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Friday, September 16, 2005

Negative reactions to Newton's resignation

From the New York Newsday
"I respect Senator Newton's decision but I am disappointed by the chain of events that led to today's announcement. I feel badly for his family, but I believe this action was in the best interest of all concerned, particularly the people of Bridgeport." _ Gov. M. Jodi Rell, a Republican.


"If there was nothing to the investigation or he had not already been shown something through his lawyers, in my opinion he wouldn't be resigning. Because I haven't heard the rush to request him to resign from the many people that thought that Gov. Rowland should have resigned. Those people have been strangely silent over this. They haven't forced him into this." _ Senate Minority Leader Louis DeLuca, R-Woodbury.

I skipped the positive quotes becasue it nothing more than politicains being nice to one of their own party members and I didn't like it when the Republicans did that with Rowland and this is no different. I would of had alot more respect if the Democrats would of criticized Newton instead of praising him.

He was a crook it that simple.

Ernerst Newton unhinged

That's right. Blame everyone else for your problems except for yourself.

This guy is just too much.

From the Hartford Courant
In a rambling speech in which he quoted the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and compared himself to Moses, a defiant state Sen. Ernest E. Newton announced his resignation Thursday, blaming the media and racial injustice for driving him from office.

Standing in the pouring rain outside city hall in his hometown, Newton ended his 17-year career as a state legislator with scant mention of the ongoing FBI investigation into allegations that he took bribes to steer money to a Bridgeport nonprofit agency.

"I have been the Moses of my people and all I've ever asked for is to let justice be served," said Newton, who was surrounded by ministers, friends, and family members. "But I realize today that as hard as I fought for justice for people, I couldn't even get justice - that the media have already convicted me, accused me and been the executioner."
Ah, excuse me sir but don't blame the media for your stpidity. Your the one who accepted the bribes and got caught on a FBI wiretap...
In a speech filled with references to God, Newton portrayed himself as a victim of injustice and racism. Saying his name will live on, Newton pointed to his accomplishments in defending the poor in his Democratic-dominated district and hinted that he may return to office triumphantly some day.

"You may assassinate the name, but a man's works will live on - and my works will live on because my community - they love me," Newton said. "And whether I return in five years, 10 years, my people will be there for me. ... If I was to run for office tomorrow, it would be a landslide."

Waa, waa, blah, blah...

You're not fooling anyone Newton! You resigned because you were caught red-handed and it's just a matter of time until your indicted. If you felt you were innocent, an arrogant person like you would of never resigned in the first place.

You couldn't get elected dog catcher even if you tried and pulling out the race card and your references to God is a disgrace.

I'll be at the courthouse when you get indicted and you take a plea bargin.

Why did CNN's Ed Henry twist Lieberman's quote around?

For a minute, I thought I was watching The FOXNews Channel.

CNN's Ed Henry did a report on Joe Lieberman and his involvment in the Michael Brown's appointment to Deputy Director of FEMA. The problem with Henry's report is that he chopped up Lieberman's quote to give the impression that he supported Brown's assension to be director of FEMA once the department became under the wing of the homeland security department.

I've been ripping Lieberman about his 42 minutes of shame which is fair game but to take his words out of context isn't fair.

From Media Matters

In a segment on the September 14 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, correspondent Ed Henry misled viewers about Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman's (D-CT) role in former Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) director Michael D. Brown's ascension to that job, selectively editing Lieberman's videotaped comments in order to create the false impression that Lieberman supported Brown's ascension.

Henry's piece included video clips of Lieberman -- who chaired the Senate's Governmental Affairs Committee (now known as Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs) when Brown was confirmed as deputy director of FEMA in June 2002 -- responding to questions during a September 13 press conference. But Henry specifically edited out Lieberman's statement that Lieberman opposed a provision in the legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that resulted in Brown's elevation from deputy director to director without a second confirmation hearing. Worse, Henry not only omitted Lieberman's statement that he opposed the provision, but he also implied that Lieberman had actually supported it.

Henry asserted that "Senate Democrats also allowed the president to elevate Brown to director of FEMA without a second confirmation hearing when the agency was folded into the Department of Homeland Security."

But Henry had video of Lieberman specifically denying this point. The full video of Lieberman's comments from the press conference shows that he stated that he opposed the provision in the DHS legislation that ultimately allowed Brown to be promoted without a second hearing:

LIEBERMAN: This is one of those classic cases, deputy to an organization, where you say the president has earned the right to make the choice of who he wants to serve him. Congress has to decide not whether I would have chosen the person, but whether the person is acceptable for the job. And at that point, he sure looked like it. In the aftermath of what's come out in the last week, I'd say information -- that it seems that either consciously or unconsciously, there was an element of his resume that was wrongly stated, that suggested he had more background in emergency management than he did. I want to say just one thing: He became director of FEMA without a hearing, and that was wrong. That was as a result of a section of the law creating the Department of Homeland Security that I opposed but that the administration fought to keep in, where they could take somebody who had experience that was germane to the position for which they were being nominated in the new department and put them in without a hearing. I thought that was wrong. Needless to say, the replacement for Michael Brown will receive quite a hearing.

Henry carefully edited Lieberman's comments to exclude the statement about Brown's ascension and the DHS provision. How carefully? Henry aired both the sentence immediately before Lieberman's comments about Brown's ascension and the sentence immediately after it. He edited out Lieberman's comments about opposing the provision -- then told viewers that Democrats "allowed" it.


HENRY: Democrats have acted surprised and outraged that the president's FEMA director had next to no experience.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA, House Democratic leader): He appointed a person to head FEMA who had absolutely no credentials.

HENRY: But Democrats were running the Senate when Brown was easily confirmed as FEMA's deputy director in June 2002. The Democrat in charge of the confirmation hearing, Joe Lieberman, declared he would support Brown because of his, quote, "extensive management experience." Only four of 17 senators on the committee showed up for that hearing, which lasted only 42 minutes with no tough questions about Brown's nine years running an Arabian horse association. When pressed by CNN about whether he did a tough enough job scrutinizing Brown, Lieberman put the onus on the president.

