Tuesday, October 20, 2015

And Justice for All: "For Sale: Middletown" by John Milardo

People ask me, “Why are you so against Mayor Dan Drew?”  I am not against Mayor Drew, I am for the truth, honesty, and integrity in the position he holds as the Mayor of Middletown, my hometown.  Elected officials say it’s an avocation to be a politician.  For some it is.  In my opinion, for Dan Drew it is not a calling; he wants to make politics his forever profession and career.  His goal is to be a lifelong politician, and Middletown is his first stepping stone.  And I don’t use the word “stepping” lightly.  So, when I hear and read what Mayor Daniel T. Drew tells the public, and I know full well it’s a bunch of malarkey, I research it.  The people of Middletown are not respected by this man; they’re being used by him to further his political future.  He showed his disdain for our community when he divided the citizenry with his compromise on the Parks Project turf/synthetic issue.

Mayor Dan Drew’s newest campaign financial report has just been released.  He has more than double the amount of campaign contributions in his coffers than Republican Mayoral candidate Sandra Russo-Driska, with her grass roots campaign. 

Currently, Drew has a total of $105,058 worth of contributions for his re-election campaign.   The donor list is extensive and interesting.  Of the $105,058, a total of $77,240 was from contributors outside of Middletown and Connecticut.  That’s a whopping 74% of his funding coming from outside Middletown and Connecticut sources.  

I have attached a spreadsheet (Sheet 1 of  Dan Drew Campaign Contributors .xls)  This spreadsheet only contains out of town/out of state contributors as they were his largest monetary donors.  Many of them are past and current City contractors.

There is nothing illegal about receiving donations like this, but one must think who his allegiance is going to be with?  Is it Middletown residents, or the lawyers, lobbyists, politicians’ and businesses that gave him all that money?  They bought his services, he “owes them”!  Dan is “For Sale” to the highest bidders, and he therefore puts Middletown up “For Sale” too!  Dan Drew is out to promote himself to further his political career and use our city as his stepping stone.  He clones himself after Governor Dannel Malloy, who he admires and emulates.  Nice friendship they have!  Middletown recently lost $200,000 plus in State aide and Middlesex Memorial Hospital is going to lose $2 million in State funding for health care services to our community which will definitely have a negative impact for our people.  He’s done nothing so far to get those funds back to our town.

My Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request of the Mayor’s calendar now comes into play in respect to Mayor Drew’s donor list.  The Mayor held the below meetings between Monday through Friday, and 8am to 5pm.  Anything on weekends or after 5pm was not calculated.  Even though a Mayor’s job is a 24/7, I understand there is a need for a “personal” life and time for a politician to fundraise in a proper manner.  These are not those instances.

Point of information:  During Dan Drew’s mayoral elections he has employed (paid for) a “hired gun” called “The Vinci Group”.  His campaigns have been spear headed by Geoff Luxenburg of this group.  Drew regularly meets with Luxenburg on city time, and does what Mr. Luxenburg recommends him to do.   He is Dan’s “handler”.  The Mayor’s appointment calendar shows a total of 84.5 hours, or 10.5 eight hour days, which the two have met; mostly during work hours.

·        March 23, 2015, Monday, Mayor Drew has a meeting with Geoff Luxenburg between the hours of 10am and 1:30pm and garners 10 donations on this date for his campaign. 
·        March 26, 2015, Thursday, from 11am to 3pm, Mayor attends a meeting at a local restaurant per directive of Geoff Luxenburg, and adds another 10 donations on this date. 
·        June 15, 2015, Monday, Mayor Drew meets from 10am to 2pm with Geoff Luxenburg, and earns a $1,000 donation from a Massachusetts realtor on this date.
·        June 18, 2015, Thursday, Mayor Drew, had a meeting with his paid political consultant Geoff Luxenburg of “The Vinci Group”, in Hartford from 10am to 2pm.  The meeting was with the law firm of” Updike, Kelley & Spellacy” and included lunch.  Coincidentally on that same day, this law firm’s employees made nine (9) separate significant donations to Mayor Drew’s campaign.
·        Monday, June 29, 2015, meeting with Mayor and Geoff Luxenburg, from 2pm to 4 pm and receives two (2) more large contributions on same day. 
·        June 30, 2015, Tuesday, Mayor Drew and Geoff Luxenburg meet from 2pm to 4pm, and receive a $1,000 contribution from one (1) donor on this date.

There are other donations Drew received the following day after meetings which included Geoff Luxenburg of “The Vinci Group”, but I have not listed them in this article.  The FOIA of the Mayor’s calendar was from September 1, 2014 through August 10, 2015.  Heaven knows how many more meetings and donations he’s received while “on the job” since.  I’m sure we’ll never know the answer to that once this information gets out.

Mr. Luxenburg and “The Vinci Group” have been investigated for ethical issues during election campaigns before.  Apparently, Mayor Drew doesn’t care, and likes the fact that this company skirts on the edge of legal/ethical and illegal/unethical.  Here is a past article referring to issues with Mayor Dan Drew’s paid political advisors.  (http://m.journalinquirer.com/mobile/page_one/political-boundaries/article_fcf389a8-3da6-11e3-bcea-001a4bcf887a.html

NBC Connecticut news also published an article on their website dated May 21, 2015 regarding the millions of dollars “The Vinci Group” and three (3) other political consulting groups have received.  It’s entitled, “Majority of Taxpayer Funded Campaign Cash Goes to Connected Few”, and it’s by George Colli of WVIT 30-TV, NBC Connecticut.  http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/troubleshooters/Majority-of-Taxpayer-Funded-Campaign-Cash-Goes-to-Connected-Few-304644521.html

Mayor Dan Drew has current expenditures to “The Vinci Group” and Geoff Luxenburg in the amount of for $37,413.51.  This amount is paid for by Mayor Drew’s campaign donors.  Geoff Luxenburg and “The Vinci Group” is the prominent reason for Drew’s huge financial contributions.  Mayor Daniel T. Drew takes his marching orders from Geoff Luxenburg and “The Vinci Group”.  By the way, most of Mayor Drew’s expenditures have gone to out of town and out of state businesses.  (Sheet 2 of  Dan Drew Campaign Contributors .xls)

My understanding of election laws in Connecticut is that political campaigning cannot be performed during the regular work day with City resources.  Also, in Middletown, our Charter states: The Mayor shall be the chief executive officer of the City and shall devote full time to the duties of the office. Full time shall mean primary occupation.  I for one believe that campaigning when you should be conducting Middletown business is a violation of this code, as well as election laws of Connecticut.

Middletown needs a full-time Mayor, who is not concerned with self promotion to heighten his political career. Mayor Drew’s own Democratic Common Council members tout; “a transparent and honest government”!  Currently in Middletown, we don’t have that!

Time for a change!  Give Dan Drew what he wants – the freedom to be a “big shot” for Governor Dannel Malloy!  Set Dan free on Election Day so he can pursue his career dream elsewhere, and bring Middletown back to its people!

Stay strong.  Stay involved.  Stay together.  Seek the truth.

DISCLAIMER:  The opinions and views expressed in this newsletter reflect the opinion and view of the author, and should not be construed as fact or advice.  The author is a life long Middletown resident and taxpayer, and is sharing his opinions as such.  The opinions and commentary do not reflect the views of any political party, organization, or citizen group.  This newsletter reflects opinions and commentary which the author wishes to share with his friends.  

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