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Group Running Ads to Confirm Malloy Ally to Chief Justice is Run By Uncle of Dem State Rep

March 6, 2018 By Staff
Group Running Ads to Confirm Malloy Ally to Chief Justice is Run By Uncle of Dem State Rep

True Justice LLC, registered in February 2018, is running ads urging the confirmation of Malloy ally Andrew McDonald to chief justice. True Justice's principal is the uncle of State Rep. Steven Stafstrom (D-Bridgeport).

A group running ads urging legislators to confirm Andrew McDonald, a Malloy ally whom the governor appointed to be chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court, is run by the uncle of the second-ranking House Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

Though Daily Ructions’ Kevin Rennie wrote about True Justice LLC, a group running pro-McDonald ads on Facebook, on Monday, the relationship between State Rep. Steven Stafstrom (D-Bridgeport) and True Justice appears to have not been previously discussed. The relationship may raise questions about the impartiality of Steven Strafstrom’s support, ahead of a possible Wednesday vote on McDonald’s nomination in the full legislature that is expected to be close.

True Justice LLC was registered on February 26, 2018, with John Stafstrom of Bridgeport listed as a principal. John Stafstrom’s listed address is the same as his law firm’s address, Pullman & Comley.

John Stafstrom is also an uncle to Steven Stafstrom, according to press reports, and Steven Stafstrom is a lawyer at Pullman & Comley.

Steven Stafstrom is the vice chair and second-ranking House Democrat on the Joint Committee on Judiciary, putting him in a key position when it comes to advocating for McDonald’s appointment to chief justice.

And advocate Steven Stafstrom has. The Connecticut Law Tribune reported on Stafstrom’s support for McDonald in February:

McDonald has strong support among Democrats in the Legislature. That includes Sen. Terry Gerratana and Rep. Steven Stafstrom Jr., both members of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary.

…“Justice McDonald has been serving as a distinguished member of the court for several years and it’s insulting to say that an associate justice of the Supreme Court would be taking any direction from the governor,” Stafstrom said. “We have separations of power and the role of the judiciary is different from the executive branch of government.”

State Sen. Gayle Slossberg (D-Milford) announced her recusal from the vote on McDonald’s nomination, due to past personal clashes with McDonald (according to reporting from the Hartford Courant). Will Stafstrom have to recuse himself due to his uncle’s political advocacy on behalf of McDonald?

NOTE: Requests to an aide of Stafstrom for comment were not returned. Reclaim Connecticut will update this post if there is a response.

UPDATE, 4:30pmCT Post published an interview with John Stafstrom on Tuesday afternoon. John Stafstrom confirmed his leadership of True Justice, LLC, but no mention in the article was made about John Stafstrom’s relationship to Rep. Steven Stafstrom (D-Bridgeport).