Whatever you do...
Time: 7:35 PM
"Facts are stubborn things" for Romney
Time: 9:29 PM
I received word that the tomorrow's New York Times is featuring a BRUTAL story on
Luckily, you can read the piece now before it hits the newsstands tomorrow morning.
There was the period last spring when Mitt Romney claimed while campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire that he had been a hunter “pretty much all my life,” only to have to admit later he had seriously hunted on only two occasions.Mitt, PLEASE, PLEASE make a visit to meet Mark in Danbury before the Connecticut presidential primary...pretty please.
Then there was the endorsement Mr. Romney claimed on NBC’s “Meet the Press” last Sunday that he received from the National Rifle Association while running for governor of Massachusetts in 2002, when it turned out the group had never endorsed him.
Mr. Romney’s latest concession is that he only “figuratively” saw his late father, George, march with Martin Luther King Jr., something he claimed in his highly publicized speech about his Mormon faith earlier this month. Some publications have raised doubts that the event ever happened at all.[...]
On Thursday, for instance, at a campaign stop in Indianola, he ran into trouble when talking about his record on illegal drugs while governor of Massachusetts. Mr. Romney had been airing ads in Iowa attacking his rival, Mike Huckabee, for his record on clemencies while governor of Arkansas and for reducing penalties for methamphetamine-related crimes.
“I’m very proud of the fact that we, my state, when I was governor, we made it tougher for people with meth labs,” he said, echoing his commercial in which he claimed that he “got tough on drugs like meth” in the governor’s office.
“We cracked down on crime and on meth in particular,” Mr. Romney added. “It’s a very important topic. I want to make sure we do everything we can to keep our kids off of this terrible, pernicious, captivating drug.”
But both the ad and Mr. Romney’s claims on his record were misleading. Mr. Romney’s office proposed legislation that would have toughened penalties on those in possession of the drug and chemicals to manufacture it, but the bill stalled in the state legislature.
After The New York Times pointed out Mr. Romney’s misstatement in a posting on its politics blog, he made sure to correct himself before taking questions from reporters at his next campaign stop here.
“If I said this morning that we ‘got tough’ on methamphetamines, I proposed we get tough on methamphetamine and I’ve corrected that right here for all of you,” he said. “You don’t need to make any error of reporting that somehow Governor Romney actually got it done.”
His claim of being a lifelong hunter was similar. When asked at town hall forums about his stance on guns, Mr. Romney portrayed himself as a sportsman, a “hunter pretty much all my life,” who strongly supported the right to bear arms.
He even trotted out some stories, recalling how he went hunting with his cousins as a teenager but struggled to kill rabbits with a single-shot .22-caliber rifle. When they loaned him a semi-automatic, it became easier, he said, drawing laughs from an appreciative crowd in Keene, N.H. The last time he went hunting, he said, was last year, when he shot quail in Georgia and “knocked down quite a few birds.”
“So I’ve been pretty much hunting all my life,” he said again.
After the notion was challenged by The Associated Press, Mr. Romney’s campaign initially conceded that those were the only two instances he had really been hunting in his life, but later rushed to add that he had also gone pistol shooting for “varmints” at his vacation home in Utah, although he did not have a hunting license or own a gun.
On the National Rifle Association endorsement, Mr. Romney argued the group phone banked for him, but he conceded it did not formally endorse him.
“Frankly, I didn’t realize the N.R.A. had an official endorsement program that was different than their phone banking for me,” Mr. Romney said on Thursday to reporters here. “The fact that they phone banked and encouraged their members to vote for me, I thought qualified for saying they had endorsed me.”
With the questions now being raised by various publications about whether Mr. Romney’s late father, George, a former governor of Michigan, ever marched with King, no one is disputing that George Romney was active in the civil rights movement. What is being challenged is the precision of Mr. Romney’s statement.
UPDATE: You know times are bad for a Republican when FOXNews throws you under the bus.
...as well as rabid pro-life groups.
Time: 5:24 PM
• Sorry for the lack of posts today but I've been very busy collecting information and doing some tedious research. I'm somewhat backed up in articles and because of the holidays, I'm holding off on releasing a few stories for now.
• A big hello to all those in the 4th ward whom I met over the last few weeks. I will be updating this site with more information regarding the Transfer Station as well as providing direct access to the video footage from all meetings. Be on the lookout for me as I'll be traveling throughout the 4th ward conducting interviews and providing information on the transfer station proposal.
• I'll give 50.00 dollars to the first person who can give me a photograph of Mark Boughton dressed up as Mother Ginger in the Nutcracker.
• I'm still working out the details behind the expansion of this site. Well, I shouldn't say this site because I'm taking steps to evolve hatcityblog into something MUCH bigger and long overdue in this city.
• Form now until New Years Eve, I'll be doing a retrospective on several key events in Danbury during the last year. Hopefully by New Years, I'll be able to give everyone a sneek into the evolution of this site.
