Monday, October 03, 2011

Is DeLauro Self-Dealing?

You’re a rich girl, and you’ve gone too far
Cause you know it don’t matter anyway
You can rely on the old man’s money
You can rely on the old man’s money -- Hall and Oats Song

Human Events is preparing a story that may involve self-dealing on the part of 3rd District congresswoman Rosa Delauro and her husband Stanley Greenberg, whose firm, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, has done business with powerful beltway politicians.

Mr. Greenberg, the CEO of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, boasts that his firm “is one of the world's premier research and strategic consulting firms. Beyond data, we provide the strategic insight necessary to develop the right messages to achieve our clients' goals. Smarter, faster and committed to our clients' interests: we work harder and think deeper than the rest.”

The list of Mr. Greenberg’s political clients includes such political shakers and movers within the Democratic Party as President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Vice President Walter Mondale and a host of both national and international corporations and issue groups.

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research specializes in "political polling and campaign strategy, helping political candidates, parties, and ballot initiatives succeed across the country and around the world."

The lede of the Human Events story should spur some controversy in Connecticut: “Federal documents reveal a self-dealing relationship between a Nutmeg State congresswoman and her political consultant husband.”

At first blush, figures involving campaign contributions transferred over the years by Mrs. DeLauro to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and business deals awarded to Mr. Greenberg's firm seem to suggest a connection that is at best questionable.

According to Human Events:

“Federal Election Commission data reveals that over the past four election cycles, Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn.) donated more than $ 1.2 million dollars to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Over that same time period, the DCCC paid $1.9 million for polling services to Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. GQRR’s founding partner is DeLauro’s husband of 33 years, Stanley B. Greenberg….

“DeLauro's campaign donated $275,000 to the DCCC in 2005-2006, nearly double her $140,000 donation during 2003-2004, and the DCCC paid GQRR $382,996—down from the $472,708 GQRR received in 2003-2004.

“In the 2007-2008 cycle, however, when DeLauro’s campaign presented $51,400 to the DCCC in October alone, totaling $376,406, DCCC payment to GQRR rose to $464,200.

“In 2009-2010 DeLauro’s campaign raised its special October donation to $107,500; this increase, added to $325,006 for the entire year, sums to $432,506. The DCCC paid GQRR in two installments of $298,967 and $289,834, summing to $588,801, while Friends of Rosa DeLauro ranked among the DCCC’s top contributors.”

One of the of the wealthiest members of Congress, Mrs. DeLauro has won her past four elections by unbeatable margins, usually cresting above 20 and even sometimes 50 percent.

Human Events reports that Mrs. DeLauro may not have communicated to her donors via e-mails or fundraising letters that a good portion of campaign funds she has contributed to the DCCC has circuitously made its way back to her husband, who no doubt is grateful for the business.

Of late, Mrs. DeLauro has not attended closely to events that might well sink the political prospects of incumbent politicians representing more politically competitive districts than the 3rd, which has been held firmly in the grip of the Democratic Party for more than 30 years.

Since the district was first organized in 1837, it has been anchored politically by one of the state’s largest cities, New Haven, and its suburbs. The district occupies about four fifths of New Haven County, a small chunk of Middlesex County and Stratford in Fairfield County. Parts of two other large cities, Middletown and Waterbury, are also included in the district.

Cities in Connecticut have not shaken off the remnants of political organizations first formed and employed by party bosses back in the day when political parties distributed money to its favored politicians and favors to its generous campaign contributors. For this reason, urban political hubs in Connecticut tend to wag the district dog. For all but six terms, The Democratic Party has held the district. Departing U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman suffered his only general election loss in the district in a 1980 U.S. House race. In 1980, the price of gas rose above $1.00 for the first time, and in Connecticut’s cities the fragrant cigars smoke that filled the infamous back rooms of state politics still scented the air.

Not a few of Connecticut’s cities are still impregnable Democratic castles. But the trouble with well-fortified fortresses is that the guards on the walls, trusting in the impregnability of the fortifications, sometime sleep.

When Mrs. DeLauro, usually attentive to her district, lingered among well to do vacationers at the Hotel Poseidon in Positano on the Amalfi Coast in Italy while tropical storm Irene ripped through her district last month, some in Connecticut thought the snoozing was highly uncharacteristic. East Haven was hit hard, 25 homes along Cosey Beach having been condemned or swept away and dozens more damaged.

A video clip in which a tongue tied DeLauro seeks to justify her absence was not the 11 term congresswoman’s finest hour.

Now this.
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