Thursday, October 12, 2006

JDS Campaign Files Complaint Against Rell

I rarely do this, but here's the press release in it's entirety.

Campaign finance complaint to be filed against Rell: DeStefano campaign calls for immediate investigation

Rell took money from state contractors, then broke the law by hiding it on her report

New Haven: The DeStefano gubernatorial campaign filed a complaint today with the Elections Enforcement Commission concerning the October 10th filing of the "Jodi Rell 06" campaign finance report. Reviewing the report, it's clear that Gov. Rell accepted money from state contractors, but broke the law by not reporting it.

"Since starting her campaign Gov. Rell has maintained that she will not take money from state contractors," said Derek Slap – Director of Communications for the DeStefano campaign. "Gov. Rell has consistently broken that promise. Now, with her recent filing, it's apparent the governor has crossed a line: she and her campaign are breaking the law by hiding the fact that she is taking money from state contractors."

Chapter 150 sec. 9-333j of Connecticut's campaign financing laws specifies: "Each statement filed under subsection (a), (e) or (f) of this section shall include.... for each individual who contributes in excess of one thousand dollars in the aggregate... a statement including whether the business with which he is associated has a contract with the state which is valued at more than five thousand dollars."

In at least three instances Rell's campaign failed to identify state contractors on its October filing, a direct violation of the aforementioned law. The Department of Administrative Services shows contracts for several companies whose employees gave more than $1000 to Rell in the aggregate.

(1) William J. J McGrath's $2,500 contribution on 9/19/06 is not marked as a state contractor contribution. His employer, Halloran & Sage has at least a $50,000 contract with the state.

(2) Deborah Poerio's $2,500 contribution on7/11/06 is not marked as a state-contractor contribution. Her employer, Manchester Memorial hospital has at least a $40,000 contract with the state.

(3) Norman Marieb's $2,500 contribution on 7/19/06 is not marked as a state-contractor contribution. Her employer, Hospital of St. Raphael, has at least a $40,000 contract with the state.

It is likely that these examples represent only a small portion of state contractors that have not been reported in the October filing. This is because DAS does not record all state contracts. There are good reasons to believe that the following also have state contracts:

(1) Rupesh R. Shah's $1,500 and Jane M. Swift's $2,000 contribution on 9/19/06 are both not marked as state contractor contributions. They are both directors at WellCare.

(2) Steven H. Kaplan's $1,250 contribution on 9/7/06 is not marked as a state-contractor contribution. He is the president of the University of New Haven.

(3) Dijuana K. Lewis' $1,500 contribution on 8/30/06 is not marked as a state-contractor contribution. She is the president of Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield.

During Monday night's debate the Garde theatre in New London, Gov. Rell said, "I pride myself on being the only governor to not take special interest money to fund my campaign."

It's now clear that the Rell campaign is willing to break the law to perpetuate that myth.

"We believe the Elections Enforcement Commission should immediately launch an investigation so this matter can be resolved before Election Day. Voters deserve to know the truth," said Slap.


We'll be sure to keep everyone posted as this one develops.

Source
Slap, Derek. "State Elections Enforcement Commission complaint filed against Rell". Official Campaign Press Release. 10/12/06

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am voting for Rell and this does nothing to change my mind.

Let me say this, however. I am sure that DeStefano is right on this one, because it is a subject area on which he is an expert. DeStefano has violated the campaign finance laws repeatedly and has been fined for his violations. I am sure his most recent filings will also not be in perfect compliance either.

GMR said...

I don't know about this law, but JDS seems to be grasping at straws here. Do any of these individuals named have any influence over whether the state gets the contract? How is the check done: is it done by the campaign (i.e., someone from the campaign cross-references employers with state contractors), or is it up to the contributor to check off a box saying that the firm they work for is a state contractor?

The first guy, William McGrath is a lawyer (a managing partner) at a large Hartford law firm. He represents insurance companies and lending institutions. The $50,000 contract that this large law firm has with the state is not going to be significant for the firm.

The next two people are people who work at hospitals. They probably aren't nurses with a $2,500 donation, but they could be doctors or admin folk. And these hospitals only have $40,000 contracts with the state.

I would imagine that just about every hospital, and probably most of the larger law firms in the state, are going to have some business with the state. But if the people who donate have no influence over the contract, there probably should be a different way to notify that on the sheet. I mean, if GE has a contract with the state, does that mean that every single GE employee should be classified as a state contractor?

Steve, WH said...

What a complete frivilous freakin waste of staff time...

I can't wait to start reviewing JDS filings.

