Friday, March 30, 2012

RTC chair 'not happy' with Roraback press release - so Roraback corrects it

UPDATED — Newtown Republican Town Committee Chairman Dennis Bloom said he "wasn't really happy" about how the Roraback campaign portrayed the results of a recent RTC straw poll.
Republican congressional candidate Roraback's campaign staff sent out a press release Thursday that declared "Roraback won the poll by a commanding margin, garnering more votes than all four GOP competitors combined."
Not true, Bloom said.
Roraback did win the poll of Newtown RTC members — he received 12 votes. Mark Greenberg came in second with seven; Justin Bernier came in a close third with six votes, and Mike Clark and Lisa Wilson-Foley garnered a pair of votes each.
So while Andrew Roraback did win, Bloom took issue with the implication. The purpose of the poll, Bloom said, is to give the Republican delegates from Newtown a sense of how RTC members feel.
"I didn't like the idea that we backed anybody," Bloom said. "I talked to Andrew about it. We do not back anybody."
As RTC chair, Bloom said he could offer an endorsement, if he chose, but he hasn't yet for the 5th district race (he endorsed Linda McMahon for Senate) — he may yet, but he's not sharing who or when.
When asked who he, personally had voted for in the straw poll, Bloom said, well, nobody — "I didn't even vote."
Later Friday, Roraback did the stand-up thing — he admitted his mistake and apologized.
In an email sent to supporters, Roraback took ownership of the mistake:
The purpose of this email is to correct inadvertent misstatements in yesterday's Eblast. Without regard to the cause of the error, I am the candidate and the buck stops with me. Being faithful to the facts is how I live my life both privately and publicly.
The error in yesterday's email was this: Yesterday's communication stated that I received a majority of the votes in the straw poll at the Newtown RTC on Wednesday, and that I received more votes than the other four candidates combined. The facts are as follows: In that non-binding straw poll, I received 12 votes, Mark Greenberg received 7 votes, Justin Bernier received 6 votes, Lisa Wilson Foley received 2 votes, and Mike Clark received 2 votes. This makes my total 41 percent of the vote, not a majority. I am extremely pleased to have received so much support from the important town of Newtown. I sincerely regret the error. Your understandIng is much appreciated.
There are a total of 50 Newtown residents on the RTC.
For context, here are a pair of videos from a candidate forum conducted by the Newtown RTC, and provided on YouTube:

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

GOP grabbing some unaffiliated voters, but not all that many

According to the secretary of the State, 3,878 new voters have registered with the Republican party since the start of 2012 — add that to 1,515 unaffiliated voters, well, affiliating with the GOP and you might think that the numbers add up to a real groundswell of involvement for the Republican primary.
It probably doesn't.
SOTS Denise Merrill clarified today that, to date, "more than 16,402 new voters registered to vote." That includes 5,189 Democrats plus 6,991 new voters registering as unaffiliated.
According to Merill's release:
Compared to 2008 numbers, these numbers represent a decline in both new Republican voters and unaffiliated voters enrolling in the party in the months leading up to the Republican Presidential Preference primary. In 2008, some 6,300 new voters registered as Republicans in the 90 days prior to the primary, while some 3,600 unaffiliated voters enrolled as Republicans during that same time period.
Of the 2 million active, registered voters, 734,431 are Democrats, 414,539 are Republicans, but the majority, 828,252 of them, are unaffiliated voters.
Here's how all the parties break down:
PARTY                                                     COUNT
--------------------------------------------------  -----------
A Better Future                                                    6
A Connecticut Party                                             4
A Sentinel Party                                                 30
Canterbury First                                                   2
Chatham Party                                                      9
Concerned Citizens                                          196
Connecticut For Lieberman                               81
Democratic                                               734,431
Enfield Taxpayers Party                                      2
Friends Of Saybrook                                         13
Green                                                             1,722
Guilty                                                                         1
Independence                                                   808
Independence For Montville                                8
Independent                                                   9,482
Libertarian                                                     1,259
Milford Independent Party                                  2
Norwich for Change                                            1
Pro-Bethel                                                            2
Realistic Balance                                                 3
Reform                                                              87
Republican                                               414,539
Swing                                                                  1
The Hampton Party                                             1
Unaffiliated                                             828,252
We The People                                                  47
Winsted Independent                                        36
Working Families                                           164
Total Active Voters    1,991,189

