Facing bipartisan outrage and possible legal repercussions for attempting to shake down municipal employees – including police officers and firefighters – for campaign cash, Middletown Mayor and Connecticut Democrat gubernatorial candidate Dan Drew has been forced to apologize after sending out letters to the home addresses of his city workers asking for $100 campaign contributions. In his apology, Drew admitted that he “requested a list from HR” that he “used to make mailing labels” for his solicitation, which has been called an attempt to “intimidate” city workers into supporting him. Drew’s decision to send the letter to police officers’ homes is particularly concerning, as their addresses are kept confidential by law.
But to make matters worse for the Middletown mayor, another Democrat candidate is now bashing his actions, with primary rival Chris Mattei suggesting the letter is proof that Drew is “ the worst kind of old-school politician.” While city officials continue to look into the legality of Drew’s unethical and possibly unlawful actions, his struggling campaign finds itself at the center of the state’s biggest political scandal with over a year to go until the election.
The CT Mirror has more on Mayor Drew's apology:
"In an early stumble in his campaign for governor, Middletown Mayor Dan Drew admitted ‘an error in judgment’ Thursday and apologized to city employees for obtaining a mailing list from the city that his campaign used to solicit contributions.
Drew, 37, a declared candidate for the open Democratic nomination in 2018, promised refunds of any contributions from city employees since the solicitation to the homes of municipal workers, including police officers whose home addresses were not public information.
‘I apologize for the letter you received over the weekend from my campaign,’ Drew said in his new letter. ‘It was an error in judgment, and it should not have been sent. I had requested a list from HR. It was used to make mailing labels and then was destroyed. The information was not retained in any database. It was an error in judgment and I apologize.’
Drew’s solicitation, which was first reported by the Middletown Press, drew criticism from Chris Mattei, a former federal prosecutor in public corruption cases who is exploring a run for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
‘What Dan Drew did was wrong – plain and simple,’ Mattei said. ‘As the elected mayor of Middletown, he used the authority of his office to obtain the confidential information of his subordinates, and then used that authority and information to urge city workers to give money to his campaign. It’s not unreasonable for those workers to think that they now have to donate to his campaign in order to continue or advance their careers.’
Mattei, who is considering his first run for elective office, used Drew’s campaign solicitations to suggest that the young mayor is the worst kind of old-school politician.
‘The question for Connecticut is whether we will finally choose a new kind of politics for our state,’ Mattei said in an emailed statement. ‘A politics free from shakedowns, insider deals and cynicism. I will leave the legal determinations to the Middletown Council Clerk and State Elections Enforcement Commission, but we don’t need to know whether something is illegal to know that it is wrong.’"