Yesterday afternoon at the Southbury DTC candidate forum, expanding on a no negative ads resolution passed by the DTC, Chris challenged his Democratic opponents to agree to run a clean campaign, free of negative attacks on other Democrats.
Chris proposed that all of the candidates agree to not negatively campaign against each other, to not allow affiliated outside groups to attack the Democratic campaigns, and he proposed putting some teeth into the agreement by asking all candidates to agree to give 50% of the cost of any negative ads, from the campaigns or from outside groups, to a charity agreed upon by the candidates in advance (the full proposal is below the fold).
He said, "In a Democratic primary, Democrats tearing down other Democrats is destructive and plays into the hands of Republicans. Ultimately, it makes our goal of fighting for middle class families, for jobs, and to protect Medicare and Social Security that much harder."
One of our opponents immediately made it clear that she plans on launching negative attacks against fellow Democrats. Not only wouldn't she agree to Chris' comprehensive agreement against negative campaigning, she wouldn't even agree to the more mild one proposed by the Southbury DTC!
I have been fighting for families for my entire life.
I'm running a grassroots campaign for Congress to continue that fight - to fight for good jobs, to protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, for education, and for quality, affordable health care. But I need your help to get there. My campaign put together a short video to spread the word - click here to watch, join our campaign, and share the video with your friends.
The Republicans will try hard to prevent a progressive fighter from representing us in Congress. They are determined to to give more tax breaks to their campaign donors, millionaires and billionaires, and Wall Street, even at the expense of jobs, health care, and Social Security.
We can only stop them by joining together and running the kind of people-powered campaign that can't be defeated by corporate money.
I just emailed Courant columnist Colin McEnroe over his Sunday rant against House Speaker Chris Donovan. As my response to McEnroe exceeds the character count allowed by the Courant for comments, I am posting it here (with some edits).
Dear Mr. McEnroe:
I'll preface this by saying I've generally quite enjoyed your columns, going back many years. (My first memory is of one about Jack Tragic...)
But this screed about Speaker of the House Chris Donovan seems like you are trying to prove your "seriousness" by reinforcing right wing memes.
The Hartford Courant is reporting that James Amman will not take the advisor position. Inauguration day just keeps getting better and better. Maybe he found religion after listening to Obama's speech, specifically when he said, "those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account -- to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day -- because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government."
She's about as impressed as the rest of us. From her blog:
Democrat Jim Amann is the latest former state lawmaker to land a cushy, 6-figure job at the expense of the taxpayer!' And get this, it is also a newly created position according to a spokesperson for House Democrats.
I am guessing two things-one, House Democrats don't read my blog and two, when it comes to helping out a buddy, it's a bi-partisian effort.
Just two days ago, I reported how former State Senator David Cappiello landed a 6 figure job working as a senior advisor for Senate Republicans. His job is also a newly created position. It's actually the result of splitting one job into two. Check out my recent post.
When Democrats and Republicans talk about how sacrifices need to be made in light of the massive, projected budget deficit, this is just another example of how some would say-those standards don't apply to them. Afterall, it's only taxpayer money.
This Thursday, Dec. 4th CCAG will be holding a special event to celebrate all of the contributions that our friend Chris Donovan has made to Connecticut and its communities over the years. The main program at the event is a "This is Your Life" style tribute to Chris Donovan, but that's not all that we have in store.
A clip from the 1000th episode of the This Is Your Life television show:
Starting at 6:30 at the Four Points Sheraton in Meriden we'll have live music by Funk Brokers Inc.--voted best funk band in the 2008 Hartford Advocate Grand Band Slam--and a cash bar. If you want something to snack on, there will also be some hearty hors d'oeuvres on hand. Best of all (aside from the main program, of course), is the silent auction. You can preview a handful of the items at the CCAG website. One item is an MLN favorite: a signed print of Bob Englehart's Joe the Plumber cartoon!