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Malloy to commissioners: 'Critical' spending only

In response to an expected $62 million deficit in this year's budget, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has directed his commission heads to "eliminate, minimize or delay" spending that is not "critical" in nature.
Here's the letter he sent to commissioners:

Malloy Letter to Commissioners on Budget

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Decker formally announcing candidacy in CD1

John Decker, Republican challenger for the 1st Congressional district, will be holding a campaign event in Hartford tomorrow, during which he will "officially announce his candidacy:
This from Decker's Facebook page:
Please join us tomorrow, March 28th, from 12-1 at CityPlace in Hartford (185 Asylum St) for John's official live public announcement of his candidacy for Connecticut's 1st Congressional District.
 Decker's candidacy was previously announced by Dennis House of Channel 3, and he's not the only GOP candidate trying to unseat John Larson. Mike McDonald is also vying for the 1st district seat
In 2010, Larson defeated Republican Ann Brickley (who had beat out Mark Zydanowicz during the primary), with 61.25 percent of the vote to Brickley's 37.20 percent.

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Pistone's pugilistic piece of promotion

Here's a YouTube ad from John Pistone, 5th district independent candidate.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Candidates missing committee votes by the handful

It's still early in the legislative session, and earlier on the campaign trail, but both Andrew Roraback and William Tong have missed swaths of committee votes, at least in the one committee on which they both serve.
The legislature's Judiciary Committee has had an important year, looking at, and voting in favor of, a death penalty repeal bill and a proposal to allow medical marijuana.
And William Tong has missed both of those votes.
In fact, the state representative from Stamford and Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate has missed a total of 39 Judiciary Committee votes since the start of this year's legislative session.

But he's not alone.
Republican state senator and Congressional candidate Roraback has missed 31 committee votes in Judiciary, though he did cast votes on both medical marijuana and the proposed death penalty repeal (one yea, one nay).
It's worth it to note that Chris Donovan, Democratic candidate for the 5th district, hasn't cast a single committee vote, but not because he's too busy or doesn't want to make a statement. As the speaker of the house, Donovan is not on any committees.
Now, these are committee votes, with only relative importance. Many were appointments to the bench, and Tong's votes on the big issues clearly didn't matter that much to his fellow Dems - both proposals were passed through committee without his support.
Roraback, though, made it a point to cast a vote on the death penalty. Perhaps he had to - he's been a long-time supporter of repeal and it was a shift his Republican opponents have been slamming him on since making it an issue. Perhaps it was incumbent on him to make a statement, considering his previous support.
Many votes and speeches made in the legislature, even at the committee level, are intended to get "on the record," and while we can probably guess which side of the fence Tong leans over on both the death penalty and the palliative use of marijuana, it would have been nice to have his votes on record.
And seeing how at least one blogger believes the end is near for Tong's campaign, maybe he'll have more time in committee.

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Patch: Congressional candidate plagiarized

According to, 2nd Congressional district candidate Daria Novak may have copied text from other sources to put in her own blog, which hosts.
According to Patch:
"After receiving complaints from Patch readers claiming that portions of two blogs authored and posted by Second Congressional District candidate Daria Novak were copied from other sources, Patch editors investigated and determined that portions of the two posts appear to contain text copied from other sources without attribution or indications of direct quotation from such sources."
Patch's Elisa Bass goes on to detail the offenses, with examples of text apparently lifted from The New York Times, The Washington Times and other sources.
Novak, according to Patch, gave the "I didn't know" response when confronted by editors at the online news source:
"When I read material from multiple sources, and have multiple people emailing me without attributions, I assume the material was in the public domain."
Novak's blog has been suspended. According to her website, from which the picture above was taken, Novak "is an Executive Consultant and former President of ERUdyne, LLC international cross-cultural, business management and homeland security training and consulting firm she founded in March 2001. She specializes in helping organizations to leverage culture and turn it into a competitive advantage. "

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Caligiuri: Shays in strongest position to beat Murphy

Former candidate Sam Caligiuri has offered his endorsement of Chris Shays for Senate. It's an important endorsement, considering how closely Caligiuri lost to Chris Murphy when both were running for the 5th district.

Caliguiri appears to be voting with his former colleagues -- though now outside of politics, he is a former state senator -- and has already openly endorsed Andrew Roraback for the 5th district seat Sam sought himself.
Here's Caliguiri on the Senate race:

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Connecticut goes from blue to yellow

The NIH put together this map on Sunday liquor sales. You can see that Connecticut is a blue ship in a sea of yellow. Well, not anymore (probably — Mr. Malloy still has seven weeks to sign the bill into law).

