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Saturday, August 20, 2005

This is not a campaign flier?

If it sounds like a pig and smell like a pig...

There is no way any person can tell me that this latest flier from Gov. Rell's office isn't a campaign flier and if a Democratic governor did something like this, the Republicans would be screaming "foul."

This so-called annual report is one big ol' promotion document with numerous pictures of the governor and positive "spin" phrases scattered throughout the pages. This reeks of bad judgement by the governor she hasn't announced that she's running for office yet she making taxpayers pay for this obvious campaign document.

In my opinion, with this flier, Gov. Rell has crossed a line with the voters in the state and at this point, she needs to say whether she's running for re-election or not. You can't take taxpayer's money (3,000 dollars for 10,000 copies of the flier) and use it to promote yourself in this manner during an election season (remember the Rowland commercials during his re-election campaign back in '98).

From the Hartford Courant

It's as slick as any campaign flier: a three-page foldout printed on thick, glossy stock with no fewer than 19 photos of a leading state politician and glowing descriptions of her "bold approach" to leadership.

But the politician being touted, Gov. M. Jodi Rell, isn't running for office - yet. And 10,000 copies of the flier, titled "Annual Report of the Governor," were paid for by taxpayers at a cost of $3,000. Now Rell - who has championed ethics in state government, as the brochure points out - is facing questions from critics about whether she has misused state resources.

"I thought she had announced for governor and somehow I had missed it," said Roy Occhiogrosso, a longtime state Democratic operative and now a consultant. "It's either the least informative annual report ever, or it's a campaign mailing and she owes the taxpayers a lot of money."

"All that's missing is the canoe and Patty Rowland," Occhiogrosso said - referring to the controversial, taxpayer-funded tourism TV commercials in which Rell's now-jailed predecessor as governor, John G. Rowland, appeared with his wife in a canoe.

Like I said, you can't expect your critics to not scream "foul" at this so-called report which lead me to this next point, when has a governor ever filed a annual report?

Rell's use of the term "annual report" sounds official, but her color brochure is a far cry from the annual reports that state agencies submit for compilation each year in the "Digest of Administrative Reports to the Governor."

The State Library keeps bound copies of those annual digests, which now are maintained online. Those digests include dry, statistic-filled reports from various agencies of the state. Although the reports are submitted to the governor, the governor's office itself does not file one.

A library staff member said there is no legally mandated annual report that Connecticut governors file. A computer search of the library's records revealed only an "Annual Report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands" included with some federal documents.

Rell's annual report includes the following news for citizens: "My pledge, as your governor, is a simple one: I will work tirelessly with honor, dignity and civility." That Rell quote is on a flap of the brochure beneath a photo of Rell speaking at a lectern with a "Save Our SUBASE" poster on it. At the bottom of the flap, the word "bold" is printed twice, once in italics and once in regular type.

Yeah, this sounds like an annual report...

Throughout the brochure are subheads including: "Breaking the Transportation Gridlock" and "Investing in Our Children's Education."

The governor's office had the brochures printed through the state Department of Administrative Services via a competitive bid awarded to a Winsted company, Harris said.

So far, about 300 brochures have been mailed to town halls and tourism offices statewide. Harris said the remaining 9,700 or so brochures may be distributed at times "when the governor does a speech, or something like that."
Okay, now we have an annual report in which the governor is going to hand out during her stump speeches and this ISN'T a campaign document. I'd expect better from someone who doesn't want to be connected with the scandals of the Rowland administration.

Friday, August 19, 2005

State planning special election if Newton resigns

It's not a matter of will State Senator Ernest Newton (D-Bridgeport) resign, it's when will he quit and in another sign that Newton's political career is coming to an end, lawmakers at the Capital are currently drafting a special Senate election for to so-to-be vacant seat.

From the Connecticut Post
State officials are quietly planning a special Senate election in case Sen. Ernest E. Newton II resigns under mounting political pressure and the weight of an active federal grand jury investigation.