LIEBERMAN: The president has earned the right to make the choice of who he wants to serve him. Congress has to decide not whether I would have chosen the person, but whether the person is acceptable for the job. And at that point, he sure looked like it.

HENRY: Lieberman noted Brown's resume suggested back in the late '70s he was in charge of emergency services in a small Oklahoma town, a claim now in question.

LIEBERMAN: In the aftermath of what's come out in the last week, I'd say information -- that it seems that either consciously or unconsciously, there was an element of his resume that was wrongly stated, that suggested he had more background in emergency management.

HENRY: Some senators acknowledged Democrats could have been tougher.

SEN. FRANK LAUTENBERG (D-NJ): The majority did a bad job. That's what I think.

HENRY: Other Democrats defended their level of oversight. But in retrospect, 42 minutes is an easy amount of scrutiny.

SEN. DANIEL AKAKA (D-HI): That's for one person, that's an appropriate time.

HENRY: Senate Democrats also allowed the president to elevate Brown to director of FEMA without a second confirmation hearing when the agency was folded into the Department of Homeland Security. Lieberman is now vowing to be much tougher.

LIEBERMAN: Needless to say, the replacement for Michael Brown will receive quite a hearing.

HENRY: But about an hour before Lieberman made that very promise, his Homeland Security Committee was considering four other nominees, including one who will be crafting labor policy for the Homeland Security Department. Most lawmakers only had staff at the hearing. Many senators themselves, including Lieberman, were absent.

What's so silly is that Henry didn't have to cut Lieberman's video clip to criticize him. He could of just pointed out that when Lieberman chaired the Senate's Governmental Affairs Committee he simply didn't to their job when looking into Brown's background and barely asked Brown any hard questions during the 42 minutes of shame.

There would of been no need for a second confirmation hearing if the Lieberman and the other senator on the committee did their job in the first place and if Henry would of gone on that angle, he would of had something.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Bysiewicz says voting machines not up to Federal standards

Okay, this can turn out to be a very serious matter for many towns in Connecticut as the 2006 elections are just a year away.

From the Hartford Courrant
Connecticut's 3,500 lever-style mechanical voting machines may have to be replaced before the 2006 election because a federal commission has ruled the old machines are not accessible to all voters, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz said Thursday.

If local election leaders can't use the old lever machines, they'll be forced -- in a matter of months -- to acquire more modern voting machines such as optical scan or touch screen devices, Bysiewicz said.

"The towns will now find out that lever voting machines are off the table as an option. I know that is going to come as a surprise and an unwelcome surprise to towns," she said Thursday.


Connecticut submitted a plan in 2003 that called for allowing towns to either switch entirely to optical scan machines, or provide at least one such device at a polling place.

The state is in the process of buying 769 voting machines that comply with the law.

Bysiewicz said she's not sure the state has enough money to replace all of its mechanical voting machines. Connecticut received about $33 million from the federal government to improve voting.

John Roberts admits he's not "up to speed" on first admendment

Should we be concerned or rather, should we be surprised?

From Editor and Publisher

In a third day of questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee, John Roberts admitted that he was not "up to speed" on First Amendment precedents.

In an exchange on First Amendments issues with Senator Patrick Leahy, a leading Democrat, Roberts revealed, "Senator, I haven't dealt with a lot of First Amendment access cases." The only one he could cite had to do with media access to prisons. He also said he was "not terribly familiar with the precise legal standards or how they have developed" recently.

He did add, however, that "I do start with a general principle in this area. And I think it was Justice Brandeis who talked about, you know, sunlight being the best disinfectant."
On second thought, I'm concerned. No but seriously, I think hRoberts is the best the democrats can expect to be the head of the Court and we should be more concerned over who Bush nominates to take the seat of Justice O'Connor. If he picks a right-winged radical conservative like Bork, all hell will break loose and you can toss that little right to choose law right out the window.

It's official! Newton resigns

Newton made the announcement on the steps of Bridgeport City Hall a few minutes ago.

From WTNH (w/ video)
Bridgeport state Senator Ernest Newton, saying nobody is forcing him, is resigning.

Newton has been the target of allegations of campaign fraud and accepting a bribe in exchange for a state grant.

Newton has not been charged with any crime and has denied wrongdoing.

Newton made the announcement on the steps of Bridgeport City Hall this morning.

BREAKING NEWS: State Senator Ernest Newton to step down

Today's Hartford Couranrt is reporting that State Senator Ernest Newton will be resigning today and will make the announcement at 11 am today.

From the Hartford Courant
State Sen. Ernest Newton is expected to resign as early as today amid an FBI probe into allegations that he accepted a bribe in exchange for securing state funding for a nonprofit agency, sources said Wednesday night.

Newton has scheduled a press conference for 11 a.m. today in his hometown of Bridgeport to discuss his future, according to legislators and legislative aides.

Capitol insiders cautioned that the sometimes volatile Newton could change his mind at the last minute, but added that his intentions were clear on Wednesday.

"I know for a fact he's resigning," said a knowledgeable source.

Newton, a Democrat who has served for 17 years in the legislature, has been under increasing pressure to resign since Warren Keith Godbolt, the executive director of a Bridgeport training agency, pleaded guilty Aug. 2 in federal court in Bridgeport to paying cash bribes to an unnamed public official - believed be Newton. A federal prosecutor said in court last month that the FBI had wiretap evidence of a telephone conversation on June 17, 2004, regarding the bribe.
If would be best at this point if Newton resigns. The more we heard about the details in the bribery case, the more we heard bad things about Newton so always seemed like we would come to this day.

Hopefully, the people of Brigeport can can move on from this scandal.

Beltway versus blogosphere

I ran across this very interesting pirce from Howard Fienman of Newsweek in which he wirtes about the ongoing war between the Beltway democrats and the DLC versus the liberl blogosphere.

From Newsweek via MSNBC
If I am hearing Simon Rosenberg right (and he is worth listening to), a nasty civil war is brewing within the Democratic Party, and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton—the party’s presumptive 2008 nominee—needs to avoid getting caught in the middle of it.

