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My Left Nutmeg

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My Left Nutmeg

While Malloy stays the course on the Common Core, Cuomo distances himself from it

by: ctblogger

Tue Oct 21, 2014 at 10:29:15 AM EDT

Cross post from Jon Pelto's Wait What?

According to Truth in American Education (TAE), a national, non-partisan group of concerned parents and citizens, "Andrew Cuomo Says He'll Delay Using Common Core Scores for Five Years.

Like Governor Dannel "Dan" Malloy, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been a long-time, out-spoken proponent of the Common Core and the Corporate Education Reform Industry.  However, faced with mounting opposition to the Common Core and its associated Common Core Standardized Testing Scheme, Cuomo is changing his position and has even begun to run campaign television ads distancing himself from the Common Core.

The new Cuomo anti-Common Core ad can be seen here.

Truth in Education reports,

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a campaign ad yesterday that he will delay using Common Core assessment scores for five years and then only if New York children are ready.


The Stop Common Core Ballot Line delivered over 62,000 signatures.  Over 30,000 students opted-out of Common Core assessments last spring including Cuomo's Republican challenger, Rob Astorino's children.

The TAE article also pointed to a July 2014 Siena College Poll that reported that 49% of New Yorkers want Common Core implementation stopped, while only 39% want to see the standards implemented.

The Siena College Poll also revealed that opposition to the Common Core was across the entire political spectrum noting, "More moderates, conservatives, union households, non-union households, men, women, suburbanites, upstaters, whites, Catholics, and members of all age groups want to see the Common Core stopped."

But here in Connecticut, Governor Malloy and his Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor, have remained dedicated to the implementation of the Common Core and its related Common Core SBAC Standardized Test.

Earlier this year, State Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor told the New Haven Register's editorial board that postponing implementation of the Common Core would be "ill conceived" and would be a step backward.

And Malloy himself has said that it is too late to turn back on the Common Core and his corporate education reform industry agenda.

Malloy recently old the Waterbury Republican-American Newspaper, "What we've done needs to continue to be implemented and rolled out" and the editorial board of the Day newspaper of New London spoke with Malloy and wrote, "The governor assured us he will stay the course on education reform if re-elected."

The Hartford Courant has also reported that following another meeting, "the governor emphasized that he is not backing off his support for the teacher evaluation system or the Common Core. It's 'not that either one isn't the right thing to do," Malloy said."

As appalling as Malloy and Pryor's support has been, even worse is the fact that Malloy and his Commissioner of Education have spent countless hours engaged in a campaign to mislead parents into thinking that they do not have the right to opt-out their children from the Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Test.

It is worth repeating that while Governor Malloy and Commission Pryor claim that federal and state laws trump parental rights when it comes to taking the Common Core Standardized Tests, there are no federal or state laws that prohibit parents from opting their children out of the Common Core Tests nor is there any law that allows schools to punish parents or students for opting out of the tests.

Rather than protecting the rights of parents, Malloy's Commissioner of Education sent out a memo to Connecticut's school superintendents explaining how they should go about misleading, scaring and lying to Connecticut parents in an immoral effort to stop parents from opting-out their children.

Even if Cuomo's "conversion" on the Common Core is nothing more than political self-preservation, it is certainly an interesting development that even New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has come to recognize that parroting the Common Core and Corporate Education Reform Industry rhetoric is not the right thing to do.

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Oh the hypocrisy!

by: ctblogger

Mon Oct 20, 2014 at 14:11:26 PM EDT

From the political party that whined about Connecticut Democratic Party wanting to spend money from its federal candidate account on state races comes this gem.


The GOP and its candidates across the state have launched a series of candidate mailers that the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) has found illegal in a new advisory opinion. The decision rules on CEP candidates and "expenditures for communications that refer to-and oppose or feature in a negative light-other candidates who are not their direct opponents."

Last week, mail pieces dropped across Connecticut criticizing Governor Malloy. The pieces, sent by the GOP through individual accounts of Citizens Election Program legislative candidates, said virtually nothing about the Republican candidates themselves, or their opponents. Instead, they were citizen-funded attack pieces, from the CT GOP and its legislative candidates, against Governor Malloy directly.

The GOP had known the public was awaiting a ruling from SEEC on communications from CEP candidates on non-opponents. Yet, the pieces dropped in mailboxes across the state last week anyway.

Now, SEEC has ruled the Republican mailers illegal, saying:

"...when a CEP candidate makes a communication that is not directly related to the candidate's own race and that also promotes the defeat of or attacks a candidate that is not opponent direct opponent of the candidate sponsoring the communication, but is in a different race, then the cost of that communication must be properly allocated."

That means the GOP must immediately halt the production and distribution of these illegal attack mail pieces.

