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My Left Nutmeg

Please Welcome Rep. Mike Lawlor

by: spazeboy

Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 19:29:56 PM EST


Rep. Mike Lawlor (D-East Haven) is here to chat with My Left Nutmeggers about the investigation into what exactly lead to the arrest of Ken Krayeske.

Maura writes:

The press conference by Rep. Lawlor yesterday was incredibly powerful. I was so pleased to see Democrats like Lawlor (who was joined by Reps. Denise Merrill and Chris Caruso) treat this incident with the seriousness and gravity it deserves. Lawlor also had some very complimentary things to say about the CT blogging community and our growing power as citizen watchdogs.

But that's not all! We're at the start of a new legislative session, about which BranfordBoy writes:

Much has been (and will be) made of the so-called "veto-proof majority" enjoyed by Democrats, which strikes me as a real knee-slapper. I certainly don't expect anything much in the way of a Democratic agenda and unified Dem support for any measure, except the most non-controversial, is probably a will o' the wisp. When even the Dem Speaker of the House can't be counted on to support the Party's nominee for U.S. Senate, what sort of firm leadership can we reasonably expect? And what moral authority will Amann have to enforce Party discipline, assuming he even wants to? Roll call votes will, I suspect, reveal not how strong the "veto-proof" Dems are but how weak, with those voting against their Party providing a useful who's who of DINOs for future reference.

So before I open this thing up to questions and discussion about the Krayeske arrest and the 2007 legislative session...

This is the first time we've had an online discussion with a state legislator here at My Left Nutmeg, and I want to thank Representative Lawlor for spending time here tonight engaging his fellow progressives. Please give him a warm My Left Nutmeg welcome.

spazeboy :: Please Welcome Rep. Mike Lawlor

The January 8th press conference in four parts:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
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Lets get to it..... (4.00 / 10)
This is my first appearance as a contributor in the blogosphere, so I’m both excited and honored to have the chance to reach out to fellow activists! 

I know my invitation tonight is related to last week’s arrest of Ken Krayeske, so let me get right to the point:  Arresting activists and/or journalists without any lawful justification will not be tolerated in Connecticut.  I and my fellow legislators will get to the bottom of this story.  We will find out what “lists” exist, who is on them and what the criteria are for these lists. 

I have spoken to many law enforcement and other state officials since the weekend and it does appear that the Ken’s arrest was without “probable cause”, the legal standard for taking someone into custody.  Why that happened is not 100% clear, but it does appear that, at a minimum, some law enforcement officials called Ken a “threat” and, as a result, he was arrested while simply photographing the inaugural parade, nothing more.

Even worse, he was held for 13 hours on a $75,000 bond.

There will be proposals to change the law governing these things and there will be hearings into what happened last Wednesday.  When this will happen and which legislative committees will participate will be decided soon, but we are talking weeks not months.


Hello and Welcome (4.00 / 2)
Can you give us any updates on the Krayeske situation? 

Greetings! (4.00 / 1)
And since Spazeboy outed me, I'm curious to know what you think of my assessment of the Dem's "veto-proof" majority.

Welcome (4.00 / 2)
Any details you can give us about these proposals to change the law? What sorts of things are you considering?

And what do you think about Stan Simpson's column in the Courant this morning?


Welcome, Rep. Lawlor (4.00 / 1)
and thank you for being here. I'm glad that you treated the Ken Krayeske situation with the seriousness it deserves. I'm 51 year old schoolteacher who likes to take pictures of political events, and I also post here.

It's difficult to imagine that it could happen to any of use. Glad you made the point of speaking out.

What will be the followup?


Thanks for coming on to talk with us! (4.00 / 1)
We've heard that the Governor's people briefed GAE on the Krayeske matter at your organizational session: how is her office balancing managing the politics of this with determining the facts and responsibility?

Do you think disciplinary action will be more likely to come from Rell's office, or from your Program Review and Investigations Committee?


updates (4.00 / 8)
Well, the Hartford PD has changed their story a few times, but they now admit that Ken WAS held on a $75,000 bond.  Their spokesperson had denied that on Monday.  The prosecutors handling the case have given this matter special attention and have contacted me for info regarding witnesses and other evidence.  They, apparently, had not even read the Hartford Courant account, which named one witness who disputed the arresting officers account.  They also had no idea that Ken had posted photos on his website showing that he had been in his position for at least several minutes prior to the arrival of the Governor.  The State Police Commissioner has met with me and spoken by phone several times and I do think he understands the gravity of this situation. 