That's it...gotta get back to X-Mas shopping.
Parting shots at Big(o)T: The Fairfield Weekly edition
Time: 10:55 PM
Rudy Giuliani has a battalion of state senators and representatives. Mitt Romney has the active support of one current and one former chief exec of two sizable Connecticut cities. And John McCain has the help of an ex-state GOP chair and the endorsement of Joe Lieberman, a Washington man who happens to be Connecticut's junior senator. But none of the other Republican candidates has a Connecticut campaign chair. So as a service, we've matched some of remaining Republican contenders with someone who could speak for them locally.Ouch. The funny part is that Bennett is so mentally challenged that he might take the Weekly's remarks as a complement.
Tom "Big T" Bennett has quit his public-access show after Comcast moved it to a pre-recorded, late-night format due to his threats of violence against undocumented immigrants and a sexually explicit chit-chat with a 15-year-old girl. Greater Danbury's racist loon should use his new spare time to represent Greater Denver's xenophobic nutbag, Tom Tancredo. Bennett has experience in broadcasting and his weekly 60 Minutes Hate were just lengthy, under-produced versions of Tancredo's deplorable TV ads. Given the Colorado congressman's stuttering, blink-and-you'll-miss-it presence at the debates, we honestly think his cause would be helped if his mouthpiece was an overweight, gap-toothed wedding DJ who awkwardly breaks into conversations about gay oral sex.
Community Forum: Dec 19 Broadcast
Time: 10:41 PM
Topic: Danbury's Indian Community
Guests: Mini Pillai, Harivadan Kantawala, Mina Patel
HatCityBLOG Exclusive: Planning Commision Public Hearing, Transfer Station
Time: 6:15 PM
Common Council Chambers, City Hall 12.19.07. Photo by Ctblogger.
From last night, here's video footage of the public hearing into the Transfer Station proposal for Plumtrees Rd.
I'll re-write this post with a complete write-up on last meeting once I have all the videos posted.
NOTE: Due to the length of the video footage, I'm still in the process of uploading the files to the server. Since the presentation by Joe Putnam's team was extremely long, which prompted many in attendance to leave, the first series of videos posted will be of the public opposition to the proposal.
This is a post in progress. Segment 2 and 3 of the public opposition should be available for viewing by Friday.
PART 1 of 3: Public opposition. Runtime 20 minutes.
PART 2 of 3 Public opposition. Runtime aprox. 23 min.
PART 3 of 3 Public opposition. Runtime aprox. 20 mins.
Another anti-immigrant candidate bites the dust.
Time: 3:59 PM
Tom Tancredo dropped out of the presidential race today at a press conference in Des Moines. On his way out the door, he did in fact endorse a candidate: Mitt Romney.
We'll find out in the next two weeks if Tancredo's support will help Romney at all among the sort of rabidly anti-illegal immigration voters that Tancredo had long courted, despite Tancredo's own inability to have made any way in the polls.
So the anti-immgrant candidate endorses the candidate who had illegal immigrants landscape his house.
Romney caught lying AGAIN
Time: 1:05 PM
Our friends at Blue Mass Group has the details...and it not pretty.
Mitt Romney will stop at nothing to score political points. Even if it means lying outright about his father.I saw my father march with Martin Luther King.
Uh huh.He made a similar statement Sunday during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press." He said, "You can see what I believed and what my family believed by looking at our lives. My dad marched with Martin Luther King. My mom was a tireless crusader for civil rights."
Right. Got it -- dad marched with MLK. Even David Broder says so, and supplies some corroborative detail intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative. (BMG bonus points for identifying the source of that phrase!)As Mitt Romney recalled in his address, his father was able to remind people that he had marched with Martin Luther King Jr. (through upscale Grosse Pointe, Mich., in support of open-housing legislation).
Problem is, it's not true. None of it. As the Phoenix's David Bernstein reveals (see also update here) in some superb digging, George Romney never marched "with" -- i.e., in the presence of, at the same place at the same time -- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Here's Bernstein, who in addition to calling out Romney, calls out Broder:[W]hile the late George W. Romney, a four-term governor of Michigan, can lay claim to a strong record on civil rights, the Phoenix can find no evidence that the senior Romney actually marched with King, nor anything in the public record suggesting that he ever claimed to do so. Nor did Mitt Romney ever previously claim that this took place, until long after his father passed away in 1995 - not even when defending accusations of the Mormon church's discriminatory past during his 1994 Senate campaign.
Asked about the specifics of George Romney's march with MLK, Mitt Romney's campaign told the Phoenix that it took place in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. That jibes with the description proffered by David S. Broder in a Washington Post column written days after Mitt's College Station speech.
