Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Senate candidates engage in engagement

As Rick Green reported, Chris Shays now has a website. And it works, too.
But that's more, he's using it. Perhaps taking a cue from the news industry, Shays is attempting to engage his constituency by asking them to get involved in the issues. His site now features a petition on a balanced budget amendment.
But he's not the only one.
Linda McMahon, Shays' rival for the Republican Senate nomination, has a new poll, also issue-based, though in the Land of Simple Questions, this one lives in the castle: "Is the national debt too high?" Um, no?
The ancillary goal may be less engagement than data collection, as both poll and petition require a valid email address and name.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I'm on the outside, looking in

There are, at the last count, nine Senate candidates so far. It's interesting to note that, of the five Republicans tossing their respective hats into the ring, only two are white males. Irrespective of race, if the doggerel can be believed, the Republican nomination may come down to who is the most of an "outsider candidate."
Linda McMahon has been positioning herself that way from the start, as far back as 2009 when she faced Sam Caligiuri and Rob Simmons for the seat she is again seeking this year.
Brian K. Hill is also positioning himself as the outsider candidate, though he distances himself from the likes of McMahon by pointing out how very rich she is, and suggesting that her wealth, however self-made it may have been, makes her more of an insider than an outsider. Hill is an African American, military-trained lawyer.
Then there's Peter Lumaj, whose website asks the question many voters will come Election Day: "Who is Peter Lumaj?"
Lumaj was "born and raised in Communist Albania," so we are told, though he has since emigrated, learned English and become an attorney.
You don't get much more outsider than that.
It's only the two Caucasians who have had any real previous experience as an elected official which, for the purposes of this exercise, is a bad thing. Jason McCoy was mayor of Vernon, and Chris Shays was, as we all know, a long-time U.S. representative.
For fun, here's a little test to see if you have the outsider cred to run for office and, maybe, win.
Let's figure out your OCI (Outsider Candidate Index). Everybody starts out with 10 points. The candidate with the most points wins.
- If you are a minority, add two points.
- If you were born in another country, add two points.
- Look at the chart above. Find out where you fit on the chart and subtract the corresponding number of points.
- If you are "Ready for a change in government," add half of one point.
- If you are funding your own campaign, subtract three points.
Congratulations! You've just discovered your OCI! Good luck on Election Day!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Malloy gets "honorable mention"

The Governor's Journal, while picking its governor of the year, gave our own Dannel P. Malloy an "honorable mention."
The online mag, whose catchphrase is "all governors, all the time," wrote "He called for shared sacrifice and he actually meant it. A move some of his colleagues must have perceived as politically naive."
Andrew Cuomo was the first runner up — but the winner?
Wisconsin's Republican governor, Scott Walker.

Roraback on "Follow the Money"

Sen. Andrew Roraback appeared on Fox's "Follow the Money" recently and talked about the New Haven mayor's plan to allow undocumented immigrants to vote.

Roraback Appears on "Follow the Money" with Eric Bolling on Fox Business News from Andrew Roraback on Vimeo.

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The final installment: Mann's examination of Malloy comes to a close

Ted Mann's 20-part series on Gov. Dannel Malloy wraps up today, and there were, perhaps not surprisingly, some interesting revelations throughout the series. There were the rivalries and not-so-cordial relationships with governors in neighboring states, the fact that a fellow Democrat, Chris Donovan, was an obstacle to Malloy's first budget and how a key Malloy aide made a state representative cry over education.
Read more »

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bork on Gingrich

Earlier this year, Robert Bork was named the head of Mitt Romney's legal advisement team.
So, when I had the former U.S. Supreme Court nominee, former acting attorney general, former U.S. solicitor general and former redistricting master on the phone, I took the chance to ask him what he thought about the Republican field of presidential candidates and, in particular, Newt Gingrich.
Bork kept his response short. He is, after all, getting on in years. He's going to be 85 next year.
"I wish he'd go away," Bork said.
But then, Bork has never been shy about saying what he thinks.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Another $20 grand for House special election

The state elections enforcement commission announced today that a $19,500 grant had been allocated to Democratic candidate for the 24th House district Rick Lopes. It's public campaign financing, and the Republican candidate, Peter C. Steele, was awarded a similar grant last week.
This means that a special election, scheduled for Jan. 10, can go froward. A third candidate, Thomas Bozek, a write-in, decided to opt out of public financing.
The previous rep. from the 24th House district, Tim O'Brien, won a bid to be mayor of New Britain in November.
The full release is below:

