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My Left Nutmeg

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"Generally Accurate"

by: ctblogger

Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 09:24:53 AM EDT

The Courant did a fact check on the claims in Dan Malloy's latest attack ad on Tom Foley...and the newspaper claims that the ad is accurate.

The ad asserts that Foley "bankrupted the Bibb Co., costing hundreds their jobs" and that "Foley and his company made $20 million."

Here's the history: Foley's investment firm took over the troubled Bibb Co. in 1985, and Foley had taken personal charge of the company by 1996, when the decision was made to seek bankruptcy protection. It's rough language to say that Foley "bankrupted" the business, and Foley has argued that it was the changing economics of the textile industry that made bankruptcy unavoidable. But it's not inaccurate to attribute the bankruptcy to Foley.

The ad continues with the line, "costing hundreds of jobs," which gives the impression that the bankruptcy action led to those job losses. But the ad's support for the claim is an article in a home-furnishing's trade newspaper that came out a year before the bankruptcy filing. That publication notes that after Foley stepped in as CEO of the Bibb Co. in 1994, he embarked on a cost-cutting plan that included eliminating about 500 of the company's 6,000 employees. But that occurred pre-bankruptcy.

As a result, the ad gets it's timing wrong, but the key element of the claim - that Foley made decisions that led to a reduction in the company's workforce - is supported (and in fact defended by Foley, who has said he was trying to save the failing plant). In addition, there is evidence that workers - possibly hundreds - lost their jobs in a post-bankruptcy spinoff.

Lastly, the ad asserts that "Foley and his company" made $20 million from Bibb. Foley's management company did in fact collect as much as $4 million a year from Bibb, and Foley has not disputed the $20 million figure, although he has said he personally received only about 20 percent of that money and that the fees supported a large number of employees who provided management services.

But the ad's main assertion - that Foley and his company received the money - is fair, and doesn't repeat false assertions made in ads four years ago that Foley personally pocketed $20 million.

This commercial from Malloy has a lack of clarity about the timing of job losses at the Bibb Co. two decades ago. But in matters of substance, the spot overall is fair in its presentation of contemporary events in Sprague and past events in Georgia. As such, we rate this ad Generally Accurate.

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Pryor will not seek a second term as State Education commissioner

by: ctblogger

Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 15:03:27 PM EDT

One of Gov. Dan Malloy's biggest re-election liabilities takes one for the team...or was he shown the door?

Stefan Pryor announced Monday he will not seek another term as state education commissioner and is seeking a new job -- a step that could diminish some of the teacher dissatisfaction with the administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy as the governor seeks re-election.

"Having served for nearly three fulfilling years as Commissioner, I have decided to conclude my tenure by the end of this Administration's current term and to pursue new professional opportunities," Pryor said in a statement.  "Because I believe it's important to communicate my decision proactively to the Governor and the public, I am doing so now."


It is not unusual for commissioners to step down after one term, but Pryor's announcement of his intentions now, when it is not known if there will be a second Malloy term, is a sign that he is a liability to the governor's re-election.

Malloy's relationship with teachers has been tense over his approach to education reform and its implementation of the Common Core curriculum standards.

With cover from the state's two largest teachers unions, Malloy in June kicked off "Connecticut Core," the administration's latest effort to quell the political and policy clamor over how Common Core curriculum standards should be implemented.

"Some people would rather concentrate on what divides us. I'd rather look at what divides us and find ways to bring them together," Malloy said at the time.

AFT Connecticut has endorsed Malloy's re-election, but it also sponsored a resolution adopted by the state AFL-CIO that calls for setting credentialing standards for the commissioner of education, a tacit slap at Malloy's commissioner, Stefan Pryor.

If you don't think Pryor's announcement isn't an calculated attempt from team Malloy to make amends with rank and file teachers and union members who are taking a serious look at Jon Pelto, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you...
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You call this Democracy?

by: ctblogger

Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 08:36:02 AM EDT

Cross post from Jon Pelto's Wait What?