Broder, in that column, references a 1967 book he co-authored on the Republican Party, which included a chapter on George Romney. It includes a one-line statement that the senior Romney "has marched with Martin Luther King through the exclusive Grosse Pointe suburb of Detroit."
But that account is incorrect. King never marched in Grosse Pointe, according to the Grosse Pointe Historical Society, and had not appeared in the town at all at the time the Broder book was published. "I'm quite certain of that," says Suzy Berschback, curator of the Grosse Pointe Historical Society. (B[ro]der was not immediately available for comment.)
Faced with the unfortunate reality that Mitt was making things up, his campaign has retreated into a hilarious Humpty-Dumptyism about what it means to "march with" someone. You see, it doesn't mean that you were actually there. It means that, well, you participated in a march about a related topic on a different day, and maybe you thought about the guy while you were doing it.
Mitt, in other words, was "speaking figuratively, not literally."
I am not making this up. Apparently, it's all about what the meaning of "with" is. Can you believe that, after Bill Clinton's debacle over the meaning of the word "is," another political figure would try something like that?
From the Detroit Free Press, here's a spokesperson for Romney attempting to "clear things up."
On Wednesday, Romney's campaign said his recollections of watching his father, an ardent civil rights supporter, march with King were meant to be figurative.
"He was speaking figuratively, not literally," Eric Fehrnstrom, spokesman for the Romney campaign, said of the candidate.
UPDATE: The Boston Pheonix updates their story...
[George] Romney, according to one piece of written source material provided by the campaign, made a “surprise” appearance at a small march in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, in late June -- several days after King led a much larger march in Detroit. Romney spokesperson Eric Fehrnstrom suggests that these two were part of the same “series” of events, co-sponsored by King and the NAACP, and is thus consistent with Romney’s claim that “I saw my father march with Martin Luther King.”I guess if you had to translate Romney's gibberish into English, it might look something like this.
“The record is convincing and clear – George Romney marched with Martin Luther King and other civil rights demonstrators,” Fehrnstrom wrote in an email.
Fehrnstrom had originally told the Phoenix that the two men marched together in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, either in June 1963 or March 1968, a claim the Phoenix called into question earlier today. An additional source, William LeFevre of the Reuther Library at Wayne State University, who is in charge of the papers of the Grosse Pointe Civil Liberties Association, has since confirmed to the Phoenix that George Romney was not at the 1968 event, and that King was not at the 1963 event.
Fehrnstrom now says that the event in question was King’s “Freedom March” in Detroit on June 23, 1963.
He provides one reference, a 1972 book about Detroit, which mentions that Michigan’s then-governor George Romney “was among the prominent whites marching with Reverend King” in the Freedom March (which the book erroneously says took place on July 23).
However, numerous contemporaneous and historical accounts say that Romney did not participate in the Detroit Freedom March, because it was held on the Sabbath. The New York Times, for example, wrote the next day that “Gov. George Romney, who is Mormon and does not make public appearances on Sundays, issued a special proclamation.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: Now CBS is on the case and Mitt's digging a deeper hole for himself.
Facing fire over media reports questioning his own account of seeing his father march with Martin Luther King, Romney told reporters in Fort Dodge, Iowa, that he saw the two men march “in a figurative sense.”From his campaign giving an EXACT date when Romney and King marched together to this nonsense...it's like he learned his slickness from the Clintons...
During his December 6 address on religion in College State, Texas, Romney said, “I saw my father march with Martin Luther King.”
CBS News: “Did you actually see — with your own eyes — your father marching with Martin Luther King?”
Romney: “My own eyes? You know, I speak in the sense of I saw my dad become president of American Motors. I wasn’t actually there when he became president of American Motors, but I saw him in the figurative sense of he marched with Martin Luther King. My brother also remembers him marching with Martin Luther King and so in that sense I saw him march with Martin Luther King.”
Later he said, “I can’t even give you the time frame. I just remember that we talked about it. My brother also remembers my dad having spoken about the fact that he did not do political events on Sunday but that he decided at the last minute that he was going to break that self-imposed rule and participate and I think he did so on a Sunday as I recall.”
He added, “You know, I’m an English literature major as well. When we say, ‘I saw the Patriots win the World Series, it doesn’t necessarily mean you were there — excuse me, the Super Bowl. I saw my dad become president of American Motors. Did that mean you were there for the ceremony? No, it’s a figure of speech.”
With doubletalk like this no wonder Mark is on Mitt's bandwagon...they have so much in common.
A call to action to help Darfur
Time: 10:01 AM
My Left Nutmeg writer Saramerica wrote this piece on the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act.
Here are the details behind this VERY important bill.
SADA can ensure that your tax dollars don’t go to companies that support the genocidal Sudanese regime: Over the last few years, a number of states and universities have chosen to divest their financial holdings (made up largely of your state tax dollars) from companies doing harmful business with the Sudanese regime. But certain parties have tried to overturn these state divestment laws.