The logistics — involving Gov. M. Jodi Rell, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz and election officials in Bridgeport and Stratford — are complicated by the upcoming Nov. 8 municipal elections.

Under one scenario, a successor for the veteran lawmaker would be chosen in a rare paper-ballot format similar to the recent inauguration of the democratic process in Iraq.


Great, purple fingers for everyone!

The Secretary of State, Susan Bysiewicz explains that the use of paper ballots depends on when Newton resigns.

"If Ernie resigns between Sept. 2 and Oct. 4, the election will have to be held with paper ballots, not voting machines," Bysiewicz said.

[...]

Under state law, members of the General Assembly who resign must first notify the secretary of the state, who then informs the governor. The governor, in turn, has 10 days to declare a vacancy and issue writs of election that are delivered to the appropriate town clerks.

Once the writs are issued, Republican and Democratic town committees consider candidates, petition candidates and collect signatures; a special election is held in the district exactly 46 days later, unless it falls on a Saturday or Sunday.

If officials figure out how to avoid using paper ballots in Bridgeport, the last practical day to hold a special election using machines is Oct. 18. That is because of requirements to leave voting machines unencumbered in the two weeks before an election. Similarly, the machines must remain sealed, pending audits and recounts, for two weeks after an election, Bysiewicz said.

Unless you like the prospect of having a purple finger and a paper election, demand that Newton speak up or pack up!

State Senator Chris Murphy interview

Genghis over at Connecticut Local Politics just finished an interview with State Senator Chris Murphy.The senator and assistant majority leader is currently running for Congress in the 5th district and it was great that he took the time to answer questions from Genghis and from other readers of the blog.

I must say that it was a rather informative interview and I hope Senator Murphy will start a website soon so voters in the 5th district can learn more about him before the campaign season gets into full gear.

Hats off to Genghis for giving us yet another excellent interview!

Ex-President offers support for sub base

A former President adds his name to the list of supporters of the sub base in Connecticut.

President Jimmy Carter wrote today to the BRAC commission in which he expressed his support for the the sub base and concluded that closing the facility in Groton would be "militarily deleterious."

From the Hartford Courant
Former President Jimmy Carter, who earlier this year watched an Electric Boat-built submarine bearing his name join the Navy's fleet, said in a letter released today that the Naval Submarine Base in Groton should remain open.

He said closing the facility--where he attended the Navy submarine school in 1948--would be "militarily deleterious."

Carter, noting he was "at heart a lifetime submariner," made his comments in a one-page letter to Anthony J. Principi, chairman of the Base Closure and Realignment Commission.

The nine-member panel will meet Saturday to ask Pentagon officials questions raised by supporters of keeping the base open, and will begin final deliberations Wednesday.

[...]

Although the decision to establish this extensive submarine base in Georgia was made while I was Commander-in-Chief," Carter wrote, "there was no political influence exerted from the White House.

"The decision was made on the merits of the base location, and those qualities are still evident."

But the success of Kings Bay, he said, does not mean Groton should be shut.

"Abandonment and rebuilding facilities would be disruptive," Carter wrote. "There would be a great loss of the services of civilian personnel who have long devoted their lives to the submarine force, and the move might overly concentrate our forces."

He also said that Pentagon estimates of significant cost savings were "doubtful."

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Cindy Sheehan vigil images


CTNewsJunkie scoops everyone with a HUGE story

Wow, this is BIG news!

You gotta love those guys at CTNewsJunkie and now they just scooped everyone with this breaking story.

Seems like the Connecticut lawmakers violated a judge's order when they obtained the services of a lobbying firm that put pressure on the U.S. Department of the Interior to overturn a ruling that gave federal acknowledgement to the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation.

From CTNews Junkie

In fighting an Indian tribe’s recognition, Connecticut politicians apparently used a high powered lobbying firm as their proxy with officials in Washington D.C., even after a judge forbid them from talking to the feds, according to documents obtained by ctnewsjunkie.com.