During the next week or so, Connecticut's Secretary of State will determine whether the Jonathan Pelto/Ebony Murphy ticket will appear on the 2014 ballot for governor.

Over the last eight weeks, hundreds of volunteers sent countless hours collecting more than the 7,500 signatures necessary to ensure that voters have an option other than voting for Dannel "Dan' Malloy or Tom Foley in this year's gubernatorial election.  Supporters of 3rd party candidate Joe Visconti were doing the same thing over the last couple of months.

The deadline for submitting petitions was August 6, 2014.  As required by state law, Connecticut's 169 Town Clerks (often delegated to local Democratic and Republican registrars of voters) have two weeks to process those petitions and certify to the Secretary of the State how many "good signatures" each candidate has obtained.  Good signatures meaning signatures from actual registered voters.

A candidate collecting at least 7,500 signatures from Connecticut voters qualifies to be on the November ballot.

In one of the most interesting moments of the campaign so far, Governor Malloy recent told the New Haven Register Editorial Board that he had "serious doubts' that Pelto will clear the hurdle by collecting the necessary 7,500 signatures of registered voters."

Have Malloy's political operatives been to the Secretary of the State's office to "help" count the signatures?

Have Malloy's people reached out to Connecticut's 169 Town Clerks or local Democratic registrars of voters?

Is Malloy a clairvoyant?

Or is Governor Dannel Malloy admitting to the fact that Connecticut's petitioning process is rigged to make it virtually impossible for 3rd party candidates to get on the ballot?

A recent visit to the Secretary of the State's Office to review some of the Pelto/Murphy petitions that have already been processed provided a unique opportunity to see how the system really works.

Readers who have seen a candidate petition know that the form includes a column for the voter to sign his or her name, a column for them to write their name, a column to list their birthdate and a column to list their address.

However, the law only requires that, "A signator shall print his name on said line following the signing of the signator's name."

According to Connecticut law and the instructions from the Secretary of the State's office, listing one's birthday is entirely optional and the address is only provided to help identify that the person signing is actually a voter in that community.

Connecticut state law goes on to state, "Such town clerk shall certify...which names were on the registry list last-completed or are names of persons admitted as electors since the completion of such list. In the checking of signatures on such nominating petition pages, the town clerk shall reject any name if such name is not the name of an elector as specified above...The town clerk shall not reject any name for which the street address on the petition is different from the street address on the registry list, if (1) such person is eligible to vote for the candidate or candidates named in the petition, and (2) the person's date of birth, as shown on the petition page, is the same as the date of birth on the person's registration record."

Under Connecticut's Constitution and Connecticut law, elected officials must make every attempt to recognize the intent of the voter.

But incredibly, a recent review of names rejected by town clerks reveal that a number of names on the Pelto/Murphy petition were illegally rejected because they did not write down their birthday, despite the fact that the birthday is completely optional.

In other cases, names were illegally rejected because while the addresses didn't match, the birthdays did and the signatures should have been counted.

Connecticut law further states, "The use of titles, initials or customary abbreviations of given names by the signer of a nominating petition shall not invalidate such signature if the identity of the signer can be readily established by reference to the signature on the petition and the name of a person as it appears on the last-completed registry list at the address indicated or of a person who has been admitted as an elector since the completion of such list."

However, once again, a review of some of the petitions certified by town clerks show that signatures were rejected even though it is obvious, thanks to the address and the birthdate, that the person who signed the petitions is, in fact, a voter.

Finally, an initial review of some of the petitions revealed that a number of town clerks (or registrars of voters) rejected signatures because the signer was on the town's "inactive" voter list.

State law does allow towns to maintain an active and inactive voter list, with the inactive voter list containing people who are still voters but who have not participated in recent elections or failed to return a postcard to the local registrar of voters.  But an "inactive" voter who shows up at the polls must be allowed to vote and an absentee ballot submitted by someone on the "inactive" voter list must be counted.