Now that you're up to date, here's Saramerica's call to action.
The Enough Project sent me an action e-mail on the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act. Please join me in calling the White House to tell Bush to sign this into law. Putting economic pressure on South Africa helped to end apartheid. Now we need to use this tool to help stop the genocide.
Here's what the Enough Project wants us to do:We've been working for months to get Congress to pass crucial legislation that will protect state and local governments' rights to divest from companies that help fund genocide in Darfur.
Thanks to you and hundreds of thousands of Darfur activists around the country, the Senate unanimously approved the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act last week, and Tuesday, the House of Representatives followed suit.
Now President Bush has 10 days to sign SADA into law. Call the White House today and urge President Bush to sign the bill into law.
In his first year in office, in the margins of a memo on the Rwandan genocide, President Bush wrote, "Not on my watch." Make sure he remembers his promise by protecting states' and local governments' rights to divest, and making sure our tax dollars don't go to contracts with companies that help fund genocide.
Just follow the steps below:
Call the White House Comment Line at 202-456-1111.
Tell the staff person who answers the phone that you are urging the President to sign the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act and take all steps necessary to implement it.
Report your call at www.1800genocide.org (bottom half of the page).
Call President Bush today to make sure he protects the right of states and local governments to divest for Darfur and stops our tax dollars from going to contracts with companies that help fund genocide!
Your support is critical to make sure that American dollars do not enable the genocidal regime in Khartoum.
Let's help make "Never Again" a reality instead of a trite political phrase uttered by president after president on Holocaust Remembrance Day, followed by pathetic inaction in the face of the genocides in Bosnia, Kosovo, Rwanda and now Darfur.
Transfer Station Open Thread
Time: 2:18 PM
NOTE 2: Sorry but my connection was bad and I was unable to post last night. Video footage from Monday's meeting and last night's Planning Commission meeting will be posted shortly
Common Council chambers: 12.17.07. Photo by ctblogger
Tomorrow begins the next battle in the never-ending battle in Danbury residents and what many consider to be irresponsible development.
In this case, instead of condos, residents are fighting against Joseph Putnam's (owner of Putnam Automotive) plan to build a transfer station/volume reduction plant on Plumtrees Rd. The project has already passed the EIC and is scheduled to be presenting at tomorrow night's Planning Commission meeting.
This will be an ongoing thread that will cover everything surrounding this land use battle that has the entire 4th Ward in an uproar.
I attended several meetings where the topic of the transfer station came up and I attended last night's town hall meeting Tom Saadi arranged between the residents and Mr. Putnam.
Since it will take a little while to post all the video footage, to get a sense on just how volatile things became at the meeting, here's a small video clip between Putnam and a resident he offended.
AGAIN THIS IS AN OPEN THREAD and I'll update this post with more information surrounding the transfer station including complete video footage from last night's meeting as well as remarks over the transfer station at last month's 4th Ward Town Hall Meeting at the Catholic War Veterans.
If you're from the 4th ward and would like to comment on this project, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org OR drop a line in the comments and I'll post your remarks to this post.
NOTE: In a RARE move for The News-Times, Eugene Driscoll is doing a great job covering the story. You can read up on the community's opposition to the development by clicking here as well as read his write-up on last night's meeting by clicking here.
VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Transfer Station Public Forum
From Monday night, here's video footage of the Transfer Station public forum in it's entirety. Due to the size of the video, I broken the file into four sections.
PART 1 of 4: runtime aprox. 30 min.
UPDATE: The uploading of the video footage is taking longer than expected. Sorry for the delay...
PART 2 of 4: runtime aprox. 35 min.
PART 3 of 4: runtime aprox. 35 min.
PART 4 of 4: runtime aprox. 30 min.
Follow the money trail: Boughton 7th day preceding election report
Time: 11:46 AM
"We get thousands of checks from thousands of people and we just wouldn't have any way of knowing something like that is happening."Mayor Boughton's response to his acceptance of James Galante alleged bundled campaign contributions
You didn't think I was finished with this right?
By popular demand, here's Mark Boughton's 7-day before the election finance report.
With your help, we were able to uncover a number of questionable contributions to Boughton's campaign in 2003 AND very revealing contributions in 2007. In fact, questions surrounding James Galante's ILLEGAL bundled contributions were picked up by the mainstream media (and trust me folks, THAT story is far from over).
For those who need to be caught up to date, here's a recap:
FLASHBACK: New York Times 05.02.04
James Galante, who owns trash hauling companies in Danbury and Putnam County, N.Y., first tried to get into the hockey business in New Haven, but he eventually realized the city's team couldn't be saved. When Danbury opened its ice arena in 2001, Mr. Galante saw another opportunity. He had watched his son play hockey in high school and noticed that young people from the area were signing up for junior and pee wee leagues. A hockey team, he realized, could take root here.FLASHBACK: Hartford Courant, July 21 2005
The team will also be paying for major renovations to the ice arena, expanding the capacity from 750 seats to as many as 2,500. The renovation still needs the city's approval, said Kevin McCormack, regional manager for New Jersey-based Floyd Hall Enterprises, which owns the arena. The arena had also not signed a final contract with the team, Mr. McCormack said.