“It’s not a fight between liberals and conservatives,” Rosenberg told me the other day. “It’s between our ‘governing class’ here and activists everywhere else.”

In other words, it’s the Beltway versus the Blogosphere.


Rosenberg rejects that notion that the bloggers represent a new “Internet Left.” It’s not an ideological rift, he says, but a “narrative” of independence versus capitulation: too many Democrats here are too yielding to George W. Bush on the war in Iraq, on tax policy, you name it. “What the blogs have developed is a narrative,” he told me the other day,” and the narrative is that the official Washington party has become like Vichy France.”

In the 1980s, he said, a generation of Democratic strategists reacted to the rise of Ronald Reagan by looking for ways to coexist with his brand of conservatism. The result was the Democratic Leadership Council, founded in 1985, which mixed cultural traditionalism with pro-market economics and hawkish foreign policy. It worked: Bill Clinton became chairman of the DLC in 1990, and used it as a launching pad to the presidency.

But, in the view of the Blogosphere, the DLC model is outmoded and dangerously accomodationist, in the manner of the allegedly independent, but in reality pro-Nazi, regime of wartime of France.

Rosenberg, who has, and can move easily in establishment circles, somewhat self-mockingly declares his own allegiance to the “narrative.” “I feel like I’ve joined the Resistance!” he says.

The First Battle of Bull Run (or First Manassas, if you insist) in this civil war occurred in 2003 and early 2004, when party insiders, the Mainstream Media and a network of long-time “funders” anointed Sen. John Kerry, only to see him get chewed up in the early going by Gov. Howard Dean.

But even though Kerry eventually outlasted the Rebs, and even though Dean (for some weird reason) decided to become chair of the Democratic National Committee, the civil war didn’t end. It just went underground.

The first sign of its re-emergence was Cindy Sheehan (remember her?) on the national stage. Beltway Democrats avoided her like the plague; the Blogosphere embraced her as a heroine of the grass roots. It wasn’t so much the content of what she said; she was, after all, claiming mostly to be asking questions. It was the WAY she came to prominence—quickly, virally, seemingly from out of nowhere—and her stubbornly confrontational tone.

In Rosenberg’s view, that’s the tone Democrats need to adopt now, especially after Hurricane Katrina. Too many “governing” Democrats, he says, wrongly assume that their party’s traditional vision of “competent, benevolent government” has been rejected by the voters. It hasn’t, he says.

There is no need, Rosenberg says, to wander in the desert in search of a new theoretical synthesis, the way conservatives did a generation ago. What the Democrats need, he says, is an unforgiving toughness and a mastery of new means of communications—and all of this is more likely to be accomplished in the Blogosphere than inside the Beltway.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Bathroom break anyone?

Believe it or not, this is real.

From Reuters

U.S. President George W. Bush writes a note to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a Security Council meeting at the 2005 World Summit and 60th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York September 14, 2005. World leaders are exploring ways to revitalize the United Nations at a summit on Wednesday but their blueprint falls short of Secretary-General Kofi Annan's vision of freedom from want, persecution and war. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

O'Reilly smears The Hartford Courant for something they didn't say

This guy is an idiot. Why is he allowed to distort the facts...oh, I orgot. We're talking about FOXNews (fair and balanced).

From Media Matters (including video)
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly attacked a September 12 Hartford Courant editorial that he falsely characterized as opposing mandatory minimum prison sentences for child sex offenders. In fact, the editorial did not take a position on mandatory minimums; rather, it explored proposals for enhancing post-incarceration monitoring of convicted sex offenders' movements. Further, Media Matters for America discovered no evidence that the Courant has endorsed or opposed minimum sentences for child sex offenders.


O'Reilly, however, completely mischaracterized the Courant editorial, which does not even mention mandatory minimum sentences, much less oppose them. From the September 12 Courant editorial, titled "Sexual Abuse Hysteria":

Along with punishment, predators need treatment. Studies show that treatment is effective in helping to reduce recidivism.

Lawmakers must be careful to separate one-time offenders involved in relatively minor incidents from truly serious cases in which there is a strong possibility that the person will strike again. One-size-fits-all legislation unfairly stigmatizes offenders without protecting children. [Sentences quoted by O'Reilly are italicized]

A Nexis search* found no evidence that the Courant has recently taken a position on mandatory minimum prison sentences for child sex offenders. However, in a Dec. 3, 1998 editorial, the paper did say that "[m]uch longer sentences for sexual predators" could be "one answer" to the problem of convicted sex offenders who have served their time but are not ready to return to society.

O'Reilly's reference to the Houston Chronicle alluded to a controversy earlier this year in which, as with the Courant, O'Reilly mischaracterized the content of a newspaper editorial. On the May 10 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, he falsely claimed that a May 10 Chronicle editorial had attacked the mandatory minimum sentences imposed in Florida's "Jessica's Law" as "too harsh." As the Chronicle noted in a May 12 editorial exposing O'Reilly's distortion, "O'Reilly told his viewers that the Chronicle editorial said the Florida law was too harsh. He was mistaken. The editorial excerpts that O'Reilly projected on the screen said nothing about the harshness of the punishment." Subsequently, O'Reilly apologized for misattributing the quotation and admitted that the Chronicle "didn't actually say" that the mandatory sentence stipulated by "Jessica's Law" was "too harsh." However, O'Reilly continued to argue that he was justified in attacking the Chronicle based on "everything that I extrapolated from the editorial."

Fort Trumbull residents served with eviction papers

Well, the next (or last) chapter in the eminent domain battle has started as the residents in the New London Fort Trumbull district were served with eviction papers on Monday and Tuesday.

From The Hartford Courant
Residents of New London's Fort Trumbull peninsula have been served with orders to move out by mid-December, signaling the end of the line for the diehards who narrowly lost their eminent domain battle before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The letters from the New London Development Corp. stirred a tempest of emotions and a crossfire of recriminations between lawyers for the seven homeowners and officials of the NLDC, with each side accusing the other of lying.

Meanwhile the homeowners, who lost their court battle but won national recognition for their cause, have vowed to keep up the fight.

