It Takes One to Catch One

by Categorized: Uncategorized Date:

I have kind of a busy morning, so: not much time to comment on this piece which is the most important piece of journalism in Connecticut today and yet, inexplicably, was not on the front page.

There is a rich irony in the idea of Matt Hennessey, the Richelieu of Eddie Perez, sputtering about favoritism, fraud and sham bidding processes. (See my title.) But yes, absolutely, it draws back the curtain on Connecticut’s class of operators who treat the government like a giant ATM machine whose PIN code they know. And Tommy Ritter is the absolutely best at exactly the kind of sweet set-up you see here.

And what the hell does CRRA — a quasi public agency — need $250,000 worth of Tommy Ritter for?  Whatever it is, the cost of Tommy will be passed on to you, in the form of higher tipping fees. 

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25 thoughts on “It Takes One to Catch One

  1. joseph j. johnson

    the Ritter-Cafero tandem and its sickening grab-ther-dough maneuvering smells and the overall media has let it go on under cover for too long…let’s have some more disclosures–what does Cafero take out of the Ritter law firm, etc…

  2. Richard

    Bag men fighting over their money. Note the issue wasn’t about the ehtics of bag money. If Hennessy got his bag we’d never hear of this. Instead Hennessy went out and played Leprechaun “I want my gold” and made a mess of things among Democrats. In hindsight they will wish they cut him in.

  3. Reader

    No mention of Murtha in all of this? Why are you throwing Brown Rudnick under the bus and not Murtha Cullina? This is expressly included in the story you’ve linked:

    The statement pointed out that Hennessy’s company, Tremont Public Advisors, “is represented by CRRA’s former law firm, Murtha Cullina, from whom CRRA recovered millions of dollars stemming from the law firm’s advice to CRRA on the disastrous Enron matter.”

    The trash authority was referring to Murtha Cullina’s payment of $16.25 million in 2007 for its role as legal counsel in a failed deal with Enron Corp., which later collapsed under allegations of financial fraud. Murtha Cullina had been the legal counsel for CRRA since it was created in 1973. Then-Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said that Murtha never saw the Enron loan’s “fatal flaws” and ended up “waving its client over the cliff, instead of warning it away.”

    1. Ted

      Well if we are all getting in the way-back machine to 2000, here is one for you:

      The Deal Enron Didn’t Get
      The Energy Giant’s Plan Looked Great: Invest In Experimental Technology, Get The Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority To Buy It, And Have Someone Else Pay The Bill. The Price Of Progress? A Money Grab? Maybe It Was Business As Usual When Electricity And Government Mix.

      The Enron/CRRA deal described in the papers strewn on Sosland’s floor was more modest. Only $124 million was at risk, and it involved a third party — Danbury-based FuelCell Energy Inc. Enron would have managed a demonstration test of the company’s gas-burning fuel cells on CRRA property. What’s more, CRRA and Enron wanted the state Department of Public Utility Control to unlock a state energy conservation fund to bankroll the fuel cell project. …

      In the fuel cell deal, CRRA was represented by Brown Rudnick, a firm that employs former House of Representatives Speaker Thomas Ritter. Ritter did not appear at the hearings, but his name is on the legal brief Brown Rudnick filed as part of the fuel cell proceedings.

  4. Paul

    “Bi-partisan snake pit”. “High School with money”. “Two-party trough”. “Rising Star”.

  5. Bill

    Sounds to me a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Crooks fighting over the money and it doesn’t really matter which party they are in. Although most are democratic. Crook Ritter fighting with Crook Hennessy who worked under Crook Perez who will be going to the big house any day now. Maybe he will soon have a staff meeting in prison with the other jail birds.


  6. Richard

    If these bag men were any good they’d be Governor and bring home the bacon to their law firms and to the state.

    How did similar bagmen lure MetLife from CT to North Carolina?

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Gov. Pat McCrory avoided questions Friday about the state offering MetLife Inc. $94 million in tax breaks and other incentives to move thousands of jobs to North Carolina and using his former employer to help broker the deal.

    MetLife hired the company to help secure what is one of the largest packages in state history aimed at attracting one company. The New York-based insurance company began discussing a move to North Carolina about nine months ago, economic development officials said, while McCrory was still employed by Moore & Van Allen.

    There was a complete firewall,” spokeswoman Kim Genardo said. McCrory’s financial relationship with the firm ended with his Dec. 31 resignation, she said. He was sworn into office five days later.

  7. peter brush

    Tommy Ritter is the absolutely best at exactly the kind of sweet set-up you see here
    Right; can’t imagine Serpentine Ernie getting a big consulting contract from CRRA. Nor my Rep., one Minnie Gonzales. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily reflect well on him or ill on them. But, to make the bucks as an influence peddling insider you have to have a certain pedigree, an aura of competence, a style of gravitas. It’s not enough to have served in the legislature or to have Gucci shoes, and it’s disqualifying if you are prone to politically incorrect utterances or just plain stupidity.
    But, I’m not sure I see the there there in this CRRA lobbying kerfuffle, unless it is that CRRA is illegally retaining a lobbyist. As I understand it, CRRA is allowed to lobby on its own behalf. So the question is apt; why are they paying Ritter’s firm? But, it’s not a rhetorical one, at least on my reading of reports thus far.

  8. Richard

    There’s Ritter and then there’s Ralph Nader.

    Nader. Winsted CT’s pride and joy. Out protesting at Walmart this weekend over minimum wage and labor issues like full employment.

    We need more Ralphs. Fewer knee-jerk CT Democrat politicians present and past.

