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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Gov Rell friends with soda lobbyists

CTnews junkie has the details on Gov. Rell's close relationship with Coca Cola soda lobbyist, Patricia LeShane. Coca Cola scored a major victory this week with Gov. Rell vetoing a bill that would of banned soda and junk food from schools.

On the web site for Sullivan and LeShane, a leading lobbying firm at the state Capitol, the biography for Patricia LeShane lists one of her credentials as “campaign advisor to Lt. Governor M. Jodi Rell (R) during her successful primary race and three general election campaigns.”

The women are also friends,

[...]

LeShane’s firm represents Coca-Cola, one of the biggest winners at the Capitol this week after Rell decided to veto a bill banning a wide variety of soda from Connecticut public schools. The relationship between the governor’s office and Coke’s leading lobbyist, then, offers a fresh line of attack for Senate President Donald Williams, the bill’s chief sponsor and a political enemy of the governor’s.

“Sullivan and LeShane make no secret of their access and friendship to Governor Rell,” said Patrick Scully, Williams’s communications chief, adding that he has no specific knowledge of contacts from the firm on the soda bill.

Although there is no direct evidence LeShane discussed the bill with Gov. Rell, it's clear that LeShane benefited from the veto and since she has a close friendship with the governer, it's logical for Rell's critics to cry foul. Will the MSM examine that relationship and verify that LeShane did not discuss the bill with the Gov Rell?