"They are going to have to pull my cold fingers from that house before they take it," Michael Cristofaro said of the Goshen Street home owned by his elderly father, Pasquale. "We're not going to give it up unless the legislature says that nothing else can be done."

But the homeowners have exhausted their legal remedies and have little left in their arsenal but the strength of their convictions.


"It's time to move forward for the benefit of all the citizens of New London and begin the transformation of the Fort Trumbull area," NLDC President Michael Joplin said. "New London taxpayers have waited patiently to receive the significant public, economic and environmental benefits of this long-overdue development project."
I can't imagine how it feels to be kicked out of your home like this but at this point, I don't know what else the residents in Fort Trumbull can do legally.

It's a horrible situation...

Don Imus to interview Joe Lieberman tomorrow

Please, oh please, oh please Don Imus, could you read my post and ask Senator Joe Lieberman a few questions that he's refusing to answer?

Here's a few questions you could throw at him.

1. Given the fact that Senator Lieberman had full access to Michael Brown's resume and background (Lieberman chaired the Committee on Governmental Affairs when the Democrats were in charge in 2002 and was in charied Brown's confirmation hearing), how is that the Senator from Connecticut supported his nomination to be the head of FEMA?

2. Why did Brown's confirmation hearing last only 42 minutes? Did Senator Lieberman not have enough questions to ask the person who would responsible of handling domenstic emergencies and disasters so soon after 9-11?

3. Don't you (Liebreman) think that the person who would be in charge of FEMA have some experience in handling disasters or emergencies?

I'm sure you can come up with a few more questions to ask Senator Lieberman after you read my previous posting or read the article in the Hartford Courant that explains in great detail the Lieberman-Brown connection. You can also give Juliette N. Kayyem, a lecturer in public policy at Harvard University a call, I'm sure she can update you on the Lieberman-Brown connection as she posted an account of the hearing online at TPM Cafe and titled the posting 42 minutes of shame.

Here are some key part from Kayyem's post:

It appears, then, that Mike Brown suffered 42 breathtaking minutes of serious nothingness (unless Lieberman's withering questioning regarding whether Brown would sufficiently keep the Senate informed --- duh,yes) to become Deputy Director of FEMA. When FEMA was, just a few months later, subsumed into DHS, Brown didn't need to be Senate confirmed as his new position -- technically as Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response -- was "germane" to his old position. Guess that's true. But it means that the four Senators who showed up to confirm a deputy director were, in fact, confirming the head of America's entire emergency management apparatus.

Worse, still, besides Brown's obvious lack of qualifications, is the obvious lack of any serious questions about previous disasters, what would he do in a future disaster, his thoughts -- if he had any -- on what should be done.

Except one. In an eerie exchange between Lieberman and Brown, when Lieberman is concerned about nuclear facilities and evacuation plans in Connecticut, Brown says this:

I think my role is a very serious one. I think the agency's role is a very serious one, that we should not just wait for someone to petition or request that we evaluate, that those types of plans should be evaluated (plans regarding evacuations) on an ongoing basis. It would be my intent to somehow implement the ongoing evaluation so we do not have to look in hindsight and say, gosh, we wish we had looked at that. We should be looking at that all the time to make sure they (plans) are adequate, and I will pledge to you that we will certianly do that.

Just in case you missed it, previously Brown had said in the testimony:

State and local governments are looking to us for leadership. They are looking to FEMA to tell them where are the holes in response plans? Where are the holes in our mutual aid agreements? What incentives can you provide us to fill those holes?

Mike Brown didn't appear from Mars. He was appointed by the President (shame on him) and confirmed by Congress (shame on them.) And 42 minutes later, Brown was in charge.

Okay, Brown says this and then we get the disaster in New Orleans.

Now Mr. Imus, here's some juicy info from the Courant's article

At the time, Brown, an Oklahoma attorney, was general counsel at FEMA. He got the same kind of quick hearing given to most people nominated to such second-tier posts. Sens. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., and Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., introduced Brown and talked about how FEMA helped with recent wildfires in his state.

Brown, Campbell said, had been there "steadfastly and tenaciously" to help. Before Brown began speaking, Lieberman told him, "Mr. Brown, you're off to a good start. Two strong statements of endorsement."

Lieberman talked about FEMA's expanding role, how the disaster relief agency has "got to prepare for and respond to terrorist attacks at home." He quizzed Brown about whether the new mission would find FEMA continuing to maintain its network of strong contacts with state and local officials.

"We've already started down that path," Brown said. "Our partnership has to be with all agencies responding to disasters, all first responders."

Lieberman told him, "That's a good answer."

He spent 8 minutes asking Brown a series of questions, including one on chemical and biological preparedness. "Regardless of the cause of the disaster," Brown assured him, "our response is the same."

Later in the hearing, Lieberman returned for a new round of questions, notably one about preparedness in Connecticut in case of a disaster at a nuclear facility.

Brown said FEMA's role was "a very serious one," and he pledged to look closely at evacuation plans to make sure they were adequate.

Such replies were adequate for Lieberman, who told Brown at the end of the hearing, "I certainly will support your nomination."

Brown became FEMA director in early 2003, and did not have another confirmation hearing. Under legislation pushed by the Bush administration, it was not needed because his new position was germane to his old one.

"I wish there had been a hearing," Lieberman said Friday, and recalled how he wanted more scrutiny of the new FEMA head before he took office.
Now, Mr Imus, after viewing the Courant article, could you please ask Seantor Lieberman why he wish there had been a meeting when he had information on Brown (including a background check and full access to his resume) as early as 2002, chaired the committee that appointed Brown, and only questioned him for a total of 42 minutes most of which was soft-ball questions.

With Brown's shaky resume and background, it's no wonder why FEMA dropped the ball in the crisis and Lieberman should explain why he supported this guy in the first place.

Mr Imus, many people died in the South because of the incompetence of people like Michael Brown and the people who appointed him (President Bush) and supported his nominaiton (Senator Lieberman) should be held accountable. I trust that you will ask Senator Lieberman the hard questions the people in the country are demanding be answered by our politicians and we'll be watching for you to ask the hard questions tomorrow.

