Monday, April 03, 2006

Fernandez Named DeStefano Campaign Manager

This just in...

John DeStefano – Democratic candidate for governor – has named Henry Fernandez, III campaign manager for his 2006 gubernatorial campaign.
...
Fernandez joins the campaign as DeStefano solidifies delegate support from across Connecticut in preparation for the Democratic Convention in May. Twenty-one towns have pledged their full delegate slates to DeStefano and the campaign has secured the majority of delegates in 80 towns. It’s clear, with less than two months until the Convention DeStefano is winning the delegate war. Now the focus of the campaign is switching gears, with an emphasis on field organization, and voter mobilization for the primary and general elections. Enter Fernandez... (DeStefano)
For those of you who thought the DeStefano campaign already had a campaign manager, namely Shonu Gandhi, you have been tragically misled:
His selection means that the campaign’s management structure is now in place, with Shonu Gandhi continuing to serve as Campaign Director, the equivalent of a Deputy Campaign Manager. (DeStefano)
...Interesting, indeed. Is this a natural, planned evolution of the campaign, or has Fernandez been brought in to stop the bleeding?

There's a lot of bluster in the press release. The DeStefano campaign seems to be trying very hard to appear confident--when I'm not at all certain that they are or should be.

Source

"DeStefano Names Campaign Manager." DeStefano for Connecticut. Press Release: 3 April, 2006.

47 comments:

turfgrrl said...

Fernandez is a smart guy and incidentally has run many a DeSefano mayoral campaign. I take this as a sign that all is not well in DeStefano gubernatorial land, and Fernandez is being activated to shore up delegates that have been moving away.

Genghis Conn said...

I think you're right, tuffgirl.

Here is his biography, as supplied by the campaign (long)

Henry J. Fernandez, III is Principal of Fernandez Advisors, LLC, a consulting firm with concentrations in economic development, education policy, and the support of progressive political organizing. From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Fernandez was the Economic Development Administrator for the City of New Haven, Connecticut. In this position, he acted as one of the three Coordi­nators for Mayor John DeStefano, Jr., with responsibility for all development functions and departments, including city planning, neighbor­hood develop­ment, business development, housing, traffic and parking, building inspection, code enforcement and cultural affairs. During his term, Mr. Fernandez oversaw a dramatic downtown revitalization, the turnaround of both a regional airport and nationally recognized historic theater, the renovation of hundreds of vacant houses into affordable homeownership, and the placement of the arts, biotechnology and education as central to the city’s economic strategy. Mr. Fernandez served as the Executive Director of the Development Commission, Redevelopment Agency and Port Authority. Before taking this position he served for almost two years as the Executive Director of the Livable City Initiative, a city agency that works with community-based non-profits and citizens’ groups in developing strategies for neighborhood development, housing, public improvements and the relationship between City Hall and the neighborhoods. Before assuming that post, Mr. Fernandez was the Stupski Fellow and a Senior Research Associate in Law at Yale Law School, where he researched and wrote on urban education policy. From 1992 to 1997, Mr. Fernandez was the founding Executive Director of Leadership, Education and Athletics in Partnership (LEAP). Under his direction, LEAP became a nation­ally recognized education, social develop­ment, employment training, and lead­ership skills building program for 1,100 young people between the ages of 7 and 25 in cities throughout Connecticut. Mr. Fernandez has served as an Advisor to the Morino Institute, which studies and sup­ports the use of technology to help build viable communities. He served on the National Commission for Civic Renewal and as a Board Member of the Connecticut Commission for Arts and Tourism as well as the Tweed-New Haven Airport Authority. He has helped run several local political campaigns. He taught high school in Zimbabwe and worked for a rural organizing group in Mississippi. He has directed youth pro­grams in Boston and New Haven. He has worked as a civil rights compliance officer for the Common­wealth of Massachusetts and as Fair Housing Coordi­nator for the Cambridge Human Rights Commission. Mr. Fernandez received his JD from Yale Law School and his BA from Harvard College.

Anonymous said...

seems like a smart guy with plenty of policy experience but running a statewide gubenatorial campaign is a big undertaking and he's never done it. Running a mayoral campaign in a city is nothing unless you're the republican. This may be an effort to stop perceived bleeding but he's just another inexperienced person on Destefano's campaign team.

Anonymous said...

Obviously JDS couldn't offer Roy O a sweet enough deal to leave Dandy Dan.