Timeline on bond survey? (4.00 / 1)
This is fascinating new information, especially that the prosecutor knew so much less about the case than we do! 

I was really impressed when you mentioned in your press conference yesterday that you would request data on the bond rates that had been set for other misdemeanor crimes for the past month.  Which organization did you request that data from, and how long do you think it will take for you to get it?  Will you be able to share this info with us publicly?


[ Parent ]
bond info (4.00 / 4)
we asked the Hartford PD for bond info.  At first they denied that they had set a bond for Ken, then changed their story yesterday.  We asked for a list of all misdemeanor arrests over the past month, how many were released immediately by the police, how many were taken back to HQ for processing, how many had a bond posted by the PD and what the amounts of those bonds were.  Im guessing that few if any Breach of Peace/Interfering arrests qualified for $75,000 bonds

[ Parent ]
Great to have you here (4.00 / 4)
As one of Ken's fellow bloggers and a video journalist, I can recall dozens of times my actions were similar to or even more aggressive than Ken's; it's wonderful to see an elected representative taking such a proactive role in combatting these tactics. 

PS - Can I call you for bail if I need it? ;)

Connecticut Bob


bail (4.00 / 6)
Not if its set at $75,000.  :-)

[ Parent ]
Welcome! And a question... (4.00 / 2)
Mike, thank you so much for reaching out to us in the CT blogging community tonight.  As you can imagine, Ken Krayeske's arrest really hit home for all of us here.

A question on recent developments...

Did you listen to Colin McEnroe's interview with Commissioner of Public Safety Len Boyle yesterday?  A few points in that interview struck me.  Boyle said that no agency kept a list of political opponents of the governor, but that Krayeske appeared in the briefing in part because of past words and actions and in part becuase of "animus" toward Rell.  Colin made the very clear point that Ken was hardly a would-be assassin based on his past words and actions, and if "animus" toward Rell plus past arrests for civil disobedience are the criteria for inclusion on a "watch" list, a number of us would be included.  Including you, I think!  Just wondering what you thought of that.

Also wondering whether you saw Christine Stuart's post over at CTNewsJunkie yesterday where she re-capped her story about Capitol Police photographing peaceful protesters (including Ken Krayeske) at a demonstration at the Capitol in October. 

Who has jurisdiction over the Capitol Police?  Any thoughts on the use of police resources to photograph peaceful protestors at the Hartford capitol building?


capitol photos (4.00 / 4)
Yeah, I did listen to the Boyle interview.  I think the "list" debate is more about semantics than anything else.  There certainly is a list of threats to the Gov, and they say that Ken is not on that.  On Inauguration Day, there was a discussion, according to the state police, of persons who might disrupt the inauguration.  I certainly think it was reasonable to believe that Ken was capable of that type of civil disobedience, but that is far from a "threat".  So, there was a list of possible "disrupters".  Comm Boyle chose his words carefully, referring to a "list of enemies of elected officials".  So, you decide.

Regarding the Capitol Police.  They are under the jurisdiction of the General Assembly.  I met with them today and discussed the practice of photographing participants of events at the Capitol.  This is, apparently, routine and is done for a variety of reasons.  According to them, there are no "files" for these photos, but that there are [and I know this from personal experience] persons who do pose a threat and are, therefore, watched when they arrive at the capitol.


[ Parent ]
Do you feel the charges will be thrown out? (n/t) (4.00 / 2)
and if so (0.00 / 0)
will the question of "How did this happen?" still be investigated?

|Spazeboy.net|Spazeboy's Guide to Political Videoblogging|

[ Parent ]
yes (4.00 / 4)
the sequence of events leading up to this is in dispute.  The FBI says they had no role to play in this, so we will attempt to verify that.  As a federal agency, they are a bit beyond our reach though.  The State PD [including the Govs security detail] and Hartford PD are under our jurisdiction, so we can get more info from them regarding how this got started.  There  is no dispute that there was a briefing, on the morning of the inauguration, where Ken's photos and a brief description of why he was of interest were provided to state and local police.  It is apparent that, at a minimum, there was an attempt to categorize him as a "threat" to the governor, which had no basis in fact.  That is, unless, you consider speaking out a threat.

