Thursday, December 15, 2005

Democrats Call for Investigation, Suspension of Moody

Elections Enforcement Commission Investigating Matter

Both of Gov. Jodi Rell's Democratic opponents have stepped up their criticism of the governor and her staff following yesterday's revelation in the Hartford Courant that cheif of staff M. Lisa Moody may have violated state ethics laws as well as Rell's self-imposed ethics rules.

The state Elections Enforcement Commission is now investigating, but Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy wants to see more:

"It is unacceptable that Gov. Rell is willing to wait for the Elections Enforcement Commission to act on what appears to be a violation of the election law committed by her top aide. Instead, the Governor should call on her own Ethics Czar, immediately, to conduct an internal investigation into what happened, and who was responsible -- and to determine whether or not the Ethics Czar herself was aware of this apparently improper activity." (Malloy press release 12/15/2005)

New Haven Mayor John DeStefano called for Moody's suspension pending the outcome of the investigation:

“With Governor Rell’s top aide admittedly engaged in improper fundraising, Governor Rell should suspend her top aide until the criminal and ethical investigations are complete. Connecticut residents have had enough of scandal during the Rowland years; now Governor Rell needs to clean up her own office,” said DeStefano. (DeStefano press release, 12/15/2005)

DeStefano also accused the governor of "closing her eyes" to ethical lapses in her administration and campaign.

There are a couple of things that stand out about this story. First... it's great to see the Courant investigating a major story like this and staying with it. They've been in the shadow of other papers, like the scrappy Journal-Inquirer, for too long when it comes to investigative journalism.

Secondly, I've been somewhat surprised that the rest of the state media hasn't picked this up. I check online versions of most of the state's dailies in the morning, and only a handful were running it. Why the slow response? I would have thought that possible campaign ethics violations by the chief of staff to a governor who has made ethics a central part of her image would be something people would want to know about.

Meanwhile, the Elections Enforcement Commission is investigating, although the special ethics counsel is not. Colin McEnroe speculates on why that is.


Anonymous said...

somebody in Rell's staff, who didn't get one of the solicitations, reportedly dropped the dime on Moody so bully for somebody with an ounce of ethics in Hartford. But the dime didn't go to anybody in state goverment it went to the press so that should tell us the culture of corruption hasn't gone or they would have followed the route Jodi layed out months and months ago that said her admin wouldn't tolerate it and.....blah,blah,blah.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the real issue here that Jodi is using her holdover from Rowland commissioners to raise money for her the same way Rowland did??

Anonymous said...

Moody ought to be suspended pending the results of all investigations...she obviously is " rookie time"

Malloy offered a stupid and lame suggestion that the ethics czar (appointed by Rell) investigate Rell and her commisioners, lame.

Mr. Reality said...

I'm sure no city department head has ever raised or given money to the campaigns of Malloy and Destefano.

Anonymous said...

Where are the legislative campaign finance reformers like Amman and Williams? And where is Common Cause? It's a non issue just like campaign finance unreform legislation. Nobody cares as it's politics as usual in the Nutmeg State.

Too many anon for me said...

"Malloy offered a stupid and lame suggestion that the ethics czar (appointed by Rell) investigate Rell and her commisioners, lame."

Did you ever think he might be trying to imply the ethics czar knew something... or maybe trying to figure out what exactly she knew (and therefore, what Rell may have known)? Try thinking.

All Your Base Are Belong To Us said...

I'm with 'to many anon'- Rell's ethics czar may have been asked to raise money herself... Not to mention that she didn't report ANYTHING until she found out the Courant was going to run a story. She's implicated. No doubt here.

And what does that say about Rell? Way to 'clean house'. Bravo.

Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight! said...

Rubin knew about the fundraising, Moody approached her directly, may have contributed and didn't stop it.

Genghis Conn said...

Could be, could be... nasty scandal if true.

Anonimity Breeds Contempt said...

This is a great example of the body living on after the head has been cut off.

It was the Rowland Administration, not just Rowland himself that rewarded semi-legal and fully illegal activity.

To allow the executive branch to carry over a variety of mid-level administrators/appointees from Rowland to Rell is a travesty. I understand that proper protocol under state law exists in a situation such as Rowland's untimely demise, it is up to the lawmakers to change the laws, and force administrations out, not just CEO's.

Apply something like R.I.C.O. to political corruption. Everyone knows something.

"The Anonymous will inherit the Earth"

FrankS said...

"Let the message be clear: From this day forward, if you are entrusted with public office, you will uphold the highest standards of public integrity and ethical principles," ... M. Jodi Rell (7/1/2004)

Apparently not, Lisa Moody.

Anonymous said...

The highest standrds that Rell holds people to aren't very high in CT as remember what her standard is. O'Connor's wife worked for Rowland so Johnny was hands off for years. Morano has overseen more botched cases in the courts than Carter has little liver pills and Korta is just happy to have a job just as the rest of them who were at Marco Polo to help raise money for their boss rell so they could keep the best jobs they could ever imagine holding.

Aldon Hynes said...

I think the comments over on My Left Nutmeg comparing Moody to Rove are interesting. I will note that ctkeith was part of this discussion.

I also see that this continues to be big news in the papers.

While this doesn't really address issues that we need to be facing in our state, it is fascinating to watch, sort of the same way everyone rubbernecks at a car wreck.

Aldon Hynes said...

I would also like to highlight the email campaign that the DeStefano campaign has up on their website:

Demand that Governor Rell Clean up the Governor's Office

These are the sort of grassroots (or perhaps better, Netroots) activities that I like to see.

Anonymous said...

It energizes the base but it won't get DeStefano elected governor. He sounds like Howard Dean.

Anonymous said...

PU. Anyone else smell the dead horse?

Aldon Hynes said...

Energizing the base: As a person who believes that we need more civic involvement and that a strong democracy needs an energized base, even if it doesn't end up helping get Mayor DeStefano elected, there is great benefit for our country in everyone energizing their bases.

(Of course, I think it will help get Mayor DeStefano elected as well.)

As to whether it is a dead horse, I'm interested in finding out if Morano thinks it is a dead horse. Right now, it looks like the horse has a few more laps left in it and people suggesting the ethics issue is a dead horse sound a lot like the Republican insiders in Washington back in August who were saying that people would soon forget about the Plame investigation and there would be no indictments.

Anonymous said...

Howard dean energized his base and then he fell on his face. Amman has even said he beleives Moodygate was an honest mistake that will not happen again. CT has a 15billion dollar budget, crumbling infrastructure, lousy employment opportunities, pampered employeee unions who would look up to leadership if there was any, better...What's DeStefano going to do about that? In other words, why doesn't he broaden his base for those..oh hell?????.

Aldon Hynes said...

Anonymous(11:09) If by falling on his face, you are refering to being elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee, I hope I fall on my face as badly.

As to focusing on the real issues, I do agree, this is a distraction. (Read my comment at 10:11)

However, it is an opportunity to reach out to people, energize the base, and hopefully draw them into focusing on the real issues.

Anonymous said...

You silly goose Aldon: I was talking about Dean tanking in the primary when Edwards and Kerry and even Lieberman put more holes in his rhetoric than Finlandia swiss cheeseula

DeanFan84 said...

It says a lot about you that you have to hide in the shadows. Why not post under a consistent handle?

Oh that's right, you are as shady as the Rowland-Rell administration!