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On the Move: Bhargava to Treasurer’s Race.

Wealthy Greenwich Democrat Dita Bhargava is applying a reality check to her aspirations to become governor of Connecticut, Daily Ructions has learned. Bhargava has been making inquiries of party leaders on whether to convert her exploratory committee into a candidacy for treasurer.

Bhargava’s fundraising has lagged far behind what she would need to qualify for public financing as a credible candidate for governor. She was an unsuccessful candidate for the state legislature in 2016. A race for treasurer will require Bhargava to provide more details on her career in finance.

Bhargava would be the fourth Democrat in the race to succeed five term incumbent Denise Nappier. Hartford Democrat Shawn Wooden has been expected to be a decisive favorite but has been slow out of the starting gate.

February 19, 2018   3:48 pm   No Comments

A Star Takes a Bow. Guglielmo Will Not Seek 14th Term.

The legislature’s most natural politician will not run for re-election. State Senator Tony Guglielmo (R-Stafford) announced Friday he will end his long tenure this year. Guglielmo defeated three-term incumbent Democrat Marie Herbst in 1992 in an upset seen as a reaction to the imposition of a state income tax. Eastern Connecticut working families were particularly vexed by the enormous tax hike. They directed their wrath at Herbst, who was the key vote in the Senate to open the spigot on vast increases in state spending.

Guglielmo issued this statement:

“I truly love public service,” Guglielmo, 78, said.  “It’s been a great ride, but I feel that now it’s time to pass the torch. 

“I just want to say how grateful I am to the people of northeastern Connecticut.  It’s been an honor and a privilege to represent them in Hartford.  The people of the 35th Senatorial District are well-informed and they have never been shy about telling me their opinions. Their ideas and feedback have made me a better, more effective, more responsive legislator.  Their input, and the friendships I have made with them through the years, has enriched my experience as a lawmaker.

“This is my 26th year as a state senator.  Over that span, I have met and worked with so many amazing and talented people who have dedicated themselves to improving the quality of life here in Connecticut.  To the lawmakers and staff that I have been so fortunate to get to know over the years: thank you.

“Most importantly, I thank my family, especially my wife Doris, for the sacrifices they have all made in allowing me to serve Connecticut taxpayers.  My family has been my rock, and I’m a very lucky man to have them in my life.

“Over the next several months, I will be working to help Vernon Mayor Dan Champagne become the new state senator for our region.  Dan has the experience and knowledge to do an excellent job as state senator.  He cares deeply about the future of our state and he will always put taxpayers first.

“I’m looking forward to this, my final legislative session.  I have prided myself on being able to work with Democrats and Republicans in areas such as public safety, and I know that cooperation will continue this year.  Politics is about relationships and it’s about finding common ground in order to pass meaningful legislation that helps people in their daily lives.  We all need to continue striving toward that common sense goal because we all love and believe in Connecticut.”

Guglielmo is the Co-Chair of the Public Safety Committee. He is a Member of the Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee. He represents Ashford, Chaplin, Coventry, Eastford, Ellington, Hampton, Pomfret, Stafford, Tolland, Union, Vernon, Willington, Woodstock. 

Guglielmo, a relentless provider of constituent services, has enjoyed a firm hold on his northeastern Connecticut district, which in this fall’s race will likely lean Republican.

February 16, 2018   3:59 pm   Comments Off on A Star Takes a Bow. Guglielmo Will Not Seek 14th Term.

This Day: Judiciary Must Condemn Anti-Semitism at Confirmation Hearing.

The legislature’s judiciary committee begins a slew of re-confirmation hearings for judges today. The members have an additional essential task today. Each member should condemn the anti-Semitism that has been directed at Superior Court Judge Jane Emons, who is before the committee for a second term on the bench.

Search Judge Emons online and links to the abuse to which she has been subjected appear. It is appalling and cannot be met with silence. Judge Emons should not have to face this alone. An assignment to family court should not be a prelude to hideous abuse.

