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Friday, January 20, 2006

NSA wiretap forum

Congressman John Conyers is hosting a forum on the Bush administration use of warrentless wiretaps. The video was to be on CSPAN.org but the site is down right now.

If you're home, you can watch the forum by turning to CSPAN. For those of us who are not so lucky, you can listen to the live audio feed by clicking here

Here's the text of Congressman Conyers' opening statement:
There can be no doubt that today we are in a constitutional crisis that threatens the system of checks and balances that has preserved our fundamental freedoms for more than 200 years. There is no better illustration of that crisis than the fact that the president is openly violating our nation’s laws by authorizing the NSA to engage in warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens.

The Bush Administration offers two arguments to justify their actions. First, they assert, that warrantless searches were authorized by the Afghanistan use of force resolution. Second, they say, the Constitution permits and even mandates such actions. To this member and indeed to most of our nation’s legal community, neither argument is remotely plausible or credible.

As for the Administration’s claim of statutory authority, a plain reading of the text of the resolution reveals that there is no reference whatsoever to domestic surveillance. Former Majority Leader Daschle told us that the resolution was narrowed from the Administration’s initial request to avoid such construction, and the Attorney General went so far as to admit that they were told by Members of Congress that it would be “difficult if not impossible” to amend the law to authorize such a program. As Harvard Law Professor Larry Tribe wrote me, “to argue that one couldn’t have gotten congressional authorization ... after arguing that ... one did get congressional authorization ... takes some nerve.”

In terms of inherent constitutional authority, this too flies in the face of both common sense and legal precedent. If the Supreme Court didn’t let President Truman use this authority to take over the steel mills during the Korean War in 1952, and wouldn’t let President Bush use the authority to indefinitely hold enemy combatants in 2005, it is quite obvious the constitution doesn’t allow warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens today. As Justice O’Connor wrote “a state of war is not a blank check.”

Perhaps what is most troubling of all is that if we let this domestic spying program continue, if we let this president convince us that we are at war, so he can do what he wants, we will allow to stand the principle that the president alone can decide what laws apply to him. I submit that is not only inconsistent with the principles upon which our Republic was founded, it denigrates the very freedom we have been fighting for since the tragic events of September 11. That is why we are holding today’s hearing.

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.

Great book; great read

I normally don't plug things but this book is a must-have.

Run (don't walk) to the bookstore and pick this book up (or buy it online)! Every Democratic politician should use this book as a blueprint for the 2006 and 2008 elections.

Carville and Begala explains how if the Democratic party ever wants to control Congress or the White House again, they need to show some backbone and fight back against the disinformation the conservative movement feeds us everyday in the media and also, explain to the public how the Democratic party would run things differently.

Again, I don't want to go too deep into this book but only say that it's a must-read and I highly recommend everyone.

Article highlights Connecticut Democrats frustration with Lieberman

The "dump Joe" Lieberman movement is that talk of the political world right now as everyone is paying close attention to wahts happening in Connecticut.

Emily Biuso for the Nation magazine wrote an interesting piece
on the "dump Joe" movement that is currently happening in the state.
At the close of a regular Democratic Town Committee meeting in Manchester, Conn., in December, 79-year-old Joe Rafala, a World War II veteran and party worker for more than 60 years, decided he had had enough with the state's junior senator, Joe Lieberman.

Rafala, like many in Connecticut, had voted for Lieberman in the past but is troubled by Lieberman's continued public support for the Iraq war. Before the meeting adjourned, Rafala presented a surprise motion proposing that the committee reproach the senator by sending him a letter criticizing his stance on Iraq.

"I was upset about our boys and girls in the armed forces getting killed, coming home in body bags," Rafala says. On January 3, the committee overwhelmingly passed the resolution. Rafala, who considers himself a moderate Democrat, speaks for many in the state who have tired of Lieberman's constant cheerleading for the war and for President Bush. "This man has gone too far," he says.

It's pretty unusual for a Democratic Town Committee to formally criticize its Democratic senator. Lieberman appears to be taking the action seriously, as he has offered to meet with Rafala and others from the committee early next week. But the senator's office did not respond to requests to comment for this article.

