Monday, July 11, 2005

Open Forum

What's new around the state?

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else see the Kevin Rennie article in Northeast magazine over the weekend? It is an interesting read -- here's the link: www.courant.com/news/local/northeast/hc-rennie0710.artjul10,0,3326483.column?coll=hc-headlines-northeast

Anonymous said...

After Rell invited him to interview her, in last weeks commentary on Rell, Rennie must be on a mission to reform or paper over Rell's public image.

Possibly, Rell wants avoid harder public question or comments from regular reporters on questions like whether her husband took surplus military gear from the state; why her son was caught with a stolen watercraft but not arrested; why she solicited money from state employees and contractors for a birthday car for Rowland.

This wonderland of I'm not beholded to John Rowland, Rowland political operatives, Rowland campaign supporters or lobbyists stretches even her RINO label -- noted here:
http://www.greenwichtime.com/scn-gt-relljul11,0,1946195.story?coll=green-top-headlines

Genghis Conn said...

I saw that Greenwich Time article, and it's a good example of why Republicans are strong in Fairfield County but virtually nowhere else in the state.

The Rennie article, I think, is more interesting for what it says about John DeStefano.

Ebpie said...

Very interesting article. DePino seems to have little loyalty to the state GOP. Whether candidates should take lobbyist money is shaping up to be a big issue in 2006.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Brookfield in Fairfield County?

FrankS said...

Lobbyists seem to have little allegence to anything, but the dollar.

DeStefano's use of DePino as a lobbyist and fundraiser, putting the bite on people for ticket sales, makes his good clean government talk simply words. Lobbyists expect to be paid back for their efforts and it always passes the cost on to taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

I agree with FrankS. It is kind of sad to see a candidate's message being just words so early in the election cycle. DeStefano had already shown how he has less enthusiasm for campaign finance reform then the other candidates when he said he wouldn't give back money if the rules were to change, but now with this coming out, it makes me even more unsure of his positions. I think that he should be weary to run with positions that may go against his actions. Actions speak louder than words and I'd like to see DeStefano not working with the former Republican State chair if he wants my vote as the DEMOCRATIC candidate for governor

Ebpie said...

The Courant webpage has a short story of Lieberman's fundraising this past quarter. $1.5 million in the last three months. His primary opponent, John Orman, has raised only $1,000. I'm not sure what to make of Orman. Obviously he will lose, but if he can really inspire some liberal Democrats he might be able raise a relatively large amount of money for a no name.

Anonymous said...

FrankS and Anonymous---

Hey, in New Haven politics,
Democrats are often in close contact with Republicans.

For instance, Rosa DeLauro, God bless her, has the gall to have her offices in Bob Matthews' building. Yeah, that Bob Matthews, the Rowland crony.

Obviously we have a long way to go in taking back our Party!

Frank Chi said...

I think those who choose to criticize Mayor DeStefano for campaign finance reform should pay more attention to his record. I can't stress this enough: Mayor DeStefano has been a consistent voice for campaign finance reform for years when his concerns were drowned out by state politicians too scared to tackle the issue.

I will try to explain this again, and if those who still choose to ignore his record for the sake of blatant political attack, then that is truly a sign of your campaign of "words," not substance:

Mayor DeStefano has been a major proponent of publicly financed elections since 2001. He tried to push public finance reform THREE times. The cause became stronger and stronger each time around, with more supporters and increased lobbying. The third and last attempt involved an overwhelming amount of support and priority from the Mayor and actually came in the form of a statewide bill that was offered in 2003. It was soundly defeated again by state politicians too timid to support public finance reform. Critics can read about Mayor DeStefano's efforts here at the New Haven Advocate:
http://newhavenadvocate.com/gbase/News/content.html?oid=oid:43352

Also, Mayor DeStefano and Chris DePino are childhood friends. People should not see that as a call for attack simply because DePino is a member of the Republican Party. Not to mention, Mayor DeStefano has received less money from lobbyists that both Malloy and DeStefano.

Honestly, if we want to cry foul every time we see an "R" cross the aisle to work together in making this state better, we will achieve nothing.

Mayor DeStefano's record does not deserve skewed and rehearsed attacks such as these. His record proves that he has been a strong proponent of public finance reform even when others were too timid to speak, he has the support of a longtime childhood friend who happens to be a Republican, and he has received less lobbyist money that both Malloy and Bysiewicz.

I would encourage those who are so prone to reactive political attack to check the record and understand the facts. There is nothing more important than that in order to get it right.

frank chi said...

"both Malloy and Bysiewicz." (End of 4th paragraph) - Sorry about that typo.

Anonymous said...

I applaude Frank Chi's passion for his candidate, but his facts are wrong. Check the SOS website and you'll find that DeStefano received $12,100 from lobbyists, Malloy $12,450 and Bysiewicz (candidate committe and exploratory committee combined) $14,075. Not much of a discernable difference in my book.

Netim said...

But doesn't DeStefano have a larger fundraising total...which means he has easily the lowest overall percentage - less than 1%. Actually, 0.55%. Not exactly a PAC-man, is he? Frankly, neither are the other Democrats.

So, I have to go with the earlier post that this is just savvy Republicans anticipating that people are going to wake up to the fact that Rell has been in bed with A LOT of the lobbyist folks and their agenda for a long time...did somebody mention did junk food veto?

Let's not let Republicans tear us apart over non-issues. Not to mention that I am pretty sure all three Dems have been for public financing way longer that Rell.

frank chi said...

Anonymous, so let me get this straight, you just said I was wrong and then listed the lobbyist numbers which indicated that DeStefano had less lobbyist money than both Malloy and Bysiewicz? Netim makes a great point as well: the DeStefano campaign has raised $2.2 million thus far and close to $460,000 this quarter. Malloy has raised about $1.2 million and $228,000 this quarter, and Bysiecwicz has raised $1.7 million and $225,000 this quarter.

