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Republicans to Elect New Leader of State Party Committee Tuesday Evening. Boughton Wants to Short-Circuit Roll Call. With an Update.

Republican State Central Committee members will gather in Bristol Tuesday night to elect a new committee chairman. Hopefuls Joe Markley, John Pavia and J. R. Romano and their supporters were scampering to confirm votes they think are committed to them and secure others in the long contest.

Rumors remain a staple of this race. Nevertheless, informal soundings suggest that Romano holds an advantage in the party hothouse as uncommitted members make up their minds and unscrupulous ones ponder the ones they have made. Honor can take a pummeling in intra-party contests.

Mark Boughton, mayor of Danbury and a member of the state party committee, has an unusual suggestion. Boughton wants to end the roll call as soon as one candidate achieves a majority and make the committee’s choice unanimous. This could keep members who have passed at the beginning of the roll call or are at the end of it from casting a vote. That does not seem right. The trio of candidates deserve a proper vote.

Here’s Boughton’s email:

Friends,

Tonight we will elected a new State Party Chair. We have three candidates who have been working most of the spring to secure our support.
Regardless of who your favorite candidate is. I would like to offer the following suggestion for tonight’s vote in the interest of party unity.
Once a candidate has acquired the required number of votes to win (50% plus 1) – as a showing of support for the new Chair and a message that we are unified, that we switch our ballot for the Chairman – elect so that the election will be unanimous.
This can be accomplished by having the Chair of the meeting pause once it has been determined that a candidate has crossed the threshold for election, announce the tally of the vote, and then asking if any members would like to switch their vote.
Of course any member has the right not to switch, it’s just an idea.

Regards,

Mark Boughton

Late Afternoon Update: It is only anecdotal, but observers and participants tell Daily Ructions that J. R. Romano may be losing ground to Joe Markley in the hours leading to the start of voting for Republican party chair. Some heavy-handed tactics by Romano supporters–disseminated, scrutinized and commented upon by email, text and even telephone–may be sending doubters into the Markley camp.

June 23, 2015   No Comments

Florida Governor to Address Connecticut Business Group Friday Morning in Norwalk.

A business group will meet with Florida Governor Rick Scott Friday morning in Norwalk “to find ways to retain jobs and people” in Connecticut. Organizers expect more than 50 members to attend the 8 a.m. confab.

We can expect more of this as business leaders raiser their voices in protest at new punitive taxes on innovation and production in Connecticut.

Here’s more on the event:

Steve Obsitnik and Bart Shuldman, both local business leaders said, “The continued impact of the budget and proposed tax increases make the business environment in Connecticut an increasing challenge. As business leaders who constantly benchmark and look for best practices, we want to find constructive, thoughtful ways for businesses to stay competitive and create job growth within our state. In addition to hearing from other business leaders, Governor Rick Scott from Florida has asked to address this group. Florida has been successful in improving its job growth and business climate and his thoughts will give us insight into how we must react as a state and business leaders. As important, it will give us a better understanding into how our competitors outside of Connecticut are gaining advantage in other states against us. We look forward to providing the opportunity for participants in this group to discuss changing the course of Connecticut’s future.”

The roundtable will be closed to the media. Florida Governor Rick Scott will be addressing the group with a question and answer session which will be open to the media. 

Florida began airing economic development commercials on Connecticut radio Monday.

June 23, 2015   No Comments

Season of Discontent: Senate Dems Call Tele-Caucus Monday Night to Sooth Restive Troops.

Unhappy state Senate Democrats will caucus by telephone Monday evening. Some of the 19 caucus members who voted for their leaders’ budget on June 3rd are dismayed at events that followed the adoption of another round of tax increases required to fund of he two-year $40 billion budget.

Members of the public have been making their dissatisfaction with the budget known. National media attention has made Connecticut a cautionary tale for punitive taxes to support lavish spending in a state with an economy perpetually in the doldrums. The spotlight on Connecticut’s damaging policies comes as GE continues to look for a new home, Sikorsky is on the block, and Indiana-based Anthem makes a bid for Connecticut health insurer Cigna.

The 21-member caucus was caught by surprise when Governor Dannel P. Malloy, a fellow Democrat, announced Friday that he’ll seek authority from the legislature to make a quarter billion in reductions to the budget and propose some small reductions to parts of the tax increase package.

June 15, 2015   Comments Off on Season of Discontent: Senate Dems Call Tele-Caucus Monday Night to Sooth Restive Troops.

Immelt Today on GE Move: Searching for “a Big City in a Growth Oriented State.”

GE chief executive Immelt Saturday confirmed GE’s interest in leaving Connecticut, Daily Ructions has learned. Immelt was a featured speaker today at Mitt Romney’s annual gathering of notables at the Stein Eriksen Lodge to discuss politics and public policy.

“Yes, absolutely,” Immelt was heard to say when asked if GE is serious about finding a new corporate home. Nothing in Democratic Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s Friday announcement of tweaks in a pending round of more punitive tax increases appears to have moved GE off the course it announced on June 1st. Those changes are more likely to calm restive Hartford insurance companies Aetna and Travelers. Immelt, a high-profile business advisor to President Obama, called the business environment in Connecticut “horrible.”