By the way, that map was found through Office of Legislative research's Map Room, which offers super cool, interactive graphics on just about everything. So if you wanted to see a map of foreclosures by county, nationwide, they've got it.

Or, if you wanted to see a map of the percentage of the population older than 65, by state, they've got that too.

There's more to conflict of interest than financial gain

Yesterday, Democrats released a plan to cap the state's wholesale gas tax. Leading off for the Dems was House Speaker Chris Donovan and, around the fringes of the event folks (at least many of those not associated with Donovan and the Democrats) were whispering "campaign tactic."
Well, maybe ... maybe not.
If so, Andrew Roraback, Goshen's state senator and Donovan rival may be guilty, as well. Some saw his attempt to link risk reduction credits to the death penalty debate as a way to vote with his party and not against his conscience.
Well, maybe ... maybe not.
Neither stance is technically a conflict of interest, although sitting legislators seeking higher office certainly can use their positions to garner more votes, a fact that, even if it's more consequential than intentional, they are well aware of.
Way back when redistricting was in full swing, 5th district candidate Mark Greenberg's campaign was making a hobby of calling foul on House Speaker Chris Donovan for being both a candidate and a member of the commission tasked with redrawing the district for which he was running. They even put together a website.
As it turned out, Donovan's potentially conflicting interests were mitigated when he dropped out of the commission before the congressional lines were drawn (although he still helped draw the House district he's hoping to leave).
There are other apparent conflicts of interest that are not so obvious to the opposition. State ethics rules define a conflict of interest as one that would result in either a gain or loss of revenue. But aren't there idealist conflicts as well?
Take, for example, West Hartford's State Rep. Joe Verrengia, a 22-year veteran of the police, who weighed in as a member of the Judiciary Committee during a public hearing on a bill to allow the public the right to videotape cops as they go about their duty.
He's a cop, voting on a bill to allow people the right to videotape cops. Conflict? Maybe. It probably doesn't affect him monetarily, so it's not against the rules.
And then there's raised bill 5509, which would amend the state's rules on child support and alimony, also before the Judiciary Committee. Of that committee's 45 members, how many do you think are lawyers? And of those lawyers, how many practice divorce law? Should they be voting on a bill that could, theoretically, affect their clients?
Well, maybe ... maybe not.
This is not an easy question, and I don't have an answer. To weed out all those legislators with idealistic, prejudicial or professional conflicts of interest would be a huge undertaking, as would trying to get candidates for higher office to bow out of votes that might affect their chances of victory.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Doyle promotes CT-made products initiative

Here's Sen. Doyle in Middletown on a plan to promote Connecticut-made products


Is minimum wage a livable wage? Compared to rents, no

A map created by the Low Income Housing Coalition, part of a larger report on the state of low-income housing, suggests that minimum wage workers in Connecticut need to work more hours per week — 114 hours in total — just to make the rent than in other states.
Min Wage Map 0
This is an interesting lens through which to look at the minimum wage argument. More hours must be worked to meet the rent than in any surrounding state, though that may have more to do with rental prices than it does the minimum wage. The study shows that rental prices in Connecticut are the sixth highest in the nation.
Sen. Edith Prague, co-chairwoman of the Labor Committee, which yesterday voted to increase the minimum wage by $1 over two years, said the bill will most likely make it to the governor's desk.
"I think it's got a very good chance," she said, though she acknowledged that her party might not be of one mind on the subject. "I'm sure there will be some Democrats who will vote against it."
Whether or not the governor will sign it is another matter.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dr. Petit's testimony on death penalty repeal

Here is testimony sent electronically from Dr. William Petit and his sister.

