Donovan: I’m not an Incompetent Manager

House Speaker Chris Donovan has granted his first extended interview since the scandal broke that surrounds his campaign for congress in CT-5.   Donovan came to WFSB for a taping of “Face the State,” which yesterday on Channel 3.

The interview came together quickly early  Thursday  evening, and was booked just a few minutes before I entered the studio for Eyewitness News at 5.    Two reporters were at the station for the taping, Rick Green of the Hartford Courant, and Matt DeRienzo of the Torrington Register Citizen.   Both had been booked in advance for a segment about the 5th district race and the Donovan controversy, and in response to the change in the the guest list, they then  analyzed what Donovan said to say during his Face the State interview.

We knew going into the interview not to expect any new details about the federal investigation.    Donovan has made it clear that he can’t talk about the investigation, a point he repeated during our conversation.

During our 15 minute interview I asked Donovan about his campaign operation,  and how he is dealing with the pressure of a federal investigation.    We talked about his involvement in the day to day operations of the campaign, and what has changed since his finance director was arrested by the feds.    He responded to charges he is an incompetent manager, and how he could not have known something was up considering the campaign staff is so small.    

DH:  How involved are you in the day to day management of the campaign?

CD:     I have a campaign manager. My job is to go out and meet the people.

Donovan told me he first learned about the federal investigation on television.  I asked him who was the first person he called after hearing the news, but he declined to answer.

Donovan was also asked about Governor Dan Malloy and Congressman Chris Murphy.      The two did not endorse him, even though he has been one of the most powerful people in government for years.  He suggested it is because one of his opponents, Elizabeth Esty, is married to the commissioner of the DEEP.    Donovan said since the scandal broke, he has heard from the governor, but not Murphy.      The Speaker then quoted Harry Truman, by saying “if you want a friend, get a dog.”    Two WFSB producers who watched the taping, felt that was a swipe at the man Donovan hopes to succeed.

Donovan talked at length about the support he has received from voters, even pulling out a letter from a constituent.      He said he will win the primary and bristled when I asked what would happen if he should get arrested.

You can watch the entire interview right here: http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=7384794

Analysis from DeRienzo and Green here:  http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=7384799

Read Matt DeRienzo’s report here:  http://ct5thdistrict.registercitizen.com/2012/06/07/ive-done-nothing-wrong-chris-donovan-says-on-face-the-state/

Rick Green’s here:  http://courantblogs.com/rick-green/donovan-strategy-im-a-fighter-no-questions-please/

Christine Stuart’s here: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/ctnj.php/archives/entry/donovan_stays_on_message/

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9 Responses

  1. I don’t trust Donovan at all. But what I don’t understand is this… at the time in question (April / May), everyone knew of the Super PACs. Why not open a Super PAC?

    I suppose that Braddock et al may have wanted the “credit” for the fundraising, as well as the greater control over directing the funds. But it certainly would’ve avoided all of this.

    Yet on the other hand, the Presidential candidates had 100s of campaign-savvy supporters. Perhaps Team Donovan felt they had no campaign-savvy individual — who was independent of the campaign — to control both the revenue & expenditures (i.e. ad creation & ad placement)?

    And with “minimal” risk of being caught (i.e. CTs Chief State’s Attorney has no subpoena power and limited investigative abilities), perhaps they felt they should just take the money directly into the campaign and skip the administrative issues related to a Super PAC?

    If so, it just seems to be complete stupidity that someone apparently chose to break the law, rather than comply with the law… when the end result (electing Donovan) would have been the same.

  2. For Donovan to claim ignorance (an innocence) of the illegal contributions is the height of political arrogance and shows utter contempt for the citizens of CT. You can rest assured that Donovan knew the relevant facts of these donations before they were accepted. As in all federal investigations, they start at the bottom of the food chain and work their way to the top. You can bet that the little fish – Braddock, CC-1, CC-2 and CC-3…) aren’t the real targets here. This is far from over.

  3. “I asked him who was the first person he called after hearing the news, but he declined to answer.”

    Take your pick:

    1) His lawyer
    2) Braddock
    3) Malloy
    4) His lawyer
    5) CC’s 1, 2 and 3…
    6 Did I mention his lawyer?

  4. Politics as usual , he just got caught

  5. No just a corrupt one.

  6. Does this guy really think people are stupid? He sounds like a thug and i don’t believe a word he says. Except the part about about people lined up for food by Bushnell Park. They’re called Food Trucks for a reason Chris. Granted they aren’t Union, but they are businesses.

  7. [...] WordPress.org Support Our “Shad”vertisers Shad by Email Subscribe to The Hanging Shad – Connecticut's Best Blog on Politics by Email When in Doubt, Blame the Journalist var addthis_product = 'wpp-264'; var addthis_config = {"data_track_clickback":true,"data_track_addressbar":false};if (typeof(addthis_share) == "undefined"){ addthis_share = [];}If there is one very telling (and annoying) habit of candidates in an election season, it’s when they can’t credibly answer a reporter’s question, they or their people attack the reporter. Such was the case of Sunday’s edition of WFSB’s “Face the State.” [...]

  8. I leave a response when I appreciate a post on a site or I have something to add to the discussion.
    It is a result of the passion displayed in the post I
    read. And after this post Donovan: Im not an Incompetent Manager | Channel 3′s Dennis House Blogs. I was moved enough to leave a thought :-) I actually do have a couple of questions for you if you usually do not mind. Could it be only me or do a few of these comments come across like coming from brain dead people? :-P And, if you are posting at other sites, I’d
    like to keep up with everything new you have to post.
    Could you make a list all of your communal sites like your twitter
    feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

  9. […] to get Donovan, the House Speaker and 5th District Congressional candidate, to say much of anything during a Face The State interview on Sunday, Dennis House asked whether he was up to the job. The […]

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