Immelt’s primary criteria is clear: “A big city in a growth oriented state.”

June 13, 2015   Comments Off on Immelt Today on GE Move: Searching for “a Big City in a Growth Oriented State.”

Republican Chair Hopefuls Mum on Support.

The long contest to lead Connecticut’s rickety Republican organization has featured bursts of fevered rumors, game plans for the future, the odd recrimination, the airing of grievances. These are all staple of intraparty fights, especially in a party that holds no major offices in the state.

Declarations of support for each of the hopefuls–Joe Markley, John Pavia and J.R. Romano–have been thin on the ground. The candidates have not produced a stream of endorsements from state party committee members, who will vote on a new leader later this month. Committee members are notoriously cagey and unreliable in appearing to support a candidate while convincing themselves they have offered only polite encouragement.

Candidates need to push if they want commitments. Apply the veteran voter counter’s rule of three: make your marks say three times you’ve secured their support. Short of that, heaping helpings of delusion can be the central offering on the campaign menu. No one wants to push because disappointments will far outnumber firm, public commitments. A candidate who starts releasing public statements of support from the small universe of voters may create some momentum where there has been none while forcing rivals to start showing what they’ve got.

June 12, 2015   Comments Off on Republican Chair Hopefuls Mum on Support.

Longo and Frey Bring Christie to Connecticut for Cigars and Party Building PAC.


Republican National Committee members Pat Longo and John Frey are doing the heavy lifting of raising money for party building efforts. The popular duo are bringing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Republican National Committee co-chair Sharon Day to New Haven on June 16th as the star attraction for Longo and Frey’s organization, CT Leadership PAC.

Christie became familiar with Connecticut Republican politics when he invested millions in Republican Governor Association money in an effort to drag Tom Foley (#ThrewItAway) over the finish line first in last fall’s race for governor. Christie is said now and then to be considering a bid for president as he ponders his manifold troubles in New Jersey.

The suggested contribution for the event from individual donors is $125 and $750 for federal PACs.

The trio of candidates seeking to become state party chair are co-sponsors of the event, which will be held The Owl Shoppe. The gathering could provide an opportunity for others to test sentiments as no clear frontrunner has emerged in the long march. Party building–instead of travel–will be a priority for the next chair in the aftermath of the staggering failures of the Labriola years.

 

June 9, 2015   Comments Off on Longo and Frey Bring Christie to Connecticut for Cigars and Party Building PAC.

SEEC Tags Legislative Clerk Angel Morales for $30,000 in 2010 Campaign Finance Violations.

Big trouble for Hartford Democrat and General Law Committee clerk Angel Morales. Most of the public funds he received in his 2010 nail biter in a Democratic primary against incumbent state Representative Kelvin Roldan disappeared without benefit of receipts.

Morales and his benighted campaign treasurer were unable to account for $19,381.85 of the $26,000 in public funds provided by the taxpayer. The SEEC opinion makes it clear that Morales was in no hurry to assist SEEC in its investigation of the missing Citizens’ Election Fund money. Morales must pay back the missing money and a $10,000 fine. His campaign treasurer, Jason Lopez, is on the hook for a $5,000 fine.

 

 

June 9, 2015   Comments Off on SEEC Tags Legislative Clerk Angel Morales for $30,000 in 2010 Campaign Finance Violations.

State Republicans Court Disaster as Labriola Threatens to Seek New Term.

Maybe it was the high spirits of the evening. Republican party chairman Jerry Labriola told several party loyalists at Thursday’s annual Prescott Bush fundraising dinner that he may enter this month’s contest for his job, Daily Ructions has learned. Labriola’s confidants spent Friday sharing their dismay at the prospect.

The race for party chairman features rivals Joe Markley, John Pavia, and J.R. Romano. No candidate has emerged as the clear leader in competition to be decided by the party’s state central committee at the end of June. Labriola may have misinterpreted the party’s failure to remove him shortly after November’s many election disappointments as a vote of confidence rather than the demoralized party’s polite instinct to let Labriola’s tenure fade away.

The annual Bush dinner can become boozy affairs for some of its organizers. The gathering may have induced cloudy visions in Labriola that he could grope his way to a late ballot victory in the fractured field of hopefuls.

June 5, 2015   Comments Off on State Republicans Court Disaster as Labriola Threatens to Seek New Term.

Column: Democrats and the Age of Consequences Arrives. Klarides and Her Uncertain Trumpet.

You can read my Sunday Hartford Courant column here. What a week in Connecticut.

June 4, 2015   Comments Off on Column: Democrats and the Age of Consequences Arrives. Klarides and Her Uncertain Trumpet.

A Classic Film Metaphor for Democrats’ Punitive State Budget Plan.

 

Imagine you left the northeast today and returned in, say, 15 years.

June 3, 2015   Comments Off on A Classic Film Metaphor for Democrats’ Punitive State Budget Plan.