Recent Posts

CT lawmakers weigh revival of earmarks

WASHINGTON — Reviled as corrupting and anti-democratic, congressional earmarks may have a revival because of recent comments from President Donald Trump and GOP lawmakers’ growing frustration with the budget process. Their return is fine with Connecticut lawmakers who have used the process to steer tens of millions of dollars to special projects in the state. Continue Reading →

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Blumenthal, Democrats sue to force Trump to disclose foreign deals

WASHINGTON — Sen. Richard Blumenthal wants a federal court in Washington, D.C., to compel President Donald Trump to ask Congress for permission when he benefits from business dealings with foreign governments. The lawsuit is based on the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which requires the nation’s presidents to clear any gift or payment from a foreign leader with Congress. Continue Reading →

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An old FBI agent gets the last word on Rowland, Wilson-Foley

It was April 30, 2012, just minutes before a congressional debate in Torrington. An angry Lisa Wilson-Foley accused Mike Clark of slandering her by questioning former Gov. John G. Rowland’s role in her campaign. “Then the debate started and we never got to complete the conversation,” Clark said Tuesday. “I guess the conversation was completed yesterday in court.” Continue Reading →

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Top aide to CT House GOP quits as feds investigate campaign mailings

George Gallo, the chief of staff to the House Republicans in the General Assembly, resigned Thursday as FBI agents questioned legislators and reviewed records relating to campaign mailings he oversaw as the caucus’ political strategist. Gallo managed Gov. John G. Rowland’s campaign in 2002 and was state party chairman under Gov. M. Jodi Rell. Continue Reading →

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Feds secretly videotaped House leaders Donovan and Cafero

New Haven – In a secretly videotaped encounter in 2012, then-House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan, D-Meriden, seemed to cheerfully take credit for killing a tobacco tax bill, then recoiled from the idea seconds later. “I took care of ya, didn’t I?” a smiling Donovan told Harry Raymond Soucy, a union friend acting on behalf of smoke-shop owners trying to keep their roll-your-own cigarette business free of state tobacco taxes. Donovan and Soucy then embraced, a scene played Thursday in U.S. District on the fourth day of the trial of Robert Braddock Jr., who was the chief fundraiser of Donovan’s 2012 congressional campaign. But Donovan’s friendly tone abruptly changed when Soucy, who by then was an FBI cooperator trying to secretly gather audio and video evidence of political corruption, explicitly tied the death of the tax bill to $20,000 raised by Soucy for Donovan’s campaign and the prospect of more money. “I’ve got another ten grand to give Josh tonight for killing the bill,” Soucy told Donovan, referring to his campaign manager, Josh Nassi. Continue Reading →

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Big stakes loom behind quiet races for the General Assembly

While U.S. Senate candidates Linda McMahon and Chris Murphy grab most of the headlines, there is more at stake in this year’s state legislative races than Connecticut has seen in a decade. Though Democrats hold comfortable margins in both chambers, an unusually large number of open seats, a sluggish economy and the specter of right-wing super PAC funds have left the majority wary. “I’m telling our people, if you have an opponent with a pulse, you need to run as if your political life depended on it,” Senate President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn, said. But Republicans, who also have to defend their share of open seats, still must campaign in a blue state where President Obama’s lead has stretched into double digits. Democrats currently hold 22 of the Senate’s 36 seats, and haven’t held fewer than 21 since 2000. Continue Reading →

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