Tremont Director Analyzes Mayor Ganim Fundraising For CT Governor

Ganim taps local, family money for gubernatorial war chest

https://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Ganim-taps-local-family-for-gubernatorial-12829891.php

By Brian Lockhart

Connecticut Post

Updated 7:37 pm, Thursday, April 12, 2018

BRIDGEPORT — Mayor Joe Ganim raised an impressive cash haul in his first three months running for governor — with a lot of local help from Bridgeport and from Easton, his family’s hometown.

 

The campaign’s finance report, filed this week with the state Elections Enforcement Commission, showed Bridgeport’s comeback mayor raised $411,125 in his quest to be elected Connecticut’s chief executive between January through March 31.

 

Upon closer scrutiny, the financial report shows that, at this point in the crowded race, Ganim, who ran Bridgeport in the 1990s and was re-elected in 2015, is adept at raising money on his home turf.

 

Hearst Connecticut Media found that approximately $139,000 of that $411,125 — a third — was contributed by family, friends, residents, the public and private employees living in or operating out of Bridgeport and Easton.

 

Broken down further, City Hall department heads and other municipal and public schools staff gave roughly $71,000; individuals living in and/or doing business in Bridgeport — developers, contractors, physicians, lawyers, even a couple strip club owners — contributed nearly $42,000; and money hailing from Easton addresses totaled $17,200.

 

Ganim’s $411,125 also includes $96,347 rolled over from last year’s exploratory campaign, which raised a separate $200,000; a $35,000 loan Ganim made to himself on March 30; $5,000 from a Political Action Committee run by Ganim’s father, George Ganim; and $3,500 from Bridgeport’s Democratic Town Committee, chaired by Mario Testa, who recently likened Ganim to the son he never had.

 

So when the numbers are added up, some three months worth of contributions totaling upwards of $141,000 do not have a connection to Bridgeport or Easton, nor were a personal loan or previously-raised money from Ganim’s exploratory period.

 

A pair of political observers — Matt Hennessy, a Democratic consultant and founder of the Tremont public affairs firm in Hartford and Washington D.C., and Lennie Grimaldi, who advised Ganim in the 1990s and runs the Only in Bridgeport blog — were impressed with Ganim’s numbers, regardless of the cash sources.

 

“He has one major goal right now — fundraising viability,” Grimaldi said. “So the campaign is fishing where the fish are. You always do that. Work your local fundraising base and work out from there.”

 

Because of his criminal background — Ganim was convicted in 2003 of running a pay-to-play operation out of City Hall — the mayor cannot participate in the state’s public campaign financing program. Other candidates who raise $250,000 in contributions of $5 to $100 are eligible for a $1.25 million grant to wage a primary following May 18’s Democratic nominating convention.

 

“When they get their public money, they’re done,” Grimaldi said. “Joe has to continue.”

 

Grimaldi said that Ganim, at his current fundraising pace — which includes last year’s exploratory phase — could “get close to $1 million” heading into the primary: “And very few people a couple of months ago would even spend a penny on that happening.”

 

“Will the ceiling come? Will the support peak out?,” Hennessy asked. Hennessy, who is currently not working for any of the candidates, said that as a big city mayor, Ganim can tap into “a whole ecosystem” of potential contributors.

 

“I think it’s impressive in the sense folks are donating to somebody who, by all indications, will never be able to take advantage of the Citizen’s Election Program (public financing),” Hennessy said.

 

A federal judge last year rejected Ganim’s appeal to be allowed to receive the state grants. The primary victor is eligible for as much as $6 million for the general election if opposed.

 

“Folks who made this investment in him are taking a bet he will continue to be successful in his fundraising,” Hennessy said.

 

Many of Ganim’s supporters are city employees who cut checks of $1,000 or more, including: Acting Police Chief Armando Perez; Ganim’s driver, detective Ramon Garcia; Public Facilities Director John Ricci; City Attorney R. Christopher Meyer; Edward Adams, the retired FBI agent who investigated Ganim, then got hired as an aide; Economic Development Director Thomas Gill; and Russell Liskov, a municipal attorney criticized by some on the City Council for his work collecting late sewer fees.

 

In contrast, another gubernatorial contender — Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin — has, according to the Hartford Courant, decided not to accept campaign money from city officials or employees and last month returned a handful of contributions. His campaign had previously apologized for including municipal workers in a campaign announcement and fundraising solicitation.

 

As always, Ganim is able to rely on his family. Father George Ganim, mother Josephine and brothers Paul and Thomas all pitched in $3,500 a piece. Plus a Political Action Committee listed in the mayor’s paperwork — Committee to Elect Democrats — that gave $5,000 is, according to state records, run by Ganim’s dad.

