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Listening for the Silence. Will Candidates for Governor Offer Opinions on Whether Malloy Should Sign of Veto?

Whoever gets elected governor just over a year from now will have to administer the budget the legislature enacts. With a herd of candidates seeking the state’s highest office, this would be the moment for serious candidates to offer thoughtful opinions with details on the way forward for Connecticut’s state finances.

When you hear the silence, you’ll know it’s them.

October 19, 2017   Comments Off on Listening for the Silence. Will Candidates for Governor Offer Opinions on Whether Malloy Should Sign of Veto?

Luxenberg Out as Drew Chief of Staff.

News from Middletown. Geoffrey Luxenberg, embattled chief of staff to Mayor Dan Drew, has resigned his position. The former political consultant and state representative from Manchester took the job in early August and trouble followed as Drew’s campaign for governor began to come undone.


October 18, 2017   Comments Off on Luxenberg Out as Drew Chief of Staff.

Lauretti Reports: We Are Not Close to a Cashless Society.

Mark Lauretti, the Shelton mayor making his second bid for governor, is close to collecting the $250,000 in small contributions. That’s one of the requirements to qualify for Connecticut’s generous public financing program. The other is to win 15% of the delegate votes on one ballot of the nominating convention or collect thousands of signatures from party members on petitions.

Lauretti’s campaign finance reports are a festival of interesting entries for reportologists. There is a lot of cash making its way into Public Official Number One’s coffers. Cash is allowed but it is unusual to see so much of it in $100 contributions in one campaign.  Also, Republican Lauretti’s spending is from another age. A big chunk of Lauretti’s campaign money is going to food for fundraising events. Most 21st century Connecticut campaigns try to keep those costs low so they have dough left for increasing their internet/social media presence. It’s a long way to the May convention and $250,000 (or more if you can raise it) does not go far.

As of September 30th, Lauretti had raised $229,670.11 and had $156,918.36.


October 18, 2017   Comments Off on Lauretti Reports: We Are Not Close to a Cashless Society.

Third Quarter Reports: Luxenburg Donated Thousands to Local Democrats.

Former state Representative Geoffrey Luxemberg has many titles. Since August, he’s been the $72,000 a year chief of staff to the mayor of Middletown, Dan Drew. The Drew campaign may be broke, but Luxenberg was a prolific contributor to Democratic campaigns around the state during the third quarter of the year. Before taking the job in Middletown, Luxenberg was a campaign consultant at The Vinci Group, LLC.

The state’s election agency has been making more local finance campaign reports available online. Reports from towns in the program reveal Luxenberg donated $13,780 to local Democratic campaigns. That includes $1,000 to Connecticut Conference of Democratic Mayors. That’s the PAC Drew created with the assistance of Luxenberg when the Manchester Democrat was more overtly in the campaign consulting and management business.

There are two other notable municipal contributions. Two Democratic town committees reported contributions from “Team Dan Drew, Geoffrey R. Luxenberg , Treasurer” or “Team Dan, Geoffrey R. Luxenberg, Treasurer.” One for $250 went to Simsbury, Southbury received $200. There’s no “Team Dan Drew” or “Team Dan” registered with the SEEC. Luxenberg is not the treasurer of Drew’s campaign committee, nor was he in charge of the exchequer when his boss had an exploratory exploratory committee.

Dan Drew provides an explanation for his subordinate:

“Geoff Luxenberg is an active democrat. Since 2008, he has given over $70,000 to Democratic campaigns. In 2015, he gave over $7,000 and in 2016, his contributions totaled more than $19,000. He has been a prolific political donor, giving tens of thousands of dollars to democratic candidates and party committees at the local, state and national level. Geoff does not work for the Drew for CT campaign. The contribution to the Simsbury DTC was made in his individual capacity as a private citizen. The way it is reported on the Simsbury Democratic Town Committee’s October 10 filing is an error. A Team Drew PAC does not exist, and Geoff Luxenberg is not a treasurer of any political action committee.”

