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My Left Nutmeg

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In State Rep. Bocchino's world, rapes at colleges make for a great party

by: ctblogger

Thu Mar 26, 2015 at 09:28:33 AM EDT


There are those rare times when a politician will utter a remark so disgusting that I'm left at a loss for words...and this week is one of those times.

In the video clip below, at a hearing of the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee, during a discussuon on a proposed bill that focuses on incidents of sexual assaults on college campuses, the moronic freshman State Rep. Mike Bocchino stated the following:

"At the end of the day there are no witnesses. At least if there are, it's a really great party."

Needless to say that the Republican State Rep's idiotic remarks were roudly criticized. CT Dem Party Communication director Leigh Appleby had this to say:

"I assume that it was an attempt at humor, but Rep. Bucchino should know better - and his constituents elected him to know better. Campus sexual assault is not a joke. It affects both genders, but up to one in five female students are victims. It's a serious problem, and I hope Rep. Bucchino will publicly apologize for his distasteful and offensive comment."

To add salt on the wound, after hiding from the press, State Rep. Bocchino re-appears and instead of appologizing for his lack of common sense, he digs the hole deeper for himself and attempt to play the role of victim by stating that people are taking his remarks out of context for political purposes.

"To twist my comments and present them in such a way is disturbing," he said. "I am genuinely concerned for the safety and welfare of our children and students, and I want to make certain that this piece of legislation is the best that we can put forward. In no way was I trying to make light of any of this, and I am sorry that some may have taken my comments that way."


And where are the leadership within the CT Republcian Party? No word from Minority Leader Themis Klarides..oh, she's too busy trying to score cheap political points against Gov. Malloy to comment on a comment from someone within her ranks. To say that silence from the Minority Leader and her fellow collegueges within the State GOP should offend anyone who is concerned about the alarming rise in sexual assaults on college campuses.


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10 AM

by: ctblogger

Tue Mar 24, 2015 at 09:25:56 AM EDT

>UPDATE 1:40 PM: Seems like a light sentence given her dishonest role in the matter.

Former congressional candidate Lisa Wilson-Foley was sentenced Tuesday to five months in prison for her role in a scheme to hide former Gov. John Rowland's involvement in her campaign.

"I just cannot agree that being a candidate for U.S. Congress, being captain of that ship is a minor role," Judge Janet Bond Arterton told Wilson-Foley Tuesday when she sentenced her to five months in prison followed by five months of home confinement.


While prosecutors said Wilson-Foley had "described it as a record-keeping violation," the federal government said Rowland's relationship with a company owned by Wilson-Foley's husband, a consulting job for which the former governor received $35,000, constituted an attempt to violate election law.

"This is about Ms. Wilson-Foley wanting to turn the election process on its head," U.S. Attorney Christopher Mattei told Arterton Tuesday.


Prosecutors countered that, quite the opposite, Wilson-Foley not only was made aware of the conspiracy during a 2012 conversation at campaign headquarters when it was decided that the contract between Apple Rehab and Rowland should be released to the New Haven Register.

"It's clear that Ms. Wilson-Foley was the candidate," prosecutors argued.

While the defense argued that Wilson-Foley had no knowledge of the illegal arrangement between her husband's company and Rowland, the feds said it did not have all the evidence until recently, in particular knowledge of a conversation between Wilson-Foley and then-campaign manager Chris Syrek.

"Ms. Wilson-Foley came in and sat with the government and lied," Mattei said.

"For whatever reason, Ms. Wilson-Foley seems incapable of candidly admitting what the trial evidence established," ," prosecutors wrote in court documents. "In September 2011, she, her husband and Mr. Rowland had an understanding that Mr. Rowland would be paid for campaign work through Apple in order to prevent the public and the FEC from discovering the fact that Mr. Rowland was being paid to assist Ms. Wilson-Foley's campaign."

In fact, according to prosecutors, Wilson-Foley's entire campaign was guided and shaped by Rowland.

"Mr. Rowland came up with every policy position that the campaign had," Mattei said.

Five months? Again, seems to be a VERY light sentence given what Wilson-Foley did (which included LYING to the Feds).

Still no word from WTIC regarding how Rowland used the airwaves for Wilson-Foley's benefit...

