Category — Posts
It’s World Press Freedom Day. Freedom of the press is under siege in the Americas, especially in Argentina and Venezuela. Free speech has been battered by the PC police in Canada. Britain is on a dangerous path to restricting freedom of the press with the support of the three major parties in Parliament.
We must each maintain our vigilance against the relentless determination of those who would diminish our fundamental rights.
May 3, 2013 Comments Off
Seinfeld anticipated state public utilities consumer advocate’s arrogance in the classic episode, “The Handicap Spot,” first aired 20 years ago next month. At least the characters in Seinfeld express regret for their malfeasance, Katz blames an underling.
April 26, 2013 Comments Off
To attract a certain element to the stag party of Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney (D-New Haven) aide Vincent Mauro, Jr., lobbyists are offered a special price on the ducats. Registered lobbyists may attend by paying $9 and appropriate homage to the keeper of the calendar as the nears the frantic final weeks of the legislative session. The discounted price allows lobbyists to attend without running afoul of the state’s $10 limit on lobbyist contributions to public officials such as Mauro.
That $9 may not be all lobbyists spend at the event. The invitations, some of which were distributed to lobbyists by at least one other lobbyist, note that in addition to food and drink, there’ll be raffles. One suspects raffle tickets will be purchased for cash. The record keeping that accompanies stag party raffles is not usually precise or pristine, providing an opportunity for lobbyists, who need good relations with Mauro at this time of year, to raise their friendly participation above the $9 ceiling, Daily Ructions understands. Some feel they’ve received a command to appear and participate more an invitation.
The biggest surprise in the tun-up to the event came Wednesday afternoon when Looney took to the Senate floor to remind all that the event is Friday. There was a time when Looney fashioned himself as a good government reformer. He no longer pretends to don that mantle.
April 26, 2013 Comments Off
Maybe It Needed Some Air. Connecticut Conference of Municipalities to Confront Executive Director James Finley’s Drunken Behavior, Public Urination.
As Elaine Benes would say, “He took it out.” A witness to an unsavory April 11th, post-Brown Rudnick marketing party confirms what residents of the Capitol village have been repeating with astonishment.
Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) Executive Director James Finley joined some House Republican caucus and staff members in adjourning from the party to Max Downtown on Hartford’s Asylum Strett. Finley, who was convicted of drunk driving in 2009 and a year later pleaded guilty to a violation of probation arising out of that conviction, was drunk. A kind staff member tried to divert Finley from the unwanted attention he was paying to a member of the group to a discussion of tax policy. Finley responded with a stream of abuse on the irrelevance of House Republicans and the inadequacies of their leadership. The atmosphere was ugly. Finley was escorted out.
There are a lot of tall and wide windows at Max Downtown. Some patrons, including the House Republican contingent, could see Finley staggering on the sidewalk and then, a witness confirms, urinating on it. People in politics see many unseemly acts, causing some to be become hardened to the world. This astounded all.
CCM collects millions in dues from the state’s towns and cities. Local taxpayers fund the organization and expect it to conduct its affairs with some dignity. Its effectiveness has been diminished by Finley’s prolonged drunken incident.
The head of the CCM board, Torrington Mayor Ryan Bingham, said today he was made aware of the incident last week and “is taking it seriously.” Bingham has spoken to Finley. The organization’s personnel committee will discuss Finley’s bad and disorderly acts at its next meeting. Member town leaders usually have strong opinions on public urination. They don’t like it. It’s a public menace.
Finley, who is not in a rehabilitation facility, has so far declined to respond to questions posed in an email.
April 24, 2013 Comments Off
Readers of my Courant column this past weekend expressed interest in seeing photos. Here’s one of the standard parking space that public utilities consumer advocate Elin Katz decided was too small and might cause her new her midsize Toyota Highlander to be damaged. Katz moved to a handicap spot in March 2012, though she is able-bodied.
April 22, 2013 Comments Off
Happy memories of Boston.
April 21, 2013 Comments Off
Funny and quick until the end came last week.
A bonus appearance by a Winters contemporary. They changed comedy.
April 14, 2013 Comments Off
Hartford Lawyer and Former State Law Enforcement Official Andrew Crumbie Arrested on Strangulation and Assault Charges. Accused Moody of Retaliation and Racism.
The eventful life of Andrew R. Crumbie took an unhappy turn Tuesday. The former state police official was arrested by West Hartford police on Tuesday, April 9th. He was charged with strangulation, assault, disorderly conduct and interfering in an alleged incident involving Crumbie’s wife, according to West Hartford police. Crumbie made an array of accusations in 2007 against former Governor M. Jodi Rell’s administration and her chief of staff, M. Lisa Moody, for discrimination and retaliation after he was demoted from a position at the state police lab. The matter was settled in 2008 with Crumbie assigned to work at Capital Community College.
Crumbie, according to a biography on his firm website, serves in a number of public positions, including “the Client Security Fund Committee, appointed by Connecticut Supreme Court Chief Justice, The Honorable Chase Rogers; the Cultural Competency Committee of the Public Service and Trust Commission, appointed by Connecticut Supreme Court Chief Justice, The Honorable Chase Rogers; Chairman of the Connecticut Citizenship Fund Committee, appointed by Connecticut Secretary of State, The Honorable Denise Merrill.” He’s also a member of the board of the St. Francis Foundation.
Crumbie was released on a $10,000 bond. He is scheduled to return to court on May 28th. Crumbie declined to comment on his arrest.
April 12, 2013 Comments Off
Have You No Sense of Decency, Sir, at Long Last? Blumenthal Degrades Office, Politics and Himself With Newtown Campaign Cash Appeal.
The New Haven Register is right. Senator Richard Blumenthal’s appeal for contributions for his 2016 re-election campaigns on the graves of twenty-six Newtown innocents is “disgusting.” The Register concludes its excoriating editorial of the Blumenthal fundraising appeal by declaring, “Using the ‘horror’ of the ‘massacre of 20 beautiful children’ at a time when critical legislation honoring their memory is at stake to beg for $5 for your next political campaign is as tasteless as it gets.”
Here are the most offensive parts of the letter from Blumenthal, who, you may recall, poured $2 million of his own money into his 2010 campaign:
In the wake of the horror of the December 14, 2012 massacre of 20 beautiful children and 6 dedicated educators in Newtown, Connecticut, I have focused on serving as a leader in the national effort for meaningful and reasonable steps against gun violence.
After repeating the appeal for $5, Blumenthal ends his letter with a rare flash of authenticity by signing it “Dick.”
April 11, 2013 Comments Off
A helpful reader reports the bumptious Malloys were spotted engaging in what looked like real estate shopping last weekend in Stonington, a charming village.
Parking can be a challenge. This could be a problem for Mrs. Malloy.
If the past is prologue, a Malloy move will mean a bonanza of taxpayer money to big local corporations that lard the millions on executives. If Stonington’s been dreaming of a heliport paid for by working men and women, this may be its chance.
April 11, 2013 Comments Off