Based on his [lenghty] resume, one can only glean that Fernandez was brought in to use his expertise to help with traffic flow and seating assignments at the convention. Otherwise there doesn't seem to be anything in there that points to political savvy. I seems like JDS is viewing this whole thing as a 6th grade science fair project: 'How Many Crappy Operatives Can I Put Into My Campaign Before It Explodes?'

We'll soon find out.

bluecoat said...

ON the campaign trail since JDS has a position on this."It's designed for taxpayers, and it provides real tax relief" without leaving cities with huge budget holes, Genuario said. in Budget chief hits impasse on eliminating car tax linked here in today's Stamford advocate. That's a bunch of bologna as it doesn't provide tax releif to anyone unless the spending is reduced. The Rell Team couldn't sell water to castaways on a desert island. Good thing she's popular becasuse she's not doing much to make CT any better.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's just me but since when is a "Campaign Director" UNDER a "Campaign Manager?"

I know that Mayor destefano has close ties with Yale, but does that really give him leave to redefine "Campaign Director" as "Deputy Campaign Manager"?

That's bass- ackwards.

bluecoat said...

Sorry; That link is here.

Anonymous said...

This just in:
Paul Streitz has hired a seagull to run his campaign...

...a white seagull.

Anonymous said...

Five months to the primary, this is a good move by DeStefano. Shonu was always in over her head.

Is Malloy the new front-runner? To my mind this has always been heading to a primary, and I'm just glad we have two great candidates!

It will be interesting to see the Q1 numbers. How about an open thread donated to predictions? I wonder how much money Lamont took in, not that he needs any...

Captain Mike said...

Anon 2:03, according to Hackett at the Norwich Bulletin, maybe:

Stamford Mayor Dannell Malloy, one of two Democrats vying for the party's nomination for governor, has captured the momentum in that battle with New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, who had seemed to be the front-runner in the race. A series of high-profile endorsements from major city mayors in recent weeks have boosted Malloy's stock, leading some pundits to suggest that maybe it's Malloy who should be considered the front-runner going into the May 20 state convention.
But the Malloy camp isn't biting. Pleased with the progress -- and buzz -- campaign officials will only say it's a "close race."


And to Anon 1:54, of course "Director" isnt under "Manager". However, DeStefano needs to replace the person who is running his campaign, and this is their attempt to spin it as if no one was doing a poor job. If she had previously been "Campaign Manager" they'd be announcing Fernandez as the Director.

Bottom line is that it is a sign that things are not going well for them, at all. However, most people paying attention already knew this.

Franks said...

Fernandez appears to have done little outside of New Haven and political experience in a one party town like New Haven is more of personal relationship with the powers-that-be.

DeStefano will need to reach out to people beyond New Haven, if he is seeking personal relationships to infulence delegates, or begin to offer ideas and his vision for Connecticut to gain support.

Anonymous said...

i guess writing for the Yale newspaper and being a left wing communist wasn't what JDS wanted for his campaign...Hopefully he can wrote the ship because they have major problems...she was incharge way to long, let shoudl have changed directions when the whole RSVPing to his Mayoral office took place..

Anonymous said...

Just went looking for more information on DeStefano's website. It hasn't been updated for over a week. What's the deal?

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me if Fernandez has run any campaigns outside of new haven?

Anonymous said...

don't you think his bio (supplied by the campaign) would have it if he had run any campaigns outside of N.H.? the answer is no.

Anonymous said...

So the campaign is floundering and they bring in another NH insider? Way to shake things up guys. On a similar note I saw the mailer they're sending to delegates in the 2nd CD, and it lists a Molly Lindsay as the 2nd CD contact. Isnt that the kid who writes for their blog? It's looks to me like a DeStefano administration would be run just like his city is, with a bunch of cronies telling everyone else what's best for them. Count me out.

Anonymous said...

okay, please stop the ignorant smear-a-thon. pretty please.

First, Henry Fernandez is far from an incompetent hack. I'm sorry, but Harvard undergrad and Yale Law. Please, Malloy boys-- you underestimate Henry at your own peril.

As to Lindsay, the occasional blog post is far from the entirety of her duties. Also a Yale grad, and as polite as they come, Lindsay is more than capable of coordinating a Congressional district.

The pettiness displayed here is as lame as the Lieberman staff. Really, if you're going to post anonymous sniping, at least put a little pizzazz into it.

Anonymous said...

this is no ignorant smear campaign... and no one ever said Fernandez wasn't well educated.. but what does harvard and yale have to do with running a statewide gubenatorial campaign... nothing... apparently you're ignorant because you think he's qualified but thats why you're ship is sinking and not the Malloy boat.

Anonymous said...

Malloy has an entire section of his website devoted towards his field staff. It'd be nice to see the same from the DeStefano camp.