[ Parent ]
Governors Office (4.00 / 3)
I was not at the GAE organizational meeting, because I was attending the funeral of Rep. ONeill's mother in Southbury.  In terms of accountabiltiy, I think the Gov's office has a role to play, but it does appear that members of her security detail played a direct role in these events, so that might not be the best route.  There are several committees, GAE, Judiciary, Public Safety and Appropriations who have jurisdiction, so we will sort that out soon.  The Hartford PD, the State Police all can impose discipline if they choose to.  Ken also has civil remedies, i.e. he can and Im sure will sue the various organizations invovled.  If there was a willful violation of his civil rights, there can be a federal or state prosecution of the officers involved. 

CTN has the video of the GAE meeting (4.00 / 2)
for MLNer's who would like to watch it, click on the link on this page:

http://www.ctn.state...


[ Parent ]
Hand holding (4.00 / 2)
Quakers at a peace rally seem an unlikely group to have their photos taken from a rooftop vantage point.

Now, now, Sue (4.00 / 2)
...according to Christine Stuart's report, Ken Krayeske and his band of pacifist would-be assassins were not just hand-holding at that protest in Hartford in October.  She said:

"Without the benefit of megaphones or microphones, the protesters stood in a circle, held hands, and talked about solutions. They encouraged each other to stand up to the Bush administration...

They were circle-standers and solution-talkers as well as hand-holders.  Tracking them is surely a worthwhile terrorism-prevention measure.



[ Parent ]
Monitoring of Blogs (4.00 / 4)
I'm actually quite interested in the monitoring of blogs prior to the event.  Were Ken's comments in particular being examined, or were they monitoring blogs in general? 

Boyle said... (4.00 / 2)
Mike probably has much more info on this than me, but in Colin McEnroe's interview with Commissioner of Public Safety Len Boyle yesterday, Boyle talked quite a bit about using "open source material" like blogs to gather intelligence before major events.  He used the visit of a foreign dignitary as an example.  It sounded as if intelligence agencies do monitor blog discussions, but implied that it was not a continuous practice; rather, one that would be specific to security for a particular event.

I suspect it goes way beyond that, though...hope Mike has more information or will be pursuing this in the upcoming hearings.

(BTW, if there is a well-paid state job that involves monitoring political blogs all day, where may I apply, please???)


[ Parent ]
blogs (4.00 / 5)
From what I have been told by the state police, someone from that dept did scan the blogs looking for discussion of the inauguration in order to learn whether any protests/disruptions were being planned.  Whether this was done by the Gov's security detail or others in the state police is not clear. 

[ Parent ]
What role do legislators play in setting the tone toward activists? (4.00 / 1)
The joe2006.com site, Joe Lieberman's post-election website, if you clicked on the words in the splash screen that said "Thank you team connecticut", linked in victory to a Marshall Whitmann "Bullmoose Blog" page which denigrated Ned Lamont and activists who supported him, calling bloggers the "nutroots".  What effect do you think this has  on citizens' feelings toward each other?  What effect might it have on law enforcement? 

Do legislators' actions help to set the tone for what happens in society?  If you think so, how do you see your responsibility to your constituents - both those who voted for you and those who did not?


FYI this is the page that was linked to his website (4.00 / 1)
http://bullmooseblog...

so that you can have your own independent look rather than accept my characterization.

As an example of leaders' choices about how they talk about their constituents (or countenance their constituents' being talked about)


[ Parent ]
What about the CTIC (4.00 / 4)
Welcome, Rep. Lawlor. Tell your friends we'd love to hear from them, too!
What can you tell us about this mysterious Connecticut Intelligence Center? Can you subpoena them and require that they release their list of people being, um "monitored"?

Yeah, I wanna know what she asked (4.00 / 1)
AT the heart of this, what happens to private citizens' rights to privacy, and how -- if we're all so darned suspicious that we cannont even answer the "pre emptive charges" that are being held in the police's minds against us -- it's kind of like a futuristic cyberspace lack of habeas corpus.

