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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   9:54 am   Comments Off

Nancy Wyman’s Condolences–and Her Record.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman issued a statement late this afternoon on the death of former Ronald Reagan press secretary and control advocate James Brady.

The joint statement included this quote from the duo:

“Jim Brady was a tireless public servant and we owe him a debt of gratitude for his efforts to reduce the scourge of gun violence in America. There was a time when Washington worked in a meaningful way to enact common sense gun violence prevention laws. That was due in no small measure to the efforts of James Brady and his wife, Sarah. To his family, friends, and colleagues, we extend our condolences.”

Wyman must be hoping memories in Connecticut have faded. When Jim and Sarah Brady came to Connecticut in 1993 to persuade legislators to support an assault weapons bill, Wyman, serving her 4th term in the House, refused to be moved by their common sense arguments. When she had chance to join the bipartisan coalition for the bill, Nancy Wyman chose to support the coalition opposing the gun violence prevention law.

Politics mattered more to Wyman that public policy. Even noble Jim Brady, confined to a wheelchair and struggling to speak, could not move Nancy Wyman.

August 4, 2014   8:23 pm   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   1:12 pm   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   9:06 am   Comments Off

Esty on Malloy: “I Don’t Really Get It Either.”

Elizabeth Esty and her Washington friends can’t understand why Governor Dannel P. Malloy is so unpopular. She must be talking only to a narrow sliver of her constituents in the 5th Congressional District. Polls there show Malloy supporters thin on the ground.

Here’s the first term incumbent talking to Morris Democrats.

 

July 29, 2014   8:35 am   Comments Off

Bacchiochi Failed to Report Campaign Income on State Ethics Disclosure.

More trouble for Republican lieutenant governor hopeful Penny Bacchiochi. The six-term Stafford legislator failed to include on her 2012 state enthics disclosure $27,000.00 in income from Christopher Shays’ unsuccessful 2012 campaign for the U.S. Senate. Federal campaign finance reports list the Shays campaign paying Linda M. Bacchiochi (her legal name) the $27,000.00 between January 1, 2012 and July 25, 2012. She also received $2,485.85 in travel reimbursements. Bacchiochi joined Shays after a clumsy attempt to wangle a job out of Linda McMahon’s campaign.

Bacchiochi’s 12 page mandatory Statement of Financial Interests for 2012, filed on April 25, 2013, lists income from rent, partnership distributions, the State of Connecticut, Louis Management LLC, and her spouse’s self-employment. The Shays campaign payments are not included. Each filer certifies “UNDER PENALTY OF FALSE STATEMENT, that this Annual State of Financial of Financial Interests, including the Confidential Addendum, is a complete and statement interests, as defined by Connecticut General Statutes 1-83(b)(1), for myself, my spouse, and dependent residing in my household, during the calendar year 2012.”

The failure to report the 2012 campaign income will lengthen the shadow that hovers over the Bacchiochi campaign as the convention-endorsed candidate goes from blunder to blunder.

July 28, 2014   9:21 am   Comments Off

Somebody Must be Nervous. Esty Friends Use Push Poll Against Greenberg.

Friends of Elizabeth Esty are anxious about the political climate in Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District. The haughty first term Democratic incumbent is seeing some startling poll numbers in her race against Republican Mark Greenberg, Daily Ructions has learned. Confirmation of the early stages of panic came this week when a Daily Ructions reader provided a hurried summary of questions from a telephone push poll aimed at Greenberg. The calls appear to be coming from California.

Esty’s problem is not just Greenberg, it’s incumbent Democratic Governor Dannel P. Malloy. His numbers in the 5th are endangering other Democrats. Reliably Democratic labor groups are clashing with Malloy campaign operatives. Teachers will not be moved–no matter how many bonding baubles Malloy sprinkles around the district. And then there’s that federal grand jury investigating Democratic politics in Waterbury.

Here are some topics the push poll raises:

50 separate lawsuits and liens associated with Greenberg and his businesses.

 Raise property taxes by over $300 million if he gets his way and eliminates all the federal education funding that Connecticut gets.

 Signed a pledge to protect tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.

 Publicly identifies himself with the extremist Tea Party movement

 Wants to privatize Social Security

 Signed a pledge to protect over $50 billion in special tax loopholes for Big Oil.

