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The Careful Language of Dan Malloy on Aetna’s Plans.

The Courant has the latest in the gathering storm over whether Aetna will keep its corporate headquarters in Hartford. There is some curious language in these troublesome stories. Governor Dannel P. Malloy never says in these stories that he has spoken to Aetna CEO Mark Bartolini. That seems like an essential conversation to have.

Today, the Courant includes this: “Last week, Malloy said he reached out to the ‘highest level of the company’ after the court blocked the Humana merger. Malloy said Aetna was still evaluating its next steps.”

It would be jarring if the governor and the CEO have not spoken recently.

January 31, 2017   9:03 am   Comments Off on The Careful Language of Dan Malloy on Aetna’s Plans.

What Budget Deficit? Lembo Wants $40 Million Tax Exemption for Social Security.

More from State Comptroller Kevin Lembo’s 2017 policy/campaign document. The second term Democrat wants to exempt Social Security income from the state’s income tax. Preparing to run for governor will concentrate a fella’s attention on Connecticut’s “out migration.” There’s a cleaner, more effective way to do this: lower rates for all, no matter their age. Working people of all ages could also use a break from Connecticut’s dispiriting tax burden. Why increase their burden?

Here’s an extract from the Lembo document:


Connecticut is seen as unfriendly to retirees.  The state has net out migration of over 5,000 residents ages 65 and older.  It also ranks poorly on rankings of best state to retire (42nd by Bankrate, 39th Money Magazine).  Currently, only 13 states tax social security benefits, including Connecticut which contributes to the state’s poor ranking and perception as a place for retirees to reside. 


Connecticut Social Security Income Tax Deduction – Connecticut law allows taxpayers to deduct either 75% or 100% of federally taxable Social Security benefits, depending on income (100% if federal AGI is less than $50,000 – single/ $60,000married filing jointly or a head of household; otherwise 75% deduction of federally taxable benefits (CGS § 12-701(20)(B)(x)).


Exempt all Social Security payments from the state income tax regardless federal tax treatment or the AGI of the tax payer.  Some estimates have put the cost of expanding the Social Security exemption to all Social Security income at $40million annually.


January 26, 2017   12:11 pm   Comments Off on What Budget Deficit? Lembo Wants $40 Million Tax Exemption for Social Security.

RIP: Ann Dandrow

Ann Dandrow, the popular Southington Republican legislator, died Wednesday night  at St. Francis Medical Center Wednesday after suffering a stroke on Tuesday.

Ann was one of the few Republicans to win a freshman term in the legislature in 1986. She went on to serve for 16 years, carving a role in children’s issues. She gave up her seat to make a close but unsuccessful bid for the state Senate in 2002.

According to a 2000 New Britain Herald article, “She was the driving force behind this year’s passage of the “Safe Havens” law that will protect newborn children at risk of abandonment and the earlier establishment of the independent office of the child advocate to protect children’s interests and rights.”

UPDATE: Calling hours are Sunday from 3 pm to 7 pm at Della Vecchia Funeral Home, 211 North Main Street, Southington. Ann’s funeral services begin Monday at 9:15 am at the funeral home followed by Mass at 10 am at St. Dominic’s, Southington.

January 26, 2017   10:36 am   Comments Off on RIP: Ann Dandrow

It Begins. Lembo Takes Aim at Kennedy Campaign Finances in Harsh “Policy Options” Document.

State Comptroller Kevin Lembo uses fellow Democrat state Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr., as a poster boy for bad behavior in campaign financing practices in a document obtained by Daily Ructions. The 39-page “Comptroller Policy Options 2017” appears to be more campaign plan than policy document. Lembo is expected to be a candidate for the 2018 Democratic nomination for governor.

The Lembo document identifies party committee expenditures for candidates as a “problem” and then shines a harsh light on Kennedy’s 2014 campaign for the Senate when he was elected to his first term.

The unidentified author writes:

“The flagship example of how this change defies the spirit of Connecticut’s prior campaign finance reform is Ted Kennedy Jr.’s campaign for State Senate back in 2014. Senator Kennedy participated in the CEP and received $95,000 in public funds. However, the state party then contributed an additional $205,000 to his campaign, following a donation of $40,000 made by Kennedy family members and colleagues to the state party.

