The Norwich Bulletin newspaper is hosting the first gubernatorial debate tonight between Dannel "Dan" Malloy and Tom Foley.
On behalf of the more than 100,000 active and retired teachers, their families and public education advocates, I am publicly requesting that the following question be asked;
Governor Malloy: You are the only Democratic governor in the United States who has proposed doing away with teacher tenure and repealing collective bargaining for teachers in the lowest performing (the so-called turnaround schools), will you use this opportunity to renounce your 2012 tenure proposal and can you tell us exactly what your position is on teacher tenure and collective bargaining?
Mr. Foley: Governor Malloy earned the wrath of teachers and public school advocates when he proposed doing away with teacher tenure and repealing collective bargaining for teachers in the lowest performing schools. Can you tell us whether you would have supported or opposed Governor Malloy's proposal and what you would do on these two issues if you are elected governor?
HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)- A new law that will allow people here illegally to get a Connecticut driver's license is already controversial.
But News 8 has learned that the 'roll out' of the first phase of the new program has been postponed until after the election.
'I certainly had nothing to do with the delay," said Governor Malloy. "No one in your office, your chief of staff, anyone?" asked Chief Political Correspondent Mark Davis. "You know...not that I know of," said the governor.
But a highly reliable government source tells News 8 that the delay of the roll out of the immigrant driver's license program was done because someone in the Malloy administration did not want the adverse publicity that might occur during the campaign.
If anyone believes Gov. Malloy's suggestion that he or anyone in his adminstration had nothing to do with the delay in this important program for tens of thousands of people in the immigrant community, then you're simply a fool.
Not that long ago it looked as if former ambassador and Bush/Cheney BFF Tom Foley were going to make ethics reform a central feature of his 'sequel' campaign for governor. First there was Foley's aggressive lobbying of the Connecticut General Assembly in the 2013 legislative session for an ethics reform bill that even fellow Republicans criticized as poorly conceived. The legislation went nowhere -- but Foley argued that the strenuous opposition to his proposal only proved his point. Then in September 2013 Foley conducted an all-out media blitz against Malloy's perceived ethical lapses, appearing on public affairs TV program "Face The State" and calling Malloy an "unethical leader." Armed with a list of mostly dubious accusations culled from the right-wing fever swamps (admittedly some of them had merit -- even a broken clock...), Foley accused Malloy of crony capitalism, pay-to-play favoritism, and illegal fundraising activities, charges that he doubled down on even after his 'evidence' was revealed to be completely baseless.
To some extent every candidate accuses his or her opponent of dirty politics. And you could infer that while Foley always knew that the 2014 campaign would be mainly about jobs and the economy, he didn't want to put too many eggs in one basket. But for a brief moment Foley's aggressive piety actually looked sincere. He really fancied himself a good government crusader. After Dan Malloy's reign of wickedness, only Tom Foley could restore honor to Connecticut state government.
Less than a year later, ethics has disappeared completely from the Republican's campaign. Foley has dispensed with the pious hand-wringing, and his anti-Malloy attacks are being waged on purely economic grounds. How did a pillar of the argument against Malloy's re-election suddenly vanish beneath endless platitudes about an 'urban agenda' and making the state more 'business-friendly'? The explanation is simple: it turns out that a man who signed checks for a dark-money operation, was fined by the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) and forced to reimburse a Super PAC $15,500 (which should have been $76,500) for improper campaign expenditures, and whose newly minted running mate accepted a half-million dollar loan from the state that is still in arrears, is not the best messenger for a campaign based on the message of ethical purity and an end to crony capitalism.
Foley's participation in public financing -- after months of embarrassing vacillation about whether or not he would self-fund as he did in 2010, to the tune of $13 million -- might have been a good argument for a renewed interest in good government after his SEEC fine and connection to the ludicrously named "Voters For Good Government" (VFGG) Super PAC were revealed. By participating in the Citizens Election Program (CEP), Foley agreed to sever his ties with VFGG, and to abide by voluntary campaign spending limits and caps on individual contributions, meaning that he wouldn't be able to vastly outspend Malloy and money wouldn't be dispositive in the election.
But even Foley's participation in Connecticut's "clean elections" program is now under a cloud, with the revelation last week that Foley received multiple $100 donations (that counted toward his CEP grant) from fraudulent straw donors. As reported by Ken Dixon of Hearst, the wealthy Greenwich investor who apparently orchestrated the straw donations was hit with a near-record fine by SEEC. (Dixon revealed that disgraced ex-state senator Ernie Newton is currently under investigation for a similar straw-donor scheme -- it's never good when your name appears in the same news cycle as Ernie Newton). Foley denies any knowledge of, or involvement in, the scheme, but with his track record of serial "truthiness" it is increasingly hard to believe anything that he or his campaign says.
