Jun 02, 2012 5:56 AM GMT
Robert Braddock, Jr., finance director for the leading Democrat in Connecticut's 5th congressional district primary, was indicted by the Department of Justice for conspiracy charges relating to campaign donations allegedly designed to influence legislation in the general assembly.
"The complaint alleges that Braddock conspired with others to accept conduit campaign contributions, which are contributions made by one person in the name of another person," according to the DOJ announcement.
Braddock works for the campaign of Speaker Christopher Donovan, D-Conn., who is running for Congress. He allegedly conspired with representatives of Roll-Your-Own smoke shops to accept a total of $20,000 in campaign donations designed -- per DOJ -- to bring about "the defeat" of legislation regulating the shops.
"The legislation introduced would have deemed Roll-Your-Own smoke shop owners to be tobacco manufacturers under Connecticut law, a designation that would have subjected these shop owners to a substantial licensing fee and tax increase," DOJ explained.
DOJ charges Braddock with working earlier to accept $10,000 in donations to Donovan's campaign, with another $10,000 to follow after the legislation was defeated. DOJ notes that the state legislative session ended May 9th, without lawmakers voting on the Roll Your Own Smoke bill.
Donovan is an outspoken supporter of President Obama's health care law. "Chris will work with leadership in Congress to strengthen the provisions of the bill that will lower costs even further – most importantly, the public health insurance option that was passed by the House of Representatives in 2009 but was left out of the final legislation," his campaign website says.
Donovan's Democratic rivals pounced when news broke today. "These are very serious allegations that we expect will be thoroughly investigated," Jeb Fain spokesman for candidate Elizabeth Esty, told the Hartford Courant.