[...]

Attorneys for the tribe have drawn a picture of a closely knit relationship among local and state elected officials, a citizens group called Town Action to Save Kent (TASK) and its high-powered Washington, D.C. lobbying firm Barbour, Griffith & Rogers (BGR). All of these groups worked together to coordinate efforts to rescind the Schaghticokes’ federal status, according to testimony and documents obtained during depositions conducted in July and included in a brief filed in U.S. District Court Aug. 16.

U.S. District Court Judge Peter Dorsey prohibited contact between the Interior Department and the Bureau of Indian Affairs and all parties involved in the Schaghticoke petition, including town and state officials, according to a court order issued in 2001 that was amended last year.

Nice scoop guys! You left the mainstream media asleep at the wheel!

We'll have to wait and see how this case develops now.

Republicans against the war

The Republicans were singing a different tune when Clinton put troops into Bosnia.

Thanks to DailyKos for the tip

"You can support the troops but not the president."
--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Well, I just think it's a bad idea. What's going to happen is they're going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years."
--Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

"Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?"
--Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

"[The] President . . . is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation's armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy."
--Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)

"American foreign policy is now one huge big mystery. Simply put, the administration is trying to lead the world with a feel-good foreign policy."
--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain they have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy."
--Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of George W Bush

"I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning . . I didn't think we had done enough in the diplomatic area."
--Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

"I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our over-extended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today"
--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."
--Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)

Funny that not one solider was killed in action in Bosnia. Theses quotes should be used against these same lawmakers now and I hope the mainstream media would wake up start asking the congressmen (and President) the hard questions regarding this current war.

Will the senate pass the McCain-Lieberman greenhouse bill

Is Congress finally waking up to the reality that our greenhouse emissions are destroying the planet? Four senators just came back from Alaska and it seems like they seen the light so hopefully more senators will take serious look at the McCain-Lieberman proposal which would put a cap on the amount of greenhouse emissions the U. S. generates.

From CNN
Fresh from visits to Canada's Yukon Territory and Alaska's northernmost city, four U.S. senators said that signs of rising temperatures on Earth are obvious and they called on Congress to act.

"If you can go to the Native people and listen to their stories and walk away with any doubt that something's going on, I just think you're not listening," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina.

Sens. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-New York, told reporters Wednesday in Anchorage that Inupiat Eskimo residents in Barrow have found their ancestral land and traditional lifestyle disrupted by disappearing sea ice, thawing permafrost, increased coastal erosion and changes to wildlife habitat.

Heat-stimulated beetle infestation also has killed vast amounts of the spruce forest in the Yukon Territory, they said.

Such observations provide more ammunition in the fight for a bill, co-sponsored by McCain and Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Connecticut, to cap U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, McCain said. That bill repeatedly has failed to pass the Senate.

"People around the country are going to demand it," McCain said. "It's the special interests versus the people's interest."

The United States is the biggest emitter of heat-trapping carbon dioxide, which many scientists have linked to global warming.

There are some other words of encouragement from senators on both side of the political divide yesterday.

From the AP

"We are convinced that the overwhelming scientific evidence indicated that climate change is taking place and human activities play a very large role," McCain said.

McCain, accompanied by Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., spoke to villagers in Canada whose spruce trees are being attacked by the northward spread of spruce beetles. On Alaska's northern coast, they met Native Alaskans dealing with melting permafrost and coastal erosion.

"I don't think there is any doubt left for anyone who actually looks at the science," Clinton said. "There are still some holdouts, but they are fighting a losing battle. The science is overwhelming, but what is deeply concerning is that climate change is accelerating."

Graham, who declared himself "on the fence" about climate change legislation, said an academic debate about global warming is different in the North.

"If you can go to the Native people and listen to their stories and walk away with any doubt that something's going on, I just think you're not listening," he said.