If the donor is not a signator to a contract, or a principal, or an officer of a firm holding a contarct they don;t have to check the box!

Genghis Conn said...

The law says:

Sec. 25. (c) (1) Each statement filed under subsection (a), (e) or (f) of this section shall include, but not be limited to: (A) An itemized accounting of each contribution, if any, including the full name and complete address of each contributor and the amount of the contribution; [...] (H) for each individual who contributes in excess of one thousand dollars in the aggregate, the principal occupation of such individual, the name of the individual's employer, if any, and a statement indicating whether the individual or a business with which he is associated has a contract with the state which is valued at more than five thousand dollars;
+

Anonymous said...

Still voting for Rell

Anonymous said...

Desperation has set in.

Anonymous said...

The point being that Rell has said time and time again that she does not take money from contributors with state contracts or special interest PAC money. In reality, she does take money from special interest PACs - although it comes from individuals instead of the specified PACS. So she goes through great lengths to perpetrate this myth of ethics infallibility and she keeps getting caught. Time and time again. The "individual donors" she talked about in her campaign release this week are individual donors who are part of corporations and organizations with state contracts. This is not some difficult beuracratic puzzle.

JDS was right about this - she ran with John Rowland three times and when the legislature press reform - she dragged her feet. Now she takes credit for CFR laws that Democrats pushed through and wrote.

JDS said on Monday night, "the Governor's committment to ethics has limits." Sounds like just another example of that.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the relevant statutory language GC. Steve, wh is correct. Of course, we expect JDS to ignore such things. Afterall, why let the truth get in the way of a deserate political attack, right?

The critical language is this: "whether the individual or a business with which he is associated."

This language is defined and in looking at the 3 individuals in JDS' complaint it is pretty obvious that the 2 hospital employees do not qualify.

The questionable contribution may be from the partner in the law firm. Given the size of Halloran & Sage, however, it is also unlikely that his ownership interest exceeds the amount required under law. Thus, he too is not required to check off the box.

Well, at least JDS hasn't given up, regardless of how pathetic this attempt is on his part.

Anonymous said...

How is ensuring that people - especially the highest officer of state government - follow the law desperate? It's not like CT's past governors - and Rell's own office - have the greatest record with ethics compliance. Given how hard the Rell campaign appears to have made it to identify her violations, it seems like the DeStefano camp is doing us all a favor by pointing it out.

I certainly don't have time to comb through contribution records hunting for flaws, but I encourage Steve, WH to do so. Let's get all the facts on the table.

CTRevolution said...

Ahh, but I thought Granny Rell was supposed to clean up Hartford of its ethics problem. Isn't that what she is running on? The problem is, she's part of the problem. Rowland’s cronies surround her and she refuses to condone Lisa Moody for her unethical practices. This is just another example of Rell saying one thing and doing another.

It's time for people to face the truth, Republican Rell is a politician. If anything, her lack of answers at the debate proves that. She's no bipartisan hero, she's a conservative who is flouting ethics rules and running a rose garden strategy to try to sneak back into office.

Sorry to pop your balloon, but Rell's campaign refuses to show vision, refuses to show leadership, and refuses to even stand by it's own pledges. And I refuse to vote for her.

Go watch the debate again. When DeStefano brings up the breaking of the campaign finance pledge, she has no rebuttal. And now it appears, not only has she broken her promise to the people of CT, but, like her buddy John Rowland, she's broken the law.

Anonymous said...

I'm still undecided.Could someone please make a list of Jodi Rells accomplishments for me?

Anonymous said...

This is not desperate and not new. The Journal Inquirer did a piece on her not long ago as well as the Hartford Courant. Most recently, her using slush funds has been questioned and mentioned on this blog.

To this date she has not answered any of these charges and DeStefano's filing is the latest episode of exposing Rell hypocrisy.

Ghost of Yogi said...

GMR,

While I here what you're saying, your point doesn't change the law. Maybe the contracts aren't "substantial" but that's not the point, is it? (You know she would not have gotten far by not disclosing “substantial” state contractor contributions.) The point is, if you contribute over a certain amount and you are affiliated with an organization that deals with State business, the campaign receiving the contribution must list you as operating with a state contract. Rell didn't do that and the DeStefano Campaign caught her.

Most of us will see this as official corruption. However, those Rell apologists who would gloss over even the most egregious violations of the law (Buying a Ford Mustang with Tax payer money for John Rowland's 41st birthday; Lisa Moody soliciting state employees on state time in the state house) can only defend it by pretending to be dumb on the issue. So far it has worked for Rell, but ignorance is not an excuse to violate the law.

