Two days before the Republican Party Convention where 1,245 delegates will nominate a U.S. Senate candidate, two of top contenders for the spot released the names of delegates who may have been financially compensated by their respective campaigns.
Linda McMahon, the former wrestling executive, disclosed that Stefani Tinti and Alex Levin are full-time members of her campaign staff, while Justin Clark, who ran Tom Foley‘s 2010 gubernatorial campaign is a part-time staffer.
She also listed four vendors who may have benefited from her campaign. Jeff Santopietro, who owns a garbage company in Waterbury, Louis Deluca, the former state Senator from Woodbury who owns a t-shirt company, Michael and Amy Iezzi of Hamden who rent furniture, and Michael McGarry of Hartford who owns a newspaper where McMahon has purchased advertising space.
Former U.S. Rep. Chris Shays campaign listed six delegates who have helped his campaign. Steve Bassermann, Rep. Brenda Kupchick, Rep. Penny Bacchiochi, Margaret Derisio, Charlie Devan, and Bryan Perry.
In January, members of the Connecticut Republican Party who still had a sour taste in their mouth from McMahon’s nomination over former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons in 2010, tried to get the state party to adopt a resolution which would have required delegates working on the campaign to identify themselves with an ID badge.
Some Republicans believe that because McMahon had the money to hire people, she was able to win the 2010 convention by garnering 737 delegate votes compared to Simmons’ 632 votes. Party rules say a candidate must receive over 50 percent of the vote to receive the party’s endorsement and McMahon had almost 52 percent of the vote.
The resolution failed, but both Shays and McMahon’s campaign have maintained that they support the spirit of it which is why they released the names of the delegates Wednesday.