Well, I'm not a lawyer but I think you see what I mean.  It seems like a big ball o' suspicion was already built up around Ken Krayeske before he even got out of bed that day.

I'm just glad they weren't trigger happy, the police.

So -- private citizens - increasingly watched, photo'd, and photos stored, put in compact, highly efficient databases (incorrectly, at times), sorted, called up later, disseminated/shared with people who didn't collect the stuff and don't know the people (but they're veh-ry, veh-ry suspicious people -- trust us, we heard it from joe blow who got it from the DMV who picked it up from the state of Georgia who called Wal Mart....)

Yeah, I wanna know what she asked/


[ Parent ]
well (4.00 / 3)
It does seem that this was very much targeted on Ken, rather than activists in general, but we shall see...

[ Parent ]
Federal-state interface and future legislation (4.00 / 1)
In Leonard Boyle's comments on Colin McEnroe's show, it sounded to my ears like he was saying that through an agreement with the federal government (DHS? FBI?), the Feds handled gathering and maintaining certain intelligence, and they provided this "service" if you will in exchange for the agreement that CT abide by some 1999 regulations that he referenced.

Part of what is perhaps new about this situation is that there is a plethora of agencies, each with its own database, objectives/mission, and regulations, and then there is this data sharing?  How can private citizens be protected?  Are there Chinese walls?  I mean, the disputed "Automated Targeting System" used on airline passengers is supposed to have data that citizens can't see, can't dispute or verify, and that is to dwell in the system for 40 years.  Sounds like a recipe for a ruined life to me -- and there's a guy in New Haven right now who was stopped while traveling - some guy who I think was honored by their Fire Deparment or Fire Safety area or something - upstanding citizen.

HOW can CT get its legislative (and enforcement) handle on this situation?


re: Federal-state interface and future legislation (4.00 / 1)
... building on GPs questions, when these issues aren't addressable by the state Assembly, are CT's Federal Reps / Senators responsive to your concerns?

[ Parent ]
Feds (4.00 / 4)
Part of the problem here is post 9/11 creation of numerous state and local "intelligence" type operations.  We all understand the need for vigilance, but there have been unintended consequences, most recently Ken's arrest.  If there are to be these collaborations among law enforcement, tben there needs to be careful screening of officers using it and a lot more training about constitutional protections and appropriate use of this power and information.  Needless to say, the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Ashcroft/Gonzales rules and rulings are a big part of the problem

[ Parent ]
Who in Hartford reads blogs? (4.00 / 2)
Mike, one of the aspects of your presser that interested me most yesterday was that you mentioned blogging in a positive context...in stark contrast to some of the ways that this medium is described by people and members of the traditional media who don't fully understand it.

At the beginning of the press conference, I believe you mentioned Connecticut Local Politics.  At the end, one of your answers in the Q&A session implied that blogging was a positive force because bloggers won't allow the government to quietly get away with arresting and detaining someone with no cause.

As a legislator, how closely do you follow CT political blogs?  What percentage of your fellow legislators do you think are familiar with the medium?  What role do you think this emerging medium can play in this legislative session?


blogs (4.00 / 2)
I discussed some of this below.  Some of my colleagues are avid blog readers, but the vast majority are not.  But, I do think that the value of blog literacy is becoming apparent to  many legislators and, Im sure, they will become more involved as time goes by.  And, if they dont, their future opponents will and the rest of the story, of course, is predictable.

[ Parent ]
If it would help (4.00 / 1)
I'm sure a number of us here in the progressive blogging community would be happy to volunteer to hold training sessions on blogs for the Dem caucus and Dem staffers in Hartford.  As you say, blog literacy is going to be increasingly important, and I think many legislators and staffers will be excited about the potential for this medium once they get more comfortable with it.

[ Parent ]
ok (4.00 / 1)
I will pass it on...........

[ Parent ]
I hate to say this (0.00 / 0)
But I would venture to guess that a very large Percentage of our House members don't even read a Newspaper nevermind a blog.

I protested at the capital last year when Joe Lieberman did his phony Environmental gig and held a sign with this Lieberman Quote from the New Yorker Magazine.

"Some of my Best Freinds are Neocons."

