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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Gov Rell caught red-handed

I knew it would be just a matter of time until people start questioning the antics of Gov. Jodi Rowland-Rell.

You see, the governor has been able to walk away from recent troubling episodes in his administration such as the infamous Lisa Moody scandal and the events surrounding her nomination of Peter T. Zarella as Chief State Court Justice.

Now things have changed and it seems that the current and former governor have something in common, they both love taking money from state contractors and they both have a bit of a problem telling the truth.

The Journal Inquirer has the goods.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell - whose office only last weekend issued a statement declaring that she wasn't accepting campaign contributions from state contractors and lobbyists - has received a total of at least $175,000 from more than 200 individuals employed by state contractors and two others identified themselves as lobbyists, state records show.

[...]

The reports filed by the governor's campaign committee with the secretary of the state's office reveal that dozens of her biggest benefactors between November 2005 and June 2006 weren't low-level employees at companies that hold state contracts, but high-ranking executives.

Those who filled out a space on Rell's campaign contribution forms identifying themselves as employees of a state contractor, each of whom gave $2,500 to the governor, include:

* Five top officials at three of the biggest insurance companies in Connecticut: Ronald A. Williams of Farmington, president of Aetna; Alan M. Bennett of Madison, chief financial officer at Aetna; Craig R. Callen of Hartford, an Aetna senior vice president; David Johnson of West Hartford, chief financial officer of The Hartford; and Jay S. Fishman of Englewood, N.J., the chief executive officer, chairman, and president of St Paul Travelers.

* Three senior officials at Fairfield-based General Electric: Chairman Michael Neal of Weston, Chief Financial Officer Keith Sherin of Weston, and Vice President and Senior Tax Counsel John Samuels of Greenwich.

* Three principals in MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc., a New York firm that invests in both public and private companies: Ronald Perelman, the financier who serves as the firm's chairman; Howard Gittis, its vice chairman and chief accounting officer; and Barry Schwartz, its executive vice president and general counsel.

* Key executives at various other companies, including: George David of Avon, chief executive officer of United Technologies Corp.; Nathaniel D. Woodson of North Haven, chief executive office of the New Haven-based utility United Illuminating Co.; Michael J. Critelli of Darien, chief executive officer of Stamford-based Pitney Bowes; Larry R. Gottesdiner, chief executive officer of Northland Investment Corp., which owns the Goodwin Hotel and other Hartford properties; and Diane P. Wilson of Berlin, chief financial officer of Vertex Inc., a New Britain-based software and development firm.

Similarly, 59 individuals associated with firms with state contracts also have contributed $1,000 each to Rell.
They included Carl Johnson of Farmington, a partner Blum, Shapiro & Co. P.C.; James S. Ciarcia of Rocky Hill, a financial analyst at Northeast Utilities; William M. Samuelson of Cheshire, director of business and professional banking at Webster Bank; William Huntley, president of racing, sports, and gaming technology at New York-based Scientific Games Corp.; and Charles DiBona of Stamford, a broker at Marsh & McLennan.

The chief spokesman in the governor's office, Judd Everhart, trumpeted Rell's support for tough campaign finance laws in a statement issued last Saturday, when Rell and several legislative leaders were honored by three national watchdog groups.

The statement said the governor was "setting the tone for Connecticut's reforms" by following the requirements of legislation that has not yet taken effect, adding that "her campaign is not accepting contributions from contractors, lobbyists, and other sources banned from gubernatorial campaigns beginning in 2010."
It's Rowland all over again folks and no one should be fooled.

When asked for a comment from the DeStefano campaingn, the response came back as soon as I hit the send button on my email program.
"Gov. Rell has built her entire campaign on this promise, which has now been revealed by the Manchester Journal-Inquirer to be completely false.

Gov. Rell has broken her pledge and it will be interesting to follow this story as her broken promise unravels."

As recently as four days ago she was still telling the press that she was not taking money from state contractors, something that was clearly false.
You can bet that the media will pick up on this story over the next few days and hopefully and while they're at it, remember the following:
Rell has given...

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 Rell not addressing or listing any issues she would tackle if re-elected on her website.

AND NOW, no clear answer regarding breaking her pledge to not accept any money from state contractors.


Can the love affair with Gov. Rell stop now?

After the Rowland scandal, the voter in Connecticut deserve answers.