Duff’s PAC fund is $84K; D’Amelio pledges no PAC

Republican District 25 State Senate candidate Marc D’Amelio, left, and State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff debate last week in City Hall.

The election is Nov. 6.

Updated, 8:24 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – A Political Action Committee formed in 2003 by Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25) is funded largely by lobbyists and has spent more than $5,000 in 2018, with some of that going to Norwalk non-profit organizations and $500 to Friends of Rilling.

Third Street PAC was named after the street that Duff grew up on, Galen Wells said.

Duff is being challenged in this year’s election by Republican Marc D’Amelio, whose treasurer, Bryan Meek, has slammed Third Street PAC.

“This is Duff’s side vehicle where he takes money from lobbyists then uses that money to promote his brand and image,” Meek wrote on Facebook. “Clear violations of CEP {Citizen’s Election Program} laws. It’s treasurer, Dean O’Brien is his paid staffer. Paid for by our tax payer dollars. Maybe Dean took the days off, but it looks as if he’s preparing these financial statements on company time.”

O’Brien, Duff’s executive assistant for constituent issues and scheduling, has been Third Street PAC’s treasurer since 2005. Before that, Wells was treasurer; Duff is listed on the Secretary of State’s website as the candidate/chairperson July 2008 to January 2016, and Wells has held that position since then.

Neither Duff nor O’Brien returned emails asking for a response to Meek’s comment.

“Very little money goes into and out of it, and it’s very, very common,” Wells said Monday.  “All” the legislators had PACS in 2003 and used them to pay expenses or make contributions, she said.

It’s a way to support other Democrats, and Duff is obligated to go to events, which the PAC pays admission fees for, she said, adding, “It’s reasonable.”

The money raised by Third Street PAC since Duff became Majority Leader in January 2015 has swelled considerably; expenditures have increased, but not as much as contributions have.

Third Street PAC on Nov. 1, 2011 reported $731.25 in contributions Jan. 1, 2011 and Oct. 30, 2011, and $680 in expenses; on Oct. 10 of this year the PAC reported $14,715 in contributions since Jan. 1 and $5,186.48 in expenses.

Wells said that back in 2003, then-State Rep. Larry Cafero (R-142) also had a PAC.

“After the 2006 Campaign Finance Reform Legislation, each of the four Legislative caucuses were allowed three Leadership PACs,” Cafero wrote to NancyOnNorwalk. “When I became House Republican Leader, I automatically became Chairman of those PACs. They were the House Republican Campaign Committee; The New Friends PAC and the New Horizons PAC. They are for the purpose of Republican House Campaigns and Party building activities.”

Cafero was Minority Leader from 2007 to 2014 and Deputy Minority Leader from 1996 to 2007, according to Ballotpedia.

Research indicates that the treasurers for the PACs Cafero named are or have been state employees, like O’Brien.

  • Jason R. Schuetz is treasurer for New Horizons PAC, which was formed in 2004, the State website states. He is listed as a caucus employee in a 2017 CT Post story and is listed as a State employee on a current page of CT.gov.
  • Greg MacKinnon is the current treasurer for The New Friends PAC, and is listed as a state employee on CT.gov. Christopher M. Fryxell was treasurer from 2007 to 2017; he is also listed on the 2017 CT Post story as a State employee.
  • MacKinnon was treasurer for House Republican Campaign Committee from July 2015 to August 2017. Ashley A. Zane has been treasurer since then; she is also listed in the 2017 CT Post story as being a caucus employee and states on LinkedIn that she is a research and policy analyst at CT House Republican Office, a full-time legislative aide.


PACS were mentioned during the recent Duff/D’Amelio debate held by the League of Women Voters.

Asked about CEP, Duff said the public financing system should be replicated in Washington.

“The system was working beautifully until the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court,” Duff said, going on to assert that “millions and millions of dollars” are coming in to Connecticut from out-of-state Super PACs to support certain candidates, usually candidates running against Democrats.

“We are merciless to do anything against the millions and millions of dollars coming in,” Duff said. “It’s kind of interesting to me how, we have limits in the Citizens Election Program, $250 a person, but yet one person can write a million dollar check to Super PACs and spread that around the state.”

D’Amelio said he had taken CEP funds but “totally disagrees” with the program, as the state is suffering and money is flying out the door for primaries.

“I would have rather just raised my own money and do it that way,” he said. “As it relates to a PAC, I do not have a PAC. I believe my opponent had a PAC and he does a lot with it. I think if you’re going to talk about something that you are against, you probably shouldn’t have it yourself.”

Duff declined to respond to that.

NancyOnNorwalk subsequently asked D’Amelio about Third Street PAC.

“I feel a PAC goes against the spirit of The Citizens’ Election Program. When elected, I would pledge not to have a PAC,” D’Amelio wrote.



Third Street PAC expenditures  

State filings show that Third Street PAC began 2018 with $73,784.67 and had $84,898.19 on hand on Sept. 30.

