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Trumbull DTC Chair: GOP Rutigliano is 'Buying Votes'

David Rutigliano partly owns the SBC restaurant chain. He is running for state representative. The Trumbull GOP also has an outstanding complaint against the DTC chair.

Nancy DiNardo, the state and Trumbull Democratic chair, says Trumbull Restaurateur and State Representative Candidate David Rutigliano is buying votes.

"While campaigning for the office of the state representative, ... Rugliano, a participant in the Citizens Election Program, distributed $5 coupons to his business, the Southport Brewing Company, with the purpose of promoting his candidacy," DiNardo's Oct. 4 complaint states.

"They are desperate, I have done nothing wrong," said Rutigliano.

"If I was Nancy DiNardo and had a governor with a 9 percent unemployment rate, the largest tax increase in state history and was still running with a deficit, I would want to change the subject also," Rutigliano said. "This is a political move by a desperate campaign trying to make me look bad. I'm not doing anything wrong."

Rutigliano said he hands out his business card, which has a $5 coupon on the back, when he talks about his business to constituents. But it's not part of his campaign literature.

He told the Connecticut Post, "If I'm out and about and someone mentions they like SBC, I'll say, 'Thank you very much,' and give them a card and tell them to come see me again."

DiNardo said Rutigliano is violating the rules of the Citizens Election Program, in which the candidate relies on public campaign financing.

"He's promoting his business and his business is promoting him," she said. "You're running for political office. You're not supposed to be promoting your business."

"I would think the business card has business information," she added.

According to Candidate Louis Bevilacqua, Rutigliano's opponent and a recently registered Republican, "They will handle the matter in an appropriate manner.  We are not certain, as I have not seen the complaint, as to the facts of the case.

"I will say that the people are so used to politicians not working in their interest, that their interest in these things are at an all time low.  That is bad for democracy and bad when it comes to the selection of competent leadership. Regardless of whether or not the public cares one way or the other, as public officials we have an obligation to the system, to the people and the elites to ensure the best leaders gain office.

"Rutigliano should keep his Fairfield based business interests separate from his campaign interests," he concluded.   

Meanwhile, a GOP elections complaint against DiNardo, accusing her of failing to pay rent for Trumbull's Democratic Headquarters in the 2011 municipal elections, remains open.

DiNardo said she has paid the rent for using the Trumbull Center office space, which her family owns. 

Joe October 07, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Character counts.
Quaestor October 08, 2012 at 12:29 AM
This sounds like the same tired accusation DiNardo tried to run against David Pia last election. With Pia she complained that his picture appeared in his business advertisements. Yawn.
Joan October 08, 2012 at 01:27 AM
This seems like a very foolish thing for someone to do when asking for the voters' trust.
JR October 08, 2012 at 10:56 AM
That complaint came from within the Trumbull GOP.
HL October 08, 2012 at 12:14 PM
It's not really a same tired accusation though. He's going door to door, telling people to vote for him, and handing them a coupon for a free pint of beer at his restaurant. I can see where it's an issue.
Pat M October 08, 2012 at 11:37 PM
How interesting. Just noticed on the Trumbull Times website, that a comment was made that during the summer Mr. Ritigliano was handing out SBC VIP Coupon's with his campaign literature at Madison Middle School. I wonder if that potential voter mentioned SBC or was the coupon a freebie. Like "vote for me" here's a coupon. This doesn't seem right.
Jim Flynn October 09, 2012 at 12:16 AM
Interesting that he was handing out discounts to eat at a bar at the Middle School. That says it all to me right there
Joan October 09, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Are candidates even supposed to be campaigning on school grounds?
Pat M October 10, 2012 at 12:15 AM
? for Mr. Pia, you seem like an honest man. From what I can tell from reading the Patch/Chat comments. You seem to stick up for Mr. Rutigliano. I'm sure the people of Trumbull want to know what you honestly think about him handing out coupon's to his business while campaigning. He has admitted he has done it. Even with a complaint filed against him, he has admitted no wrong doing. You new the rules while campaigning. The voters of Trumbull would like your thoughts on this matter.
Pat M October 10, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Mr. Pia, we are still waiting for your answer. It's been 24 hours. You not saying anything positive tells the voters of Trumbull everything we need to know. Not saying anything says it all.

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