Category Archives: Chris Donovan

Federal Subpoena In George Gallo Probe Shows Same PAC In Chris Donovan Case

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Chris Donovan, Direct Mail Systems, Elizabeth Esty, George Gallo, Larry Cafero Date:

A federal grand jury is seeking a wide variety of e-mails and text messages involving George D. Gallo, the former state Republican chairman who is now at the center of an ongoing FBI investigation into whether campaign work was steered to a Florida printing house.

The House Republican office released three subpoenas Friday that had been received in the Gallo investigation.

Subpoenas to the House Republican Campaign Committee, the House Republican office, and the New Friends political action committee all seek \”any and all documents,\’\’ including e-mails, invoices, and contracts dating back to January 2008, between Gallo and any staff member. The same request is being made of correspondence between the committees and The Vinco Group, LLC, a campaign consulting group operated by Gallo since 2003.

The latest subpoenas also seek all correspondence with Florida-based Direct Mail Systems, Inc. and a relatively small, Ohio-based company named King Strategic Communications that has 12 employees shown on its web site. Federal agents are also seeking any correspondence with any other direct mail vendor that the Republicans used. Continue reading

Former State GOP Chairman Resigns After FBI Interviews On Fla. Firm

by Categorized: Chris Donovan, George Gallo, Larry Cafero, Republicans Date:

The state Capitol was abuzz Thursday regarding interviews by at least four FBI agents of Republican legislators who used the same Florida firm for advertising in their political campaigns.

The FBI investigation is focused on Direct Mail Systems of Clearwater, Florida, which is well known in the Republican world for its expertise in direct mail for campaigns, sources said. Through the years, Republican candidates at all levels have spent more than $500,000 with the firm, which has prompted some lawmakers to question why the money was not spent on Connecticut companies. Continue reading

Malloy Proposes $10.10 Min Wage in 2017

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Chris Donovan, Gov. Dannel Malloy, John McKinney Date:

After being lukewarm to a minimum wage hike proposed in 2012 by then-House Speaker Chris Donovan, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Tuesday proposed boosting the wage to $10.10 per hour in 2017.

\”There is a debate happening across our country on how to tackle the growing income inequality that is detrimental to our middle class families and to our economy,\’\’ Malloy said in a statement after unveiling his plan in Bridgeport. \’\’Part of tackling that critically important challenge is making sure that we recognize that a good and decent wage is good for workers and good for business.\’\’

He added, \”For too long, the minimum wage has not kept up with the cost of living.  As studies have shown, the workers who would benefit from a minimum wage increase brought home 46 percent of their household’s total wage and salary income in 2011.  When workers earn more money, businesses will have more customers.  This modest boost will help those earning the least to make ends meet.”

Citing Malloy\’s skepticism only two years ago, the Connecticut state director of a small business group asked Malloy \”to explain why his reasoning on the minimum wage seems to have dramatically changed\’\’ since Donovan\’s bill failed without a vote in the Democratic-controlled state Senate.

“We’d like to know what’s changed,” said Andrew Markowski, the National Federation of Independent Business state director.  “Last year, the governor warned that a higher minimum wage could damage small business.  Now, he’s calling for a 22 percent increase over the previous level.  It’s very confusing.\’\’

An estimated 5 percent of the state\’s workforce is paid the minimum wage. Continue reading

It\’s Official: Democrat Chris Donovan Will Not Be Charged By U.S. Attorney

by Categorized: Chris Donovan, Chris Healy, Democrats, Elizabeth Esty Date:

It\’s official.

Former state House Speaker Christopher Donovan will not be charged by the U.S. Attorney in a campaign finance scandal that sent numerous supporters to prison.

Donovan\’s attorney received a letter from U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly when she requested an official update on the longrunning case.

\”Please be advised that the investigation is now closed and, based on information and evidence currently available to the Government, this office will not seek to charge your client with violations of federal criminal law in connection with the investigation,\’\’ Daly wrote to Attorney Shelley R. Sadin of Quinnipiac University law school.