Remember, people in this country demand answers.

Are the state Democrats conceding the governor's race already?

That's what Fred Lucas would have you believe. The News-Times reporter wrote a piece in today's paper that leaves the impression that the Democrats only hope in winning the election next year is if Richard Blumenthal enters the race. Part of his reasoning is because neither Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy or New Haven Mayor John DeStefano have the name recognition needed to beat the popular Gov Jodi Rell.

From the News-Times

Last week, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz's departure from the race left the Democratic field with two mayors who are relatively unknown statewide. With Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell seemingly cemented at an 80 percent approval rating, prospects for a Democratic win could be dim.


"The people with the most political notoriety and visibility have withdrawn from the race," said Gary Rose, political science professor at Sacred Heart University. "I don't want to use the term sacrificial lamb, but I do think the Democrats are starting to concede."

The two Democratic candidates in the race now are New Haven Mayor John DeStefano and Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy, who both lack the statewide name recognition of Blumenthal or Bysiewicz.

The party's gubernatorial prospects are "grim," said Rep. Robert Godfrey, D-Danbury. He said Blumenthal is the only candidate who could beat Rell.

"Those of us who have been in this business for a while are befuddled by the current circumstances," Godfrey said. "We have not won a governor's race in 20 years, and there is a general lack of enthusiasm to run for governor against Rell."

With the election more than a year away, it's too early to give up on the Democratic party. Susan Bysiewicz's name recognition didn't help her in terms of raising money or getting any type of press coverage unlike John DeStefano with his campaign DVD and it was wise for her to get out of the race.

November 2006 is a lifetime in the political world so I wouldn't give up on the Democrats chances on winning the election just yet.

Primary results

Here's the breakdown

Mayoral Races

* indicates incumbent.

Craig Henrici (D) 2,973
*Carl Amento (D) 1,960

Anthony Colandrea,Jr. (R) 218
Glenn Colby (R) 137

Domenic Costello (R) 1,119
Thomas Moore (R) 987
*Edward Goodrich (R) 755

*James Miron (D)
Dennis Broedlin (D)
Robert Calzone (D)

Karen Mulcahy (D) 3,300
*Michael Jarjura (D) 3,046

First Selectman

Robert Burke (R) 546
*Judy Novachek (R) 364

*Neil Dupont (R)
Leslie Wrigley (R)

*Timothy Irwin (R)
Timothy Mrowka (R)

*Mary Johnson (D)
Robert Johnson (D)

*Donald Gladding (D)
Kevin Cunningham (D)

*John Firlik (D)
Jimmy Folco Jr. (D)

*John Izzo (R) 658
R. Gavin Anderson (R) 600

*Michael Eldredge (R)
Robert Lisiewski (R)

Upset in Waterbury

I said this was going to be an interesting race.

Waterbury Mayor Michael Jarjura lost the Democratic primary to the person he fired, Karen Mulcahy. Mayor Jarjura's proposal to create a municipal water authority was extermely unpopular and Mulcahy used that to her advantage. The low voter turnout also hurt Jarjura as he lost to Mulcahy 3,314 votes to 3,070.

From the Waterbury Republican
An unpopular proposal to create a municipal water authority, a perceived cozy relationship with developers, a complacent campaign and the late entry of an angry firefighters' union into the race all contributed to Karen Mulcahy's upset defeat of Mayor Michael J. Jarjura in Tuesday's Democratic primary.

The victory was personal for both sides. Jarjura fired Mulcahy as his tax collector in 2004 and she retaliated with a lawsuit and Tuesday's election victory.

Mulcahy will lead the Democratic slate in the November election, but the slate that will accompany her on the ballot will not be the one that ran with her in the primary.

"We're going to improve the quality of life issues for people here," Mulcahy told about 100 jubilant supporters at her Store Avenue headquarters. "That's what this race is all about."


Later Jarjura acknowledged that his proposal to consider creating a municipal water authority that would sell revenue bonds as a means of reducing the city's $465 million unfunded pension liability was the Achilles heel of his campaign.

The rallying cry of Mulcahy's campaign was "don't sell the water," and Jarjura was never able to convincingly distance himself from the proposal that candidates in the November election already were preparing to use against him if he won the primary.

Most in attendance realized all hope was lost early in the process of gathering returns when Jarjura lost in precincts where he was considered unbeatable.


The 6,384 votes cast for mayor accounted for 26 percent of the city's 24,283 registered Democrats and gave credence to the predictions of political observers that lower turnout would hurt Jarjura.

Democratic Town Committee Chairman Gary Reardon suggested after the returns came in that elements within the party didn't work as hard as they had been asked to as they looked for payback against Jarjura for things he may not have delivered them.

At 5 p.m., after calculating the number of votes cast citywide, the Jarjura campaign sent people out to work door-to-door in hopes of drumming up more votes. Going door-to-door on election day is an unusual step in a campaign.

Democrats running with and supporting Jarjura began to complain about three weeks before the election that his campaign had been outmaneuvered by Mulcahy and failed to take her seriously as she continued to erode his base.

Mulcahy prevailed in 13 of the city's 22 voting precincts.

The 71st General Assembly District, which includes Town Plot and Country Club, proved decisive in the race.

Jarjura lost every precinct there and Mulcahy's overall margin in that portion of the city was 228 votes.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

DeLauro supports DeStefano

Not a big surpeise here but this could a sign that New Haven Mayor John DeStefano is the person to beat for the Democratic nod.


New Haven Mayor John DeStefano got some support today in his bid for the governor's office.

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro threw her support behind DeStefano this morning in Hartford.

"Connecticut will elect John DeStefano its next Governor because as our citizens get to know him, they will learn that this state needs his leadership here in Hartford. That is why I am here-that is why I am proud to support him," DeLauro said

Seems like the DVD DeStefano made paid off after all. The criticism of Rell in the DVD gave DeStefano alot of press coverage earlier this year which translates into name recognition.

