Friday, March 12, 2010

Dean To Announce Candidacy For Attorney General

Attorney Martha Dean will launch her campaign for attorney general on March 16, 2010 from the state Capitol’s North steps at high noon.

Dean was the Republican nominee for attorney general in 2002 when she faced off against Richard Blumenthal.

“The state of Connecticut,” Dean said in a short pre-announcement release, “is entering a full-blown crisis. For the people of Connecticut, the scope of this crisis means that the quality of the people who we elect this year is more important than ever.

"We are in an economic crisis, a cultural crisis, and a leadership crisis. As attorney general of Connecticut, I promise to work with other state officials to take the legal steps necessary to save this great State and see it safely to the high ground of competitiveness and prosperity.”

On the Democratic side, there are numerous contenders for the position, which opened up after Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced he would abandon 20 year hold on the office after his term ended to run for the U.S. senate seat presently held by Chris Dodd.

Dodd earlier announced that he would not be defending his seat when his term ended.

The crisis in Connecticut to which Dean refers in her media release is now lapping at the heels of present Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, who announced her candidacy for attorney general on the Democratic ticket a few weeks ago.

Bysiewicz, the most promising of the Democratic candidates, first announced her availability for governor but thought better of it when Blumenthal, much to the delight of Democrats who for years had been cajoling him to run for governor or the U.S. senate, at long last agreed to venture out from his closely guarded bunker and slide into Dodd’s chair in Washington.

Dean’s practice is devoted to assisting clients in understanding and complying with complex regulatory schemes while furthering their state and federal constitutional economic and individual rights.

Dean is co-founder of the Hartford Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society for Law & Public Policy Studies, a national organization of law students, law professors, lawyers and judges who sponsor panel discussions and debates with leading scholars and authorities on important public policy issues of the day. She is a graduate of Wellesley College ‘82, and the University Of Connecticut School Of Law ‘86, where she was an editor on the Law Review. She is a member of the Connecticut Bar (1986), U.S. District Court (Connecticut) (1995), U.S. Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit) (2000), and the U.S. Supreme Court (2001).


This is a response to Anonymous comment below. I could not do justice to it an an abbreviated comment:

You write: “I guess that is just another one of those open ended investigations that will never end..."

I’m afraid it will continue to be that way so long as the media is content to a) report fully on press releases sent to them by the attorney general, and b) wait for a few concluding graphs from the attorney general once the case has been concluded.

The real play, of course, occurs in hearings and legal proceedings that fill the empty hours between a and b. It takes a little digging, but reporters would be surprise at the lumps of gold they would be able to unearth if they did no more than consult public records – which is what I did when writing about the Hoffman case and the NEP case.

Here is my note to Gombossy and his response:

1. George,

And the only interview he would grant was a limited telephone interview with him on a loudspeaker, surrounded by his top deputies and two media staffers listening, prepared to jump in to help their boss for some of the rougher questioning.”

I sent your piece to the lawyer who is defending Valerie Hoffman and the two owners of New England Pellet.

His response was joyous, if brief: “Wow! What a change! What would he say about NEP or Hoffman? What would he say about false affidavits made by assistant AG’s who have no personal knowledge of what they swear to?”

I told him I didn’t know but would find out.

I sent your piece as well to Martha Dean, who as you may know is running this year for attorney general on the Republican ticket. She ran against Attorney General Blumenthal in 2002 and lost.

It’s always a hard revelation when Janus [the two-faced Greek god of doorways] turns his second face to you and you begin to see a disturbing polarity. Which is the real face?

Here is an account of the NEP and Hoffman case:

And here is a list of companies Blumenthal has sued:

Not too pretty.

Jim Oliver, Mrs. Hoffman’s lawyer, has been waiting a half dozen years for some digger in the media to unearth the facts that tell against Blumenthal, buried in plain sight for all to see in court documents that one consults; for, of course, the cases Blumenthal opens do not end with one of his press releases, which are as fraudulent as his affidavits.

I welcome your exposure; that really was a courageous piece. But (isn’t there always a “but?”) having begun a story, it is the responsibility of the journalist, not the attorney general, to follow it through its various permutations.

Had you done this with the Hoffman case or the NEP case, you would have clearly seen that Blumenthal has been successful in many of his cases for the same reason that card sharpers are successful – they cheat.
The card sharp wants your money or your life. Blumenthal, as you would undoubtedly gather from anyone he has cheated – by, for example, presenting fatally defective affidavits to unsuspecting judges who then, in ex parte proceedings, vest him with the authority to steal their property – just wants your life.

Glad you’re catching on.

By the way, Blumenthal walked away from the NEP case. It’s only a matter of time before he announces in one of his many press releases that the case has been settled and refunds may now begin to flow to the victims of NEP. None of it will be true. The Hoffman case is due for a very important presentation in Hartford Supreme Court at 11:00 this Thursday, the 18th.

You are cordially invited to attend.


o George Gombossy says:
March 14, 2010 at 11:10 am

Don: thank you for your support and for taking the time to read my column and to respond. My column should not be taken as an indication that I object to his investigations. It should be clear that I support the vast majority – if not all – of Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s investigations. My issue is with his policies on keeping the public informed AFTER he starts an investigation. This is not the first time I have written a critical column about our Attorney General. In fact on the issue you mention, I took Blumenthal to task for failing to be more active to protect the herbal company’s customers. And I have written many columns about how pellet stove owners were ripped off by the now bankrupt pellet company which collected deposits and pocketed the money instead of making good on all its promises.


1. Don Pesci says:
March 14, 2010 at 11:28 am
Read the links

Gombossy grouses that Blumenthal has not provided him with a summary report on Gina Malapanis’ Computers Plus Center Inc. case. But why wait on Blumenthal? Having reported initially on the press release sent to him by Blumenthal, it is his responsibility to report on that case’s many permutations. Had he done so, he would have seen the train wreck coming.

The Hoffman case is upcoming this Thursday in the Supreme Court.

How many reporters who received Blumenthal’s initial press release on the Hoffman case will be attending the proceedings?

This is a case in which it is claimed – on solid grounds – that the affidavit Blumenthal used to seize assets of the owner of the company, as well as the assets of her husband’s company, was fatally defective. That judgment has already been made by a court justice. One of Blumenthal’s assistant attorney general is being personally sued in the case. The case has been heard both in Maine and Connecticut. It is clear from Gombossy’s remarks that he has not followed the case beyond reporting on the initial Blumenthal press release.

He wants an interview with the attorney general. With enough pressure, he may get one, or not.

In the meanwhile, no one, including Gombossy, has to wait on the attorney general to provide information about the Hoffman case. It’s on the public record, available to anyone who has a computer.

Gombossy probably could find out more about the case on which he has done minimal reporting by attending the Superior Court hearing on Thursday than would be the case if he were to wait for the attorney general's future self serving press release following its conclusion.

I would be happy if he attended. The invitation is open.

My best guess is he will not show.
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