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Mark Lauretti Clocks in at Over $100,000 in Qualifying Contributions for Governor.

Veteran Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti will make an impressive fundraising showing in his first quarter as a Republican gubernatorial hopeful, Daily Ructions can report. Lauretti confirmed Thursday that he has raised more than $100,000 in small contributions since launching his campaign at the start of the year. A candidate needs to raise $250,000 in contributions of $100 or less to qualify for taxpayer funding of his campaign.

The twelve term mayor and former restaurant owner collected his haul from 1370 contributors. He sounded confident of his prospects to build on his first quarter success. Lauretti, who knows how to deliver a barb, points out that his fundraising success this year was not preceded by five years of hankering after the state’s top job. He means you, Tom Foley and Mark Boughton.

Catch more of the confident Lauretti at next week’s Hartford Courant/Fox CT debate at the Mark Twain House.

April 4, 2014   2:33 pm   Comments Off

Who’s Rowland’s Lobbyist Friend in Foley Federal Document?

October 25, 2011 was a busy day for John Rowland. The conniving former governor had a noon meeting with Brian Foley, Lisa Wilson-Foley, and Christopher Healy to discuss his criminal scheme to become a secret consultant to Wilson-Foley’s doomed bid for Congress. It was not, however, his first meeting with Brian Foley that day. At 10:30 a.m., according to page nine of the document released Monday in conjunction with the Foleys’ convictions, Brian Foley and John Rowland met with a lobbyist.

Federal law enforcement authorities describe the mystery gust as “[a potential lobbyist for the Nursing Home Company].” This suggests that Rowland was shopping around lobbyists as part of his unusual and lethal mix of business interests. Who could it have been?

April 4, 2014   9:19 am   Comments Off

Wilson-Foley Should Have Listened to Her Pal.

Convicted federal election law violator Lisa Wilson-Foley ought to have taken her buddy Janet Peckinpaugh’s crisis communications seminar. Here’s Peckinpaugh explaining what happens when trouble strikes. At no point does the former news anchor and political candidate advise, “Lie boldly for two years.”

Take a look at Wilson-Foley in a Peckinpaugh-produced Apple Rehab commercial, the subject of some debate with not-so-secret consultant John G. Rowland.

April 3, 2014   12:27 pm   Comments Off

Herbst Over $56k. Eick Releases First Ad.

Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst has made a fast start on his bid to qualify for public financing in the race for the Republican nomination for state treasurer. Herbst, who began his campaign in January, has raised more than $56,000 in qualifying contributions toward the $75,000 requirement. He is on track to ring the fundraising bell before the party’s May nominating convention.

Christopher Dodd devotee and Herbst rival Bob Eick released an ad that appears intended to boost his chances of winning the race. You be the judge.


April 3, 2014   11:08 am   Comments Off

Foohey! Foleys Plead Guilty, Finger Rowland.

The former Brian Foohey and his wife, Lisa Wilson Foley, entered guilty pleas Monday in federal court to campaign finance violations arising out of their illegal conspiracy with felonious former governor John G. Rowland. Lisa Wilson Foley was an unsuccessful Republican congressional hopeful in 2012. She placed a poor third in the Fifth District Republican primary.

The Foleys, generous donors to Democratic U.S. Senator Christopher Murphy during his rise from the state legislature (he was so fresh and full of new ideas), are said to have turned on Rowland late last year. The investigation was threatening to engulf both of the one-time canoodling Yale MPA students.

The nursing home magnates denied Rowland was working on Lisa Wilson Foley’s congressional campaign—until they no longer did. Read the document setting forth the grimy conspiracy. For $35,000 and third place? A big price to pay.

Lisa Wilson Foley appears not to be crippled by remorse. She’s off to a skiing vacation in Colorado. She follows that with a month in Asia to celebrate the graduation of one of her children.

April 1, 2014   12:15 pm   Comments Off

Cafero to Call It Quits Wednesday. Will Dine With Lobbyist Colleagues Downtown After House Speech.

When you’re alone and life is making you lonely, you go downtown with the lobbyists you’ve been working with for decades. That’s if you’re beleaguered House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero (R-Brown Rudnick).  Cafero will announce that he’s not seeking re-election on Wednesday. He will then retreat to a lobbyist-heavy dinner at Max Downtown for a dinner, Daily Ructions can report. Expect the evening to feature tales of Cafero “taking care” of those saluting him at the $75 a ticket dinner.

It’s an unhappy end for Cafero. The FBI camped out at the LOB for two days last month, making public federal investigators’ interest in House Republican campaign practices. Cafero’s longtime chief of staff George Gallo resigned on the second day of the aggressive FBI intrusion. Cafero was also the unhappy star of a political fundraising and legislation corruption trial last year. The Norwalk Republican was caught on video as an FBI informant put $5,000 in cash in Cafero’s office refrigerator. The illegal dough was later turned into contributions to House Republican campaign committees through straw donors.

Cafero has worked for more than a decade as a “contract partner” for the Hartford office of the Brown Rudnick law firm and its lobbying business. There was a time early in the charade when Cafero protested that he did not know who Brown Rudnick’s clients were. Like Cafero’s denials of knowing anything about cash in his refrigerator, evidence shredded the eleven-term legislator’s claims.

