CT Politics

Connecticut Politics

As June ends can Donovan MoveOn from campaign scandal?

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As I type this at 5 p.m. Friday, these final two weeks of June have generally been good for Chris Donovan, particularly compared to how the month began for the 5th District candidate.

On May 30 federal authorities arrested the retiring House Speaker’s congressional campaign finance director for alleged fundraising misdeeds. Donovan subsequently fired Robert Braddock Jr. as well as his deputy finance director and his campaign manager, long-time political ally and friend Joshua Nassi.

Then Donovan took some lumps for waiting until June 3 to meet with the press and failing to answer questions to critics’ satisfaction when he did.

Donovan recused himself from presiding over the June 12 special legislative session because a roll-your-own cigarette measure up for a vote was related to the arrest. It was an embarrassing situation for a retiring politician whose career was celebrated by legislative colleagues a few weeks earlier.

But, as I said at the start of this post, things have since been looking up.

News broke that the feds had not just singled out Donovan’s campaign but were eyeing alleged Republican shenanigans in the 5th District involving former Gov. John Rowland. 

Donovan’s union and progressive friends continued to show they have his back with endorsements from the Service Employees International Union, the AFL-CIO and MoveOn.org.

Then today the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which also backs Donovan, released a poll by Public Policy Polling showing Donovan ahead in the 5th District primary:

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The poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP) on June 22-24, 2012 for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC).  400 Democratic primary voters, MOE of +/-4.9%.

Which Democrat do you think would be the strongest candidate in the general election: Chris Donovan, Elizabeth Esty, or Dan Roberti?

Chris Donovan …………………………………………  45%

Elizabeth Esty ………………………………………….  25%

Dan Roberti……………………………………………..  12%

Not sure ………………………………………………….  17%

In general, do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Speaker of the House Chris Donovan, who is running for Congress?

Favorable………………………………………………..  51%

Unfavorable …………………………………………….  24%

Not sure ………………………………………………….  25%

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In Donovan’s own words, issued in a fundraising email to supporters, “What a week.”

Of course the federal probe continues to dog Donovan.

A probable cause hearing is pending on Braddock’s arrest.

We in the media will continue to pressure Donovan to release the findings of an  independent investigation of campaign finances the campaign commissioned in the wake of the scandal.

Oh, and just in time to wrap up this blog on Donovan ending June better-off than he began the month, The Hartford Courant is reporting one Donovan supporter has decided to postpone a fundraiser because he wants to learn more about what happened.

Categories: General
Brian Lockhart

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