Anonymous said...

I went digging through the Malloy donor base last night, and what did I find??

Lieberman and Malloy share the same donor list. Amazing!

I guess that DLC connection is stronger than one might suppose. Malloy/Lieberman/Perez/Helft.

BoolaBoola said...

You know, i went digging through the DeStefano donor lists and what did i find?

DeStefano for Connecticut and the City of New Haven share the same lists! Amazing!

Anonymous said...

Great picture of Jackie!

What, Aaron Garris doesn't deserve a write-up? (I hope it's on him, and not someone else's fault.)

Does Luke Bronin really get paid so much that he can max out to Malloy? Is there something fishy about that, particularly when his Greenwich-based parents tossed in another $5,000 to Dannel. (eek!, Mr. Bronin also maxed out with $4,000 to Lieberman.)

Claudia, I don't know what to say...

Heft, as mentioned before is a DLC guy. Nice fellow, but is his heart in the right place??

And Gerard, what a stellar resume! (Except for the stint in Lieberman's office.)

Anonymous said...

How many tax breaks and grants did Henry hand out to past and present DeStefano contributors?

Electing this crowd to stop corruption would be like appointing Heidi Fleiss as morals czar

Anonymous said...

7:37Anon--

Henry is part of the "clean team" brough brought in after the 1998 LCI controversies.

The fact is that under DeStefano, Voigt, Fernandez, etc, New Haven has moved to the light. Thankfully, we are now far removed from the good ol' days...

P.S. Do you know much about the "Stamford Mafia"? A friend was going on about how the Stamford gang was historically infamous. You guys just lack your own Paul Bass... (someone probably offed him!)

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous - do I need to point out to you that Ned Lamont also contributed to Lamont - for this cycle?

Anonymous said...

Sorry... I meant Ned Lamont also contributed to Lieberman...

Anonymous said...

does that "clean team" include Wendall Harp?

Anonymous said...

The DeStefano campaign argument is sorta like Charlie Sheen wooing Denise Richards with promsies his bad boy behavior is all in the past.

Better never to trust that a "bad boy" has "reformed" than to risk a messy divorce later when one finds out it ws all a sham.

Besides, it is not like DeStefano was a youth when he gave away all that city dough to Bob Matthews et al

Anonymous said...

Too little too late. Fernandez isn't going to be able to undo the chaos Shonu when she was at the helm. What a mess.

Anonymous said...

Does the DeStefano clean team include Bosie Kimber?

I think it's time for a "New Haven Advocate" flashback.

http://newhavenadvocate.com/gbase/News/content.html?oid=oid:38636

Anonymous said...

The next month or so will be interesting. I think the more accurate historical precedent will be Larson/Curry. The "moderate" (Larson/Malloy) wins the convention over the liberal (Curry/DeStefano), then the primary games begin. The conventional wisdom is the liberals/progressives control the convention, but that simply hasn't been the case in any number of years. The party elite, more concerned about image and 'winnability' to protect their own positions, opts for the safe, moderate course. They flame out in the primary, because no one shows up to be moderate. Time to get off the hamster wheel and just go with the progessive and go all out (regardless of who is running the campaign).

Anonymous said...

Malloy is going to take the convention, and when that becomes clear to the DeStefano delegates at about 3pm, they'll start jumping ship and Malloy will walk out with 70%. He's also going to take the primary, because labor doesn't really care about deStefano and the rest of the liberals who could work the streets are going to be focused on Lamont.

Way too much damage has already been done for DeStefano to save his campaign now. It's Malloy-Rell in November.

Anonymous said...

That will be a great race .... Look at ME, I'm a better moderate! What a winning slogan!

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:02,

Why would any Lamont Delegate (I am One) vote for Malloy?

I think the Lamont Delegates are going to Decide which of the mayors gets Line A but so far neither Mayor has given me or any other Lamont Delegate a reason to vote for them.
We're listenig and watching though.

Anonymous said...

How is it that the JDS campaign couldn't find someone w/ real, on the ground, experience in campaigns in CT? Are D's who actually won campaigns in CT that rare of a breed? Fernandez looks like the perfect guy to churn out policy proposals but, what does he know about running real campaigns? Moving Shonu out of the way couldn't hurt, but this wasn't the shot in the arm the JDS campaign needed.

Anonymous said...

Shonu Ghandi was the absolute worst manager ive dealt with...she was not only rude and surly..she had no experience in any state wide race and was incompetant to boot. Fernandex is a nice guy and bright but has no experience and the DeStefano campaign is in shambles. DeStefano was poised to win the convention easilly and now its a tossup.