So, I guess she is either inept or corrupt. I will let you choose.

Ghost of Yogi said...

Jodi Rell is falling down
Falling down,
falling down.
Jodi Rell is falling down,
my fair lady ;}

Fuzzy Turtle said...

I'm still undecided.Could someone please make a list of Jodi Rells accomplishments for me?

1. she's done nothing to keep decent jobs of ANY SORT in the state.. CT is hemorraging jobs!
2. she's done nothing for the ballooning cost of healthcare in the state, and has ignored the uninsured (what's the stats? 1 in 5?)
3. she singlehandedly saved Groton. Oh wait no that was Lieberman/Shays/Johnson.. hahahahaha.

Anonymous said...

Why are people so quick to take DeStefanos word for it? He filed a complaint and now he can trumpet out the phrase "COMPLAINTS HAVE BEEN FILED AGAINST MY OPPONENT" for political gain. My guess is that this goes nowhere.

MikeCT said...

Here is the requirement in context from the guide from State Elections Enforcement Commission (p 28):

Any individual who contributes to the committee in the aggregate in excess of $1,000, in addition to providing the treasurer with his name, address, occupation and the name of his employer, must further provide the treasurer with a statement indicating whether the contributor, or any business with which the contributor is associated, has a contract with the state which is valued at more than $5,000. A "business with which he is associated" refers to any business in which the contributor is a director, officer, owner, limited or general partner, or stockholder of 5% or more of the total stock of the business. The treasurer is required to request this information from the contributor by certified mail within 3 days after receipt. If this information is not provided, the treasurer may not deposit any contributions which would cause the $1,000 threshold to be exceeded, and the same must be returned.
[Section 9-333j(c), General Statutes]


So if these people are directors, officers, etc. in the contracting organizations, the campaign must report this. The rule does not encompass every employee.

Regardless of whether she meets the letter of the law, it is not clear to me what her campaign's rule has been about who is a state contractor and what contributions are accepted from what kind of employees - does she only ostensibly decline contributions from directors, etc or from any employees of a contractor?

Anonymous said...

Too bad I just filled out my absentee ballot before I had the chance to see that Rell is just as bad as John Rowland... oh, wait. I don't care. I wrote in Malloy-Glassman anyway.

Ghost of Yogi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Question for DeStefano:

Is New Haven still "City for Sale"?

Might I suggest the 1980 Billy Joel album "Glass Houses" is available at Amazon for quick delivery

GMR said...

1. she's done nothing to keep decent jobs of ANY SORT in the state.. CT is hemorraging jobs!

According to the Connecticut Department of Labor, "Connecticut's unemployment rate in 2005 was 4.9% and the U.S. unemployment rate was 5.1%, continuing a trend where the State's unemployment rate was lower than the U.S. rate each year during 1996-2005. The average difference between the U.S. and State rates was 0.9% from 1996-2000 and 0.5% for 2001-2005."

It is true that Connecticut added fewer jobs (on a percentage basis) than the rest of the country, but this is due to lower population growth. (Its unemployment rate dropped: this can only happen if you add more jobs than people [job seekers]. We didn't add a lot of either, but we added more jobs than people)

GMR said...

"business with which he is associated" refers to any business in which the contributor is a director, officer, owner, limited or general partner, or stockholder of 5% or more of the total stock of the business.

Well, JDS has complaints about a lawyer and two hospital employees. On the website of the law firm, William J McGrath (the lawyer) is listed as a managing partner, so he's probably got to check off the box that says he is an associated person. I'm still unclear about who does this exactly: the campaign or the individual. This lawyer isn't involved in state contracts: he defends insurance companies and financial institutions. But his firm did a little bit of business with the state. $50,000 according to JDS. You've got about 100 lawyers at this firm, and $50,000 of billing even if the firm charges only $100 per hour is 500 hours, or about 1/4 of one lawyer.

There can't be anything nefarious about Rell trying to cover this up: the law firm was listed on the disclosure! And since JDS could figure out that the law firm did a little bit of business with the state, I'm sure that's not a secret. The Rell campaign should have ensured the box was checked, but in the end, how can anyone say this was anything but an oversight? When a campaign gets a donation, does it need to look up the donor to see if they are an officer or partner or director, and then look up that company to see if it is a contractor, or does it rely on the donor? What if the donor doesn't know? Is it then his fault?

The first hospital employee JDS listed is Deborah Poerio. She's the manager of the School Based Health Center, and I doubt she qualifies as an "associated person".

