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Going Down. Otis Employees Leaving Connecticut for Florida.

Going down

In an unsettling development for Connecticut’s fragile economy, more than 100 executives and other high-paid corporate employees in the new UTC BIS subsidiary that merged iconic elevator maker Otis and air conditioning giant Carrier, both based in Farmington, are leaving for Florida, Daily Ructions has learned.

The business unit that controls North and South American operations for the Otis brand is breaking camp for West Palm Beach in a blow to the administration of Governor Dannel P. Malloy. The news will be an unwelcome development for the struggling incumbent Democrat less than four months before voters render their verdict on his first term record.

Connecticut residents will wonder what they are getting in exchange for $400 million in tax credits to United Technologies Corporation given to the Hartford-headquartered company this spring.  The highly publicized deal was meant to calm anxieties about the intentions of state’s largest corporation.

July 22, 2014   3:49 pm   No Comments

Mr. Wooden’s Snit.

Shawn Wooden hobbled out of the wreckage of his $60 million publicly-financed baseball stadium fiasco. The state senate hopeful declared he is not pleased with rival Senator Eric Coleman’s end of session mailing to constituents. The Democrats face each other in a sharply contested Democratic primary in a district that includes parts of Bloomfield, Hartford, and Windsor. Wooden’s “done deal” baseball stadium bludgeoning has left him unable to read a short, clear state statute. The Hartford lawyer says Coleman’s legislative mailing to constituents that arrived in mailboxes this week “is, at worst, illegal and violates State Election Law (sic). At best, it is an unethical, gross abuse of taxpayers’ funds.” Wooden, a lawyer, is wrong. Here’s the statute that applies to legislators’ annual mailings:

Sec. 2-15a. Annual informational mailing by General Assembly members. (a) Each member of the General Assembly shall be entitled to send an annual mailing to each household in such member’s district, for informational purposes. The mailing shall be conducted under the supervision of the Joint Committee on Legislative Management and in accordance with rules adopted by the committee.
(b) In even-numbered years, no such mailing may be sent after July fifteenth. A member shall be deemed in compliance with this subsection if the member delivers the mailing to the offices of the Joint Committee on Legislative Management no later than said July fifteenth. 
Since the mailings began arriving in district mailboxes this week, and today is July 16th, it’s safe to assume that they were delivered to the Office of Legislative Management by July 15th, as the law requires. Wooden is wrong, and he must know it.
Wooden, leader of Hartford’s city council, possesses a curious sense of outrage. Last year, Wooden failed to condemn the shoddy and suspect circumstances surrounding his buddy, City Treasurer Adam Cloud, and the missing $800,000 in insurance premiums that was sent to Cloud family tenant Earl O’Garro’s insurance agency. Cloud’s office sent the money to O’Garro’s company (since shuttered) without observing the normal protocols for conducting hefty transactions like that one. The money did not find its way to the insurance companies providing coverage to Hartford. Federal criminal investigators continue to investigate.
Various Hartford officials, stewards of the public trust, failed to shine a light on the tawdry connections between Cloud and O’Garro. Wooden was one of those.

July 16, 2014   4:24 pm   No Comments

Katz Criticzes Courant and Court Monitor in Employee Memo.

Commissioner of the state Department of Children and Families Joette Katz took issue with newspaper coverage of another disappointing report from DCF federal court monitor Raymond Mancuso. The report comes as Katz presides over an alarming increase in child fatalities, as Hartford Courant coverage reminded readers.

Katz issued a memo to DCF employees on, Thursday, July 10th. The former judge wrote, “Many of you have read the in the Hartford Courant, which can only repeat snippets of information about where are and what we are doing to serve our children and families. In my view, the article creates a distinct impression that, because of funding and staffing deficits, the Department is not fulfilling its obligations pursuant to the consent decree or, more importantly, the commitment we make to improve the lives of our families.”

The Courant’s Josh Kovner included this devastating “snippet” in his July 9th story:

The Courant reported on June 29 that child maltreatment deaths have surged in the last 18 months. At least 22 children died of abuse or neglect from Jan. 1, 2013, through June, and DCF had open cases with 16 of those families.

Mancuso said that Katz’s emphasis on keeping kids out of institutions and in foster care or at home with their biological parents should be praised. But this approach takes a lot of effort and oversight by DCF social workers and supervisors, who are strapped.

