Will The Pereira Financial Payout Pay Off For Hennessy’s Reelection?

Pereira, belly dancer
Maria Pereira dances a new step about pay day.

About 50 percent of the funds spent by State Rep. Jack Hennessy’s reelection campaign has been allocated to staff wages, an extreme outlier for a pint-sized political contest, with $4,500 of the loot going to City Councilwoman Maria Pereira who’s managing the race against endorsed Democrat Marcus Brown in the Aug. 9 primary.

By comparison, according to the latest public filings with the State Elections Enforcement Commission, the Brown campaign has spent a scant fraction on staff so the vast majority of the money in the last week will go directly to voter contact such as mailings, door knocking and phone banking that maximizes turnout.

Of the approximate $22,000 in expenses paid by the Hennessy campaign half has gone to wages, Pereira receiving the largest payout, as of the July 26 end date of the latest filing. Campaign Treasurer Joe Sokolovic, a member of the Board of Education, has received $2,000.

Hennessy mailer with City Councilwoman Michelle Lyons.

Both Hennessy and Brown campaigns have received a $33,000 grant from the state’s Citizens Election Program of publicly funded races. Harnessing those dollars to maximize voter impact, especially in low-turnout elections can be the difference between winning and losing.

The Hennessy campaign hasn’t been a happy house lately with two staffers quitting the past two days from Pereira’s tyrannical managing. Former State Rep. Chris Caruso was pushed out of the campaign weeks ago after he had signed on to be treasurer and advisor for no pay.

That’s the dark and light of it when dealing with Pereira’s recalcitrance. She works hard but does she work smart? Hennessy is likely holding his breath each day that she doesn’t abandon ship among the divisive forces. If Hennessy shows a smidge of sympathy to an offended party, be it a volunteer or paid staffer, Pereira will blow a cork. Hennessy will be ready to pop a bottle of Jack if he hangs on. Pereira has spent a lot of time banking absentee ballot votes for the campaign so we’ll see if there’s enough overage to put Hennessy over the top on primary night.

 Latest Brown mail piece

Connecticut’s 127th Assembly District covers a large portion of the North End and piece of the West Side. Voting precincts are Winthrop, Blackham and Read schools.

This has been a trying week for Pereira. On Monday the City Council stripped her of committee assignments after she refused to apologize for making disparaging remarks about councilman Ernie Newton.

Pereira had been previously holier-than-thou when it comes to paydays for hired-gun campaign operatives, touting her volunteerism for this campaign and that. She has now decided to join the payday party. So confident is she of a Hennessy victory on Tuesday that she’s wagered a $1,000 personal bet with Democratic Party Vice Chair Anthony Paoletto who’s backing Brown.

One Brown campaign operative cracked Pereira’s hedging her bets. “No wonder she’s getting paid.”



  1. Volunteers are key to campaigns. Thanks to Maria Pereira’s Facebook attack on my two Autistic daughters and wife, she created an opportunity for Reverend Herron Gaston and I to connect. Rev. Gaston was the only stranger among a few of my many friends to call me in regards to Pereira’s Facebook post. I took a week vacation to help Rev. Gaston in his pursuit of this so important Senate seat as a volunteer. If one believes so much in a candidate, why not volunteer?

  2. All due respect Mr. Grimaldi, treasury work is not easy and I am being quite underpaid, The Treasurer for Gaston’s campaign has been paid $12,000. Why did you not feel a need to highlight that expenditure sir?

    For full transparency can you tell us how much state funds the Gaston and Brown transferred to you for ads on your page?

    I do appreciate your platform and the ability to avail myself of this vehicle to get my message out and hope there is no Ill will. I do not take any of this personally but I do feel the need to point out the differences in coverage.

    1. OIB, never bias, always fair. How do you think this webzine has been able to stay in business? Jo-so have you noticed that Lennie Grimaldi didn’t sensor or put your comments in modernation? It’s been years since Lennie put me in moderation. You got to set the record straight on OIB. Try that with the Connecticut Post!