Dan Malloy on the other hand, has not received alot of press and Fairfield County is controlled by Republicans (I don't see Nancy Johnson backing Malloy any time soon). It's clear that DeStefano is the frontrunner right now and it might be only a matter of time until Malloy decides that he can better serve the state by keeping his role as Mayor of Stamford and bow out of the governor race.

I not saying count Malloy out, it's just that he needs find a way to get his name out there and very soon before it's too late.

Hurricane Katrina greatest quotes

From the Chicago-Sun Times
*"I wasn't going to let a little thing like a hurricane keep me from wearing my bathing suit." -- Eva Longoria on the Video Music Awards, Aug. 28. Had Longoria known what was going to happen in the days to come, one imagines she would have come up with another bit.

*"The looting is out of control. The French Quarter has been attacked." -- New Orleans councilwoman Jackie Carlson, Aug. 30. Meanwhile, President Bush was playing guitar with country singer Mark Willis in San Diego. Bush would return to Crawford, Texas, that night, for one more night of taking it easy before finally cutting his vacation "short."

*"I must say, this storm is much bigger than anyone expected." -- FEMA Director Michael Brown, on CNN, Aug. 31.

*"Excuse me, senator, I'm sorry for interrupting . . . for the last four days, I've been seeing dead bodies in the streets here in Mississippi. And to listen to politicians thanking each other and complimenting each other, you know, I got to tell you, there are a lot of people out here who are very upset, and very angry, and very frustrated . . .

"And when they hear politicians . . . you know, thanking one another, it just . . . cuts them the wrong way right now, because literally there was a body in the streets of this town yesterday being eaten by rats because this woman had been laying in the streets for 48 hours . . ." -- CNN's Anderson Cooper, Sept. 1, in an awesome tirade directed at Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who had been tossing compliments to fellow politicians and blowing bromides up the wazoo before Cooper cut her off.

*"George W. Bush gave one of the worst speeches of his life yesterday, especially given the level of national distress and the need for words of consolation and wisdom. In what seems to be a ritual for this administration, the president appeared a day later than he was needed." -- New York Times lead editorial, Sept. 1.

*"It was chaos. There was nobody there, nobody in charge. And there was nobody giving even water. The children . . . they're all just in tears. There are sick people. We saw . . . people who are dying in front of you." -- CNN producer Kim Segal, describing conditions in the New Orleans Convention Center, Sept. 1.

*"Considering the dire circumstances that we have in New Orleans, virtually a city that has been destroyed, things are going relatively well." -- FEMA chief Brown, Sept. 1.

*"From here and from talking to police officers, they're losing control of the city . . ." -- CNN's Chris Lawrence, Sept. 1.

*"We just learned of the convention center -- we being the federal government -- today." -- FEMA Director Brown, trying to deflect criticism to local government, on "Nightline," Sept. 1.

*"Don't you guys watch television? Don't you guys listen to the radio? Our reporters have been reporting on it for more than just today." -- Koppel's response.

*"Many of these people, almost all of them that we see are so poor and they are so black . . . " -- CNN's Wolf Blitzer's well-meaning but unfortunate description of the evacuees, Sept. 1.

*"Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job." -- President Bush, Sept. 2. One of the most idiotic, misguided, clueless and smug things the president has said during his two terms in office.

*"I'm satisfied with the response. I am not satisfied with the results." -- President Bush, later that day.

*"Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house -- he's lost his entire house -- there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch." -- President Bush, cracking wise in Mobile, Ala., Sept. 2. And maybe when he sits on that porch, one of those unemployed evacuees can bring him a nice iced tea and a fan. After all, they'll be looking for work.

*"George Bush doesn't care about black people." -- Kanye West Sept. 2 on an NBC telethon for hurricane relief, as a deer-in-the-headlights Mike Myers stood beside him, no doubt wishing he was off making "Shrek 57."

*"I know you didn't want to interrupt your vacation and I know how you don't like to get bad news. Plus, you had fund-raisers to go to and mothers of dead soldiers to ignore and smear. . . . Mr. Bush, you just stay the course. It's not your fault that 30 percent of New Orleans lives in poverty or that tens of thousands had no transportation to get out of town. C'mon, they're black! I mean, it's not like this happened in Kennebunkport. Can you imagine leaving white people on their roofs for five days? Don't make me laugh!" -- Excerpt from Michael Moore's open letter to President Bush, Sept. 2. Moore is reportedly considering making a documentary about Bush and Katrina. It would be the easiest film he's ever done.

*"I open the television, there's people still there, waiting to be rescued, and for me that's not acceptable. I know there's reasons for it. I'm sorry to say I'm being rude, but I don't want to hear those reasons." -- Celine Dion in an interview on "Larry King Live," Sept. 3. An hour later, yours truly was in the audience at Dion's show in Las Vegas, where she told a baffled audience that she had cried and yelled at Larry King earlier that evening.

*"The guy who runs this building I'm in, emergency management, he's responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in a St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, 'Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?' [starting to cry] And he said, 'Yeah, Mama, somebody's coming to get you. Somebody's coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody's coming to get you on Friday.' And she drowned Friday night. She drowned Friday night." -- Jefferson Parish president Aaron Broussard, Sept. 4, on NBC's "Meet the Press," in one of the defining media moments of all the hurricane coverage.

*"We lost everything. Katrina didn't care if you were poor or rich; all the houses look the same now." -- Mississippi resident Penny Dean, quoted in People magazine, which has covered the hurricane story in honorable and comprehensive fashion.

*"What I'm hearing which is sort of scary is that they all want to stay in Texas. Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them." -- Former First Lady Barbara Bush, sounding like a bad caricature of a "Dallas" character, in the Houston Astrodome, Sept. 5.

*"I understand there are 10,000 people dead. It's terrible. It's tragic. But in a democracy of 300 million people, over years and years and years, these things happen." -- Republican operative Jack Burkman, MSNBC, Sept. 7, in an obvious attempt to go for the Humanitarian of the Year Award.

*"Go f-- yourself, Mr. Cheney. Go f-- yourself." -- Off-camera citizen heckling the vice president during a live interview that aired on CNN and MSNBC, Sept. 8. The "Go f-- yourself, Mr. Cheney" guy has his own Web site and is auctioning copies of personal video footage on eBay.

