For CT Democrats, those $10,000 checks keep coming
Husam Ahmad of Forest Hills, N.Y., gave $10,000 to the Connecticut Democratic Party on March 25, less than two weeks after the state awarded his engineering firm, HAKS, an $8.63 million contract to inspect overhead power lines on the New Haven line of Metro North.
Last year, he and six others associated with HAKS gave $45,000 to the Democrats as the majority party stepped up its fundraising in preparation for the 2014 election. Records show that major donors of 2013, many with a financial relationship with the state, are opening up their checkbooks again in 2014.
Two principals of Winstanley Enterprises of Concord, Mass., whose downtown New Haven real-estate project got a huge boost from the Malloy administration in 2012, gave $20,000 to the Democratic Party last month, bringing their company’s two-year total to $50,000.
The Simon Konover Company, which the state pays $4.7 million annually to rent 55 Elm St. in Hartford, is up to $51,000 in donations, with $30,000 from three executives last month on top of $21,000 last year. Its tenants include the attorney general, treasurer and comptroller.
With a $10,000 check in March, Alan B. Lazowski of Laz Parking, which holds contracts to manage state-owned garages, is up to $20,000. The same is true of Francisco P. Borges, a former state treasurer and chairman of Landmark Partners, an investment firm and state contractor.
Two executives and one spouse at Vision Financial Markets of Stamford gave $40,000, including $30,000 last month. Stephen F. Mandel of Greenwich, a billionaire founder of Lone Pine Capital, gave $10,000 last year and again in February. They are not listed as state contractors.
A 2005 law bars state contractors from donating directly to campaigns for state office, but a 2002 federal law allows them to give to state political parties, even if those donations indirectly benefit state candidates. Both parties maintain state and federal accounts, with the latter covering most operating expenses.
The party does not say if it is targeting contractors for contributions. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a first-term Democrat seeking re-election, has repeatedly given the same answer to questions about fundraising: He and his party will follow the law, no more or less.
According to a monthly report filed this week with the Federal Election Commission, the Connecticut Democrats raised $324,605 in April and $855,218 since the start of the year. Nearly half the monthly total came from just 15 donors who gave the calendar-year maximum of $10,000.
The Connecticut Republican Party, which holds no statewide or congressional offices, did not record a single $10,000 donation in April. Its receipts were $117,282 for the month and $418,722 since the start of the year.
The reports were for the parties’ federal accounts. State contractors are barred from donating to the parties’ state accounts or to campaigns for state offices, but they are allowed to contribute to the federal accounts.
One of the Democrats’ new $10,000 donors was Ted Kennedy Jr. of Branford, a lawyer running for the state Senate.
The other $10,000 donors for April:
- Robert C. Baker of Purchase, N.Y., He is the chairman of National Realty & Development Corporation, a retail and office developer with 1 million square feet of retail in Stamford, Trumbull, North Haven and Wallingford.
- Robert Boshnack of New York City. He is the chairman of Vision Financial Markets, based in Stamford. Howard Rothman, another Vision executive, and his wife, Gayle, also gave $10,000 each last month and $5,000 each last year.
- Philip Cambo of Sturbridge, Ma., president of Northern Tree Service, a state contractor.
- Jane Coppa of Delray Beach, Fla., an executive with The Simon Konover Company.
- Simon Konover of Delray Beach, Fla., is the company’s founder.
- Steven Konover of West Hartford is on Konover’s board of directors.
- Angelo DeFazio of Canton. He is the chief executive officer of Arrow Pharmacy and a member of the state Commission of Pharmacy.
- Christopher F. O. Gabrieli of Boston is a partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, specializing in investments in bio-pharmaceutical and cancer therapeutics firms.
- Arthur J. Reimers of Greenwich is an investor and former Goldman Sachs managing director. He also contributed $10,000 last year.
- Lawrence G. Santilli of West Hartford, president of Athena Health Care, a state-regulated nursing home chain. He also gave $10,000 last year.
- Adam Winstanley and Carter J. Winstanley of Concord, Mass., are principals of Winstanley Enterprises, the developer of Downtown Crossing in New Haven. They each gave $10,000 last year, as did a third partner. Its anchor tenant, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, is relocating with $51 million in incentives from the state.
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