You're orange suit is waiting for you Ms. Wilson-Foley.

Former Republican congressional candidate Lisa Wilson-Foley faces will be sentenced today in a scheme to hide the role former Gov. John Rowland played in her campaign.

Wilson-Foley and her husband, Brian Foley, pleaded guilty a year ago to conspiring to hide $35,000 they paid the former Republican governor for help with Wilson-Foley's failed 2012 campaign in the 5th Congressional District. Brian Foley was sentenced to three years of probation.

Prosecutors allege they wanted Rowland's help but not the negative attention that would come with hiring the ex-convict.

Sentencing for Wilson-Foley will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday in federal court in New Haven. The government is requesting that she be sentenced to 10 months behind bars.

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by: ctblogger

Mon Mar 23, 2015 at 10:53:13 AM EDT

Cross post from Jon Pelto's Wait What?

For weeks we've been focusing on a parent's right to opt their children out of the Common Core SBAC testing scheme and how the state and some local superintendents haven been engaged in an unethical, immoral, and I believe, illegal attempt to harass and mislead parents.

A quick search of the blog will quickly identify that the most common phrase appearing in recent posts has been - "The unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium SBAC test."

Unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory because the Common Core SBAC test fails to measure what has actually been taught in the classroom, that the SBAC test is based on materials that is more than two to three levels above grade level, that the SBAC test pass/fail score is calibrated to fail the majority of public schools students and that the SBAC test is particularly unfair because it discriminates against those who face English Language barriers or need special education services.

To ensure that we are all "on the same page" about what the Common Core SBAC test really is, I'm asking - urging - even begging - that Wait What? readers take time out of their busy schedules take the 4th grade Common Core SBAC English Language Arts test.  (Please do at least the first seven questions.  People can go beyond the first seven questions if they want, but if everyone does at least the first seven we will have a common platform to judge the test.)

After completing the homework assignment, please post your thoughts on this blog article or send your comments to jonpelto@gmail.com.

For those who want "extra credit," then after you do the first part of the 4th Grade ELA test try the first four questions of the 10th grade Common Core SBAC math test.  Again, please post your thoughts or send along your comments.

I am going to send this request to all of Connecticut's school superintendents.  It will be interesting to see how many responses there are from those that are in charge of implementing the Common Core SBAC testing scam.

Here are the steps to access the 4th Grade Common Core SBAC English Language Arts test
Go to http://sbac.portal.airast.org/...
Scroll Down and Click on Green Box - Students Interface Practice and Training Tests
Click on Sign In
Use Pull Down Menu to change to Grade 4, click Yes
Go to Right Column, 2nd box down - 4th grade ELA - click
Scroll Down and click on Select
Scroll Down and click on Yes, Start My Test
Click on Sound symbol - then Click Yes
Scroll Down and Click on Begin Test Now
Complete first seven (7) Question or you can complete the whole test if you are especially moved to do so
Then please post your thoughts at Wait, What? or send them along to jonpelto@gmail.com

For those who have time, here are the steps to access the 10th Grade Common Core SBAC math test.

Go to http://sbac.portal.airast.org/...
Scroll Down and Click on Green Box - Students Interface Practice and Training Tests
Click on Sign In
Use Pull Down Menu to change to Grade 10, click Yes
Go to Right  Column, - 10th grade Math - click
Scroll Down and click on Select
Scroll Down and click on Yes, Begin  Now
Scroll Down and click on Yes, Begin  Now
Complete first four Question
You can then stop and assess the test or move on
Again, please post or send along your thoughts

I assure you that completing this "homework" assignment will be well worth the effort.

Jonathan Pelto (Education Advocate, Education Blogger)

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URGENT ALERT - Sit and Stare Policy Violates Common Core SBAC Protocol

by: ctblogger

Thu Mar 19, 2015 at 12:06:22 PM EDT

Cross post from Jon Pelto's Wait What?

Two days ago, the director of the Connecticut Association of School Superintendents (CAPSS) told announced that Connecticut's superintendents of schools would now be recognizing that parents DID HAVE the right to opt-out or REFUSE to have their child take the unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) test that began this week...

And, equally important, the head of the CAPPS organization explained that children who are opted out will be moved to an alternative location where they can read or do homework during the Common Core SBAC test periods.