Expenses were:

  • Jan. 16: Waterbury Democratic Town Committee, contribution, $50
  • Jan.  16: NARAL Pro-Choice CT Foundation, $100
  • Jan. 26: Bob Duff, reimbursement, Wilton Dunkin Donuts $45.47
  • Jan. 1: Red Rock Tavern, use for fundraiser $50
  • Feb. 6: Bob Duff, reimbursement, Penny’s $43.50
  • Feb. 16: Bob Duff, reimbursement $88.97
  • Feb. 26, Bob Duff, Family Diner, reimbursement, $12.30
  • Feb. 28: Vicki Oatis, reimbursement, Planet Pizza $100
  • Feb. 28: City of Norwalk, permit for 3/3 March against gun violence, $142
  • March 1: Marching Bears, half page ad for band fundraiser, $85
  • March 1: Evelyn Cunningham, reimbursement, Stop and Shop, $16.98
  • March 3, Bob Duff, Donovan’s reimbursement, $96.14
  • March 23, Marching Bears, full page ad for band fundraiser, $75
  • March 26: Friends of Rilling, contribution, $500
  • March 26: Encore Youth Company, $250
  • April 16: Bob Duff, reimbursement, $108.44
  • April 17: Bob Duff, reimbursement, Station House, $17.02
  • April 30: Bob Duff, reimbursement, Hartford Dunkin Donuts, $18.07
  • May 22: Bob Duff, reimbursement, $35.09
  • Aug. 24: St. James Missionary Baptist Church, $85 attendance fee for dinner
  • Sept. 13: Norwalk Democratic Town Committee, contribution, $500
  • Sept. 13: Norwalk McMahon Hockey Club, contribution, $500
  • Sept. 25: Wallingford Democratic Town Committee, contribution, $500

In 2017, Third Street PAC began the year with $68,202.53. Expenses were:

  • Jan. 1: Dean O’Brien, reimbursement for event, $91
  • Feb. 23: Marching Bears Inc., half page ad in ad book, $85
  • Feb. 23: Bob Duff, reimbursement, $131.13
  • Feb. 23: Dean O’Brien, reimbursement for purchase of beverages for reception, $127.24
  • March 15: Juneteenth of Fairfield County (Bridgeport), purchase of ad book for event, $250
  • April 3: Connecticut Armed Forces Day Luncheon, table of 10 for luncheon (in Hartford), $300
  • April 3: Hersam-Acorn Newspapers, two-year newspaper subscription, $80
  • April 28: Newtown Helps Rwanda, contribution, $250 (Sandy Hook)
  • June 21: Bob Duff, reimbursement, $98.95, Beachland Tavern, West Hartford
  • July 11: Shaggy Dog Rescue, ad book for event, $250 (70 Beacon St., Norwalk)
  • July 25: Norwalk Police Fund, Inc., contribution, $100
  • Aug. 8: Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc. $100 (Williston Fla.)
  • Aug. 8: Marching Bears, Inc. ad for trailer, $550
  • Aug. 18: Sweet Mother Organization, contribution, $50 (Norwalk)
  • Aug. 22: Fourth Annual Michael Ness Golf Tournament, $250
  • Sept. 1: Marching Bears, Inc. half page ad for fundraiser, $85
  • Sept. 1: Brien McMahon High School Band Parent Association, ad book submission for event, half page ad $75
  • Sept. 27: Norwalk Police Activities League, admission for beer tasting fundraiser, $30
  • Sept. 27: Norwalk McMahon Hockey Booster Club, ad book for event $500
  • Oct. 2: Bob Duff, reimbursement, $54.54
  • Oct. 10: Sprague Democratic Town Committee, $250
  • Nov. 24: Mayor’s ball, table of 10, $1,250
  • Dec. 18: National Exchange Club, ticket to event, $85
  • Dec. 20: Mid-Fairfield AIDS Project, contribution, $100


The 2016 April filing is missing from the State Website.

Expenses listed for 2016 are:

  • March 8: Bob Duff, reimbursement, Salute Restaurant, Hartford, $52.65
  • April 18: Keystone House Inc., ad book half page ad, $100
  • May 10: Brien McMahon High School Parents Club, charitable contribution to post-prom committee, $250
  • May 18: Bob Duff, reimbursement, Pasquale’s Osteria, $52.03
  • May 25: Bob Duff, reimbursement, $104.68
  • July 29: Bulldog Democrats, Yale College, contribution, $100
  • Aug. 17: Marching Bears Inc., advertising for high school band concert, $550
  • Aug. 23: Norwalk Branch NAACP, ticket to annual gala, $70
  • Oct. 10: Norwalk Branch NAACP, contribution, $240
  • Nov. 11: Democratic State Central Committee $7,500
  • Dec. 21: Brien McMahon High School Band Parent Association $1,000




Contributors to Third Street PAC

Individuals, mostly lobbyists, accounted for $6,165 in contributions to Third Street PAC in 2018.