Lieberman has been a fixture in Connecticut politics since 1970, when he served in the State Senate. He was a popular state attorney general in the 1980s, and voters catapulted him to the U.S. Senate in a stunning upset in 1988 against incumbent Lowell Weicker. Though liberals griped at Lieberman's frequent backbends toward the center, support for him remained strong.


But Lieberman's support for the war has alienated many of his constituents who are frustrated with an occupation that seems to have no end in sight.


The chairman of the Manchester Democratic Town Committee, 82-year-old Ted Cummings, is also a veteran of World War II; he has led the party there for 44 years -- longer than any other chairman in the state. Manchester's Democrats have traditionally been moderate, he says, but lately they've been critical of the Patriot Act and of the Bush Administration's failed attempt to privatize Social Security. Like Rafala, Cummings once supported Lieberman, but now he is fed up.

"Lieberman doesn't speak about the fundamental and most critical problems in nation-building," Cummings says. "People are asking, 'What side is he on?'"

Others in Connecticut are asking the same questions.

Myrna Watanabe, chair of the Harwinton, Conn., Democrats, is planning to propose a similar resolution to the committee in her northwest Connecticut town. She has been publicly critical of Lieberman recently and is hoping the other committee members will agree to admonish him in a letter. "They are disgusted with Joe," she says, "and pretty disgusted with the war."

Even longtime political allies of Lieberman are speaking out. Toby Moffett, a Democratic U.S. congressman who represented parts of northwest Connecticut from 1975 to 1983, overcame his reluctance to criticize Lieberman because he felt he couldn't remain silent about the war, which he calls "a gigantic, horrendous mistake."

"There's not a nicer person in politics -- he's genuinely nice," Moffett says of Lieberman. "But his support for this outrageous war far outweighs that he's likable. It's pretty serious for someone representing the state to take exactly the opposite position."


But are Connecticut voters really ready to dump Joe? Recent polls suggest that Democrats, at least, are starting to consider it. Remarkably, Lieberman's approval ratings are higher among Republicans and Independents than among members of his own party.
Another reporter sees the writing on the wall and can see the possibility of Lieberman losing in the primary.

Why Lieberman is beatable part deux

David NYC over at the Swing State Project nails it again!

The CT primary is around six-and-a-half months from now - Aug. 9th. In October of 2003, also about 6 to 7 months out from the PA primary, Quinnipiac (the same pollster I referred to below) did a poll on the senate race in that state. This time, I just want to look at Dem voters in CT and GOP voters in PA (forget about tags like "liberal" or "conservative").
Job ApprovalSpecter among Republicans: 57-30Lieberman among Democrats: 55-29

Favorability (favorable-unfavorable-mixed)
Specter among Republicans: 49-18-25
Lieberman among Democrats: 50-15-28

Six months out, Specter was looking pretty comfortable. But as Adam notes, the race tightened considerably in a very short amount of time, and Specter came within a hair's breadth of an early retirement. Lieberman's numbers are virtually identical.


Now, we can definitely debate the wisdom of whether Lamont should take on Lieberman. I'm fairly torn, but I'm personally leaning toward "yes." However, I doubt we'll come to any kind of resolution, or shed more light on the subject. I'd wager that we're all very familiar with all the pros and cons - which is why I'm more interested in discussing what's likely to happen, not whether it should happen. And on that score, I definitely think Lieberman is beatable.
David can see the writing on the wall and you should too. Lieberman is very beatable and you can bet the house that he is fully aware that his there's a possibility that he'll lose on the primary.

This doesn't mean that Lamont will definately win either.

If Lamont is going to get into the game, he better be prepared for a fight because although Lieberman is beatable, Lamont will need to show the voters why he would do a better job if elected senator.

Also, it wouldn't hurt if Lamont had a website where people could get information about him, learn where he stands on certain issues, and most importantly, where he will be making future appearences so more people could show up and here what he has to say (my two cents).

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


As of 4:50 pm today, CONNECTICUTBlog has been visited by 10,000 people with a total of 13,702 pages viewed. Now I know 10,000 visitors isn't a real big deal when compared to other sites which get 10,000 hits an hour but personally, I never thought my views on national and state politics would be read by so many people in the short time this blog has been in existence and I'm very touched to know that people like what I have to say and visit this site often.

From the bottom of my liberal heart, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to visit this site over the last nine months.


