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Free of Rell and Moody, Fedele Plots Political Future

It was one of the biggest mysteries of the 2010 campaign:  why wouldn’t Governor Rell endorse her Lieutenant Governor,  Michael Fedele?   For the first time,  Fedele is revealing some of what may have led to the snubbing that many believe cost him the Republican nomination for governor.

During a taping of “Face the State with Dennis House”,  a now goateed Fedele told me he really isn’t 100% sure why the woman who enthusiastically picked him to be her running mate in 2006  soured on him by the next election cycle.    According to Fedele, things changed after a verbal exchange he had with Rell’s powerful chief of staff Lisa Moody.    “I told her she wasn’t a constitutional officer, but rather a chief of staff to a governor,”  Fedele explained.   Critics have long accused Rell of delegating unprecedented authority to Moody, who was referred to as the “real governor” or “Governor Moody,” by several Democrats.    In June 2009, on Face the State,  then candidate for governor Jim Amann irked Governor Rell when he declared Moody was “running the state.”   That comment drew a swift response from the governor’s office who called the comment “as foolish as Amann’s candidacy.”

Rell has never said publicly her reasons for not endorsing Fedele,  but sources have suggested Moody persuaded her boss to withhold the endorsement.    The Hartford Advocate’s Greg Hladky wrote about the Rell/Fedele/Moody issue last summer http://www.newhavenadvocate.com/featured-news/state-republicans-elections-with-friends-like-these-mike-fedele-lisa-moody-jodi-rell

 Fedele told me “I was not Moody’s favorite person.”

To confirm that dislike, Fedele was not offered one of the now controversial low digit license plates as a parting gift.    Instead, some of Moody’s relatives were the recipients of the automotive swag. 

Always the gentleman, Fedele demurred when I asked if he was angry at Rell for the humiliation.    Fedele said he wasn’t angry, but rather “disappointed in people he had put his faith in, people he was committed to, and people he worked hard for.”    He acknowledged getting the endorsement of a governor with a 60% approval rating certainly would have enchanced his political fortunes.    During the interview, Fedele also talks about other factors in his defeat last August.

Fedele also talks about running for the U.S. Senate, his new status as Knight, and the budget of his high school classmate,  Governor Dannel Malloy.

You can watch the entire interview with former Lt. Governor Michael Fedele, this Sunday morning at 11AM on Face the State.

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7 replies »

  1. Well Ms. Moody was Rell’s personal servant and then some. And she could not stand Lt Governor. Plus Rell saw how bad he was as Lt Governor. So she figured why put her name on the line and go out a loser once Lt Governor became Governor and a lousy one at that.

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  2. Fedele is only stating the truth. Not only did Democrat legislators know that Moody was the unofficial boss, but Republican legislators also learned, some the hard way, that Rell was governor in name only and that Moody was the real decision-maker at the Capital. Rell was merely a puppet while Moody pulled the strings. Because this finally became a well-known fact, if Rell had decided to run for another term, Rell would have lost heavily. Too bad Fedele was “used”. He is a bright, brilliant man and big plus to the Republican party. He just didn’t cow-tow to Moody.

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    • Ms Paige,
      That is certainly a telling statement. Roughly four years ago talk of Moody running the state came to light in the media. But, you stated “Rell was governor in name only and that Moody was the real decision-maker at the Capital.” What does this mean, how did this happen (the process)? Also, how does this account for Rell likely losing badly if she ran?
      Finally, I think it is interesting that the Governor Lt. Governor relationship is only a public perception. The lack of communication from Fedele and Rell, with no support from Rell, demonstrates the dysfunctionality of their relationship. Although, this is perhaps status quo in these roles.

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  3. If what Mike says is true, it pretty much confirms Rell as one of the most petty, shallow and weak governors in the history of governing.

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  4. Mike Fedele just said that the “ONLY difference between municipal, state and federal government is the number of zeros before the decimal point.” I didn’t know Al Qaeda had a Parks and Recreation department.

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