Friday, October 14, 2005

Rell Announcement

In a short, emotional speech this evening, Gov. Jodi Rell announced her intention to seek her own term as governor.

She seemed at times overcome with emotion, and at other times seemed very uncomfortable. She didn't present anything in the way of new plans or details, but did list some of her accomplishments over the past year and a half.

She took some time to attack the Democratic candidates for "seeing the worst in Connecticut" and for generally being too negative.

I'll have a more detailed analysis tonight or tomorrow. For now, the governor's staff has been quick to get her website up: www.jodirell06.com. This was password protected earlier today, and "under construction" yesterday. It's a bio, a welcome letter and a contribution page. That's it so far.

15 comments:

Julio Gonzalez said...

Gov. Rell continued her aloofness to Connecticut's remarkable economic slide. She presented no direction for Connecticut's economy in an increasingly brutal gloabal landscape.

Recently, her campaign's surrogates have commented that "she too was surprised by her high-energy bill." Really? Doesn't it bother anyone that we have a governor that is so out of touch that she was SURPRISED at the spike in energy costs.

Her ethical fortitude is her supposed strength, but as her tacit support of a lobbyist-filled GOP golf tournament fundraiser demonstrates, she is not above the unfortunate conflicts of interest every candidate faces when running in a private financing system.

My hope is that now that she is anannounced candidate, the press will more closesly scrutinize her (1) old track record (including those pesky Tomasso donations to her Lt. Gov. campaign and her support for the total phase out of the income tax) as well as her current policy lapses.

I like the Democrats chances if both gubernatorial candidates (and their supporters) can avoid trading barbs and instead focus on pounding home the economic message while also poking holes in the media-created ethics bubble around Gov. Rell.

MikeCT said...

Some campaign finance irregularities by Rell to investigate:

Hours before her speech, Democrats criticized a mailer that Rell's campaign printed and sent out to supporters before the campaign committee was formed. Nancy DiNardo, the Democratic chairman, said accused Rell of violating campaign finance laws, and seeking money from lobbyists.

"This is very, very troubling to me and to the citizens of our state - Republican and Democrat alike - and unacceptable from our chief executive in this era," DiNardo said.

Jeamel said the campaign believes it had 10 days to form a candidate committee after incurring expenses.


To add to those incurred expenses are those of the Web site. Rell just formed a committee yesterday.

The candidate guide (PDF) put out by the state Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission clearly says that "The candidate must ensure that the candidate committee is registered with the office of the Secretary of the State prior to funds or resources being solicited, received or expended by or on behalf of the candidate" (page 9).

Rell clearly expended and perhaps received funds before this date, in violation of campaign finance laws.

The only "10 day rule" I can find is this: "Generally, within ten days of becoming a candidate for elective office, as defined by §9-333a(1), an exploratory or candidate committee must be registered with the Secretary of the State" (Introduction). But that does not give them authorization to expend or solicit funds in that 10 day period.

For the lawyers in the crowd, here are less user-friendly statutes (good luck).

Julio Gonzalez said...

In addition to the potential irregularities outlined by MikeCT, one has to ask how the Rell team was able to:

1. Have Lawnsigns printed for the announcement that were clearly visible throughout (especially since the minimum order tends to be a sizeable expense)
2. Put a deposit on the space and state that the announcement took place at
3. Print/fax collateral for the announcement
4. Print a large color banner displayed through the announcement


All of these clearly had to be paid for or credited by some entity. I am curious who it might have been since it was obviously not the candidate committee that just got formed yesterday.

In the past we've had a reader on this blog that claimed to work for Elections Enforcement . Perhaps they can illuminate for us if this behavior by the Rell team is "irregular." If so, I sincerely hope they apply the same scrutiny to the sitting Governor as they have to the candidate I support.

MikeCT said...

Tips on filing a complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission. It's fun and free!

As Branford Boy has pointed out, Rell's campaign is turning to Rowland legal advisor Ross Garber for guidance on issues like this. With friends like these....

Genghis Conn said...

Interesting. Rell's campaign seems to have jumped the gun. The Elections Commission ought to look into it. I'm sure the Democrats have already filed a complaint.

She really ought to refrain from hiring or even getting advice from Rowland's old advisors.

Quinn said...

I was there for the announcement, and I do have to say that I really don't think that she'll be beaten. It may be close, but I have confidence in her ability to draw votes.

Oh, and Julio Gonzalez, I too hope that the press investigates her opposition against the income tax. Because without it, the state wouldn't be in the desperate economic place that it is today thanks to Democrat leadership in the legislature. Not to mention the fact that the average Joe voter is not exactly thrilled at the prospect of paying state income tax.

There is no ethics bubble. Donations from Tomasso? Show me a Democratic candidate that hasn't recieved money from contractors! Any attacks by the opposition will be viewed as ludicrous by the voters themselves, not just the media. That sweet old lady? Corrupt? I think not! You see, she has already been successful in putting out a very positive image of herself, and the attempts by Democrats to re-define her will be in vain.

Her speech was emotional, and it was her family, not some Party bigwigs behind her. The people of CT see a caring Governer. Flimsy accussations and mud-slinging cannot change that.

Aldon Hynes said...