The Sentence was in Quotes and attributed to Joe Lieberman.

I had SIX,YES SIX  House Members ask me what a NEOCON  was.



[ Parent ]
I hate to say this (0.00 / 0)
But I would venture to guess that a very large Percentage of our House members don't even read a Newspaper nevermind a blog.

I protested at the capital last year when Joe Lieberman did his phony Environmental gig and held a sign with this Lieberman Quote from the New Yorker Magazine.

"Some of my Best Freinds are Neocons."

The Sentence was in Quotes and attributed to Joe Lieberman.

I had SIX,YES SIX  House Members ask me what a NEOCON  was.



[ Parent ]
Death Penalty (4.00 / 1)
There've been some whispers that the death penalty might be up for debate this year - as Judiciary Chair, do you see the state's policy changing this session, through legislative action or court challenge?

death penalty (4.00 / 3)
I oppose the death penalty, and I think repeal of it is long overdue.  NJ is considering repeal, and Gov Corzine is backing that all the way.  CT is the only New England State with it, and I wish that were not the case.  Last year, Gov Rell said she would veto any repealer.  Also, there are not enough votes in either house to repeal it, though I do think repeal is gaining momentum as public support for it declines.  And, I dont think the cell phone video of Saddam's demise has helped the case of pro death penalty legislators.  One more thing, recent developements in Florida, where Gov Bush has ordered a moratorium, and California , where a judge has halted executions, are major developments. 

[ Parent ]
Many MLN readers are interested in election reform (4.00 / 2)
... and we've discussed several topics that have either met with a veto in the past, or are in effect in other states, such as:

  • Election-day registration

  • A "same-party replacement" law (which would restrict appointments to a member of the same party, should a Representative, Congressperson, or Senator pass away, resign, or become elected to another office)

  • A "sore loser law" (preventing a candidate who lost a primary from appearing on the general election ballot)

  • "Convenience" absentee voting

Will any of these be on GAE's agenda this year, or should we expect any other reforms to come up?


GAE (4.00 / 3)
I think that variations of all of those proposals will be considered by GAE, but I dont know for sure.  I certainly think that a candidate's intentions regarding independent runs should be known to voters BEFORE primary day and I support direct special election in the event of a US Senate vacancy

[ Parent ]
Amann aiming too low on health care? (4.00 / 2)
Mike, given that Dems have a veto-proof majority in CT this year, I had hoped that this would be the year when there would be no holding us back from finally enacting a plan for universal health care.

As Paul Bass in the New Haven Independent reported today, though, House Speaker Jim Amann is not aiming for universal care this year:

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger this week made his state – which has 162.5 times more uninsured people than Connecticut – the latest to put forward a universal plan. California has an estimated 6.5 million uninsured. Schwarzenegger vowed to pass a universal plan in this year’s legislative session, following on the heels of Massachusetts.

Activists and many Democrats are pushing to do the same here in the legislature in coming months. But Amann, arguably the most powerful Democrat in the legislature, is skeptical a universal plan will pass this year. So he told hundreds of businesspeople gathered Wednesday morning in Yale Law School’s dining hall for the annual regional legislative breakfast of the Greater New Haven.

It seems to me that Amann, who should be leading the House to aim high with a bold positive vision for the people of CT, is already setting a tone of defeatism by sayiing that he -- who controls so much -- is skeptical that a universal bill will pass.  It's one thing to be privately worried that it won't pass, but to share with business leaders that you don't think it will fly is very disappointing.

Do you think universal health care still has a chance in CT this year?


health care (4.00 / 2)
I guess that depends on what you mean by "universal".  Jim does very much defer to the committee chairs to craft proposals what will work and will pass.  Maybe Jim was being too straighforward by saying its tough to get that done, but I do think we can do it if Mass did it under Romney of all people.  It was definitely a major theme in last years election and it would be a major disappointment to have little of nothing to show for it come June.

[ Parent ]
Were you a regular reader (4.00 / 2)
..of any of the Connecticut Blogs before this incident? And if so, which?

blogs (4.00 / 5)
yes, CTLP and, my two national favorites:  americablog and wonkette

[ Parent ]
Thank you Rep. Lawlor (4.00 / 2)
Thank you for standing up for our constitutional rights.

