Monday, April 30, 2012

Rochlin: There was no deliberate misconducts in D-SNAP firings

In a Monday press release, Rich Rochlin, attorney for some of the employees fired during the state's investigation into emergency food assistance fraud, says investigators have found that some of those (former) state workers did not engage in deliberate misconduct.

“This is the first time we’ve been able to have independent and non-political persons review these cases. Even without any advocacy on behalf of my clients, these unemployment adjudicators, based solely on the D-SNAP application and the State’s investigatory files, found that these workers did NOT engage in deliberate misconduct in the scope of their employment."
The full text of Rochlin's letter is below:

Press Advisory 4-30-2012

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Smile: You're on the judiciary committee

Today Gov. Dannel Malloy signed a death penalty repeal bill into law. It went by without a celebration, Malloy saying it was a time for sober reflection, not for celebration.
The same day, the governor's general counsel Andrew McDonald posted a nice shot of the amassed members of the judiciary committee in the capitol on his Facebook page.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lieberman: Don't raise camel, goat hair taxes

Connecticut's independent Sen. Joe Lieberman proffered a series of bill to maintain the current tax status of various types of animal hair and animal hair products. All 11 of the below bills were introduced on April 19 and all 11 were introduced by Lieberman.
We assume that the intense detail of each individual bill is due to the complication of the tax code.

A bill to extend the temporary suspension of duty on waste of camel hair.
A bill to extend the temporary suspension of duty on noils of camel hair.
A bill to extend the temporary suspension of duty on yarn of carded camel hair.
A bill to extend the temporary suspension of duty on camel hair, carded or combed.
A bill to extend the temporary suspension of duty on camel hair, processed beyond the degreased or carbonized condition.
A bill to extend the temporary suspension of duty on yarn of combed cashmere or yarn of camel hair.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Hwang weighs in on election reform

Here's Tony Hwang's extensive essay on election reform laws. The ads are his own, not mine.

Tony Hwang for CT - Election Law Changes Affect Vote Integrity


Saturday, April 14, 2012

McKinney: Can't all Republicans just get along?

According to Fairfield's State Sen. John McKinney, Republicans will lose if they continue to fight among themselves.
He also took the chance to slap Linda McMahon on the wrist. 
“Linda McMahon’s misleading negative attacks on Congressman Shays need to stop,"  McKinney said in a release. The statement was made "in reference to a string of negative press releases and attacks by the McMahon campaign."

In response McMahon's communications director, Eris Isaac, sent the following:
Congressman Shays is running on his record and we reserve the right to highlight parts of his record, including voting to raise the debt limit eight times, voting against billions in tax cuts for the middle class, cosponsoring cap and trade, and suggesting gas tax hikes at several points in his career.
Here's what McKinney said:
“Republicans launching misleading negative attacks against fellow Republicans may have cost our party the governor’s office in 2010 and most certainly hurt Linda McMahon’s chances at defeating Richard Blumenthal. This year, negative campaigning in the presidential primary has provided President Obama with ammunition he will use against Governor Romney in the general election.Republicans cannot repeat these mistakes if we hope to win the U.S. Senate election this fall.“While Linda McMahon has proven she can launch a hard-hitting negative attack against a fellow Republican, she has yet to prove she can win a majority of votes in a general election. That needs to be the focus of all candidates running for the United States Senate — issues, experience and vision; not negative attack ads.”

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Murphy posts $855,000 'haul' in Q1

The Murphy campaign released 1st Quarter fundraising earnings of $855,000 from 1,000 donors.
According to the campaign, that means Murphy has raised $4.24 million during the campaign so far, with nearly $3 million cash on hand.
Those 1,000 donors came, according to Murphy, in the final weeks of March, just as the quarter was winding down.
"Our fundraising lead has always been propelled by the unmatched breadth of our donor community. We had 3,000 contributions in the first quarter of the year, with an amazing surge of 1,000 contributors who answered our call in the final week of March," Murphy said. "That's the kind of base of enthusiastic support that wins elections."
The campaign also put up an "infographic" on the specifics:
  • 3,106 individual contributions -- twice as many contributors as any previous quarter 
  • 86% of individual contributions were $250 or less 
  • Over $850,000 total raised in January, February, and March

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Scott blasts Slossberg of death penalty (release)

Former State Senator Tom Scott, R-Milford, today blasted State Senator Gayle Slossberg, D-Milford, for switching her vote on capital punishment.
"Senator Slossberg sided with the ACLU and other groups that coddle violent criminals, instead of standing with her constituents and the law-abiding people of Connecticut," Scott said.
"When she flip-flopped on capital punishment, Slossberg broke her word to the voters of Milford, Orange and West Haven. She consistently campaigned in support of protecting innocent citizens by preserving the death penalty, but at the moment of truth, she stood with the ACLU and other apologists for violent criminals."
As Senator, Scott was a leader in the effort to strengthen Connecticut's death penalty law.
"The Connecticut legislature has once again shown that it is out of touch with the people," Scott said.  "We have too many lawyers in the State Senate, willing to bend over backwards for the rights of violent criminals at the expense of law abiding taxpayers.
"In Connecticut, far too often the violent criminal is back on the streets before his victim leaves the hospital. This must stop.  I hope the voters will remember Slossberg's betrayal when they go to the polls this November."

