost thanks to that flow of campaign funds from New York.

In just his first two campaign finance reporting periods, Bronin has collected $84,210 from New Yorkers including 55 individual who made out checks for $1,000, the maximum contribution allowed by law, and another 30 New Yorkers who wrote out $500 checks to the mayoral wannabee.

Bronin’s hometown of Greenwich (See Luke Bronin – Buying Hartford with the help of Greenwich money) and the money he has raised from New York has padded Bronin mayoral campaign war chest by nearly $140,000.

Considering Hartford’s population is about 125,000, there are less than 50,000 voters, fewer than 35,000 Democrats and the total number of participants in the September Democratic primary may not even exceed 5,000, Bronin has already collected about $28 per primary voter from New York and Greenwich residents alone, and over $132 per primary voter in total… and his fundraising operation remains in full swing.

Headed into the September Democratic Primary, incumbent Mayor Pedro Segarra has about $110,000 available for his campaign activities, according to his most recent campaign finance report, which is far less than Bronin has collected just from Greenwich and New York.

In total, Bronin raised over $660,000 since he announced his campaign in January 2015 and reported that he had more than $500,000 on hand as of July 1.

As of July 1, Bronin had already held fundraisers in New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Providence.

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


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

CT Democratic Chair – The pot that called the kettle black


“The pot calling the kettle black” is an idiom used to claim that a person is guilty of the very thing of which they accuse another.

For example,

“Oho!” said the pot to the kettle;
“You are dirty and ugly and black!
Sure no one would think you were metal,
Except when you’re given a crack.”

“Not so! not so!” kettle said to the pot;
“‘Tis your own dirty image you see;
For I am so clean – without blemish or blot –
That your blackness is mirrored in me.”
—Maxwell’s Elementary Grammar, 1904,

With that as the backdrop, some of you may have recently received an email from Democratic State Chair Nancy DiNardo.

The email ALERT read,

BAD NEWS: GOP Super-PACs are planning to spend an unprecedented $6 million (and probably more) on TV ads to defeat Democratic candidates across Connecticut.

And this is on top of everything else the GOP is doing to win this November.

We need September to be a HUGE month for Connecticut Democrats if we want our candidates to survive the onslaught of attacks. Chip in $5 or more now >>

Truth be told, the email is another fine example of the pot calling the kettle black idiom.

The Chair of the Connecticut Democratic Party was writing on behalf of Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy.

The same Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy that pushed through the legislation that allows a candidate for governor in Connecticut to take $6.2 million in public funds for their campaign and still raise millions more through their political party and related political action committees.

In Malloy’s case, not only has he cashed the $6.2 million taxpayer-funded check, but he has raised more than $3.5 million into the Democratic State Central Committee from state contractors, lobbyists, and individuals that have benefited financially from Malloy’s corporate welfare programs.

And that doesn’t even count the Democratic Super-PAC called Connecticut Forward, an entity that has already dumped more than $3.5 million into campaign 2014 to support Malloy and oppose Foley.

And just who are the people and organizations that are pouring money into the Malloy campaign operation?

Readers won’t be surprised to learn that one of the biggest donors to Malloy’s campaign extravaganza is the corporate education reform industry.

According to the last set of federal and state campaign finance reports, Governor Malloy, the champion of the corporate education reform industry and the only Democratic governor in the nation to propose doing away with teacher tenure and repealing collective bargaining for teachers working in the poorest schools has received well over a quarter of a million dollars from leaders and political action committees associated with the national education reform and privatization effort.

You read that right…Malloy’s political campaign has benefited from more than $250,000 in campaign contributions from the corporate education reform industry.

For example, in Connecticut, the leading force behind Malloy’s education reform initiative is ConnCAN.

ConnCAN is the charter school advocacy group that helped make the lobbying campaign in support of Malloy’s education reform bill the most expensive in state history.

ConnCAN’s Board of Directors and their immediate family members have donated more than $100,000 to Malloy’s campaign.

In addition, donors to the Democratic State Central Committee and political action committees supporting Malloy’s re-election bid include the anti-teacher Democrats for Education Reform, one of the nation’s leading corporate education reformers, billionaire Eli Broad, and Connecticut billionaire and education reform-funder, Steven Mandel.

Sadly, the Chairperson of the Connecticut Democratic Party fails to explain to the Democratic Party’s rank and file that their $5 contribution to confront the GOP Super-PAC will be deposited into the same account that is awash in millions of dollars that are being dumped into the Malloy campaign by the corporate elite that are so eager to see Malloy in office for another four years.

Three cheers for campaign finance corruption in Connecticut!


Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy has deposited his check for $6.2 million from the State’s Public Finance System.

As a result of Connecticut’s landmark 2005 campaign finance reform bill, in return for raising $250,000 in contributions of under $100, Malloy (and the Republican nominee for governor) have each received $6.2 million in public funds to pay for their gubernatorial campaigns.

