Patrick Scully, who joined former Speaker of the House James Amann’s gubernatorial campaign in January, says he is no longer working for the campaign.
“I am no longer employed by the Amann campaign because of lack of funding,” Scully said in a phone interview Friday. “I don’t have time to work for free.” Scully said he is working on building his consulting company and his departure in no way “negates my thoughts of the candidate.”
Scully’s departure does raise questions about the viability of Amann’s campaign, although Amann scoffed at that idea on Friday. Amann said the campaign dismissed Scully for reasons he refused to discuss on the record, not vice-a-versa.
Scully said the campaign owes him “five figures,” which could conceivably be a problem because, based the campaign report filed at the end of April, Amann’s campaign had $4,110 cash on hand.
“We’re doing fine,” Amann said. “We’re moving forward.” He said in the old days he would have raised $250,000 by now, but things are different under the new public finance system, under which Amann said it was difficult to spend money in the exploratory phase. That’s why the campaign switched over to a candidate committee, but in the process forfeited more than $20,000.
Under the new rules if the amount a candidate rolls over from an exploratory committee exceeds the total amount of qualifying small-dollar checks received, then the difference goes back to the state election fund. Amann transferred $35,488 from his exploratory committee into his candidate committee, but he had only raised about $9,545 in qualifying contributions of $100 or less causing him to lose more than $25,000.
Click here to see the campaign finance record of the transfer.
“It was a mistake,” Scully said of the campaign’s decision to switch from an exploratory to candidate committee so quickly.
Amann’s opponents — Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy and Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz — are still exploring a run for governor. Malloy’s campaign had about $105,297 cash on hand and Bysiewicz about $83,357 at the end of April.
But Amann, who has already opened up his campaign headquarters in Milford, said “we’re the only ones in the race.”
The last time Quinnipiac University polled residents on the 2010 gubernatorial match-up was back in February. At that time 79 percent didn’t know enough about Amann to have an opinion. Bysiewicz was the early favorite in a Democratic primary with 44 percent of the vote, followed by Malloy with 12 percent and Amann with 4 percent. Another 36 percent are undecided.
The same poll showed Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell beating Amann 61 to 21 percent. On Friday Amann said he had hundreds of volunteers working for him and has plans for at least two fundraisers this summer.
Cristine Stewart www.ctnewsjunkie.com