As a result, the quality of abuse and neglect investigations, the management of cases involving needy families, and the coordination of care among multiple agencies has “regressed,” Mancuso said.

A much-delayed report by the state’s child advocate on 2013 child fatalities in Connecticut will further undermine Katz’s crumbling reputation as a competent steward of the welfare of the state’s most vulnerable children.

July 14, 2014   3:30 pm   No Comments

Somers Ad: Don’t Risk Election With Bacchiochi.

Groton’s Heather Bond Somers, one of three Republicans seeking their party’s nomination for lieutenant governor in an August 12th primary, released her first radio ad today. The former mayor shines a light on the money state Representative Penny Bacchiochi (R-Stafford) received for lobbying on behalf of legalizing medical marijuana. Bacchiochi says the $131,000 was for travel expenses, according to the ad. The narrator sounds like she does not believe that explanation.

Somers also raises the hideous racism incident that the self-described “thin skinned” Bacchiochi concocted on the eve of the May Republican nominating convention.

You can hear the radio ad here.

 

July 14, 2014   1:10 pm   No Comments

Erin Stewart Redux. Reader Contributions. Language Alert.

Daily Ructions readers have been saving screenshots of New Britain’s Erin Stewart’s postings in social media and are sending them for posting. Here’s one from a scrubbed Twitter account that appeared two years ago.

Erin Stewart 151 Tweet

A couple of shots from Facebook.

Erin Stewart on plasticErin Stewart Cinco de Mayo

 

 

July 10, 2014   12:55 pm   No Comments

Erin Stewart Wraps Herself in a Flag. Spare a Thought for New Britain.

Stewart in Flag.jpg

Poor New Britain. This may not be what they expected last November.

July 5, 2014   7:43 pm   Comments Off

Erin Stewart Reconsiders Her Post.

New Britain’s poorly advised and struggling mayor, Erin Stewart, posed a thought for the ages on her Facebook page and then reconsidered. Photos of her internal struggle with potty mouth philosophy below.

Erin Stewart First Post

 

 

Stewart’s Monday evening bromide was edited later in the dark night:

Erin Stewart revised post

 

 

July 1, 2014   8:57 am   Comments Off

Commission to Vote Wednesday on Somers Grant.

The state’s election commission is expected to approve a public financing grant to Groton Republican Heather Bond Somers’s campaign for lieutenant governor. The $400,000 in taxpayer money will allow Somers to compete in the August 12th party primary with convention-endorsed state Representative Penny Bacchiochi (R-Stafford) and Bridgeport Republican David Walker.

June 30, 2014   4:22 pm   Comments Off

June 28, 1914. The Day the Deluge Began.

Franz Ferdinand

Saturday marks the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife during a visit to Sarajevo. The miseries of the bloody 20th century flowed from that day.

The BBC’s Radio 4 is chronicling those events in a Month of Madness series with Professor Christopher Clark. One of the conspirators threw a bomb at the motorcade that exploded under the car behind the Archduke’s. The Archduke insisted they continue–into the path of the assassin.

June 27, 2014   10:26 am   Comments Off

Leapin’ Lizards Alert: Segarra Tries to Jump From His Skybox.

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra continues to struggle with his misbegotten baseball  stadium proposal. Only a few weeks ago, Segarra deemed it a “done deal”. On Thursday, Segarra lost another tussle with the facts and explanations of the secret negotiations when he made during an ill-considered appearance on WNPR’s Where We Live. Segarra tried to explain the stadium agreement provision that provides a free skybox and boatloads of free tickets for city officials.  The mayor sounds like he has not read the contract for the $60 million taxpayer-financed project. He had nothing to do with it, he proclaimed.

There’s a short audio clip of Segarra’s exchange with host John Dankosky in this link. Decide for yourself. In only a minute Segarra veers along a spectrum from panicked to slow-witted before coming to rest at incoherent.

Segarra’s wilting follows a public display of fear from City Council President Shawn Wooden as he tries to skedaddle from the proposal he embraced with enthusiasm as June began. Maybe April isn’t the cruelest month. Perhaps August is. That’s when Democratic primary voters will get a chance to offer their verdict on the stadium in a primary contest between Wooden and incumbent state Senator Eric Coleman.

June 26, 2014   5:27 pm   Comments Off