Tuesday, February 15, 2005

February 15th News Roundup

Some of the political news from around the state today:

Feds close in on Newton: GOP wants him off state police committee

State Senator Ernest Newton (D-Bridgeport) is starting to feel more and more heat from a federal corruption probe that seems to be centered around him:

FBI agents swooped into the state Capitol complex and seized computer files from state Sen. Ernest Newton's office late last week, and now a top Republican says Newton should step down from the committee that oversees the state police.

...Newton should step down from the legislature's public safety committee, Hamzy said, because the committee oversees sensitive issues involving the state police, gambling and public safety. (Keating)

Newton stepped down as chair of that committee last month, but remains a member. A raid on Newton's senate office is very serious, and shows that the Feds are getting close. If charges are filed against him, expect Republicans to press for his resignation from the committee and the senate much harder, and some Democrats to turn against him. The comparisons to Rowland, fair or not, are already surfacing.

Rell Considers Millionaire's Tax

Gov. Rell is willing to compromise with the Democrats about Republican-unfriendly tax increases:

Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell said Monday that she is willing to discuss the idea of a millionaires tax and other tax proposals by Democrats, if legislative leaders are willing to have a serious discussion about spending cuts.

"We will look at anything," Rell told the state Associated Press Managing Editors Association during a meeting at the governor's residence. "If that tax is on the table, we better have cuts on the table." (Haigh)

It's going to be on the table. What's prompting this, Governor?

The state's finances were dealt a blow by President Bush's national budget proposal, which will cut discretionary federal funding to Connecticut by $105 million if approved by Congress, the governor's budget office said. (Haigh)


Waterbury: City of Morality

Independent Party Alderman Frank J. Caiazzo Jr. has placed an item on the agenda, suggesting the city pass an ordinance making Waterbury an "abortion-free city." (Gambini)

Great. Maybe my town will pass an ordinance legalizing crack, personal anti-aircraft batteries (for those right under the approaches to Bradley) and cockfights. It will be just as effective.

Blumenthal vs. Wal-Mart

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal on Monday said he is considering an investigation of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on the heels of news of a settlement of federal charges that the company violated child-labor laws in three states, including Connecticut.

"We're awaiting a copy of the settlement the details are unknown to us at this point," Blumenthal said. (Dawkins)

Go Blumenthal! Way to get back into the headlines! But... isn't a suit against a monsterously unpopular corporation that forces six-year-olds to work in the mines for a nickel a week... risky? Especially since the feds have already done the work?

He sure seems like a guy who's running for something.

Haigh, Susan. "Rell Offers To Talk Taxes If Leaders Consider Cuts". Hartford Courant 15 February 2005.
Gambini, Steve. "Abortion issue to go before aldermen". Waterbury Republican-American 15 February 2005.
Keating, Christopher. "Call For Senator To Quit Panel". Hartford Courant 15 February 2005.
Dawkins, Pam. "Wal-Mart probe mulled". Connecticut Post 15 February 2005.


Anonymous said...

Millionaires tax has been a done deal for a wek or so,she'll sign it.Ethics bill is being watered down daily as we speek.House committee chair in charge won't agree to having public members on oversight of state contracts.He's insistent that all 7 members be contractors even though others wanted 4 of 7 to be from public.The indictment of the Bridgeport senator won't be the last one, maybe even in this session.

Genghis Conn said...

Fascinating stuff, if true. The problems with the ethics bill don't surprise me. That's Caruso on Gov't Admin. and Elections, right? Pretty reprehensible. Maybe I'll give him a call...

Anonymous said...

Yes, Caruso on Gov't Admin. is the culprit in this fiasco.

Anonymous said...

I have to tell you one more thing.The part about the FBI "swooping in' is halarious since everyone in the capital,including the janitors, new they were coming many days before they arrived.The theatre in the press is sickening since they could have written this at least a week ago.