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My Left Nutmeg

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Pelto responds

by: ctblogger

Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:55:23 AM EDT

In response to Pat Scully's critique of Jon Pelto's possible run for governor, the author of Wait What? responds in his post entitled "Another Malloy mouthpiece explains why we must support Malloy or else"

Or, as Mahatma Gandhi's wisely observed,

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

This time the pro-Malloy message is delivered by Patrick Scully who describes himself as, "a high-profile communications, public relations, media and political consulting professional."

Scully takes aim at the notion that a broad range of Connecticut voters are actually disgruntled with the prospect of four more years of Governor Dannel "Dan" Malloy.

Wait, What? readers may recognize the name because Scully once wrote for the pro-corporate education reform blog called CTEducation180.

At some point, Scully turned the blog over to ConnCAN, the corporate funded pro-charter advocacy group that was part of the $6 million record-breaking lobbying campaign on behalf of Malloy's "education reform initiative." The blog ceased functioning in December 2012 with a post attacking fellow pro-education advocate and blogger Wendy Lecker and myself.

Among the gems posted during CTEduation180's were the following,

  • "Jonathan Pelto, author of the "Wait, What?" blog, continues to ride his train to nowhere."

  • "And in cyber-land, all by his lonesome, we have Jonathan Pelto, self-appointed gadfly and blogger extraordinaire of "Wait, What?"

  • "In a recent rambling diatribe on his "Wait, What" blog, anti-education reformer Jon Pelto continued his journey into an alternate universe of conspiracy theories."

  • You might remember Pelto from his continuing series of blog posts attacking the state's education commissioner, the governor, the schools chiefs from Windham, Hartford and Bridgeport, and many, many other folks who have made improving Connecticut's schools their life's work.

  • "What is Jon Pelto's problem? He provides no service, offers no solutions, yet feels it's his place to publish every little conspiracy theory he dreams up...His latest rambling diatribe against Windham Special Master Dr. Steven Adamowski makes no sense, and readers must question Pelto's motivations."

  • "The enraged blogger (Pelto) takes on a true leader (Moales)...Blogger Jonathan Pelto has done what appeared to be impossible: He has sunk to a new low."

Now Pat Scully returns with a blog entitled, Pelto Would Help Elect a Republican Governor if he can Stick it to Malloy.

Scully explains,

News that union stooge Jonathan Pelto might run for governor is not really all that surprising. Pelto will do anything-even help elect a Republican governor-if he can stick it to Gov. Dannel Malloy.

Pelto is teasing out a possible gubernatorial run with the hint that the Working Families Party (WFP) might endorse him. That in and of itself is not significant although the WFP adds important elements to the political discourse in the state. Fortunately, Pelto less than zero chance of becoming governor. But the possibility that a WFP endorsement can pick off votes from Malloy is real.

Pelto's blog is nothing more than a hate space for Malloy particularly on education reform. Malloy is looking to fix a broken public education system. Pelto is hell-bent on defending the status quo with its deplorable dropout rate and the worst achievement gap in the nation. He flames Malloy every chance he gets and as long as his union people are happy, he's happy, never mind the students who suffer. Even when a poll shows overwhelming support for Malloy's reforms, Pelto counters with absolute nonsense.

His argument goes downhill from there, but those of you who want to read it can find it at: http://scullycommunications.co...

So there you have it, the Malloy forces defend Malloy's indefensible support the corporate education reform agenda including the Common Core, the Common Core Testing scheme and the privatization of public education.

Their message is that we must remain silent because any criticism or challenge to Malloy will lead to a Republican victory.

And they conveniently overlook the myriad of reasons Connecticut citizens might want to vote against Malloy.  A top list of those reasons can be found in my recent post - The growing list of reasons to vote against Dannel "Dan" Malloy's re-election.

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National Popular Vote - blocked by Speaker Sharkey?

by: Kim Hynes

Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:37:38 AM EDT

( - promoted by ctblogger)

We're getting close to the end of the legislative session and, as usual in a short session, things are getting lost.  National Popular Vote is in danger of being one of those things. Under the National Popular Vote bill, participating states would join an agreement to award their electoral votes to the candidate who wins the most votes in all 50 states. This agreement would only go into effect when states representing an Electoral College majority, 270, signed on. When the agreement kicked in, the winner of the national popular vote would win in the Electoral College.  We are 60% of the way there!  New York joined the compact last week, with Governor Cuomo signing it into law.

