SEEC Complaint Filed Against Gay Firm

By at August 31, 2017 | 2:30 pm | Print

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Republican Town Committee Chairman Anthony Cane filed a complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) this week that there are questions surrounding donations to Democratic candidate for Mayor Merrill Gay’s campaign. Gay is running for Mayor against Republican incumbent Erin Stewart.

According to Cane, seven students from Waterbury, who are not registered to vote, attended an April 23rd fundraiser for Gay and donated $10 each.

Cane questions whether these students were manipulated to attend the fundraiser by the firm of Yellow Dog Strategies of Bristol which Gay had hired.

The firm is owned by the son of former Democratic state Rep. Victor Cuevas, who represented Waterbury’s 75th House District and Cole Haymond. Cuevas’ son is also named Victor.

Cuevas previously plead guilty to mortgage fraud for falsifying information and was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine for mortgage fraud.

Yellow Dog strategies has also been accused of collecting phony signatures for the New Haven Democratic Probate Primary this month. It has caused the candidate, Americo Carchia, to drop out of the race.

According to a New Haven Independent article, “Carchia put the blame squarely on Yellow Dog Strategies,”

Carchia volunteered to help the state investigate the company.

In a press release announcing his withdrawal from the race, Carchia depicted himself as a “victim” of Yellow Dog.

“Both I and a number of individuals from New Haven were the victims of what appears to have been fraudulent activities undertaken by Yellow Dog Strategy,” he wrote according to the New Haven Independent.

Cane is asking the SEEC to review what Yellow Dog Strategies did for Gay’s campaign as well as if the boys, who were from Riverbend Recreation (whom Cuevas is the director) were manipulated to attending the fundraiser by Cuevas.

In the complaint Cane asks, “If they weren’t manipulated from attending the fundraiser, did Yellow Dog Strategies forge their signatures in attending?”

Cane told the City Journal that he is not pointing fingers at Gay, but at the company his campaign hired.

“I’m also concerned about the 7 students,” said Cane. “Why would a Waterbury kid want to come to a New Britain fundraiser?”

The Merrill for Mayor campaign paid Yellow Dog Strategies $391.98 for fundraising in April.

The City Journal was unable to reach a representative from Yellow Dog Strategies for comment.

But Bill Shortell, Democratic Town Chairman did comment.

“It’s disappointing that so early in the campaign the Mayor is acting like a typical politician throwing mud. The Republicans have real gall to accuse us of campaign improprieties, given their history of associating with crooked contractors. The first that comes to mind is George Gallo, who did the mailings in Erin Stewart’s mayoral campaign. He took kickbacks from the mail-house and went to jail,” said Shortell. “We stand for absolute honesty in our adherence to campaign regulations. We believe these phony charges will be thrown out. We made our last payment the Yellow Dog group months ago, and severed ties with them because we found them inefficient.”

Shortell added that, “We are very confident that the voters in New Britain will ignore this attempted smear and vote for our honest, forward-looking slate in November.”

Cane responded that, “No wrongdoing was found by anybody except Gallo. In fact the judge said the campaigns referred by Gallo, including Erin’s, were victims.”

 

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