I was rather puzzled after reading the July 25 article, "Galante lawyer fined $2,000."
According to your article, two local attorneys were fined a hefty $2,000 for making illegal campaign contributions in 2004 to state senator and now 5th Congressional District Republican nominee David Cappiello.
What particularly struck me was the revelation that this isn't the first time Senator Cappiello has received allegedly illegal campaign contributions.
At what point do we as voters stop seeing these instances as honest mistakes and start viewing them as a pattern?
Well, I guess the following information will leave the writer of the letter REALLY puzzled.
Today, known mobster James Galante will finally plead guilty to a stunning array of federal charges. His buddy, Dave Cappiello, who accepted $15,000 in illegally funneled campaign contributions from Galante and thanked him with bottles of wine, has some explaining to do about his ties to known mobster, James Galante.
In addition to federal racketeering and tax fraud charges, Galante was charged with three counts of making illegal contributions to politicians and three counts of corrupt practices under state election law. Cappiello was one of the recipients of Galante's generosity.
"The truth about Dave Cappiello's relationship with James Galante won't get locked up in the prison cell with the convicted mobster," said Carrie James, regional press secretary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "There's no way to hide the fact that David Cappiello has a close relationship with James Galante. Cappiello bestowed him with honors, took illegal campaign contributions and provided him with gifts in exchange."
What we know of Galante and Cappiello's friendship:
* 2007 -- After a story broke about his PAC receiving Galante money, Cappiello lied about when he donated the money to charity. (Hartford Courant, October 13, 2007) (Associated Press State & Local Wire, October 12, 2007) (FEC.gov)
* 2007 -- Cappiello was Against New Plans to Regulate Refuse Industry. After Galante's indictment, Cappiello opposed proposals for licensing trash haulers. (Danbury News-Times, June 12, 2007)
* 2005 -- Cappiello and DeLuca were two of just three senators to oppose a bill to expand the state's bottle bill by also letting water bottles be redeemed for deposit. A massive lobbying effort then killed the bill in the House, led by Sullivan & LeShane. While they represented the beverage industry, they were also representing Galante companies, and this bill would have hurt his bottom line by reducing municipal reliance upon curbside recycling. Sullivan & LeShane have boasted how they have defeated this expansion of the bottle bill, beginning in 1999. (Connecticut Common Cause, September 27, 2005)
* 2004 -- Cappiello Voted Against Reforming "Evergreen" Contracts. One of the abusive features of Galante's company contracts were "evergreen" clauses, which he used in Connecticut even after such contracts had been outlawed in Westchester and New York City. In 2004, Cappiello voted in Judiciary Committee against SB 399, "An Act Concerning... Automatic Renewal of Consumer Contracts." (http://www.cga.ct.gov/2004/jfr/s/2004SB-00399-R00JUD-JFR.htm) (New York Times, August 12, 2001)
* 2002 -- Cappiello solicited James Galante to contribute $100,000 at a Red Cross Fundraiser that raised $117,000. Cappiello and DeLuca repeatedly worked together in soliciting and honoring Galante; both were members of the "Italian-American Legislative Caucus."
* 2002 -- Cappiello took $15,000 in illegally funneled money from Galante for his State Senate PAC. Cappiello spent $202 at Danbury wine & liquor to thank Galante with "bottles of wine or champagne" (Hartford Courant, October 12, 2007) (Politico.com, November 5, 2007) (Hartford Courant, October 12, 2007)
* 2002 -- Italian American Legialtive Caucus, of which Cappiello is Treasurer, gives Galante its highest award. The ceremony was held in a room off the legislative chambers, just over two years after Galante had served time in Prison for tax evasion. (Danbury News-Times, 3/29/02) (Hartford Courant, 9/19/99)
September is right around the corner...