The U.S is the biggest contributor of greenhouse emissions so it's important that this bill pass and becomes law. Time is not on our side any longer and Congress should stop listening to the oil and manufacturing lobbyists and think more about our enviroment and pass this bill before it's too late.

Senate looks to expell Newton

Can you hear the fat lady sing?

In the never ending Ernest Newton bribery scandal, the state senate is now looking into whether or not they have the power to expell him from office.

From the Stamford Advocate
Senate President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn, said such steps are being taken because of allegations surrounding Democratic Sen. Ernest Newton of Bridgeport, who may have taken a $5,000 bribe.

Williams said Newton was asked to step down from his chairmanship of the legislature's Public Safety Committee and a leadership position. Newton complied with the request, but says he has no plans to resign from the Senate.

He has not been charged with any crimes.

Williams said lawmakers are "monitoring the situation very carefully and closely and I'm hoping that it will be resolved one way or another in the very near future."

He would not say when or if the Senate might begin an investigation.

Williams said Connecticut has never taken the step of investigating and possibly expelling a legislator for violating the public trust.

"It has happened in some other states and we are doing the research right now in terms of what allegations, or in some cases specific convictions, have given rise to an expulsion procedure," he said.

[...]

Rep. Arthur O'Neill of Southbury, co-chairman of the legislature's impeachment committee that last year investigated then-Gov. John G. Rowland, a fellow Republican, renewed his call Wednesday for a Senate investigation of Newton's activities.

"We cannot expect the residents of Connecticut, who have suffered through several painful and embarrassing state and municipal corruption scandals, to have their faith in government restored when those responsible for upholding high ethical standards refuse to investigate such credible allegations of corruption," O'Neill said.

Newton cannot be impeached under the state constitution. But the Senate can investigate a member and, by a two-thirds vote, expel him.

The senate shouldn't have to go this far and the possibility of an investigation can all be avoided in Newton would do the honorable thing and just resign. The people of Connecticut have suffered enough from crooked politicians and the stubborn-minded sentator should do the right thing and disappear.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Cindy Sheehan vigil update

I was so wrapped up in the Newton case that I forgot to remind people about the Cindy Sheehan vigil which already happened tonight.

I went to the vigil in Newtown hosted by Joan Ellen Gereg at the Edmond Town Hall and I was amazed and delighted by the high turnout and show of support. I personally counted 150 people a hour after the vigil started but the local newspaper, The Danbury News Times reported the crowd at 200 which sounds more accurate the crowd was larger at the beginning of the service.

I'm in the process of cleaning up and transfering all of my photographs and video to the site and so I will provide a full report of the event once the upload is completed.

UPDATE: Photos and video are now online and available for viewing.

Democrats turn up the heat on Newton

Looks like the noose is beginning to tighten around Sen Ernest Newton's neck as the Democrats step up their criticism this week.

Lt Gov. Kevin Sullivan reportedly said he advised Newton to either publicly proclaim his innocence in the bribery scandal or resign .

From the Connecticut Post

Earlier, Lt. Gov. Kevin B. Sullivan said he spoke with Newton and asked him to definitively address the bribery and corruption allegations that have put Newton at the center of a federal grand jury probe.

"I strongly reaffirmed my advice that he act immediately either to disprove the allegations of corruption and campaign finance violations or accept responsibility rather than drag out a situation that can otherwise only get worse for him, his family, his constituents and the public trust," Sullivan said.

His comments follow Republican criticism suggesting that Democrats, who were quick to demand the resignation of Gov. John G. Rowland last year, kept mum as corruption allegations erupted around Newton.

Sullivan, a Democrat, also lashed out at GOP lawmakers "who have attempted to make this a partisan issue in the crudest and clumsiest of ways.

"I take no joy in this, as I took no joy in calling for the resignation of John Rowland after he admitted to lying and corrupt acts," he said.

