The campaign of congressional candidate Mark Greenberg says that former Gov. John G. Rowland offered political consulting services before Greenberg ran in 2010, but he wanted to be paid through the candidate’s nonprofit animal shelter — not the campaign.

The story, which was first reported by the Register-Citizen and confirmed by Greenberg spokesman Chris Cooper, comes after the paper’s previous report that Rowland more recently had worked for the husband of Lisa Wilson-Foley, a congressional candidate this year.

The latest story offers no motive for why Rowland would not have wanted in 2010 to be listed as a consultant on a campaign finance report. He did not begin his regular duties as a talk-show host on WTIC-AM until September 2010, well into the campaign season.

Had Greenberg accepted what Cooper says was Rowland’s suggestion — to pay him through the nonprofit animal shelter — those payments could have been a public record on the nonprofit’s tax return, if Rowland was paid a significant fee.

It is an intriguing piece that raises more questions than it delivers answers.

Greenberg is running again this year in the 5th District, competing with Wilson-Foley for the GOP nomination. As such, Greenberg is in the odd position of being the source of a story about Rowland’s behavior in 2010 that could reflect on Wilson-Foley’s campaign in 2012.

If that isn’t evidence that Connecticut political circles are small and interconnected, consider this: Cooper, who is Greenberg’s spokesman, was a spokesman for Rowland before his resignation in the face of a corruption investigation and then for Gov. M. Jodi Rell before retiring from state service.

Another twist: one of the other GOP candidates in the 5th is Mike Clark, a retired supervisory FBI agent whose cases included the one that led to Rowland’s guilty plea to corruption charges and his 10-month stay in a federal prison.

Rowland did not comment for the Register Citizen. The Mirror could not reach him today through a producer at WTIC.

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Mark PazniokasCapitol Bureau Chief

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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