Rowland indicted for illegally covering up campaign consulting deal

It would not be illegal for Lisa Wilson-Foley to hire John Rowland, Connecticut’s former Republican governor, as a paid campaign advisor. Wilson-Foley was running as a Republican for Congress in Connecticut’s 5th district two years ago when Rowland approached Wilson-Foley – and another campaign – with a scheme to hide the fact Rowland was a paid political consultant. Was it all about perception for the campaign, and cash for Rowland?

The basic idea, as provided in the indictment – was to hide the fact – from the public, state election officials and the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) – that Rowland was a paid consultant. I’m certain FEC election law is complicated as quantum physics, but even I know it’s illegal to hide a paid political consultant. You can’t bury their payments under an accounting line named “Office Expense” and you can’t funnel cash though another business. And of course there are specific limits when it comes to how much can be donated to a campaign. Before a consultant gets paid, legal contributions need to come in to pay for that advice.

Why the heck would they do this? I guess I can speculate a little bit, with the understanding I know little about local and state political machines. For Wilson-Foley, perception was a part of the equation. Although Rowland was a friend, he also happens to be an indicted politician who resigned from office, was convicted and send to federal prison. The advice provided may have been valuable, but publicly paying for counsel would have been an opportunity for the campaign’s opponents to make hay of the arrangement for weeks.

The Wilson-Foley campaign may have also been encouraged by Rowland’s position at WTIC 1080. Not only could he have “guided” listeners to vote Wilson-Foley in the main election (totally expected), Rowland could have also gave favorable coverage during the primary process.

I guess you could look back to see if Rowland provided favorable coverage for Wilson-Foley, but if he did, it did not help. Maybe the Foley/Wilson-Foley duo felt pressure from Rowland? The indictment certainly indicates Rowland was first pressuring another candidate, Mark Greenberg, to hire him, but pay him through an animal shelter Greenberg was associated with. Greenberg was not interested.

Rowland moved on, telling Wilson-Foley Greenberg did want to hire him using a payment scheme he suggested, but he’d much rather work for Wilson-Foley. It would provide a better cover for Rowland and Foley/Wilson-Foley since they could run the payment through Foley’s large healthcare company, Apple Rehab. But even that was too close. They went with an attorney associated with Foley’s company.

For Rowland, I think it was about flexing muscle within the Connecticut GOP, power, influence, and of course cash. Rowland obviously wanted to get “back in” to the game, and with Wilson-Foley in Congress, he would be back in Congress by proxy. I’m not sure if it would have been a violation of Rowland’s deal with WTIC 1080 to be a paid political consultant, but my guess is it would have been a big problem.

What do you say about a guy – under a microscope in this state – who is stupid enough put this scheme together? What do you say about his friends who went along with it, and who willingly paid Rowland thousands of dollars for political advice using a technique they know was illegal? What about the attorneys who went along with all of this?

I go back to my question from paragraph three. Why the heck would they do this? All for a Connecticut congressional seat that pays less than $200,000 per year?

Oh yeah… the answer is power and influence, and it’s all directly related to my Symptom of the Disease series if you think about it. My series is almost exclusive to problems in federal government since that is what I write about, but it happens at the state level too. I really do believe that if you provide any government with more than absolutely necessary power, this kind of stuff will happen. I guaranty it will continue to happen.


Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. SeeingRed on April 11, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Makes you wonder about ‘other’ business ventures of Mr. Rowland as well as the ‘healthcare’ business of Ms. Wilson-Foley.? Is everything up and up…?? As to the atty who went along with this and indeed created the legal subterfuge?? The world needs ditch diggers too.

  2. scheidel21 on April 11, 2014 at 10:35 am

    I don’t know what’s wrong with the man, I thought maybe he had really changed his tune after his previous incident, and I did like his TIC show. I wonder if anyone close to him feels betrayed. Oh well he made a bed and he has to lie in it now.

    • ricbee on April 11, 2014 at 10:42 pm

      I liked the show when it first came on-he provided insights into how things worked in Corrupticut.He never apologized or came clean about his nefarious actions. As time went on,he became an arrogant S O B,especially about guns. He was a real know-it-all & I would have to turn him off.

  3. Lynn on April 11, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Well, darn it I am ticked off. He made his first mistake, I sort of forgave him, it is tough to be around rich people when you do not make that much money as a governor. However, we as Republicans had to live down, a sleazy party leader/Governor. Thankfully for my conscience, I saw through his sleaze and voted for Eunice Groak instead of ?him. ( However, I maybe should have voted for Tom Scott.) Anyway, ‘TIC ?forgave him as well as Pastor Will, reluctantly, I did, too. ?Not now, I only allow 2 strikes not 3. ?Now, we Republicans have to live down him AND George Gallo. Curses on them both. I feel for the genuinely dedicated Republicans (like Melissa Ziobran & Art Linares) and Foley who is our best chance for Governor. They will have to campaign with the baggage, undeserved, of Republican corruption. ?I have no faith that the CT voters have enough intelligence to see through the political theater of The Courant’s and TV News righteous indignation and Posturing. ” A pox on both their houses”.

    • ricbee on April 11, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      I voted for Scott too-I wish he won-he’d still be Guv.

  4. Lynn on April 11, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Ok, still going, Penny Bacchiochi, would and should make an excellent Lt. Governor, sorry I left her out above. She served her constituency well. I know there are other Republicans clean as a whistle and dedicated as well, I just don’t think I should write a book here. We need a third party, I don’t think we libertarian ?leaning voters have anything to lose. My CT Republican Party leadership has let me down.