Special Election Grant


The NEXT time we redistrict

Though he was reluctant to get into specifics before Connecticut finishes its reapportionment of Congressional districts — there are, after all, only two days left before the Supreme Court takes control — Sen. John McKinney said the process itself, should change.
"A process that does not involve sitting legislators is a better process," McKinney said.
At present, of course, we have a nine-member panel, comprised on four Democrats, Four Republicans and one independent outsider, drawing district lines.
That means there are more people running for the state's 5th district than there are deciding what that district will look like.
McKinney said the state should look at what happened in California, where "prop 20" changed the process considerably. Prop 20 moves the responsibility of redistricting to a Citizens Redistricting Commission, a body that was formed several years ago by "prop 11." Prop 20, though:
"Removes elected representatives from process of establishing congressional districts and transfers that authority to recently-authorized 14-member redistricting commission comprised of Democrats, Republicans, and respresentatives of neither party. Fiscal Impact: No significant net change in state redistricting costs."
 McKinney said that like California, changing the process "would require a Constitutional amendment," which he said was "not an easy thing to do."
Well, there are 10 years before the next redistricting process takes place, but McKinney said that might be just what the state needs — time.
"It might take that long to change the process," he said.

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Blumenthal: Boehner holding the House "hostage"

House Speaker John Boehner has effectively stopped a Senate plan to extend a payroll tax cut, and the Democrats are not happy.
Richard Blumenthal, the state's junior senator, said during a short interview that the speaker of the house "essentially caved to the right-wing, extremist fringe in the house."
"It's a small minority of extremists, holding hostage the entire Congress and America, and potentially sabotaging the economy," Blumenthal said.
In what is perhaps an attempt to kill by committee, Boehner suggested going to conference on the bill. The two-month compromise, overwhelmingly passed in the Senate, went through after a plan to extend the cut for a year was stalled.
Of course, Blumenthal may only be echoing the Dmeocratic leadership. As Rep. Nancy Pelosi said in a news conference, "It's just the radical, tea party Republicans who are holding up this tax cut for the American people and jeopardizing our economic growth."
And he's not the only one. Connecticut democratic Rep. Jim Himes tweeted yesterday that "The fate of every paycheck in the country now in the hands of the Tea Party."

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Connecticut: Our legislators spend more

A report completed last week by the Office of Legislative Research showed how much legislators in the state of Connecticut spend, as compared to those in other states.
The result? We're up there, but we're not the worst.
As the table below shows, our elected representatives spent $17.19 per capita in 2009, about $8 more than the average.
Think that's a lot? Legislators in Alaska spent about $66 per person in 2009, though California lawmakers topped the list with $334,000 total spent.

Legislative Branch Expenses in the 50 States

Donate to a candidate's (Diet) Coke habit

In a new letter to supporters (and potential supporters), Senate candidate William Tong breaks down the numbers. It's perhaps meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but whether or not the message will translate into dollars is a question.
In his most recent appeal for campaign cash, Tong's campaign manager, Marc Bradley, told supporters exactly how their money would be spent:
$1 gets William a beloved Diet Coke to keep his energy up on the campaign trail.
$15 gets bagels and coffee for a Saturday workday for the staff.
$30 pays for month to have our website online.
$73 fills up William’s gas tank for a trip across the state and back.
And just because math is fun, kids, let's figure out the gas bit.  I have no idea what kind of car Tong drives, but let's say, just for the sake of argument, that he drives a 2011 Chevy Tahoe. A Tahoe has a 26-gallon tank. The average price of a gallon of gas in Connecticut is about $3.50. So, if candidate William Tong spends $73 on gas at the state's average price, how many tanks of gas can William fill?
Answer: >1. To fill William's gas tank would take $91.
But Tong spends the $73 you gave him, so he can only get about 21 gallons of gas. The theoretical Tahoe that he drives gets 21 highway miles to the gallon (15 at slower speeds), which means that $71 (plus 50 cents he had in his pocket) will keep William going "across the state and back" for 441 miles, from Stamford to Hartford about five-and-a-half times.
Maybe all candidates should drive hybrids.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

EMILY's List endorses Esty

Of the nine candidates running for the 5th Congressional district, only two are women. Of those two, only one is a Democrat, so perhaps it's not surprising that EMILY's list, which in its own words works "to elect pro-choice Democratic women," would choose Elizabeth Esty to nominate. 
The full release is below:

EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, announced that it is fully recommending four women for the House of Representatives, including one incumbent:

·         Rep. Betty Sutton (OH-16)
·         Tarryl Clark (MN-08)
·         Elizabeth Esty (CT-05)
·         Dina Titus (NV-01)

Rep. Betty Sutton earns her endorsement this week after declaring her candidacy for the seat currently occupied by Republican Rep. Jim Renacci. Her current seat was divided during the redistricting process. EMILY’s List stands with Rep. Sutton to ensure she continues her strong leadership representing Ohioans in Congress. 

“On the List” was created because of the dramatic growth in the EMILY’s List community – now over 900,000 members – who are getting their information earlier, quicker and on the web. These supporters are ready to take action now and “On the List” makes sure candidates have early access to them. Today, Clark, Esty, and Titus move from “On the List” to a full recommendation.