House Speaker James A. Amann agreed with Sullivan and repeated calls for Newton to explain himself or resign.

"If he believes he's innocent he should come up and say it in whatever form," said Amann, who said Newton has consistently maintained his innocence in their private conversations.

"Only Ernie knows what he did, and if he committed wrong he has to be a man and look at himself in the mirror and admit that," Amann said.

It's good that the leaders in the Democratic party coming out and asking for Newton to either comes forward and either explain himself or resign as it shows that they're taking this case seriously.

As each day goes by, we learn more about the shady activities of Newton and from what we learned so far, none of it looks good for him. At this point, Newton is clearly a liability for the Democrats and if he's too scared to make a public statement, then what's the use in standing behind him.

As I stated before, the Newton scandal has the potential to be a huge problem for the Democrats and that's the last thing they need right now as the election season gets underway therefore, it would be in the best interest of the Democratic party that Newton steps down before this scandal drags on in the press and gets out of control.


Will Simmons return Abramoff's money?

The Democrats are demanding that Rep. Rob Simmons (R-2nd District) return money he received from Jack Abramoff, a lobbyist who was recently indicted in Flordia.

From the Norwich Bulletin

The Democratic Party called on Rep. Rob Simmons Tuesday to return $1,250 in campaign contributions from Jack Abramoff, a former top Republican lobbyist who last week was indicted in connection with his purchase of a casino cruise line in Florida.

"Will Congressman Simmons send back the tainted contributions from the indicted super-lobbyist?"

Bill Burton, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said in a statement.

Simmons chief of staff, Todd Mitchell, declined to answer, noting that the congressman was working hard to save the Groton submarine base from being closed in this year's round of military base closings.

"We're deep in the fourth quarter of the (base-closing) process and we're not going to comment on these stupid political games that the national Democrats are playing," Mitchell said.

It's standard practice for politicians to return donations by donors whose activities have drawn law enforcement scrutiny, said Christopher Barnes of the University of Connecticut's Department of Public Policy.

But the amount of money involved and the scandal surrounding Abramoff aren't significant enough to taint Simmons, at least for the moment, Barnes said.

If the submarine base is ultimately closed and Simmons is in political peril, the donations by Abramoff could count against him, Barnes said.

"It's one of the those things that can stack up against someone," Barnes said.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

GAO says Navy overestimated savings in base closings

In the latest episode of the military caught using inflated figures in their savings analysis to justify closing the sub base in Groton, The General Accounting Office has found that the Navy overestimated the savings in closing of the sub base by as much as 400 million dollars.

From the Norwich Bulletin

David Walker, comptroller general of the United States, noted in the letter the Navy did not use accurate figures in determining its cost analysis of the base closure and miscalculated the number of billets -- civilian and military positions -- to be eliminated in its initial calculations.

"Our analysis showed that the 20-year net present value savings decreased from $1.6 billion to $1.2 billion, and the pay-back period increased from three to four years," Walker wrote.

The GAO called into question some of the Pentagon assumptions in its initial July 1 report to the BRAC commission. The closer look at the Navy's projections regarding Groton came as a result of BRAC commission questions during a July 18 hearing in Washington.

The latest discovery of flawed projections comes as the commission nears the beginning of its final deliberations next week, and amid strong criticism from commissioners over Pentagon savings projections that appear inflated. In a New York Times interview during the weekend, eight of the nine commission members said they don't trust the Defense Department projections and would rely on the commission staff's independent review of the Pentagon data.

"These findings by the GAO are yet another independent confirmation that the Pentagon's numbers simply don't add up," U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., said Monday.

Are Democrats slow to condem Newton

An interesting article appeared in today's Connecticut Post in which Republicans express outrage and accuse the Democratrs of being hypocritical in their unwillingness to condem Sen. Ernest Newton (D-Bridgeport).

From the Connecticut Post
As Democrats seeking the governor's job said Monday that Sen. Ernest E. Newton II should not be forced to resign despite accusations of bribery, Republican leaders said their political opponents are trying to pick and choose which corruption scandals they address.

