Republican gubernatorial candidate John McKinney has returned $400 in donations to four people who fell under the state law that bans campaign contributions by state contractors and their spouses, according to his latest financing report to state election regulators.
The four people, who gave $100 each to McKinney’s campaign committee last October, were sent refunds less than two weeks after they were mentioned in a Feb. 15 Courant Government Watch column as potentially ineligible to contribute. They are: Jonathan Gavin of Durham, president of United Concrete Products Inc. in Wallingford, and his wife, Lorene Gavin; and William Valus of Fairfield, owner/sales at Encon Inc., a heating, air-conditioning and energy-efficiency company with offices in a main office in Stratford, and Maureen Valus, his wife.
The companies of Gavin and Valus appear on the State Election Enforcement Commission’s list of state contractors, or prospective contractors whose “principals” — that is, top managers or owners — are banned by law from contributing to candidates for Connecticut statewide office and state political committees.
State Democratic Party Chair Nancy DiNardo blasted McKinney in a statement this week over the returned contributions and two more recent donations that she claims he should return for the same reason. DiNardo provided a link to an online video of McKinney saying at a candidates’ debate this past Friday that “I won’t take a penny from state contractors into our campaign.” DiNardo said he “owes the voters an apology for his blatant hypocrisy.”
McKinney spokesman Michael Fox said the campaign did not wish to comment on DiNardo’s statement, but he did provide some explanation for how the campaign committee evaluates contributions to assure that they are legal.
“Given the large number of total contributions it is an incredibly small number that have not self identified themselves [as banned contractors] but we intend to continue to be vigilant and operate by the highest ethical standards,” Fox said. Continue reading