“Women are leading the way back for Democrats in 2012,” said Stephanie Schriock, President of EMILY’s List. “We can take back the House, but only if we support our strong women candidates like Tarryl Clark, Elizabeth Esty, Dina Titus, and Betty Sutton. Their commitment to stopping the radical GOP agenda is firing up women voters across the country who are sick of the GOP ignoring the needs of middle class families.
“The four women we’re endorsing today are running fantastic campaigns and the entire EMILY’s List community is proud to have their back. With 2012 poised to be a great year for our candidates, this is the time to help these champions for women take back the House.”
In the 2009-2010 cycle, EMILY’s List raised more than $38.5 million to support its mission of recruiting and supporting women candidates, helping them build strong campaigns, and mobilizing women voters to turn out and vote. With a community of more than 900,000 members across the country, EMILY’s List is one of the largest political action committees in the nation. Since its founding in 1985, EMILY’s List has worked to elect 86 pro-choice Democratic women to the U.S. House, 16 to the U.S. Senate, nine governors, and hundreds of women to the state legislatures, state constitutional offices, and other key local offices. In the 2009-2010 cycle, EMILY’s List had the largest number of members and donors in our 25 year history.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Is Murphy using the buzz around Lowe's as a campaign tool?

Yesterday, the Twitterverse was all abuzz - Rep. Chris Murphy, running for senator, had questioned, on the floor of the legislature, mind you, Lowe's decision to pull ad dollars from a Muslim-themed TV show.
Now he's got an easy way you can get involved.
On Murphy's campaign site, today appeared an email form, designed to help you tell Lowe's what you think on the matter.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Murphy to Lowe's on pulling ad from Muslim TV show: You're Better Than This (release)

Today, Congressman Chris Murphy delivered the following remarks in the House of Representatives regarding a decision by Lowe's to pull advertising from "All-American Muslim," a new show on The Learning Channel:
Last week, the giant home improvement chain, Lowe's, decided to pull their ads from a new show on The Learning Channel, called "All-American Muslim". Now this show depicts five Muslim-American families of Lebanese decent from Dearborn, Michigan, and highlights how their faith affects their lives and their families.  The show is aptly titled because it shows Muslim families to be exactly what they in this situation, and millions like them around the nation. They are Americans, they face problems just like the rest of us – the only difference is that they worship at a different church.
Now Lowe's pulled the ads because one right-wing anti-Muslim group in Florida said that the show hides the (quote) "true agenda" of Islam – which according to this group, is to destroy America.
Now this kind of anti-Muslim bigotry isn't new.  It seems like every month we're being warned by a new radical group about the creep of Sharia Law, or a peaceful mosque is being run out of a community, or a radical pastor is burning the Koran on television.
But it's one thing when a fringe group or a radical unhinged pastor is doing it. It's quite another when a Fortune 100 company is endorsing this nonsense.
Now, Lowe's defends itself by saying they're pulling their ads because some of their customers had "strong political and social views on this topic".  Well congratulations to Lowe's for acknowledging that there are some really bigoted people in the world.  But that doesn't mean that Lowe's, or any other company, should acquiesce to this kind of behavior.  For instance, there are unfortunately a lot of people out there who still hold racist view about African-Americans but I don't think that means Lowe's is going to be pulling its ads from television shows featuring African-Americans.
Read more »

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Have prisoners skewed the redistricting process?

Could prisoners skew the census data, and, by extension, the redistricting process? For sure, according to one advocacy group.
The Prison Policy Initiative says just that — that the prisoner population is skewing the census, enough to put the redistricting process into question.
Check out this fact sheet:
"District 59, claims the populations of multiple prisons, and has only 19,200 actual residents. Every group of 85 residents in this district are given just as much influence as 100 residents of districts without prisons."
One blogger, talking about just how flawed the process is, puts this issue on her list. Kim Hynes, writing for Common Cause, says that the meetings of the Redistricting Commission "took place behind closed doors, bringing to mind the cliché of the old smoke filled rooms."
Another of the Initiative's fact sheets suggests that counting prison populations within districts dilutes the minority vote:
CT Prison African Americans Latinos

"75% of the state's prison cells are located in disproportionately white house districts" 
and: "The majority-white residents of 6 State House districts get significantly more representation in the legislature because each of their districts includes more than 1,000 incarcerated African-Americans and Latinos from other parts of the state."


