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Anti-Free Speech Wolf PAC Spends Big in 32nd District Special Election.

Wolf PAC, a group seeking to diminish political speech by amending the Constitution, is a big spender in Connecticut’s 32nd Senate District special election, according to reports filed with the State Elections Enforcement Commission. Wolf PAC spent more than $40,000.00 last week on printing and postage for Democrat Greg Cava, who faces Republican state Representative Eric Berthel in the February 28th contest. A Sir Speedy on Boylston Street in Boston is doing very well in this race.

Wolf PAC is spending big money to stop others from exercising their own free speech rights.


February 27, 2017   Comments Off on Anti-Free Speech Wolf PAC Spends Big in 32nd District Special Election.

Grow Connecticut Makes Late Entry in 32nd Senate Special Election.

It ought to be a lock, but the atmosphere is fraught for Republicans across the nation as voters realized what they elected to the White House in November. That means Eric Berthel may face some hurdles in his race to fill the vacancy in the 32nd Senate District created when Republicans made the egregious deadbeat dad Rob Kane a state auditor.

Voters go to the polls on Tuesday in a district that went for Trump last fall by hefty margins in almost all its 10 towns. Special elections are unpredictable. (On Thursday, the Tories won a British by-election for a House of Commons seat that had been held by Labour for more than 80 years.) If Democrats can convince their voters they will  be striking a blow against Trump by capturing one of the most Republican seats in the state, they will be in with a chance.

Republicans need to motivate their voters to get to the poll by convincing them the race is all about stopping Dannel P. Malloy’s plan to shift hundreds of millions of dollars in local education funding from towns like Waterford to Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport and Waterbury.

Enter Liz Kurantowicz’s Grow Connecticut. That’s the independent expenditure committee that was so successful in helping to elect Republicans to the legislature in November. That was the election in which Republicans tied Democrats in the state Senate at 18-18. Two months later, the same Republicans decided to risk their newfound influence by granting Kane’s wish for a full-time job.

Grow Connecticut is spending $11,011.50 on laser targeting mobile advertising in the district. Because you never know.

The buy is being paid for with a $15,000 contribution from the Republican State Leadership Committee, a national organization based in Washington, DC.

February 24, 2017   Comments Off on Grow Connecticut Makes Late Entry in 32nd Senate Special Election.

The Half Life of an Ugly Footnote.

The legislature is taking more time than usual in its consideration of another term for a state Supreme Court justice. Richard N. Palmer’s renomination was held by the legislature’s judiciary committee on Friday after a long session with the controversial three term member of the state’s highest court. All other judicial nominations advanced through the committee.

One hurdle for Palmer is his struggle to explain the  notorious footnote 69 in the 2015 decision in Richard LaPointe v. Commissioner of Correction. The case was argued in 2013 and the opinion provided a glimpse of what an unpleasant place the court has become. Palmer accused colleague Carmen E. Espinoza of dishonoring the court with her dissent in the 1987 Manchester murder case.

Palmer’s lengthy footnote concluded, “We will not respond in kind to Justice Espinosa’s offensive accusations; we are content, instead, to rely on the merits of our analysis of the issues presented by this appeal. Unfortunately, in taking a different path, Justice Espinosa dishonors this court.”

The published footnote does not reveal the entire path of the controversy. Legislators ought to ask to see what Palmer originally circulated to colleagues in the majority opinion that took an unusually long time to be completed. They can apply their own experiences in public discourse to determine if it was appropriate and decide if it meets the fluid standard of cultural norms Palmer embraced in his stunning about-face on the death penalty. 

February 22, 2017   Comments Off on The Half Life of an Ugly Footnote.

Two More Join Race for Governor.

Democrats can look forward to Lee Whitnum making the rounds of town committees to talk about her ideas for all sorts of things. Do not be surprised if she wedges criticism of Israel into plan to improve Connecticut, should she present one. The Greenwich Democrat ran for the U.S House of Representatives 12 2008, U.S. Senate in 2010 and 2012, and governor in 2014.