Tuesday was the official launch of a system to publicly finance elections in Connecticut called the "Citizens' Election Program" which was passed in 2005 and was first utilized in special elections held last year. Connecticut Citizen Action Group, Common Cause, and the League of Women Voters were among the organizations thanked for their efforts in pushing for this landmark campaign finance reform.
State Elections Enforcement Commission director Jeff Garfield describes the Citizens' Election Program as a "'Clean Money' system of financing elections" and it did not go without saying at the launch event that the necessity of this reform was amplified by the events leading up to Governor Rowland's resignation in 2004.
One of the goals of the program is to limit the dependence of candidates on special interest money, and it does so by requiring candidates to raise a minimum amount of contributions from district residents. State Senate Candidates need to get contributions from a minimum of 300 district residents while State Representative candidates need contributions from a minimum of 150 district residents. District residency is defined to include residents of any municipality that is wholly or partially included in the district. Christine Stuart of CT News Junkie was at the launch, and succinctly describes the remaining financial requirements and rewards:
Candidates running for state Senate must raise $15,000 in contributions from individuals to qualify for the $85,000 grant, while candidates running for a state House seat must raise $5,000 from individuals in order to qualify for the $25,000 grant.
As it stands, there is not a lot of competition in the health care marketplace: non-profits, small businesses, and municipalities do not have bargaining power on their own to negotiate lower rates, and no one entity among them represents a large enough group for insurers to vie for their business. These small unaffiliated groups are forced to pay higher rates than they would as members of a larger pool. By signing HB 5536, Governor Rell will increase competition in the health care marketplace because all of the state's major insurers will be able to bargain for the contract to cover what seems to me would be the second largest insurance pool in Connecticut.
Now that Jim Amann has announced that he will
not run for re-election this year, Rep.
of Meriden, who currently serves as House Majority Leader, is his
likely successor as House Speaker. His record contrasts sharply with
Jim Amann's, and he
has strong relationships with progressive legislators. Unlike Amann,
Donovan has been supportive of: universal health care legislation
payer, though his focus has been on health
Ned Lamont, having attended Lamont's first public speech, a politically
risky act at that time; and civil unions. He was
advocate of campaign finance reform.
Trained as a social worker,
he has worked for the CT Citizen Action Group and the Service Employees
International Union. He is now a labor organizer at the Congress of Connecticut
In the last couple of years, he was often the face of House Democrats
on Sunday talking heads shows, though he has not struck me as someone
who is a skilled debater or keen on policy details. He is not known for
Amann/Caruso-style temper tantrums and buffoonery.
report that Representatives Denise
Christ, and Steve
Fontana are interested in succeeding Donovan
as House Majority Leader. While scorecards are imperfect measurements,
they are one useful way of assessing the views of elected officials.
Christ (pronounced like "fist," not the prophet) is the most
conservative of the contenders.
Three members of [Meriden's] state delegation and Democratic Town Chairwoman Mildred Torres-Ferguson have asked Patsy Papandrea to resign from his state committee seat, an elected position representing Meriden, Middlefield, Middletown and Cheshire.
Papandrea, who has served in that post for 27 years and is a former town party chairman, sent a message titled "Proud to be White" to 16 people on March 22. The list included three town committee members.
The e-mail, which opens with "Someone finally said it," appears to be written from the perspective of a white person challenging holidays and institutions dedicated to minorities.
"If we had a college fund that only gave white students scholarships, you know we'd be racists," the anonymous e-mail writer states. "There are over 60 openly proclaimed Black colleges in the US, yet if there were White colleges, THAT would be racist."
Majority Leader Chris Donovan is among those demanding that Papandrea resign.
Papandrea's explanation? That he thought the email was a "joke" (beacuse, as we all know, there's nothing funnier than defending white supremacy), and that, in reality, this is all blowback for his support of Lieberman last year:
Papandrea says Donovan is out to control the party, and that the e-mail fallout is because he questioned Donovan's actions before the party primary last year.
You can vote in a poll on this on the front page of the Record Journal's website.
Update: Full text of the forwarded email below the fold (and mattw notes that this one seems to have been going around the internets for a while):