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Site focused on 5th district race launches

A website focused exclusively on the race for Congress in Connecticut’s 5th district was launched Tuesday, with an emphasis on covering the issues voters care about.
A project of Journal Register Company newspapers in Connecticut, including The Register Citizen, the New Haven Register, The Middletown Press and the Litchfield County Times, uses a new approach to political reportage called The Citizens Agenda, garnering responses from candidates in the issues most important to voters.
Rather than allowing candidates’ public relations to drive the conversation, the intention is to engage the audience to determine the five most important issues.
Reporters will then be assigned to cover the 5th district race on an issue-by-issue basis.
The Citizens Agenda project is part of a partnership between Journal Register Company parent Digital First Media, the American edition of The Guardian and New York University’s Studio 20 journalism graduate school program.
The Guardian will be focusing on the 2012 presidential race, while Journal Register papers in Connecticut will be focusing on the 5th District Congress and U.S. Senate races.
In announcing the program, NYU Professor Jay Rosen and The Guardian’s Amanda Michel wrote, “The alternative to ‘who’s going to win in the game of getting elected?’ is, we think, a ‘citizens agenda’ approach to campaign coverage. It starts with a question: what do voters want the candidates to be discussing as they compete with each other in 2012? If we can get enough people to answer to that question, we’ll have an alternative to election coverage as usual.”
The site also features in-depth profiles of every registered candidate, complete with comprehensive personal and professional biographies, their stances on a variety of issues, their goals, opinions and the those of their supporters, friends and colleagues.
Veteran New Haven Register reporter Mary O’Leary will serve as the site’s fact checker, verifying all the statements candidates make throughout the campaign, like who leads the field in fundraising, and who actually voted to raise taxes.
If you’ve heard a fact you think should be checked, contact
To publish — and put into context — all the press releases and issues that aren’t tops on voters’ minds but still important, a list of “horse race” stories, dealing with everything from endorsements to social issues, compiled by reporter Jordan Fenster. Reach him at
Follow the site on Twitter at, and find it on Facebook at

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Malloy signs gas tax cap

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, for whatever it's worth has signed the legislature's gas tax cap bill into law.

2012.4.3 Bill Notification 2

Rochlin subpoenas Malloy on D-SNAP unemployment

Rich Rochlin, attorney for some of the employees embroiled int he D-SNAP scandal, says he is subpoena-ing Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to appear at unemployment hearings.
The attorney says the governor and his administration is attempting to prevent those fired employees — 27 of them — from obtaining unemployment.
This from Rochlin:
“We’ve come to expect political grandstanding from the Governor and his top aides, but to unfairly intervene in an attempt to keep people from getting unemployment benefits so they can feed their families and pay some of their most pressing bills is reprehensible.
“Governor Malloy and his administration is now attempting to prevent working families from receiving the unemployment benefits they need and deserve. Malloy’s actions have left us with no other option than to use our authorized subpoena powers to compel the Governor and his aides to attend these hearings and explain themselves.” 
State employees, you may recall, were investigated for allegedly defrauding the emergency supplemental food aid program D-SNAP after Tropical Storm Irene. Hundreds were investigated and, in the end, 27 were let go.
Rochlin, the attorney for at least some of those employees argued vociferously that the manner in which the D-SNAP program was administered by the Malloy administration was conducing to error.
According to Rochlin's press release, "Unemployment laws and regulations allow applicants whose unemployment case is being challenged to issue subpoenas to any individual whose testimony will help hearing officers determine if benefits should be granted. Depending on the final hearing schedule. He said he expects subpoenas to go out to Malloy and his aides within the next two days.

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Lembo: State deficit grows to $45.8 mil, but 'all eyes are on April' (release)

Comptroller Kevin Lembo today announced that his Fiscal Year 2012 deficit projection has grown to $45.8 million, but said that number could shift dramatically following April income tax payments.
In a letter to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Lembo cited two reasons for the $52.8-million variance in his projection from that of the Office of Policy and Management (OPM).
 Lembo said there has been continued strong growth in tax refunds, putting his analysis about $22 million higher than OPM’s analysis. Lembo also said that he did not incorporate OPM’s $36.2 million lapses in his spending projections because, based on a four-year average of spending trends, those additional lapses will be difficult to realize.
These deficit projections are well below 1 percent of total fund appropriations, and could be erased after the state receives final and estimated tax payments in April, Lembo said.
“All eyes are on April,” Lembo said. “The complex 2011 income tax withholding changes may have distorted the trend analysis used for projections. As a result, final and estimated income tax payments received in April could differ significantly from those projections.”
General Fund revenue for Fiscal Year 2012 is falling $118.2 million short of original budget projections and net state spending is $49.7 million below the original budget plan. Lembo said his spending projection reflects caution with respect to the lapse due to the large increase in spending posted in January. Below are the annual month-by-month spending trends: