Senate GOP: Probe Gaffey, Crisco

The Senate Republican caucus is strongly advocating the creation of a six member ethics panel to investigate misconduct by two Democratic Senators – Sen. Joe Crisco and Sen. Tom Gaffey.

Sen. Gaffey has had a career pockmarked by scandal, first getting caught in reimbursement funny business with his employer CRRA, then having an affair with CSUS lobbyist Jill Ferraiolo while shepherding $1 billion to CSUS, and most recently being fined $6k by the State Elections Enforcement Commission for double billing the state and his PAC for travel expenses.

Sen. Crisco was far less creative.  He simply forged his name on sworn documents and acted as his own campaign committee treasurer for six months.  SEEC fined him $4k for his actions.

After it became apparent that Sen. Don Williams had no interest in applying the same standard to Democrats that had applied to Republicans like Sen. Lou DeLuca, the Senate GOP caucus has been pushing to impanel a six-member investigative committee as was done in the DeLuca affair.

Senate Republican leader John McKinney of Fairfield and members of his GOP caucus had argued even before the two Democrats were fined that the Senate needed a permanent, standing committee to investigate ethics issues. But Democrats defeated two GOP ethics proposals along those lines late in the regular legislative session that ended June 3.

Democrats said no permanent committee is needed, adding that “ad hoc” panels work better as issues arise. And so on Tuesday – two days before the Senate plans to convene in a special session – the Republicans requested an “ad hoc” committee to investigate Gaffey and Crisco.

The end result of this process is near certain – the Democrats will do nothing (lots of practice) and the Republicans will get nothing (what else is new?).  But the episode does highlight the pressing need for a more formal ethics process.

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18 responses to “Senate GOP: Probe Gaffey, Crisco

  1. Is Tamath Rossi taking on Crisco again in ’10? Hopefully she’ll be able to take him out. The Senator has clearly abused the public trust. If Crisco has any interest in maintaining the integrity of the office he’ll either step down or decline to run again.

  2. Bruce Rubenstein

    Heath is mixing apples and oranges here. There are distinct differences between Deluca and Crisco/Gaffey.Deluca was charged in the criminal process while Crisco/Gaffey werent. They were dealt with adaquately by the Election Enforcement, with9out a referral to the authorities, though they could have. Since Elections Enforcement didnt refer the matters to the authorities another inquiry by a seperate body would seem to be cumulative and a form of double jeopardy,though the Senate could investigate if they wished.As a logical Senate standard to investigate, I favor a resultant Senate investigation when the matter is serious enough to have been investigated by the authorities.

  3. Mr. Reality

    Right Bruce!!! Whatever. Rep. Kevin Ryan went to jail and he is still serving in fact no action was ever taken. Please this has everything to do with these guys being Democrat and DeLuca being a Republican.

    The guy went to jail!!!

  4. Bruce,

    The comparisons with the Deluca affair may not be exact, but what’s clear is that all three men abused their office and the trust of their constituents. Fortunately one of those three men is now out of office. The other two should join him by stepping down or quietly finishing their respective terms and going away. At the very least, Gaffey and Crisco should not be rewarded with re-election.

  5. Bruce Rubenstein

    The comparisons with the Deluca affair may not be exact, but what’s clear is that all three men abused their office and the trust of their constituents. Fortunately one of those three men is now out of office. The other two should join him by stepping down or quietly finishing their respective terms and going away. At the very least, Gaffey and Crisco should not be rewarded with re-election.

    Ebpie…i will agree that all 3 abused their trust, and neither party has a monopoly on honest legislators,but the specific circumstances are different as I pointed out.We dont get to make the decision on who stays or goes,the voting public does, in their respective districts.

  6. Bruce Rubenstein

    Right Bruce!!! Whatever. Rep. Kevin Ryan went to jail and he is still serving in fact no action was ever taken. Please this has everything to do with these guys being Democrat and DeLuca being a Republican.

    Mr Reality….Ryan was drinking and driving I think.The criminal process worked and he went to jail because of it.Neither Crisco/Gaffey went afoul of the criminal process, they went afoul of a civil process and paid for it.The civil process didnt think enough of the Crisco/gaffey matter to refer it to the criminal authorities.You like Egpie above have mixed apples and oranges.

  7. Joe Sixpack

    Mr Reality….Ryan was drinking and driving I think.The criminal process worked and he went to jail because of it.Neither Crisco/Gaffey went afoul of the criminal process, they went afoul of a civil process and paid for it.The civil process didnt think enough of the Crisco/gaffey matter to refer it to the criminal authorities.You like Egpie above have mixed apples and oranges.