"It's hypocritical, to say the least," said John Cattelan, executive director of the state Republican Party, Monday.

Newton, a Bridgeport Democrat, is under federal investigation. This month, Warren K. Godbolt of Bridgeport, the head of a nonprofit job-training agency, pleaded guilty to bribing a state official, identified as Newton, for help in obtaining state money for his organization. Court records show the FBI intercepted hundreds of phone conversations in the investigation.

Republicans note that the Democrats were quick to seek GOP Gov. John G. Rowland's resignation last year when it was revealed that state officials, contractors and subordinates had helped remodel the governor's summer home at Bantam Lake. The governor later pleaded guilty to one corruption charge, "theft of honest services," and is serving a year in federal prison.

But the three Democrats who have declared their interest in the gubernatorial race — New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz and Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy — all said Monday that Newton has time to decide whether to return to office when the Legislature reconvenes in February.

"I'm not surprised," state Republican Chairman Bill Hamzy said Monday of the Democrats' response. He said that in light of Godbolt's guilty plea, he doesn't see why majority Democrats don't at least call for a Senate investigation.

The Democrats are digging themselves in a hole over the Newton affair and it would be wise at this point for the leaders to be more vocal in their displeasure of him as they had no problem blasting Rowland over his affairs.

This case is not going to get any better for Newton or the Democrats and the faster they distance themselves from him, the better it will be for the party as a whole. Newton is not a politician the Democrats can afford to stand behind at this point.


Monday, August 15, 2005

Many on Base-Closings Panel Question Estimate of Savings

Hopefully, ths will translate into good news for the people of Groton.

From the New York Times
A majority of the members of the independent commission assessing the Pentagon's proposed list of domestic base closings say that the Defense Department probably overstated the nearly $50 billion in savings projected over 20 years, perhaps by nearly 50 percent.

In interviews this week, eight of the nine members expressed varying degrees of concern about the accuracy of the Pentagon figures, and said they had directed the commission's staff to conduct a separate savings analysis before the commission's final votes on the military's recommendations later this month.

After scores of base visits and public hearings, most of the commission members interviewed said they now agreed with a report issued this summer by federal investigators that concluded that nearly half of the Pentagon's projected savings came from cuts in military jobs that, in many cases, would simply be reassigned to other installations.

"I fail to see at this point how you could arrive at the figures they arrived at," said Anthony J. Principi, a former secretary of veterans affairs who is the commission chairman. "We're going through this effort to save money from excess capacity to modernize forces. If the savings aren't there, and it costs money to do this on top of all the economic upheaval, why are we doing this?"

Blumenthal indecision causes tension


Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's delay in deciding whether or not he'll run for governor is beginning to stress his supporters.

From the Greenwich Time
Democrat Richard Blumenthal's indecision over whether to run for governor is starting to test the patience of many of his potential supporters and even some of his opponents.

Call it the Blumen-stall factor.

"I think it would be helpful if Blumenthal made up his mind because it is hard on the other candidates," said Mary Sullivan, 86, a Riverside Democrat who is active in state and national politics.

"If he doesn't make up his mind and finally decides not to run, he will sort of weaken their potential," said Sullivan, who has not decided who she will support in next year's race. "I think it's harder for them to raise money. With somebody like that standing in the wings, I think it's harder for them to press a convincing campaign."

Blumenthal, 59, who was first elected attorney general in 1990 and whose name is perennially mentioned for the state's top office, said he is weighing his options.

"I do not have a deadline or a timetable, but it will be fairly soon," said Blumenthal, a longtime Greenwich resident and married father of four children. "The most important factors will be what's right for my family and where I can best serve the people of Connecticut and do the most good."

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Was Newton alone?

As you well know, I've been on a rant about the activities of State Senator Ernest Newton and a question that I keep asking myself is who else knew Newtopn was up to no good. You would think that someone at the Captial knew what Newton was doing?