February 16, 2018   9:33 am   Comments Off on This Day: Judiciary Must Condemn Anti-Semitism at Confirmation Hearing.

SEEC Bans Herbst Treasurer for Five Years For Wrong Forms in 2017 Stamford Race.

The State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) can be harsh. It entered into a Valentine’s Day agreement with veteran Republican William Jenkins over his role as treasurer of a 2017 for Stamford Republican mayoral candidate Barry Michaelson. Jenkins, according the consent agreement approved by SEEC, filed campaign finance disclosure documents that were not “published by the State Elections Enforcement Commission” twice during the campaign.

The resolution of the complaint requires Jenkins to pay a $4,000 fine that will be waived if he does not violate the order for five years beginning March 1, 2018. Jenkins is permitted to continue to serve as treasurer for any campaign he was treasurer of as of January 18, 2018. That will allow him to continue to serve the Tim Herbst gubernatorial campaign.

February 15, 2018   10:06 am   Comments Off on SEEC Bans Herbst Treasurer for Five Years For Wrong Forms in 2017 Stamford Race.

If Only They’d Been Librarians. O’Connor’s “Cultural Cleanup” Falls Short, According to Suit Against Fund.

He couldn’t get men to behave. That’s the charge leveled in a lawsuit from a female employee of Steven Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management Firm of Stamford. The action includes mentions of general counsel and former U.S. attorney Kevin O’Connor, according to a blockbuster New York Times story. 

Cohen has had some troubles with regulators and has been planning a relaunch that would allow him to invest money from other than his own fortune. Plaintiff Lauren Bonner’s lawsuit alleges women are not treated fairly and encounter a hostile work environment. Her complaint, according to the Times, quotes O’Connor as stating, “the reality is that this is just a really tough place for women, and that’s not going to change.”

O’Connor’s tenure as U.S. attorney in Connecticut was marked by a sustained crusade to gag librarians under the Patriot Act. The lawsuit suggests O’Connor has not applied the same vigor to outbreaks of misogyny at the investment fund where he was hired to perform a “cultural cleanup.”

Point72 declared it will contest the allegations in a forum other than the press. Perhaps confidential arbitration will serve its purpose as the matter proceeds.

February 13, 2018   3:13 pm   Comments Off on If Only They’d Been Librarians. O’Connor’s “Cultural Cleanup” Falls Short, According to Suit Against Fund.

Endorsement Season Continues: Tesei Supports Obsitnik.

Republican Steve Obsitnik marks Abraham Lincoln’s birthday with a rollout of endorsements. Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei leads the list.

Here’s the rest of the list of party stalwarts declaring for the Westport businessman:


Former First Selectman Steve Vavrek – Monroe

Selectman Bob Hebert – Ridgefield

Former First Selectman and RTC Chair Woody Bliss – Weston

Former Selectman Avi Kaner – Westport

Former GOP State Secretary and Former Norwalk RTC Chair Art Scialabba– Norwalk

Former State Rep. John Hetherington – 125st District (New Canaan, Wilton)

Former State Representative Jo Fuchs Luscombe – 136st District (Westport)

Town Councilman Kevin Kerttula – Killingly

Former RTC Chair Britta Lerner – Weston

Former RTC Chair Pete Wolgast – Westport

Former RTC Chair Bob Bewkes – Darien

RTC Vice Chair Joe Sledge – Westport

Former RTC Vice Chair Karen Hess – Westport

Former Tax Collector Tod Laudonia – Greenwich

P&Z Commission Member (UCONN Young Republicans Executive Board) Kurt Schenher – Tolland

February 12, 2018   9:17 am   Comments Off on Endorsement Season Continues: Tesei Supports Obsitnik.

Bysiewicz to Abandon State Senate Exploratory Committee. Will File to Explore Statewide Office.