The 2018 individual contributors are listed as:


$100 contributors

  • Jay Aronson, lobbyist, Connsensus Government Consulting
  • Jay Levin, lobbyist, Jay Levin Gov’t Consulting
  • William Malitsky, lobbyist, Halloran and Sage Government Affairs
  • James Paolino, lobbyist, Halloran and Sage Government Affairs
  • Patrick Shortell, lobbyist, Halloran and Sage
  • Elizabeth Gallo, lobbyist, Gallo and Robinson LLC
  • Linda Sobin, lobbyist, self,
  • Steven Guveyan, lobbyist, American Petroleum Institute,
  • Brooks Campion, lobbyist, Robinson and Cole LLP
  • PJ Cimini, lobbyist, Capitol Strategies Group
  • Maureen Flaherty, lobbyist, Capitol Strategies Group LLC
  • Patrick McCabe, lobbyist, Capitol Strategies Group
  • David Evans, lobbyist, self
  • Mark Powers, lobbyist, Powers Brennan and Griffin
  • Nicole Griffin-Mason, lobbyist, Powers, Brennan and Griffin
  • Kenneth Przbysz, lobbyist, self
  • Carrie Rand-Anastasiades, lobbyist, self
  • Kevin Reynolds, lobbyist, Reynolds Strategy Group
  • David Rose, lobbyist, Wilson Elser LLP
  • Anita Schepker, lobbyist, Schepker and Associates
  • Robert Shea, lobbyist, Shea Law Inc.
  • Timothy Shea, lobbyist, Brown Rudnick
  • Tracy Persico, lobbyist, Brown Rudnick
  • Peter Smith, lobbyist, Rome, Smith and Lutz
  • Brenda Sisco, lobbyist, Reynolds Strategy Group
  • Brad Weeks, lobbyist, The Kowalski Group LLC
  • Linda Kowalski, government relations, the Kowalski Group
  • Elizabeth Gemski, lobbyist, Murtha Cullina LLP
  • David McQuade, lobbyist, Murtha Culina
  • Janemarie Murphy, lobbyist, Murtha Cullina
  • Eric George, President, Insurance Association of CT
  • Eric Gjede, lobbyist, CBIA
  • Jean Cronin-Hughes, lobbyist, Hughes and Cronin
  • Alan Deckman, lobbyist, TCORS Capitol Group LLC
  • Jay Malcynsky, lobbyist, Gaffney Bennett and Associates
  • Richard Conway, lobbyist, Gaffney Bennett and Associates
  • Lisa Fecke, lobbyist, Gaffney, Bennett and Associates
  • Brendan Fox, lobbyist, Gaffney, Bennett and Associates
  • Michael Doyle, lobbyist, Gaffney, Bennett and Associates
  • Stephen Kenny, lobbyist, Gaffney Bennett and Associates
  • Chris DePino, lobbyist, DePino, Nunez and Biggs
  • Melissa Biggs, lobbyist, DePino, Nunez and Biggs
  • Paul Nunez, lobbyist, DePino, Nunez and Biggs
  • Amy Dowell, State Director, ERN
  • Eric Brown, lobbyist, CBIA
  • Christopher Smith, lobbyist, Rome, Smith Lutz
  • Jude Malone, lobbyist, CT Beer Wholesalers
  • Matthew Hallisey, lobbyist, Matthew Hallisey Government Affairs $25
  • Susan Halpin, lobbyist, Robinson and Cole
  • James Heckman, lobbyist, CT Realtors
  • Kevin Hennessy, lobbyist, Dominion Resources, Inc.
  • Carroll Hughes, lobbyist, Hughes and Cronin
  • Joshua Hughes, lobbyist, Capitol Consulting
  • John Larkin, lobbyist, JC Larkin and Company
  • Patricia LeShane, lobbyist, Sullivan and LeShane
  • Daniel Moore, lobbyist, Eversource
  • Margaret Morton, lobbyist, Eversource
  • David O’Leary, lobbyist, The O’Leary group
  • Katherine Lutz, lobbyist, Smith and Lutz
  • Patricia Shea, lobbyist, IGS
  • Richard Balducci, lobbyist, Doyle, D’Amore and Balducci



  • Peter Wilcox, government relations, Pepsico


There are also contributions from Committees:

  • Harry PAC $300
  • Connecticut Association of Optometrists $2,000
  • Radiological Society of Connecticut $1,000
  • Connecticut Funeral Directors PAC $500
  • Conn. State UAW-PAC Council $250
  • Realtors PAC, $2,000
  • ABW, PAC $500



The 2017 list of contributors:


  • Matthew Hallisey, lobbyist, Matthew Hallisey Government Affairs LLC



  • Kinson Perry, lobbyist, Rome, Smith and Lutz,
  • Ashley Calabrese, lobbyist, Updike, Kelly and Spellacy
  • Jeffrey Zyjeski, lobbyist, Gaffney Bennett
  • Brian Sullivan, lobbyist, Przybysz and Associates Government Affairs
  • Michael Riley, lobbyist, 52 Grove Street Associates, LLC
  • Liam Sweeney, lobbyist, ConnCAN




