From the Connection in 2003:
"I HAVE A LOT of support in the business community," said Connolly, adding that small donors were also an important part of his campaign.
Some of his biggest donors last month were executives from Maryland-based Lerner Enterprises who gave him a total of $10,000. On June 16, Connolly won approval for a Lerner project from the Board of Supervisors even though the Planning Commission had earlier voted to deny the application. Lerner will be able to increase the density at its Tysons II site and build eight new buildings, including a 540-unit high-rise condominium building.
On June 30, Connolly received $1,250 contributions from each of eight Lerner executives. Connolly last week denied a connection between his vote and the contributions.
"The Lerners have historically been supporters of mine," he said, adding that he did not give the company a sweetheart deal. "I put the squeeze on the Lerners in terms of proffers I felt the case needed." Lerner executives did not return calls for comment.
Connolly also received checks from Gerald Halpin, the founder of the West Group development company, as well as from members of Halpin's family. Six members of the Halpin family, some of whom live in Wyoming, gave Connolly $199 each. World Resources Company, a recycling firm run by Halpin's son Peter, contributed $10,000 to Connolly's campaign.
"I've been a friend of the family for a long time, long before I went into politics," said Connolly. "It is a personal relationship I've had initially through Peter [Halpin]. ... It really has nothing to do with business historically."
On Jan. 6, the Board of Supervisors followed Connolly's lead and approved a controversial rezoning application for West Group that allowed the company to build four 14-story high-rise residential buildings in Tyson’s Corner.
"I have no conflict of interest," said Connolly.
Reached at his office, Gerald Halpin declined to comment. Peter Halpin was out of the country last week and could not be reached.
You wouldn't know this from reading any local papers now- but these same people are back and funneling a ton of money into Gerry's campaign for Congress. (Part 52)