Monday, December 12, 2011

Redistricting commission's chances: 50/50

Members of the state’s redistricting commission will gather again tomorrow to try and hash out a Congressional district map, though members of both party caucuses are not overly enthusiastic about the prospects of success.
After a Nov. 30 deadline passed with no agreement, the state Supreme Court gave the commission 21 extra days to come up with a plan and, with only nine days left, it’s clear there’s still some work to do.
According to Sen. Len Fasano, R-North Haven, representatives from each caucus met last Thursday to find out the sticking points. Fasano would not go into detail, but said last week that making congressional districts “more competitive” was a GOP priority.
Republicans had proposed shifting Bridgeport into the 3rd district with New Haven, in an attempt to make the 4th district more competitive. But Fasano suggested, without going into substance, that the GOP proposal will change.
“It probably won’t look similar to that,” he said. “There’s a lot of give and take.”
The Republican proposal drew ire from many camps — Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch said his city should stay in the 5th district while Mayor Mark Boughton of Danbury, which would have moved from the 5th district to the 4th, expressed a similar concern.
On the Democratic side, the Senate majority leader, Martin Looney, D-New Haven, also wouldn’t get into specifics, though he did confirm that commission members would be gathering Tuesday, and expressed some concern that the court would ask for an interim progress report, which it did a decade ago when the process stalled.
Looney also would not say how much the Democratic proposal — which largely kept districts as is, making only minor adjustments for population shifts — had changed, though he did say the proposal would be a “reasonable one.”
Fasano said he was keeping tight-lipped on the revamped Republican proposal, “so that it doesn’t become a battle in the press, but becomes a battle of skill.”
He did say the will was there on both sides of the aisle.
“The is a sense that we’ve got to get it done,” Fasano said.
Nonetheless, many watching the process said they didn’t believe the commission would reach a deal in time — that the court would ultimately be given the job upon the commission’s failure.
“Of course, all this is likely moot as the congressional redistricting will most likely end up in court for the judges to sort out,” Boughton wrote on his blog.
Mark Greenberg, a Republican candidate in the highly contested race for the 5th district, echoed Boughton’s sentiment: “In my opinion, it will probably go to the courts.”
Legislators on the commission don’t sound that much more optimistic. When asked last week to give odds on whether or not the nine-member reapportionment commission would come to an agreement, Fasano said “50-50.”
This week, with all the “give and take,” the odds didn’t change: “Still 50-50,” Fasano said.
Looney, asked the same question, gave a surprisingly similar answer: “I’d say 50-50 at best.”

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Republican candidate Greenberg stumping in communities the GOP wants to take away from him

Mark Greenberg, candidate for the 5th district, began a "Jobs Listening Tour" in Waterbury and Danbury but, if his fellow Republicans get their way, many of those voters won't get the option to vote for him.
You see, Danbury isn't in the 5th district, according to a plan submitted by the Republican members of the state's redistricting commission. It's in the 4th.
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton made a plea this weekend for his city to remain in his district, saying,
"Danbury belongs in the 5th CD - we are the economic center of Western Connecticut, and have had representation in Congress that has recognized our importance to the communities around us."
Here's Greenberg's schedule for the Tuesday edition of his "Jobs Listening Tour." It's interesting to note that, if the GOP version of the map is approved, none of those places will be in the 5th district:
10:00 am - Elmer's Diner. Danbury
11:00 am - Pioneer Cleaners, Danbury
12:00 pm - Spirits N' Such, Danbury 
1:00 pm - Tour Greenwood Avenue, Bethel 
3:00 pm - Carminuccio's, Newtown
But, as Boughton noted, "Of course, all this is likely moot as the congressional redistricting will most likely end up in court for the judges to sort out."
And Greenberg agrees. "In my opinion, it will probably go to the courts," he said during a short phone conversation this afternoon. "I'm just trying to deal with the district as I know it now."

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Danbury mayor says city belongs in the 5th district

Danbury mayor Mark Boughton says clearly in his latest blog post that his city belongs in the 5th Congressional district.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Judge says "no" to O'Rourke on blocking witness statements

Witness statements will be allowed in the death case involving former state Rep. Jim O'Rourke, according to the Middletown Press.

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One fish, two fish, old fish, new fish?

Should Connecticut get a new state fish?
So says Fred Carstensen, director of the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis, who joked that, considering how much money trout fishing brings in to the state, perhaps a change is in order.
"Instead of the whale, we should make the brown trout the state animal," he said.
Eric Hammerling, though, thinks different.
Carstensen's comments were made at a DEEP conference detailing a 20-year study on the economic viability of state parks and state forests and Hammerling, executive director of the Connecticut Forest and Parks Association, reminded Carstensen that some fish enthusiasts might be a bit miffed.
"I know some fisheries professionals who might take issue with that," Hammerling said.
For the record, the American shad is Connecticut's state fish, as was designated by an act of legislature in 2003. The sperm whale has been the state animal since 1975. And for good measure, we'll let you know that the state shellfish, since 1989, is the Eastern oyster.
Apparently Hammerling agrees with poet Ogden Nash, who said:
I'm sure that Europe never had
A fish as tasty as the shad.
Some men greet the shad with groans
Complaining of its countless bones.
I say the bones teach table poise
And separate the men from boys.