Whitnum is skipping the exploratory round of the race. She has filed a candidate committee with the State Elections Enforcement Commission. If Whitnum is remembered at all for her various races, it is most likely to be for calling fellow Democrat Chris Murphy a “whore” for AIPAC, the pro-Israeli organization, in a 2012 Democratic debate. Moderator Gerry Brooks really is a pro.

Republican Mark Lauretti is also making another bid for the state’s top office. He’s not exploring, he’s running. Lauretti ran for governor in 2014, abandoned that race for a brief and confused partnership as running mate with Mark Boughton. You’re right, that was a confusing time for everyone who paid attention to Republican alliances and rivalries.

Lauretti has been the mayor of Shelton for 26 years, not all them smooth. He did prove himself to be a good fundraiser in the early going of his curious 2014 campaign.

February 15, 2017   Comments Off on Two More Join Race for Governor.

Losing Their Way. CT GOP Offers Pistol Permit Class.

If you have tears, prepare to shed some. Connecticut Republicans chose a curious way to mark Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. The struggling party organization announced on Monday it is offering pistol permit classes.

If you do not believe it, read about it here and witness how a party loses its way.

February 13, 2017   Comments Off on Losing Their Way. CT GOP Offers Pistol Permit Class.

Malloy Budget: Hospitals in the Center Ring Again.

Watch for major changes in hospital taxes and funding in Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s budget. The new hospital policies will continue the Malloy theme of massive transfers of money from suburbs to cities. One underlying purpose of the hospital plan appears to be the rescue of Hartford mayor Luke Bronin’s fading political fortunes.

Hospital executives may once more need to reflect on whether the leadership of the Connecticut Hospital Association is up to the challenge about to confront the state’s hospitals. This time the members of CHA may come to a different decision than they have in the previous six years of unrelenting combat with the Malloy administration.

February 6, 2017   Comments Off on Malloy Budget: Hospitals in the Center Ring Again.

Ronald Reagan’s Birthday.

He was born this day 106 years ago. He was older than Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy. This is JFK’s centennial year. (More on that as we get closer.) Here’s Ronald Reagan in defeat in 1976, winning converts for his 1980 victory. No moral equivalency here. A bold banner unfurled.


February 6, 2017   Comments Off on Ronald Reagan’s Birthday.

Legislature Rejects DCF in Bipartisan Rebuke to Katz.

In the end, it was not close in the House or Senate. Overwhelming bipartisan majorities rejected a deal to lock in the Department of Children and Families budget in exchange for lighter oversight by a federal oversight. The deal would have allowed secrecy to thrive even more than it does at the shrouded agency.

Child welfare advocates will want to acknowledge state Representative Toni Walker’s contribution to Wednesday’s win. The New Haven Democrat lead the fight to reject the deal in the House.

A looming federal report on DCF’s performance measured by a host of measures ought to be available soon. The report is expected to show that Commissioner Joette Katz’s claims of progress are overstated.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy took the rejection with graceless remarks that have become his unhappy hallmark. “Today the General Assembly stand in the way of progress for our most vulnerable children and families.” Malloy must not have read the proposed agreement. Rejecting it was a collective act of wisdom, devoid of politics.

February 1, 2017   Comments Off on Legislature Rejects DCF in Bipartisan Rebuke to Katz.

Brava, Mae Flexer. Casts Only Senate Vote Against Kane.


They’ll be lifting more glasses than usual at the Juniper tonight. The state Senate diminished itself by approving former state senator Robert Kane’s nomination to become one of Connecticut’s two state auditors. The vote was 32-1. Democrat Mae Flexer was the one brave vote against this preposterous nomination. Good for her. Flexer was a staffer in the Senate Democratic office before becoming a legislator, so she may have had more unhappy knowledge of Kane than the legislators who chose to avert their gaze from what they know. The insiders party won one today. They must be proud of themselves.

This is more likely than most appointments to bring embarrassment on the legislature.

February 1, 2017   Comments Off on Brava, Mae Flexer. Casts Only Senate Vote Against Kane.

Life Post-Hartford: AEG Thriving.

Entertainment event promoter and venue operator AEG left Hartford when it lost its XL Center management contract in 2013. AEG is doing great, according to the New York Post. The XL Center has declined in the aftermath of AEG’s departure.

February 1, 2017   Comments Off on Life Post-Hartford: AEG Thriving.