    • ricbee on April 11, 2014 at 10:43 pm

      I fully agree,where is there a Tea Party meeting?

    • Lynn on April 12, 2014 at 8:11 am

      There is one in Waterford at the Library

    • ricbee on April 12, 2014 at 11:53 am

      Do you have any contact information?

    • Lynn on April 12, 2014 at 4:28 pm

      I don’t think he’d mind if I put it here. Since Tea Party and RVO are good friends. [Per TOU, the email address has been removed by the admin.]

    • ricbee on April 12, 2014 at 4:49 pm


  5. just sayin on April 11, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    So sad. ?As voiced through his show, his insight was informative and valuable. ?What a disappointment.

  6. Vizionmusic on April 11, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Let me just FLAT out SAY it… I am sick to damned death of people ( including YOU Steve as ‘moderator’ ) of painting Governor Rowland ?as ‘GUILTY’ even before the freeking trial! And you ‘brain dead’ posters who act like …’DUH!! It MUST be true!!’ have to start thinking for yourselves. After this, I personally have had it with this site…SEE YA!!

    • Steve McGough on April 11, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      Later. And by the way, I’m an “owner” not a “moderator.”

    • Sal on April 20, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      Steve you should have said not just a moderator but an owner LOL
      hope everyone had a Happy Easter
      God bless

  7. stinkfoot on April 12, 2014 at 5:45 am

    At very least, Rowland showed his hubris by skirting ethical limits if not breaking the law when he knew (or should have known) that whatever he was to do as an ex-con would be under great scrutiny by the liberal establishment.? Funny how voices of dissent seem to be held to a greater standard than those who obediently toe the progressive party line…. but hey… to quote one of their own, “what difference at this point does it make?”

  8. bien-pensant on April 15, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Has anyone else noticed that there is another Foley in the CT gubernatorial race?
    A fact not lost on democrats. And, the uninformed, low/no information voters.
    It is strange, almost a coincidence.

  9. sammy22 on April 17, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Seems like they never learn. This stuff knows no party line.

    • bien-pensant on April 17, 2014 at 6:58 pm

      Right you are. Somehow, I always appreciate the democrats playing for blood, always playing to win no matter who gets in the way, as long as that person has an (R) next to their name.
      Rowland may have played fast and loose with the law, he may have parsed too closely what “is” is and he may well be guilty of just trying to get along. He, of all people (!), should have known that the long knives were always aimed at him and his destruction was always the goal.
      Just ’cause. That’s the way of personal politics in the democrat, progressive era. I wish it weren’t so.

    • sammy22 on April 17, 2014 at 9:43 pm

      In spite of what you might think, the R’s are just as ready as anybody else to use the long knives against the D’s.

    • bien-pensant on April 18, 2014 at 8:33 am

      Please specify recent or notorious instances. I mostly see the dems running the guillotine.
      And, the dems who get caught are definitely dirty and corrupt to be ignored, ie, Lee in CA, et al.

    • sammy22 on April 18, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      Attacks on Pres. Obama and VP Biden for starters. After that the list gets longer and longer.

    • Lynn on April 21, 2014 at 6:44 am

      I would say there is a difference betweens attacks and asking POTUS for data about how many people have signed up & paid for Obamacare ( information tax payers should know) and as for VPBiden, who on earth could say to Boston Marathon victims, “It was worth it”? Funny you didn’t mention the Atty General of Dept of Justice who has been issued a contempt of Congress for F&F, oh the irony.?

    • sammy22 on April 21, 2014 at 10:17 pm

      Lynn, I was replying to bien-p comments, so I am not sure how your comments apply. Let’s not pretend that the R’s are not always ready to go after the D’s on whatever subject.

    • Lynn on April 22, 2014 at 6:52 am

      Ok, I’ll answer it this way, the Ds do not stop until they force a R to resign. The Rs never manage to make anyone resign. And I can reply to any comment I want.

    • sammy22 on April 22, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      Lynn, how quickly one forgets: Spitzer and Weiner on the D’s side resigned, to name just 2. Meanwhile, the likes of Vitter and Ensign on the R’s side styaed in the Senate.

  10. bien-pensant on April 22, 2014 at 7:30 am

    The subject is a Republican getting publicly and judicially trashed (worst). And, there is a purely partisan operative here who will always bend the narrative to suit his agenda. My question to him was: name Republicans who have suffered the wrath of the democrats. It was disingenuous to answer in any other way, though you are certainly free to. It merely exposes you further.
    In case you are having trouble, s-22, think of Christie for starters. Then move to any Republican name who has shown national aspirations and how they instantly become a target of the Left Stream Media. You cannot say that about any democrats unless their perfidy and turpitude is unquestionable. Honesty here, please.

    • sammy22 on April 22, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      It seems to me that you do not listen to Rush, b-p.

    • bien-pensant on April 22, 2014 at 6:11 pm


  11. sammy22 on April 22, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    Talk about trashing, b-p? That’s all Rush does to the D’s on a daily basis!! Maybe that is not publicly enough.

    • bien-pensant on April 23, 2014 at 7:17 am

      You really can’t stay on topic or resist bending the discussion to your talking points.
      Mr. Limbaugh, whom I rarely listen to, is an entertainer and a commentator not a spokesman for anyone.?
      Answer the questions as they relate to the topic which is: Mr. Rowland, Republicans and their difficulties. Can you do that?
      I have no sympathies for anything democrat.

    • sammy22 on April 23, 2014 at 10:50 am

      b-p, you went off topic when you brought in the D’s in regards to Roland’s current difficulties. Personally I’d like to see the wheels of “justice” grind on.


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