Murphy calls for penalties for memorial robbers

As the Associated Press reports, Rep. Chris Murphy, seeking a seat on the U.S. Senate, is calling for harsh penalties for those who steal veterans' memorials.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Former candidate Williams endorses Esty for 5th district (release)

Mike Williams, former Democratic candidate for the 5th Congressional District, announced today his endorsement of Elizabeth Esty.
"I am proud to endorse Elizabeth Esty for Congress in Connecticut's 5th Congressional District. Elizabeth Esty has a record of experience as a lawyer, mother, local leader and state representative that will make her a formidable Member of Congress," stated Dr. Williams. "Elizabeth has proven that she is committed to working with other elected representatives to pull our economy out of its downward spiral by creating middle class jobs, while ensuring the long-term sustainability of critical programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Elizabeth Esty will be the kind of common sense, independent leader we desperately need in Washington."
"I am honored to receive Dr. Williams' support. He brought to the discussion a focus on issues critical to 5th District voters – rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, a new energy policy for the 21st Century, and reviving our struggling economy through good paying jobs in Connecticut. I look forward to working with him to ensure the residents of the 5th District continue to have a voice in Washington."
Mike Williams joins a growing network of grassroots supporters from across Connecticut. Esty has received the support of national organizations including EMILY's List, Women's Campaign Fund, Women's Action for New Directions and the National Women's Political Caucus. Esty currently maintains a cash on hand advantage over her opponents.

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Bysiewicz releases plan to hold Wall Street, Washington accountable (release)

This morning Susan Bysiewicz released her Accountability Plan using Twitter and Facebook. The Accountability Plan provides a comprehensive set of proposals to hold Wall Street, corporate special interests, and Washington Accountable to the middle class. Bysiewicz provides an overview of her Accountability Plan in a video on new website which is focused on six specific ideas on how to rebuild the middle class. Over the next several weeks Bysiewicz's Senate campaign will release a new video explaining each of the ideas outlined in the Accountability Plan.
The Accountability Plan consists of six specific things that can be done to hold Wall Street, Corporate Special Interests, and Washington accountable:

1.       Make Wall Street pay back the money they cost the middle class and help homeowners crushed by mortgage debt

2.       End corporate welfare and the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy

3.       Have real reform in Washington. Specifically that means no more earmarks, no gifts from lobbyists, and non-partisan Congressional districts

4.       Require utility companies to buy clean American Energy

5.       End the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and reduce our troop levels in Europe and Japan

6.       Ensuring that Democrats keep their word with immigration reform by ensuring that there is a path to citizenship
 You can watch her video at

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Reps Roy and Kirkley-Bey announce plans to retire

As was announced today, two state reps have announced plans to abstain from running again.

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Lieberman wants purple heart for slain soldier in defense bill

Sen. Joe Lieberman, according to The Hill, wants a resolution to award a purple heart included in a defense bill.


Blumenthal calls for confirmation of Richard Cordray as consumer advocate (release)

Senator Blumenthal (D-CT) today made the following remarks on the floor of the United States Senate in support of Richard Cordray's confirmation to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The Senate is expected to vote on Cordray's confirmation before the end of the week.
"Richard Cordray brings to this job a unique set of qualifications. He has been involved at the local and state level, working closely with community banks and credit unions as well as other financial institutions as a state and county treasurer. He understands the important role that they play in small towns and communities. He knows how to work with institutions and the business people who run them. He is realistic and is sensible… Republicans in this body have made this issue a partisan one. It should not be. There is nothing partisan about debt collectors or mortgage servicers or others who may abuse their trust to consumers. There is nothing partisan about people who become victims of the practices that continue that we need the CFPB to counter. There is nothing partisan or should be nothing partisan about this individual, Rich Cordray, who has dedicated his life to protecting ordinary men and women against the financial abuses that the CFPB is designed to fight."


Tong hosting live chat event

William Tong, candidate for Senate, is hosting a live-tweet, question and answer session. Get involved right here (or check back later to see what happened):

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Malloy may start disciplining fraudulent state workers

It appears that the DSS investigation into state workers who may have defrauded the government after tropical storm Irene may have claimed its first 24 victims.
Gov. Dannel Malloy's press secretary, Juliet Manalan, confirmed in an email that the governor would be "putting something out on it later today," though declined to get into details. 
The first indications, though, came out on Twitter: 

"@NewsBell Gov Malloy sending first list of approx 24 state employees suspected of fraudulently collecting Irene aid to begin disciplinary action."
 "@NewsBell: Just In: RT @markdavisWTNH: Malloy to begin discipline against approx 24 state employees in storm aid scandal."
The Courant tells us that the first (approximately) 24 names will be sent to department heads for possible disciplinary action.
A food-aid program made available after the would-be hurricane became subject to fraud, Malloy said, when state employees either undervalued their salaries or overstated their dependents in order to become eligible for the program, which provided money for food, as opposed to actual food stamps.
According to the CT Mirror, 
"Andrew McDonald, the governor's general counsel, said the state has identified no more than 24 employees who appear to have underreported income to qualify for aid, but he cautioned that the number could rise as the inquiry continues. About 800 state employees obtained the federally funded Irene assistance."