Will this emerging scandal sink Foley's campaign? Probably not, but it has thoroughly vaporized the already-crumbling argument that Foley -- for whom "good government" is not a set of deeply held values, but merely the ironic name of his favorite Super PAC -- is the right man to restore ethical government to Connecticut.
On Wednesday, August, 27th, 2014, the Norwich Bulletin newspaper will host the first of the 2014 gubernatorial debates. Ray Hackett, the Bulletin's editorial page editor will moderate the debate.
For reasons that I can't seem to wrap my head around, Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, and Republican challenger Tom Foley are the only gubernatorial candidates that have been invited to participate in this 2014 debate, which will take place at the Slater Museum auditorium on the campus of Norwich Free Academy. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Joe Visconti, who has successfully petitioned onto the November ballot, will be prohibited from participating.
In addition, it appears that the only way to attend the debate is to get one of two hundred tickets, half of which have been provided to the Malloy campaign and the half to the Foley campaign.
Although I may not be on the list, hopefully the future gubernatorial debates will include all of the candidates who have qualified to be on the November ballot.
The debates provide a unique opportunity to ask the candidates the difficult questions that voters deserve to have answered.
If I was a participant in the debates, one of the questions that I would have asked the other candidates is the following:
Governor Malloy: You are the only Democratic Governor in the United States who has proposed doing away with teacher tenure and repealing collective bargaining for teachers in turnaround schools. While public school advocates and teachers have criticized you for saying a teacher need only show up for four years and they'll get tenure, but that is a minor complaint compared to your proposal to actually do away with teacher tenure and repeal collective bargaining for a subset of public school teachers.
Mr. Malloy, will you use this moment to renounce your 2012 proposal and can you tell us exactly what is your position is on teacher tenure and collective bargaining?
Mr. Foley/Mr. Visconti: Governor Malloy earned the wrath of teachers and public school advocates when he proposed, in 2012, to do away with teacher tenure for all public school teachers and collective bargaining for teachers in the lowest performing schools. Can you tell us whether you would have supported or opposed Governor Malloy's proposal on end teacher tenure and limit collective bargaining and what you would do on these two issues if you are elected governor.
If it turns out that I am not on the ballot this year, and therefore cannot participate in the debates, I hope the moderators will ask the candidates this and other important question..
This is sad news for those in the progressive community who wanted an alternative to Dan Malloy.
The Secretary of the State's office continues to count the Pelto/Murphy petitions as they are sent in by local town clerks. While the process won't be concluded until the middle of next week, it appears increasingly likely that we will fall short of the 7,500 "valid" signatures to get on the ballot. Although we've identified a significant number of signatures that were inappropriately or illegally rejected, the traceable problems do not appear, at this time, to be enough to put us over the top - even if we were able to go to court and ask a judge to overrule the actions taken by certain local officials. When we know the final status of the petition count we will, of course, inform readers immediately. Regardless, we want to thank all of you who have been so supportive of this quest.
I'll give my take on Pelto's announcement and what it means for the general election later.
NEW BRITAIN - The mother of a 19-year-old gunned down in front of his Roberts Street home begged the dozens of mourners who showed up at the address Tuesday night to come forward with information on his killing.
Mishael Stephens was holding her son Corey Washington as he lay bleeding when officers arrived Monday night, responding to a report of gunfire and a man down in front of 62 Roberts St.
Washington, who was known by friends and family as "CJ" died a short while later.
Neighbors said Washington was a good and respectful kid who would watch his younger siblings when his mother was at work. Friends and family said they have no idea why anyone would shoot him in front of his own home.
"He had an amazing smile," said Kiaja Blake who has known Washington for about seven years. "He was always joyful, in fact I don't think I've ever seen him upset. He was a pleasure to be around."
He had a big heart and was a sweet guy, his mother said. "Each and every one of y'all have your own about him, a good story," she said as she was surrounded by somber faces who had brought candles and white balloons to the location where he was fatally shot.
"There is too much senseless killing," his grandmother added as she watched her daughter hug his friends. "It's got to stop. Where are these kids getting the guns?"
Although Washington was described his family and friends as "always joyful, in fact I don't think I've ever seen him upset. He was a pleasure to be around," here's what the insensitive mayor had to say about the tragedy on Facebook account.
Before Washington's body can be laid to rest, Mayor Stewart decides to add salt to the wound by blaming the victim for his death...un-fucking-nreal! I guess even the idiotic Stewart knew she crossed a line since she later deleted her comment hoping no one archived her remark.