 

Ganim’s candidacy also appeals to various people who work or do business in the city. Checks of at least $1,000 were cut by Chris Trefz of Trefz Corp, owners of the Holiday Inn downtown and several McDonald’s restaurants; developer Sal DiNardo; Scott Candee of H.R. Candee Construction; Joseph Carbone, head of The Workplace nonprofit, which, among other things, helps ex-offenders like Ganim re-enter the workforce; and Lisa Fedick, manager of the Wonderland of Ice skating rink.

 

A pair of smaller contributions also stand out. Kim Cappozziello, owner of Scruples Gentlemen’s Club, and Richard Celler, in the same business running Ruby’s II, both gave Ganim $500 — presumably not in singles.

 

Business Journal Covers Newest Tremont Poll

http://www.hartfordbusiness.com

Poll: CT residents favor GOP candidate in governor’s race

BY Joe Cooper

4/9/2018

New Britain Mayor Erin E. Stewart leads the field of GOP gubernatorial candidates with over 22 percent support, a recent poll shows.

A recent online poll says Connecticut residents are more likely to support a Republican than a Democrat to replace outgoing Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy when he completes his term at the end of 2018.

 

In the survey released by the public affairs firm Tremont Public Advisors, almost 58 percent of Connecticut residents said they would elect a Republican over a Democrat (39 percent) in November's governor's race.

 

The survey drew from more than 1,000 residents across the state over the age of 18, which represents a 5 percent decrease in Democratic support since its February poll.

 

Among Republican candidates, New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart led the field of GOP gubernatorial candidates with over 22 percent support, followed by former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz (12 percent ), Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton (8 percent ) and businessman Ned Lamont (6 percent).

 

Voters also supports candidates such as Jim Smith, Jonathan Harris, Luke Bronin, Oz Griebel, Tim Herbst, Mark Lauretti, Peter Lumaj and Mike Handler, who all garnered less than 1 percent of support.

 

Matthew J. Hennessy, Tremont Public Advisors' managing director, said Connecticut Democrats "have to be alarmed" by the party's fleeting support, although "dismal" approval ratings for President Donald Trump will aid the party's effort to retain the governor's seat.

Tremont Poll on Governor's Race Featured in the Courant

Christopher Keating

Hartford Courant

April 8, 2018

With less than six weeks before the state political party conventions, a new poll shows that New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart is gaining strength in her bid to be Connecticut’s next governor.

The online poll by a Hartford-based public affairs and lobbying firm showed Stewart with 22.7 percent, up from 15.2 percent in mid-February.

While Stewart had the highest total among the named candidates, the leader in the poll is the generic “Republican candidate for governor’’ at 26.3 percent. The generic Democratic candidate received 20.1 percent.

Behind Stewart, the top candidates were former Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz at 12.3 percent, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton at 8.7 percent, and Greenwich business entrepreneur Ned Lamont at 6.6 percent.

The poll was conducted by Tremont Public Advisors, LLC, a federal lobbying firm that is headed by longtime Hartford political operative Matthew J. Hennessy. While he has served in the past as a political consultant and fundraiser for Democrats, Hennessy says he is not currently working for any candidate.

Stewart’s lack of participation in recent Republican debates has actually boomeranged to help her, Hennessy said.

“She was kept out of two debates, and that was covered extensively,’’ Hennessy told Capitol Watch in an interview. “That dynamic works to her advantage. She got a lot of publicity for that.’’

Many Democrats, Hennessy said, would prefer not to run against Stewart because she would be expected to have support among women — a key voting bloc in the general election in November.

“Democrats, if they had to choose, would prefer a conventional Republican — not someone who will eat into their base,’’ he said.

The poll of more than 1,000 Connecticut residents, which was taken from April 4 to 6, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

In a huge field, multiple candidates received little support in the poll as write-in candidates. Those receiving less than 1 percent each included Hartford mayor Luke Bronin, former Trumbull first selectman Timothy Herbst, longtime business executive Oz Griebel, Shelton mayor Mark Lauretti, former West Hartford mayor Jonathan Harris, attorney Peter Lumaj, Stamford chief financial officer Mike Handler, and retired banking executive Jim Smith.

Smith was mentioned as a “write-in’’ in the poll, even though he is still an undeclared candidate who only recently began considering running.

“I believe to my core that I would bring to the governor’s office the experience, leadership skills and commitment needed to work with the legislature to bring about the changes needed to put our state government and economy back on solid footing, and ensure a prosperous future for everyone who calls our wonderful state home,’’ Smith said in a statement. “Recognizing that time is short, I’ve been rapidly completing a serious analysis of what it would take to win the nomination and the ensuing election - from building a first-rate campaign team, to raising a considerable amount of funding, to meeting the criteria to secure the Republican nomination.’’