*"First time I've heard it. Must be a friend of John, er, uh, never mind." -- A chuckling Cheney's nonsensical, half-joke of a response when a reporter asked if he'd been hearing a lot of that sort of thing.

*"We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did." -- Rep. Richard Baker (R-La.), Sept. 8, in a quip to lobbyists quoted by the Wall Street Journal. Baker is denying the quote; the WSJ reporter stands by his story.

*"How, then, did we get here? How did the richest country on Earth end up watching children cry for food in putrid encampments on the evening news? How did reporters reach crowds of the desperate in places where police, troops and emergency responders had not yet been--three days after the storm?" -- Time magazine, in a report to be published today.

Paper trail shows how Michael Brown failed the people of New Orleans

Still think he was the right person for the job Senator Lieberman?

From The Raw Story and the Wall Street Journal
Separately, internal documents and emails from FEMA and other government agencies dating back to Aug. 31 and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show the extent to which the federal government bungled its response to the hurricane. The documents highlight serious deficiencies in the Department of Homeland Security's National Response Plan, a post-Sept. 11 playbook on how to deal with catastrophic events. Mr. Chertoff activated the National Response Plan last Tuesday by declaring the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina an "Incident of National Significance."

In one instance, federal environmental health specialists, who were charged with protecting both rescue workers and evacuees, weren't called in by the Department of Homeland Security until Sunday -- 12 days after the Occupational Safety & Health Administration announced it had teams from various agencies standing by ready to assist. Even now, with mounting evidence of environmental problems, the deployment is being held up by continuing interagency wrangling, according to officials at the National Institutes of Health, which also is involved in the effort.

In addition, FEMA's official requests, known as tasking assignments and used by the agency to demand help from other government agencies, show that it first asked the Department of Transportation to look for buses to help evacuate the more than 20,000 people who had taken refuge at the Superdome in New Orleans at 1:45 a.m. on Aug. 31. At the time, it only asked for 455 buses and 300 ambulances for the enormous task. Almost 18 hours later, it canceled the request for the ambulances because it turned out, as one FEMA employee put it, "the DOT doesn't do ambulances."


Attempts by officials at NIH to reach FEMA officials and send them briefing materials by email failed as the agency's server failed.

"I noticed that every email to a FEMA person bounced back this week. They need a better internet provider during disasters!!" one frustrated Department of Health official wrote to colleagues last Thursday.

When will Seantor Lieberman explain why he had confidence in Michael Brown? I have better internet access with my cell phone than Brown had during the hurricane.

Michael Brown has blood on his hands. Countless people drowned because of his inaction and should be held accountable. The President appointed this cronkie and Senator Lieberman pushed the President's nomination through in a 42 miniute hearing although he had access to Brown's resume and should of known about the lies Brown's resume contained.

I think I'll give Lieberman's office a call for a comment. I'll keep you posted...

Monday, September 12, 2005

Primary day tomorrow

The Hartford Courant gives the rundown on the big primaries.
An acrimonious battle for mayor in Waterbury and a historic decision to choose Stratford's first chief executive highlight Tuesday's municipal primaries.

Voters in 25 cities and towns across Connecticut are scheduled to head to the polls to select candidates in 16 Republican and nine Democratic municipal primaries.

There are mayoral matchups in Waterbury, Stratford, Hamden and Rocky Hill. Elsewhere, voters will choose candidates for first selectman, school board, town council and other seats. Winners of the primaries face a general election in November.
The most interesting primary is in Waterbury between Michael Jarjura and Karen Mulcahy
The Waterbury race is among the most contentious. Two-term Mayor Michael Jarjura fired Waterbury tax collector Karen Mulcahy back in March 2004, prompting her to sue the mayor, alleging civil rights violations.

After settling her lawsuit in April, Mulcahy launched a petition drive to challenge Jarjura. She collected 2,037 signatures, the most for any primary challenger in Waterbury's history, according to the Waterbury Republican-American.

Mulcahy, who had run on Jarjura's ticket in 2001 when the tax collection job was an elected position, said Jarjura fired her because she wouldn't help out his political cronies.

"They don't want Karen Mulcahy because it really stops the gravy train down here," said Mulcahy.

Mulcahy, 50, has criticized Jarjura's handling of the city's $465 million unfunded pension liability and has raised questions about the mayor's personal investments, his family's fruit business, and his ties to real estate developers.

Jarjura, 44, said he believes many of Mulcahy's attacks have been unfair and baseless. He points to his successes in Waterbury, including four balanced budgets and a steady tax rate in a city that had been teetering on the verge of bankruptcy.

He has also attacked Mulcahy's personal finances, noting that she once filed for bankruptcy protection. Voters should want a mayor who is successful with the city's finances as well as his own, he said.

"I don't think we're going to be turning the checkbook of the city of Waterbury to someone like that," he said of his opponent.

Mulcahy said the bankruptcy, filed in 1995 by herself and her husband, was business-related. She said Jarjura was aware of it when they ran together.

In case you didn't get the memo...

The New York Times reports that Karl Rove is taking charge in the White House responses to the hurricane inquires. What's their plan you ask? First, refuse to answer any questions from critics and second, shift blame to the state and local officials.

The conservative echo machine now have their talking points. Lets see if the media will allow them to get away with it.


Under the command of President Bush's two senior political advisers, the White House rolled out a plan this weekend to contain the political damage from the administration's response to Hurricane Katrina.

It orchestrated visits by cabinet members to the region, leading up to an extraordinary return visit by Mr. Bush planned for Monday, directed administration officials not to respond to attacks from Democrats on the relief efforts, and sought to move the blame for the slow response to Louisiana state officials, according to Republicans familiar with the White House plan.

The effort is being directed by Mr. Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, and his communications director, Dan Bartlett. It began late last week after Congressional Republicans called White House officials to register alarm about what they saw as a feeble response by Mr. Bush to the hurricane, according to Republican Congressional aides.


