Union Bosses Stick by “their guy” despite FBI Investigation – But he lost anyway
Big Labor promised to carry Connecticut House Speaker over the finish line in his Democrat primary despite allegations of fraud and an FBI investigation. But something unexpected happened — Chris Donovan lost.
Matt DeRienzo of the Register Citizen described the situation as all elected big wigs in the state lied up to support Donovan for fear of opposing the union bosses. “Gov. Dannel Malloy, Attorney General George Jepsen, Congressman Chris Murphy, the rest of the delegation, and others, were paralyzed by their dependence on future support from the state’s labor unions. Their fear, and it was no doubt well-placed, was that turning on Donovan would be perceived as turning on labor. So they stayed out of it. Even as the FBI swooped in to arrest more of his campaign staff. Even as the language in indictments brought the scandal closer to the candidate himself.”
Donovan was “a career labor union organizer and the movement’s biggest and most powerful single support in the Connecticut General Assembly” was figuratively and literally “their guy.” Labor, stretching down into the grassroots across the state, was so loyal and so enmeshed with Donovan that leadership was blind to the reality of the situation. That it’s pretty tough to win an election when your closest advisers are being arrested by the FBI, there’s an ongoing federal investigation hanging over your head, and the accusation is that you were willing to kill legislation in exchange for campaign cash.
This is the first time in recent memory where big labor lost in Connecticut leaving observers to argue whether the union bosses are losing their grip on the “Nutmeg State.”