Despite promising that the bill would be called if the votes were there (they are)  House Speaker Brendan Sharkey seems focused on letting it die.  We have heard he was very negative about it in the Democratic caucus.  CT News Junkie today quotes Representative Jutila, " 'Although the speaker has said he would allow the bill to be raised if enough House Democrats wanted it passed', Jutila said Sharkey's opinion on the issue has cooled support among lawmakers who did not previously have firm positions on the issue."    

If you have not yet called Speaker Brendan Sharkey or the Governor now is the critical time to express your support for  House Bill 5126, the National Popular Vote Bill .

Every vote should count for President of the US as it does in other elections, support the National Popular Vote!

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SCULLY: "Pelto Would Help Elect a Republican Governor if he can Stick it to Malloy"

by: ctblogger

Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 12:56:56 PM EDT

Given what the possibility of a Jon Pelto candidacy would have on Gov. Malloy's chances at re-election, commentators are offering their take on the scenario.

Pat Scully had this to say about Pelto throwing his hat into the race...reposted with permission.

Cross post from The Hanging Shad

News that union stooge Jonathan Pelto might run for governor is not really all that surprising. Pelto will do anything-even help elect a Republican governor-if he can stick it to Gov. Dannel Malloy.

Pelto is teasing out a possible gubernatorial run with the hint that the Working Families Party (WFP) might endorse him. That in and of itself is not significant although the WFP adds important elements to the political discourse in the state. Fortunately, Pelto less than zero chance of becoming governor. But the possibility that a WFP endorsement can pick off votes from Malloy is real.

Pelto's blog is nothing more than a hate space for Malloy particularly on education reform. Malloy is looking to fix a broken public education system. Pelto is hell-bent on defending the status quo with its deplorable dropout rate and the worst achievement gap in the nation. He flames Malloy every chance he gets and as long as his union people are happy, he's happy, never mind the students who suffer. Even when a poll shows overwhelming support for Malloy's reforms, Pelto counters with absolute nonsense.

The facts are Republican Tom Foley got more votes on the Republican line of the ballot in 2010 than Malloy got on the Democratic line. But Malloy was also on the WFP line where he picked up more than 25,000 votes to eke out a 6,000 vote victory. Now, there is no way to tell how many of that 25,000 would have voted for Malloy if there was no WFP endorsement or how many would have simply stayed home. But if the WFP did endorse Pelto, it can only hurt Malloy which is his only objective.

The Shad has several times provided the explanation for Pelto's negative obsession with Malloy. The blog OnlyinBridgeport.com alludes to it, "Malloy political operatives [contend] that Pelto's on a liberal jihad because he was not brought in as a player at Malloy's strategic table." How right OIB author Lennie Grimaldi is.

This is what The Hanging Shad said back in August of 2011: "Pelto's unremitting disparagement of Malloy dates back to when he was snubbed for any role in the newly elected governor's transition team and then being summarily dismissed by the new governor's top guy. Back in December of 2010, as Malloy was assembling his transition team, Pelto was all but lobbying for a role. He didn't get one. And to add insult to injury two Republicans did gets roles. That sent Pelto over the edge. When he criticized the governor for picking two Republicans for the team, top Malloy advisor Roy Occhiogrosso slapped him away like an annoying mosquito.

"'No one cares what Jonathan Pelto thinks,'" Occhiogrosso at the time. 'He posts some comment on Facebook. Who cares? If some guy in the Midwest posts something about the Malloy transition team on Facebook, is that newsworthy? The fact that he's reduced to making comments on his Facebook page proves his status in the Democratic Party.'"

In the case of Pelto possibly challenging Malloy in a primary or as a third party candidate, the danger is real. The bottom line is Pelto is fine with a Republican governor who would decimate the ranks of hands that feed him-unions-if he can sabotage Malloy along the way.