We firmly believe that the death penalty is the appropriate sanction in certain heinous, cruel and depraved crimes.  We also believe that the death penalty gives prosecutors a bargaining chip in the plea bargain process.  This is essential in cutting costs in an overcrowded court system. Without this tool, prosecutors would not have been able to get Leslie Williams to plead to life without the possibility of release. In 2008, Williams left one woman for dead before raping and murdering her best friend and then dumping her body. He did this just four short weeks after he had served eight years for the rape of a five year old.
No knowledgeable and honest party questions that the death penalty has the most extensive due process protections in US criminal law. Actual innocents are more likely to be sentenced to life and more likely to die in prison while serving that sentence than is likely that an actual innocent will be executed. None of the men currently on death row in Connecticut are innocent.
Let us take the "c" word out of the discussion. There is no such thing as closure when your loved one is savagely taken from you. There can, however, be adequate and just punishment and that is the death penalty. If our lawmakers truly want to abolish the death penalty even though it is not what the majority of the citizens of Connecticut want, they need to at least be honest about it and change the language of the bill. There is no such thing as a prospective repeal. Passage of this bill essentially voids the death sentences of those currently on death row.

Johanna Petit Chapman

William A. Petit Jr.


Live-blogging death penalty testimony

Today, as you probably know, is the Judiciary Committee's public hearing on the proposed death penalty repeal bill.
This may be the year: The votes appear to be there in the Senate, there's no high-profile capital case and the governor has said he would sign a repeal bill, should one cross his desk.
So, I'll be tweeting quite a bit today. Below you'll find a stream of tweets on the subject, using #CTDeathP as a hashtag, so feel free to get in on the discussion, if you so choose.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A 5th district candidate that (almost) no one knows

A colleague of mine recently sent this release my way:
On Monday, March 19th, at 7:30 pm, at the Cornwall Library (30 Pine Street, Cornwall), the Democratic Coalition of Northwest Connecticut (DCNC) will host Randy Yale, a candidate for United States Congress in Connecticut's 5th District.
My colleague sent me the following note along with the release: "Have I been snoozing? Who the heck is Randy Yale?"

Mr. Yale is currently the Chair of the Cheshire Environmental Commission, and is running on a reform platform, concerned that the revolving door between public service and private industry is a corrupting influence on our democracy. 
Yale, one of 11 candidates in the race for the 5th district, has amassed zero dollars, according to his most recent filing. He's not alone in that regard — indy candidate John Pistone has also $0 in the bank.
To be fair, Yale is not completely unknown. As far as I can find, he's been covered in the news three times.
And, according to the stats posted on his blog (which he apparently writes himself — awesome personal touch, I must say) he gets a few hits. This post on his jobs plan garnered 80 reads.
So, for sure, the headline of this post is somewhat inaccurate. More than a few people know of Randy Yale.

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Cafero endorses Roraback (release)

Statehouse Republican Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr. has endorsed State Sen. Andrew Roraback in his bid for Congress. In announcing his endorsement, Cafero pointed to Roraback’s record on jobs, his experience as a legislator, and electability as the main reasons for lending support to Roraback’s candidacy.
“Republicans have a terrific opportunity to win back the 5th District this year, and Andrew Roraback represents our party’s best shot at victory in November,” said Cafero. “With a strong pro-growth record on economic and fiscal issues, legislative experience and proven electability, I have every reason to believe the voters of the 5th District will also support him, and I am happy to endorse his candidacy.”  
Roraback said he was honored to receive the endorsement from Cafero, one of the state’s most prominent and respected Republican leaders.
“I thank Larry Cafero for his faith in me, and I am honored to accept his endorsement,” said Roraback. “Republicans know that above all, the ability to win this seat in November is the most important factor in selecting a candidate as our party’s nominee. As I travel throughout the 5th District, I am buoyed by the level of acceptance with which my message is being received.”

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Bernier slams Roraback on death penalty

Sen. Andrew Rorback, a long-time staunch supporter of death penalty repeal, has backed off a bit, and linked the issue to the sentence reduction credits that were passed last year. Roraback has said his position is not campaign related but, whether his position is a way to vote with his party and not against his conscience, or not, his 5th district Republican opponents are making it a campaign issue.
The latest is Justin Bernier who, today, took a stab at the senator after a press conference with crime victims:
“We may have witnessed history today in Hartford. I never thought a politician would try to play both sides of the death penalty issue until Andrew Roraback's press conference today. A candidate who won't take a clear position on this black-and-white issue is not ready to lead in Congress.”
Roraback is a moderate Republican, and he's probably none too happy that the death penalty repeal issue came up in the one year he attempts to seek higher office.
As I have before, I will point out, without editorial comment, that the death penalty is not and never will be an issue that either Lisa Wilson-Foley nor Bernier (nor Mark Greenberg, for that matter, though he appears to have stayed silent so far on the issue) will ever have to deal with.
They are not and are not running for state-wide office. Roraback, alone among the Republican candidates, is faced with making a tough decision in the midst of a contentious political race.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