It was our own moral failure and not any accident of chance, that while preserving the appearance of the Republic we lost its reality. - Marcus Tullius Cicero, statesman, orator, writer (106-43 BC)

Oh, and thanks also (4.00 / 1)
Also, thanks to the people of East Haven for electing you to office.

It was our own moral failure and not any accident of chance, that while preserving the appearance of the Republic we lost its reality. - Marcus Tullius Cicero, statesman, orator, writer (106-43 BC)

I like them too (4.00 / 2)
East Haven is my hometown and is a great place. We have the highest percentage of union membership in the state and very down to earth, hardworking people here.  And, this year, we are hoping to elect a democrat mayor and council, more on that later  [btw: Its not me!!]

[ Parent ]
What needs doing in terms of citizen involvement in govt? (4.00 / 1)
From your perspective, in what areas do you feel that increased citizen involvement would benefit the legislative process (specific actions or areas of awareness)?


citizens (4.00 / 4)
from the Lamont campaign to Ken's arrest, I think blogs have clearly impacted CT politics and govt for the better.  This is  and entirely new environment for the legislature because of it [and Ive been in the House for 21 years].  My sense is that this medium will be the best form of advocacy yet, and Im looking forward to the results.  Public campaign financing for the 2008 elections should result in many more informed, active passionate legislators and from there anything is possible

[ Parent ]
Have you seen this before? (4.00 / 1)

Courtesy CTBob ('cause he's too modest to post it himself--and he paid me $5 to do so).


[ Parent ]
yep, (4.00 / 3)
watched it yesterday.  Sorry I couldnt make it to the beach event though.  This Broadwater things is a nightmare in the making.  And, what is lost in the FERC hearings, is the fact that the old congress legislated state and local governments out of the siting process.  I hope the new congress will attempt to fix that.

[ Parent ]
Wasn't lost on me (0.00 / 0)
I pointed out to every reporter I could at the event that Joe Lieberman was the only Senator from New ngland to vote for the Energy Bill that gave FERC those dictatorial powers.

Every Pol at that event new dam well that the only way Broadwater gets stopped now is if our buddy Gov. Spitzer decides it's not going forward.


[ Parent ]
Empowering citizens to follow legislation (4.00 / 2)
Mike, it's great that you see the positive potential of this medium!

It would really help ordinary Nutmeggers stay more involved in the work of the House if the state GA web site was brought up to 2007 standards.  (Or even 2004 standards!)  The most needed change is adding RSS feeds to the site - that way, individuals and blogs could "subscribe" to following the progress of particular bills or legislators.

A progressive blogger in Virginia recently built a site called Richmond Sunlight, powered by the RSS feeds provided by Virginia's GA web site.  The site is automatically updated any time a new bill is introduced or makes it to the next step in a committee, etc.  Ordinary citizens can  have online discussions about each bill, can register their opinion about bills, etc.  It's the best site I've ever seen related to state-level politics, and we could easily have something like it if the CT GA web site offered RSS feeds.


[ Parent ]
Which committee (4.00 / 1)
If constituents wanted to request a technology upgrade for the CGA site to allow RSS feeds and the like, which committee would be the appropriate one to go to?

[ Parent ]
Leg man (4.00 / 3)
Legislative Management Commitee

http://www.cga.ct.go...

IT staff site:

http://www.cga.ct.go...


[ Parent ]
sounds good tgo me (4.00 / 1)
Im an old man, so much of the technical stuff is over my head.  But, we do have a process for innovation in this regard, and I would be happy to hook you and anyone else up with our tech folks to see what is doable.

[ Parent ]
Definite interest (4.00 / 1)
I think that's a great idea, and I know that folks at MLN and CT Local Politics would love to work with your tech folks on that sort of thing.

[ Parent ]
What Genghis Said (4.00 / 1)


[ Parent ]
Thanks for coming! (4.00 / 2)
Hi, Gabe from Connecticut Local Politics here.

I just wanted to pick your brain regarding the nomination of the Chief Justice to the Connecticut Supreme Court.

Do you feel that it is wise to break the tradition of elevating a sitting member of the court to reach outside the court for a new CJ on the heels of the Sullivan scandal?

