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Friday, June 17, 2005

State police says no to Boughton's request

The nail has been hammered into Mayor Boughton's coffin.

From WTNH:

Connecticut's top state police official is rejecting a proposal to deputize state troopers as immigration agents.

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton had requested the program, saying his city has been overwhelmed by an influx of illegal immigrants in recent years.

Public Safety Commissioner Leonard Boyle says the unusual move would not be a good use of resources because the United States lacks any meaningful deportation process for illegal immigrants in the United States.

This wasn't a surprise to anyone because there wasn't a chance the State Police were going to enfore a federal policy. Will Boughton continue his crusade of going after illegal immigrants or will he more on to other more important matters?

I'm sure his democratic challengers hopes he keeps up the fight.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Gov Rell friends with soda lobbyists

CTnews junkie has the details on Gov. Rell's close relationship with Coca Cola soda lobbyist, Patricia LeShane. Coca Cola scored a major victory this week with Gov. Rell vetoing a bill that would of banned soda and junk food from schools.

On the web site for Sullivan and LeShane, a leading lobbying firm at the state Capitol, the biography for Patricia LeShane lists one of her credentials as “campaign advisor to Lt. Governor M. Jodi Rell (R) during her successful primary race and three general election campaigns.”

The women are also friends,

[...]

LeShane’s firm represents Coca-Cola, one of the biggest winners at the Capitol this week after Rell decided to veto a bill banning a wide variety of soda from Connecticut public schools. The relationship between the governor’s office and Coke’s leading lobbyist, then, offers a fresh line of attack for Senate President Donald Williams, the bill’s chief sponsor and a political enemy of the governor’s.

“Sullivan and LeShane make no secret of their access and friendship to Governor Rell,” said Patrick Scully, Williams’s communications chief, adding that he has no specific knowledge of contacts from the firm on the soda bill.

Although there is no direct evidence LeShane discussed the bill with Gov. Rell, it's clear that LeShane benefited from the veto and since she has a close friendship with the governer, it's logical for Rell's critics to cry foul. Will the MSM examine that relationship and verify that LeShane did not discuss the bill with the Gov Rell?

Gov Rell vetos junk food limit in schools

Another win for the soda companies and junk food lobbyists, another loss for parents. I can't think of one parent that can be happy that the soda machines are going to stay in their childern's schools.

From the New York Times:

Gov. M. Jodi Rell exercised her veto powers on Tuesday for only the third time, rejecting a bill that would have restricted the sale of some snack foods and beverages in all public schools and required a minimum of 100 minutes a week of recess for younger students.

Mrs. Rell, a Republican, criticized the bill in a statement for "usurping the longstanding authority of our local school districts," and said the proposed legislation "undermines the control and responsibility of parents with school-aged children."

The bill had passed the General Assembly, which is controlled by Democrats, by wide margins, mostly on party lines. It would have put Connecticut at the forefront of efforts by several state governments to reduce the sale of high-calorie, low-nutrition soft drinks and snacks that are sold in public school cafeterias, in school stores and in vending machines located inside the schools.

[...]

Nutrition advocates were dismayed. Lucy Nolan, the director of End Hunger Connecticut, said the governor had not just let parents down, but "failed them miserably."

Soda companies, she said, "are using local control as the argument to keep the sodas in the schools," and she said the governor "bought their argument hook, line and sinker.

[...]

One Democratic supporter of the bill, the Senate president pro tem, Donald E. Williams Jr., went so far as to call the governor "out of touch" for rejecting a bill that had the support of "pediatricians and parents who want better health for their children."

Mayor Boughton backtracks in deputizing state police

The Mayor Boughton backtracking continues:
Mayor Mark Boughton's request to deputize state police as immigration agents isn't going anywhere, he said.

"There has been no official word, but based on my conversations with the state police commissioner and the governor, I would say chances are very slim," Boughton said.

Boughton's plan to deputize state police never had a chance in the first place. His proposal and comments on illegal immigrants created a backlash he did not expect and he deserves all the bad press he is now receiving. He claimed that illegal immigrants are drining the city's resources but failed to show which city resources are being effected and by how much. His weeks of grandstanding on this issue on network television has casted Danbury in a negative light with the extrere right-wing wackos poutring gas on the fire with their rheotirc such as the idiotic CT Citizens for Immigration Control with their silly attempts to link illegal immirgrants to 9/11.

