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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Gov. Rowland-Rell's campaign mamager throws Lisa Moody under the bus

Lisa Moody had something to do with this...OH, I'M SO SHOCKED!
Gov. M. Jodi Rell's 2006 campaign manager identified gubernatorial chief of staff M. Lisa Moody on Wednesday as the person responsible for giving the campaign an official state list of arts and tourism leaders, who then were solicited for campaign contributions up to $2,500.

"The campaign received this list through Lisa Moody. The lists were provided on a computer disc. ... I believe all of the individuals on the list were mailed a letter," Kevin M. Deneen, the lawyer from Windsor who managed Rell's successful election effort last year, wrote in a letter faxed Wednesday to two Democratic state legislative leaders who had asked questions about the campaign solicitations.

One of those leaders immediately blasted Moody for continuing to conduct campaign activities in the governor's office, just as she had before Rell's December 2005 fundraiser at the Marco Polo Restaurant in East Hartford. Moody's actions then led to a scandal, investigations and legislative hearings for much of last year.

"I'm not surprised by this revelation. Lisa Moody apparently thinks she's above the governor's office ethics policies," said state Rep. Christopher Caruso, D-Bridgeport, co-chairman of the legislature's government administration and elections committee. "This is the second time Lisa Moody has done it, politicking in the governor's office. ... The governor has spoken volumes about appropriate ethics. ... Now it's time for her to act."
Once again, Gov Rowland-Rell shows that the governor of integrity went at great lengths to shake the moneytree for every single penny towards her re-campaign of 2006. At what point will Rep. Christopher Caruso get fed up with the excuses and the governor and Lisa Moody and call a hearing to look into the entire matter?
Deneen's letter to Caruso and Rep. Diana Urban, D-North Stonington, ended his months of silence on the issue. The letter provided the first unequivocal confirmation that the governor's Capitol office last summer gave the Rell campaign lists from state files that included scores of names of the directors of arts and tourism organizations. Such groups depend largely or partly on the state to fund their operations.

Until Wednesday, Rell's office had acknowledged publicly only that Moody and other office staff members "could have" provided the lists to the campaign committee, but they "do not specifically remember" doing so.

The Rell campaign in September used those lists, which Rell's office staff obtained in late August from the state's Commission on Culture and Tourism, to send solicitation letters to the arts and tourism leaders. In the letters, Rell asked for contributions, reminding them that on Aug. 16 she had announced a new $10 million "Cultural Treasures" program to support arts groups.

Critics have viewed the episode as a pressure tactic on state-dependent arts and tourism leaders. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is investigating whether state time and resources were improperly used to gather the information from state files and provide it to the campaign.
Enough is enough Rep. Caruso, pull the trigger, call the hearing, and get to the bottom of this matter. Gov. Rell and Lisa Moody have a great deal of explaining to do and it's obvious that they'll pull any delaying tactic to avoid telling the truth.