DeLauro wants FDA to act on tanning bed regs (release)

Representatives Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), Ranking Member on the Labor, Health, and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee, sent the following letter to Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, urging the agency to act on recommendations made two years ago to regulate tanning beds.
The Congresswoman included a letter from two leading melanoma experts, Dr. David Fisher and Alan Geller, in support of her call for action. Melanoma is the most common cancer diagnosed in young adults and the most deadly type of skin cancer.  The National Cancer Institute estimates that 76,250 Americans will be diagnosed and that more than 9,100 Americans will die because of melanoma in 2012.
Though they are internationally recognized as carcinogens and their use is associated with a greater risk of skin cancer, tanning beds are currently classified in the same device category as band aids and tongue depressors. They are not appropriately classified or labeled with the health information that could help Americans make informed choices about the use of these known carcinogens. Congresswoman DeLauro has consistently called for stronger regulation of these devices, but the FDA has yet to act.
"During the two-year period since that hearing, we estimate that tanning bed use is primarily responsible for more than 5,000 cases of new melanomas in women resulting in an estimated 750 unnecessary deaths," Dr. Fisher and Geller's letter states. "How can the established skin cancer risk from tanning beds be continuously permitted, in the face of so much scientific and clinical evidence?"
"As a member of Congress, and a cancer survivor, I simply cannot accept this inaction," Congresswoman DeLauro's letter states. "When will we have honest and accurate regulations and labels in place to protect Americans and end these unnecessary deaths caused by an inappropriately-regulated device?"

Herman Cain backs Hill for Senate

Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain has endorsed Brian K. Hill for Senate.
“As a lawyer with the United States military and now in the private sector, Brian K. Hill has demonstrated his dedication to upholding the laws of this great nation,” Cain said. “This experience means Brian would be uniquely poised to dedicate himself to making '9-9-9' the law of the land. Other candidates should look to Brian's fearless leadership in embracing a complete overhaul of the failed tax policies of this country.”
 Though some have called Hill a longshot, this kind of endorsement might get him some momentum, though it has not yet shown up on his website.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bill would protect veterans' parenting rights while deployed (release)

State Representative Roberta Willis (D-64th District) testified today before the Select Committee on Veteran’s Affairs public hearing in support of a bill protecting members of the armed service from losing their parental rights while they are deployed in defense of the nation.
Rep. Willis is a co-sponsor of HB 5395, “An Act Concerning Custody Orders For Deployed Members of the Armed Forces.” The bill raised by the committee for legislative action seeks to protect the best interests of minor children of members of the armed services by minimizing the disruption caused by deployment.
Rep. Willis told the committee that mobilization and deployment of members of the armed forces is very stressful and disruptive to their families and the last thing the service member needs is the added anxiety of someone trying to take custody of their child or children from them while they are on active duty.
Rep. Willis pointed out that the plight of a female army sergeant deployed in Iraq was brought to her attention when at the time of her deployment a temporary order was entered allowing the service woman’s child to be in the care of her father.
“Unfortunately, the father took the opportunity to use her deployment as a basis to modify custody of their five year old child,” Rep. Willis said. “Many states have prohibited a non-deployed person from using the fact of deployment as a basis of custody modification. Connecticut is not among them.”
Rep. Willis explained that the central element of the legislation is to insure that a court cannot enter into a final order modifying parental rights due to deployment.
“The courts can order a temporary modification, if necessary,” Rep. Willis said. “Upon their return, a deployed parent may then apply to change the order.”
“As America’s military commitments in Afghanistan and around the world persist, it is important we address the family issues which military parents face,” Rep. Willis said.
The legislation calls for as much contact as possible between children and the parent who is absent while on military duty by providing contact by phone or e-mail.


Looney, Stillman heading to Los Angeles to discuss the middle class

Sen. Martin Looney and Sen. Andrea Stillman could be singing a bit of Randy Newman this weekend:
Roll down the window put down the top
Crank up the Beach Boys baby
Don't let the music stop
We're gonna ride it till we just can't ride it no more
Looney said today that he was heading off to the City of Angels for the State Legislative Leaders Foundation's 2012 economic summit. What's on tap?
Discussions will include the importance of a vibrant middle class to revitalizing the stagnant economy as well as specific steps legislators can take to rebuild their economies and that middle class.
The "challenge" of the summit is similar:

With the shrinking of the middle class and America (and indeed much of the world) mired in the Great Recession, the American Dream seems out of reach for a growing number of Americans. Unemployment is high, optimism low and voters are anxious about the future. What can legislative leaders do to get the economy moving again, growing the middle class and renewing the American Dream?