The arena, which holds two rinks, already logs 400,000 to 500,000 total visits a year for youth leagues, adult leagues and recreational skating, among other events, Mr. McCormack said. None of those activities will be curtailed by the hockey team, he said. He expected the team to boost interest in the arena, rather than drive it away. Danbury residents are already coming to the ice arena asking where they can buy season tickets, Mr. McCormack said.
Increasing the seating was a prerequisite for admission into the league, Mr. Brosal, the U.H.L. president, said. He also said he was not concerned that James Galante had served a federal sentence in connection with filing false corporate tax returns.
FBI agents searched an undisclosed number of homes and businesses in western Connecticut and suburban New York late Tuesday as part of an organized crime and political corruption case that centers on the refuse hauling business.More goodies from The Hartford Courant dated 07.21.05:
Shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday, dozens of agents began sifting through business records at the offices of Automated Waste Disposal Inc. in Danbury. Automated dominates the refuse hauling business in southwestern Connecticut, and its owner was linked in federal court in the middle 1990s to mob efforts to stifle competition in the industry in Westchester County, N.Y.
Automated is owned by James E. Galante, 52, of New Fairfield, who was sentenced to a year and a day in prison and fined $ 100,000 in 1999 for assisting in the preparation of false corporate tax returns.
FBI agents also appeared at the law offices in Danbury of Galante attorney Jack E. Garamella, a law enforcement source said late Tuesday. In addition, agents armed with search warrants were at Galante's home and the homes of several of his senior employees, said a source familiar with the investigation.
The indictment alleged that Milo and the others -- including Mario Gigante, the brother of then Genovese crime family boss Vincent "The Chin" Gigante -- were part of a mob cartel that used arson, bribery and violence to dominate the garbage-hauling industry in the suburbs north of New York City.
Galante also owns a professional, minor-league hockey team that he named the Danbury Trashers. It is part of the United Hockey League and plays in the city-owned ice rink in downtown Danbury. Galante bought the team as an 18th birthday present for his son, who is general manager.
Galante and employees of his businesses have been generous contributors to Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton. Boughton could not be reached Tuesday night for comment.
Some senior city employees, who asked not be identified because they fear retribution, have said the city of Danbury allowed Galante to spend millions to quickly renovate the ice rink to comply with league standards -- but without timely city inspections for code violations. The arena was too small for league standards and needed to be expanded to a capacity of more than 3,000. The city employees said they felt pressured to quickly approve the renovations.
Shortly after Boughton became mayor in 2001, Galante requested and received a permit to increase the numberof tons per day of garbage he could bring into the transfer station from 950 to 1,250. Boughton said he didn't become aware of the application until 2003, but under the terms of the previous contract Galante had the option to apply for expansion to the regional trash authority.Three years after the fact, Boughton fessed up to the following...
Galante recently has asked for another expansion to 1,900 tons a day. That application is pending, Boughton said.
The city's handling of the expansion of the ice rink has raised questions with Boughton's critics. Galante would not have been able to open the season without expanding the seating capacity at the Danbury Arena to meet United Hockey League regulations.
Boughton acknowledged Friday that one of his political actions committees, People Over Politics, got money from associates of Galante in 2003....but it appears that the rabbit hole goes MUCH deeper.
Sources said that eight, $1,000 checks from either Galante employees, friends or associates were donated to People Over Politics on Oct. 26, 2003. Some of them were then reimbursed or told that the donations would help Galante's trash hauling business, which is based in Danbury.
-Hartford Courant 10.12.07
Here's a list of the eight people who donated to Boughton's People over Politics PAC in October 2003.
Name: Date of contribution
Shirley Giglio: 10.26.03
Paul DiNardo: 10.26.03
Joe Walkovich: 10.26.03
Frank Russo: 10.26.03
Susan Seri: 10.26.03
Anthony DiNardo: 10.26.03
Jackie DiNardo: 10.30.03
Robert DiNardo: 10.23.03
You're with me here...okay, lets continue.
Let's now take a look at Mayor Boughton's re-election report, which was filed in April 2003 and take note of the following people who gave 1,000 around the same time period.
Name: Date of contribution
Maria Rullo: 01.15.03
Nina DiNardo: 01.14.03
Joe Walkovich: 01.18.03
Susan Seri: 01.15.03
Paul DiNardo: 1.17.03
You see something similar?
The only person that has nothing in common with those listed in the October statement is Maria Rullo...until you look a bit closer.
