This is a crosspost from My Left Nutmeg
Months after Senator Lou Deluca was forced to resign from the State Senate for his relationship with convicted mobster James Galante, Senator Cappiello is looking to be promoted to Congress.
Cappiello has publicly tried to distance himself from his friend and convicted trash hauler but can't hide any longer, as the public has proof of why Galante bundled illegal contributions to Cappiello.
Yesterday, the Hartford Courant released the text of a glowing letter written by Cappiello in support of Galante's character. Cappiello wrote that he was "proud to call Jim my friend"
, detailing his long history of friendship with the convicted trash hauler that led to Cappiello accepting illegal campaign contributions and thanking him with a gift of wine.
Will the public ever learn the details of the undeniable friendship between Cappiello and Galante? Cappiello's refusal to come clean begs the question of how he expects residents to trust him in Washington.
The timeline is clear - Cappiello accepted the illegal contributions in 2002, after Galante's first stint in jail. In the recently released letter, dated June 3, 2004, Cappiello admitted that he knew Galante had been previously incarcerated on tax charges.
Senator Deluca Resigns and Cappiello Seeks Promotion! Outraged?
Call Cappiello And Tell Him TO Come Clean With His Relationship With Galante-
Cappiello will be talking to John Dankosky on NPR's Where We Live
Tomorrow (Friday) from 9am to 10am.NPR's "Where We Live"
Friday, October 10th
Serious unanswered questions remain.
- Do you always give wine to campaign contributors especially those who give illegal contributions?
- When will you release all records of your communications with Galante and his associates?
- Why did you write the letter after you knew had plead guilty on tax charges?
- What other criminal enterprises do you have relationships with?
I suppose Cappiello thought he was doing the right thing when he spent hundreds of dollars on wine to thank his friend Galante for receiving his illegal contributions. (Hartford Courant, October 12, 2007) (Politico.com, November 5, 2007) (Hartford Courant, October 12, 2007)
Yet last week, state prosecutor Christopher Alexy told the press that Cappiello "didn't tell the whole story" the first time he spoke to the FBI about his relationship with Galante. And finally, in state court last week, Galante couldn't keep the lie going. He plead guilty to just one offense - the one involving Cappiello.
If Cappiello had done the right thing, he wouldn't have lied to the FBI, he wouldn't have accepted the illegal campaign contributions, and he wouldn't be covering his tracks now.UPDATE: ctblogger
For those who are not keeping score, here's the Galante-Cappiello time line.
* 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)