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Slamming the Brakes. Malloy Stumbles on Illegal Immigrant Driver’s License Program.

Mark Davis sounds like he’s on to something. The Malloy administration has postponed the process of illegal immigrants obtaining Connecticut driver’s licenses until….wait for it…..after the November election.

Watch the video here. Note the preposterous reference to the Affordable Care Act. One suspects texts and emails from Malloy’s shadow network of private accounts would tell a different story.

August 26, 2014   No Comments

New Jersey Throws Out 17,000 Red Light Camera Tickets.

Tales of fresh fiascos from the annals of red light cameras. This time from New Jersey. Seventeen thousand drivers were not informed they’d been ensnared in the lucrative private-public scheme. The tickets have been thrown out.

Anti-red light camera leader Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon says the mass errors ought to be enough to let the program end later this year. This development in the Redflex-Chicago corruption investigation ought to serve as another cautionary tale:

The news of the glitch comes just days after the former CEO of Redflex — New Jersey’s other red light camera operator — was indicted on federal corruption charges for allegedly bribing Chicago officials to help the company win contracts in the city. That came months after a fired executive from the Phoenix-based company claimed that the company paid bribes and gave gifts to government officials in 13 states – including New Jersey.

State Sen. Michael Doherty (R-Warren) on Wednesday called for the state Attorney General to investigate whether the company bribed any New Jersey officials.

Daily Ructions readers may recall that red light camera pirates and their government conspirators tried inflict their gambit on Connecticut drivers.

August 22, 2014   No Comments

The People v. Malloy. Prosecution Begins Its Case.

Appearing today on a screen in your home or hand.

August 18, 2014   No Comments

Get Ready for More of This. Senate Dems’ Slap Planted in UConn Foundation Job.

State Senate Democrats’ chief of staff Derek Slap will become a vice president at the murky University of Connecticut Foundation. Slap’s new job begins September 2nd. The Democratic operative has been with the Senate Democrats for seven years. He departs only a few months before retiring caucus leader Donald Williams (who also tried to get a job in higher education) leaves the legislature.

Slap will oversee “external relations” for the foundation. That job will largely entail keeping state officials and the public from getting a close view of what goes on in the organization. Though it received millions in public funds each year, the foundation is not subject to freedom of information laws or oversight by the state’s auditors. An August 1st email foundation head Josh Newton to foundation employees, its board of directors, and UConn’s “President’s Cabinet”, lays it on thick. Newton writes of Slap, who can be abrasive, “He is dynamic, energetic, extremely focused and will be a great fit into our organization’s culture.” What a nationwide search to fill the job it must have been. Newton told recipients of his message that Slap is an expert in crisis communications. Translation: blocking any bits of sunlight that might make their way into the foundation’s operation.

Slap is not expected to be the only Democratic state official to land in UConn land. Watch for at least one high ranking Malloy official to snag a big job at the university before the first snow falls. A job at UConn is not subject to the same public integrity protections against political hires that apply to the rest of state government. A new governor would not have the same authority to undo late term (after a November defeat, for example) appointments at UConn that he would have over the state bureaucracy.

August 18, 2014   No Comments

Tales from a Town on Primary Morning. Why Anything Can Happen.



Barren polling place

Good morning on a sleepy primary day in Connecticut. I vote in South Windsor, a town with two well-organized, competitive party operations. Only the Republicans have a primary here today. Last year year’s first ever Republican primary for town council drew nearly 33% of the local faithful to the polls. This morning at about 9:30 a.m.,  5.73% of registered Republicans had voted in the contests for governor, lieutenant governor and comptroller. That includes 52 absentee ballots.

Linda McMahon’s formidable primary organization drove turnout in the 2010 and 2012 primaries, especially in absentee ballots. It’s difficult for a candidate for statewide office to mount a proper effort with $1.4 million in the public funds.

The path to the 75 ft. marker is normally festooned with a forest of signs, even on a special referendum. A forlorn sight awaited voters this morning.

A low turnout can be lethal for frontrunners or provide a day of false hope for their challengers.

UPDATE: At 4:30 p.m., 15% of South Windsor Republicans had voted in person or by absentee.


August 12, 2014   Comments Off

Primary Explosion: Somers GOTV Call Shines Light on Walker-Weicker Alliance.

Spirited Republican lieutenant governor hopeful Heather Bond Somers is out with a robo call drawing attention to rival David Walker’s chummy relationship with former governor and former United States Senator Lowell Palmer Walker  Weicker. The call, recorded by Somers supporter Tom Scott suggests a “pal” of the father of the state income tax (“like putting gas on a fire” LPW as 1990 candidate) is not the best choice lieutenant governor on this year’s Republican ticket. Scott reminds listeners that it was a lieutenant governor who cast the crucial vote to enact the income tax in August 1991.

Scott has been a prominent supporter of Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley. The Scott call sends a message to Foley primary voters that has been percolating among activists for several weeks. Somers is the safe choice for running mate in the fall battle against Democrats Dannel P. Malloy and Nancy Wyman.

Somers has also pointed out that Walker has not been been a Republican for long.

Republicans vote Tuesday.

Here’s the call:


August 10, 2014   Comments Off

Herbst Wants to Debate Nappier–Five Times.

