Hyde owed child support
House candidate hadn’t paid $2K, even while making big donations to Trump, GOP
Robert F. Hyde, the Republican candidate for Congress whose sexist and offensive tweet about Kamala Harris drew widespread condemnation from leaders of both political parties, owed the mother of his 13-year-old son more than $2,000 in child support, according to court records, even as he continued to donate thousands to President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee.
On Nov. 4, the family support magistrate in Torrington issued a temporary order for Hyde allowing him to pay $94 per week in child support, as well as a weekly assessment of $14 to make up the $2,100 he owed. The case was continued until Jan. 13.
Jennyfer Morin of Torrington said she was compelled to come forward because Hyde is seeking public support for his campaign to represent Connecticut’s 5th District. “I’m shocked that people are
planning to vote for this man,” she said in an interview.
Court filings shared by Morin and reviewed by the Courant state that Hyde has donated more than $56,000 to political campaigns since October 2016. Most of those contributions went to the Republican National Committee, according to electronic filings with the Federal Election Commission.
Hyde, of Simsbury, also donated at least $2,000 to Trump’s reelection fund and at least $750 to the Connecticut Republican Party, according to the FEC. On Wednesday, the state party announced it was returning Hyde’s contributions, citing his “vile comments on Twitter.”
On Dec. 3, Hyde posted a crude and sexist tweet about Harris’ decision to drop out of the 2020 Democratic presidential race. The tweet was removed earlier this week after several prominent Republicans and Democrats criticized Hyde and urged him to drop his bid.
Hyde would not make himself available for an interview Thursday but in a brief text message to the Courant he disputed that he had “an outstanding support obligation.”
Court filings show Hyde has had other outstanding debts.
He was sued in small claims court in February by an Old Saybrook marina for $3,907.39 in fees related to a boat he kept there.
“Defendant has neglected, failed or refused to pay for storage fees and/or for services rendered by the
Plaintiff despite Plaintiff’s repeated request,” attorneys for Between the Bridges, LLC wrote in a court filing.
Hyde wrote in a response in March that the fees “were paid in full a long time ago. No proof.”
A judgment was issued in favor of the marina.
In a separate case, the landlord of the Simsbury building where Hyde’s landscaping business was located moved to begin eviction proceedings in January over unpaid rent.
Hyde “failed to pay the rent for the month of February, 2018, and each month thereafter, as well as delinquencies from prior months,” according to the court filing.
After he failed to respond in court to the landlord’s charges, a judge issued in order in February that Hyde could be evicted from the building.
Hyde announced his candidacy and filed paperwork but he has not raised any money, according to his most recent campaign finance report. He is one of three Republicans running for the 5th District seat, which is currently held by Democratic freshman Jahana Hayes.
Even before the current controversy sparked by the Harris tweet, Hyde’s candidacy had failed to gain traction. Although the Republican Party will not officially select a candidate until May, most of the GOP establishment has disavowed Hyde and demanded he quit the race.
Hyde tweeted a defiant message earlier this week criticizing the “libs [and] RINOs” calling for him to abandon his campaign, suggesting he’s in the race to stay
Morin said she was struck by the difference between Hyde’s public persona as a political figure and his abdication of personal responsibility regarding his teenage son.
“He can’t even afford $100 a week in child support but he’s golfing with Trump,” Morin said. She produced a photo from Hyde’s Facebook page showing him beaming as he stood next to Eric Trump at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey. The same photo was posted to Hyde’s campaign Instagram page.
In his text to the Courant, Hyde said he attended the golf event as “a non paying guest” invited by a charity for disabled veterans.
The court case between Morin and Hyde has been going on for years, she said. “We’re going back and forth and he’s stating he’s unemployed and can’t afford child support,” she said.
Hyde has had sporadic contact with his son, and “there have been years during which there was no contact at all,” according to an April 2018 ruling issued by Judge Kari A. Dooley.
Morin, who drives a school bus for a living and earns less than $400 per week, sought additional child support and the court agreed, ordering Hyde to pay $300 per week as of Jan. 1, 2018. Hyde was also ordered to pay $4,000 in Morin’s attorney fees. The court rejected Hyde’s request for custody, granting him visitation rights only at the discretion of Morin.
In the court filings, Hyde said he could not afford to pay the court-ordered $300 a week in child support.