  • Steven Guveyan, lobbyist, American Petroleum Institute,
  • Mark Brennan, lobbyist, Powers Brennan and Griffin
  • Lindsey Pinkham, Connecticut Bankers Association, president and CEO
  • Brenda Sisco, lobbyist, Reynolds Strategy Group
  • James Leahy, lobbyist, Leahy Management Group
  • Michael Culhane, Connecticut Catholic Conference executive director
  • Elizabeth Gemski, lobbyist, Murtha Cullina LLP
  • Louise DiCocco, lobbyist, CBIA
  • Sheila McKay, lobbyist, Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE)
  • Julie Cammarata, lobbyist, Cammarata Government Affairs, LLC
  • Anita Schepker, lobbyist, Schepker and Associates
  • David O’Leary, lobbyist, The O’Leary group
  • Keith Stover, lobbyist, Robinson and Cole
  • David McQuade, lobbyist, Murtha Culina
  • Michael Cicchetti, lobbyist, Frontier Communications
  • Paul Nunez, lobbyist, DePino, Nunez and Biggs
  • Eric Brown, lobbyist, CBIA
  • Melissa Biggs, lobbyist, DePino, Nunez and Biggs
  • Maureen Flaherty, lobbyist, Capitol Strategies Group LLC
  • Thomas Dorsey, lobbyist, Eversource
  • Margaret Morton, lobbyist, Eversource
  • Daniel Moore, lobbyist, Eversource
  • Michael Smith, lobbyist, Soundview Business and Campaign Consulting
  • Peter Smith, lobbyist, Rome, Smith Lutz
  • Catherine Robinson, lobbyist, Gallo and Robinson LLC $100
  • Elizabeth Gallo, lobbyist, Gallo and Robinson LLC $100
  • John Larkin, lobbyist, JC Larkin and Company
  • Michael Doyle, lobbyist, Gaffney, Bennett and Associates
  • David Evans, lobbyist, self
  • James Iacobellis, lobbyist, Connecticut Hospital Association
  • Stephen Kinney, lobbyist, Gaffney, Bennett and Associates
  • Jay Malcynsky, lobbyist, Gaffney, Bennett and Associates
  • Richard Conway, lobbyist, Gaffney Bennett and Associates
  • James Woulfe, lobbyist, The Connecticut Group LLC
  • Patrick McCabe, lobbyist, Capitol Strategies Group
  • Richard Balducci, lobbyist, Doyle, D’Amore and Balducci
  • Jay Aronson, lobbyist, Sandler and Mara LLC
  • Thomas Mongellow, lobbyist, Connecticut Bankers Association
  • Patrick Sullivan, lobbyist, Sullivan and LeShane
  • Ryan Bingham, lobbyist, Sullivan and LeShane
  • Kenneth Przybysz, lobbyist, self
  • Brendan Fox, lobbyist, Gaffney, Bennett and Associates
  • Kevin Hennessy, lobbyist, Dominion Resources, Inc.
  • Kevin Reynolds, lobbyist, Reynolds Strategy Group
  • Justin Kronholm, advisor, State of Connecticut
  • Linda Sobin, lobbyist, self
  • Mark Powers, lobbyist, Powers Brennan and Griffin
  • Timothy Casey, lobbyist, Gaffney Bennett and Associates
  • Brooks Campion, lobbyist, Robinson and Cole LLP
  • Jean Cronin, lobbyist, Hughes and Cronin
  • Carroll Hughes, lobbyist, Hughes and Cronin
  • Sarah Boggess, lobbyist, ReEnergy Holdings LLC
  • Hilary Felton-Reid, lobbyist, Robinson and Cole LLP
  • Robert Shea, lobbyist, Shea Law Inc.
  • Alan Deckman, lobbyist, TCORS Capitol Group LLC
  • John Bailey, lobbyist, TCORS Capitol Group LLC
  • Patricia Shea, lobbyist, self
  • Susan Halpin, lobbyist, Robinson and Cole
  • Tracy Persico, lobbyist, Brown Rudnick
  • Nicole Griffin, Powers
  • PJ Cimini, lobbyist, Capitol Strategies Group
  • Frederick Knous, lobbyist, Evans and Associates
  • Adam Salina, lobbyist, Kozak and Salina LLC
  • David Kozak, lobbyist, Kozak and Salina LLC
  • Christine Cappiello, lobbyist, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Jim Perras, lobbyist, Wilson Elser LLP
  • David Rose, lobbyist, Wilson Elser LLP
  • Linda Kowalski, lobbyist, the Kowalski Group
  • Brad Weeks, lobbyist, The Kowalski Group LLC
  • Ross Gionfriddo, lobbyist, Halloran and Sage Government Affairs
  • James Paolino, lobbyist, Halloran and Sage Government Affairs
  • Janice Perkins, government relations, Connecticare
  • Eric Gjede, lobbyist, (Connecticut Business and Industry Association) CBIA
  • Kevin Hill, lobbyist, Powers, Brennan and Griffin
  • William Malitsky, lobbyist, Halloran and Sage Government Affairs
  • Patricia LeShane, lobbyist, Sullivan and LeShane
  • Michael Johnson, lobbyist, Sullivan and LeShane
  • Michael Morrissey, lobbyist, Morrissey Consulting LLC






  • David Gable, Hocon Gas president
  • Realtors Political Action Committee
  • UA Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 777 PAC



  • Connecticut State UAW PAC Council


Red headed movie star November 1, 2018 at 7:25 am

So, the individual citizen/voter doesn’t have a chance of being represented by Bob Duff. So discouraging. Why vote? But I still will.