Smith added, “I have also been consulting with family and friends and will reach a decision soon.’’

Republicans Open Up Lead in Connecticut Governor's Race

4/8/18

Contact: Tremont Public Advisors 860-986-7737

Hartford - Connecticut residents are giving serious consideration to putting a Republican in the Governor’s Mansion this November. In a poll released today by the public affairs firm Tremont Public Advisors, Connecticut residents said they were more likely to support the Republican (57.7%) over the Democrat (39%) candidates for governor on election day this Fall.

The survey of 1,009 Connecticut residents over the age of 18 showed noticeable slippage in support for the named and generic Democratic candidates for governor, a 5% loss in support from the February Tremont poll. Of the named candidates tested in the survey, New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart (22.7%) is leading the field, with former Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz (12.3%), Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton (8.7%) and businessman Ned Lamont (6.6%) clustered behind her.

Respondents to the survey also expressed support for Jim Smith, Jonathan Harris, Luke Bronin, Oz Griebel, Tim Herbst, Mark Lauretti, Peter Lumaj, and Mike Handler. However, none of these candidates or potential candidates received the support of more than 1% of the respondents.

“We are still seven months from election day and much will change. However, Connecticut Republicans, and Mayor Erin Stewart in particular, have to be pleased with trends in the polling”, stated Matthew J. Hennessy, Managing Director of Tremont Public Advisors. “The political environment in the state continues to favor Republicans taking the governor’s office, especially if the GOP candidate can attract unaffiliated and Democratic voters.”

Hennessy also stated, “Democrats have to be alarmed by the continuing erosion in their support. The poll numbers of the ostensible leading party candidates have remained essentially static since December. Though the time leading up to the May party convention is a quiet “insiders game”, Democrats should have made some in-roads with general election voters at this point.

The good news for Democrats is that the continued dismal approval ratings for President Trump will present an opportunity for Democrats to link any Republican candidate for governor with the policies of a deeply unpopular national party.  The fractured Republican field has the potential to produce a candidate reflective of Trump’s values and temperament.”

 

Q.1

If the 2018 election for Governor of Connecticut were held today, for whom would you vote?

                                                                                                    4/6 /18                        2/21/18

The Democratic candidate for Governor                                    20.1%                           26%

The Republican candidate for Governor                                     26.3%                        24.6%

New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart (R)                                           22.7%                         15.2%

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton (R)                                          8.7%                            11.1%

Former CT Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz(D)                       12.3%                          10.0%

Businessman Ned Lamont (D)                                                     6.6%                          8.8%

Undecided/Other Candidate**                                                    3.3%                          4.3%

 

Total Republican (“Generic” +Named)                                     57.7%                        50.9%

Total Democrat (“Generic” +Named)                                        39%                           44.8%

** In the 4/6/18 survey, eight additional candidates received “write in” votes. None exceeded 1%.

About Tremont Public Advisors, LLC: Tremont Public Advisors is a leading Public Affairs and Federal Lobbying firm in Washington D.C. and Hartford, Connecticut.

Poll Methodology

This survey of 1,009 Connecticut residents over the age of 18 was conducted between 4/4/18 and 4/6/18 using an on-line survey platform. Respondents were allowed to take the survey only once and were restricted from choosing more than one answer. The survey answers have a MMOE of no more than +/- 3%. The poll population consisted of two panels of respondents: (1) internet users reading content on a network of web publisher sites, and (2) smartphone users who have downloaded and signed up to use an Android app. To correct for sampling bias after the survey is run, weighting was used to upweight under-represented groups and down-weight overrepresented groups using Census Data.

POLITICO USES TREMONT POLL TO KEEP CONNECTICUT IN TOP TEN RACES FOR GOVERNOR.

The top 10 governor's races of 2018

Illinois' Bruce Rauner leads POLITICO's latest list of governorships most likely to flip, and Scott Walker is a new addition.

By DANIEL STRAUSS

02/23/2018 02:00 PM EST

Updated 02/23/2018 06:23 PM EST

While Washington obsesses over congressional elections and gyrations in the generic ballot, the 36 races for governor across the country this fall could be the most consequential contests of 2018.

