For a Congressional candidate facing a tough primary just over 2 months away, this is definitely an unfortunate twist of fate.
There is an awful lot about this story that I don't yet understand, so I'll try to stick to the facts of the criminal complaint against finance director Robert Braddock. Braddock is charged with hiding contributions to Donovan's campaign that were part of an FBI undercover sting operation, where an agent posed as a cigarette retailer trying to buy influence in the House against legislation that could tax "roll-your-own" cigarettes. In the wake of Braddock's arrest, Donovan's campaign manager Josh Nassi was fired along with Braddock.
Which casts some reasonable doubt on whether Nassi may have known something about the contribution. But whether he knew anything or not, he was the guy directly responsible for the workings of the campaign and the hiring of the staff, including probably the finance director, and he likely deserved to be let go.
BTW, this is just my opinion, and I base it solely upon the stuff I've read in the papers and blogs and on Twitter, including this gem from my ol' friendly nemesis @A_C_R, which probably will get a huge belly laugh from the Rush Limbaugh aficionados out there in the Twittersphere:
Some Donovan defenders are quite annoyed. I suspect one is wearing that naughty barbed wire bra again it always makes her so cranky.All misogyny aside, I haven't spoken to anyone inside Donovan's campaign yet, nor will I be likely to do so until the investigation is complete. So please don't put any weight on my idle speculations.
In regards to the allegations about the tax issue, it never even made it out of the Senate, so the House had absolutely no conversation about whether a tax should be levied. This will probably work in Donovan's favor as the investigation proceeds. Donovan has also hired a former US Attorney for Connecticut Stan Twardy to look into how the alleged wrongdoing occurred.
Also, according to published reports there are connections with House Minority Leader Larry Cafero in the investigation. From CT News Junkie:
Cafero was one of a dozen lawmakers interviewed Thursday by federal investigators. During the course of their conversation, Cafero said he learned that straw donors also delivered five $1,000 checks to three House Republican PACs.So, after being informed, presumably by the same agents investigating Donovan's campaign, Cafero was allowed to return the donations, no questions asked.
Cafero said he promptly returned the donations after being informed that they came from straw donors, but he added that he was not given an explanation as to why the donations were made and was told he was not a target of the investigation.
Sounds weird. I dunno, but it kinda makes you wonder, eh?
Look back here for more solid information, idle speculation, and wildly unfounded conjecture as the story develops. After all, nobody ever threatened to give me a Pulitzer for my journalism!
Meanwhile (remember whose blog you're reading) I just contributed to DonovanForCongress.com. And I love using Paypal. It makes life so much easier.
Because, when he's finally vindicated of any connection with this awful situation, I absolutely want Chris Donovan to be our next congressman from Connecticut's 5th District!