But despite the fact that signing a Pelto/Murphy petition is a legally authorized part of the voting process, some local town clerks and registrars illegally rejected any signatures from voters on the "inactive" voter list.

To these and other violations of state law by town clerks and registrars, the Secretary of the States attorney's only advice was for the Pelto/Murphy ticket to sue should these violations prevent it from qualifying for the November ballot.

The entire situation makes one wonder if we are living in the United States or Putin's Russia?

Even more to the point, it is a sad commentary about the health of our democracy that here in the Constitution State, state and local officials are stripping Connecticut voters of their constitutional and legal rights.

It is equally appalling that the Governor of Connecticut, who is sworn to uphold our State Constitution, so quickly dismisses the situation by saying that he "he has "serious doubts" that the Pelto/Murphy team will collect the 7,500 signatures of to get on the ballot."

Any governor, even when challenged, should stand up for the Constitutional rights of his or her citizens.  Winning may be important, but Governor Malloy should look in the mirror and remember that there are some things even more important than winning.

[In closing, let me add a personal note.  I remain confident that despite the barriers that are being thrown up before us, that Ebony and I have collected the required 7,500 signatures that we need to be on the ballot in November.  Although we hope it won't come to this, if legal action is necessary to ensure that the constitutional rights of Connecticut voters are protected against the powers of the incumbency and the incumbency system, we will take whatever legal actions are necessary to ensure that democracy in Connecticut is not crushed by illegal or political maneuvers.

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11 CT towns own Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles

by: Sue

Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 07:44:18 AM EDT

(Because Watertown and Trumbull are war zones... - promoted by ctblogger)

mrap photo mrap_zps527a4f9a.jpg

When Waterbury's Emergency Response Team set out to arrest two suspects in a home-invasion case early this month, they went in force: Two heavily armored trucks led a convoy of officers to nab the suspects at a house on Laurel Street.

The mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles used in the raid were acquired for free by Watertown and Waterbury, which are among 11 Connecticut police departments to own such gear



There's More... :: (3 Comments, 171 words in story)

Statement from the family of State Senator Andrew Maynard

by: ctblogger

Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 17:08:31 PM EDT

State Senator Andrew Maynard family released the following statement...
"We are pleased to announce that Andrew has been discharged from Rhode Island Hospital and transferred to the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain, CT where he will continue his physical and occupational therapy.  

The past few weeks have been a trying experience for Andrew and our entire family.  The doctors, nurses and staff at Rhode Island Hospital have been nothing short of tremendous in their care for our brother; we are forever grateful.

Andrew suffered a traumatic head injury due to a fall at his home a little over three weeks ago.  He is making a slow, yet positive, recovery.  He is awake and is responsive to family and friends who have been by his side.  While his recovery will take time, his doctors are confident that the recovery will continue to be positive and that HFSC is the right place to continue that recovery.

The entire Maynard family is thankful to all of the support and prayers Andrew has received over the past weeks.  We will continue to keep you updated on his progress over the coming days and weeks."

There has been a growing concern regarding the condition of State Senator Maynard and whether or not he will be able to fulfill his duties in the General Assembly. It's good to hear that he is recovering and hopefully things will continue to go in a positive direction.
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Thursday roundup

by: ctblogger

Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 09:27:09 AM EDT

  • Malloy and Dems throw out the red meat at last night's JJB.
    Gov. Dannel P. Malloy laid into his newly anointed Republican opponent Wednesday night before an audience of about 1,000 Democrats at the party's annual Jefferson Jackson Bailey fundraising dinner.


    During his 19-minute speech, Malloy said Foley had spent the last three years rooting for Connecticut's failure.

    "Tom Foley was standing on the sidelines, hoping for rain on a sunny day, wishing that Connecticut would not move forward, hoping that people don't notice that we're making progress and that we're on the road to recovery. He was in the cheap seats, saying cheap things while we were working hard - and that's unacceptable," Malloy said.

