Despite calls from public officials, two Democratic legislators announced today that they’ll investigate what led State Elections Enforcement Director Jeffrey B. Garfield to share a draft settlement with Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s campaign manager over what has come to be known as “Moodygate.“But just how far will the investigation go?
Rep. Christopher Caruso, D-Bridgeport, said the investigation is supported by the Democratic leadership in the House and the Senate, who received phone calls from various current and former public officials concerned about the press conference today. He said it has the “enemies of reform and change,” worried about who else may get snagged by the probe.The investigation will look at why Garfield sent information about the elections violations to Rell’s campaign manager, Kevin Deneen, who helped negotiate a settlement on behalf of 16 officials in Rell’s administration.The settlement was later approved by the state elections enforcement commission. “There’s a climate of coziness implied there,” Caruso said. When the committee tried to recruit Chief State Attorney Christopher Morano, he passed, Caruso and Sen. Edward Meyers, D-Guilford, said. “He gave the governor a pass,” so the General Elections and Administration Committee is going to look at it, Caruso said. The committee has requested information for the investigation from Deneen, Moody, Garfield, Rell, and others.“This administration will cooperate fully with the GEA committee’s hearing,” John Wiltse, Rell’s spokesman said today.When questioned about whether the investigation qualifies as an election year stunt, Caruso and Meyers both said the probe has nothing to do with the governor’s race. “People in Connecticut want us to bring a spotlight on the issue,” Meyers said. Both Caruso and Meyers said they have not endorsed a gubernatorial candidate because they want the investigation to be fair and impartial.“I know some people want to jump to conclusions and think this is about the governor, but it’s not,” Caruso said. He said if the committee does not look at this then the pattern will continue. Who knows, maybe the committee will find out “this is a longstanding problem that needs to be addressed by policy.“Meanwhile, he said the Elections Enforcement Commission will look at its own applications and organization.