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Enter Harry Arora. Himes Gets a Challenger.

Greenwich Republican Harry Arora is seeking the Republican nomination the U.S. House of Representatives from Connecticut’s 4th CD. Arora will face five-term incumbent Jim Himes, who has become a staple on CNN discussing what he’s been up to as a member of the House’s intelligence committee.

Arora was born in India and graduated from Delhi University in 1991 with a degree in engineering. He received an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin four years later. Arora expects to receive an MPA (not a certificate program like one Republican is always banging on about) at Harvard’s Kennedy School next year. Arora is a co-founder and partner in Northlander Advisors, an infirm specializing in European energy. Perhaps he has some ideas on how to reduce Connecticut’s debilitating energy costs, among the highest in the nation.

Arora’s campaign provided two stirring quotes from his announcement. Arora sounds like he is willing to oppose the ugliest instincts of the loathsome demagogue who serves in the White House.

“I am running for the United States Congress to protect our freedoms, to improve the lives of the most vulnerable in our society and ensure that we remain a land of equal opportunity for every American.”

“My understanding of economics and policy frameworks will allow me to propose thoughtful plans to reverse the harm being inflicted by current policies. After a successful business career, I want to serve the public cause—I consider that my duty. I have been blessed with the American dream. Now it is my turn to give back and serve.”

December 29, 2017   Comments Off on Enter Harry Arora. Himes Gets a Challenger.

After the Holidays.

 

While you have been celebrating the birth of Jesus and preparing to welcome a new year, some politicos have been plotting their way forward. At least two took flight to a warm climate to decide if either will seek the state’s highest office. Others are preparing polls to help them assess their chances. They need not bother testing the traditional right track/wrong track question. A private poll, Daily Ructions can report, found that the wrong track response was higher than observers have ever seen.

Watch for an announcement early in the year from longtime State Treasurer Denise Nappier. Should she decide not to seek a sixth term, take a moment to recall what her 1998 victory saved us from when she defeated felonious Republican incumbent Paul Silvester. It ended the festival of corruption that Silvester–who had served in the office under egregious Republican Christopher Burnham–immersed himself in.

Expect an announcement from Democrat Susan Bysiewicz that she will run for governor. It will be the third time the Middletown Democrat has sought that office. The former secretary of the state has been making calls seeking campaign staffers.

If you are a Democrat holding an event, send an invitation to Ned Lamont, the other wealthy scion who is expected to get into the race for governor. After a long absence, Lamont has been showing up at all sorts of Democratic gatherings.

December 29, 2017   Comments Off on After the Holidays.

Mandell to Depart State Democratic Party.

Mike Mandell, the pungent state Democratic party official and former Malloy staffer, will be leaving his post as executive director as the new year begins. Announcement expected to follow.

Mandell was in charge of Hillary Clinton’s campaign in Connecticut. He was one of the many casualties of her surprise defeat by a loathsome demagogue. The result left many party functionaries and leaders stranded in place.

December 29, 2017   Comments Off on Mandell to Depart State Democratic Party.

Merrill to Legislature: See You in 90 Years.

This won’t quell discontent. There’s growing interest among the men hoping to move the levers of state Democratic nominating machinery in 2018 in backing a challenger to Secretary of the State Denise Merrill. The two-term incumbent’s prospects of an easy route to renomination will not be improved by the call to a special session of the legislature she issued this week. The essential document sets the date for December 29, 2107. The transposition confirms impressions that Merrill is not as engaged in the job as a younger, hungrier candidate.

 

December 22, 2017   Comments Off on Merrill to Legislature: See You in 90 Years.

Bloomfield Democrat Clare Kindall Appears to be Seeking a Campaign Manager for AG Race.

December 21, 2017   Comments Off on Bloomfield Democrat Clare Kindall Appears to be Seeking a Campaign Manager for AG Race.

When a Strength Becomes a Weakness. SEEC to Investigate Mattei.

It’s the one area first-time candidate Christopher Mattei should have found easy to navigate. The former federal prosecutor’s calling card has been his record of putting campaign finance violators in jail. The biggest scalps on his belt are John G. Rowland and members of the 2012 Donovan congressional campaign.