Donovan\’s spokeswoman said that his only response would be: \”The investigation is over. I look forward to continuing my efforts to advocate for a fair and just society.\’\’ Continue reading

Weicker, Dodd, Larson Honor The Late Tom D\’Amore; Liberals, GOP Chairs All Remember Former Political Aide

by Categorized: Chris Donovan, George Jepsen, Lowell Weicker Date:

WINSTED – For more than two decades, Tom D\’Amore served as the top political lieutenant to Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. as he skyrocketed onto the national stage while scoring major election victories as an outspoken U.S. Senator and independent Connecticut governor.

On Monday, Weicker hailed his former colleague as a visionary political operative who had helped him achieve those victories. D\’Amore, the former state Republican chairman and longtime independent political consultant, died last week at the age of 72 from a sudden heart attack.

Hundreds of friends of every political stripe gathered at the funeral Mass and a later reception for D\’Amore, a multifaceted Renaissance Man who worked with politicians on the left and the right for more than 40 years.

Using a walker on wheels, Weicker, 82, stood in front of the crowd at the reception hall and said he had been deeply moved by D\’Amore\’s death.

\”My problem for the last five or six days has been how to get my sense of humor back,\’\’ Weicker told the crowd.

\”Did you ever have one?\’\’ a Weicker friend exclaimed as the crowd laughed.

Weicker then went on to tell a story of his ill-fated and short-lived run to be President of the United States. As usual, Weicker sent D\’Amore to do much of the advance work for the campaign. This time, that involved sending D\’Amore to New Hampshire in order to pave the way for the nationally known Weicker to have an even bigger political stage.

Weicker recalled that a prominent New Hampshire editor, whom he did not name, was not particularly enamored with Weicker running for President and made sure that D\’Amore knew that.

\”Mr. D\’Amore, let me tell you something,\’\’ Weicker recalled the encounter. \”We got Communists here in New Hampshire, and believe me, our Communists don\’t even like your Communists.\’\’

Those at the catering hall laughed at Weicker\’s recollections.

\”Nobody was as wise as Tom when it came to politics,\’\’ Weicker said. \”We have a one-party state right now because there is nobody else [in the Republican Party] who thinks as Tom thought.\’\’

Weicker finished his remarks by saying, \”I loved the man.\’\’ Continue reading

Metro-North Fares To Increase Wednesday; Min Wage Up By 45 Cents

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Chris Donovan, Gov. Dannel Malloy Date:

It will get more expensive for some commuters to live in Connecticut in the new year as both bus and rail fares will be increasing. Metro-North Commuter Railroad fares will increase by about 5 percent on New Year\’s Day, while bus fares will be hiked on January 19.

But low-wage workers will get a break as the minimum wage increases by 45 cents to $8.70 per hour, up from the current $8.25 per hour. The wage will increase again on New Year\’s Day 2015 to $9 per hour.

State and union officials held a press conference Monday at the state Capitol to celebrate the hike in the minimum wage, and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy thanked union leaders in attendance for their support on the issue.

The increase marks a sharp turnaround from only 18 months ago when the state legislature failed to pass an increase in the minimum wage that was pushed strongly by then-House Speaker Christopher Donovan, a Democrat who was running for Congress at the time. Donovan had supported minimum wage hikes throughout his career, but he could not rally support in 2012 in the Democratic-controlled state Senate that blocked the hike.

The issue failed as it received only tepid support from many Democrats and virtually no support from Republicans. Soon after, Donovan lost the Democratic primary for Congress to former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty as a campaign finance scandal swirled around his campaign and eventually led to the federal criminal convictions of multiple campaign supporters.

Connecticut is among 13 states that will raise the minimum wage this week. Only Washington state, at $9.32, Oregon, at $9.10, and  Vermont, at $8.73, will have higher hourly rates.

An estimated 70,000 to 90,000 workers are paid the minimum wage in Connecticut with the numbers peaking during the summer as college students return home and during the Christmas season when many temporary employees start working at shopping malls and retail stores for the huge rush that ends by December 25.

Democratic legislators said that raising the minimum wage will help the economy, but that was rejected by the 10,000-member Connecticut Business and Industry Association, the state\’s chief business lobby. Continue reading