But either Mr. Cirasoulo failed to tell local superintendents about this critically important policy shift or some local superintendents are still committed to violating parental rights and refusing to treat parents with the respect, maturity and dignity they deserve.

More than half a dozen parents, all from separate towns, have written to Wait, What? in the last eighteen hours to say that local officials refused or tried to refuse the parents' directive that their student was not to take the SBAC test yesterday.

Equally appalling is that in at least two communities public schools students were not removed from the testing room while their follow students took were taking the Common  Core SBAC test.

Forcing students to remain in the testing room, referred to as a "Sit and Stare" policy, seeks to punish, humiliate and bully students whose parents have opted them out of the Common Core SBAC testing.

As previously noted here at Wait, What? "Sit and Stare" policies are nothing short of child abuse since they will lead to anxiety and the very real likelihood of resentment on the part of the children who are taking the test.

As a matter of ethics and principle, let alone their legal duty, educators do not engage, condone or allow bullying or child abuse.  Educators do not utilize "Sit and Stare" practices!

But putting aside the immoral and unethical nature of engaging in "Sit and Stare" policies is the fact that the Common Core Balanced Assessment Consortium SBAC Test Administration Manual, called TAM, prohibits the use of "Sit and Stare" for children who are not participating in the Common Core SBAC test!

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Test Administration Manual states;

Only students who are testing can view items. Students who are not being tested or unauthorized staff or other adults must not be in the room where a test is being administered

Any Superintendent or principal who forces children who have been opted out of the Common Core SBAC test to "Sit and Stare" is not only engaging in bullying but is in direct violation of the mandatory instructions for the SBAC Common Core testing entity.

By using the "Sit and Stare" approach to punish students who have been opted out, these local school officials are violating the Common Core SBAC testing policy and are engaging in a serious breach of security and duty.

If you know of any local school district that is not providing students who have been opted out of the SBAC test with a safe alternative environment in which to read or do homework, please send that information immediately to  jonpelto@gmail.com so that we can report that the SBAC violation to the appropriate authorities.

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Rowland's second term set to begin June 16

by: ctblogger

Wed Mar 18, 2015 at 14:12:17 PM EDT

Justice served.

A federal judge with a reputation for being tough on corruption decided to abide by less restrictive sentencing guidelines Wednesday when she sentenced former Gov. John G. Rowland to 30 months in prison for hiding campaign work from election regulators.

The twice-convicted felon, Rowland was fined $35,000 and must surrender June 16 to begin his incarceration. Rowland was not apologetic and did not speak at his sentencing. He will file a motion to be free on bond while his attorneys work on an appeal.

Federal prosecutor Liam Brennan, on the other hand, called the crimes a "full-blown conspiracy" that would have continued had the government not stepped in to stop it. He noted that unlike Rowland, the other conspirators did not have prior criminal records; and that Rowland continues to fail to accept responsibility for his continuing misdeeds.

Brennan said Rowland's plea for a second chance "rings hollow."

"'Character is what you do when no one is looking.' It's actually a phrase Mr. Rowland liked to use when he was governor. And it is true that Mr. Rowland did many things when no one was looking," Brennan said, parroting Rowland's defenders and referring to a "character education" program the former governor instituted. "It is also true that Mr. Rowland was also engaged in criminal activity when no one was looking. ...

"In this country there are people who struggle for one real chance. But John Rowland has had a first, second, third chance. He was a wealthy man earning more than most Americans can think about. And he still did this. A prior sentence of a year and a day was not enough to get him on the straight and narrow."

Rowland chose "independently wealthy" candidates "to hit up and bilk."

Brennan asked the judge to sentence Rowland to 30 or more months behind bars: "We hope a sentence of that range would motivate to turn away from the dark endeavors."


Arterton (pictured) said what she thought after a brief noon recess.

She said Rowland's previous incarceration failed to produce its intended result-"that he would never be seen in federal court again."

"It is important to remember what this sentence is not about," Arterton remarked from the bench. "It isn't about whether he was a good or bad governor. ...

"And this case is not about public corruption or bribery. It is about public conspiracy to violate the Federal Election Campaign Act, which requires public disclosures of campaign expenditures campaign receipts and limits campaign contributions . And it's about the falsifications that were found to have been throwing off government investigations into those potential violations."