Norman Marieb is an Endocrinologist at the St. Raphael hospital. He serves as an editor of the St. Raphael Medical bulletin. But I don't see him listed as an officer or director or anything else.

Now, here's another question to ponder? Anyone have a problem with ALL donors being available for review at the Secretary of State website? Like the fact that there are probably hundreds of unlisted addresses in there? It's not as bad as fecinfo.com for federal filings, where you can search by company or zip code, to get a quick idea if any guy at the company donates to pro-union candidates or something. I understand the rationale behind disclosure, but shouldn't there be some limit?

GMR said...

While I here what you're saying, your point doesn't change the law. Maybe the contracts aren't "substantial" but that's not the point, is it? (You know she would not have gotten far by not disclosing “substantial” state contractor contributions.) The point is, if you contribute over a certain amount and you are affiliated with an organization that deals with State business, the campaign receiving the contribution must list you as operating with a state contract. Rell didn't do that and the DeStefano Campaign caught her.

Most of us will see this as official corruption.


So anytime anyone in the state government runs afoul of any statute, regardless of how much or whatever, it becomes official corruption? Driving 57 in a 55 is official corruption?

There's no way you can think Rell was covering up something by not disclosing that a law firm had a $50,000 contract with the state, when the law firm has about 100 lawyers, and the guy that donated doesn't do business with the state. That's a paperwork problem, not official corruption.

Anonymous said...

I still think everyone is missing the point. Monday night, Jodi Rell was on live television and says she's the only candidate who doesn't take special interest money or money from people responsible for state contracts.

Except for the fact that, yes, she does.

Not only that - NOT ONLY THAT - but she submitted illegal campaign finance contribution forms to the Secretary of State to maintain that air of ethical cleanness.

I guess it just goes to show you that with this Rowland/Rell crowd - the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Ghost of Yogi said...

Anon 7:02, (aka Rich Harris, aka Karl Rove)

Way to deflect. I knew it would be coming. Deal with it, Rell is corrupt.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Anonymous said...

I think CT News Junkie (hardly a right wing rag, BTW0 says it best.

DeStefano Made Similar Mistake; Tattles on Rell Anyway more...
by Christine Stuart
05:14:32 pm, Categories: CT Elections 2006, 348 words
New Haven Mayor John DeStefano’s former Deputy Chief of Staff Robert Smuts, who took a leave of absence to work on DeStefano’s campaign for governor, filed an election complaint against Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s campaign Thursday for alleged violations of the state’s campaign finance laws.

Smuts alleges in the complaint that Rell’s campaign failed to follow the letter of the law by not reporting that at least three individuals who contributed in excess of $1,000, work for a company with a state contract over $5,000.

Sound familiar. Last October DeStefano’s campaign was busted for a similar violation when it failed to identify the occupations and employers of contributors to his own campaign

ken krayeske said...

So you're damned if you do, damned if you don't. In order to raise enough money to be a candidate, John DeStefano and Jodi Rell have to break all sorts of rules.

Yet when you opt out of feeding at the piggish trough, you are punished perhaps more thoroughly. The Green Party refuses special interest money and business-related PAC money. Then the New London Day said Cliff Thornton didn't raise enough money to merit entrance into the debates.

What kind of system do we want here in America? You only get attention when you are corrupted and dominated by money or you get ignored if you opt out of it.

What a load of hypocritical horsehockey, sounding like it is doled out by a bunch of fourth graders on the playground.

And Smuts - how many employees in the City of New Haven would be granted an unpaid leave of absence for four months for any reason?

Unbelievable. I'm speechless, not just because the Republicans and Democrats have their bootheels on the Green Party's windpipe.

Anonymous said...

The good news...the DeStefano campaign finally understands the campaign finance law. As already mentioned several times before, they were guilty of a similar violation, which JDS chalked up to "and administrative error".

The wheels are coming off the bus over at JDS HQ. Did anyone see the story in the Courant re: "DeStefano Ploy Falls Short" in the Notes from the Campaign Trail? Embarassing. Amateurish. And definitely ungubernatorial.

Its a good read -- and a good indication of why this guy is going nowhere fast.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

ken krayeske said...

The Green Party refuses special interest money and business-related PAC money.


I fail to see the point in that stance.



Then the New London Day said Cliff Thornton didn't raise enough money to merit entrance into the debates.


That's simply wrong. It's shortsighted too as often it's the periphial candidates that bring new ideas to the fore. You're right to be incensed.

Anonymous said...