These campaign reports, intended to be simple when the legislature and M. Jodi Rell put the burden of paying for campaigns on the public, can still be a thicket of complications. Drew has run into a collection of them with his decision to obtain the home addresses of municipal employees and hit them up for contributions. The home addresses of certain public employees (police officers, for example) are confidential. Soliciting them has caused Drew many troubles, including a call by The Courant that he exit the Democratic race for governor. Drew’s campaign latest report complicates his original transgression by including those addresses with the municipal employees who responded to his solicitation with contributions.

October 17, 2017   Comments Off on Third Quarter Reports: Luxenburg Donated Thousands to Local Democrats.

Mattei Taking Improper Contributions.

The transition from enforcing campaign laws as a prosecutor to a candidate who must abide by them can be a challenge. Witness Democrat Chris Mattei. The elite prep school graduate (Loomis Chaffee ’96) came to the public’s attention by prosecuting former Governor John G. Rowland, nursing home moguls Brian Foley and Lisa Wilson Foley, and members of former House speaker Christopher Donovan’s 2012 congressional campaign staffers and contributors for campaign finance violations. Mattei may be more sympathetic with that roll call of the guilty now that he’s having so much trouble wrestling with reporting for his own exploratory committee.

The maximum contribution to an exploratory committee is $375. It is not $400, $500, or $750. It is $375. Mattei and his campaign people struggle with this basic rule.

The Hartford resident’s 3rd quarter report is replete with contributions exceeding the limit that had to be returned. Others, however, have yet to be sent back. They include $400 contributions from Matthew Jasinski and Leonard Crone, $500 from Susan Miller, and $750 each from Adam Neuheus and Boston “consultant and chocolatier” Caitlin Welby. This is the sort of reporting that can lead to trouble.

Mattei’s wrestling with math may provide the beginning of an answer to one of the persistent questions of the campaign: Why won’t he talk about the state’s grim financial problems? He may be terrible with numbers.

October 14, 2017   Comments Off on Mattei Taking Improper Contributions.

NAACP Seeks Immediate Meeting With Slossberg. Admonishes Democrat Over N-word in Searing Statement.

“Bury the N word,” indeed. This statement prompts the question, once more, what books in a school library contained that terrible word? Was this Slossberg using a campaign to ban “Huckleberry Finn” to do some virtue signaling to what she anticipated was a hostile audience?
The CT NAACP statement:
The Connecticut State Conference of NAACP Branches, the largest and oldest Civil Rights Organization in the State, and the Black & Puerto Rican Caucus of State Legislators are releasing a joint statement concerning the recent racial comments Sen. Gayle Slossberg made while speaking to the UCONN College Democrats.
The UCONN College Democrats student group released an official statement regarding disturbing comments made by State Senator Slossberg during an invited talk to discuss the current state budget. Senator Slossberg began her remarks by describing her early work to remove books with racial epithets from grade school libraries. Senator Slossberg repeatedly used the N-word in describing her work without properly referencing it as a euphemism.
Based on this information the NAACP and the Black & Puerto Rican Caucus are deeply disturbed about State Sen. Slossberg’s poor lack of judgement. In this heightened climate of racial tension it is particularly disturbing that a legislator, elected to represent all residents of her district and indeed the state, would show such blatant disregard for the vile, painful, and ugly history of the “N word” and its contemporary use to provoke fear and intimidation. As a nation we have watched in shock as white supremacists carrying torches shouted chants that included derogatory references to Blacks and Jews in Charlottesville. On college campuses across the US, and indeed here in Connecticut, we have witnessed the need for respectful dialogue about issues of race, ethnicity, religion, and difference that doesn’t promote the wanton use of pejorative terms and stereotypes. Removing books from Libraries with problematic language may be admirable to some. However, we believe it is even more imperative to remove negative, demeaning terms from one’s personal language. For over ten years the NAACP has led a national effort to “bury the N word” based on the belief that a civil society demands a basic level of respect that should be shared by all people.
The Connecticut NAACP and the Black & Puerto Rican Caucus request an immediate meeting with Sen. Slossberg to discuss this very important matter and to prevent this type of insensitive behavior and poor judgement from happening again. Our children and young people look to elected officials and community leaders for guidance. We must lead with the values we seek to promote. Scot X. Esdaile, President CT NAACP State Conference NAACP National Board Member
Scot X. Esdaile, President CT NAACP State Conference NAACP National Board Member

