started one of its 24-hour email polls on supporting the 5th Congressional District campaign of House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan, D-Meriden, the day that his campaign finance director was arrested.

But the liberal activist group voted to endorse Donovan in that email poll and again in a second poll conducted last week just to make sure, Daniel Mintz, the field director for MoveOn, said today.

The endorsement will bring Donovan some coordinated assistance in mobilizing the group’s 15,000 members in the district. A decision on a big-ticket boost — TV ads like ones MoveOn ran here in previous cycles — will be made separately.

Mintz said there is a “firewall” between the coordinated campaign and any independent expenditures that might follow. While TV ads offer an expensive boost, Mintz said word-of-mouth, grass-roots help should not be dismissed.

“What we’ve seen over and over this year is really low turnout. More than mail, more than TV ads, what actually wins votes is friends,” Mintz said. “That’s why our megaphone is really important.”

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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