Attorney general candidate hit with elections complaint
Chris Mattei has a union problem.
A state labor organizer has filed an elections complaint against Mattei, a Democrat who last week transitioned from testing the waters for governor to a declared candidate for state attorney general.
The thrust of the allegations is that Mattei broke the law by using his exploratory committee for statewide office to solicit campaign contributions to specifically run for governor and failed to register as a candidate.
Timothy J. Sullivan, who has been an organizer for the American Federation of Teachers of Connecticut, filed the complaint last month with the state Elections Enforcement Commission.
“Accordingly, the Mattei for CT committee, and candidate Chris Mattei, seem to be campaigning illegally, and have been doing so since late July. I would like SEEC to investigate,” Sullivan wrote in the complaint.
Mattei raised more than $222,000 through his exploratory committee, which is more than enough to qualify for public campaign financing for attorney general if he is allowed to roll over the money.
“We’re aware that a complaint has been filed and it is without merit, and we are confident that anybody who looks at this will come to the same conclusion,” said Julie Edwards, a Mattei campaign spokeswoman. “The fact that a complaint was filed and peddled to reporters is politics as usual - the kind of politics of usual that people are sick of and that Chris Mattei has been fighting against his whole career.”
Not long ago, Mattei led the public corruption unit in the U.S. attorney’s office in Connecticut, sending disgraced former Gov. John Rowland, a Republican, back to prison for campaign fraud. Mattei’s role in another high-profile case perhaps sheds light on why a union organizer would have an ax to grind, however.
In 2012, Mattei prosecuted a pair political associates of former Connecticut House Speaker Chris Donovan for accepting illegal payments to in a bid to try to kill a proposed tobacco tax. There was no wrongdoing by Donovan, but the case effectively killed the Meriden Democrat and union-favorite’s congressional prospects.
The government informant in the case, Ray Soucy, a union treasurer for the state’s correction officers, received a six-month sentence at a halfway house. Donovan is now employed as a political action coordinator for the Connecticut Education Association, the largest teachers union in the state.
A request for comment was left Monday for Sullivan, who resides in Barkhamsted.
If you’re on a candidate or political party’s email list, you’re probably used to Nostradamus subject lines by now.
Then there’s Liz Linehan, a freshman state representative from Cheshire who is running for lieutenant governor on the same Democratic ticket as Middletown Mayor Dan Drew.
The subject line of a Saturday email from Linehan was “The anniversary of my death.”
“If you don’t know me well yet, 23 years ago I died,” Linehan wrote. “Heart failure, kidney failure, rhabdomyolysis. My heart stopped beating on its own for 18 minutes. My last rites were performed three times. All from strep throat. I was in the hospital for a month afterward and spent three months on dialysis. Doctors said it was a once in a lifetime freak illness, but it was the day that changed my life forever.”
Now that Linehan had everyone’s attention, she wasn’t going to let the opportunity pass.
“Join our campaign today with a contribution of $23. I believe in Connecticut, and I want you to join us.”
Know when to hold ’em
The house always wins — and for the past dozen years so have Democrats in statewide and congressional races in Connecticut.
So Republicans are fittingly heading to Foxwoods to try to change their odds. Just don’t roll snake eyes.
The state GOP will hold its biennial nominating convention at the tribal-owned casino next May, when 1,200 delegates from all over the state will endorse candidates for governor, U.S. Senate and House, and five other constitutional offices.
In 2014, Mohegan Sun hosted the Republican confab, prompting party lawyers to make sure the nominations would hold legal force because the reservation is a sovereign nation.
Standard message rates apply
“American Idol” does it. So does “Dancing with the Stars.” And now Republicans.
After its first gubernatorial debate last week in Windsor, the state GOP conducted an “unscientific” text messaging poll determine the unofficial winner, a distinction that went to former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst with 28 percent of the vote.
Naturally, we wanted to know whether you can vote more than once from the same mobile number. No, said state GOP Chairman J.R. Romano, who estimated that 200 people voted.
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