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Stefanowski acknowledges paid consulting work in Saudi Arabia

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Susan Haigh
/
AP

Bob Stefanowski, the Republican running for governor in Connecticut, acknowledges that he’s been paid millions of dollars consulting for a green energy project funded by the Saudi Arabian government.

A mergers and acquisition specialist, Stefnowski acknowledged his work as a consultant on the project in response to questions from the CT Insider, after it was discovered that he had met with an executive in charge of the controversial Saudi project.

“I don’t think that it is great that it was in the paper this morning, but now that it is, I can explain and tell people that this is a noble project that is going to help reduce global warming and it is a good thing,” he said in defense of his work.

The project involves the creation of a green city in Saudi Arabia and has the support of John Kerry, the Biden administration’s special envoy on climate.

“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 think a lot of this does matter to the residents of Connecticut but we’ll see where the governor takes it,” he said.

“It’s with Saudi Arabia. That’s where the issue lies,” said Gary Rose, chair of the Department of Government at Sacred Heart University.

Connecticut voters might have a problem with Stefanowski making money from Saudi Arabia.

“It’s not necessarily the project itself, it's working with a country that has no respect for human rights. A country that has also murdered a journalist associated with the Washington Post. It's the wrong country right now to try to generate voter support,” Rose said.

Stefanaowski is self-financing his campaign. He disclosed last month that he made an average of about $12 million a year over the past three years from his consulting business. He did not say at the time who his clients were, citing non-disclosure agreements.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.