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Pelto to seek Working Families Party endorsement?

by: ctblogger

Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 08:47:31 AM EDT

If Pelto indeed decides to seek the endorsesment of the Working Families Party, people in Malloy's camp would be wise to be concerned...very concerned.
In 2010, Tom Foley received more votes for governor on the Republican line than Dan Malloy received on the Democratic line. The 20,000-vote difference was the Connecticut Working Families Party line where Malloy's name also appeared for an extra 26,308 votes. Combined with his Democratic vote haul, Malloy was elected governor by roughly 6,000 votes following a grueling election-day ballot shortage in Bridgeport that created chaos and made national headlines. Four years later, there's angst in the ranks of the Working Families Party over some of Malloy's policies including teacher standards and what students are expected to know at various grade levels under the Common Core curriculum-angst fanned by former State Rep. Jonathan Pelto, who's been a stick in Malloy's eye for the better part of his term, from Pelto's blog perch.

Pelto, a political and communications strategist, is considering a run for governor. Even at this late stage if he decides to get in the game he's a relevant player for no other reason than a threat to poach the Working Families Party endorsement from Malloy, or perhaps become enough of an ideological wedge for the WFP to forgo an endorsement. The WFP has become a force on the Bridgeport Board of Education through its coalition control with the Democratic bloc.

[...]

Pelto, a former five-term Democratic member of the State House, is an old-time liberal's liberal mostly simpatico with Working Families Party battle cry aligned with state employee unions and bread-and-butter issues such as education, jobs, health care and increasing the minimum wage.

"We stand up for the everyday families that make Connecticut what it is-not the Wall Street banks, the lobbyists and the CEOs," declares language on the WFP website.

Malloy and the WFP, heavily financed by labor unions, are in synch on several likewise concerns such as the increase in the minimum wage the governor has signed into law. But on other issues they part company.

The mighty Connecticut Education Association that represents unionized teachers is among the vocal voices criticizing the governor's education policies. Malloy supporters argue privately, "If you think our education policy is tough, just imagine what it would be like under Governor Foley."

Pelto, from his website, has taken long and hard positions against Malloy betraying progressive sensibilities such as his embrace of Common Core and supporting the state takeover of Bridgeport schools that was eventually overturned by the Connecticut Supreme Court. Malloy political operatives counter Pelto's on a liberal jihad because he was not brought in as a player at Malloy's strategic table.

Whatever the reasons, Pelto could become an even bigger pain in the ass if he pursues the Working Families Party endorsement. He tells OIB he will at least discuss the possibility of an endorsement. But could even the threat of an endorsement move Malloy back to left of center in the general election where he'll need major support of unionized workers to win another term?


Given the fact that Malloy won the 2010 election by only 6,000 coming from Bridgeport, the possibility of Pelto throwing his hat into the race for governor should be taken seriously...you've been warned.
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Taxpayer funds continue to flow to out-of-state companies for Malloy's "ed reform" initiative

by: ctblogger

Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 08:42:17 AM EDT

Cross post from Jon Pelto's Wait What?

Thanks to Governor Malloy and Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor you can hear the wild cheering from the corporate education reform industry as millions of dollars in taxpayer funds continue to flow to out-of-state companies so that they can come here to tell Connecticut's  teachers, administrators and public schools how to implement the Common Core and how to "improve."

A partial list of Malloy's Education Reform "winners" include;

LearnZillion Inc.
Cost to taxpayers:       $1,513,500

Task:  The Washington D.C. company is being paid $1.5 million by the Malloy administration to "Design and deliver professional learning for the implementation of the Common Core Standards (CCSS)."

BloomBloard Inc.
Cost to taxpayers:  $1,238,000

Task:  The California company was paid $1.2 million by the Malloy administration to provide "Strategic Initiatives Related to CT Educator Evaluation and Support system."  The contract, which was funneled through the Connecticut Association of Schools, was supposed to be completed in 2013.  It is unclear whether the contract was extended.

MassInsight Inc.
Cost to taxpayers: $1.8 million and growing

Task:  The Massachusetts company is being paid $1.8 million by the Malloy administration to "Develop the state's turnaround strategy and improve the most struggling schools."  The contract was supposed to end on January 31, 2014, but on the day AFTER the contract ended, it was officially extended for another year, while doubling in cost.

And meanwhile, as parents and teachers know, Connecticut's public schools are being turned into Common Core testing factories where the focus has now become preparing students for this inappropriate Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Test.

But the "less learning, more testing" mantra shouldn't come as a surprise since it was Governor Malloy himself who said that he didn't mind having teachers and schools teach to the test as long as test scores went up.

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Monday roundup

by: ctblogger

Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 08:51:47 AM EDT

News items for the start of the week...

