Author Archives: Matthew Kauffman

So What Exactly is John Rowland Accused of Doing?

by Categorized: Law Enforcement, Legal Affairs, Politics Date:

I got an email the other day from a former political press aide from another state, expressing befuddlement over exactly what laws former Gov. John Rowland is accused of breaking in his dealings with former Congressional candidate Lisa Wilson-Foley.

“I still don’t get what Rowland’s crimes were,” the former aide wrote. “Is the crime some type of illegal campaign assistance? Is it a lack of proper income reporting on the part of Rowland? Is it some type of non-transparency of the assistance given that violates some law?”

Good questions. Federal criminal law can be complicated, so here’s a primer on the government’s legal theory and the specific accusations lodged in Rowland’s indictment.

There are seven counts in the indictment, but they all flow from the requirement that candidates forRowland_Court federal office must accurately report where campaign money is coming from, and where it’s going. And if the general factual allegations are true – that Rowland performed paid work for Wilson-Foley’s campaign but was paid with funds secretly provided through a third party, and that neither the money in nor the money out was reported on campaign-finance forms – then that would appear to be a violation of the reporting requirements. In brief: the government alleges that money controlled by Lisa Wilson-Foley or her husband Brian Foley essentially was given to the campaign and then passed on to Rowland, and neither of those transactions was listed on the forms.

So it’s evident why Wilson-Foley, the candidate, would be in trouble in a situation like that, and she has in fact already pleaded guilty. But does her illegal activity attach to Rowland?The government says it does, and in Rowland’s indictment, there are both direct and indirect allegations.

Within the seven criminal counts, there are four different allegations:

1. Conspiracy. The government alleges that Rowland was the one who proposed the arrangement with Wilson-Foley (and did so specifically to avoid the mandatory public reporting of campaign spending information), and then participated in developing the details of the sham arrangement. So this is a typical conspiracy charge: Rowland wasn’t required to file a campaign-finance report and didn’t file a false campaign-finance report, but is accused of conspiring to violate the reporting laws.

2. Falsification of Records in a Federal Investigation. Rowland is charged with two counts of falsifying records, based on two allegedly sham consulting contracts (one for Wilson-Foley and a proposal two years earlier involving another Congressional candidate, Mark Greenberg). The government’s theory is that those contracts were drafted “in order to conceal from the [Federal Election Commission] and the United States Department of Justice” that the payments were actually for campaign work, and were made “with the intent to impede, obstruct, and influence the investigation and proper administration” of federal campaign-finance laws. That, they say, makes the creation and execution of those contracts illegal under federal law – and, therefore, a criminal act by Rowland – even if no “federal investigation” was underway when they were drafted (and, in the case of the Foley contract, even if the bulk of the document was created not by Rowland, but by a lawyer working for Brian Foley’s company).

3. Causing False Statements (two counts). These counts relate to two separate campaign-finance filings in which Wilson-Foley did not record payments to Rowland. So why is that Rowland’s legal problem? Under the government’s theory, it’s part and parcel of the conspiracy. By proposing and participating in the scheme, they say he’s criminally liable for “causing” the inaccurate FEC filings to be made, even if someone else was responsible for preparing and filing those reports.

4. Illegal Campaign Contributions (two counts). As above, these are decidedly indirect charges, based on the legal theory that the funds used to pay Rowland were, as a matter of law, funds donated by the Foleys to the campaign. Since those donations weren’t reported, the government considers them illegal campaign contributions. And since the government accuses Rowland of proposing and participating in a conspiracy by which money would be provided for the campaign’s use in such a way that it wouldn’t be reported, they say that makes him legally liable for the allegedly illegal donations. So the government isn’t claiming Rowland made or accepted illegal contributions, but rather that he’s criminally liable for allegedly illegal contributions made by the Foleys, based on his involvement in the alleged conspiracy.

Rowland’s attorney, Reid Weingarten, has proclaimed that his client will be “fully vindicated.” Federal officials, meanwhile, appear to be betting on significant jail time for a public official who has seen prison bars before. Absent a plea bargain – and a trial seems likely at this point – it will be up to a jury to declare which side has the law on their side.

UConn vs. Notre Dame: Point-by-Point, Minute-by-Minute

by Categorized: Data, Sports, UConn, Uncategorized Date:

Notre Dame led UConn for just 21 of the 2,400 seconds of Tuesday’s NCAA national championship game. The other 99 percent of the game: No contest. Relive the match with these interactive graphics.

The first graphic below is a minute-by-minute chart of the game. Move your mouse over the chart to see the play-by-play progress. Below that is a graphic showing the point spread in UConn’s favor over the 40 minutes of play. The last graphic shows points scored by every player. Use the slider or the arrows to advance through the minutes of the game, to see how the teams and the individual players performed.



