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UPDATED: David Walker Crosses a Line With Fundraising Tweet. FB Post Puts Ends Exploratory Charade.

Look at that tweet. The self-regarding David Walker would not do it by mistake. It must be part of his cunning plan to win the Republican nomination for governor four years after his third place showing in the 2010 primary for lieutenant governor.

Walker has been “exploring” a race under the complicated rules of the state’s taxpayer-funded campaign finance system. One of the provisions of the explorations phase, which allows an exploring candidate to collect contributions of as much as $375 each, is one must never indicate that he is a candidate.

Expect a candidate or helpful supporter to bring the Walker “CT Gubernatorial effort” tweet to the attention of the weaselly State Election Enforcement Commission, which is often much tougher on Republicans than Democrats. (See Malloy, Harris, et al secret email deal sealed for $325,000.00.)

Whoever files the complaint will want to cc Walker at “Dave Walker for Governor/dave@davidmwalker.com”.

UPDATE: 

A helpful reader points out this Walker Facebook post. Nothing ambiguous about “Dave Walker is working now to be nominated Connecticut Governor.” Not the most artful sentence, but it tells the tale.

July 2, 2017   3:20 pm   Comments Off on UPDATED: David Walker Crosses a Line With Fundraising Tweet. FB Post Puts Ends Exploratory Charade.

Kevin Lembo’s Astonishing Confession: He’s Been Useless.

 

Kevin Lembo is on to something. “I’m done,” wrote the second term state comptroller who is exploring a race for governor, in a fundraising email. The Democrat may be more on target than he intended.

Lembo says he’s “done sitting on the sidelines in Hartford.” Remarkable. Lembo has been in the thick of state government for more than a decade as a health care advocate and comptroller. He’s a Democratic insider whose office has given him a platform to “get serious about fixing” Hartford. Instead, he’s been a docile and loyal foot soldier for his party, a silent accessory to Connecticut’s decline.

Every campaign gets plenty of bad advice. Winning candidates recognize and reject terrible ideas. In pursuit of a few bucks at the close of the second fundraising quarter of the year, Lembo issued a lethal confession that his many Democratic detractors will not ignore. Republicans will be more hopeful than ever that they face Lembo in 2018.

Admitting to sitting on the sidelines for more than six years is no recommendation to lead Connecticut into its precarious future.

June 29, 2017   6:28 pm   Comments Off on Kevin Lembo’s Astonishing Confession: He’s Been Useless.

Greenwich Builder Peter Thalheim Seeks Republican Nomination for Governor. Self-funder Joins Race.

The Republican field of gubernatorial hopefuls just grew bigger by one. The race was missing the obligatory Greenwich businessman. Builder Peter Thalheim began his bid today to fill that space. Thalheim’s filing states he will be funding his own campaign–perhaps saving the taxpayers millions.

You can read his campaign filing here.

June 29, 2017   4:55 pm   Comments Off on Greenwich Builder Peter Thalheim Seeks Republican Nomination for Governor. Self-funder Joins Race.

Crimetown, Fundraising Frenzy, and Dan Drew. This Post’s Got It All.

 

If you have not listened to Crimetown, the podcast sensation, start now. Crimetown chronicles the violent legacy of the Patricarca crime family based in Providence, Rhode Island. Raymond Patriarca’s reach extended far into Connecticut–including Middletown.

Sal “Butch” D’Aquila ran a gambling operation for Patriarca out of a Middletown newsstand–Central News–until the Feds caught up with him and he was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 1991. You can read a summary of D’Aquila’s dark tale in this Courant story from his 1991 sentencing.

The newsstand is closed. The Patriarca mob family is no more. Sal “Butch” D’Aquila is still around and took time to attend and contribute to a recent fundraiser for Middletown Mayor Dan Drew. Democrat Drew is exploring a race for governor. The candidate is usually the star attraction at these events but at this one it was D’Aquila who had jaws dropping and attendees reaching for their phones. Drew confirmed D’Aquila attended the local June event.

Candidates are in a fundraising frenzy as the second reporting period of the year draws to a close on Friday. Dragooned wives, children and parents have seen their names attached to the most cringe-inducing appeals to strangers and other marks. You must have seen them arrive in your email inbox. Candidates will have to be either notably innovative or reckless to top Drew’s curious contribution Sal “Butch” D’Aquila.

One more note on this. Consider that the Constitution State puts no prohibition on contributions to a candidate who may seek public financing from a violent Mafioso. It bars Jospeh Ganim, whose crimes by any standard were far less than D’Aquila’s, from participating in the misbegotten taxpayer-financed bonanza. Reconcile that—and begin listening to Crimetown at episode one. You can thank me later.

June 27, 2017   1:53 pm   Comments Off on Crimetown, Fundraising Frenzy, and Dan Drew. This Post’s Got It All.

Republican State Central Committee Member Nabbed on Sex in Daycare Parking Lot Charge.

The Courant has the unsavory details of Republican State Central Committee member Michelle Garabedian’s arrest by Manchester police arising out of allegedly engaging in sex in a daycare parking lot.