Destefano is incredibly desperate. WOW. While he is planning his next lame attack everyone will be yawning at (hospital garments anyone?) she was with Mayor Bloomberg & George Pataki raking in the NYC dollars. His entire campaign thus far has been laughable. Jodi Rell has done a great job & will continue to.

ken krayeske said...

ACR

I am somewhat torn on the stance, because I know there are some good businesses (biodezl or bike shops) that I wouldn't mind taking campaign money from.

Yet at the same time, I am certain that if we got elected, those businesses would expect something in return from us.

Quid pro quo. We don't want to be part of that.

Putting that all aside, though, not many businesses want to give to us, so it makes it kind of an easy decision.

CTRevolution said...

You're right Anon 10:57, Connecticut is nearly dead last in job growth, 400,000 people don't have health care (70,000 of them children) and families have to face large double digit increases in property taxes and energy rate. Rell must be doing a great job!!! Let's give her four more years and see if she can do worse! It worked for Bush, now it can work for Rell. Here's her new campaign slogans, "What's the worst that can happen?/You thought John Rowland broke the law, you ain't seen nothing yet!/I've never made a mistake in my life, vote for me.

Shadow said...

Ken - This may sound incredibly nieve, particularly for politics, but what if you were completely straight forward with them up from that quid pro quo is not the deal? Tell these businesses that are/may be considering contributions that the platform they're contributing to is all about getting quid pro quo OUT of politics, and that the candidate's positions on issues will not change one bit after the contribution than before. If they still choose to give, then fine; no favors will be owed (outside of the candidate being loyal to the platform being campaigned on).

I know personally that if I owned a business and chose to contribute to the Green Party, I would be RELIEVED to hear this, because it's the only way I'd know that other businesses' bigger contributions wouldn't alter the candidate's positions from what I chose to support.

If there are businesses contemplating donating to the Green Party, they have no reason to unless they support them on the issues (which include minimalizing financial influence in politics). So as long as you engage them up front on this topic, everything should work out.

Anonymous said...

Wait a second - The Dem Legislature passes the budget whacking corporations with surcharges, etc, now JDS, if elected, wants companies to foot the bill for insurance coverage for the "400,000" uninsured (mainly healthy 20-30 year-olds who are gambling that the money they save in premiums will outweigh any risk they need substantial medical care), and that is all somehow going to make CT MORE friendly to business and produce MORE jobs? Where the heck does this logic come from? D's are pro-union, anti-business - a Dem governor would eliminate the last check on the politburo, er General Assembly, and businesses and the wealthy will flee the state in droves.

Anonymous said...

I read that AETNA just announced a big layoff efeective immediately. Somewhere I remember reading in recent months that our inept Governor had given them incentives to stay in CT but I guess that didn't mena no layoffs. Government can't create jobs in the private sector but Rell thinks she can. She's not corrupt but she is inept in most evrything she does.

Anonymous said...

Our Governor Jodi Rell HAS BALLS to say she has helped create over 20 thousand new jobs.

THE FACTS ARE

-the 20 thousand jobs created after the fact over 50 thousand jobs were lost in the state since 2003. So there is still a net loss over 30 thousand.

-Connecticut ranks last to Alaska in job creation.

It's sad are useless govenor will be elected again because she is a nice woman. Well thanks republicans for helping to make Connecticut a poltiical-economic mess.

Anonymous said...

After reading some of these posts makes me want to throw up. Anybody who thinks Jodi Rell has done a good job must be smoking some kind of crack. Look at all the problems mounting up in our state right now. Our state can't even complete a highway project without messing up the contract or contstrutcion.

Wasn't Jodi Rell the governor who elminated the estate tax for multimilionaires, but eliminated part of the Husky program? So rich Ct millionaires get to live life in more luxusy, but 30 thousand more little kids have no healthcare insurance. To me that is on the bordline of being inept/corrput.

ken krayeske said...

Anon 12:59
Ditto on the job creation figures. As Cliff says in his commercials - if Connecticut is lucky, by 2008 we will have the same number of jobs we had in 1988.

Rell/Rowland has only hurt us. We must not let her impending re-election weaken our faith in self-government.

Shadow
re:quid pro quo
There is no such thing as something for nothing. Maybe I am being too hard line here, but a business only contributes to a political campaign when it thinks that campaign will be good for business. The nature of capital is to make more capital.
The Greens will gladly accept donations from individuals. Corporations are persons but only via a tortured legal fiction, and they should not have the same rights as people.

Anonymous said...

Jodi Rell at least has some brainpower behind her where DeStefano lost his when he lost the afro.

Anonymous said...

When did the scarecrow, Rell, get some brains.