Democrats continue to collect donations from DOT preferred developer

    The Connecticut Democratic Party continues to benefit from the generosity of a preferred developer selected by the Department of Transportation to develop the area near Stamford’s train station.

    Last month, the party collected $27,500 from donors affiliated with the joint venture DOT selected, adding to the $30,000 contributed over the summer.

    The so-called transit-oriented development is expected to cost half a billion dollars and includes $35 million in state money for parking garages.

    DOT selected Stamford Manhattan Development Ventures as preferred developer in June, but hasn’t signed a contract with the joint venture.

    Three members of the McClutchy family who run the JHM Group, a member of the joint venture, gave $30,000 to the Connecticut Democratic Party’s federal account just weeks after DOT informed them of their selection.

    Since the McClutchys contributed to the party’s federal account it is legal. Although they have given in the past to the campaign of Gov. Dannel Malloy, they would no longer be able to as principals of a prospective state contractor.

    Despite the public relationship between DOT and Stamford Manhattan, the company does not appear on the list of banned contributors.

    Gratitude from other joint-venture members continues to flow to the Democratic Party.

    Louis Ciminelli, CEO of LP Ciminelli, and his wife, Ann, gave $10,000 each. Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation is a member of the joint venture. The couple lives in Buffalo.

    Richard Serra, president and CEO of AllPro Parking, gave $7,500. AllPro will “consult during the design phase and oversee all parking functions upon completion,” according to a company press release. Serra also lives in Buffalo.

    Mark Pazniokas of the CT Mirror previously reported on donations from lawyers at Pullman & Comley, which billed the state for more than $1 million last year, and three donors affiliated with Winstanley Enterprises who donated $10,000 each.

    Winstanley is developing the future home of Alexion, the drug company receiving $51 million in state assistance through Malloy’s First Five program.

    Steven Wise of Steven Wise Associates donated $2,500. His company is a landlord for the First Five company NBC Sports.

    Other notable donors include:

    –         Michael Silvestrini, president of Middletown-based solar developer Greenskies, gave $10,000.

    –         Peter Duncan of George Comfort & Sons, a New York company with property in Stamford including the former home of NBC Sports, gave $5,100.

    –         Brett Wilderman of Forstone Capital gave another $500, adding to previous donations of $5,000. The state paid his company $3 million in rent last fiscal year, according to the state’s transparency website.

    –         Caroline Gaglio of King Construction gave $5,064.36. DOT paid her company $250,000 last year.

    –         Bradley Statler of Tutor Perini gave $2,000. His company was part of the joint venture that won the contract for the $356 million highway interchange at the new Q Bridge.

    –         Michael Stratton, a prominent Colorado Democrat, contributed $2,590.

    Four union-affiliated committees donated $8,500. The party also refunded $2,500 to another union committee to clear up an issue raised earlier by the FEC.