His actions enraged the Latino community and needless to say, Broughton's challengers are in full attack mode.
"He was pandering to one side of the issue to keep people happy," said Dean Esposito, a Democrat who plans to run against Boughton in November. "He thought it would shore up a lot of votes with Danburians who have concerns with immigrants in the city."

Terry Tierney, another Democrat who wants to challenge Boughton, said the mayor was in over his head.

"I'm certainly not in favor of breaking the law, but as far as illegal immigration, that is strictly a federal issue. There is no way we are going to be able to police illegal immigration in Danbury or even attempt to try it," Tierney said.
If the March for Unity is any indication of the citizen's disapproval (1200 people marching is an impressive number), Boughton and the Republicans might pay a heavy price for their actions. My question is why was the only democrat who showed up at the march was Lew Wallace? The democrats need to grow a step up and be more vocal in their opposition to Boughton if they have a chance in ousting him.


Monday, June 13, 2005

March for Unity wrap up



I'm working on the video from the event and will post it online later but for now, let me share my views on the march as I was there for the event from the beginning to the end (I'm sure people in the future will try to comment on the event who were not there and those in live in Danbury know who they are).

I first arrived at the rally on Kennedy Street around 1:00 and to my dissapointment, there were under 100 people at the site but by the start of the march, the number of people grew to about 500 and took up all of Kennedy Street. While the people marched down Main Street and people saw that their was nothing to fear, what was once a modest crowd of 500 quickly doubled in size (news reports have the crowd estimated at 1,200) and took up a good portion of Main Street (if anyone knows Danbury, the size of the march at it's largest streched from the corner of Main and White to the library on West Street.

Overall, the march made it's case but except for a couple of politicians, most democrats were noticably absent from the event which does not surprise anyone who lives in the Danbury area. Most democrats have been silent on the issue of immigration and few have criticized the mayor in public. One would think that more democrats would stand up an go after the mayor and his policies and until liberals take a stance against the conservative mindset in Danbury, they will continue to lose elections.

You can click here to check out my pictures from the march and rally. I also took video of the event and will post it online soon.

From The Hartford Courant:
Up to 1,200 people marched down Main Street, many waving the Stars and Stripes and the flags of their native countries. They demanded their contributions to the city be recognized and sought reforms to immigration law that would allow them to work legally.

When the march started at 2 p.m., police and organizers estimated there were about 500 people in Kennedy Park, where undocumented workers wait weekday mornings for jobs as day laborers.

As the group marched past businesses run by Ecuadoreans, Brazilians and Mexicans, they were joined by those whom organizers say had feared they could be arrested and deported. By the time the march reached the Danbury Public Library, several blocks from the park, police said the crowd had doubled.

"At the last moment, people started noticing that there was nothing to be afraid of," said Wilson Hernandez, a leader in the newly minted Danbury Area Coalition for the Rights of Immigrants, which sponsored the march.
From The Danbury News Times:
At 2:36 p.m., the silent march on Main Street was anything but silent.
It happened as the crowd of 1,200 marchers went past Elmwood Park, just south of the police station on Main Street.
About 30 people, mostly Latinos, were in the park watching the procession pass. Suddenly, the marchers broke into a chant.
“Latinos! Unidos! Jamas seran unidos!”
It means “Latinos united will never be defeated.”
The marchers flailed their arms wildly, urging the people in the park to join.
They did.
A man with a smiling toddler on his shoulders joined in. A few laborers got off a bench and joined in. They were smiling as well.
From WTNH

Hundreds of people took to the streets in Danbury for a march to raise support for immigrants. The group wore T-shirts and carried signs to support the cause. Organizers say they want city officials to stop creating anti-immigrant policies.

"They are not a threat to anybody. I believe that they should stay and they should be left alone," says Angel Arce, protester.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Immigration Rights March in Danbury today

The Danbury March for Unity will take place today at 2pm in Danbury starting on Kennedy Street and ending on Rogers Park where their will there will be a rally. The march is sponsored by Danbury Coalition for the Rights of Immigrants (DOCORIM) and community activists.

Organizers and the police hope that there will be no incidents of violence and are planning on aproximently 500 people to arrive. I will be there and will report back on today's events later.