Former House Speaker Chris Donovan withdrew from the 5th District congressional race nearly six months ago, but the Meriden Democrat still owes $145,177 in debt and obligations, according to his most recent campaign finance filing.
That number is about $4,000 less than he reported owing in October.
Most of Donovan’s outstanding debt — $113,623 — is money owed to two law firms: Zeedles, Needle & Cooper in Bridgeport and Day Pitney. The remaining $31,554 in unpaid obligations is for bills from companies like AT&T and Connecticut Light &Power.
The Donovan campaign did work with Day Pitney last summer when it commissioned former U.S. Attorney Stanley Twardy, who works for Day Pitney, to conduct a probe of its campaign finances. The probe came after the FBI launched its own investigation.
Although he withdrew from the 5th Congressional District race in late August, state House Speaker Chris Donovan was still required to file a third quarter campaign finance report with the Federal Election Commission.
The Meriden Democrat reports having $7,786 on hand as of Sept. 30 — the end of the third quarter. However, he also reports having debts and obligations that total $149,143.
Donovan paid Day Pitney $50,000 for legal services during the third quarter, but still owes the Boston law firm another $86,454. He also owes Zeldes, Needle & Cooper in Bridgeport $26,035 for legal services.
Donovan’s finance report says he raised $91,517 between July 26 and Sept. 30 and spent $460,790.
In addition to paying Day Pitney some of what he owes, Donovan also spent money on advertising and media buys, consultant fees and on general campaign expenses, such as phone services and staff salaries.
The Fifth District race keeps getting more expensive for the candidates.
According to FEC filings made public over the weekend, Republican Andrew Roraback put the first of his own money toward his campaign with a $25,000 contribution that comes on the heels of negative television ads being run against him by a super PAC. He faces GOP rivals Lisa Wilson-Foley, Mark Greenberg and Justin Bernier in the Tuesday vote.
And in campaign finance filings of his own, Democrat Dan Roberti continued a recent spate of cash infusions, this time adding $15,000 to his bid for the seat. That brings his total for the primary campaign to about $902,000. He’s vying for the Democratic nod along with Chris Donovan and Elizabeth Esty.
Fifth District Democratic candidate Chris Donovan: “Paul Ryan authored the extreme Republican plan to turn Medicare over to the health insurance companies and Social Security over to Wall Street, while giving more tax giveaways to millionaires and big oil. Democrats can win this year only if we highlight this contrast for voters and promise not to cut programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.”
Republican Fifth District candidate Justin Bernier:
“Governor Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan is a home run. Congressman Ryan is the kind of Republican that will energize our base and attract Independents and conservative Democrats. Our Vice Presidential candidate is principled, conservative, pro life, and hardworking. Paul Ryan is a superb addition to the GOP’s presidential ticket.”
Democratic Fifth District candidate Elizabeth Esty:
“It’s now all the more important for us to keep the 5th District blue in November and reelect President Obama. The stakes couldn’t be any higher. By putting Congressman Ryan on the ticket, Governor Romney has joined Congressional Republicans in making clear their intentions to enact a budget that would end Medicare as we know it. That outcome is just plain unacceptable, and one of the reasons I’m running for Congress is because I refuse to let it happen.”
Republican Fifth District candidate Lisa Wilson-Foley:
Going into the final weekend before he squares off against Chris Donovan and Elizabeth Esty in the Fifth District Democratic primary, Dan Roberti has pumped another $57,000 into his campaign, according to FEC records made public today. That brings his total to $887,000 so far.
Democratic candidate Dan Roberti has lately attracted attention with a barrage of negative TV ads aimed at his two opponents in next Tuesday’s 5th District congressional primary — and with the increased visibility have come more questions.
The most pointed queries come from Democratic opponent Elizabeth Esty, who in recent days has argued that Roberti is an wealthy unknown with little professional experience and few connections to the district.
“You’ve got a guy who has no work history in Connecticut and has ties to one of Washington’s biggest lobbying firms, and he’s trying to use every loophole in the book to try and buy himself a seat,” Esty spokesman Jeb Fain said Thursday. “There is a complete lack of transparency and accountability. The fact is that they are using these loopholes to keep everything in the shadows.”
Roberti, who has lent his campaign $830,000 of his own money, this week denied that he or anyone else is using any loopholes or trying to hide anything.
Days before Dan Roberti is set to square off in the Fifth District Democratic primary against rivals Elizabeth Esty and Chris Donovan, his father, Vincent, is also reaching out to help his son. In an email obtained recently by Capitol Watch, the state-lawmaker-turned-lobbyist asks friends to donate their time and money to help the campaign.
Vincent Roberti does not make any mention of New Directions for America, the super PAC supporting his son.
Some of the contributors to that group have ties to Vincent’s firm, although Dan Roberti’s campaign says those companies hired Vincent for consulting services, not lobbying services. The Courant’s Matt Kauffman has more details at his blog, The Scoop.
“We obviously can’t outshout the two millionaires who have dropped $1.3 million into the race at the last minute,” said Donovan spokesman Gabe Rosenberg, alluding to Esty and Roberti. “We’re not going to win the self-funding war, we’re going to win this election by knocking on doors and turning out voters.”Continue reading →
With the Democratic Fifth District primary now one week away, House Speaker Chris Donovan is taking a televised swipe at the Legislative work of his former colleague, Elizabeth Esty.
In a 33-second TV spot released online this week, Donovan says he respects Esty “greatly,” but slams her for being part of a group of Democrats who presented an alternative budget to House leaders in 2009.
A spokesman for Esty called the claim “dishonest,” saying that Donovan himself supported many of the same cuts proposed the alternative budget in legislative votes between 2009 and 2012.
LITCHFIELD–At the Democrats’ 5thCongressional District debate this weekend, Chris Donovan found himself in a place he has rarely been the past few months: out of the spotlight.
The House speaker’s campaign has dominated headlines since Donovan picked up his party’s convention endorsement in May and then found his campaign embroiled in a federal investigation into alleged influence buying aimed at killing a state tobacco tax bill.
But Donovan found himself sitting in the crossfire of a final-question clash between the race’s other two candidates: former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty of Cheshire and public relations executive Dan Roberti of Kent.
Fireworks erupted in the debate’s final minutes during a question about which government programs candidates would propose to help struggling homeowners. Roberti called the recent ending of a debt forgiveness program for homeowners a “tragedy” and said Congress should do more to encourage lending by community banks and also larger banks with branches across the country.