CT casting call: Real wives of politicians

The below email was graciously sent to us from a state rep. It appears he (or his significant other) wasn't approached directly, but this casting call — which does appear genuine — is floating around.
"Real Wives of Politicians." Really? And, yes, they're casting in Connecticut.
One wonders which state politician's wife would sign up for this. Maybe one redistricted out of office? Also note that sitting politicians are game, as are candidates currently "blazin on the campaign trail."

Casting Notice

State unemployment, the video

Posted by a group calling themselves Dysfunctional Clowns, the below video shows "58 months of Connecticut unemployment in 58 seconds, from January 2007 through October 2011."

Notice how the blue just gets darker.


Mann: Malloy's childhood filled with obstacles

In the fourth article in his series on Gov. Dan Malloy, reporter Ted Mann describes the governor's childhood, and the "obstacles" he had to overcome.


Roraback: More than DSS was involved in fraud

Local radio host Dan Lovallo tweeted this morning the following quote from Andrew Roraback, when the senator and Congressional candidate appeared on his show:
Sen. Roraback: "I don't doubt more than DSS was involved" in alleged fraud of Fed fund distribution. Here interview at 

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Occhiogrosso gives in and joins Twitter

Malloy advisor Roy Occhiogrosso has caved in. He's on Twitter, and he's off to a good start at gaining a following.
His first Tweet was late Tuesday afternoon and, within an hour or so, had garnered 80 followers.
And he had only Tweeted twice:
"I finally broke down. I'm on Twitter"
and, a few minutes later, in response to a couple of questions:
"@sbanjo  the doba made me do it"
There was no dearth of comments on his arrival into social media, one interesting comment coming from Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton (himself quite a tweeter @MayorMark) offering the Twitter version of a fruit basket:
"@ROcchiogrosso Twitter is like Las Vegas. What happens on twitter, stays on twitter. Welcome.."
Though Chris Murphy's comment had value, too:
"@ROcchiogrosso new to Twitter? My advice - talk about Justin Bieber's political views - A LOT. People love that."

What follows is a list of tweets by and about Occhiogrosso:

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Washington Sen. Patty Murray endorses Murphy

As Roll Call reports, Washington Senator and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chariwoman Patty Murray has endorsed Chris Murphy for senate, saying, “Chris Murphy is just a great candidate, and I expect him to win.”

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Blumenthal bill would make post office add automatic doors

Sen. Richard Blumenthal last week introduced legislation that would revamp the requirements for handicapped access on federally funded buildings.
And it may mean that post offices need to be remodeled.
The bill, which now heads to committee, recognizes "the need to improve physical access to many federally funded facilities for all people of the United States, particularly people with disabilities."
According to the text of the bill, 71 percent of the complaints received by the Access Board regarding the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 concerned a post office or other facility of the United States Postal Service.
The bill, which is concurrent with a similar House bill, "recommends that the United States Postal Service and Federal agencies install power-assisted doors at post offices and other federally funded facilities."
Read more »


Malloy orders flags to half-staff for Pearl Harbor da

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has ordered flags to half-staff in recognition of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, observed on December 7, which honors the lives lost in the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
"This is a day to reflect on one of the darkest moments in our nation's history, and to honor the courage shown by our Armed Forces during the battle at Pearl Harbor and in World War II. Today is an opportunity to recognize these heroes and their bravery, and to recall the sacrifices they made on behalf of a grateful country," Malloy said.
Flags will fly at half staff from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday, Dec. 7.


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Murphy announces bill to fund LIHEAP

Rep. Chris Murphy, currently sitting in the state's 5th Congressional district but hoping to become the state's next senator, announced a bill he said would "provide a dedicated revenue stream to ensure that LIHEAP remains fully-funded for Connecticut families."
He also announced a survey, conducted by LIHEAP, that tells some of the stories of what would — theoretically — happen should the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program 
“In home after home in towns across Connecticut, people are having a tough time making ends meet, particularly when the temperature drops and budgets are stretched thin,” Murphy said.


Supreme Court grants 21-day extension to reapportionment commission

The State Supreme Court has granted a 21-day extension to the reapportionment commission charged with redrawing the state's Congressional districts.
The order was granted without hearing, according to Greg D'Auria, solicitor general for the Office of the Attorney General, though he said he wasn't sure why the case did not get the same full hearing it did 10 years ago.
The court, D'Auria said, "took the commission at face value." 
"It didn't see a reason to convene about it as they did the last time," he said.
If the commission cannot come to an agreement by the Dec. 21 deadline, the court will, under the state constitution, adjudicate the issue. 
If that should happen, "it's in the court's court, so to speak," D'Auria said. 
Congressional districts must be drawn, according to law, no later than Feb. 15.