Kevin J. O'Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MARIA "Mary" RULLO, age 45, [...] waived indictment and pleaded guilty today before Senior United States District Judge Ellen Bree Burns in New Haven to one felony count of filing a false tax return.
According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in court, RULLO failed to report alimony income on personal tax returns she filed with the Internal Revenue Service. During the course of an investigation, the IRS obtained an affidavit signed by RULLO in 2003 in which she stated she received $40,000 in alimony, an amount that she omitted from her tax return for that year.
RULLO has agreed to pay $34,436 to the IRS for material omissions to her returns filed for the 2001 through 2004 tax years.
Judge Burns has scheduled sentencing for October 19, 2007, at which time RULLO faces a maximum term of imprisonment of three years and a fine of up to $100,000.
RULLO was released on a $25,000 non-surety bond and was ordered not to have any direct or indirect contact with the defendants and witnesses named in United States v. Ianniello, et al, Case Number 3:06cr161(EBB).
Lets take a look at Case Number 3:06cr161, United States v. Ianniello, et al. and see which witness and defendants Rullo should have no direct or indirect contact with.
The defendant Matthew Ianniello is the 86 year old former acting boss of the Genovese Organized Crime Family. Save for a period of approximately six years in the 1990s when he was incarcerated on racketeering charges, Mr. Ianniello has for decades served the Genovese family well as one of its top "earners." At this late junction in his career, Mr. Ianniello faces in this case a term of incarceration of 24 to 30 months and a fine of $4,000 to $40,000. For the reasons that follow, the government respectfully submits that a sentence at the high end of this range - to be served concurrent to a 15 month sentence recently imposed in another district - is appropriate.
On December 20, 2006, the defendant pleaded guilty to Count Two of the Indictment, which charges that he and others engaged in a racketeering conspiracy designed to control Connecticut's refuse industry, and Count Sixty-Two, which charges him with conspiring to defraud the United States Revenue Service (IRS). See 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d) (Racketeering Conspiracy) and 18 U.S.C. § 371 ("Klein conspiracy"). The defendant faces a maximum term of incarceration of twenty years on Count Two and a maximum term of incarceration of five years on Count Sixty-Two.
In this case, the government conducted eleven months of court-authorized wiretaps on a number of telephones connected to James Galante, owner of approximately twenty-nine carting-related entities in southwestern Connecticut. (PSR at ¶ 15) The wiretaps ran from August 2004 to July 2005, at which point law enforcement officials executed over thirty-five search warrants, including searches of Mr. Ianniello's residence and Mr. Galante's office. Agents seized thousands of boxes of documents, including a sheet of paper from Galante's office that listed a series of quarterly payments made by Galante to the defendant between August 2001 and April 2005. The payments stopped after the government executed the aforementioned searches in July 2005.
With respect to the search of Mr. Ianniello's residence, the Connecticut FBI seized approximately $130,680 in cash. In addition to the wiretaps and searches, agents interviewed many witnesses connected to the case.
This Court authorized wiretaps on phones utilized by, among others, Galante, Richard Galietti (Galante's lead salesman), Christopher Rayner (accountant to defendants Milo and Galante), Ciro Viento (Galante's operations manager), and Richard Caccavale (Galante employee).
To date, Viento and Caccavale have pleaded guilty to the racketeering conspiracy charged in Count Two; the other listed defendants await trial.
Here's the News-Times write-up on why Rullo went to jail for 30 days:
A 45-year-old New Fairfield woman who once worked at Danbury's Automated Waste Disposal was sentenced to 30 days in federal prison for filing a false tax return.
Senior U.S. District Judge Ellen Burns last Friday ordered Maria "Mary" Rullo, to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on Nov. 20.
"Rullo repeatedly lied to federal investigators," said Tom Carson, for the U. S. Attorney's office.
Rullo came to the attention of the Internal Revenue Service during the federal investigation of AWD owner James Galante. The IRS had been interviewing people about "no-show" employees at AWD.
Prosecutors said Rullo provided false information to the IRS and the FBI while they were investigating her former boss' trash hauling companies in western Connecticut. They also said she improperly received health care benefits and failed to tell federal agents about certain cash transactions she conducted.
We also learned more about Boughton's connections with other politicians who were caught up in the Galante scandal...paging State Senator David Cappiello...
• In Boughton's 01.07.04 statement (period covered 10.22.03-12.31.03) Boughton received a "contribution" from the 24th District Republican Committee for $250.00.
This was Cappiello's PAC, which according to the Courant, he "received 15 checks for $1,000 in October 2002 written by people who received cash reimbursements originating from Galante."
People in the mainstream media picked up on the posts and also questioned Boughton's honesty.
Stan Smith, Hartford Courant:
James Galante doesn't need me to speak for him.
But I'm having a hard time believing that if indeed the Danbury trash magnate funneled $40,000 in illegal political contributions, as the state contends, the recipient politicians had no idea what Galante was up to.
