The Democratic State Party Convention started off with a break from tradition Friday night when it was called to order at the Connecticut Expo Center. From what State Central leaders told me, it was the first time in recent history, that they could recall, that the opening address was not given by the Mayor of the host city.
Apparently that was a conscious decision by the party leaders not to invite Hartford's Mayor Eddie A. Perez to speak. Apparently they felt that it didn't bode well for the party to be addressed by a Mayor on trial and currently under arrest on felony charges related to a corruption investigation.
That didn't stop Perez or his wife from attending the opening night as they wandered around the convention floor. Unlike his popularity from earlier in his term, Perez was not surrounded by many people as he walked through the Expo Center. His fellow Democrats were probably trying to avoid any photo-ops involving the Mayor.
One of the most interesting observations, other than the Saturday morning love fest which I'll go into shortly, was another delegate crossing paths with Perez on the convention floor. I'm sure Eddie's heartbeat sped up when he saw the Prosecutor from his court case also wandering the Expo Center floor.
Yup, Assistant State's Attorney Christopher Alexy was also a delegate from his hometown, where he is the town's Vice-Chair. Poor Eddie, he can't even catch a break in a building full of Democrats. Alexy was also in attendance Saturday when the Hartford Team of Evil was working the floor.
Apparently there have been a few closed door meetings between Perez and Ned Lamont leading up to the convention. That is a stark contrast to the Malloy campaign's approach from what I was told by a Malloy insider. Malloy's campaign made a decision to stay at least arms length from Perez considering the ongoing trial.
Apparently Ned Lamont wasn't concerned about wheeling and dealing with a Mayor on trial for corruption and courted Perez right up until the time the final vote for the Governor-nominee was cast.
In an unusual situation that could be filed in the "politics makes strange bedfellows" category, the love fest that took place among some of the Hartford delegation on Saturday morning was an eye opener to many. I didn't get to the convention until about noon on Saturday, but a little after 10:00AM my phone started ringing and the text messages were flying.
State Representative Minnie Gonzalez and Eddie Perez, who have been bitter adversaries, were hugging on the convention floor and cutting deals. Completing the love fest were the supporting cast of Matt Hennessey, Susan McMullen and Nick Carbone. Yes , you read those names right. I heard that they were all singing "Kumbaya" by the front doors of the Expo Center as they held hands later in the day.
The cast of characters were twisting arms hard in the Hartford Delegation trying to swing votes to the Lamont campaign. If they haven't realized yet, corruption trials have a way of reducing one's political clout, and alas, Dan Malloy carried the Hartford delegations votes. Maybe Perez needs to get a picture of "Air Force 1" like Hennessey uses on his website to make it seem like he still has power.
I am pretty sure that the pesky Prosecutor, who was only one section away from the Hartford delegation and Perez, didn't make anyone in the "Circle of Evil" comfortable.