October 12, 2017   Comments Off on NAACP Seeks Immediate Meeting With Slossberg. Admonishes Democrat Over N-word in Searing Statement.

More: Democrats for Education Reform Excoriates Slossberg Over “Inexcusable Comments.”

DFER CT Denounces Senator Slossberg’s Inappropriate and Inexcusable Comments
Does Not Represent Leadership or Judgment for Education Chair

(October 12, 2017) – State Senator Gayle Slossberg’s comments at the University of Connecticut College Democrats meeting last week were inappropriate and completely inexcusable in any context. This behavior does not represent the judgment we would expect from the Chairperson of the Education Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly.

Democrats for Education Reform CT view our efforts as an extension of upholding a social safety net and providing opportunity for our most vulnerable students, who are often children that live in poverty and are of color. Our leaders must speak for and serve all students, regardless of race, religion, self-identity or economic status. In our economically and racially diverse state, our elected representatives should be held to the highest standards and turn from some of the divisiveness and intolerance we are seeing nationally. We should expect no less.

October 12, 2017   Comments Off on More: Democrats for Education Reform Excoriates Slossberg Over “Inexcusable Comments.”

UConn College Democrats, Gayle Slossberg and the N-Word.

A statement from the UConn College Democrats on state Senator Gayle Slossberg’s use of the N-word at her October 3rd meeting with the group.

October 12, 2017   Comments Off on UConn College Democrats, Gayle Slossberg and the N-Word.

Lacking Impulse Control: David Walker Cannot Resist Forays into Comment Sections.

On-again-off-again Republican David Walker cannot turn away from the siren call of an internet comments section. The thin-skinned Jacksonville University accounting graduate is at it again. He was online mewling about a third quarter fundraising story by CT Newsjunkie editor Christine Stuart. Here’s a link to the story. Walker disputed the characterization of his fundraising, which includes contributions from both Walker’s exploratory and candidate committees. He quickly gets a tone, which will be no surprise to anyone who pays attention to Connecticut politics.

Readers will recall Walker’s pledge, made in the comments section of Only in Bridgeport, to leave Connecticut if Tom Foley was not elected in 2014. A promise broken. Pity.

Walker, who has mentioned more than once his membership in the Sons of the American Revolution and his wife’s in the Daughters of the American Revolution (the women who in 1939 refused to let Marian Anderson sing at Constitution Hall because the great soprano was black), is very sensitive about titles.

October 11, 2017   Comments Off on Lacking Impulse Control: David Walker Cannot Resist Forays into Comment Sections.

Post Card Exposes Ken Cockayne.

Ken Cockayne, the mayor of Bristol, has dodged, acknowledged, and apologized for his treatment of a municipal employee. The ongoing scandal has been costly to the town and often shrouded in mystery. It has been an expensive embarrassment for Bristol. A lawsuit by an employee alleging harassment and retaliation by Cockayne was filed in June by corporation counsel legal secretary Noelle Bates.

Cockayne’s behavior was bound to be an important issue as he seeks a third term in this fall’s municipal election. The post card above has been appearing in local mailboxes. It does not include the mandatory disclaimer indicating who paid for it, but local voters may overlook that as they are caught by its incendiary form.

Cockayne should not be surprised that this is what he has wrought for Bristol.

October 11, 2017   Comments Off on Post Card Exposes Ken Cockayne.