Look at this interesting quote from Roger Shelton, a person who testified giving Newton money in exchange for help with his organization, University Residential Facility, a group home for troubled youth.

Shelton said he gave Newton numerous checks, all made out to him personally. At the time, Newton was a state representative; he became a senator during a 2003 special election.

"I told them at times I gave Ernie money. He [Newton] was the only one with clout," Shelton said.

Shelton said federal prosecutors "raked me over the coals," and at one point, advised him to obtain a lawyer. He said he testified on two separate occasions.

During one appearance, Shelton said checks he wrote to Newton were pasted on a large board for all to see.

Again, who else at the Capital knew Newton was up to no good? HE couldn't of done this all alone could he?

More tales of corruption by Newton

At this point, it would be in the democratic party's best interest to force Ernest Newton to simply resign. As each passing day goes by, we hear yet another tale of either Newton accepting of soliciting money for favors.

The latest charges of bribery are detailed in today's Connecticut Post

A federal grand jury investigating state Sen. Ernest E. Newton II is learning volumes about possibly corrupt underpinnings to his long and successful political career in the state's largest city, say witnesses who testified.

One witness admitted to the grand jury that he paid Newton about $2,000 in exchange for the senator's "help" in providing state funding and other needs for a now closed youth home.

Another witness said he told the grand jury that Newton repeatedly solicited money from his agency in return for assistance, but said no money was paid. Still other witnesses describe questions from prosecutors, FBI agents and jurors on whether campaign funds were diverted to Newton's personal use.

[...]

Last week, Warren Godbolt, former director of Progressive Training Associates, a Bridgeport job-training agency, pleaded guilty in federal court to paying Newton a $5,000 bribe in exchange for the senator's help last year in securing a $100,000 state grant for the agency.

Testimony from Roger Shelton gives us an clearer picture on how Newton ran the scam.

Roger Shelton, who ran University Residential Facility, a group home for troubled youth on Clinton Avenue until 2002, said he told the grand jury he paid Newton about $2,000 over four years in return for providing "help" to the facility.

He said Newton promoted the group home, spoke to state officials who provided funding and talked the home's residents about drug abuse. Newton is a recovering cocaine addict.

Shelton said he gave Newton numerous checks, all made out to him personally. At the time, Newton was a state representative; he became a senator during a 2003 special election.

"I told them at times I gave Ernie money. He [Newton] was the only one with clout," Shelton said.

Another witness describes Newton as one who always had his hands out looking for money in exchange for favors.

Reggie Walker, an economic development director for Hall Neighborhood House, confirmed he testified before the grand jury about Newton's involvement with his agency.

"They asked if we gave money to Ernie, and I said, 'No, we did not,' " Walker said.

"Did Ernie ask for money? Yeah, he asked for money. But he didn't get no money," Walker said, recounting what he said he told the grand jury.

Walker said Newton "asked a lot of people for money. I told him don't bother me. We don't do business that way."

Walker added, "Bob Keeley [a Bridgeport state representative] never asked for money. Ernie bounced around, saying he can do this for that organization."

Like I said in a earlier post, when it rains it pours and right now, Newton is stuck in the middle of a hurricane. His tales of corruption is a eye-sore on the democratic party and his demotion from Senate leadership is not enough at this point.

If anything, the democrats should be relieved that the MSM in Connecticut has not fully embraced this story and take this moment and tell Newton to resgin. Unlike the republicans who during the Rowland scandal by kept quie, the democrats have a chance to remove someone who obviously did wrongdoing before tis whole case gets out of control.

The residents of Connecticut, and Bridgeport in particular, do not need to endure yet another corruption scandal. The list of allegations against Newotn is only going to increase and once the MSM gets their hands on the story, all hell is going to break lose. For the sake of the democratic party, Newton should do the right thing and just walk away before things get uglier.