Who can you believe? Her campaign insisted last year that Susan Bysiewicz would not be running for governor in 2018. The former secretary of the state and eight-time candidate for statewide office would seek a seat in the state Senate. Bysiewicz aide Laura Cahill was emphatic about that in a tart 2017 call to Daily Ructions. Bysiewicz was moving into a district that would allow her to challenge Republican incumbent Len Suzio. She would be selling her home in state Senator Paul Doyle’s district.

Today, Bysiewicz is expected to convert her exploratory committee into a candidate committee for governor. This means the Middletown Democrat will not be running for the legislature from Bristol or Art Linares’s Middlesex County district. Those were once potential launchpads for a Bysiewicz revival. Events have not intervened to allow her another shot at the U.S. Senate. Governor it is.

Bysiewicz started to run for governor in 2006 but abandoned that after some unhappy town committee encounters with rivals Dannel Malloy and John DeStefano. She commenced another run for governor in 2010 but gave that up to run for attorney general when incumbent Richard Blumenthal began his bid for the U.S. Senate when unpopular incumbent Christopher J. Dodd (D-Countrywide) announced he would not run for a sixth term. The state Supreme Court ruled that spring that Bysiewicz had not practiced law for 10 years and was, therefore, not eligible to run.

UPDATE: Uh-oh. Bysiewicz’s campaign for governor is off to a confusing start. The candidate went to the wrong office to file her new campaign papers. The secretary of the state no longer handles those documents, which came as a surprise to Bysiewicz. She eventually made her way to the correct office, the State Elections Enforcement Commission.

It appears that Bysiewicz is exploring a run for governor, but that was included in her April 18, 2017 exploratory campaign formation document filed with SEEC. It included statewide office and General Assembly, but not including state representative or state treasurer.

UPDATE #2: A helpful reader points out that Bysiewicz presided over the transition of election filings from her office to SEEC when she was secretary of the state.

February 8, 2018   10:26 am   Comments Off on Bysiewicz to Abandon State Senate Exploratory Committee. Will File to Explore Statewide Office.

He’s Celebrating Too! Governor Throws Party to Mark His Final State of the State Address.

You are not the only one marking Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s final budget address with some happy relief. The governor is throwing a festive luncheon at the residence to mark the milestone that includes more of his trademark tax increases and punishments for working families.

The celebration is for family and friends.

February 7, 2018   9:36 am   Comments Off on He’s Celebrating Too! Governor Throws Party to Mark His Final State of the State Address.

Verrengia to Return Lobbyist Contributions After Making Special Session Solicitation.

State Representative Joseph Verrengia (D-West Hartford) will return lobbyist contributions solicited while the legislature was in special session last week. Verrengia, a veteran police officer and co-chair of the legislature’s public safety committee, had a campaign fundraising event scheduled for January 31st from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Wast Hartford. The House had been called into special session and was scheduled to meet that day. That morning, lobbyists received solicitations to donate and attend the Verrengia campaign event.

Legislators may not solicit lobbyists while the legislature is in a regular session or a special session with the exception of even years after the regular session adjourns. When contacted by Daily Ructions, Verrengia explained that the event was on an email reminder program that had been set for January 31st before he realized the legislature would be in special session. He has notified the State Elections Enforcement Commission of his error and will return lobbyist contributions from the event.

February 6, 2018   8:54 am   Comments Off on Verrengia to Return Lobbyist Contributions After Making Special Session Solicitation.

He’s Baaaaaack. Luxenberg Will Try to Reclaim Ex-wife’s House Seat.

Geoff Luxenberg, the controversial political consultant who briefly served as chief of staff to Middletown Mayor Dan Drew last year, is running for the House of Representatives. Luxenberg took to social media to announce he will try to win the Manchester seat being given up by his ex-wife.

Luxenberg won the seat when Ryan Barry declined to run for re-election in 2010. Luxenberg, facing some headwinds, did not run for a third term. He was succeeded in office by his wife at the time, Kelly Luxenberg, who has returned to her maiden name, Kelly Juleson-Scopino.


February 5, 2018   9:11 am   Comments Off on He’s Baaaaaack. Luxenberg Will Try to Reclaim Ex-wife’s House Seat.