Also, as GC and I have suggested, what do you think about acting CJ Borden as a compromise solution until his mandatory retirement - then we can postpone this discussion for six months or so?

Thanks,

Gabe

I am proud to work Chris Donovan's campaign for congress in CT-05!


CJ (4.00 / 2)
Iknow I speak for many when I say that Justice Borden has done an excellent job during his stewardship of the judicial branch since last May.  He has been a breath of fresh air and his reforms will and should endure for many years to come.  I do think it is best to nominate a new CJ from outside the court.  the acrimony and factionalism there now is not good for the court or for the state and I think they need someone not identified with either "side".  I would be best to get  a new, neutral, qualified person with at least a full 8 year term to undo the damage that has been done.  You cannot overstate the damage done by the Rowland influenced leadership since 95.  Justice Borden reaches retirement age in mid summer, so a successor CJ would not be able to be confirmed for a full term until spring, '08.  I fear the branch would be cast adrift until a full term successor was nominated and confirmed.  AT the momementthere is just too much uncertainty there.  Most of the names floated in the press sound good to me, and we do expect the governor to nominate a new CJ before the end of the month.  Next wednesday the Judiciary Committee is having hearings on the various "openness" refors recommended by Justice Borden's and the Governor's task forces

[ Parent ]
Public Financing (4.00 / 1)
Do you expect to take advantage of the new public campaign funding for your next term? Do you see fellow incumbents as tending towards it or away from it?

yep (4.00 / 2)
Im planning to begin the process of obtaining the 150 contributors form East Haven very soon.  I contributed my 2006  campaign surplus to the new fund as well.

[ Parent ]
This is GREAT !! (4.00 / 6)
I had a blast.  I wish my UNH students asked as many questions during class.  Anyway, and I'm girding for The President's speech, and fear that the war will overwhelm our ability to make real progress on many issues in the near term.  Lets hope that the innovations we implement in the states can work their way up to the national government sooner rather than later.  In the meantime, lets keep working to straighten things out in our state.  We can start by respecting our citizens rights to advocate for change and, when necessary, get in our faces.  Thanks for your ideas and I look forward to my next opportunity to chat with you all.

Mike Lawlor

mlawlor99@juno.com


Thanks for joining us (4.00 / 1)
Your comments have been very informative, so I hope we'll see you again in the future. Feel free to come back with comments, events, or with info on upcoming legislation anytime!

[ Parent ]
Thanks Mike... (0.00 / 0)
I appreciate your openness and candor. It goes a long way towards renewing my faith in our elected representatives!

P.S. Last I saw you was at a rally for Senator Lieberman. Did you support him as an Independent, and what do you think about his support for the Bush/McCain "Surge"?


[ Parent ]
Thanks (4.00 / 3)
Thanks.  As a delegate, I voted for Lieberman at the nomination convention in July.  I voted for Lamont in the primary.  I supported Lamont in the general election, and campaigned with Ned in East Haven and elsewhere in the state in the months that followed.  I voted for Ned on election day.

I have known, respected and supported Sen. Lieberman for many years.  In fact, I worked with him in the late 70’s when I was president of the UConn Young Democrats and he was a state senator trying to help reverse budget cuts for UConn.  I supported him when he was a candidate for Lt. Governor in 1978, US Congress in 1980, AG in 1982 and US Senate in 1988 and following.  He has been very supportive of  East Haven over those years, and that is very much appreciated by the people and voters here.

But, the President’s decision to invade Iraq is the defining issue of our time.  It is, without a doubt, the biggest foreign policy debacle in the history of our country.  The problems that the President listed last night were all predicted by critics of his decision in 2003, including the leaders of “Old Europe”.  All of these problems were foreseeable, and all were foreseen.  Not only was the decision to invade a bad one, it was a reckless one.  [see the definition of “criminal recklessness” below]

The “surge” is a mistake.  The invasion is and was a mistake.  The President took a bad situation [Saddam, al Qaeda] and made it worse.  I supported Ned Lamont because Sen. Lieberman supported President Bush on the war.  That was not an easy decision, but I stand by it. 

A person acts "recklessly" … when he is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that such result will occur or that such circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that disregarding it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation;


[ Parent ]
correction (0.00 / 0)
I mean nominating convention in May.

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