Why Lieberman is beatable

DavidNYC from the Swing State Project nails it in his analysis of Lieberman's vulreability and why the possiblity of the senator losing to Ned Lamont in a primary is realistic.

From Swing State Project
Let me start by saying I am not trying to debate the issue of whether Joe Lieberman should be challenged by a Dem or an independent. Rather, I'd like to discuss the mechanics of such a challenge - what it would look like, and whether it might succeed.

To that end, I don't think former Gov. Lowell Weicker can beat Lieberman as an independent. Quinnipiac recently released a poll showing Lieberman beating Weicker in a direct head-to-head (with no Republican) by 65-21. I doubt that Weicker could overcome such a huge gap, especially since his favorability rating is negative - he garners only 19% positive and 32% negative. Pretty harsh.

However, I think a primary challenge could succeed. Lieberman gets pretty good job approval from Dems (55-29), while Republican approval of him is a good bit higher (68-20). And his favorability rating among Dems is good as well (50-15). But those numbers only tell part of the story.

By a 52-39 margin, Dems say Lieberman should once again be the senatorial nominee. That's not exactly terrific. But it gets even more interesting. Self-identified liberals - who strike me as being more representative of primary voters than just self-identified Dems - are tied on the question. Forty-seven percent say Lieberman should be re-nominated; forty-seven percent say "someone else."

This is the pivot-point for Ned Lamont. He would only need to move that 47% number just a wee bit in order to dethrone Lieberman. For Lieberman to avoid that fate, he'd either have to tone down his attacks on fellow Democrats or try to put daylight between himself and Bush on the Iraq war issue. It's not clear to me that he could do that successfully, given how stubbornly he's refused to change his ways over the past five years. In other words, I think Lamont would have a chance.


Now you can understand why Lieberman is not only nervous, but also freaking out over the possibility of Lamont challenging him in a primary. Lieberman knows that he's pissed off a good portion of liberals in the state with his close relationship with President Bush and his recent criticism towards the anti-war movement. He has to know that Lamont is going to get a tremendous amount of support from not only liberal groups within the state, but liberals groups and blogs on the national level such as MoveOn.org and DailyKos (both groups would love nothing better than removing Lieberman from office).

Add the national exposure Lamont will receive in the MSM and the blogs (he's already receiving a great amount of exposure on the web) and one can see a senario where Lamont could get those extra 4 percent needed to bounce Lieberman out in a primary.

Basically, if one wants Lieberman out of office, you better go after him in the primary because conservatives in the state will make sure that their favorite Democrat gets reelected in the general election.

Lamont will answer you questions tonight

For those looking to ask Ned Lamont a question, here's your chance.

Connecticut Local Politics will be hosting a question and answer session with Lamont tonight from 7pm to 8pm. Check out Genghis' site for the details.

Unfortunately, I'll will be unable to attend the session as I'll be reporting on two important meetings happening in Danbury tonight for my other site, Hat City Blog but hopefully, we'll be able to ask Lamont questions in person in the future.

Lieberman's DLC buddy urges Lamont not to run

Are you wondering why Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez took time from his busy schedule to stop by Ned Lamont's gathering to urge him not to run yesterday. Well, a quick look at Perez's background and his connection to the DLC may give you a clue.

Now, I really don't the time right now to get into the DLC and why I think they are the biggest threat to the Democratic party but for those who can't wait and want to know about the DLC leadership, I'll get alittle off track and quote from David Sirota's piece on the organization which outlines the DLC connection to the radical right.
If you want to know why many people believe the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) severely hobbles the Democratic Party and gives cover to the worst right-wing stereotypes, just take a look at a guy they employ named Marshall Wittman. Now, I tend to think giving any publicity to people who are hacks gives them undue attention - but in this case, Wittman provides a cautionary tale about Democrats' "big tent" mantra, where everyone gets accepted no matter how idiotic, dishonest, uninformed or dangerous their blather is.

Wittman is a former Republican operative and Christian Coalition official who now purports to speak for Democrats from his post at the DLC - an institution that has over the years been funded by, among others, Enron, Philip Morris, and Chevron. He is now trying to make a name for himself defending President Bush's illegal domestic spying operation - again, while pretending to speak for Democrats. Here's what he says:

"There is absolutely no evidence that [Bush] was attempting to do anything else but protect America...We can have a reasoned debate about this issue without impugning the motives of a Commander in Chief who was attempting to defend the nation."