Sen. Louis DeLuca of Woodbury and Sen. David Cappiello and Mayor Mark Boughton of Danbury all say they had no idea - none - that Galante allegedly was funneling his cash their way through employees, friends and relatives.
But bundlers generally aren't exactly shy about letting the political candidate know what they've done for them. The chief bundlers gain clout and access with politicians because they have demonstrated the ability to raise money - the lifeblood of campaigns.
There's actually legal bundling, when people raise money from others; and there's illegal bundling, when contributors are using their own money.
"The whole art of bundling is to make sure you get credit for it," said Andy Sauer, executive director of Common Cause, the community action group. "I am someone who believes that whenever any campaign contributor is trying to gain favor with any elected official, the way they maximize their influence is by bundling."
So, if we're to believe this latest case against Galante, he went to great lengths to contribute to politician campaigns, but never let the public officials know he was hooking them up.
Maybe. But it doesn't pass my smell test.
Sources told the Hartford Courant (the Weekly's papa paper) that Galante gave $8,000 to Boughton's People over Politics PAC in eight separate thousand-dollar donations—a grand being the legal limit for an individual—through friends, family and employees in October 2003, with promises of favors or reimbursement. Boughton told the Courant, "I was absolutely unaware that there was anything wrong with any donations."
People over Politics only received a total of eight donations of $1,000 in that reporting period.
Four checks are from the family of Paul Dinardo, Galante's brother-in-law and a longtime employee of his trash business, who got 21 months in prison in September for conspiracy to inflate hauling prices through extortion and threats. He gave $1,000. So did his father Anthony Dinardo, the father-in-law of James Galante and a resident of Putnam County, N.Y., where Automated Waste's operations stretched. The other Dinardos were Paul's brother Robert, a Danbury police officer, and his wife, Jackie, a teacher and guidance counselor in the city's public schools.
If People over Politics got $8,000 from Galante, the trash magnate provided about one-third of the $24,287 the PAC raised in 2003 and half of the $15,750 from "individuals," as opposed to business or organizations. The PAC listed $9,750 as its total contributions from individuals from Oct. 24 to Dec. 31, meaning, without that $8,000, People over Politics would have collected $1,750 from actual people. Of the eight $1,000 donations, six arrived on Oct. 26 and the other two on Oct. 23 and Oct. 30.
So no one at People over Politics thought it strange that individuals bolstered their cash stash by $8,000 within eight days, with half of it coming from the heavily Galante-connected Dinardo family in a city like Danbury, where the political and business establishments are small enough that everyone knows everyone? (Boughton certainly knew Galante, who hauled the city's trash and owned its minor-league hockey team.)
And as HatCityBLOG pointed out, this was not the first time the same group of people stuffed Boughton's piggybank. Within a five-day period in January 2003, Walkovich, Seri, Paul DiNardo and his wife (Galante's sister) all gave $1,000 to his reelection fund, as did Maria Rullo, of New Fairfield, who pled guilty to tax fraud in July in a case related to United States v. Ianniello, aka Matthew "Matty the Horse" Ianniello of the Genovese family, which has alleged ties to...James Galante.
...and lets not forget, unlike Cappiello who donated tainted money, it doesn't appear that Boughton's hands are clean yet. Hmm, maybe he can donate the cash to the homeless before forcing them to work for food.
Although I encourage you to keep looking at the 03-04 reports, it's worth noting that there a bunch of contributions to Boughton's campaign in 07 that will raise your eyebrows. Although we're not going to release the full report until next year, you can STILL help us by downloading the reports and highlighting any strange or noticeable donations to Mayor Mark's empire.
Let's work together to expose the ugly truth.
Boughton's PACs (pdf format)
People over Politics PAC
2004a ($8,000 IN GALANTE ILLEGAL CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS ARE HERE)
Mayor Mark's 21 Century PAC
Boughton SEEC Form 20 Campaign Finance Statements (pdf format)
Statement: 90 day report (Election 11.06.01)
Date filed: 02.04.02, Period Covered: 12.15.01-02.04.02)
Statement:Termination Report (2001 campaign)
Date filed: 05.07.02, Period Covered: 02.05.02-05.07.02
Statement: 2nd Thurs. month April 20th
Date filed: 04.10.03, Period Covered: 01.02.03-04.03.03
Statement: 2nd Thurs. month July 20th
Date filed: 07.07.03, Period Covered: 04.10.03-06.30.03
Statement: 2nd Thurs. month July 20th (Amendment #1 to 07.07.03 report)
Date filed: 07.09.03, Period Covered: 04.10.03-06.30.03
Statement: 2nd Thurs. month July 20th (Amendment #2 to 07.07.03 report)
Date filed: 08.17.05, Period Covered: 04.10.03-06.30.03
Statement: 2nd Thurs. month Oct. 20th (COLLECTED A MASSIVE AMOUNT OF MONEY DURING THIS PERIOD).