A simple fix to this issue would be to undo the very minor wording change made in 2013 and re-establish the limits on contributions from state parties to legislative candidates participating in the CEP.”

Some partisans may wonder where campaign finance falls in Lembo’s responsibilities as comptroller.  Others may ask if this is “an appropriate use of state resources.”


January 25, 2017   2:30 pm   Comments Off on It Begins. Lembo Takes Aim at Kennedy Campaign Finances in Harsh “Policy Options” Document.

Stitch up: Candidates Called to State Republican Meeting.


Don’t fall for it. Aspiring Republican candidates for the 2018 battle have been summoned to a Thursday evening meeting at the party’s state headquarters, Daily Ructions can report. Early reports are that it could be an early attempt to rig the system against primary voters.

Aspiring candidates ought to agree to nothing, especially anti-democratic benchmarks. Instead, candidates should test their ideas in the crucible of public exposure. Make you case, gather supporters, raise money. At this early moment, no one knows if Republicans will succeed in reducing the high cost of the state’s taxpayer financing campaign scheme. They ought to insist on that in budget negotiations. They could lower the grants and raise the fundraising thresholds.

Some candidates may want to ignore the party nominating process and collect petition signatures to get on the primary ballot. Party chair J.R. Romano was deeply involved in one of those efforts in 2010 on behalf of U.S. Senate candidate Peter Schiff.

Candidates who have formed exploratory committees need to be very careful in their declarations if they are not going to tumble into the requirements to convert to a candidate committee. This is a tricky area of campaign law and the hopeful will not be in a roomful friends on Thursday.

Proceed with caution. Run your own race .

January 25, 2017   11:27 am   Comments Off on Stitch up: Candidates Called to State Republican Meeting.

Herbst Responds. Dons the Attire of a Victim. Blames Malloy.

Trumbull First Selectman responds to this post and this lawsuit with a statement provided by one of his lawyers, Vincent M. Marino, whose name appears on the Trumbull website as a town attorney. Mr. Marino writes that he is not acting as a town attorney in his representation of Herbst.

The statement:

“It’s no surprise that the personal attacks are coming this early from Governor Malloy’s Hartford insider allies and the Connecticut Democratic Party.  Rather than debate the issues, the modus operandi of Malloy’s gang is to respond to all criticism of their job-crushing, fiscally ruinous record and policies with personal attacks and political smears.   In all of my years in public service I have always maintained that families are off-limits.  Politicizing personal family matters should be beneath even them — sadly it is not.

As Trumbull’s Chief Executive, I took an oath of office to uphold the laws and ordinances of the Town of Trumbull – – including our Code of Ethics.  The simple fact of the matter is that I took action to prevent a potentially unethical situation from developing. I follow the Code of Ethics just like any other official or employee.  I stick to that code even when it may be uncomfortable and regardless of whether family is involved.

Most of the Connecticut press corps has typically left family out of politics as a matter of decency.  Governor Malloy has been accorded that respect with the multiple issues associated with his children.  I would hope that would be the case for the governor’s critics as well.”

NOTE: Herbst is the defendant in the action. No other member of his family is a party to the action.

January 24, 2017   12:35 pm   Comments Off on Herbst Responds. Dons the Attire of a Victim. Blames Malloy.

Nasty. Sister’s Fiance Sues Herbst for Making His Life Miserable. Claims Include Slander and Violation of Civil Rights.

Jesse Jablon’s action against Timothy Herbst, the first selectman of Trumbull, accuses the aspiring Republican gubernatorial hopeful of unjustly firing him from a town job in 2013, interfering with Jablom’s attempts to get a new job, and slander. The trouble began, according to Jablon’s complaint when Herbst “terminated [Jablon’s] employment solely on the ground that the [Jablon] was dating [Herbst’s] sister.”

After that, Jablon’s alleges Herbst interfered with his ability to make a living by interfering with Jablon’s attempts to obtain and keep a job. The most explosive allegation is that on October 12, 2016, Herbst met with a supervisor at Enterprise Car Sales, Jablon’s employer, and “falsely and maliciously accused [Jablon] of being a drug dealer.” That may have been the final straw for Jablon. The complaint is dated a month later.