Less than a year into the public arena as a candidate and Mattei has gone from hunter to hunted. Was it worth a puff piece in the Boston Herald? The State Election Enforcement Commission (SEEC) voted in executive session on Wednesday to investigate a complaint submitted by sharp-eyed activist Tim Sullivan. The Sullivan complaint raises issues about Mattei’s fundraising practices as a candidate exploring a statewide race and his adoption of that Herald op-ed as a summer declaration of candidacy for governor. Sullivan is the sort of citizen Mattei not long ago would have hailed as a hero.

Mattei opted to abandon the race for governor to run for attorney general soon after incumbent George Jepsen announced he would not seek a third term. Mattei’s troubles will likely act as a spur to more candidates entering what could become a crowded of Democratic hopefuls eager to succeed Jepsen.

December 20, 2017   Comments Off on When a Strength Becomes a Weakness. SEEC to Investigate Mattei.

Obsitnik Makes Four. Westport Republican Hits the Fundraising Mark.

Steve Obsitnik, a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor, has raised $250,000 in contributions of $100 or less. Obsitnik becomes the fourth Republican hopeful to reach the critical target. The second requirement is to win 15% of the delegates on any ballot for governor at the party’s state convention next spring or collect signatures from 2% of the state’s registered Republicans.

Prasad Srinivasan, Marc Lauretti, and David Walker have announced they have reached the $250,000 threshold. Mark Boughton and Tim Herbst are expected to follow in January. That last $50,000 can be a struggle.

December 31st marks the end of the final fundraising quarter of the year. Expect 11 days of frantic emails from candidates, family members, and assorted friends.

December 20, 2017   Comments Off on Obsitnik Makes Four. Westport Republican Hits the Fundraising Mark.

A Real Estate Agent, the Governor and a Billboard.


Clever Rob Giuffria has found a way to win attention for his real estate business. Giuffria appears on a digital billboard and poses the questions, “Where Should Governor Malloy Move?” The responses, and Giuffria’s had more than 250 as of the weekend, have started to trend. “Not Connecticut” is the overwhelming answer from motorists who see the billboard on 84 westbound between Farmington and New Britain.

Those drivers will be disappointed to learn that Malloy is unlikely to break camp and leave Connecticut. The unpopular governor is said to be hunting for a lucrative landing at a university, though the life of the mind has never appeared to be a Malloy passion. These jobs in academia do not always become available on the same schedule as political office terms.

December 19, 2017   Comments Off on A Real Estate Agent, the Governor and a Billboard.

More on That Tremont Poll. Generic Republican Leads Generic Democrat for Governor.

The Courant’s Chris Keating takes a look at the Tremont Public Advisors poll circulated by firm director Matt Hennessy. The survey shows no obvious frontrunner of a test of a few of the candidates in the crowded race.

One interesting result of the 1,154 respondents. It found a generic Republican 12 points ahead of a generic Democrat. That suggests incumbent Dannel P. Malloy remains a burden for the state’s Democrats.

The Tremont result is similar to what private polling for exploring candidates found last summer.

December 18, 2017   Comments Off on More on That Tremont Poll. Generic Republican Leads Generic Democrat for Governor.

Dan Drew Learns the Trouble with Employee Shakedowns.

Dan Drew’s fundraising troubles are not over. The Middletown mayor, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor, is the subject of an intense complaint alleging retaliation from the head of human resources for the Middletown school system, Michele DiMauro. A union representative, acting on DiMauro’s behalf, alleges that while preparing a complaint against Drew for the handling of a pay grade issue the union discovered DiMauro was the recipient of relentless campaign solicitations by Drew and his people through her work email account.

The forceful letter to the leaders and members of Middletown’s city council accuses Drew of engaging in “a year-long, list-serve barrage of campaign solicitations being sent directly to DeMauro’s workplace email at the Middletown BOE without her consent or request or self-subscription. These emails are from a variety of Drew for Governor links, campaign associates or PACs. Regardless of their exact source, we fear, that these unwelcome solicitations to DiMauro may have been an effort to entrap, discredit, endanger the employment of, intimidate, discriminate against and/or harass DiMauro based on her political affiliations or associations.”

The union asks that independent counsel be hired to investigate the matter.

Campaign school lesson: Stop soliciting your subordinate employees for contributions. If your instincts fail you on that, you are going to make many more significant mistakes.

December 15, 2017   Comments Off on Dan Drew Learns the Trouble with Employee Shakedowns.