  • These two fringe candidates for governor should pay their taxes before proposing how to spend taxpayer money
    They want to take charge of the state government and its $22 billion annual budget, but they haven't been able to pay some of their own personal bills - including state or federal taxes.

    That's true of two of the seven candidates for governor in the November election, a Government Watch examination of public records shows:

    Republican candidate Martha Dean, one of six contenders for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, has two federal tax liens on her Avon home, filed in late 2011 when she owed the IRS $181,100.

    Joe Visconti of West Hartford, one of her rivals for the state GOP's gubernatorial nomination in the November election, has liens for more than $80,000 on his West Hartford home including a state tax lien for $4,064 that he has owed the Department of Revenue Services since 2007.


  • Jon Pelto to primary Malloy?
    Jonathan Pelto, a relentless opponent of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's education agenda and former state representative, is entertaining a run for the state's highest office, Hearst Connecticut Newspapers has learned.

    The 53-year-old from Storrs, who has expended significant bandwith on his "progressive" blog and on Facebook railing against Malloy, could run either as a Democrat or a third party candidate, a person familiar with Pelto's thinking told the newspaper.

    "We are looking at a variety of options," Pelto told Hearst by email Friday afternoon.

  • Ted Kennedy Jr. for state senate campaign releases first web video.

  • BIGELOW: "An Open Letter to 'Jane Doe,' The Transgender Girl in an Adult Priso"
    Dear "Jane,"

    I feel like we all failed you, and I'm sorry.

    As I write this, you're sitting in solitary in York, the adult women's prison in Niantic. Department of Children and Families Commissioner Joette Katz has said there was no other choice. Apparently you got into a fight with staff at your last placement; your lawyers and Katz disagree about how serious that was. But that is why you're in an adult prison, according to Katz.

    "This young lady is going to have to learn coping skills that don't involve hurting other people," Katz said, before she will consider moving you again.

    You wrote eloquently about your experiences of rape, abuse, and trauma in your affidavit to the court. Some of this was from family, some from clients during your time as a sex worker, but some was from DCF staff and other residents in both Massachusetts and Connecticut.

    Please permit me to quote you (and this is a trigger warning for others reading):

    "At about age 12 I was placed by DCF at a residential facility in Eagleton School in Massachusetts, where a worker [name redacted] used to show the other children pornographic magazines, and on two occasions I was in his office and he had me perform oral sex on him."

    You also described a staff member at Connecticut Children's Place who took you and another transgender girl out to movies and, afterward, made you perform sexual acts on him.

    These are heartbreaking, shocking, and infuriating violations of trust, and are just some of the most direct ways in which DCF failed you. And now they have placed you in solitary confinement "22 to 23 hours per day," you have "no contact" with people your own age, and you can constantly hear other inmates "screaming, banging, and crying."

    "I have no family," you wrote. "I have no friends. Everyone is always looking at me like I'm an alien because I want to be the female that I am . . . I need to be given treatment and services specific to my needs. I need to deal with the trauma I've experienced in my life. This prison cannot do that for me."

    I've been thinking for days about what I could say to you.

    You and I are very different people. I'm middle class, white, and I live a pretty safe, sheltered life. Maybe the only thing we share is that I'm a transgender woman, too. I admit, that's what drew my attention to you in the first place. I do feel that they're treating you differently because you're trans, and it's obvious that a lot of the abuse you've suffered is because of that.

    But the more I read, the more I understand that this is about more than that. This is a case where, according to what you told the court, DCF is the direct cause of some of the trauma you've experienced, and is indirectly responsible for a lot of the rest.

    But now they expect you to learn "coping skills" while stuck in the mental torture of solitary confinement - they otherwise seem to be washing their hands of you.

    I know, it looks pretty bleak.

    But . . . and I mean this with all sincerity, please take heart.

    You are not alone.


  • Only in New Milford!
    Several residents' complaints about aggressive panhandlers in New Milford have sparked a response.

    A public hearing is set for May 12 at 7 p.m. in Town Hall about a possible panhandling control ordinance. The ordinance was drafted by Town Attorney Randy DiBella to give the New Milford Police Department a tool to use in dealing with aggressive panhandlers.


  • I'll be making my return to the small screen in Danbury today to talk about the latest developments in dishonest Mayor Mark Boughton's race for governor. I'll post the video of my TV appearance tomorrow.
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