The crimes Rowland committed are "certainly not trivial," said Arterton, who had experience herself in public office a half-century ago. "... And they are not careless." The former governor's "total contempt" for the law, his "lust for influence," or whatever drove him, "cannot be tolerated," she concluded, especially if the law seeks to prevent people from undermining federal election laws.

Response from Team Rowland...
Bowing his head at times and clasping his hands, Rowland deferred family members and a pastor to make his case for leniency, including his wife and former Connecticut first lady Patty Rowland, whose parting words for one of the young prosecutors in the case spoke the loudest as he left the courtroom.

"She just told me to burn in hell," Liam Brennan, an assistant U.S. attorney, could be overheard telling colleagues in a hallway.

Way to stay classy Patty...

Wonder if WTIC-AM will issue a statement regarding how they turned a blind eye while Rowland used his radio show for give Lisa Wilson-Foley an advantage over her opponents.

U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton said Rowland showed a striking disregard for the clean election laws a jury said he broke while trying to conceal his role as a paid consultant to a 2012 Congressional campaign of Lisa Wilson-Foley.

"What is striking and disturbing is Mr. Rowland's total contempt for those laws which was made abundantly clear at the trial, including his shameless use of his radio talk show to advantage one candidate, Ms. Wilson-Foley and to disadvantage her lead opponent," Arterton said.

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Wednesday open thread

by: ctblogger

Wed Mar 18, 2015 at 08:54:28 AM EDT

The latest...
  • The time has come...
    A federal judge rejected former Gov. John G. Rowland's last attempt  Monday to overturn his second felony conviction.

    In a 12-page ruling, Judge Janet Bond Arterton denied Rowland's lawyers request for a new trial. Rowland is expected to be sentenced at 10 a.m. Wednesday in New Haven. The sentencing comes 10 years after his first sentencing on charges related to accepting illegal gifts while in office.

    His recent conviction is related to the unreported work he did for Lisa Wilson-Foley's congressional campaign in 2012. Rowland's lawyers argued in court documents that government prosecutors withheld information from them regarding the consulting contract Rowland had with Wilson-Foley and her husband, Brian Foley.

  • CT MIRROR: "Civil liberty should include freedom to decide on dying as well as living"
    Protecting civil liberties requires us to defend certain choices and an individual's right to make them.

    Most of the choices we defend involve how people live. However, American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut and Compassion & Choices-Connecticut are allied in believing that people have a right to make informed decisions about the end of their lives as well.

    In the coming weeks, our lawmakers will be debating the deeply personal choice of aid-in-dying and how to manage the challenging relationship between what is essentially a private decision and good public policy.

    We feel the proposal heading to the legislature balances that tension well. It does so by recognizing several important factors.

    First, aid-in-dying must be available only to those who truly need it. The proposed legislation does that by requiring that a person be terminally ill with less than six months to live.

    Second, decisions are not made alone. Just as the ACLU would never send a client to defend him or herself in court, we believe that a terminally ill person's decision to hasten death should be made with the guidance of a physician, loved ones, and with other available resources, such as counseling and pastoral assistance.

    All of this has been accomplished in the Connecticut legislation.

  • Victory!
    The battle to ensure that local school districts recognize the right of parents to opt their children out of the Common Core SBAC test ends in victory.

    In a published report today in the CTMirror, the Executive Director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, Joeseph Cirasuolo, has announced that superintendents in Connecticut will now recognize the right of parents to opt their children out of the unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium SBAC Testing AND that students who opt out will be provided with an alternative location where they can read a book, do homework or engage in some other educational activity for the eight to eight and a half hours of the SBAC testing.

    Mr. Cirasuolo is quoted as saying;

    "You can't force someone to take a test they will not take...They will be sent someplace else."

    This important development should close the book on what appeared to be an unending effort by Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy's administration and some local school superintendents who have been working to mislead and harass parents into believing that they did not have the fundamental right to opt their students out of the destructive Common Core SBAC testing.

    The position being taken by the head of Connecticut's superintendent association also makes clear that local school districts cannot use the "Sit and Stare" policy to punish or bully students who have opted out of the Common Core SBAC tests.

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