Pay for Play?

October 22, 2013

McKinney: “Malloy’s California Fundraising Trip Raises Ethical Questions.

Hartford, CT – State Senate Minority Leader John McKinney (R-Fairfield) is calling on Governor Dannel P. Malloy to publicly disclose details pertaining to his California fundraising activity on behalf of the state Democratic Party, including the possible solicitation of campaign contributions by a state contractor.

According to press reports, while on his fundraising trip, the governor was a guest of Lenny Mendonca, a prominent Northern California Democrat who co-founded the public sector practice at McKinsey & Company, a firm that has held state contracts worth millions-of-dollars with University of Connecticut.

  • In FY2011, McKinsey & Company received 3 different payments from UCONN of $570,000 each for a total of $1,710,00.
  • In FY 2012, McKinsey & Company received 4 additional payments from UCONN of $570,000 each for a total of $2,280,000 (A total of $3.99 million over two years).

“The revelation that the governor met with a state contractor while on a fundraising trip for the Democratic Party raises a number of questions,” Senator McKinney said. “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.”

Senator McKinney is pointing to the trip as an example of why Connecticut’s campaign solicitation ban needs to be reviewed and possibly expanded. He will seek a review through the General Assembly’s Government Administration and Elections Committee (GAE) during the next legislative session. State election law currently prohibits the solicitation of campaign contributions by state contractors from their employees.

McKinney said it is also important to note that even under public financing laws, state parties can spend unlimited amounts of money on statewide candidates and that recent legislation doubled the amount an individual can donate to a political party to $10,000.

“The governor of the state of Connecticut should not be soliciting state contractors for campaign contributions under any circumstances. And if this governor is soliciting a firm that has received millions-of-dollars in taxpayer money from UCONN, it is particularly disconcerting given the fact that this governor has flown all over the world on the UCONN Foundation’s dime. Taxpayers have a right to know who the governor met with and who was solicited for donations. Left unanswered, this matter gives the state and the governor, quite frankly, the appearance of being for sale.”