HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski is opening up about his business deals in Saudi Arabia, claiming that a nondisclosure agreement previously banned him from doing so.
The Republican dodged questions about the business connections during a recent debate, stating that he was not “going to comment on a late-night blog from a blogger that is factually inaccurate.”
Two weeks later, Stefanowski revealed that he has a consulting job with NEOM, a $500 billion green energy project in Saudi Arabia.
“This is a noble project that’s going to help reduce global warming,” Stefanowski said.
He’s described the NEOM project as a way to use new technology to move the Middle Eastern nation away from fossil fuels. Stefanowski is acting advisor in a three-way merger and acquisition.
He will not disclose how much he is being paid, but did say he has cut back on his involvement with the company to run for governor.
Gov. Ned Lamont, however, has shown interest in his challenger’s connection.
“I think it probably demands a little more investigation to where he gets his money,” the Democrat said. “Two million dollars a month, that’s a pretty good change, isn’t it? And somebody is paying him. I don’t know who it is.”
Stefanowski said the nondisclosure agreement was loosened once the dealings became an issue on the campaign trail.
“It is one of the most important projects in the world,” he said. “John Kerry is Joe Biden’s czar on global climate change. So you’ve got a project that’s been endorsed by Kerry. It’s been endorsed by the president. It’s been supported by Ray Dalio. I don’t really think a lot of this does matter to that, to the residents of Connecticut.”
Meanwhile, the Lamont campaign told News 8 to attend a press conference where he would discuss a subject “that would make news.”
Instead, the governor dodged News 8’s questions about Stefanowski’s work in Saudi Arabia.
“I’ve just seen the headlines,” Lamont said. “It poses an awful lot of questions. I don’t want to jump to any conclusions. Let me read about it, and think about, and get back to you tomorrow.”
What he’d find after reading other news coverage is that Dalio, his business acquaintance and the co-chief investment officer of the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, is an investor in the company Stefanowski is an advisor for.
“I think Governor Lamont needs to be very, very careful here about not being hypocritical,” Stefanowski said.