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The Menacing Malloy Way: We Are Watching You.

Dem Report Card

Dem Voter Report Card

Democrats are receiving a startling piece of mail that makes clear they are being watched—and graded. The party appears to have abandoned persuasion for menace as it struggles to make it across Tuesday’s finish line.

Republican wags will be wondering if “Bruce Kern” received one of these report cards. To whom was it sent? He’s the odd-eyed boorish everyman featured in a Forward Connecticut ad complaining about Republican Tom Foley’s “background.” One thing is certain, that ad was not recorded at Electric Boat.

October 30, 2014   10:11 am   No Comments

Gloriosky. The Mystery of How to Create a Job Stumps Another One.

Hillary Clinton blotted her copy the other day when she announced–without provocation, it seemed–that businesses do not create jobs. We can expect to see that clip played often in the next two years. She said it with such conviction that it sounded like she meant it.

Clinton’s public wander into what sounded like socialist dogma brought to mind Sergeant Blumenthal’s unforgettable 2010 struggle with the origins of a job. Mrs. McMahon explains it in a crisp sentence.


October 28, 2014   10:30 am   No Comments

Expect One More Poll From Quinnipiac on Race for Governor

Quinnipiac University poll is in the field in Connecticut’s contest for governor, Daily Ructions has learned. A reader reports that he received a call this evening asking about preference for governor, strength of commitment, voting history, education level, and household income. The caller ID revealed Quinnipiac University as the source of the call.

Updates as we receive them.

October 26, 2014   8:59 pm   No Comments

I Confess. For the First Time, I Will Vote for Tom Foley.

I Confess

November 4th will be my fourth opportunity to vote for Tom Foley. In two primaries and the 2010 general election I declined. This time, I will. The price to Connecticut of four more years of Dannel Malloy is too high. I explain here.

October 24, 2014   3:15 pm   No Comments

Tom Foley, Get Thee to the Debate Tonight.

What unusual powers Republican Tom Foley possesses. He’s managed to make one debate stand out from the blur of the  gaggle he agreed to participate in. That’s the one he won’t attend. He’s guaranteed his absence will generate far more attention that his presence would. And he was able to torture his supporters and advisers while doing it.

Go to WVIT and unfold your bold banner of new ideas.

October 23, 2014   2:30 pm   No Comments

A Word About Courant Editorial Endorsements.

We are in the short season of formal editorial endorsements of candidates. Because my weekly column appears in that neighborhood of The Hartford Courant on Sundays, some readers think I have a role in the endorsement process. I do not. I learn of them when they are published. Like anyone else who reads the nation’s oldest continuously published newspaper, it is never a surprise when the endorsement goes to the Democrat in the contest. Opinion writers have points of view and they are in full flower at this time of year when the stakes are perceived as being at their highest.

Does anyone remember the last time The New York Times endorsed a Republican in a major race? The New York Post a Democrat? Editorial page philosophies are at their most obvious during this narrow window of a campaign cycle.

October 21, 2014   11:58 am   No Comments

Legal Fees Devouring House Republican Campaign Funds.

Connecticut’s state House Republican campaign operation has been stymied by legal fees incurred in a federal criminal investigation. In the second quarter of 2014, two House Republican campaign committees spent two thirds of the amount they raised on fees to Hartford law firm Shipman & Goodwin.

Campaign finance records reveal that two committees controlled by House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero and his leadership claque, New Friends and House Republican Campaign Committee, incurred legal fees in the second quarter of the year of more than $22,000. During the same period, the committees raised about $32,000. That’s a hefty price for Republican incumbents and other hopefuls to pay for the federal investigation that threw Cafero’s operation into upheaval early this year.

Explanations of the status of the investigation and the cost imposed on House candidates have been thin on the ground. The revelations of the spending to protect the caucus leadership at the expense of candidates may cause uncomfortable questions to be posed to Themis Klarides, the Republican who hopes to succeed Cafero, and her deputy, Vincent Candelora, as caucus members approach a vote on a new leader. Slim resources spent to find receipts and other documents or explain their absence to persistent investigators is not where supporters expect their donations to go.

House Republican incumbents and new candidates need a clearer picture of the ongoing investigation and its high cost to their campaigns.


October 20, 2014   10:14 am   No Comments

Criminal Investigation Clouds House Republican Leadership Contest.

A looming federal criminal investigation threatens to upend the House Republican instinct for deference. The caucus, long seen as the least effective in the legislature, has not had a proper leadership contest since 1984. That was the last time House Republicans enjoyed a majority in the lower chamber.

Eight years of Norwalk Republican Lawrence Cafero’s double act as legislator and de facto lobbyist for the government affairs office of the Hartford law firm Brown Rudnick, for which he is a “contract partner,” has left the House Republicans in tawdry disrepute. Cafero, who strained to stage manage his departure announcement from the House earlier this year, was soiled beyond redemption when federal criminal enforcement authorities used a 2013 campaign finance trial of a Democratic operative to highlight the intersection of campaign cash and Cafero’s office refrigerator. House Republicans revealed their timid spirit by remaining silent during and after the humiliation played out in a federal courtroom.

All the errors and insults to the public interest inflicted during the eight year Cafero era are embodied in the leadership bid of his incurious enforcer and lieutenant Themis Klarides. She’s running on a ticket of sorts that includes Representative Vincent Candelora, notable for his role as head of a campaign committee implicated in campaign finance scandals. A cipher of the type contemporary politics produces in troubling numbers, Candelora represents only the sullied silence of the embarrassing past.

House Republicans became the focus of a second federal criminal investigation in February when FBI agents camped out at the Legislative Office Building and questioned caucus members about their association with a Florida campaign services firm. The high profile and extended swarm on the LOB claimed Cafero’s chief of staff, who announced he is a “person of interest” in the federal investigation.

The federal investigation continues, Daily Ructions can report. It threatens to splatter Republican leaders and others. Enough caucus members have roused themselves out of their long stupor to inaugurate a decisive break with the Cafero era and its exploitations of supine Republicans. It has fallen to Shelton state Representative Jason Perillo to take the fight for the future to the discredited acolytes of the past.

Sensate House Republicans know from observing the federal criminal investigations that have marked Connecticut politics that these ordeals never fade away. They explode, sometimes more than a year after they first come to public attention. Ask two-time loser John Rowland.

Next year’s legislative session will feature budget issues that require the full attention of the House Republicans. A federal criminal investigation that explodes over the House Republican leadership-directly or as collateral damage-will render them useless at a critical hour for the state’s imperiled future.

October 19, 2014   6:43 pm   No Comments

Marc Abrams Still in Race for State Representative.

Greenwich Democrat Marc Abrams, undone by revelations of alleged sexual harassment and vulgar and abusive emails in two lawsuits, declared last Friday he was withdrawing from the race for the state House of Representatives from the 149th District.

As of mid-day Wednesday, the Secretary of the State’s office had not received a letter from Abrams withdrawing from the contest with popular incumbent Republican Livvy Floren. Ballots for election day voting will be reprinted if Abrams withdraws from the race. Until then, he remains on the ballot with fellow Democrats Dannel P. Malloy and Jim Himes.

October 15, 2014   4:07 pm   Comments Off

Inside the Rowland Jury.

You don’t often get a look at jury deliberations from a someone who’s been there. The Waterbury Observer has the fascinating story of what went on inside the Rowland jury.


“Day by day, [juror Bob] McCormack said, ‘the evidence got worse for John Rowland.'”

Prosecutor Christopher Mattei delivered a powerful and flawless closing argument.

Read it all.

October 15, 2014   3:37 pm   Comments Off