Lisa Brinton Thomson November 1, 2018 at 7:50 am

I am stunned. However, this list of lobbyist donations now explains the legislation coming out of Hartford and why Norwalk and CT needs change. It gives new meaning to the phrase ‘Kindness Comes Back to You.’ 🙂

B Meek November 1, 2018 at 8:02 am

In April of this year, Third Street PAC ran an ad from “State Senator Bob Duff” paid for by Third street PAC in the NHS Addams family playbill. This occurred at the same time Bob was raising money for his $95,000 public grant that went for things like billboards in Bridgeport.

I just sent your editors physical evidence of this ad from the playbook. I don’t see that expenditure in this list. It’s using the same 10 year old picture of Bob that’s on his lawn signs that we paid for. It’s also the same picture on the Band’s trailer without attribution that’s been on there for years. This violates school policies not to mention election laws.

Everyone loves NHS and the band and our art programs. But this is why CEP is a sham and needs to go. They are all laundering money though these PACs to their campaigns to keep an unfair advantage. The sad part is if Bob was actually standing up for us instead of his lobbyists, music and arts could be fully funded instead of having to endlessly fundraise on top of endless practices and mountains of homework.

Michael Foley November 1, 2018 at 8:42 am

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Time For Change

Peter Torrano November 1, 2018 at 9:30 am

Now it’s clear to all of us who had been wondering who it is that Bob Duff was referring to when he boldly and compassionately declared he was “Standing up for you”. If your first name happens to be “Lobbyist” then it’s you.

Lisa November 1, 2018 at 9:33 am

Wow! That’s a lot of lobbyists. Has anyone aligned the Lobbyists’ firms with the priorities that Duff has worked on?

Matt November 1, 2018 at 9:39 am

What does this article have to do with Larry Cafero’s previous PACs? Why include that? That addition has nothing to do with Bob’s PAC or maybe it was a space filler.

JOHN C ROMANO November 1, 2018 at 9:50 am

Thanks Nancy for bringing to light what has been the topic of polite discussion by many. BOB DUFF is corrupt, self serving and is working the system to his advantage. While others who attend events and are laying out money for good causes BOB is robbing his PAC to make himself look good. I am still waiting for the real exposure of how Mary Paug gets paid, and what her deal is as a tenant living in BOB DUFF’S personal residence. There has to be a back story here that needs to be told. Standing up, Kindness. Duff gives new meaning to these words.

Lisa Brinton Thomson November 1, 2018 at 11:07 am

Teacher, How can you look at that list of lobbyists and think that Norwalk is being looked after?

We got back .10 cents for every dollar sent to Hartford ten years ago (when we were being shortchanged then) now it’s only .05 cents. Norwalk residents’ income tax dollars fund the bankrupt cities in the state, while we struggle to pay your salary and that of the police and fire in a district with nearly 50% free and reduced lunch.

From a land use point of view, we still aspire to be the dumping ground for big box and retail shopping for our leafy suburban neighbors, who crowd our streets and ridicule our schools. All that sales tax revenue goes back to Hartford and around the state.

We have 13% government housing and Bob wants more (which doesn’t help the grand list) as our hypocritical, big box shopping neighbors tout “Hate Has No Home Here” have virtually none. Bob is one of the most powerful men in Hartford and where has that gotten Norwalk?

At some stage – we need to talk the numbers. I am tired of sentimental platitudes.

Teacher November 1, 2018 at 11:31 am

Whats is the actual plan then?? I still don’t see one, other than bashing Bob. Explain how anyone can convince other Senators in Hartford to vote in Norwalk’s interests and not their own. I’m all ears…

Lisa Brinton Thomson November 1, 2018 at 11:58 am

Teacher, Connecticut has a complex problem that can’t be resolved in the NON comments section 🙂
However, it seems to me, the first step in helping the state’s fiscal problem and Norwalk’s would be to admit that it there is a problem. Sadly, Bob continues to paint a less than honest picture of state finances (pensions in particular) and prefers focus on a host of social issues (that while admirable) are secondary to our financial mess.

Incumbents in both parties have been responsible for kicking the can down the road for the past two decades. One party seems to be willing to talk about it – the other not so much. Fixing the problem requires making the biggest financial liability (pensions) look more like the private sector. Another NON poster on another story (Jeff I think) highlighted for example, removing overtime from payment calculations, and increasing employee contributions amongst other suggestions. Obviously these items need to be negotiated – but there can be no sacred cows.

Fixing cities is another key component to getting CT back on track. I’m not sure handing over a bunch of state tax credits to build ‘affordable” government housing that costs more than the median price of a single family home in Norwalk is a winning strategy either. We have a reminder of that fiasco every day now with POKO.

Sue Haynie November 1, 2018 at 12:01 pm

@Teacher. Bib Duff voted against the recent budget that would have given $5,000,000 a year (!) more in ECS funding to NPS. He fought for UCONN staff over Norwalk staff, children and taxpayers.

Bob Duff does nothing for Norwalk of real value. If he gets voted in again, Norwalk will get what it deserves… nothing.

Claire Schoen November 1, 2018 at 12:42 pm

Can someone explain to me how candidates are supposed to fund campaigns these days — unless they are multi-millionaires like our gubernatorial candidates?

Would it be better for the CEO of Eversource to make a personal contribution – which would be less transparent than to see a list of lobbyists and affiliations such as that one published here?

There’s no question that we need campaign finance reform, but candidates on both sides of the aisle are using PACs and all of these comments strike me as trying to pick on the candidate — when the real problem is our current campaign finance laws.

Corruption, really? By supporting the blessed band?

Claire Schoen November 1, 2018 at 12:44 pm

And, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest — I want to invite all our readers for an evening of civil conversation and pizza — next Thursday at Fat Cat, 6:30 – 8:30 pm. This is not a fundraiser, rather, an opportunity for everyone to come together after the election and celebrate the work that Nancy Chapman is doing — and to celebrate our community.

Join us. Let’s have some face-to-face commenting for a change!

Lisa Brinton Thomson November 1, 2018 at 2:09 pm

Claire, You are absolutely right – one shouldn’t have to be a multi-millionaire to run for governor. By the same token, local and state elections shouldn’t run into six figures either. At least, not in the age of internet and free-ish mass communication. My suspicion is the gubernatorial race is being spent on television. However, since TV is not really needed for local/state legislative offices, one has to ask – what does that kind of PAC money buy?

Another example, when I ran for mayor last year, 98% of my money came from local residents, with the exception of a few friends and my mother, the big campaign contributor, with her $1000 donation. Contrast that against Harry, who raised five times what I did ~$150K – predominately from developers, lawyers and those living outside of Norwalk. What do those stakeholders want? Are they the same things that residents want? Do they just want to make Norwalk a better place?

I recently had a conversation with a developer (not Mr. Milligan 🙂 and suggested that developers might have a larger role than they think for why City Hall is so difficult to deal with. The fact that they and their respective law firms have largely funded Norwalk’s mayoral campaigns for the past decade plus (not just Harry’s) has perhaps resulted in generating little political will or enthusiasm to fix Norwalk’s long standing reputation of being difficult to do business with. Having a ‘mayor’ who can step in and fix a problem or make a favorable commission appointment wouldn’t be necessary if the city were more professionally run.

Anyway, just a theory.

Bryan Meek November 1, 2018 at 3:18 pm

@Clair, both candidates were funded by Citizens Election Program. Our tax dollars. Each received $95,700 to campaign with. Candidates who opt for CEP are prohibited from taking outside money from lobbyists. The PAC as it is operating is in gross disrespect of the law that Mr. Duff voted for, taking lobbyist contributions to further promote his image. The claim that everyone is doing it, doesn’t make it right either and for the record Marc is not and does not have a PAC.

In total CEP costs Connecticut $40 million a year, not including the staff needed to manage it. I can list about 1000 other things we should be spending our money on and our well paid staff could work on more value added activities like ferreting out actual violations of campaign finances. Instead we consume them with validating $5 contributions that are required to qualify for CEP. It’s a total sham.

Teacher November 1, 2018 at 4:02 pm

the tone of some rebuttals is another reason why CT can’t move forward. It not about running up the score. An eye for eye leave the whole world blind. I dont believe that all in this will understand this…

Alan November 1, 2018 at 6:30 pm

The best government money can buy?
You all have a choice. Change is good.
A contribution to a hockey club? I am a fan, but really!

bryan meek November 2, 2018 at 12:11 am

We get it Teacher. To infinity and beyond. Who needs state level reforms to prevent the state from going bankrupt, when we can all just sit down and have some ice cream and pasta together?

Teacher November 2, 2018 at 9:00 am

@bryan That is not my point. When was the last time people sat down and worked together to solve a problem. Our city, state, and national leaders prefer to throw jabs and land knockout punches rather than solve the actually problem. Leaders on this page prefer to blame and disrespect others instead of working with them to find a solution.
I understand the concept of winning, but winning at the cost of destroying someone/something is foolish and truly irresponsible. there are far to many people who want to grind an ax rather find a solution. They hide behind the ability to blame and point out the problem but offer no workable solution.

Claire Schoen November 2, 2018 at 10:40 am

@teacher, well said. We are all tired of the acrimony. It’s gets us nowhere.

To all readers and commenters: If you have time next Thursday, Nov.. 8, please join us at Fat Cat when we can all sit down and talk to each other with civility.

What a concept, right?!

bryan meek November 2, 2018 at 10:40 am

@Teacher. You might want to ask the Democratic majority why for years they refused the Republican minority to even sit at the table in budget discussions. It was only after last years fiasco and missed deadlines that there was any reach out and then Malloy went and vetoed the budget that would have brought $5 million extra in education funding to Norwalk. Bob Duff voted against this budget too.

Pointing out the record is not destroying someone. Duff / Malloy Passing two record tax increases has wrought more destruction than one could have ever imagined. Blue states from Maryland to Maine tightened the belt out of the recession, worked with their political counterparts to reduce taxes and regulations. We went in the opposite direction and the results are crystal clear.

Lisa Brinton Thomson November 2, 2018 at 11:52 am

Claire, Acrimony? Civility? With all due respect…independents and swing voters like myself, who’ve advocated for discussion and offered a variety of solutions over the years are exasperated by the ‘grinning, stonewalling, blackballing and backroom deals’ at the state and local levels.

The CT economy is in the toilet and Norwalk’s is about to be. The individuals in power and the subject of criticism on this site area are all smiles for the cameras and ribbon cuttings, but whoa…behind the scenes 🙂 Please do not confuse style with substance. I voted for both Bob and Harry in the past. The game is up.

The polls today – show that the gubernatorial race is a dead heat. Very likely, those are your independent voters talking. Who knows where things will end up on Tuesday, but Connecticut is an anomaly to the rest of the country. We are left of center and so far ahead of the rest of the country on social issues – that for those to be the topics of campaign rhetoric, when we are fiscally insolvent borders on criminal.

Obviously, I am not the silent middle majority, BUT I have been pushed to the right by the blatant disregard and/or incompetency of our status quo – career politicians. I believe it was Democrat strategist, James Carville, who coined the phrase, “It’s the economy, stupid.” in Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential campaign against Bush. It doesn’t matter which party – but right now, power corrupts and absolute power, corrupts absolutely.

Ron Morris November 2, 2018 at 6:36 pm

Lisa Brinton Thomson

You state
independents and swing voters like myself

Did you forget that you joined the Republican party the same as the Russian President Trump?? Are you embarrassed by it?

Bujji November 2, 2018 at 11:05 pm

@ron morris – Not a Trump supporter! But are there bigger crooks than the clinton crime family?????????? please poke your head head out from under the rock.

Ron Morris November 2, 2018 at 11:22 pm

If you really believe that the Clinton’s are bigger crooks than the Russian President Dump. I would suggest that you take your own advice and please poke your head head out from under the rock.

FYI Clinton has been out of office since 1992.

bryan meek November 3, 2018 at 8:58 am

We are still seeing the after affects of the Clinton era. Political operatives embedded in most of our once respected institutions with decades of influence and corruption. Remember when they made the networks put “their” people in the press pool? Those same people are now in positions of senior rank at our news media outlets crafting the message and dividing the nation. Don’t underestimate people who left the white house broke, but are now billionaires from doing what? There isn’t enough room to list the corruption. But start with Uranium One and Haiti and work your way back to Tysen Chicken.

Ron Morris November 3, 2018 at 1:27 pm

I see that you are once again posting fake news. You have been asked time and again to post links to a reputable news sources to back up your claims, but I guess you cant seem to find any. If anyone would like to see more of Bryan’s fake news and his failure to support his statements I would suggest you read here

Also Bryan why have you failed to state that are Marc’s finance manager for his campaign ? This would help us all understand your never ending support for an empty suit.

Rick November 3, 2018 at 4:23 pm

Duff is being challenged in this year’s election by Republican Marc D’Amelio, its time to check some facts.

Bob has many chances to stop sober houses assisted living and half way houses from opening up anywhere but stock tells us he would lose money.Murphy had a bill but was dropped he has stock also.

Bob didn’t fight when the state shut down ten beds at Norwalk Hospital stock tells us what? .

Bob got money for infrastructure for the Mall could be built stock tells us it was a good move for stock.

Bob voted to gut 5000 state jobs lets not forget some of those state inspectors we don’t have could of helped in Washington village not the city but the poor souls who are sick. Department heads who retired over 200 years of service replaced with temps. The loss was some buy outs.

Lets not forget the scale houses on our highway , and the recent truck accidents that could of used the State truck teams before the accidents and loss of life . I say could have not having the manpower and not able to blame Bob would be speculation and not right.

Opening of the rail bridge was delayed the bridge was built wrong state wouldn’t open the street until the bridge was fixed right ,not Bobs fault but did he tell us this when the first ribbon cutting was done?

Involvement with the walk bridge was union contracts and supporters interest not Norwalks.

Bob helped the Aquarium out by making sure the Bridgeport contractor with the green product supply business on the side that sells to Norwalk schools continues his cleaning business with the Aquarium contract. It was reported he involved himself with the dispute. What he did would be pure speculation and get my post refused. What I can add is the cleaning contractor has major contracts in Hartford and all over the state once a Norwalk business moved to Bridgeport.

Whats Darien think of Bob Duff? He was once challenged by someone there he never went away he has worked the streets for years making sure fact is spread around Darien .

To think using Trump as a wedge to get voters to Vote Duff is a stretch when you have Himes and Murphy spending millions for a seat.

The democratic party in Norwalk took a nose dive when they tried to split up South Norwalk and found blood was thicker than Rilling.

You can stay in your party and still help get control in Hartford by not voting for those not delivering.

