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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Editorials blast Newton

I haven't forgotten about my favorite corrupt politician (a.k.a asshole) Ernest Newton and his latest appeal for a light jail sentence is a complete joke.

Seems like the editors of the Connecticut Post and the Hartford Courant agree.

First, the Hartford Courant tears into him:
When former state Sen. Ernest Newton shows up in federal court in Bridgeport for sentencing in February, he should get the maximum penalty allowed under the law for his crimes.

Like all the other corrupt politicians and associated parasites that Connecticut has seen too much of in recent years, Mr. Newton, a Bridgeport Democrat, is an absolute disgrace. He put his office up for sale. He spit in the face of the public he was sworn to serve.

In September, this two-bit hustler pleaded guilty to three felonies - taking a bribe, failure to pay income taxes and mail fraud. Prosecutors say Mr. Newton shook down social service providers, used his campaign treasury to pay personal expenses, consorted with mobsters and did them favors, arranged a $30,000 no-show job through the corrupt administration of former Mayor Joseph Ganim of Bridgeport and then boldly demanded a raise even though he didn't do a lick of work.

The corrupt Mr. Newton was also overheard on a wiretap urging an accomplice to lie to investigators when it became apparent that the FBI was closing in on him.

A prosecutors' pre-sentencing memo aptly summed up what Mr. Newton's criminal behavior sadly revealed: "Astonishingly, the defendant's venality knew few bounds, and he readily sold his office for modest sums. ... The defendant's hypocrisy also knew few limits."

Not content merely to break the law, Mr. Newton compounds his outrages by blaming his travails on racism. A white politician who did what he did would face only administrative action by the state Elections Enforcement Commission, he has said more than once. Mr. Newton's disgusting racial demagoguery is contradicted by fact, of course. The vast majority of high-profile Connecticut politicians and their friends awaiting sentencing or sent to prison in recent years for illegally enriching themselves are white. Mr. Newton's former constituents must know better than to believe he is the victim of racism.

Under federal guidelines, Mr. Newton could get between 57 and 71 months in prison when he is sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Alan H. Nevas. For his crimes and his breach of faith with those who believed in him, Mr. Newton deserves all of that and more.
The Courant is good but the Post really lets him have it
Expanded details of the federal investigation into former disgraced state Sen. Ernest E. Newton II — released last week by prosecutors in a memorandum to a federal judge who will sentence Newton in February — are, to put it mildly, astounding.

They are astounding for highlighting Newton's hypocrisy as they describe the Bridgeport Democrat's efforts to shakedown the very organizations — like Progressive Training Associates Inc., a Bridgeport job training facility — that were working to help poor and disenfranchised members of the city that Newton once claimed to defend.

They are astounding for showing Newton's bravado, in describing the disgraced state senator's efforts to get Warren Godbolt, the former executive director of PTA, to lie about the bribes he paid Newton, even as federal investigators were knocking on Godbolt's door.

The details are perhaps most astounding for showing Newton's obliviousness, as he, a self-proclaimed "Moses for [his] people" and champion of Bridgeport's black community, went into great detail about his quid pro quo relationship with members of the city's organized crime community on telephones that had been tapped by the FBI.

In addition, the federal memorandum makes clear that Newton staged rallies about the racial insensitivity of Bridgeport's City Hall only to secure himself a $30,000 per year "no-show" job.

He strong-armed members of his own minority community for payoffs in return for state funding he secured for their organizations.

Newton also asked a Bridgeport mobster to pay for his son's bail after Newton helped ease police scrutiny on several clubs run by members of organized crime in the city.

Newton was simply a shameless, hypocritical, money-obsessed crooked politician who cared only about his own interests. He sold his office to the highest bidder and, in doing so, betrayed the very people he claimed to represent.

He betrayed the people of Bridgeport, and he deserves a lengthy prison sentence.

Along with their blistering account of the warped world of Newton, federal prosecutors included in their report a recommendation that he be sentenced to 57 to 71 months in a federal prison.

In light of the political scandals that have undermined Bridgeport, and Newton's disgusting betrayal of the city's residents, Newton deserves the high end of that range, if not more.


What's worse, Newton still doesn't get it. Despite pleading guilty to corruption charges, Newton last week still possessed the audacity to file a plea asking Judge Nevas for a non-incarceration punishment for
his crimes.

Dream on, Mr. Newton.

I guess it's fair to say that "the Moses of his people" doesn't have many friends in the media.