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My Left Nutmeg

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My Left Nutmeg

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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CANCELLED

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.

UPDATED:
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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CEA Tells Teachers Malloy Supports Collective Bargaining BUT that isn't quite true:

by: ctblogger

Tue Oct 14, 2014 at 10:26:39 AM EDT

Cross post from Jon Pelto's Wait What?

As part of its ongoing effort to persuade Connecticut teachers to support Governor Malloy's bid for re-election, the CEA has sent out information to its members including a "Fact Sheet" called EXAMINE THE FACTS.

In addition, the cover of this month's CEA Advisor magazine reads;

EXAMINE THE FACTS;
A better direction for students, teachers and public education
A Better direction for education funding, pensions and collective bargaining.
Malloy/Wyman

See CEA Flyer - EXAMINE THE FACTS AND CEA Advisor:

The lead article begins,

"Educators are truth tellers. They enlighten.  They inform ... we like to think our Association plays a similar function for members like you."

While it is fair to say the Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley's position on the issue of collective bargaining is extremely troubling and worthy of opposition, it is vitally important that voters been given the truth, especially by those who support a particular candidate.

In this case, the CEA statement on behalf of Governor Malloy is as follows:

MALLOY: Supports teachers' rights to collectively bargain and negotiate contracts, benefits, and working conditions


Actually that isn't really the truth:

Governor Dannel "Dan" Malloy remains the only incumbent Democratic governor in the United States to have proposed doing away with tenure for all public school teachers and repealing collective bargaining for teachers in the poorest school districts.

His plan was to replace the due process system called tenure with a series of certification contracts that would be renewed if teachers managed to prove their competency using an unfair and inappropriate set of standards.

While it is true that Malloy told a CEA forum last month that he did support teachers' rights to collectively bargain and negotiate contracts, benefits, and working conditions, Malloy HAS NEVER publicly renounced his 2012 proposal to eliminate tenure for all public school teachers - the single most important working condition for teachers.

In fact, in an earlier candidate debate with Tom Foley, Malloy was asked about his infamous statement that a teacher need only show up for four years to get tenure.

In response Malloy said,

"I should admit that was bad language. It wasn't about them. It was about tenure. ... I shouldn't have said it. I apologize for saying it.'"

So while telling the CEA that he supports collective bargaining, Malloy told that public that his idiotic and insulting statement that teachers "need only show up" to get tenure, wasn't about teachers, it was about tenure.

What the????

That is hardly a successful effort on Malloy's part to say that he believes in the important role of tenure.

But perhaps even more important is Malloy's failure to publicly retract his effort to repeal collective as part of his Corporate Education Reform Industry proposal in 2012 (Senate Bill 24).

Section 17 of Senate Bill 24 read,

"(F) The provisions of sections 10-153a to 10-153n [Connecticut's Collective Bargaining law], inclusive, shall not apply to any teacher or administrator who is assigned to a commissioner's network school..."

The language meant that collective bargaining SHALL NOT APPLY to teachers working at turnaround schools.

Thankfully the outrageous, anti-union, anti-collective bargaining language was stripped out of the bill by the Democratic legislators...just as they would if Tom Foley tried to introduce anti-union, anti-collective bargaining legislation.

As the leadership of the CEA, AFT and other public employee unions continue to campaign for Dannel Malloy, they (or Malloy) still have not faced that fact that:

No Connecticut Governor - Democrat, Republican or Independent - has ever proposed unilaterally repealing collective bargaining for a group of public employees.

The truth is that Dan Malloy proposed unilaterally repealing collective bargaining for teachers working in the poorest schools in Connecticut and to this day he has NEVER publicly retracted that proposal or apologized for his union busting effort.

The CEA leadership is absolutely correct that teachers and all voters should EXAMINE THE FACTS.

People may want to vote against Foley for his anti-worker position, but Malloy has a long way to go before he has earned the vote of Connecticut's teachers or state employees.

The question remains...

If Malloy really wants teachers to support him, why hasn't he clearly endorsed the concept of teacher tenure and made a public statement that he was wrong to try and eliminate tenure and repeal collective bargaining in his 2012 Corporate Education Reform Industry legislation.

In the coming days we'll take a look at some of the others issues presented as "facts" in the EXAMINE THE FACTS flyer teachers have been receiving.

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State Treasurer Denise Nappier release first TV ad

by: ctblogger

Mon Oct 13, 2014 at 16:51:45 PM EDT

Hoping the change the subject from her no-show at her debate last week and accusations from her opponent that she's dodging the media, today, State Treasurer Denise Nappier released her first TV ad.

Entitled "Dreams," Nappier's ad focuses on her commitment to the CHET program.

PRESS RELEASE:

State Treasurer Denise Nappier released her first television advertisement, "Dreams" today. The ad highlights Nappier's successful efforts to create a tax deduction for CHET college savings deposits.

"A well-educated workforce is essential to keep Connecticut moving forward," said Nappier. "Although I'm a person most comfortable with numbers, what has truly touched me is the impact my work has on people. We held a ceremony this June to celebrate the CHET scholarship recipients-I was proud looking at all the families I the room. That's why I keep doing this work."

More than $836 million in qualified withdrawals have been taken to cover college costs for approximately 29,000 students. There are currently over 117,000 CHET 529 college savings accounts and total assets are more than $2.48 billion. That compares with 4,000 accounts and $18 million in assets in1999 when Nappier began to supervise CHET.

Nappier noted that the growth is largely a result of her proposal to create the tax deduction for CHET accounts in 2006 and other reforms she put into place making CHET more affordable and flexible for Connecticut's hard-working families. She reduced the minimum amount required to open a CHET account from $500 to $25 and negotiated significant reductions in management fees.

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