Mattei Seeks Attorney General Seat

Bridgeport attorney Chris Mattei, ex federal prosecutor who put former Governor John Rowland away the second time, announced on Monday his candidacy for attorney general, the state’s chief civil lawyer. Incumbent George Jepsen announced last week he’ll not seek another four-year term in 2018. Mattei joins a list of Democrats that include State Rep. William Tong who opened an exploratory committee. Mattei had been exploring a run for governor.

From Mattei:

Chris Mattei today announced that he will run for Attorney General of Connecticut. Mattei is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and Chief of the Financial Fraud and Public Corruption Unit for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Connecticut.

“I spent the better part of the last decade serving the people of Connecticut as an Assistant United States Attorney. It was my responsibility to stand up for what was right and what the law required, without fear or favor–regardless of how wealthy, powerful or influential someone might be. With the election of Donald Trump, we face a new challenge and in the face of that challenge, I asked myself how I could be of best use to the people of Connecticut,” said Mattei. “I am running for Attorney General to help protect our rights, our values and our future here in Connecticut.”

Born and raised in Windsor, Chris Mattei has spent his career fighting for everyday people. After graduating from college, he taught high school on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. He then went on to become an organizer of low-income health care workers who were fighting for fair wages and benefits. He attended UConn Law School after seeing how the law could be used to help those who all too often do not have a voice in our political system.

“As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Mattei took on illegal gun traffickers, frauds who targeted seniors and Wall Street bankers who continued to defraud the public amidst the wreckage of the financial crisis. He supervised the prosecution of former Governor John Rowland and others who were convicted of abusing the public’s trust and funneling secret money into Connecticut campaigns. Today, he continues to practice law with a focus on standing up for civil rights, victims of abuse and consumers.

“We need people like Chris Mattei to stand with us–and with everyone who is vulnerable, who is voiceless, who is at risk of being left out and left behind. For everyone who worries that the actions of the Trump Administration will undercut the values we were raised with in Connecticut,” said Jonathan Gonzalez-Cruz, a DACA recipient who introduced Mattei today. “He’s ready to stand up for all of us against those in Washington who would undermine our values and against any who would hurt our most vulnerable residents. I’m proud to stand with Chris and proud to give him my support today.”



  1. Mattei had a huge problem with name recognition and this change in the office he is seeking confirms that. The Democrats have a big problem finding a standard-bearer for the position of Governor. There are some published reports that Ned Lamont may be thinking of re-entering the political arena.

  2. Writing as a registered Democrat for most of the 30 years in Bridgeport, and regularly rubbing shoulders and listening to multiple party members here in the State of CT, a beneficiary of the fiscally compromised state and local legislatures seems to be workers who are union members, of which an abundance are government employed.
    Is it ridiculous to suggest that there is political and fiscal leadership that might come from that camp with an understanding of what is wrong and how to fix it such that more normal economic development once again becomes a CT attribute in the land of steady habits?
    The Republican Party on the national level have gone off their reservation for the single reason that they need to pass one bill in this first year of 45. They have forsaken their heritage and will receive appropriate notoriety for a “tax reform” bill that is not a reform, but rather a tax cut for the wealthiest at a time when they honestly do not need such. Have you figured what the plan will personally do to your personal income taxation? How does it look to reside in CT? Time will tell.

  3. Why are people continuing to wage war against unions. Perhaps doing some reading of history of labor movements circa early 20th century will enlighten and remind us of the great and terrible exploitation of human labor in the United States. People died to stop child labor, to stop capitalistic slave labor. Blood was spilled in the streets of Detroit and other cities as Henry Ford,Alfred Sloan sent their goons out to beat and kill workers trying to live and work in respectable work conditions. Why the warfare against employees and workers. It’s bad enough that we have an employment at will situation. Why wage more war against labor?

    1. You’re correct about the early history and need for unions. Employment laws were enacted for non union employees because the unions brought serious issues to the attention of lawmakers. Because of this, public sector union member ship started to decline in the 1970’s. At which point the unions began to organize and unionize public sector workers. I would argue the public union leaders have failed their membership, a lot based on what Ron Mackey writes about, he faced reduced wages and wage freezes so the city could balance their budget, in exchange for better retirement benefits, which is what citizens “come after” – and being retired he has no union protections from that happening. Ron also talks about the Firebirds, as I understand, a group of dedicated firefighters working with minority groups to help them qualify for and become firefighters, yet I never hear anything about the unions helping the Firebirds. It could just be that Ron never mentions their involvement. So why would a union in Bridgeport, representing a community that is 1/3 white, 1/3 black, 1/3 Hispanic and probably 50% female not do more to ensure every group is given the help needed to become firefighters? When you add elected officials, whose job it is to be stewards of every taxpayer dolllar, yet their full time job is working for the unions, and their legislative duties include negotiating public union contracts. Can you understand why citizens might question where the legislators loyalty might be? Essentially, the unions have consistently asked their members to reduce their pay in exchange for retirement benefits. Is there any real reason to not give employees higher pay and let them manage their own retirement and healthcare needs? Mitch Daniels when Governor of Indiana revoked the union bargaining for non federal state employees (not teachers, not fire and police and not local government employees) – only state workers. He put mission statements, job descriptions, and employees reviews in place. Within 1 year 99% of those employees chose not to renew their union membership and employees grievances dropped from 475 to 137. He sat standards and as much as 10% salary increases for those who exceeded goals. The adverse union raises had been 3% for years. Job retention rose, and government departments received national awards and ratings for excellence in department efficiency and customer (taxpayer) satisfaction. Imagine going to the DMV and your wait time is under 10 minutes – it happens here, and before, it was like CT, hours of pain. It’s not that unions are necessarily bad, but in many cases they don’t help improve both the employees ability to actually do their jobs or let them earn the salary they deserve.

        1. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Maybe union employees were fooled into thing that union dues was money down the drain. So these same employees found out about employment at will. What is employment at will. It means employees have no rights whatsoever. It means that employers can fire employees for no reason whatsoever. What is the consolation prize for employees. They are given the “right” to quit for no reason whatsoever. Darwinian Capitalism. The strong shall survive and the weak shall perish. If you believe in that,can you sleep well at night.

          1. In every company I worked for, including my 4 years as a teamster, meeting goals and expectations meant you kept your job. First, there are both state and federal laws to protect workers. Including HR departments charged with working out grievances and supplemental job training. Second, if you’re fired from a job without cause, why would you want to Continue working somewhere that had no regard for your value. There’s a reason it’s callled earning a paycheck. As a rule, employers don’t like to fire employees, there’s a cash investment in hiring an employee, there’s training and most employers are proud of employee retention. I hardly call someone needing extra time or training weak, or if they aren’t capable of doing a job hired for weak. Not a good match for the job or company is hardly a sign of weakness.
            And the grass is greener – these employees had been union members for years, the changes made in one year to their actual jobs, and their rewards for meeting goals in merit pay increases were the reasons they left the unions.


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