Earlier today, I wrote a piece about a new form of journalism sweeping the nation: it's called Rectal Journalism, and it features reporters and supposedly objective experts basically pulling things out of their asses and peddling it as fact - when it is anything but. Wittman represents Rectal Punditry - the art of commenting on current events without bothering to actually look at the facts, and instead relying only on what the pundit pulls out of their ass. And Wittman does it in a way that exposes his own ideological motives, which are clearly to undermine the courageous Democrats who have questioned the President's behavior.

Here's what I mean. Wittman really wants us to believe there's "absolutely no evidence" that should make us believe the Bush administration was doing "anything but protect[ing] America." He wants us to simply forget that two years ago, the New York Times reported that the administration is using the FBI to "collect extensive information on the tactics, training and organization of antiwar demonstrators." He wants us to simply ignore that just a few months ago, the Times reported that the FBI "has collected at least 3,500 pages of internal documents in the last several years on a handful of civil rights and antiwar protest groups." And he wants us to simply pretend that NBC News didn't recently obtain a 400-page Pentagon document outlining the Bush administration's surveillance of anti-war peace groups, including monitoring 1,500 different events (aka. anti-war protests) in just a 10-month period.

In other words, Wittman wants us to forget all the facts that provide ample reason for us to suspect the White House was trying to do something other than protect America when it ordered the illegal surveillance operations and refused to get warrants. He wants us to simply swallow what he's pulling from his ass - no matter how smelly the turds of dishonesty are.

This is why the DLC is dangerous. For all their claims of supposedly wanting to help Democrats, they employ people like Marshall Wittman who specifically try to undermine the Democratic Party, even if it means he has to publicly defecate out the most rank and easily-debunkable lies. They reguarly give credence to the right wing's agenda and its worst, most unsupportable lies. They are the real force that tries to make sure this country is a one party state and that Democrats never really challenge the Republicans in a serious way.

Now believe me, there are many reasons why, like Sirota, a dislike the DLC and their liberal bashing, conservative agenda but this post is about the Perez-Lieberman conenction and why the mayor said what he said so I should stay on topic.

Since Lieberman and Perez are both members of the DLC (Lieberman is actually a founding member of the DLC), it's now easy to see why Perez came out to Lamont's gathering and said what he said.
Mayor Eddie A. Perez, one of the first to drop by what was intended as an open house for progressive activists interested in meeting Lamont, offered a succinct establishment view: Don't do it.


After his visit with Lamont, Perez said later by e-mail, "From what I know of Mr. Lamont, he appears to be a good Democrat genuinely concerned about the future of our state and nation. However, as mayor and an activist involved in progressive causes for decades, I cannot ask any of my fellow progressive Democrats to support Mr. Lamont against Sen. Lieberman."
As I stated in earlier posts, Lieberman is freaking out over Lamont and is trying to gather support from anyone he can find so seeking the help of a DLC operative like Perez is no real surprise.

Watch as more DLC members, centrists, so-called moderates, and conservatives in the state run to Lieberman's aid. Not only will they attempt Lamont not to run, they will find ways to smear him also (don't think they are not doing a full background check into Lamont's past right now).

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Is Lieberman afraid of the Lamont challenge

Rumor has that Joe Lieberman is becomming unhinged over the prospect of facing Ned Lamont in a Democratic primary.

Kos confirms the chatter I've been hearing over the last couple of weeks.
I plugged in to the gossip mill while in DC over the weekend, and this race has got everyone talking. The buzz is that Lieberman is freaking out, going so far as to demand that the Dem senate caucus help him eliminate this primary threat. However, those pleas don't appear to have been well received. He's on his own.

Take that with all the appropriate grains of salt and file away under "rumor" (even though the source is pretty darn good). But there's a reason that Lieberman has hinted he'd run as an independent in the general election if ousted in the primary. For him to even consider that possibility and vocalize it means it's on his mind. The grassroot groups in Connecticut are furious at Lieberman, and Lamont is the beneficiary.

Lieberman should be concerned. Although Joe has a decent approval rating, his core support comes not from Democrats but from the Republicans in the state and strong Democratic challenger like Ned Lamont can prove to be a problem for Lieberman because liberals would nothing better than to hand Lieberman his walking papers.

