Beer aftertaste for Malloy?


John McKinney is the latest GOP gubernatorial hopeful to latch onto a California fundraising jaunt by Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

The GOP state Senate minority leader called on Malloy Tuesday evening to release details about the weekend trip, which McKinney suggested might have run afoul of ethical standards.

McKinney is scrutinizing Malloy’s ties to Lenny Mendonca, the co-founder of management consulting giant McKinsey & Co.’s public sector practice and owner of a Half Moon Bay brew pub on the California coast.

McKinsey, not to be confused with McKinney, holds a number of contracts with UConn worth millions of dollars, according to the Fairfield Republican.

In the 2011 fiscal year, McKinsey & Co. received three different payments from UConn of $570,000 each for a total of $1,710,00, the campaign said.

The following fiscal year, the campaign said, McKinsey & Co. received four additional payments from UConn of $570,000 each for a total of $2,280,000.

“The revelation that the governor met with a state contractor while on a fundraising trip for the Democratic Party raises a number of questions,” McKinney said in a statement. “If the governor was soliciting a state contractor, or his employees for political contributions, then he clearly violated the spirit of Connecticut’s campaign finance laws, if not the laws themselves.”

Malloy’s press office referred questions on the matter to the Connecticut Democrats, who paid for the governor’s expenses on the trip.

“The governor always follows all rules and regulations,” said James Hallinan, a party spokesman.

Democrats have been close-mouthed about Malloy’s itinerary on the fundraising trip. The Hartford Courant’s Daniela Altimari first reported the possible Malloy connection to Mendonca after a guest at a fundraising event Tweeted about it.

Earlier Tuesday, McKinney’s Senate colleague Toni Boucher, who is exploring a run for governor, called on Democrats to reimburse taxpayers for the expenses incurred by Malloy’s security detail on the trip.

Neil Vigdor