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JI: Redistricting prevents Milford rep from running for reelection

According to a report by the Journal Inquirer, longtime Milford Rep. Richard Roy can't run for reelection, because he no longer lives within his district

Willis running for majority leader

State Rep. Roberta Willis will not be seeking Andrew Roraback’s state senate seat, in favor of a position as House majority leader.
Two years ago, when Roraback mulled a run for attorney general, Willis made it clear that she might take a stab at Roraback’s 30th district Senate seat. But, when Roraback bowed out — he had just become a father for the first time — Willis (D-Torrington) announced that she would not challenge her long-time colleague.
This year, Roraback is on the long list of candidates running for Chris Murphy’s 5th district Congressional seat, which he is vacating for a chance to run for U.S. Senate.
But, while she said the idea of running for Senate was “intriguing,”  the prospect of being a freshman senator, “starting from scratch,” as she put it, didn’t appeal.
Instead, she’ll seek to replace Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden) as House majority leader.
“There are incentives to being in the Senate,” she said. “You do have a greater voice, so to speak.” But as majority leader, she would “have involvement in a wide range of issues.”
Willis, a 7-term Democrat, is not on a field by herself. Two other Democrats, Waterbury’s Jeffrey Berger and Southington’s Joe Aresimowicz, who is currently deputy speaker, will also be in the running.
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The Roraback domino effect

As the Litchfield County Times reports, Sen. Andrew Roraback's inclusion in the race for the state's 5th Congressional district has had some far-reaching effects.

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100th Local Leader Endorses Linda McMahon for U.S. Senate (release)

Prospect Mayor Bob Chatfield today endorsed Linda McMahon for U.S. Senate, becoming the 100th local leader to support McMahon.
"Linda is a proven leader," Chatfield said. "She is a business person, and we have to bring some business sense to Washington. When you meet with her one on one, you find she is personable and a good listener, and she will represent all the people of Connecticut."
Chatfield has served the citizens of Prospect as Mayor for 34 years. First elected in 1977, he was re-elected in November to his 18th term in office.
"I am proud to earn the support of Mayor Chatfield, who has proudly served the people of Prospect for decades," McMahon said. "He understands, as I do, that our communities depend on having vibrant downtowns and thriving local businesses. As a job creator myself, I will work to ensure small business owners and entrepreneurs have the tools they need to succeed."

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Courant: GOP could change rules for self-funding candidates

According to a Hartford Courant report, the state GOP may change its rules so rich candidates can't put Republican delegates on their payrolls.

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Malloy's attorney: Rowland knows fraud

Gov. Malloy's general counsel Andrew McDonald shot back at former Gov. John Rowland, saying if anyone knew about fraud, it was Rowland.
Yesterday, Rowland said on his WTIC radio show that DSS Commissioner Roderick Bremby should resign in the wake of the revelation that hundreds of state workers may have defrauded the state following tropical storm Irene, as Gov. Dannel Malloy announced on Sunday.
Speaking with John Dankosky Tuesday morning on NPR's Where We Live, McDonald tossed a spear back in Rowland's direction.
"He does seem to have significant expertise in defrauding the government," McDonald said.
Rowland served 10 months in prison and four months of house arrest after pleading guilty to to depriving the public of honest service. A federal investigation alleged that Rowland had work done at his home by state contractors, who he did not pay.

CORRECTION: This article originally said that Bremby appeared on Dankosky's show. It has been corrected to reflect McDonald's presence on Where We Live. 

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Courant: 100 state legislators to fund-raise with Donovan

Nearly every Democratic legislator in the state will head to Waterbury Thursday for a fundraiser for Chris Donovan, as the Hartford Courant reports.

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Hanging Shad: Rowland should shut up

The Hanging Shad, in its response to former Gov. John Rowland's call for the DSS commissioner's resignation, says Rowland should simply shut up.

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Mann: Donovan is Malloy's biggest budget obstacle

In his continuing series, Ted Mann examines the relationship between Speaker of the House Chris Donovan and Gov. Dannel Malloy, and how the budget might be affected.

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Rowland calls for DSS commissioner's resignation

According to the Hartford Courant, former Gov. John Rowland has called on DSS Commissioner Bremby should resign over the D-SNAP fraud investigation.

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Quick! Hide the skunk!

