It is common knowledge that State Senator David Cappiello was among the first of Republicans to call on Governor John G. Rowland to resign his office as revelations of corruption and the sale of his office came to light. It may be difficult to recall how back in 2004, it required a bit of political courage to do so against a governor who held a vice-grip on the party mechanism.
So maybe we all shouldn’t be too shocked to find out now, some four years later, John Rowland may be returning the favor by supporting Democrat Chris Murphy in his bid for re-election, as John Lender points out in today’s Courant.
In a Sept. 12 e-mail a copy of which found its way to The Courant Rowland urged friends and political associates to attend a fundraising reception for Murphy, at $250 a pop, this coming Tuesday at the Roma Ristorante in Oakville.
“We want to have a good Waterbury turnout,” Rowland wrote. “Please let us know if you can attend.”
The list of e-mail recipients included some familiar Waterbury-area family names such as Cicchetti, Mengacci and Sousa that were attached to top state appointments or lucrative contracts during Rowland’s 9 1/2 years as governor, and even now.
In fairness, I will say that as a Republican, I always liked John Rowland, and felt deeply betrayed by the actions that led to his resignation. I do believe in second chances though. Evidently, Democratic Mayor Michael Jarjura does as well, seeing as he placed Rowland in the job he holds now promoting economic development for Waterbury.
The interesting thing to me here is that Rowland is backing a liberal Democrat against a moderate Republican… as Lender notes:
Murphy is not the sort of conservative-edged candidate Rowland has favored in the past. On his campaign website, Murphy calls himself a “strong advocate for ethics reform” and bemoans Washington’s “culture of cronyism” in recent years. He says he wants to “tackle government corruption” and remove “private money … from the political process.”
Maybe we can see why Rowland would be happy to support Murphy. But doesn’t Murphy make himself a hypocrite by accepting Rowland’s help?
Source: Lender, John. “Cappiello Gets No Love from Rowland.” Hartford Courant. September 28, 2008.