Special and off-year elections across the country suggest a possible Democratic wave that could reduce the party's historic deficit: Only 16 of the nation's 50 governors are Democrats. But 23 of the three-dozen gubernatorial races this year are in Republican-held states.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/23/top-10-governors-races-2018-423308

Tremont Poll Covered In Connecticut Media

REPUBLICAN WITH STRONG NUMBERS IN TREMONT POLL KEPT OUT OF  REPUBLCAN DEBATE

http://www.courant.com/politics/hc-pol-republican-debate-west-haven-20180221-story.html

Poll: Still No Clear Leader in CT Governor's Race

 

Christopher Keating

Hartford Courant

2/21/18

http://www.courant.com/politics/elections/hc-pol-ct-poll-no-clear-frontrunner-20180221-story.html

With less than nine months before Election Day, a new poll shows there is still no clear front runner in the crowded race to be Connecticut’s next governor.

 

The poll, by a Hartford-based public affairs and lobbying firm, says that 26 percent chose the generic “Democratic candidate’’ for governor as their top choice and 24.6 percent chose the “Republican candidate’’ for governor.

 

Among the named candidates, the leader was New Britain mayor Erin Stewart at 15.2 percent, followed by Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton at 11.1 percent. The two Republicans were followed by two well-known Democrats who have run in statewide races: former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz of Middletown at 10 percent and Greenwich cable television entrepreneur Ned Lamont at 8.8 percent.

 

In a huge field, none of the other candidates exceeded 1 percent in the poll, according to Tremont Public Advisors managing director Matthew Hennessy. Tremont oversaw the poll of more than 1,000 Connecticut residents that was conducted between February 15 and 17.

 

The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

 

The candidates are scrambling for name recognition as the state party conventions are less than three months away. The Republicans will meet at Foxwoods resort casino on May 11 and 12, while the Democrats will meet at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford the following weekend.

 

Stewart is a newcomer in the race and was not mentioned in a similar poll by Tremont that was taken in December. Since then, Byswiewicz and Lamont have not moved much in the ratings. Bysiewicz was chosen by 9.6 percent in December and 10 percent in February, while Lamont was picked by 7.5 percent in December and 8.8 percent in the latest survey.

 

When the generic and named Republicans are added together, 50.9 percent of those surveyed said they would be voting for a Republican. The Democratic totals were 44.8 percent, Tremont said.

 

“State Republicans continue to have a good shot of taking the governor’s office and potentially have a candidate in Mayor Erin Stewart that might possibly blunt the historic electoral strength Democrats have with women voters,’’ said Hennessy, a longtime Democratic strategist.

Connecticut Residents Give Edge To Republicans In Race For Governor; Optomistic About Their Financial Future

2/21/18

Contact: Tremont Public Advisors 860-986-7737

Hartford - Connecticut residents are leaning toward putting a Republican in the Governor’s Mansion as the 2018 race for governor starts to take shape. In a poll released today by the public affairs firm Tremont Public Advisors, Connecticut residents said they were more likely to support the Republican (50.9%) over the Democrat (44.8%) candidates for governor on election day this November.

 The survey of 1,003 Connecticut residents over the age of 18 also showed, of the named candidates for governor tested in the survey, there was no candidate from either party dominating the crowded field of approximately 25 potential candidates. However, New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart demonstrated some relative strength, out-polling the other named candidates in the survey.

Connecticut residents also expressed cautious optimism about their financial future with 39.3% expressing confidence they would be better off financially in the coming year. 43.4% of residents said their situation would remain the same and only 17.3% felt they would be worse off.

“There is good news for Republicans in the survey results released today.”, stated Matthew J. Hennessy, Managing Director of Tremont Public Advisors. “State Republicans continue to have a good shot of taking the governor’s office and potentially have a candidate in Mayor Erin Stewart that might possibly blunt the historic electoral strength Democrats have with women voters.”

 Hennessy also stated, “Democrats have to be concerned that there has a been an erosion in their support since December. To be successful, Democratic candidates will have to present themselves as credible change agents and connect the policies of a deeply unpopular president to the Republican candidates for governor.

The good news for Democrats is that survey respondents are expressing optimism about their personal financial situation, which may undermine attempts to blame state Democrats for poor stewardship of the state economy.

Residents are giving an edge to the Republicans in the race for governor. However, no candidate has gained enough support to be deemed a front-runner and it will likely be months before the leaders emerge from either party.”

 

Q.1

If the 2018 election for Governor of Connecticut were held today, for whom would you vote?

                                                                                    2/21                             12/17*

The Democratic candidate for Governor                    26%                             24.7%

The Republican candidate for Governor                    24.6%                          32.8%

New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart                                  15.2%                          N/A

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton                                  11.1%                           8.9%

Former CT Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz         10.0%                          9.6%

Businessman Ned Lamont                                           8.8%                            7.5%

Undecided/Other Candidate**                                    4.3%                            N/A

 

Total Republican (“Generic” +Named)                      50.9%                          47.9%

Total Democrat (“Generic +Named)                          44.8%                          52.1%

* The 12/17 Tremont Poll did not allow respondents to write in other candidates.