Republicans said the administration's effort to stanch the damage had been helped by the fact that convoys of troops and supplies had begun to arrive by the time the administration officials turned up. All of those developments were covered closely on television.

In many ways, the unfolding public relations campaign reflects the style Mr. Rove has brought to the political campaigns he has run for Mr. Bush. For example, administration officials who went on television on Sunday were instructed to avoid getting drawn into exchanges about the problems of the past week, and to turn the discussion to what the government is doing now.

"We will have time to go back and do an after-action report, but the time right now is to look at what the enormous tasks ahead are," Michael Chertoff, the secretary of Homeland Security, said on "Meet the Press" on NBC.

One Republican with knowledge of the effort said that Mr. Rove had told administration officials not to respond to Democratic attacks on Mr. Bush's handling of the hurricane in the belief that the president was in a weak moment and that the administration should not appear to be seen now as being blatantly political. As with others in the party, this Republican would discuss the deliberations only on condition of anonymity because of keen White House sensitivity about how the administration and its strategy would be perceived.

In a reflection of what has long been a hallmark of Mr. Rove's tough political style, the administration is also working to shift the blame away from the White House and toward officials of New Orleans and Louisiana who, as it happens, are Democrats.

MIchael Brown resigns

This idiot never should of been the head of FEMA in the first place.

Federal Emergency Management Agency director Mike Brown said Monday he has resigned "in the best interest of the agency and best interest of the president," three days after losing his onsite command of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

"The focus has got to be on FEMA, what the people are trying to do down there," Brown told The Associated Press.

The President should start reading newspapers

Why does the press allow the President to say such silliness without challenging him?

This quote is from the President this morning.

From Think Progress
When that storm came by, a lot of people said we dodged a bullet. When that storm came through at first, people said, Whew. There was a sense of relaxation. And that’s what I was referring to.

And I myself thought we had dodged a bullet. You know why? Because I was listening to people probably over the airwaves say, The bullet has been dodged. And that was what I was referring to.

Of course, there were plans in case the levee had been breached. There was a sense of relaxation at a critical moment.
Who said we dodged a bullet? Funny how I couldn't find anyhting like that in any of the newspapers...maybe he should pick up reading.

Defending the indefensible

President Bush doesn't seem to like the questions raised to him today in New Orleans. Seems like he got the "blame game" talking points memorized but it's rather funny how the GOP has no problem blaming the local and state officials...

From the AP

In a sign that Bush is growing weary of the accusations, he testily replied to a reporter who asked whether he felt let down by federal officials on the ground.

"Look, there will be plenty of time to play the blame game," he said. "That's what you're trying to do. You're trying to say somebody is at fault. And, look, I want to know. I want to know exactly what went on and how it went on, and we'll continually assess inside my administration."

Getting alittle testy? Don't like the questions?

Too damn bad.

It's you who appointed Michael Brown to head FEMA (don't think I forgotten about you Senator Lieberman as you also have alot of explaining to do).

It's you who took four days until cutting you vacation short to deal with the crisis in New Orleans while people begged for help and died.

It's you who said that no one anticipiated that the leeves would break which was an outright lie.

Oh, the list goes on and on but the bottom line is that this administration has blood on it's hands and should be held accountable for their actions.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Minutes from Michael Brown nomination

Read it and weep.

Remember, this clown was only questioned by Lieberman and Co. for 20 minutes and the entire nomination hearing lasted a total 42 minutes.
Chairman Lieberman: Mr. Brown, I thank you very much. I will certainly support your nomination. I will do my best to
move it through the Committee as soon as possible so we can have you fully and legally at work in your new position. In the meantime, I thank you very much. I thank your family for their support of you, and at this point, we will adjourn the hearing.
Lieberman, you have alot of explaining to do.

NOTE TO ANYONE CHALLENGING LIEBERMAN FOR THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION: Check and see if the hearings were videotaped (C-Span) and you'll have one hell of a neagtive political commercial.

Demand that Lieberman answer question about supporting Michael Brown's nomination

It's up to us bloggers to demand that Senator Lieberman explain how hw supported the nomination of FEMA cheif Michael Brown. Daily Kos's nyceve gives a chiling account of his attempt to get a statement out of Lieberman's office.

From Daily Kos

Desperate times require desperate action.

Calling some of these political hacks is like entering a parallel universe.

Demanding accountability is near impossible.

This brings me to my phone call to Mr. Lieberman's Washington office this morning.

I asked the man who answered the phone, when Mr. Lieberman will issue a statement regarding his participation in the 2002 Michael Brown hearing.

I was advised by Greg Zagorski as follows,"(Mr. Lieberman) has no intention of releasing a statement on that." I asked him three times and he repeated this.

I suppose he recognized I meant business when I said if Mr. Lieberman (the ranking member) and Ms. Collins (the chairperson), don't intend to explain to the American people the role of the Homeland Security Committee in the Michael Brown fiasco, then the bloggers will do it for them.

I was tranferred to Alysha Liljeqvist from the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

Let me tell you something, these hacks and that is what they are, are not used to hearing from the American people and they don't enjoy it either.

Ms. Liljeqvist referred me to the web site of the committee, HSGAC. senate.gov and told me I could follow the hearings on their web site. I responded to this jaw dropping comment by explaining that to have Collins and Lieberman investigating this catastrophe is the equivalent of me investigating myself after robbing a bank.

If we hold everyone accountable, even our own, DINO's like Lieberman, then we also inoculate ourselves against the charge of partisanship. But I'll tell you something for me personally, it's blind and total outrage. There are victims and there are the victimizers and I intend to hold ALL the victimizers accountable. Period.

We have a lot of work to do around here. We need to get some decent people in government. So many of the ones we have stink. So many are unfit and unqualified. Now we see the stark results.

Nobody gets a pass on this. N-O-B-O-D-Y!

Call these f*cking people and tell them we mean business. Do it now. Do it today.



I couldn't agree more. Liebrerman needs to be held accountable for his actions. It's disgraceful that someone as incompetent as Michael Brown is the head of FEMA and is's equally as disgraceful that Lieberman suported his nomination.