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Monday, September 18, 2006

Business as usual for Gov Rowland-Rell

Finally, it seems like the press is beginning to document the "business as usual" activities of Gov. Jodi Rowland-Rell. You see, there really is no difference between the activities of John Rowland and those of Jodi Rell.  Her list of "accomplishments" that she brags about is nothing more than a smokescreen designed to deceive the public and keeps people from asking her about how she plans to address the various issues plaguing our state.

Karl Rove would be proud.

One only needs to look at the deails to see the true story of this "out to lunch" administration and that brings me to this gem of an article in today's New Haven Register which details how  the governor is STILL paying state contractors who were involved in various corruption scandals. I think the governor has some explaining to do.

The state has paid more than $7.7 million in the past two years to contracting companies that were identified back in 2004 as being involved in various state government corruption scandals.

Two of the companies linked to state scandals, Earth Technologies Inc. and Earth Technologies II, LLC, are based in North Haven and are owned by Frank Ruocco.

Together, Ruocco's environmental and construction cleanup firms are continuing to work for several state agencies and have received more than $3.35 million in taxpayer dollars since their involvement in corruption scandals were first cited in state reports.

A third company, Unicco Services Co., saw its long-running contract with the state Department of Transportation end in August 2005. But it still received a total of $4.4 million in state payments in the past two years, including $1.23 million since the contract was halted.
Democrats would like to know why the governor still doing business with these contractors?
"Certainly, I think the state can decide who it does business with," said the co-chairman of the legislature’s Judiciary Committee, state Rep. Michael P. Lawlor, D-East Haven. "The governor has a lot of power to stop doing business with someone."

"It just defies logic," said state Rep. Christopher Caruso, D-Bridgeport, co-chairman of the General Assembly's Government Administration and Elections Committee. "There should be a penalty for ripping off the state…This sends a message that you can rip off the taxpayers and come back and still get more taxpayer money."

State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said he agrees that Rell has the power to end the state's relationship with suspect companies. "There are steps the governor can take to prevent these companies from doing business with the state," Blumenthal said.
Again, why is the governor doing business with these corrupt companies. Here's the rundown.
In 2004, state and federal authorities began investigating allegations that Ruocco's companies had done favors for officials in the DEP's oil and chemical spill unit in return for getting state work.

Former Earth Technologies employees told the New Haven Register that Ruocco's company did major work at the homes of several DEP officials at cut-rate or no charge.

Blumenthal's office issued an "interim report" on its civil corruption probe in October 2004 stating that "DEP employees received special favors and sweetheart deals at their homes" from Ruocco’s companies.

Several of Ruocco's former workers said the cost of at least a portion of the work done at Yorke's home was charged to a federally funding environmental cleanup project in Derby.


The corruption case involving Unicco concerned the DOT's rail operations headquarters at Union Station in New Haven.

State auditors began investigating whistleblower allegations in 2004 that DOT officials circumvented state competitive bidding to award a $546,000 contract for renovation state offices at Union Station to a Woodbridge company called Merritt Builders.

Raymond F. Cox, a former assistant rail administrator, pleaded guilty last month to theft and obstruction of justice in the case.
Like I said, business as usual. The only difference between Rowland and Rell is that the current governor is barely in her office.

To recap, Gov. Rell has given the voters of Connecticut:

• No comment regarding her association with former Gov. John Rowland during the his scandal.

• No comment regarding Lisa Moody's status of Cheif of staff.

• No comment regarding Rell's nomination of Peter T. Zarella.

• No comment regarding her not addressing or listing any issues she would tackle if re-elected on her website.

• No clear answer regarding breaking her pledge to not accept any money from state contractors.

And NOW, we learn that the governor is paying contractors that "were identified back in 2004 as being involved in various state government corruption scandals."

Can the love affair with Gov. Rell stop now?