Trumbull Dems, GOP Open Headquarters

Where to find your party before the election.

Want to help your local political party? Headquarters are now open.

The democrats quietly moved into their previous digs in an upper office in the back of the Trumbull Center shopping plaza, and the republicans opened their office in a back building near Main Street and Church Hill Road.

“Opening our HQ location on Main Street gives us a central command post as we work hard to ensure that our Republican candidates are elected on Nov. 6," said Trumbull Republican Town Committee Chairman Jack Testani. “We invite Trumbull residents to stop by to pick up bumper stickers, lawn signs, informational pamphlets and to learn more about our outstanding candidates."

The building, at 5893 Main St., is across from Town Hall, behind the gas station..

The democratic headquarters is the source of an elections complaint from Testani against Trumbull DTC Chair Nancy DiNardo. Testani accused her of using family property as headquarters and failing to pay rent last year after the municipal elections.

DiNardo said she has since paid it.

In another recent election complaint, DiNardo accused state representative candidate David Rutigliano of giving out coupons to the SBC restaurant chain, which he partly.

Rutigliano said the complaint is a diversion and that he hands out business cards if asked about his business. The cards have a coupon the back of them.

Both complaints are pending. 

The number for republican headquarters is 203-212-8782. Democratic Headquarters is 203-261-3367.