One wonders why.
The Office of Legislative Research issued a report late last month on, well, here's how they put it: If state law allows or ever allowed people to keep skunks as pets and any state allows people to keep skunks as pets.
The answer: No.
According to the report, prepared in response to a request from Rep. Linda Schofield (D-Simsbury), "Connecticut law prohibits people from keeping any wild quadruped without a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) permit. DEP does not issue permits that allow people to keep skunks as pets, according to Chris Vann of the DEP.
Vann told the OLR that you can't even buy a skunk from a breeder in Connecticut, and that a law, CGS § 26-40, was passed in 1980 because rabid skunks were apparently "found in breeding facilities and retail establishments in the 1970s."
And though Connecticut is not alone, 17 states do allow skunks to be kept as pets, including New Jersey. 
There's even a skunk-owners advocacy organization, the American Domestic Skunk Association, Inc., which, as the OLR puts it, is "dedicated to assisting skunks and their owners."
Schofield said she requested the information because of a constituent's inquiry.
"There was a kid in my town who's allergic to cats and dogs, and wanted to have a pet" she said. "They wanted a cuddly, furry pet."
Rabbits, she said, aren't often that cuddly — "they have kind of sharp claws," she said —and the child had read about skunks and was interested.
"I had to ask OLR, why was it against the law," Schofield said. 
According to the Wikipedia page on the subject, they don't make bad pets.
"Skunks are sensitive, intelligent animals," according to the entry, taken from "Skunks also tend to be very friendly, loving, entertaining and playful. However, they can also be stubborn and headstrong."
Despite this, the OLR report, written by Senior Legislative Attorney Janet L. Kaminski Leduc, stipulates that "skunks are one of the most common sources of wildlife problems experienced by Connecticut homeowners."
There is, as yet, no known vaccination against rabies for skunks. 
"They were disappointed," Schofield said of her constituents' reaction to the revelation that no, they could not adopt a skunk. "I basically explained to them that, even if they tried very very hard, even if I tried very very hard, the law was unlikely to change."

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Malloy urges unemployment insurance extension (release)

Governor Dannel P. Malloy today sent a letter to Congressional leadership, urging the extension of federal unemployment insurance programs for unemployed workers, which are set to expire on Dec. 31.

"If Congress does not extend these benefits, 58,000 citizens of Connecticut will have exhausted their benefits, approximately eleven-thousand citizens will prematurely lose their benefits in 2012, and an additional ninety-thousand citizens will have their benefit weeks reduced," wrote Gov. Malloy. "For our citizens and our economy, I urge you to extend the federal unemployment insurance programs before they expire on Dec. 31."


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Malloy's counsel outlines next steps in fraud investigation

Governor Dannel P. Malloy's General Counsel this afternoon wrote to the commissioners and department heads of each state agency, explaining the forthcoming steps the Malloy Administration and the Department of Social Services (DSS) will be taking in its investigation of possible fraud of the federally funded D-SNAP program by state employees, and instructing the agency heads to fully cooperate.

"As DSS continues its investigation, you may be contacted by personnel in DSS's anti-fraud unit concerning one or more employees in your department who may be the focus of their enforcement effort," General Counsel Andrew J. McDonald wrote in his memo. "If you are contacted by DSS with information about probable fraud involving an employee within your department, that information will be shared with you at the same time it is conveyed to the Office of Labor Relations (OLR)."

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Lawmakers do 12% better on the stock market than you

As reports, Sen. Joe Lieberman is beginning to look at insider trading on Capitol Hill, and on the possibility of legislation that could stop the practice. One of the more interesting aspects of the report is the assertion that lawmakers can make 6-12 percent better returns on stock market trades than the common market.

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Blumenthal's Twain coin legislation

In legislation quietly ignored by much of the media, in favor of a plan to probe regulations governing rental trucks, Sen. Dick Blumenthal took some time last week, in honor of the great writer's anniversary, to try and lobby Congress to put Mark Twain's face on a coin.

On Dec. 1, Blumenthal introduced  S. 1929: A bill to require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of Mark Twain.


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Malloy announces appointments to Board of Regents for Higher Education (press release)

Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced the names of his three remaining appointments to the Board of Regents for Higher Education, the newly reconstructed system that oversees the four regional state universities, the community college system and Charter Oak State College, which officially launches on January 1.

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Beverly Hills, that's where Malloy wants to be

As Kevin Rennie reports, after launching an investigation into possible fraud, Gov. Malloy went to a conference in L.A., at a hotel where the rooms can cost $1,600 a night.
And we are in no way suggesting that Malloy's trip will be anything at all like the below Weezer video.


The Malloyists

Ted Mann of the Connecticut Post goes in-depth on Gov. Malloy and his most ardent supporters.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Connecti-Fact? Maybe Google can help.

In a recent press release, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon commented on recent job statistics and gave the number of those out of work in Connecticut as 160,000. Is that correct? Let's see what Google's Public Data Explorer has to say about it:

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Malloy to support medical marijuana

According to, Gov. Dannel Malloy will sign on with two other state governors in an attempt to get the federal government to relax laws against medical marijuana. 

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

FEMA meetings rescheduled for East Haven (press release)

State Rep. James Albis, D-East Haven, announced that informational meetings regarding FEMA programs concerning eligibility for East Haven residents have been rescheduled.

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Conn. Comptroller Kevin Lembo says: "State on Uncertain Path to $79.1 million Surplus" (release)

In a statement released today Comptroller Kevin Lembo says the big surplus Connecticut is touting comes with a caveat.

Here is what Lembo had to say (in his own words):

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The tell-all redistricting agenda

Here is the agenda for Wednesday night's redistricting commission meeting. Not much going on.

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