"These mail pieces distort the facts, revise history, and root for Connecticut to fail. Now, we've found out they're illegal. The GOP and Republicans across the state must immediately stop sending these attack pieces, which are paid for with public funds but say almost nothing about candidates' individual races," said Devon Puglia, Democratic Party spokesman.

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Rasmussen Reports/CT GOV: Foley 50, Malloy 43

by: ctblogger

Sun Oct 19, 2014 at 10:28:03 AM EDT

Another day, another poll...from the right-leaning Rasmussen Reports...
Republican challenger Tom Foley still leads Democratic incumbent Dan Malloy in their Connecticut gubernatorial rematch as voters continue to grumble about the job Malloy has done over the past four years.

Foley now picks up 50% of the vote to Malloy's 43% in a new statewide telephone survey of Likely Connecticut Voters. Two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate in the race, and four percent (4%) are undecided.

Survey wording...

Connecticut Survey of 980 Likely Voters

Conducted October 14-16, 2014

By Rasmussen Reports

1* If the election for governor of Connecticut was held today, would you vote for Republican Thomas Foley or Democrat Dan Malloy?

2* I'm going to read you a short list of people in the news. For each, please let me know if you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable impression. If you've never heard of that person, just let me know.

Thomas Foley

Dan Malloy

Richard Blumenthal

Christopher Murphy

4* Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable impression of the new health care law?

5* Is your state better off than it was four years ago?

6* Is the budget situation in your state better than it was a year ago or worse than it was a year ago? Or has it remained about the same?

7* Which candidate for Connecticut governor do you trust more to deal with government spending?

8* Which candidate for governor do you trust more to deal with taxes?

9* Which candidate for governor do you trust more on social issues?

10* Which candidate for governor do you trust more when it comes to dealing with government ethics and corruption?

11* Sometimes, unexpected things come up that prevent people from voting on Election Day.  Are you certain that you will vote in this year's elections, or is it possible that something could come up that would prevent you from voting?

12* How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

13* How would you rate the job Dan Malloy has been doing as governor?

NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence

Oddly enough, the poll didn't include Joe Visconti's post-debate impact on the race...

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Malloy's "Final Destruction" of Connecticut's Campaign Finance Reform Law

by: ctblogger

Thu Oct 16, 2014 at 09:41:34 AM EDT

Cross post from Jon Pelto's Wait What?

Governor Dannel "Dan" Malloy's has finally succeeded in his effort to utterly destroy Connecticut's Campaign Finance Reform Law.

In stark contrast to Malloy's action this year, the Democratic Party has long claimed that eliminating the inappropriate influence of tainted political donations has been one of the its most important values.  Over the years, unions and progressive organizations have made campaign finance reform a cornerstone of their political agenda.

But in just one term in office, Governor Malloy and his political operatives have managed to undermine and now destroy Connecticut's landmark campaign finance reform law of 2005.

Following the downfall of Governor Rowland, Connecticut adopted a nationally-recognized campaign finance reform law that provided political candidates with public funds, as long as they refused to take any additional money from political action committees, companies or individuals that do business with the state, large donors or any other special interests.

In his earlier campaigns, Malloy claimed to be a champion for campaign finance reform, but as a direct result of loopholes proposed by Governor Malloy and approved by the Democrats in the Connecticut General Assembly, Malloy has left the spirit and the letter of Connecticut's campaign finance law in shambles.

Not only has Malloy taken the $6.2 million in public funds for his re-election campaign this year, but he has also inappropriately tapped into nearly $4 million in tainted money that has been laundered through the Democratic State Central Committee and another $3.5 million that has been funneled through a political action committee associated with Malloy's campaign.

Malloy's final blow to Connecticut's commitment to "clean elections" came with the news that the Connecticut Democratic Party has sent out a "mass mailing to promote Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's re-election with money raised for federal congressional campaigns - even though state regulators have denounced the plan and the Federal Election Commission hasn't yet said whether it's legal."

The details surrounding the Malloy campaign's latest maneuver can be found at CTNewsJunkie Democratic Party Goes Forward With Malloy Mailer and the Hartford Courant at Democrats Send Controversial Pro-Malloy Mailing Without Waiting For Feds' Opinion

What is particularly revolting about Malloy's action it that it allows him to use money that comes directly from people who have state contracts or who have benefited from Malloy's corporate welfare program.  By using money from the Democratic State Central Committee's "federal account," Malloy is also utilizing funds that came from Federal Political Action Committees, a source of money that we never allowed even in the Rowland and pre-Rowland era of pay to play politics.

Malloy's attitude is either that the law simply doesn't apply to him or that "the end justifies the means," no matter how immoral those political actions may be.

