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Doyle to the Rescue. Senator Will Hold Hearing on Crumbling Foundations.

Take that, Timothy Larson. The East Hartford Democrat used his influence on the legislature’s insurance committee to veto a public hearing on a bill to require insurance companies to participate in a solution to the crumbling foundation crisis east of the Connecticut River. The petulant Larson’s gambit won’t work. State Senator Paul Doyle will use his position as co-chairman of the judiciary committee to hold a public hearing on crumbling foundations.

Doyle, who is running for the Democratic nomination for attorney general, made the announcement Thursday night when meeting with Democrats in Danielson. William Tong, who is co-chair of judiciary and also running for attorney general, was at the meeting, offered no support. Larson is Tong’s campaign treasurer.

February 23, 2018   Comments Off on Doyle to the Rescue. Senator Will Hold Hearing on Crumbling Foundations.

This Ought to be Something. Alexander to Challenge Kissel.

Former state Representative David Alexander is seeking the Democratic nomination in the 7th Senate District. The Enfield resident is attempting a comeback after several alcohol-fueled arrests in 2015 and 2016. Alexander was defeated for re-election to the House in 2016.

If nominated, Alexander will face incumbent Republican state Senator John Kissel of Enfield, which is the biggest town in the district.

February 23, 2018   Comments Off on This Ought to be Something. Alexander to Challenge Kissel.

Larson Becomes Liability for Tong. Senator Refuses Public Hearing for Beleaguered Homeowners.

Maybe if it had something to do with coyotes state Senator Timothy Larson (D-East Hartford) would have allowed a bill on addressing the plague of crumbling foundations in the Hartford area and eastern Connecticut to receiving a public hearing. Instead, the co-chairman of the Committee on Insurance and Real Estate used his influence to deny the public an opportunity to make their case to require companies that insure homes to participate in a solution.

The courtesy of a public hearing is rarely denied advocates on a pressing issue–and is often accorded to minor ones. Communities in Larson’s district have been burdened with a growing number of distressed foundations. The former East Hartford mayor sided with insurance companies in opposing a hearing for the bill, according to the Journal Inquirer.

Larson is serving as the treasurer of Will Tong’s campaign for attorney general. His anti-homeowner stance will make Tong a target of furious homeowners. Tong will have a difficult time squaring his mildly populist appeal with Larson’s blow to thousands of homeowners. Social media was ablaze Wednesday with furious rebukes of Larson. He may be beyond the political reach of many but Tong is not. Beleaguered homeowners have been introduced to the levers of power in this protracted crisis. They heave learned to speak the language of Connecticut politics. Denying Tong local delegates to the state Democratic nominating convention is one way to revive the bill.

Meanwhile, Larson has been busy warning constituents that they and their pets face danger from a growing coyote population. He suggests fences may be the only solution.

February 22, 2018   Comments Off on Larson Becomes Liability for Tong. Senator Refuses Public Hearing for Beleaguered Homeowners.

Jonathan Harris’s Busy Week.

Democratic operative Jonathan Harris is enjoying a busy week. The West Hartford Democrat will finally convert his exploratory committee for statewide office into a candidate committee for governor. The former legislator and mayor is also having to spend more time than he expected whipping West Hartford Democrats into line behind his lackluster effort for high office. Anything other than unanimous support among delegates would be a fatal embarrassment. A tranche of local activists would rather not sit out the campaign as Harris supporters but to follow their hearts and minds might have local consequences.

Still no word on when Harris will release those ugly emails and other records the state Democratic party paid more than $300,000 to keep secret and end an investigation into what Harris and other Malloy loyalists did to subvert campaign finance laws in 2014. You’ll know Harris is getting some traction when Democrats and Republicans start to shine a light on that slimy burden.

February 21, 2018   Comments Off on Jonathan Harris’s Busy Week.

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