Did WFP State Senate Candidate Illegally Receive Large Donations from Union Lobbyists?

A few days ago, failed gubernatorial candidate Jon Pelto alleged that State Senate Candidate and Bridgeport Board of Education member Rev. Kenneth Moales might be taking unlawful contributions, but as it turns out it’s actually Working Families Party candidate Edwin Gomes who actually may have accepted illegal contributions.

According to Gomes’ campaign finance filings, registered lobbyists from the two largest teacher’s unions, Connecticut Education Association (CEA) and Connecticut Federation of Teachers (AFT-CT) were among his top contributors.

This is a problem for multiple reasons — most important being the state’s ban on registered lobbyists giving contributions to state assembly candidates during the legislative session, which started January 7, 2015.

Here’s an except from a reminder posted on the State Election Enforcement Commission:

“Candidates in exploratory or candidate committees for (1) statewide office, (2) General Assembly and (3) political committees that failed to certify that they were “not established (a) for an assembly or senatorial district, (b) by an elected statewide official, a member of the General Assembly or their agent, or (c) in consultation with or at the request or suggestion of any such official, member or their agent, or controlled by such official, member or agent,” are prohibited from receiving lobbyist contributions or benefiting from lobbyist solicitations during the session.”

According Gomes’ filling, he received campaign contributions from both CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg and AFT-CT President Melodie Peters. Other top donors, include CEA Lobbyist Vincet Loffredo and AFT-CT Lobbyists Jennifer Berrigan, Daniel Durant and Casey Conor.

Every single donation listed on Gomes’ filings was received after January 15, eight days after the legislative session started.

One has to wonder: How come a “watchdog journalist” like Pelto didn’t pick up on this?



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