    2. Jo-So, good for you for receiving a pay day. I hope you have many more as treasurer of other campaigns. I know from talking to treasurers of various races that the Citizens Election Program is a labor-intensive filing process. You deserve the dollars. I simply mentioned for a specific reason. Former State Rep. Chris Caruso had signed on as treasurer to do the work as a volunteer. He was pushed out of the campaign by Maria Pereira who for years has castigated hired-gun political operatives while touting her volunteerism. Then a surrogate of Hennessy’s campaign who’s a Pereira parrot condescendingly concocted a false narrative about Caruso’s departure in the OIB comments section. Funny, from a guy who enjoys calling out alleged liars. For whatever reason Pereira’s now joined the ranks of paid campaigners after denigrating people for doing the same thing. It is also taxpayer dollars. And gee, guess who is the Godfather of Connecticut’s clean-money public finance program? Yup, the same Chris Caruso who authored the bill in the State House more than a decade ago. Pereira should thank Caruso for her pay day.

      1. Ok, Dr. Gaston I will. If you focus on not having my pastor email the entire congregation seeking volunteers for your campaign. That is an illegal violation of the tax laws.

        1. By executive order, Trump put your argument on ice. Feds won’t be monitoring or entertaining complaints of political participation by nonprofits. Republicans have been doing that for years.

    3. “…The Treasurer for Gaston’s campaign has been paid $12,000. Why did you not feel a need to highlight that expenditure sir?”

      Jo-so, you are working on a State Representative campaign. Herron Gaston’s campaign is for State Senate. The Senatorial district 23 is much bigger (3 times) than the house district (127) represented by Hennessy. Try doing the math again.

      1. Let’s do the math, Speedy. 🙂

        Joseph was paid $1000 as a State Representive Treasurer. Which is 3 times less than the value of a State Senate Treasurer, which would make the State Treasure pay $3000, not $12,000. 🙂

        To be fair though, Joseph did state he was being underpaid for the amount of work he is doing. So if Joseph feels he is being underpaid by 1/4 and his actual compensation should be at $4000 then Gaston’s treasure is being compensated accordingly.

        So Comrade Joe, what is your true value as treasurer for Hennessy?

        A better question is how did Anthony get a gig to be Gaston’s Treasurer at a premium/and or according to the pay of $12, 000? 🙂

        JML, chime in, is my math correct? 🙂


        1. Jo-so recognizes that he is being underpaid. The proper way to compare the pay of workers in this case is: The position, title, and responsibility; The type of race, compare house race staff salary with that of other house race of similar size district, etc.

          Can’t compare a State house race with a Senatorial race. I Think that Jo-so is scared shitless to ask Maria Pereira for a raise.

          1. Point taken, Speedy. 🙂 Touche.

            But are we not comparing them by 3 fold though? 🙂

            BTY I’m scared shitless of Maria, and I am just an OIB observer. 🤣
            Besides’s she in the process of filing a 100 paper complaint with 40 exhibits. A far cry from your complaint you file against her along with ratting out her daughter to Family Social Services. You should be Constipated. She ain’t going to let that go. 🤣 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AVMcJa77PM

  3. Lennie. Lennie. Lennie. LENNIEEEEE. Sorry for disrupting your sleep. As you mentioned, “On Monday the City Council stripped her of…” Does Maria Pereira work smart?
    After the Monday night meeting Pereira threatened some members of the City Council. “And you, I made lots of friends in your district, I’m going to campaign against you…” I don’t know if I’d call her work smart but, she ain’t stupid. Lennie your analysis focuses on the money expended as reported to SEEC. Allow me to add to your analysis. “…vast majority of the money in the last week will go directly to voter contact such as mailings, door knocking and phone banking that maximizes turnout…” Lennie, can you give us an estimated dollar amount of “vast majority of the money?” Add that to the $4,500 Pereira has already banked. Why Speedy? Because Maria works in Stealth fashion. You don’t think Maria Pereira will keep copies of original data gathered during the Hennessy campaign and use it in the 23′ primary and election? She ain’t that stupid to pass on a chance of a life time. The plot thickens!


Leave a Reply