Liberal groups like MoveOn.org are licking their chops to tear into Lieberman and you can bet that every anti-war Democrat in the state will make Lamont their man. Add that with the fact that this primary will definately get national exposure and you have all the elements for a very explosive primary.

Genghis interviews Lamont

Genghis Conn over at Connecticut Local Politics has posted an interview he did with Ned Lamont, a possible Democratic challenger for Joe Lieberman. A very good interview indeed and worth the read.

Readers will be able to question Lamont at Connecticut Local Politics at a later date.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Newton begs for a light jail sentance

You're kidding me, right? After everything Ernest Newton did and said, he NOW begs for a light sentence. Has he admitted his crimes to the public yet or does he still feel like he is the Moses of his people (let's not forget that Newton was basically a hustler that would do anything for a buck and had connections to the mob...and the feds have Newton on tape talking about his dirty work).

Get it over with already and just throw the book at this hustler.

From the Hartford Courant
Ex-Sen. Ernest Newton's lawyers filed a plea for a light sentence for their client Friday.

The 28-page document delves extensively into the legal technicalities of federal sentencing guidelines but ignores assertions by prosecutors that Newton was a corrupt hustler who took campaign cash for favors to mobsters and demanded a raise for a no-show job.

The sentencing memorandum also sets the stage for plea for leniency based on claims that Newton has had a long career in public service, first as a member of the Bridgeport City Council and later as a state representative and state senator.

Attached to the legal arguments were 19 letters from political colleagues, friends and relatives attesting to Newton's good character, his struggle against drug addiction and his history of work in behalf of the public.
Man, this guy will use any card to his advantage. Whether it's the race card, or the "oh, I had a troubled life" card, Newton will do anything to save his own skin.
Newton is trying to persuade Senior U.S. District Judge Alan H. Nevas to give him a sentence below the 57- to 71-month range recommended by the U.S. Probation Office. Federal prosecutors, in a sentencing memo filed Thursday, accused Newton of engaging in a remarkable pattern of criminal behavior while in office - a pattern the prosecutors hope will persuade Nevas to impose a long sentence.

Nevas on Friday postponed Newton's sentencing hearing from next week to Feb. 3 at the U.S. District Court in Bridgeport. Newton pleaded guilty in September to bribery, tax evasion and mail fraud.

Newton's lawyers argue among other things that the probation department is recommending an improperly lengthy sentence based on the erroneous conclusion that an FBI wiretap recorded Newton attempting to obstruct justice.

The wiretap captured Newton speaking by telephone with Warren Godbolt, the operator of a Bridgeport jobs training agency, who had paid Newton $5,000 for his help in getting the agency a state construction grant.

During the recorded conversation, Newton attempts to persuade Godbolt to lie to the FBI by claiming that the $5,000 wasn't a bribe, but a consulting fee. During the same conversation, Newton instructs Godbolt to prepare a federal tax form belatedly in a further attempt to disguise the payment.

Newton's lawyers contend the wiretap recording was made after Godbolt had begun cooperating with FBI agents. In a leap of legal logic, they contend Newton could not have obstructed justice because Godbolt was acting with FBI agents, who knew Newton was trying to induce a lie.
Okay, don't feel embarrassed, I had to pull my jaw off the desk after reading that quote from Newotn's lawyers also.

Is that jaw of your okay now? Good, now continue reading. It's gets better...

"Putting the guidelines aside, it is extremely hard to imagine how anything Mr. Newton said or did, then or later, could possibly obstruct justice when the FBI was sitting there with Godbolt, and in possession of evidence [from Godbolt, wiretaps and other sources] showing that Godbolt did indeed pay Mr. Newton," the defense sentencing memo says.

Godbolt was just one of several small business owners in Bridgeport who federal prosecutors say paid bribes to Newton in return for legislative assistance he promised them.

The prosecutors also say Newton obtained a no-show job through now-imprisoned former Bridgeport Mayor Joseph P. Ganim, and then demanded a raise. And the prosecutors say Newton attempted to intervene with Bridgeport city officials on behalf of a mobster who wanted the police to stop raiding his strip clubs. The mobster later contributed to Newton's 2004 campaign and bailed Newton's son out of jail after a 2004 arrest.

You can't make this type of stuff up.