It is worth noting that Rell filed her papers yesterday. So, she could have done all of this after filing her papers, if she had rush jobs done etc. However, even with that and the 10 day rule, it is worth noting that according to whois.sc, the Rell domain was purchased on September 26.

I must admit, I wasn't in Hartford and instead watched the announcement on TV. The announcement made me think of a different political advertisement. Stop by at the DeStefano website to see what it made me think of.

BrassTacks said...

Julio, MikeCT, keep right on track, and you'll do for DeStefano/Malloy what MoveOn did for Kerry!

Rell is REAL... and actually, Malloy shows lots of promise, but you guys aren't going to win any elections spouting off like this.

Have fun, though. Hope you got your complaints filed on time!

MikeCT said...

The director of the SEEC says that Rell did not break the law:

But Jeffrey B. Garfield, the executive director of the State Elections Enforcement Commission, said Friday night that Rell did nothing wrong. The law provides a 10-day grace period in which a candidate can spend money before creating a committee, he said.

But the Dems don't agree:

DiNardo said she expects to file a complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission.

"It is deeply disturbing to me that Gov. Rell, in the wake of the Rowland scandal and in the first stage of her campaign for governor, appears to have violated campaign finance law," DiNardo said.


If Garfield is correct, he needs to correct and clarify his agency's guidance. The language is clear: "The candidate must ensure that the candidate committee is registered with the office of the Secretary of the State prior to funds or resources being solicited, received or expended by or on behalf of the candidate". Not forming the committee 10 days after it raises and spends money, but before. The agency's own summary is poorly and inaccurately worded.

Genghis Conn said...

Well, here's the important bit:

Garfield said a Rell aide even double-checked with him before sending out the mailing.

If that's the case, and the SEEC's executive director said okay, no problem. Rell's campaign isn't responsible if the SEEC got it wrong. If the agency is at fault for being unclear, they should endeavor to be more so.

Julio Gonzalez said...

The mailing might sound like it is OK. Though I do wonder who the staff/consultants where that designed it, on what hardware, when the letterhead was acquired etc.

But the website purchase in late September is definitely outside the 10 day period. And the lawn signs, if ordered in a batch size that would entail good pricing, certainly can't be done overnight and probably might fall outside of the 10 day period. Same for the banner and the booking of the stage. Today's courant report also indicates that there was a fundraiser at a local bar...again, all of these issues of when and how the reservation was made and paid for apply.

It seems to me that Mr. Garfield's approval of the mailing expense itself is not vindication on the other expenses that potentially go outside of this poorly communicated 10-day period. I certainly hope the appropriate authorities look into this.

BDRubenstein888 said...

The average person could give a rats ass whether lawn signs, etc are within a 10 day period....as democrats we need to focus on running a very very new kind of campaign...one that is bold,different,creative and extremely daring. Rell has a 80% favorability number and for 15 months the public has had it drilled in their psyche that she really isnt a professional politician, is a reformer, etc.

I still think DeStefano is the best choice and he must present a positive image and not be negative...his positions are right and if he can break through to the average voter they will see that his issues and positions are for them over hers. It will all come down to how daring he chooses to be..

BDRubenstein888 said...

The average person could give a rats ass whether lawn signs, etc are within a 10 day period....as democrats we need to focus on running a very very new kind of campaign...one that is bold,different,creative and extremely daring. Rell has a 80% favorability number and for 15 months the public has had it drilled in their psyche that she really isnt a professional politician, is a reformer, etc.

I still think DeStefano is the best choice and he must present a positive image and not be negative...his positions are right and if he can break through to the average voter they will see that his issues and positions are for them over hers. It will all come down to how daring he chooses to be..

Blue in CD2 said...

There is no ethics bubble. Donations from Tomasso? Show me a Democratic candidate that hasn't recieved money from contractors!

Dont you see a rather large difference between recieving a donation from a contactor, and recieving a donation from a contractor that has been linked with corruption on such a level as to force a two-term governor to resign!?!

The corruption in the Rowland Administration was rampant and sickening, and Jodi Rell was SECOND IN COMMAND. I can only imagine three possibilities in the Rowland / Rell relationship -

1 - She knew what was going on with pay-to-play politics and was too scared to speak up.

2 - She directly played a role in the corrution.

3 - She was too unintelligent to see what was happening in front of her face.

All three of these clearly make her unfit to run the state. If you can come up with another theory please let me know.(For the record I dont think Rowland and his cronies were intelligent enough to keep all of thier dealing completly secret.)

Rell has shown time and time again that she does not deal well with criticism, and she hates it when her agenda is sidetracked.

This is simply not the formula for a governor who must turn a state away from its darkest days.

CT constituents did not demand any accountability of Rell when she was Lt., or during the Rowland inquiry, or during her first year as Gov.

This women has been a part of the downward spiral of CT for the last 9 years. Now we want her for 4 more??????

Anonymous said...

I am getting a real kick out of the fact that this relatively minor POTENTIAL violation of campaign finance law is taking up so much room on this blog (note the word potential). Maybe we should also talk about the DeStefano camp's acceptance of LARGE campaign contributions without also getting the necesary employment information for the contributors. I won't be holding my breath for a lengthy conversation by the regulars here.