It was only a matter of time before political miscreant Geoff Luxenberg unraveled the gubernatorial campaign of Dan Drew, the popular mayor of Middletown. It was a bad match from the start and has now resulted in Luxenberg “resigning” from his post as Drew’s mayoral chief of staff, the State Elections Enforcement Commission investigating an episode of horrible judgment (at the very least) on Drew’s part, and a once promising campaign is on the ropes.
Luxenberg had history with Drew as a campaign consultant for Drew’s previous mayoral elections. But the hiring of Luxenberg, a political hack of the worst kind, as a mayoral chief of staff proved to be a disastrous decision.
As I wrote back in August when Luxenberg was hired, “Drew is young, smart and has seen considerable success leading Middletown. A curious decision he made in July was to hire political campaigns hack Geoff Luxenberg for a job at Middletown City Hall. It’s unclear what role Luxenberg will have in the campaign, if any. He has his own baggage.”
The baggage to which I was referring goes back years and includes a near complete inability to separate political interests. It’s fair to mention that Luxenberg also thinks it ok to try intimidate other elected officials.
In September of 2013, both the Republican and Democratic registrars of voters in the city of Norwich complained to the SEEC about Luxenberg trying to intimidate them. The complaint said Luxenberg “displayed a negative and combative nature, repeatedly mentioning the possibility of lawsuits and complaints to the Elections Enforcement division if he didn’t get his way.” Luxenberg was apparently bent out of shape about encountering a problem getting an emergency absentee ballot for a mayoral candidate.
It seems at no point in his career could Luxenberg discern political boundaries. In May of 2015 it was widely reported that his consulting business, Vinci Group. somehow managed to gorge itself on $800,000 of publicly financed campaign money while Luxenberg was a state representative. It was part of a NBC-Connecticut “Troubleshooters” report.
With this history, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that when Luxenberg was hired as Drew’s chief of staff, nearly everyone with knowledge of his history wondered how much of his taxpayers’ funded time would be spent on Drew’s Campaign.
Trouble for Drew began almost immediately. It came to light that Drew, as mayor, procured the confidential personnel information of some Middletown city workers—including the protected information of police officers—and used it to solicit campaign contributions. Drew issued a mea culpa, and admitted “an error in judgment.”
Things got worse when the Hartford Courant reported that an attorney in Drew’s own city legal department had warned two years ago against exactly what Drew (and Luxenberg?) did. Drew claimed he didn’t know of the warning. Yikes.
Luxenberg’s house of cards in Middletown caved in when Courant columnist Kevin Rennie reported that Luxenberg’s name popped up in the weirdest ways in town campaign finance reports.
Rennie reported, “Two Democratic town committees reported contributions from ‘Team Dan Drew, Geoffrey R. Luxenberg, Treasurer’ or ‘Team Dan, Geoffrey R. Luxenberg, Treasurer.’ One for $250 went to Simsbury, Southbury received $200.
“There’s no ‘Team Dan Drew’ or ‘Team Dan’ registered with the SEEC. Luxenberg is not the treasurer of Drew’s campaign committee,” Rennie reported.
Drew would have been wise to think before he hired Luxenberg that if you invite a filthy guy into your house, your living room carpet will need cleaning.