Monday, August 13, 2018

Opinion, Part 2: Paul Doyle, Chris Mattei, and the Democratic Primary for Attorney General

The following was submitted by Jim Fellows. The Eye welcomes all signed opinion pieces.
Part 2:  Paul Doyle versus Chris Mattei

In the first installment I reviewed Mattei's claims and record in depth and compared him to Tong. I found Mattei was exactly who he claimed to be in the debate, probably a lot more, with a superior level of experience related to the job of an attorney general.

Chris Mattei is all he seems.
As a long time federal prosecutor he managed large groups of government lawyers in successful federal prosecutions as chief of their financial crimes and public corruption unit operating in Connecticut.

Mattei was alone among the candidates in rejecting donations from lobbyists. Mattei jailed two major Republican politicians and a Democratic campaign finance director and associate working for a Democratic speaker of the house. He understands ethics and the law at state and federal levels. He did the right thing knowing it would hurt his prospects for running for office in the Democratic or Republican parties.

Mattei consistently fought for the public interest throughout his adult life and built up the skills to become attorney general by doing the right thing. He did the right thing regardless of how it would affect his chance to run for any office in the future.

His record of accomplishment on the web was detailed, rich, and positive. I did not have to rely on Mattei's own campaign page at all.

Tong the candidate is different from Tong the Attorney
Tong was also well represented online and I did not need to use his campaign page either. As for Tong's career and his primary interests I found glaring disagreement between his claims in the debate about his law practice experience and who he represents and what was plainly revealed when I visited his law firm and its bio page for Tong.

Tong claimed to have extensive experience in public interest law and the interest of working families as the core of his legal work. That crumbled under the proud public record of representing CEOs, large corporations and investment firms. He is clearly a successful corporate lawyer in the state's top firm, specializing in mergers, acquisitions, venture capital,  and CEO interests.  I dismissed him from consideration at that point as he never mentioned this in the debate and repeatedly claimed to be a representative of the working people's interests - not true -- unless those working people happen to be the most powerful CEOs.

If anything, Mattei's criticisms of Tong were understated, though Tong sniped at one point, 'Next you'll want to examine my long form birth certificate.' Tong had also characterized news reports on contradictions between his own claims and his actual work as 'a smear campaign.' I let his own corporate bio speak for itself. There will be more of that should he, god forbid, prevail in the primary.

Doyle is authentic
Paul Doyle, like Mattei, seems to be exactly who he claims to be. Doyle was my favorite going into this race because of name recognition around Middletown where he served as senator for the 9th district for years.

Doyle describes himself as a Democrat who does not always vote with his party.  That claim seems fair and accurate and does not bother me at all. I am not interested in legislative experience except to tell me what his core values are. For this job application I am interested in management of lawyers, inter agency negotiations, experience running large or groundbreaking investigation, standing up to the most powerful and not flinching, and the vast field of corporate crime,  prosecution of politicians,  and corporate or government overreach against us and the public interest. This is not the job for a fairly typical local politician.

Unlike Mattei and Tong I had to rely heavily on Doyle's own campaign web page for information. Wikipedia did not mention his law firm nor that he was running for attorney general. I got some basic information from balletopedia that confirmed his own statements in the debate. I found a few news stories outside of his legislative pages and the report of his tackling of the bank robber. Otherwise I had to rely on his campaign page.

On his campaign page I found a (misspelled) reference to his law firm, and was able to track it down here:

As you can see, it is a typical small town law firm of three lawyers with an office in NYC as well as a home office in Rocky Hill. In order, they list their work as:

  • *Family law, marriage and divorce
  • *Personal injury
  • Civil Litigation
  • *Real Estate
  • *Business law
  • *Probate, Estate, and trusts
  • Criminal Law
Those marked * had additional information on the case results page.

Although the business law entry listed mergers and acquisitions there is no mention of anything like what I found on Tong's page. This is a small town lawyer working with small businesses and other 'working people' and raised no red flags.

Doyle has experiences with "ordinary people", not the necessary high-level experiences
Had he not been running for Attorney General there would be no problem here. His experience helps him understand ordinary people and the type of individual legal services they need in life. It does not reflect the tectonic forces of global enterprise and empire, powerful corporate agendas, the vast complex of federal agencies sometimes under the influence of corporations or powerful individuals, all on a daily assault on the unprotected citizens of our state caught in the middle and vulnerable in ways they have not experienced before. This is not a time to divide but to unite.

I could not find any evidence that he has experience that is directly applicable to running investigations, supervising and delegating large teams of lawyers, prosecutions, class action law, government regulation, federal law, jurisdictional expertise, public interest law, collaboration with or opposing other government agencies, financial crimes and public corruption investigations, weapons violations, coordinating with ATF, DEA, FBI, or other high level investigations. But, if he was running as senator in district 13 he'd have my vote!

For attorney general I would have voted for him only to block Tong and his corporate agenda if Mattei wasn't in the race. But it would have been a reluctant vote in the absence of someone with the experience to actually do this job.  I am slightly concerned about his decision to run against Mattei.  It blocks a clearly appropriate candidate and is not in the best interest of voters to split the opposition to Tong. This works to Tong's advantage and for the party machine that wantscto keep Mattei out.

When it comes to attorney general, Mattei offers everything Doyle does plus the skills to be incredibly successful at a time when we need the strongest possible person in this position. 


Anonymous said...

I agree with what Jim Fellows stated. Connecticut cannot afford to have an Attorney General like Tong and he should not be the party's nominee for this office. Tong does not know how to go after after big corporations and politicians like Candidate Mattei. He has been representing & working for large corporations for most of his career defending CEO's. Doyle may have been a good state senator but CT needs an Attorney General who will be an activist Attorney General like Joe Lieberman and Richard Blumenthal were. The next Attorney General should not be beholden to corporations and politicians. We need an independent Attorney General like Chris Mattei. He deserves to win over Tong & Doyle

Edward McKeon said...

Lieberman has always been a conservative shill. I like Mattei, but I would never compare him to Joe Lieberman, who begat the presidency of George W. Bush, and became a real turn coat, supporting the war in Iraq.

Anonymous said...

Leiberman has no moral compass. When he lost the primary and then ran as an independent I named him "Do-Over Joe".

Anonymous said...

Joe Lieberman was an activist Attorney General when he was in that elected position. He went after corporations and big business so the consumers would benefit . Lieberman was not grandstanding. He set the stage for future attorney generals to emulate after and this is what Blumenthal did. Both Lieberman & Blumenthal were exceptional Attorney Generals while in office. Chris Mattei would do the same based on his track record of being a prosecutor and going after crooked politicians like John Rowland and Chris Donovan's finance director in 2012. Just because Joe Lieberman supported the war in Iraq is no reason to hold that against him. This is the USA where people have the right to express their opinion freely and for elected officials to represent people they thought was in the best interest of our nation at the time despite the outcome. Joe Lieberman did do great work as the Attorney General. Chris Mattei will follow in his predecessors work. Elect Chris Mattei for Attorney General

Anonymous said...

Chris matteis Dad called me for his support. He seemed very nice and genuine. I hope matteis is for the legalization of weed. Our state is sitting on a cash cow but yet they're taxing folks more. Seems like a no brainer to me. If Canada can do it we can do it. Power to the people!

Anonymous said...

Problem is that anything run by Democrats, taxes will never be lowered. Just like lottery and casino income just gave them more money to spend, so will the weed money.