Im not a big fan of asking anyone to change parties but if you have a loser don’t vote for him vote for all of the others ,

Its funny you can be an independent voter and still be a Democrat by not voting for the loser on the ballot. This time around the facts are hurting you can see it all over the city, whats wrong with he city is how people voted last time.

Now Hearst has backed a Democrat for Gov , in case no one reads them anymore is that surprising? No conversation or facts there on Duff is there? Advertisers realize where the traffic is and its here.

Trump played his hand in Norwalk no hotel was announced hours after GGP met with Trump in NY.Bridgeport will get the hotel along with a casino, Stratford got the mall and Norwalk has Duff.


like it or not Ct has lost jobs lost business and lost time so keep blaming Trump for everything its pushing Democrats out of Hartford out of office.

I was wondering for those defending Duff has he done anything good you can all can boast about, his own party wants him to give up his standing and be replaced and the reasons why from his own party are not coming from Republicans or Norwalk , how can anyone ignore your own party wishes and overlook it out here on NON?

Bujji November 3, 2018 at 7:06 pm

@Ron – They are very even rivals with each having many many closets filled with skeletons.

Reminder that Hillary Clinton was President Obama’s Secretary of State less then 2 years ago.

Ron Morris November 3, 2018 at 7:48 pm


You may want to check your facts as Hillary Clinton left being Secretary of State in February 1, 2013. That would be almost 6 years not less than 2 years. Also you cannot compare any modern president to Dump as even decent Republicans shun him.

Bryan Meek November 3, 2018 at 8:12 pm

Ron thinks I’m his research resource. He’d probably be surprised to know that as a CPA I do financial services for 100s of individuals and institutions, many of them for free. Nothing is hidden here. Some just seem challenged in the information literacy category.

Marc’s suits are not paid for by BLT like Bob’s are. Marc hasn’t robbed the states treasury to pay them back like Bob has.

Marc’s campaign staff pays their own bills and doesn’t live in his house, like Bob’s do.

Marc’s expenditures are fully documented and transparent and committed to promoting Darien and Norwalk. Bob’s with his digital (expensive) billboard in Bridgeport are not.

Ron, since you are uncapble of using Google it would appear, I’m feeling generous and charitable to the informationally challenged.

Before the NYT was staffed with Clinton appointed journalists, they actually used to do research. https://www.nytimes.com/1994/07/31/magazine/the-president-s-past.html

You seem capable of typing {…}, so why don’t you do your own research instead of expecting others to do it for you? I guess at least you don’t pretend to be a liberal who expect others to do their work for them.
Edited to remove an insult, a violation of the comments policy.

Ron Morris November 3, 2018 at 11:18 pm

Please tell me that link in meant to be a joke as I cant stop laughing. I am not asking you to do research for me, what I am asking is that you back up your comments with facts as in a link. I do realize that you are not able to do this as your comments come off as fake news.

Here are just a few of the post tha you made tha come of as fake news.
1. That Duff supporters have gone after Marc’s family?
2.That someone said Marc has been campaigning for Trump?
3.How does this back up your post in response to Jeff’s post as your reply?


Ron Morris November 3, 2018 at 11:21 pm

If anyone wants yet another reason not to vote for Marc all you need top do is read the fake news posted by Bryan who is a member of his staff. I think we get enough fake news from President Dump.

Bujji November 3, 2018 at 11:56 pm

Bryan –

This guy Ron is a joke. He says ZERO about how Duff will accomplish anything. His whole smear campaign is just about finding fault with Damelio for what seems like person reasons and not how his candidate will be any better.

Ron Morris November 4, 2018 at 12:01 am

I think that is what I said about Marc from Day one
as in
Marc says ZERO about how he will accomplish anything. Marc’s whole campaign is just about finding fault with Duff.

Danny November 4, 2018 at 9:50 pm

Ron, I’ve screenshot every Duff post since December, 2017 and all Bob seems to do is find fault with Trump. He NEVER provides ANY information on his posts on how he will help the crazy spending in Hartford and work on the deficit. Bless your heart, Ron!

Debora Goldstein November 5, 2018 at 1:53 pm


CT has a model clean election program for state campaigns.

A state rep candidate raises $5,000 in donations from $5 to $100. Of those, 150 must be in donations directly from the district. Qualifying candidates (there are other requirements) then receive a match from the CEP of about 5x that amount. In 2016, the match was $28,150.

A state senate candidate raises $15,000 in donations raises from $5 to $100. Of those, 300 must be in donations directly from the district. Qualifying candidates (there are other requirements) then receive a match from the CEP of about 5x that amount. In 2016, the match was $95,710.

It should be noted that the funding for the CEP is from sale of abandoned property held by the state of CT, not from taxes collected. In 2017 http://www.blueprintsfordemocracy.org/model-public-funding-system reported that 80% of CT residents favor the program.

Bryan Meek November 5, 2018 at 3:14 pm

@Deb. Or the money from sale of abandoned property to go to things like homeless veterans mental health programs, or one of 1000 other worthy things besides welfare for legislators….or keep it like it is so Duff can buy billboards in Bridgeport. And all of this did nothing to stop Bob’s PAC from promoting his image with lobbyist contributions prohibited by CEP.

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