Garabedian represents the 29th Senate District on the Republican governing committee. The Windham Republican is secretary of her local town committee and also a justice of the peace.

Her Facebook page features the command to “Control Your Kids Not Our Guns.” Garabedian might want to start by controlling herself first.

Garabedian was in Facebook twist earlier this year over Democratic state Senator Mae Flexer’s nonsensical proposal to limit bear hunting to bears that are smarter than the average bear.

June 26, 2017   9:58 pm   Comments Off on Republican State Central Committee Member Nabbed on Sex in Daycare Parking Lot Charge.

Stravato: Has Votes for Re-election but Withdraws. Blames Romano Silence.

Annalisa Stravato has ended her bid for a second term as vice chairman of the Republican State Central Committee. Stravato made the announcement in a lengthy letter released Monday night. 

Here are the essential paragraphs:

“As we move forward into the municipal elections, as well as the tremendously important gubernatorial and statewide elections in 2018, it is absolutely imperative that our state party leadership team work hand in glove with each other. Unfortunately, it has become very clear that the Chairman’s continued neutrality as to who serves as his Vice Chair, is an indication that he would prefer to have someone else serve in the role of Vice Chairman.

 Therefore, even though my re-election is assured, I do not believe it is in the best interest of the Connecticut Republican Party, as we move forward into the most important election cycle in decades, that we have a leadership team in which doubt may exist within the Executive Committee. Therefore, I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration for another term as Vice Chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party.”

Stravato, who became a citizen of the United States six years ago, claims the mantle of the first Connecticut Republican leader to support anti-immigrant Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. She reached her decision to drop her re-election bid last weekend. 

June 20, 2017   6:17 am   Comments Off on Stravato: Has Votes for Re-election but Withdraws. Blames Romano Silence.

Dominic Rapini Readies for U.S. Senate Race Against Murphy.

Branford Republican Dominic Rapini appears to be preparing to run for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. If he’s successful, Rapini will face first term Democratic incumbent Christopher Murphy.

Here’s a brief opinion piece from Rapini and something from Flames of War, which Rapini seems adept at.

June 19, 2017   4:42 pm   Comments Off on Dominic Rapini Readies for U.S. Senate Race Against Murphy.

DGA Sponsorships Reveal How to Get an Indian Casino Far From a Reservation.

It certainly looks like pay-to-play in Connecticut. Today’s Democratic Governors Association Greenwich conference features two tribes as sponsors. The Mohegans and Mashantucket Pequots require conference host Governor Daniel P. Malloy’s signature on a grimy piece of legislation that expands gaming if they are to move forward with a state licensed casino in East Windsor–where there is no reservation land.

Here’s how that bill will become law. The Mohegan Tribe is a silver sponsor of the DGA event. That required a $10,000 payment to Malloy’s DGA. The Mashantucket Tribal Nation is a general event sponsor. 

PhRMA and Purdue Pharma are gold sponsors. Daily Ructions awaits strong condemnation of the event from State Comptroller Kevin Lembo, who is exploring a run for governor and whacking away at pharmaceutical companies.

June 16, 2017   4:04 pm   Comments Off on DGA Sponsorships Reveal How to Get an Indian Casino Far From a Reservation.

The Mask Slips: Mattei at DGA Lobbyist Festival.

What’s all this highfalutin’ talk about not taking lobbyist dough? Exploring Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Chris Mattei mounted his very high horse and declared he would take no contributions from lobbyist. The former prosecutor appears to have left out the word “direct” in his pledge.

The first-time candidate attended today’s Democratic Governors Association lobbyist festival in Greenwich–sparking many eyerolls and much tittering among members of the permanent government participating in another Dannel P. Malloy shakedown. The dough that the DGA will be spending in Connecticut’s 2018 race for governor will come from lobbyists and the interests that employ them. It’s meaningless to eschew piddling $100 contributions to qualify for state taxpayer campaign financing if you are working the same crowd to write enormous checks to the DGA to spend on you.

Mattei may want to dial back on those lectures to Bridgeport’s Joe Ganim on the difference between clean and dirty, right and wrong.

Mark this day: The poseur stumbled in a Greenwich hotel, surrounded by smirking, chatty lobbyists.

June 16, 2017   12:25 pm   Comments Off on The Mask Slips: Mattei at DGA Lobbyist Festival.

No Joke. Aresimowicz Missed Budget Negotiation for Golf Game.

 

Speaker of the House Joseph Aresimowicz (D-Berlin) skipped Tuesday’s budget negotiation meeting in Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s office to play golf. The high school football coach declined to begin addressing the state’s $5 billion deficit in order to participate in the Italian-American legislators golf tournament and dinner at the Tunxis Country Club in Farmington. Serious observers of state government’s mounting problems were shaking their head at the cavalier leader of the House Democrats nixing budget talks for a day on the links.

Tournament players waited until after Tuesday to grumble that Aresimowicz won the competition by bringing a ringer with him. He’ll have a harder time putting together a state budget–but first he needs to show up.

June 15, 2017   5:06 pm   Comments Off on No Joke. Aresimowicz Missed Budget Negotiation for Golf Game.