Date filed: 10.07.03, Period Covered: 07.01.03-09.30.03 (aprox.)
Statement: 7 days proceeding Election: Nov 4, 2003
Date filed: 10.28.03, Period Covered: 10.01.03-10.21.03 (aprox.)
Statement: Termination Report (2003 Campaign)
Date filed: 02.09.04, Period Covered: 01.01.04-02.31.04
Statement: January 10 Filing
Date filed: 01.10.07, Period Covered: 11.27.06-12.31.06
Statement: April 10 Filing
Date filed: 04.10.07, Period Covered: 01.01.07-03.31.07
Statement: July 10 Filing
Date filed: 07.05.07, Period Covered: 04.01.07-06.30.07
Statement: October 10 Filing
Date filed: 10.10.07, Period Covered: 07.01.07-09.30.07
Statement: 7th day preceding election report
Date filed: 10.27.07, Period Covered: 10.01.07-10.23.07
UPDATE: Had to fix the link to the latest report. File is now available.
Lamont issues statement criticizing Lieberman
Time: 2:20 PM
During our debate last year, Senator Lieberman intoned that he wanted to “elect a Democratic President in 2008,” and that my election would “frustrate and defeat our hope of doing that.” With his endorsement of John McCain today, it is now clear that Joe Lieberman is the one working to defeat our hopes.
Last year, Senator Lieberman pleaded with voters to consider his full throated support for the invasion of Iraq as merely a “single issue” in the context of an otherwise progressive agenda. His endorsement of Senator McCain reminds us that the war in Iraq is actually Lieberman’s predominant issue, trumping all else – or maybe he is looking forward to joining Sen. McCain in a duet rendition of “Bomb, Bomb, Iran.”
A McCain presidency would make privatizing social security more likely, investing in our middle class less likely, and tipping the balance of the Supreme Court for decades a near-certainty. The court is one vote away from overturning Roe v. Wade and further expanding the power of the Presidency at the expense of our civil liberties and constitutional freedoms. It is ironic that Lieberman’s fellow Connecticut senator, Chris Dodd, is today courageously leading the congressional charge against illegal wiretaps, not to mention bringing America’s combat role in the Bush-McCain-Lieberman war to an end.
With voters just weeks away from making their first decisions, Democrats are lucky to have many extraordinary candidates running for President. I am disappointed that Senator Lieberman does not feel the same way.
Demand DiNardo to take action against Lieberman
Time: 10:48 AM
Given Lieberman's latest stab in the back, isn't it time that we ask CT Democratic State Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo why she STILL considers Joe Lieberman a Democrat?
Joementum on backing a Democratic presidential candidate.
July 6 2006 (hat tip to Scarce):
Connecticut Democrats endorsement of Chris Dodd for President, Feb 1 2007:
It is a pleasure to once again be with all of you as we come together to share our ideas and goals for the Democraitc Party.
The Connecticut delegation enthusiastically supports Senator Christopher Dodd as the next President of the United States.
Senator Dodd is a tremendous public servant who has worked vigorously for the needs of Connecticut's families and is a tireless champion for education and other issues that directly effect our children. He has been a strong advocate for labor unions and for fiscal accountability for corporations. Moreover, Senator Dodd has distinguished himself as an expert on healthcare, foreign policy and other pressing issues. We in Connecticut already know how knowledgeable, motivated and genuinely caring he is, now the rest of the country wil get to see these qualities as well.
Joementum on Chris Dodd, Feb 2007:
During the primary against Lamont, Lieberman promise to help rebuild the Democratic majority in Congress...now we know better and it's now time to flood Nancy DiNardo's office and let her know that Lieberman's action is completely unacceptable.
CaptCT outlines what action DiNardo can take against Lieberman and these points should be made when you contact the Chairwoman:
I would hope that she would
- remove Lieberman's name from the list of "Democratic Members of Congress"
- NOT invite him to the JJB dinner,
- stop calling him "just like Chris Dodd" and a "friend" of Democrats
- start publicly recruiting Democrats to run for his seat in 2012
The CT Democratic Party should be actively, and vocally -- OUT LOUD -- recruiting candidates to run against Lieberman when his term expires. This should be a constant dialog coming out of State Central.
In August 2006, CT Democrats decided they no longer want Lieberman to represent the party. DiNardo needs to honor the wishes of the majority of CT's Democrats.
Lieberman is NOT a Democrat and should no longer be treated as such by State Central.
Nancy DiNardo: Chairwoman, Connecticut Democrats:
Phone: (860) 560-1775
UPDATE: There will be a follow-up on My Left Nutmeg with an more focused state-wide campaign against Lieberman shortly. Joementum is in for a long day...
Danbury Live: 12.15.07
Time: 12:51 PM
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