What he doesn’t tell you is that his companies have defaulted on over $15 million in mortgages and loans.

 Best case against Mark Greenberg?

 1)    Out of touch

2)    Too extreme

3)    Bad for seniors and the middle class,

4)    Companies abused his tenants and engaged in abusive business practices

This will be the first time Esty has worried about property taxes. She told Cheshire seniors if they didn’t like their property taxes the solution is to move.

July 25, 2014   10:26 am   Comments Off

Bacchiochi Campaign Aide Accuses Somers of “White Privilege”.

Roundtree post on Somers

Republican lieutenant governor hopeful Penny Bacchiochi campaign aide Regina V. Ross Roundtree accuses rival candidate Heather Bond Somers of “white privilege” in a late Wednesday night Facebook post. Roundtree’s startling intervention will revive debate over Bacchiochi’s vicious accusations of racism against the third candidate in the race, Bridgeport Republican David Walker. Now it’s Somers’s turn on Bacchiochi’s racism griddle.

Roundtree appears on Bacchiochi’s campaign finance reports as Cogent Consultant/Regina Roundtree. She’s most recently listed listed as an “Urban Outreach Consultant”

July 24, 2014   9:03 am   Comments Off

Going Down. Otis Employees Leaving Connecticut for Florida.

Going down

In an unsettling development for Connecticut’s fragile economy, more than 100 executives and other high-paid corporate employees in the new UTC BIS subsidiary that merged iconic elevator maker Otis and air conditioning giant Carrier, both based in Farmington, are leaving for Florida, Daily Ructions has learned.

The business unit that controls North and South American operations for the Otis brand is breaking camp for West Palm Beach in a blow to the administration of Governor Dannel P. Malloy. The news will be an unwelcome development for the struggling incumbent Democrat less than four months before voters render their verdict on his first term record.

Connecticut residents will wonder what they are getting in exchange for $400 million in tax credits to United Technologies Corporation given to the Hartford-headquartered company this spring.  The highly publicized deal was meant to calm anxieties about the intentions of state’s largest corporation.

July 22, 2014   3:49 pm   Comments Off

Mr. Wooden’s Snit.

Shawn Wooden hobbled out of the wreckage of his $60 million publicly-financed baseball stadium fiasco. The state senate hopeful declared he is not pleased with rival Senator Eric Coleman’s end of session mailing to constituents. The Democrats face each other in a sharply contested Democratic primary in a district that includes parts of Bloomfield, Hartford, and Windsor. Wooden’s “done deal” baseball stadium bludgeoning has left him unable to read a short, clear state statute. The Hartford lawyer says Coleman’s legislative mailing to constituents that arrived in mailboxes this week “is, at worst, illegal and violates State Election Law (sic). At best, it is an unethical, gross abuse of taxpayers’ funds.” Wooden, a lawyer, is wrong. Here’s the statute that applies to legislators’ annual mailings:

Sec. 2-15a. Annual informational mailing by General Assembly members. (a) Each member of the General Assembly shall be entitled to send an annual mailing to each household in such member’s district, for informational purposes. The mailing shall be conducted under the supervision of the Joint Committee on Legislative Management and in accordance with rules adopted by the committee.
(b) In even-numbered years, no such mailing may be sent after July fifteenth. A member shall be deemed in compliance with this subsection if the member delivers the mailing to the offices of the Joint Committee on Legislative Management no later than said July fifteenth. 
Since the mailings began arriving in district mailboxes this week, and today is July 16th, it’s safe to assume that they were delivered to the Office of Legislative Management by July 15th, as the law requires. Wooden is wrong, and he must know it.
Wooden, leader of Hartford’s city council, possesses a curious sense of outrage. Last year, Wooden failed to condemn the shoddy and suspect circumstances surrounding his buddy, City Treasurer Adam Cloud, and the missing $800,000 in insurance premiums that was sent to Cloud family tenant Earl O’Garro’s insurance agency. Cloud’s office sent the money to O’Garro’s company (since shuttered) without observing the normal protocols for conducting hefty transactions like that one. The money did not find its way to the insurance companies providing coverage to Hartford. Federal criminal investigators continue to investigate.
Various Hartford officials, stewards of the public trust, failed to shine a light on the tawdry connections between Cloud and O’Garro. Wooden was one of those.

July 16, 2014   4:24 pm   Comments Off