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

But that was before Malloy and the Democrats in the Connecticut General Assembly torpedoed the most important elements of the law.

Now, in addition to the $6.2 million in public funds, Malloy and his political operatives have collected at least $3.5 million for his campaign into the Democratic State Central Committees “federal” account, much of it from state contractors, lobbyists, political action committees and the wealthy.   The political maneuver was made possible thanks to a proposal Malloy and the Democrats pushed through in 2013.

In addition, a “separate” political action committee called Connecticut Forward, has already raised $2.5 million to run ads in support of Malloy and against his opponent, Tom Foley.  To date, about $1.3 million of Connecticut Forward’s money has come from the Democratic Governors Association, $900,000 from the AFSCME union and $250,000 from the American Federation of Teachers.  In the coming weeks, the Connecticut Forward PAC is expected to raise another $3-$5 million or more in their effort to promote Malloy’s campaign.

So how on earth did we go from having one of the “best” campaign finance reform laws in the nation to a campaign in which Malloy gets $6.2 million in public funds, while accessing another $10 million or more in campaign donations including money from state contractors and others who personally benefit from the governor’s policies.

While a portion of the blame rests with the unprecedented Citizens United decision by the United States Supreme Court, in which companies were determined to be people for the purposes of campaign finance laws, Connecticut’s present campaign laws, along with their appearance of corruption, rests on the shoulders of Governor Malloy and the Democrats in the Legislature.

A June 1, 2011 Wait, What? post entitled, “Oh…Remember When Democratic Leaders were for Campaign Finance Reform,” observed, “Democrats Complete the Task of Undermining the State’s Public Finance Law.”  And yet the worst was still to come.

As background, back on January 27th, 2010, when then-candidate Dan Malloy spoke out after a Zogby public opinion survey found that 79 percent of Connecticut voters supported public financing and the Citizens’ Elections Program, Malloy said;

“In my view, this poll should serve as proof of just how strongly Connecticut voters feel about campaign finance reform, and as a warning for those candidates who think they can brush aside the Citizens’ Election Program…”

At the time, Malloy was echoing the sentiment of Democratic Party leaders.

Following the passage of Connecticut’s historic campaign finance law, 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.”

Senate President Pro Tempore Don Williams’ rhetoric was equally impressive, with an official biography that 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.”

But when candidate Dan Malloy became Governor Dannel Malloy, the official view and strategy when it came to campaign finance reform changed dramatically.

In Malloy’s first budget, the new governor took aim at the State Elections Enforcement Commission by reducing its funding, its autonomy and its authority.

At the time, State Senator Gayle Slossberg, the only Democrat to vote against Malloy’s plan, was quoted as saying, “I just think that the proposal in front of us undermines the independence and the integrity of the [State Election Enforcement Commission and the other] watchdog agencies,”

But Malloy’s effort to undermine Connecticut’s campaign finance law had just begun.

As the 2013 session of the Connecticut General Assembly came to a close, Malloy and the Democrats passed legislation that allowed candidates to keep the public campaign finance funds while opening the flood gates to tainted campaign contributions.

The bill doubled the amount of money private donors could give to political parties, removed the cap on how much political parties could spend to support candidates participating in the public finance system and created a massive loophole by allowing candidates, in this case Malloy, to better coordinate their activities with political parties and other political action committees.

The anti-campaign finance reform bill did not get a single Republican vote in the State Senate or House of Representatives.  On June 19, 2013 Malloy signed the legislation into law, which in turn, prompted former Governor Jodi Rell to observe;

“After a dark period in our state’s history, Connecticut became a role model for the nation with … our campaign finance reform. How sad that the Democrat governor, Democrat legislators and the Democrat Party are so greedy for campaign cash that they would willingly destroy what we so proudly enacted just a few short years ago.”

At the time, few fully appreciated how the legislation would change the political landscape, but you can read more about the Democrats successful effort to destroy Connecticut’s campaign finance law in the June 2013 CTNewsJunkie article entitled, “Malloy Signs Bill Changing Campaign Finance Reforms of 2005.”

Now, with just weeks to go in the 2014 gubernatorial election, laws have been changed to the point that instead of having $6.2 million, the Malloy campaign effort will probably spend in excess of $16 million to try and get a second term in office.

Of course, thanks in no small part to the same changes in the law, Tom Foley and the Republicans will be spending an equally obscene amount of money.

Finally, as Wait, What? readers know, the entire system is also rigged against third-party candidates.  Meaning in this campaign finance war of mutually assured campaign destruction, they only candidate not double and triple dipping, while still using taxpayer funds is third party candidate Joe Visconti.

So let’s hear it!  Three cheers for campaign finance corruption in Connecticut!

Older Entries