Republican nominee for state treasurer Tim Herbst wants to debate incumbent Democrat Denise Nappier five times this fall. Herbst issued the challenge today.

One debate would probably make his point. Five could become a hit fall reality series.

August 8, 2014   Comments Off

Heather Bond Somers Strikes a Nerve: Walker =Weicker. Primary Voters, You’ve Been Warned.

David Walker on FTSWeicker as Governor

Full marks to Republican lieutenant  governor hopeful Heather Bond Somers raising rival David Walker’s ties to former governor Lowell P. Weicker in the Republican-bashing industry that have been filling many of Weicker’s public pronouncements since he lost his U.S. Senate seat in 1988.

Read about Walker and Weicker in this 2011 Connecticut Post account of a “summit on fiscal accountability.” The event featured Weicker and U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman.

Here are two excerpts of note:

“Like the event’s two headliners, Walker is also a party cast-off. He left the GOP to become an independent 14 years ago.” (That would have been 1997, an odd year to decide to leave the GOP.) 

“Weicker delivered a blistering commentary on the state of Connecticut Republican Party at the event, calling the party a ‘non-entity’. ‘The Connecticut Republican Party mirrors itself after the national Republican Party. Forget it. It doesn’t sell in Connecticut,’ Weicker, the former first selectman of Greenwich, said in an interview.”

Read the article here.

Republicans pick their nominees in an August 12th primary.

August 7, 2014   Comments Off

There She Goes Again. Bacchiochi Gets Government Money for Her Business, Too.

Republican lieutenant governor hopeful Penny Bacchiochi has tripped again. The Stafford state representative has been criticizing rival Heather Bond Somers for state job training money for the biomedical company in which she was a partner. Turns out Bacchiochi has a taste for public funding. The accident-prone candidate advertises it on her property management company’s website.

From the home page of Bacchiochi’s Louis Management, LLC:

” The majority of our apartments are financed by the United States Dept. of Agriculture’s Rural Development Housing Program – and some of these units come with Rental Assistance. (Rent is based on income).”

Don’t be surprised if Bacchiochi gets pressed to reveal some details that conflict with her condemnation of “corporate welfare.”

The Republican primary is on August 12th.

August 4, 2014   Comments Off

Joette Katz Uses Anonymous Web Comment to Attack Child Advocate, WNPR.

Department of Children and Families Commissioner Joette Katz is beginning to sound a little kooky. The former judge sent a strange memo to members of the unit holding transgender teen Jane Doe, the subject of considerable attention for the past several months. Jane Doe, under the care of DCF, was confined to prison with Katz’s approval, though the teen was not charged with or convicted of a crime.

Sarah Eagan, the state’s child advocate,  accused DCF of engaging in “a public shaming” Jane Doe. WNPR wrote about the story. Read its account here. Katz was not pleased. She sent a one paragraph memo to the “Pueblo community”–those are DCF workers who oversee Jane Doe and other difficult cases. Katz wanted to thank them for their work. What is unusual about the memo is its second goal. “I want to share with you a comment to a recent NPR article because it shows that others recognize the need for your good work and the need for you also to feel safe.” Katz includes the anonymous comment below the WNPR story from reader “roanie”. The comment is several times longer than Katz’a memo and lets loose on a variety of targets.

It borders on kooky for a commissioner of a state agency to resort to an anonymous (at least anonymous to readers) comment on a radio station website to unleash her wrath on her growing army of critics. Here’s the comment:

This is a disturbing and potentially dangerous story. The Child Advocate, Sarah Eagan seems to be out of her depth and very unprofessional. Instead of criticizing DCF for “public shaming” she should be praising them for public service. Imagine if Jane Doe had been moved in the middle of the night to a more restrictive facility and DCF had said nothing about the move. DCF would have been vilified for “kidnapping”Jane and hiding what they did. This story has received national coverage. DCF should be commended for quickly making those who are watching and who care about Jane aware of the change in her custody. The public would have learned about the move eventually. There is no shame in informing the public about this change in her custody — it is a fact and the public needs to be aware of it, to the degree allowable by law. Eagan encourages transparency and then complains about DCF attempting to be transparent. Weird. The notion that DCF would want to “shame” Jane is both silly and malicious.
Are Sarah Eagan and Sandra Staub privy to the police report of this unfortunate incident? If so, they should not be judge and jury of what appears to have been a complex situation that happened very quickly. If not, then they choose to ignore Jane’s long, and unique, history of violent behavior across many institutions — according to court records and other public information — actions that were at the extreme seen in the juvenile system. Do the OCA and ACLU not care about safety? Do they not care about the other girls? Are staff assumed to just be victims? If staff are victimized without consequences, will they be able to protect other youth in the future? I worry that the well-intentioned blindness of Eagan and Staub could result in something much worse happening and, of course, they will blame DCF.
I am most disappointed in NPR. For years I have counted on them for quality journalism. This story appears to be another attempt to “sell papers” or “grab the eyeballs” of the public. We need to move beyond the finger-pointing of Sarah Eagan and the “gotcha” journalism and try to work together to help Jane Doe and the other girls and boys in DCF’s care.

August 1, 2014   Comments Off