      1. Bill Katz

        Ralph: the good Ralph, the bad Ralph and the ugly Ralph.

        Corvair Ralph: The Good Ralph

        Running for President in 2000 denying Gore 500 votes: The Bad Ralph

        The Ugly Ralph: Running for President in 2000 thereby denying Gore the office by500 votes

        Now the Dumb Cluck Ralph for refusing to return to Winsted and grow roosters in his back yard thereby saving us from his next venture.

        1. Richard

          Which is why I love Ralph. He’s a full employment, raise the minimum wage kind of guy. The New Left ostracized Ralph not just for 2000 but for sticking to the economics of the poor. If Ralph would pick up the late-term abortion, anal sex thing and forget the economics then Nader would be a darling of the New Left

          1. Richard

            CT is down about 80,000 jobs in the last recession. The price of 100,000 jobs at $11.00 an hour paying $22,000 a year? $2.2 Billion. 10% of the CT annual state budget.

            Get into how badly managed the government is. Increasing taxes? Why? We could double taxes and they still wouldn’t create 100,000 jobs. It would go into the public services sink hole.

            Housing CTs most at risk 2,000 homeless and at risk at a cost of $10,000 each a year? $20 million dollars. Would doubling taxes get them housing? No.

            Increasing taxes isn’t an asnwer when organized crime runs your government.

          2. Todd Zaino

            So the New Left is more into pitching…than catching-that seems to make perfect sense, liberal policies have been screwing decent folks for years.

    1. Richard

      A New Pope!

      Don’t think his “LGBT adoption is a form of discrimination against children” stance will play well with the heretics.

      Time to read HuffPo and relish the 10,000 comments posted in outrage.

  9. Todd Zaino

    I’ve heard of WTIC before Richard, I heard they have an outstanding line-up of shows, I have heard the 3-6 timeslot is a ratings winner with adults who pay attention.

  10. peter brush

    $1 million to CT Public Broadcasting
    The State has to borrow the $ for our pols and their bureaucrats to give away. But, even if it were to have a lot of money, I question the Constitutional authority, and condemn the constitutional inappropriateness, of corporate welfare grants.
    Whatever CRRA is up to can in the end represent no more than a technical violation redounding to the benefit of Mr. Ritter. As Colin M. points out, CRRA’s expenses are passed on to municipalities, but in the example of CTPB we have politicians simply taking money from the taxpayer, giving it to favored entities. Sure, there’s an ostensible claim that jobs are going to be “created” or some other alleged public interest is served, but is that all our Constitution requires for the likes of Malloy to redistribute our money, take it from Richard to give to Paul? And, in the case of CTPB, is there not some concern for its integrity as an objective news gathering/reporting outfit? CRRA may have violated the law against quasi-governmental entities hiring a lobbyist. It’s a hell of a lot less offensive to me than Malloy’s corporate welfare operation.
    I like Matt Ritter. He not only reads the odd e-mail, but even responds. I think he’s conscientious and thoughtful. But, at the end of the day he’s an establishment liberal CT. Dem who can pay lip service to the fiscal issue, but is unwilling to face the fact that Ct. has a spending problem.
    Looking for a pol with integrity and eyes to see? Joe Markley.

    1. Richard

      On the one hand I think it will be good for the kids at the Journalism and Media Academy ….

  11. peter brush


    SEC. 1. All men when they form a social compact, are equal in rights; and no man or set of men are entitled to exclusive public emoluments or privileges from the community.
    The “First” First Five
    Cigna, Bloomfield: $71 million
    ESPN, Bristol: $25 million
    NBC Sports, Stamford: $20 million
    Alexion, New Haven: $51 million
    CareCentrix, Hartford: $24 million

  12. peter brush

    Critics say Bridgewater deal sidesteps state and local policies
    March 14, 2013
    By Neena Satija

    Opposition to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s $115 million deal with Bridgewater Associates is growing, as observers charge that he is sidestepping state and local policies to move the country’s largest hedge fund from Westport to his hometown of Stamford.

    Many in Stamford are incensed that no city officials, not even the mayor, knew of the deal with Bridgewater until it was announced last August. Critics also say the global investment company should not be getting state funds to build an office complex in a high-risk floodplain, in apparent violation of state environmental policies. They say the move shows that Bridgewater is getting special treatment when compared with agencies such as housing authorities, which have historically been unable to use state money to renovate housing projects in floodplains.

  13. Richard

    The good news for tomorrow is the Fed expansion of the corruption probe stemming from the Donovan deal.

    If they tap the union motherlode then we might see CT vote to outlaw public sector unions. We know about their corrupting influence. It may remain limited to specific legislators in the Dirty Democrats Cabal of Cronies. I’m looking forward to the dominoes falling….

  14. Richard

    Good Ted Kennedy Jr. column. It’s nice to know he’s mastered the art of kissing babies 🙂

    I think the Kennedy name is largely meaningless today. Ted’s failed 1980 campaign and Top O’Neil’s retirement (after the 1986 elections) pretty much sealed the end of an era of influence.

    The irony is the best chance Ted or Tip had to truly change this country was under Nixon rather than Carter or Clinton. The Nixon-Kennedy Health Plan, Nixon Pension Proposals (evolved into the 401K under Carter), and Guaranteed Minimum Income (government EBT cards would be the successor with electronic vouchers for SNAP, Housing, Education, etc) were the right plans at the right time and that time didn’t come around again. If it does under Chris Christie in 2017 then take it and ignore the unions and Party saboteurs.

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