The complaint, which was filed in state court, has been removed to federal court by one of the lawyers who has filed an appearance on behalf of Herbst.

Herbst is being sued in his individual capacity, not as a town official.

You can read the vivid complaint here. 

Herbst was the 2014 Republican nominee for state treasurer. He announced an exploratory committee for governor this month. His disputatious manner has become his calling card.


January 24, 2017   11:02 am   Comments Off on Nasty. Sister’s Fiance Sues Herbst for Making His Life Miserable. Claims Include Slander and Violation of Civil Rights.

Job Posting: Connecticut Health Foundation.

Job is probably limited to a lefty because they believe in diversity of everything but thought. Nevertheless, if you would like to join the lucrative world of non-profits, take a look at this:

Vice President of Policy and Communications

Employer: Connecticut Health Foundation

Date: Monday, January 23, 2017

Job Type: Jobs outside of DC


As Connecticut’s largest independent health philanthropy, the Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health) believes that everyone deserves the opportunity for optimal health—regardless of race, background, or income level. CT Health strives to improve the health and well-being of people across the state by focusing on systems change to unlock greater access to quality, affordable care, especially for people of color and underserved communities. With a unique focus on health equity in the region, CT Health works to ensure that communities of color not only have access to care but also receive appropriate and high quality health care (please cite Brad Traverse Group as the source of this lead). CT Health leverages change through grant making, leadership development, and by influencing decision makers to ensure greater access and quality of care for Connecticut residents. With an endowment of $105 million and an annual programmatic and grant making budget of $4.8 million, CT Health has made a significant commitment to policy, advocacy, and communications initiatives that will advance its mission and strategic goals. CT Health now seeks a new Vice President of Policy and Communications who will lead and give strategic direction to the Foundation’s policy and communications efforts. 

The new Vice President will partner closely with the President and CEO and an engaged board in developing the Foundation’s policy agenda and will seek innovative opportunities to integrate policy and advocacy efforts into CT Health’s programmatic and grant making activities. S/he will shape and implement the new strategic communications plan and build capacity internally and externally to advance CT Health’s policy goals. S/he will lead government relations efforts, developing and nurturing both strong bipartisan relationships throughout Connecticut government and diverse coalitions to improve the health and health care of Connecticut residents with special attention to underserved populations. 

The ideal candidate will be a strategic thinker who understands and can leverage the intersection of effective communications with policy change and be a passionate advocate for health equity. S/he will be a collaborative leader internally and externally with the ability to build strong, mutually beneficial relationships with a broad and diverse constituency interested in improving health and health care in Connecticut. The new Vice President will be a savvy communicator and advocate on behalf issues and policies the Foundation is invested in and convey the importance of CT Health’s mission to the media, policymakers, key stakeholders, and the general public. This is an exciting opportunity to improve the health and health care of the people of Connecticut. 

January 23, 2017   1:45 pm   Comments Off on Job Posting: Connecticut Health Foundation.

An Inauguration Moment from 1961.

January 19, 2017   10:50 am   Comments Off on An Inauguration Moment from 1961.

Will Anyone Vet Kane? Republican Choice for Auditor Scrambles to Make Late Business Filings.

An active business with no required filing since 2014. That’s what Republican auditor nominee Rob Kane’s record showed on Tuesday morning. The former Republican state senator scrambled to backfill the hole after inquiries were made. Just another “misunderstanding” by the Republican choice to scrutinize the state’s spending of its $20 billion annual business.

Republicans are beginning to express worries about Kane’s nomination, which goes before the Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee today. It appears Republican leaders skipped even a cursory vetting of Kane’s nomination. The hearing is not the ideal forum for doing that but members will have no alternative if party and committee leaders choose to forge ahead Thursday.

The auditors supervise a large staff of sober professionals. That would be a new experience for Kane. Will one brave committee member ask how Kane has treated staff members at the legislature? Has he always acted appropriately? What have his relationships with lobbyists been?

A few questions on Kane’s experience exercising authority in the legislature’s hierarchy would be a good start on the day’s hearing.



January 19, 2017   8:00 am   Comments Off on Will Anyone Vet Kane? Republican Choice for Auditor Scrambles to Make Late Business Filings.