Aaron Leo (Editor) October 15, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Anyone have Democratic HQ's number?
Andrew Palo October 15, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Loretta Chory October 15, 2012 at 01:53 PM
When was the rent for the November 2011 headquarters paid? I don't see it listed in any of the SEEC online filings, and I went back to check all the expenses listed since July 2011. Also, lots of free Romney/Ryan signs available at Republican headquarters... while supplies last, and they are going fast! If you can't make it over and want someone to deliver them, call and leave us a message at 203-212-TRTC.
Jim Flynn October 15, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Has Rutigliano stopped giving out $5 coupons for his restaurant?
Lee Salzberg October 15, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Just curious. Is it a law that a party - any party - must pay rent and can't use a donated space? Does that mean that if I were running for office and used my home as my campaign headquarters, I'd have to pay myself rent?
Loretta Chory October 15, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Lee, To clarify, the complaint for rent was filed against a Town Committee, not an individual candidate's campaign... but even many of those campaign's are now highly regulated, particularly if it is for a CT state office and the candidate has been granted public financing. So, with regards to a town committee, they are not allowed to take donations from a business entity except: (1) items such as gift certificates, etc. valued at under $100 per event that will be used in a raffle at a fundraiser or (2) up to $250 cash per calendar year if the business is purchasing advertising space in an ad book that will be distributed at a fundraising event. I guess the answer to your question is... under the rules set by the CT Elections Enforcement Commission, no donated space by a business entity would be allowed, and the rent paid must be based at fair market value... no more "business friendly deals" allowed... space donated by an individual would be allowed but it has to be reported as an in-kind donation and would be limited to a donation maximum of $1000 per year. Hope that helps...
louis October 15, 2012 at 09:26 PM
I think some of the law is well intentioned by shortsighted. There was this whole period post watergate where the people began to believe that an impotent public official is preferable to a corrupt one. Rarely is corruption so blatant, yet we had this entire string of cases and initiatives which the people bought, hook, line and sinker, that they should look into every minutae, missing the big stuff. You had proposals of an all volunteer Congress, a disintegration of the Education department etc. This misses the entire point that our government is supposed to be us! If someone owns a property and allows you to use it free of charge and then demands a quid pro quo, preferential treatment and benefits in contravention of the public interest, that is an issue to waste our time with, that is corruption. If a candidate, as they did in Italy when the communists would campaign in an election governed by rules the US set up, would hand out 1000 lire notes when you showed up at the polls to vote, and they would walk you in and they would steady your hand on the ballot, that was the kind of corruption that destroys the power of the electorate and intimidates the outcome. So let us celebrate democracy! The choice of the people to determine their own fate! Applaud lawn signs and buttons, when a public official calls you back, when a HQ is opened. Let us also try and select competence, even if they are not of a party, for they are doing you a favor by running
louis October 15, 2012 at 09:29 PM
If they own a property and lease it to a faction within the law, they are doing a public service. Shall we merely sell the Capitol building if the other faction controls it, certainly not. If I own it and cannot do what I want with it, then sorry, but private property law means nothing, take your John Locke and burn it, because it will serve no point
Joan October 15, 2012 at 09:46 PM
So since the Trumbull Republicans are such sticklers for following election rules, how do they explain Mr. Rutigliano passing out coupons to his restaurant while campaigning & the First Selectman having campaign signs on his lawn for Linda McMahon when they weren't legally permitted to be displayed?
Tom Kelly October 15, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Loretta, since you are asking these types of questions, I have two for you. I doubt you'll answer either one, but here they are: 1. Back in the campaign of 2009, the Republican HQ in the house on Main Street near the BOE building only had five phone lines for phone bankers. I used to receive emails almost everyday stating that 12 overflow phone lines were available at the law firm where Tim Herbst worked at the time. I made several trips to that phone bank operation. Where was the value of those services reported in the Republican campaign filings? Maybe it was reported, and if so, could you point me to the right report? Thank you. 2. The Republicans used to publicly condemn Steve Wright for being Ray Baldwin's campaign manager while he was on the Board of Education. They said that members of the Board of Education should not be involved in such partisan activities. Now that Tim Herbst has been elected, you serve on the Board of Education in addition to serving at the Treasurer of the Trumbull Republican Town Committee and former Treasurer of Herbst for Trumbull. Wasn't it hypocritical to criticize Steve Wright and then do exactly what you protested? It's not personal, but if you step into the fray and start making charges like that, you have to be ready to answer for the Republican hypocrisy of criticizing something, and then doing the very same thing.
Kathleen McGannon October 15, 2012 at 11:10 PM
And again, the silence is deafening.
Tom Kelly October 16, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Loretta Chory: You made a public accusation here stating that you went back and looked at all the SEEC filings since July 2011 and checked all of the expenses listed and didn't see one for rent on campaign headquarters. I'm wondering if you went back and RE-CHECKED those public filings at the e-CRIS website? This is one of the biggest problems with the Herbst cabal...they make statements which are factually incorrect, and try to represent them as though they are truths. Then, as in this case, when it gets called to their attention that their statement is totally WRONG, they don't have the decency to admit their mistake and correct the record. The recent concert is a perfect example of that. They continue to insist that the Michael Bolton concert "only" lost $20,000, when the spreadsheet from the Trumbull Finance Department explicitly shows that the concert lost $76,955. It calls into doubt the validity of everything they say. In this case, the campaign filing on the e-CRIS website which has been publicly filed for almost one year CLEARLY shows that the rent was paid. It's right on the document and it says the expense is for rent for campaign headquarters. Yet the Republicans charge that it isn't listed. It's like they operate in some alternate reality. I hope the Republicans review the town's financial documents with more accuracy than they review publicly filed campaign finance reports.
Loretta Chory October 16, 2012 at 01:39 PM
OK... I went back to check the filings again, and I stand corrected... a check for $2000 was written after the election, on Nov 11, to pay for rent. Whether $2000 would be considered the "fair market value" of that huge office space, in a prime downtown Trumbull busness location, is open for discussion.
Tom Kelly October 16, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Loretta, thank you for your response. I appreciate the integrity of coming back here to correct your statement that there is, indeed, a record of the rent payment. Your colleagues within the Republican Party should take note of your ability to admit a mistake. Trumbull residents will have more respect for someone who can admit a mistake as opposed to someone who stubbornly clings to errors and refuses to admit them. Now, if you will be so kind to point me in the direction of where the value of the phone banks and office use for the 2009 campaign is listed in the Republican campaign filings, I will be glad to stand corrected as well. However, if it's not there, the Republicans should amend their filing to include it.


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