  • CT Mirror profiles "Landslide" Joe Courtney.
    Washington - Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, came into office on the slimmest of victories, a surplus of just 83 votes that earned him the jocular nickname "Landslide Joe" among his colleagues.

    This year, as he seeks re-election for a fifth term in Congress, Courtney hopes the nickname is no joke.

    Since that 2006 race where he narrowly defeated former Republican Rep. Rob Simmons, Courtney, 61, has won strong support in an economically challenged district. He has done it mostly by doing some of the things Simmons did, like standing up for the Naval Submarine Base New London and pressing for contracts for Electric Boat, which builds the Navy's nuclear subs.


    Courtney said he is seeking re-election because he believes he can still get things done in what many consider a "do-nothing Congress."

    "Despite the polarized, dysfunctional track record as a whole, I feel there are some real accomplishments I can make for the people in the district," he said.

  • Jon Pelto takes another swipe at Dan Malloy's rhetoric.
    In a recent interview with the CT Mirror, Governor Dannel "Dan" Malloy said,

    "We really don't have a deficit."

    However, if the truth be told, according to the non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis, the State of Connecticut continues to face a monumental fiscal crisis.  In fact, here are the projections from the experts for the fiscal years following this November's election;

    Fiscal Year 2016:  A $1.4 billion Connecticut state budget deficit

    Fiscal Year 2017:  A $1.6 billion Connecticut state budget deficit

    Fiscal Year 2018:  A $1.8 billion Connecticut state budget deficit

    Malloy says the Office of Fiscal Analysis is wrong, although he uses their numbers when he complains that he inherited a $3.7 billion state budget deficit from former Governor Rell.

    The most recent campaign pitch from Malloy is that he wants to be judged on his record.

    And the fact is his record is extremely clear.

    As a result of Malloy's unfair tax package that coddled the rich and disproportionately hit the middle class, along with his constant use of budget gimmicks, the candidate who wins this year's gubernatorial election will have to deal with a situation in which Connecticut will be at least $4.8 billion short of what would be needed to balance the state budget over the next three years.

    Meanwhile, the cornerstone of Malloy's campaign is his claim that he won't propose or accept any tax increases during the next four years, he won't need to renege on his deal with the state employee unions nor will he have to ask for further concessions from state employees and he won't cut vital services here in Connecticut.

    Is Malloy intentionally misleading voters?

    Is he straight out lying?

  • In his Bridgeport post-primary analysis, Grimaldi had this to say regarding the city's childish State Rep. Christina Ayala.
    Where the mayor lost an ally in Musto, he gained in other areas legislatively. The man he put in charge of eradicating blight in the city, Chris Rosario won convincingly over State House incumbent Christina Ayala whose personal missteps provided Rosario with an opening to replace her. The real surprise of the race wasn't Ayala's loss, but that she finished a distant third behind city fire commissioner Dennis Bradley who campaigned hard.

    Ayala now has more free time to deal with her long list of legal problems...good riddance!

  • Common sense prevails over New Britain juvenile Mayor Erin "Party Girl" Stewart's short-sighted attempt to sell city owned land and water assets.
    A divided Common Council voted down a plan sell Southington the Patton Brook Well, a half-acre of land at Tanglewood Drive in Southington for $1.3 million.

    The vote was 8-7 against the sale. Eight Democrats voted against the plan. The only Democrat to join the six members of the Republican caucus in voting for the sale was Tonilynn Collins.

    Voting in the majority was Democratic Alderman Dave DeFronzo who told the council, "The city should be trying to preserve all the water assets we have. The city should not be selling parts of its Water Department.

    Said Democrat Manny Sanchez, prior to the vote, "I'm not in favor of selling any city resources. I understand we are facing deficits, but selling the well or any other resources to Southington or any other town should not be part of our financial salvation plan."

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