Name me one...just one..campaign staffer or inside person with any experience in a senior position in a state wide winning campaign in the DeStefano operation.

Anonymous said...

You Malloy folks are getting a little too cocky.Destefano is Lamonts Delegates natural allie and a few of the right words (or should I say Left words) could tip this right back to a masacre of Malloy.8 weeks is a lifetime in a campaign.

Anonymous said...

8 weeks is a lifetime in a campaign, but if you take an objective look at it, which campaign won each of the last 8 weeks? If you win enough weeks, the next thing you know you're winning races. this thing is far from over but DM clealry has far more momentum than JD.

ctkeith said...

Hey youngsters,

If you're #1 at the 20 mile marker of the NY marathon you don't get the mercedes.

If all you Malloy staffers have enough time to come here and try your hand at spin you're not working hard enough to win.

Anonymous said...

DeStefano's campaign staff and outside advisors have taken a winning campaign and now made it a jump ball...how brain dead can they be?

Avallone,Maloney,Altieri,Borges,etc have possibly killed this campaign and rung the life out of it like a squeezed lemon...

Anonymous said...

Apparently only malloy staffers can see what a train wreck the DeStefano campaign has become, political observers from around the state must be too dumb to see it, so all those posts critical of destefano are coming from legions of malloy staff furiously typing away in the dead of night. Wake of ctkeith, the JDS campaign is such a mess you can see it from space.

Anonymous said...

Not a Malloy staffer CTKeith.. and save your hot air for someone who cares what you think.

Anonymous said...

Why would Lamont Delegates go to DeStefano when DeStefano has endorsed Lieberman? I would hope that if DeStefano throws his support behind a candidate, he works hard on that candidate's behalf, not on the opponent', so Lamont delegates have no reason to support JDS. Unless of course, JDS' support of Lieberman is just pandering to State Central and other high ranking D's in the State. I did happen to see a JDS supporter. who was handing out stickers, wearing a Lamont pin at the JJB, something that wasn't lost on the Lieberman team.

The point is....DeStefano should be upfront and honest about who he's supporting in the Senate race. While Malloy has endorsed Lieberman, he does state that they disagree on issues, the war being one of them. Can't JDS be just as honest?

Anonymous said...

so, it turns out that Fernandez and his spouse were the brains behind DeStefano's disastrous undocumented alien experiment in New Haven, all to take the attention away from DeStefano's betrayal of local latinos. That seemed to work well.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 9:02,

You ask...

Why would any Lamont Delegate (I am One) vote for Malloy?

Maybe because the other candidate was the one sporting a Lieberman sticker at the JJB?

Also, if anybody bothered to get off the blog and actually connect to the real world of politics, they'd know for years now that Shonu has been telling activists that she's running things until the campaign hires a campaign manager.

Anonymous said...

I think Henry F. is an interesting guy. I have known him for years. He has a great American story (Yale, Harvard and LEAP) however, I disagree with his politics. He can smile in your face and plot your political destruction without losing sleep. I thought when Henry resigned as Economic Administrator that he was developing a conscience and all the dirty work that he has done for John D, over the years -was over. Yea, right!
Henry and his band of Yalie policy wonks really believe in their boss and for this reason he is perfect for this job. Henry will lean on all city employees, contractors, appointed and elected officials or just about anyone to get John elected. This selection is another example that DeStefano can not see the forest for the trees or doesn’t have the sense to pick a real campaign manger. What a waste of 3 million dollars. I have not seen this biggest act of self masturbation since Ross Perot. This truly means John will lose this primary.

NHopiner said...

I used to work with members of the Destefano team at City Hall all the time, so I developed a pretty good appreciation of these guys talents an abilities and relationships. Fernandez and ex-Chief of Staff Julio Gonsalves were the real ring leaders, staffers like Shonu, Rob Smuts, Roland Lemar, Talia Aikens were the real workhorses (what ever happened to Gonsalves,Lemar and Aikens?) and there was a general distrust between the Gonsalves and Fernandez groups within City Hall. While I know that Shonu was a Gonsalves grouper, I'm not sure where the rest fell in. IMHO, Fernandez,Gonsalves,Smuts and Lemar were the real talents in the Destefano organization and the rest of his team were really just technocrats and hacks. Unfortunatley, it looked like the campaign team was occupied by the hacks (no real role for the actual talents), maybe with Fernandez coming aboard, the "good" people will rejoin the team. Shonu was a mess and most "professional" people hated dealing with her, despite the fact that she was a nice and decent person.