UConn vs. Kentucky: Point-by-Point, Minute-by-Minute

by Categorized: Data, Sports, UConn Date:

UConn never trailed during Monday’s win in the NCAA national championship game against Kentucky. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a close game. Relive the victory with these data visualizations.

The first graphic below is a minute-by-minute chart of the game. Move your mouse over the chart to see the play-by-play progress. Below that is a graphic showing the point spread in UConn’s favor over the 40 minutes of play. The last graphic shows points scored by every player. Use the slider or the arrows to advance through the minutes of the game, to see how the teams and the individual players performed.



UConn vs. Stanford: Point-by-Point, Minute-by-Minute

by Categorized: Data, Sports, UConn Date:

Trailing by six in the first half of their semi-final game against Stanford, the Huskies finally found their groove, scoring 12 unanswered points and dominating the rest of the game. UConn will battle Notre Dame Tuesday for the national championship.
The first graphic below is a minute-by-minute chart of the UConn-Stanford game. Move your mouse over the chart to see the play-by-play progress. Below that is a graphic showing points scored by every player. Use the slider or the arrows to advance through the minutes of the game, to see how the teams and the individual players performed.


UConn vs. Florida: Point-by-Point, Minute-by-Minute

by Categorized: Data, Sports, UConn Date:

After a shockingly slow start by the Huskies – including a nearly six-minute dry spell – UConn roared back with a 27-6 run and never looked back. Next stop: The national championship game.

The first graphic below is a minute-by-minute chart of the game. Move your mouse over the chart to see the play-by-play progress. Below that is a graphic showing points scored by every player. Use the slider or the arrows to advance through the minutes of the game, to see how the teams and the individual players performed.

UConn vs. Texas A&M: Point-by-Point, Minute-by-Minute

by Categorized: Data, Sports, UConn Date:

After a rocky start, the UConn women roared ahead of Texas A&M to secure yet another familiar spot in the Final Four. A key turning point: a nearly five-minute Texas drought near the end of the first half, during which the Huskies scored 10 unanswered points. And it wouldn’t be UConn’s only 10-point run.

The first graphic below is a minute-by-minute chart of the game. Move your mouse over the chart to see the play-by-play progress. Below that is a graphic showing points scored by every player. Use the slider or the arrows to advance through the minutes of the game, to see how the teams and the individual players performed.

 

 

UConn-Michigan State: Point-by-Point, Minute-by-Minute

by Categorized: Data, Sports, UConn Date:

The UConn men defeated Michigan State Sunday and are headed for the Final Four after a powerhouse second half led by Shabazz Napier, who scored 12 points in 8 1/2 minutes. Relive the game with these interactive graphics.

The first graphic below is a minute-by-minute chart of the game. Move your mouse over the chart to see the play-by-play progress. Below that is a graphic showing points scored by every player. Use the slider or the arrows to advance through the minutes of the game, to see how the teams and the individual players performed.

UConn-Iowa State: Point-by-Point, Minute-by-Minute

by Categorized: Data, Sports, UConn Date:

The UConn men trailed Iowa State for barely more than half a minute in Friday’s Sweet Sixteen game at Madison Square Garden. But it felt like a much closer game in the final minutes before Connecticut’s 81-76 victory.

The first graphic below is a minute-by-minute chart of the game. Move your mouse over the chart to see the play-by-play progress. Below that is a graphic showing points scored by every player. Use the slider or the arrows to advance through the minutes of the game, to see how the teams and the individual players performed.
 

Connecticut’s $10.10 Minimum Wage: Adjusted For Inflation, We’ve Been Here Five Times Before

by Categorized: Data, Employment, Finance, Government, Poverty Date:

Connecticut is making national news with legislation boosting the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour beginning in 2017. With Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s planned signature on the bill Thursday evening, the Nutmeg State becomes the first in the nation to agree to eventually knock through the $10 mark for the lowest-paid workers.

But adjusted for inflation, we’ve topped $10.10 before – albeit not for several decades. As the chart below shows, the hourly minimum wage, in 2014 dollars, exceeded $10.10 in 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972 and 1978. The top rate was in 1968, when the inflation-adjusted minimum was $10.78.

The $10.10 wage is, however, significantly higher than the average inflation-adjusted minimum wage over the last 63 years. Since 1951, the lowest-paid workers have earned an average of $8.39 in today’s dollars.

So $10.10 isn’t the most Connecticut employers have been required to pay, and it certainly isn’t the least. And that alone will assure the topic remains controversial and politically divisive.

CT_Minimum Wage

Minute-by-Minute: UConn Women Vs. St. Joseph’s

by Categorized: Data, UConn Date:

As expected, the UConn women trounced St. Joseph’s, with the Huskies putting their first points on the board seven seconds after tip-off, and never trailing over the next 40 minutes of play.

Below is a minute-by-minute chart of the game, and a separate graphic showing points scored by every player. Use the slider or the arrows to advance through the minutes of the game, to see how the teams and the individual players performed.

UConnW_StJosephs