    Are you kidding me? Neither Gaffey or Crisco went “afoul” of criminal laws? Crisco forged signatures multiple times under penalty of false statement. Look in the criminal statutes, and you will see forgery is a crime. Gaffey? Using campaign funds to pay for his lifestyle is a crime – in multiple variations. Gaffey violated election LAWS, also committed income tax evasion by failing to report all his skimming as “income”, fraud in his double billing both the state and his PAC for trips.
    And you are wrong – Elections DID refer Gaffey’s matter to the States Attorney, and Kevin Kane is investigating Gaffey’s conduct at this very moment.
    As for the criminal process “working” in the case of Kevin Ryan – Didn’t that same process “work” in the DeLuca case? I guess it didn’t, since you support the political lynching he got. So the entire “process”, both civil and criminal, only works when a Democrat gets slapped. When that occurs, it is enough and the sytems work. When it is a Republican, we need to go above and beyond – we need to “respect and protect the institution”. Well, Tom Gaffey has pulled down his pants and taken a major poop all over the “instituion” – repeatedly. And Don Williams is there to wipe his butt and tell him it’s all going to be okay.

    To try and say that the “fouls” of these two crooks isn’t a crime is a load of bunk. And to couch it in the failure of some ineffective state agencies to refer them to criminal charges as proof that these weren’t serious offenses is more crap. Do you realize just who funds Elections Enforcement? And that suggestions have been made in this budget crisis to strip them, of the public financing funds to cut the deficit? Do you really, really think in that heart of yours thjat Elections wants to piss off Don Williams when their funding and jobs are in the balance?

    Bruce, you usually have a lot of interesting, thought provoking things to offer on this site. THIS line of reasoning is an embarrassing regurgitation of Derek Slap’s talking points.

  8. Bruce Rubenstein

    Bruce, you usually have a lot of interesting, thought provoking things to offer on this site. THIS line of reasoning is an embarrassing regurgitation of Derek Slap’s talking points.

    Joe…i dont accept talking points from him or anyone else….ive said my piece about crisco/gaffey…..if elections enforcement considered them crimes they would have referred the files to the state’s attorney….additionally the states attorney on their own could have investigated the incidents…to date we have no information to think they are investigating them.

    the only ones who think those two committed crimes are the republican and or conservative/libertarian bloggers here.

  9. the only ones who think those two committed crimes are the republican and or conservative/libertarian bloggers here.

    So – Democrats think forgery is okay?

  10. Bruce Rubenstein

    Acr…of course not…..i thought it was repulsive what he did

  11. Acr…of course not…..i thought it was repulsive what he did

    So you agree he should be:

    A: charged
    B: convicted
    C: shot
    D: all of the above
    E: oh no, ACR’s gone over the edge

  12. Bruce Rubenstein

    E

  13. Joe Sixpack

    Joe…i dont accept talking points from him or anyone else….ive said my piece about crisco/gaffey…..if elections enforcement considered them crimes they would have referred the files to the state’s attorney….additionally the states attorney on their own could have investigated the incidents…to date we have no information to think they are investigating them.

    Bruce – You may not accept talking points, but you seem to have them down pat. As for the lack of criminal investigations signifying that the conduct of Criso and Gaffey was no big deal, I submit the following – from a June 12 Hartford Courant article by Lender/Mahoney – What’s the next tact – saying it’s no big deal because they didn’t kill anyone?

    “In a Courant interview, DeLuca said that the commission’s action is not enough in view of the Democrat-inspired inquisition that he endured in the Senate. And he asked why prosecutors showed no signs of looking at Gaffey and Crisco.

    DeLuca might end up pleased to be proved wrong: Investigators from the chief state’s attorney’s office recently collected investigative files on Gaffey and Crisco from the election commission and have begun what sources familiar with the matters say is a “hard” examination of whether laws were broken.

    Asked about an investigation, Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane said, “I’m not going to comment on matters that may or may not be under investigation.”

  14. E

    Gotta be something I took in the late 60’s

  15. Mr. Reality

    Now I’m confused…Bruce are you saying that Gaffey and Crisco did not break the law? In Gaffey’s case he used his position for personal benefit. I am utterly amazed that this is not against the law. You think this behavior is ok for a state senator. ..that’s your opinion and you are entitled to it. BUT a couple of years back everyone was making a big deal about ethics. If it doesn’t matter anymore, then we should just get rid of the campaign finance reform stuff they did when ethics did matter.

    It’s ok to be honest…you just want to protect these two because they are Dems. That’s fine but don’t ever act as if ethics are important. Please it’s insulting..just be honest.

  16. Joe Sixpack

    Wow – Colin McEnroe weighs in that Don Williams’ reluctance to do anything about ethics with these two is because he is facing a leadership coup and needs their votes to remain Senate President. What a way to stay in power – look the other way when one of your supporters breaks the law.

    Add Williams to the other two as Senate Dems who should be ashamed of themselves. What a pathetic bunch.

  17. Bruce Rubenstein

    Mr Sixpack…Reality and my libertarian friend ACR…

    If the states attorney is in fact investigating both of them then its fine by me. They will either be cleared…or not…..its on them.

  18. Ultimately the VOTERS IN THEIR DISTRICTS decide. You people outside of the 13th and the 17th can spout off all you want but your blather is meaningless.

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