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Saturday, January 06, 2007

InauguRELLgate scandal picks up speed

Wow, who knew the governor was so hardcore?

For those of you who need to get up to speed on the latest Gov. Rell scandal, please click here.

I can't explain how seriousness of this case is folks. Does the governor have a list of political activists and freelance journalists (i.e., bloggers) that she is monitoring? To give you an idea of how damaging this story could become for the governor, read this from today's Hartford Courant.
A Hartford police report released Friday by Krayeske says that state police had given them photographs of activists who might be "possible threats" to Rell, including Krayeske, a free-lance journalist and anti-war protester who managed the Green Party's gubernatorial campaign.

[...]

"Are there little circles of law-enforcement officers who have lists of who is naughty and who is nice?" asked Krayeske's lawyer, Norm Pattis. "What is the criteria for inclusion?"

Lt. J. Paul Vance, a spokesman for the state police, declined to comment on how Krayeske came to the attention of the state police intelligence unit or a regional police clearinghouse mentioned in the report, the Connecticut Intelligence Center.

"We share intelligence. We share information," Vance said.

Nancy Mulroy, a Hartford police spokeswoman, played down the list, saying Krayeske was arrested for his actions.

"List or no list, if you rush off a bike and start charging toward the governor during a processional parade, you are going to be arrested," Mulroy said. "In this day and age, when security is a very serious matter, you cannot expect to act like that and not have to face the consequences. Our job was to protect the governor, and we took it seriously."

But one witness to the arrest, Eliot Streim, contradicted the police account.

Streim, a Hartford lawyer who was watching the parade with a colleague, said police did not intercept Krayeske as he ran into the parade route. On the contrary, Krayeske photographed the governor without incident and was detained by police only after Rell had passed by, Streim said.
You can take a look at the photos Krayeske took as well as the timestamp on the images at his site. You can even look at the timestamp on his images as well as take a look at the police report

Something is not making sense.

Here's what WTIC talk show host and blogger Colin McEnroe had to say.
Paz's story today was very helpful, and certainly the emergence of a witness who contradicts the police version of events is a major development. I'm really kind of horrified by Nancy Mulroy's statements, which seem at best baseless and at worst a lie. They don't even square with the arrest report by her own department. There is no mention there of Krayeske "charging" at the parade. An odd thing: the police report also does not mention the fact that Krayeske took a photograph, even though they were obviously watching him the whole time. And he did take a photograph. And that would explain his riding his bike very fast to get in position and also taking a step toward the parade. (I want to know who the guy in the hat is. He's a lot more scary-looking than Krayeske is. Which probably means he's heat.)

Now, I offer some suggestions to the person in the best position to do something about this mess, Gov. M. Jodi Rell. Interrupt the calm of this weekend by calling Commissioner of Public Safety Len Boyle to your office or your home. Tell him to bring every scrap of politics-releated intel that his department has collected. Tell him to bring with him any other state police official who can shed light on this. Stay in the room with them until you have seen everything and have a solid understanding of what has been done. And then, on Monday or Tuesday, call a press conference featuring you and Boyle. Field every question. You may not be able to answer every question but don't stop taking questions about this until there aren't any more. You may not be able to comment on every aspect of Krayeske's case, but you can certainly explain to us what the State Police and Connecticut Intelligence Center have been up to in this regard and what you intend to do about it.

It's odd. We have just been through a long stretch of Connecticut history that marked us as one of the most politically corrupt states in the nation -- a reputation in stark contrast to what had come before. I thought it was over, and perhaps it is. But it would be a bitter irony indeed if we replaced that with a reputation for Nixonian surveillance and repression.

The nicest way to look at this is that our politicians have developed an effete distaste for the rough and tumble of public life in a democracy. Lieberman doesn't want bloggers talking to him, and somebody is protecting Rell from ...what? A shouted question, perhaps.
As I stated before, this story is picking up speed with various newspapers in the state as well as the AP are covering this from different angles. Comments and posts from bloggers (here, here, and here) are coming in pretty fast. Here's what Spazeboy had to say:
So not only is there an enemies list being used to detain Connecticut citizens who are known to disagree with Rell, apparently the internet postings of people on the list are being carefully monitored...unfuckingbelievable.


Genghis from CTLP has some questions...
Here's what I'd like to know: Why was Krayeske on CTIC's list? Who else is on that list? How much did the Rell Administration know about that list? Why was bond set so high?


CTBob:
Governor Jodi "Ma" Rell (aka the "Big Bad Biddy") on her very first day as an elected governor, has asserted her authoriTAY by putting out an "all-points bulletin" on people she deemed "security risks".

Which resulted in a man at the Governor's inaugural parade being arrested for "breach of peace" and held briefly in lieu of $75,000 bail.

It also resulted in the revelation that a branch of the state police called the "Connecticut Intelligence Center" had been provided a list with pictures of known activists to be arrested on sight if seen in the vicinity of the Governor's parade.


Aldon writes to the head of the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Andrew McDonald, about the matter:
Sen. McDonald,

I am not sure if you are aware of the issue surrounding the arrest of Ken Krayeske, a freelance journalist who was photographing the inauguration parade of Gov. M. Jodi Rell.

The arrest raises many important questions concerning our freedoms of press. Perhaps the most important are concerning the Connecticut Intelligence Center. Does the Judicial Committee conduct oversight of this center? Is the center properly protecting us from terrorism, or is it squandering resources by thwarting legitimate political dissent? Who is on the list of possible threats? Does it include other journalists or political activists? Is the list being properly reviewed by an oversight committee?

Another important issue is why was bail set excessively high? Why was he released at 1 AM? Was the fact that the inauguration ball was over make Ken some how less of a threat of not showing up for his hearing?


This entire situation is so bizzare that I'm at a loss for words. I'm frantically attempting to collect more information so stay tuned and/or check out the other sites listed in this post for more details.

UPDATE: The story has spread to The New London Day, New York Newsday, and the Boston Globe. This WILL be frontpage news tomorrow.

UPDATE 2: Story is now picking up national blogger speed as the DailyKos does a great write up on the matter.