The state’s most popular governor or a former governor who is a convicted felon? Which one do you think went to the National Governors Association winter meeting to rub elbows with other governors, business leaders, lobbyists, President Obama and the First Lady?
The answer: former Governor John Rowland attended the conference where many believe Governor Rell should have been present.
The controversy broke last week http://scullycommunications.com/rell-fiddles-while-nation%e2%80%99s-govs-meet-with-obama/ when it was reported that Governor Rell skipped the meeting of the National Governors Association, even though her office had paid membership dues. http://whereweblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/some-governors-say-nga-dues-not-worth-it-rell-spends-on-dues-doesnt-go/
These dues aren’t cheap, rivaling private clubs in Greenwich and Palm Beach: more than $100,000.
How the rates are set and why they are so high will be a story for another day, the issue here is getting one’s money’s worth. In this case the money is taxpayer money so it becomes your business and that of journalists.
The Governor was criticized when it was revealed last week that she did not attend the meeting, even though her office has spent more than 400 thousand dollars in taxpayer money on NGA dues. This at a time when the state is in a serious budget crisis.
Channel 3’s Katy Zachry learned not only did Governor Rell skip the most recent meeting, she hasn’t been to an NGA meeting since 2008! The Governor has been a no show at four of the last 5 meetings, even though taxpayers have been picking up the tab for her membership.
In total we are talking over $450,000 for dues from 2008-2011, and you paid for it.
The Governor said she skipped the meeting to work on the budget crisis. Some Democrats and at least one Republican aren’t buying it, saying the Governor should have been there to try to get new jobs and federal funds for Connecticut.
Presumably, that’s what former Governor Rowland was trying to do for the city of Waterbury.
Here is Katy’s story: http://www.wfsb.com/video/22709754/index.html