Saturday, August 20, 2005

Opponents Criticize Rell's "Annual Report"

Flier Looks Like Campaign Brochure

The governor's office has, at a cost of about $3,000 of state funds, printed up about 10,000 copies of a glossy brochure highlighting the achievements of Gov. Jodi Rell through the past year. Democrats and other opponents were quick to criticize the flier as suspiciously resembling campaign materials:

"I thought she had announced for governor and somehow I had missed it," said Roy Occhiogrosso, a longtime state Democratic operative and now a consultant. "It's either the least informative annual report ever, or it's a campaign mailing and she owes the taxpayers a lot of money."
But a spokesman for Rell, Rich Harris, defended the brochure as a useful means of communicating with citizens. He denied that it was promotional in its purpose, and said its timing had nothing to do with any anticipated run by Rell for governor in next year's election.

"The timing has to do with her one-year anniversary as governor," he said.

Huh. I seem to recall seeing something like this done in Massachusetts by the Romney Administration, so perhaps it's legitimate. But then again, the governor does seem to be using taxpayer funds to promote herself, even though she's not officially running for anything. This is one of those murky gray areas that Rell has thus far scrupulously avoided.

From an administration that has been very careful to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, the release of this flier seems like a strange oversight. This is at worst thinly disguised campaign literature, and a misuse of taxpayer money. At best, it's an error in judgement by a governor who really should know better.

Lender, Jon. "Rell Flier Draws Critics." Hartford Courant 20 August, 2005.


Anonymous said...

Please! When there are 19 photos on a 3 page fold out, it is a campaign piece not an annual report.

Anonymous said...

This falls into the category of one cares about this kind of partisan sniping.

The Stark Raving Viking said...

Some more heads have to roll.

Rowland wasn't alone. His buddies such as former Police Commissioner, Arthur L. Spada, and the black robed Mafia, Connecticut Judges are all involved.

All 3 Connecticut branches of government are run like the Mafia.

Ritt Goldstein an up and coming force in the Democratic party and successful small business owner was so terrorized for having proposed Civilian Oversight of Police to elected officials and police response to it that he fled to Sweden seeking political asylum.

Try doing a search on Ritt's name,
also "Steven G. Erickson" and "Rowlandgate"

Anonymous said...

Is she riding a jestski in any of the photos?

Anonymous said...

since when is Roy O spokesperson for the Democratic Party??????

Aldon Hynes said...

Official communications of elected officials is one of those perks just about every politician uses to help enforce the incumbency rule. As a person who wishes elected officials communicated more often and more effectively with their constituents, I generally don’t complain too much about officials using such perks. If anything, it helps out the argument for public funding of campaigns. We are already doing it for incumbents, we should do it for all candidates.

That said, I’m not sure that I would consider Rell’s flyer an example of the communications we should be expecting from our elected officials. There were only 10,000 such flyers printed and I haven’t received a copy. That, in and of itself is a bit of a problem. How is Rell and her staff determining which constituents should get a copy of the flyer? If it is an important ‘Annual Report’, why isn’t it easily accessible online?

Having not seen the brochure, I can’t say if there is anything substantive in it, but the newspaper report sure doesn’t sound like there is.

We do need a more open government, one that communicates more effectively with its citizens. As far as I can tell, the ‘Annual Report’ isn’t really moving in that direction.

ctblogger said...


Here's a great quote from the article.

"So far, about 300 brochures have been mailed to town halls and tourism offices statewide. Harris said the remaining 9,700 or so brochures may be distributed at times "when the governor does a speech, or something like that.""

I'm somewhat surprised that the Democratic nominees haven't pounced on this yet. Personally, I was alittle surprised to see Gov. Rell do something like this given that many people view her as trustworthy and see a difference between her and Rowland and with her high poll numbers, there was no need to do something like this. If anything, this will put Rell on the defensive if and of the candidates scream "foul"

Anonymous said...

Every single elected official sends these out. They are permitted in non-election years, but not once the election is 6 months out! Amann's & Williams' are just as photo filled.

FrankS said...

Perhaps, this is a way to promote public financing! Give every candidate access to print up their own similiar brochures.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Connecticut reporters and columnists think that Roy O. is the only "political consultant" in the state. The bar has been set very low...

Anonymous said...

Roy Occhiogrosso is the only one who seems brave enough to come forawrd first to criticize what the Republican Administration is doing so naturally the reporters will call him because they'll get a fabulous quote, maybe if others were more willing to do the same, he would get quoted less!