Wednesday night Cafero and his diminishing crowd will try to forget all his troubles and forget all his cares, as they wonder what’s waiting for him.

March 25, 2014   10:43 am   Comments Off

The Senator Has Two Faces.

What a difference nine years make to Sergeant Blumenthal (D-Saigon). The Greenwich millionaire was on WFSB’s Face the State this weekend supporting chimpanzee victim Charla Nash’s effort to win legislative approval to sue the state for its role in her horrific injuries.

In 2003, Blumenthal intervened to thwart a Watertown animal control officer who had ordered an aggressive dog put down after it had bitten an injured a boy. Two years later, Max, a golden retriever, struck again, biting and clawing a 7 year old Southbury boy. In the aftermath of the second attack, Blumenthal had no regrets. The then-attorney general shared with The New York Times his compassionate notion of sovereign immunity when he was on the firing line:

In a telephone interview on Wednesday, Mr. Blumenthal added that he was not sorry he got involved with the case.

”I have absolutely no regrets about mediating an agreement, which was based on expert veterinary advice and the best of intentions on everyone’s part,” he said.

Mr. Blumenthal said he doubted that the state could be held liable for the attack.

”We live in a free country where anyone can sue anyone, but the chances of a suit against the state succeeding are close to zero,” he said.

March 24, 2014   4:19 pm   Comments Off

Federal Agents Return to LOB.

FBI agents returned to the Legislative Office Building Wednesday in the continuing investigation of ties between a Florida-based Republican direct mail firm and former House Republican chief of staff George Gallo, Daily Ructions can report. Today’s visit included Senate Republican chief of staff Jack Shannon. Agents appear not to have set up shop in the LOB, an aggressive tactic employed for two jarring days in February.

Brett Cody, spokesman for the Senate Republicans, provided this statement:

“Two federal investigators met briefly with Senate Republican Caucus Chief of Staff Jack Shannon in the Legislative Office Building this morning as part of an inquiry first reported in the news last month when subpoenas were served on the House Republican Office, the House Republican Campaign Committee and the Office of Legislative Management. Jack answered the investigators’ questions and was told he is not a focus of the inquiry. No subpoenas have been served on the Senate Republican Caucus, or any entities related to the caucus. We will not be commenting further out of respect for the integrity of the investigation.”

The investigation, thought to be the seeds of the federal government’s inquiry into the intersection of campaign contributions and 2012 legislation on roll your own tobacco stores, continues.

March 19, 2014   4:48 pm   Comments Off

He Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Debates. Foley Won’t Show at NBC Connecticut and Courant/Fox61 Events.

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Tom Foley will not participate in pre-convention televised debates with his gaggle of opponents. The former ambassador, whose been in the political equivalent of a witness protection program for the past three years, is concentrating on sleepier Republican town committee forums. According to campaign spokesman Chris Cooper, Foley has declined invitations to take part in two debates, one sponsored by The Hartford Courant and Fox61, the other by NBC Connecticut.

Foley had only close finishes in 2010 after abandoning a race for the U.S. Senate for the contest for governor. He eked out a victory on the first ballot at the Republican convention during the dubious switch period. Foley had a long night as ballots were counted during the August 2010 primary, as he maintained a narrow lead over surging Michael Fedele. That year’s fall contest was in doubt for several days as vote totals shifted and moved in and out of the shadows. Foley concede six days after election day drew to a close.

Debating was not one of Foley’s strengths as a candidate. Some spring training might assist him for the main event in the fall, should he be the Republican nominee. Republican delegates and primary voters might conclude that a timid nominee is not the right choice to lead the party, unaffiliated voters, and thousands of disaffected Democrats into the bruising fall campaign to reverse the state’s decline.


March 13, 2014   1:09 pm   Comments Off

Salvatore Mounted Late Bid for AG at 2010 Democratic Convention.

The one on the right is going to prison.

The one on the right is going to prison.

What is it about the attorney general’s office that attracts a menagerie of ambitious oddballs? Convicted fraudster and Democratic stalwart Genevieve Salvatore concocted a last minute bid to challenge George Jepsen for the party’s 2010 nomination.

The Milford Democrat has been a generous supported of chronic candidate Susan Bysiewicz. Bysiewicz sued herself in 2010 when questions were raised about whether she met the statutory qualification to serve as the state’s chief civil law officer. On May 17th, a few days before the nominating convention, the state’s highest court knocked the three-term secretary of the state and two time gubernatorial hopeful out of the race for attorney general.  Salvatore, who had lost a 2009 race for mayor of Milford, hatched a scheme to challenge Jepsen. She stumbled at the starting gate. Some suspect Salvatore enjoyed the encouragement of Bysiewicz in the gambit.

In the 2012 election cycle, Salvatore, who was convicted this year of participating in a $2.49 million real estate scam, donated $1,000 to Bysiewicz’s failed U.S. Senate campaign, $800 to U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro, and $250 to U.S. Representative John Larson.

Salvatore holds severe views on humor that offends certain sensibilities, as she told Mr. Colin McEnroe in a 2010 comment on his Courant blog.

She begins her two year sentence on July 11th.

March 13, 2014   9:54 am   Comments Off