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Friday, August 12, 2005

More bad news for Newton

I guess when it rain, it pours.

Seems like the feds are now investigating if State Senator Ernest Newton for mail fraud and racketeering from his 2004 re-election campaign.

From the Connecticut Post

A federal grand jury ordered Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz to turn over all hard copy and electronic records on the race, in which Newton, D-Bridgeport, handily beat Republican Jerry A. Blackwell, 14,628 votes to 4,509. The district includes Bridgeport's East Side and part of Stratford's South End.

The records detail tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions and the way Newton paid campaign workers last year. Possible violations of racketeering and mail fraud statutes could be part of the grand jury's purview, sources said.


A spokesman for Senate majority Democrats said that the caucus, which recently stripped Newton of a ceremonial title worth $1,000 a year, is maintaining a wait-and-see attitude on the veteran lawmaker's legal problems. The three-page federal order for Newton's election records, released by Bysiewicz under the state's Freedom of Information Act, represents an expansion of the federal investigation, which last week netted a guilty plea for bribery that did not name, but apparently implicated, Newton.

At this point, you have to ask how much longer can Newton be a effective senator for the people in his district in Bridgeport. If the democrats don't apply presure on him to resign, this Newton scandal will leave a black cloud over the party as a whole because voters will view the democrats no better than the republicans who sat back and did nothing while charges mounted on their leader disgraced ex-governor John Rowland.

The evidence against Newton is mounting with each passing day and he should do what's best for the party and the state and resign.