Photo: Contributed Photo / Contributed Photo
When you’re best known for successfully prosecuting former Gov. John Rowland for campaign fraud, you can least afford to be perceived as playing “fast” and loose with political purse strings.
So when Democrat gubernatorial hopeful Chris Mattei reimbursed a junior-level aide last month for a $94.02 ticket using political contributions, it stupefied friends and foes alike. The expenditure was listed on page 288 of Mattei’s 318-page finance report that his exploratory committee recently filed with the state Elections Enforcement Commission.
State law doesn’t explicitly say political funds can’t be used to pay tickets, but it does say they cannot be used for personal use.
Now Mattei is making the staffer, identified as Connor Yakaitis, pay back his exploratory committee for the ticket.
“A campaign worker received a ticket in the course of his duties and the campaign covered the expense and reported it,” said Julie Edwards, a spokeswoman for Mattei. “In retrospect, it should have been paid personally by the staffer and he will reimburse the campaign.”
Mattei raised $118,343 and spent $64,306 testing the waters for the state’s highest office during the past three months. Previously in charge of the public corruption unit in the U.S. attorney’s office for Connecticut, Mattei has never run for public office before.
“Given anybody’s background that’s in the public arena, they should know that’s a personal situation and it should be handled personally,” said Mark Lauretti, a Republican gubernatorial candidate and Shelton mayor. “I wouldn’t think of (doing) that.”
Tip of the Cap
He’s the first and last read of the day for many Connecticut influencers: Tom Dudchik.
The creator of the popular news aggregation site ctcapitolreport.com has been known to have politicians beg him to change a gotcha headline, placement of stories or unflattering photographs — old images can come back to haunt.
Now the former Lowell Weicker Jr. deputy chief of staff and one-time Ansonia state legislator has another platform to go along with his 10 million annual clicks — the Sunday morning political talk show circuit.
Dudchik’s Emmy-winning “Capitol Report” program returned Sunday to WTNH Channel 8, the New Haven ABC affiliate, after a three-year hiatus. The 30-minute roundtable, which airs weekly at 10 a.m., was previously on FOX 61.
The show’s inaugural panel was made up of Roy Occhiogrosso, the longtime political adviser to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy; Brookfield’s Jennifer Schneider, a spokeswoman for SEIU 1199, New England, which represents 28,000 health care workers in Connecticut and Rhode Island; Liz Kurantowicz, a former chief of staff for the Connecticut GOP and political consultant from Fairfield; and Jodi Latina, chief of staff to New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart.
A right to bare arms
Rosa DeLauro has a style all her own — from jackets that look like the “Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” to lattice glasses.
The 14-term congresswoman from New Haven isn’t afraid to push the fashion envelope with her wardrobe.
But DeLauro’s latest sartorial statement is about what she’s not wearing — sleeves.
On Friday, the Democrat was photographed on the steps of the U.S. Capitol with 25 sleeveless congresswomen to protest the House dress code, which requires shoulders to be covered. The move comes as House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., considers changes to the dress code, for which he was criticized after several sleeveless female reporters were recently denied access to the speaker’s lobby.