Looney said he's been a member of the SLLF since becoming majority leader, though he's since taken a spot on the organization's board.
And, in case you ask, the trip isn't costing taxpayers a dime.
"Not at all," Looney said.

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OLR releases report on state educational milestones

If you haven't checked out the Office of Legislative Management's recent report on educational milestones in Connecticut, you should.
Like most reports from the OLR, this one's comprehensive: It goes from 1899, when there were 1,100 one-room schoolhouses in the state, to the "achievement gap" discussions in 2012, and everything in between.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mental illness as a political weapon

Jonathan Pelto looks at the Malloy administration through the lens of mental illness — and how the right word choice can matter. Has mental illness been used as a weapon, despite the governor's own personal family history?


Friday, March 2, 2012

Tong calls for amendment to overturn Citizens United

U.S. Senate candidate William Tong is calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court and a separate District court decision that allows unlimited donations by corporations, unions and individuals.
“As a lawyer, I take amending the Constitution very seriously, but this decision must be overturned before it buries our democracy in an avalanche of money. Left unchecked, our country is bound to become a full blown corporatocracy,” Tong said in a statement Thursday.
Tong, a state representative from Stamford, is one of three Democrats and three Republicans vying for their party’s nomination to take the seat now held by retiring U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Conn.
The Democrats — former Sec. of the State Susan Bysiewicz, U.S. Rep. Christopher Murphy, D-5th, and Tong — will participate in their first debate on Saturday from 7:30 to 9 p.m. to be held at Norwich Free Academy and sponsored by the Norwich Bulletin.
Tong said any constitutional fix should restore the previous restrictions and allow for others.
Murphy last weekend held a tutorial on Citizens United in Westport and said he favors a constitutional remedy and/or a disclosure act that will make public the names of those making these donations.
“We need to move the ball forward. Now is the moment,” Murphy said at that event.
He told the crowd that he was personally affected by the ruling when the American Future Fund spent $1 million in ten days on ads at the end of the 2010 5th District race inaccurately claiming he supported Viagra for sex offenders. 
— Mary O'Leary, Register topics editor

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Diesel gas tax the highest in the nation

As the Office of Legislative Research detailed in a recent report, Connecticut has the highest tax rate in the nation on diesel fuel.
In Connecticut, you pay 46.2 cents in taxes every time you buy a gallon of diesel fuel. The good news is that, while high, the state's tax rate on gasoline is not the highest - North Carolina has that honor with a tax rate of more than 39 cents on the gallon, compared to this state's lowly 25 cents per.

Senate candidate Whitnum continues to fight for the right to debate

After being excluded from a Democratic debate, Lee Whitnum, Senate candidate, Malloy antagonist, anti-AIPAC activist and author, was told by a judge that his hands were tied -- he would not grant an injunction.
But she's taking another stab. This time, on First Amendment grounds,
According to a release, " Today Friday, May 2, 2012, Whitnum will have one more chance to get into the debate. Alvin W.Thompson Chief United States District Judge will hear Whitnum’s case on the First Amendment violation."
Though she claims her exclusion from Saturday's debate will cause irreparable harm, "Creditability [yes, she wrote "Creditability"]  is the life-blood of any politician," she said, she's dropping her lawsuit against the Norwich Bulletin and parent company Gatehouse Media. 
“This is not the right time," she said. 
Still she left the door open for a defamation suit against the Bulletin's Ray Hackett, who she seems to personally blame for her exclusion. More from the release:
Whitnum; claims Hackett based his decision on: “lack of name recognition.” But that his real motivation is to ingratiate himself to the leadership of the Democratic Party, the most powerful party in region.
Mathew Oakes, Whitnum notes, has also been excluded from the debate, though she seems to have forgotten about someone.
Mathew Oakes, is the only other registered Democratic candidate from the state of Connecticut for the US Senate. He has also been excluded from the debate by Ray Hackett.
There are five Democratic Senatorial candidates. She seems to have forgotten about Sylvester Salcedo. Apparently, you gotta fight for your right to be recognized as a member of the Democratic party.

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