As Jon Lender notes in his article,

The SEEC [State Election Enforcement Commission] sent a 10-page letter Tuesday to the FEC saying the Democrats' mailing would undermine state clean-election laws passed after the 2004 corruption scandal surrounding then-governor Rowland. Those clean-election laws included a ban on state contractors' money in election campaigns, which was supposed to keep special-interest money out of state elections

But rather than do the right thing, Malloy and the Democrats sent out their mailing using money from state contractors and other organizations that were banned as a result of Connecticut's campaign finance reform legislation.

Dannel Malloy has turned Connecticut's once prominent position on campaign finance reform into a joke.  Proponents of clean elections, including Democrats, union members and progressives should be ashamed by Malloy's actions.

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by: ctblogger

Wed Oct 15, 2014 at 13:11:47 PM EDT

The Prez trip to CT has been cancelled...here's the official word from the White House.

The President's travel today to New Jersey and Connecticut has been postponed.

Later this afternoon, the President will convene a meeting with cabinet agencies coordinating the government's Ebola response. There will be a pool spray at the bottom of this meeting in the Cabinet Room.

3:30PM           THE PRESIDENT holds a meeting with cabinet agencies coordinating the government's Ebola response
Cabinet Room
Pool Spray at the Bottom (Final Gather 4:00PM - Brady Press Briefing


The White House · 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW · Washington DC 20500

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A "People's Pledge" For Connecticut

by: abg22

Tue Oct 14, 2014 at 16:24:33 PM EDT

( - promoted by ctblogger)

What is the best way to deal with the outlandish and unprecedented flood of outside money into the Connecticut gubernatorial race? In the absence of a 28th amendment to the U.S. constitution overturning the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United, the closely watched 2012 US Senate race in Massachusetts between Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown suggests one stopgap measure. One of the most expensive senate races in US history, the Brown-Warren slugfest could have been even uglier and more expensive. Citizens United had recently been handed down, and a mountain of "dark money" was poised to flow into the race. Then Brown and Warren took the "People's Pledge," a mutual agreement between the candidates to forgo outside money by donating to charity a "penalty" payment equal to 50% of any spending either supporting them or attacking their opponent by independent expenditure groups.

At the time many skeptics argued that such a nonbinding agreement could not possibly work, but one study showed that it reduced outside spending in the Massachusetts race by 93%.

Is it time for Dan Malloy and Tom Foley to take the "People's Pledge," and agree to return to the Citizens Election Program (CEP) whatever amount outside groups spend on their behalf? With another $700,000 in spending reported Friday, two Super PACs allied with the Democratic and Republican governors' associations have already spent a whopping $7 million on advertising aimed at airing both candidates' dirty laundry. Outside money expenditures in the gubernatorial race have so far exceeded the amount spent by the candidates themselves, with almost all of the outside spending going towards negative television ads, many of them false or misleading. Both candidates have run into problems with possibly illegal coordination with outside groups.

All that is bad enough. Worst of all is that all the outside spending is threatening to make a mockery of Connecticut's landmark public campaign finance program, passed in the wake of the first John Rowland corruption scandal, which set strict limits on contributions to candidates and was intended to reduce the role of money in state races. This year's gubernatorial race is the first time both the Democratic and Republican candidates for governor are participating in CEP. But thanks to all the spending by outside groups, what should have been a historic moment for campaign finance reform (just as Rowland is headed to prison for the second time) has instead become a showcase for everything that is wrong about the post-Citizens United "dark money" arms race.

It would be more meaningful for Malloy and Foley to take the People's Pledge than it was for Warren and Brown two years ago, because spending on elections has sharply diminishing returns. Warren and Brown spent an astonishing $42 million and $28 million on their own, without the help of outside groups. In an already advertising-saturated environment, the impact of outside expenditures is minimized. Malloy and Foley started with about $7 million each -- plenty of money to get their message across, but not enough to neuter the impact of outside spending. If both Foley and Malloy agree to disavow outside spending, the two candidates will be on an unusually level playing field since both are participating in public financing. Therefore they are in a unique position to send a clear message about money not being dispositive in Connecticut elections.

There has never been a more important time to send that message. Independent expenditures increased 500% from 2010 to 2012, after the Supreme Court issued the Citizens United ruling. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, outside groups spent over $1 billion on federal races in 2012 and have already spent more than $320 million on federal races in 2014, with hundreds of millions of dollars in spending yet to come. Those totals don't count massive outside spending in close gubernatorial contests in Wisconsin, Florida, and Connecticut.

Some argue that if money is speech, the more the better -- but the vast majority of Americans disagree. A 2012 Associated Press poll found that 80% of Americans support limits on money in elections. Other polls show that the negative perception of the outsized role of money in politics is one of the major reasons Americans are losing confidence in our electoral system.

One answer to outside money is more disclosure. Advertising from independent expenditure groups should have to clearly identify the groups' largest donors. But for those who think that disclosure is not enough, a Connecticut version of the People's Pledge would be a good next step.

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