** In the 2/21/18 survey, nine additional candidates received “write in” votes. None exceeded 1%.

 

Q.2

Looking ahead, do you expect that at this time next year you will be financially better off than now, or worse off than now?

 

                                                            2/21                             6/16 -Quinnipiac Poll

The Same                                            43.4%                          19%

Better                                                  39.3%                          42%

Worse                                                  17.3%                          30%

 

About Tremont Public Advisors, LLC: Tremont Public Advisors is a leading Public Affairs and Federal Lobbying firm in Washington D.C. and Hartford, Connecticut.

 

Poll Methodology

This survey of 1,003 and 1,027 Connecticut residents over the age of 18 was conducted between 2/15/18 and 2/17/18 using an on-line survey platform. Respondents were allowed to take the survey only once and were restricted from choosing more than one answer. The survey answers have a MMOE of no more than +/- 3%. The poll population consisted of two panels of respondents: (1) internet users reading content on a network of web publisher sites, and (2) smartphone users who have downloaded and signed up to use an Android app. To correct for sampling bias after the survey is run, weighting was used to upweight under-represented groups and down-weight overrepresented groups using Census Data.

 

Tremont Public Advisors To Release Newest Connecticut Governor's Race Poll 2/21.

Tremont Public Affairs, a top public affairs firm in Hartford, CT and Washington D.C., will release the results of the firm's most recent survey on the 2018 Connecticut Governor's Race tomorrow (2/21/18) at 10AM on its website www.tremontpublicadvisors.net/news/ .

The survey of 1,000 Connecticut residents, conducted between 2/15-2/17/18, asked respondents about their preference for governor in the November general election and how the viewed their financial stability in the coming year.

For more information, please contact Managing Director, Matt Hennessy at 860 986 7737

Politico Highlights Tremont Poll In National Story on Governors Races

The top 10 governor’s races of 2018

Democrats face another critical test at the state level in 2018, hoping to rebuild power in governors' mansions around the country.

By DANIEL STRAUSS

12/31/2017 07:48 AM EST

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/31/top-ten-governors-races-to-watch-2018-255823

4. Connecticut — Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy is retiring.

Deep-blue Connecticut is actually one of Republicans' best opportunities in 2018. Malloy’s approval ratings were some of the worst among any governor in the country, and he decided not to run for a third term. But Republicans hope that environment in the state will clear the way for their candidate next fall. There are almost a dozen candidates running in the Republican primary and it’s unclear who will emerge as the nominee. A Tremont Public Advisors LLC poll conducted in mid-December found a generic Republican candidate beating a generic Democratic candidate

Tremont Poll Validates Cook Political Report Rating of Connecticut Governor's Race as a "Toss Up"

by Christine Stuart | Dec 18, 2017 11:07pm

HARTFORD, CT — An online poll found Connecticut residents are split on whether a Republican or Democrat should replace Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who isn’t seeking re-election.

A survey released Monday by Tremont Public Advisors found that of the 1,154 residents 49.8 percent would elect a Democrat and 50.3 percent would elect a Republican.

“There is good and bad news for both Republicans and Democrats in the survey results,” Matthew Hennessy, managing director of Tremont Public Advisors, said Monday. “For Republicans to be neck and neck with Democrats in a state Hillary Clinton won by over 13 points has to heartening. However, it also shows that after months of attempting to tie the state’s fiscal woes and voter dissatisfaction of Governor Malloy to the next Democratic candidate for Governor, they just haven’t made a convincing case.”

At the same time, “Democrats have to be happy their candidates aren’t being significantly blamed for Connecticut’s woes. But, it just shouldn’t be this close,” Hennessy said.

“At this point, Connecticut residents aren’t connecting local Republicans with a very unpopular President Donald Trump, which is good news for the Connecticut GOP,” he said.

There are 22 Republicans vying for the top spot and at least six Democrats looking to replace Malloy.

The survey was conducted between Dec. 12 and Dec. 14 and has a three percent margin of error.

The governor’s race is currently being considered a “toss up” by the Cook Political Report, which changed its outlook on the race in June.

“Solidly blue Connecticut seems an unlikely place to host a competitive gubernatorial contest, but the state’s economy is in tough shape as companies like General Electric and Aetna decamp to more business friendly states and the state budget is $5 billion in the red. Republicans will be very competitive here,” the report found.

http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/online_poll_finds_voters_split_on_governors_race_12_18_2017/