Maybe this is clearer (fundraising amount and then lobbyist money in parentheses):

DeStefano: $2.2 million ($12,100)
Malloy: $1.2 million ($12,450)
Bysiewicz: $1.7 million ($14,075)

Now proportionally, does this still not "discern" in your book?

You know, sometimes we get so lost in being so adamantly stalwart in proving a point that we lose track of the truth for the sake of argument. Think about those numbers and then if reason still suggests that I am blatantly wrong, then I really, don't have anything left to say.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this the same Chris DePino that gave Rowland the Republican credit card, championed Paul Silvester and discredited democrats all over the State? With friends like this, DeStefano needs more enemies!

Aldon Hynes said...

Anonymous, Can you provide links documenting your comments about DePino giving Rowland the Republican credit card?

Also, are you willing to step out from behind the veil of anonymity and identify who you are, who is funding you, and why you have been unwilling so far to come forward and identify yourself?

There are serious issues with the role of money in politics, and a big part of that is caused by people hiding who they are.

Anonymous said...

DeStefano's PAC totals were $34, 850.

Genghis Conn said...

Anonymous,

A little evidence would be nice.
According to an Apr. 12, 2003 Hartford Courant article ("Rowland Use of Plastic Called Proper"), DePina and Rowland had GOP credit cards that they probably shouldn't have had, but there seems to be no evidence that DePino gave the card to Rowland.

Aldon,

People do have a right to post anonymously here if they wish.

Anonymous said...

Here's the link

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=10084628&BRD=985&PAG=461&dept_id=161556&rfi=6

Anonymous said...

Let me add,
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=10011553&BRD=985&PAG=461&dept_id=161556&rfi=6

Aldon Hynes said...

Anonymous,

Perhaps I am dense, but I don't see anything in either of the articles in the links that you provided that say that DePino gave the card to Rowland.

Genghis,

Yes, people have the right to be anonymous here. However, I hope that you recognize the damage that inaccurate information spread anonymously can cause and will encourage people to show the strengths of their convictions by publicly stating who they are.

I also hope that everyone is mature enough recognize the folly of guilt by association. I suspect that most of us who are honest and at all involved with politics have friends that worked with Rowland and have also helped us out in one way or another.

Instead of focusing on character attacks, we need to be focusing on how to make the state better, such as Mayor DeStefano's strong record of working for public financing of campaigns.

Anonymous said...

Debts, expenditiures and reporting are all the responsibility of the chair, the chair appointed treasurer or deputy of any political committee. DePino had to authorize the card application, the expenses reported and approve payments on every statement. DePino then had to file the campaign finance reports to the state. Unfortunately, the SOS or Elections Enforcement do not make these records available online.

Genghis Conn said...

Aldon:

You said, Yes, people have the right to be anonymous here. However, I hope that you recognize the damage that inaccurate information spread anonymously can cause and will encourage people to show the strengths of their convictions by publicly stating who they are.

That's an interesting question of ethics. For example, I tend not to post my real name here (although anyone who is curious can read that Stamford Advocate article). I prefer things that way, it's a concession to my private nature. Yet there is a record of the statements that I have made under this username, and I feel that the convictions I have are strongly backed by evidence and history. If I make a statement, I am fully prepared to back it up with credible evidence.

Nearer to the heart of the matter, I am always happy to tell people about any conflicts of interest that I may have, which I think may be your concern in this case.

Aldon, would you be satisfied if this person were to identify any conflicts of interest (much in the manner that you disclose your staffer status when it's important) and back up his/her statement with facts and evidence?

Aldon Hynes said...

The person who refuses to identify himself or who he is working for, and who refuses to talk about substantive issues also continues to provide incorrect information.

Financial reporting is the responsiblity of the Treasurer. Reports may be filed by the treasurer or a deputy treasurer. In the case that a report is filed by a deputy treasurer, the treasurer remains the responsible party.

Unless the chair is also a deputy treasurer, which may happen with really small committees but is very unlikely to happen with a statewide committee, the chair cannot file.

Likewise, the authorization of credit cards is the responsibility of the treasurer. Again, I believe that a deputy treasurer could authorize a credit card, but the responsibility would remain with the treasurer.

So, instead of presenting misinformation about campaign finance laws, how about having a substantive discussion about who has worked the hardest to bring about public financing of campaigns.

Aldon Hynes said...

Genghis,

I don't have a big problem with pseudonymity. Posts that are by you are clearly identified, and although we haven't met, I have a clear impression in my mind of some of your concerns and biases. To the extent that there are other interests influencing your writing, I would hope that you would reveal them.

In my case, I have revealed my full name, and the fact that I am paid by the DeStefano campaign. I also have revealed that I help set up websites for various campaigns. People who know me here, know that I was active in the Dean campaign and that my wife ran for State Rep in the 149th A.D. last cycle.

Because of my role in the DeStefano campaign, I am remaining neutral in any of the primaries, but helping as many candidates as I can.

I recognize many of the pseudonymes of people here. ebpie has a fairly clear voice here, which I disagree with at times, but I appreciate the clarity of the voice. I don't know if ebpie is a staffer for anyone or what the party affiliation is. I would love to know. I don't really know franks and I hope to hear more and develop a clearer sense of who he is.

Frank Chi identifies his affliation with the DeStefano campaign by linking to the campaign website. I don't know netim, but he posts here as well as on the DeStefano campaign website.

(I ran down the list of people commenting on this thread. Other folks I recognize here, are MikeCT, whom I know fairly well. conn-tiki, whom I don't really know, ctkeith, whom I know fairly well, and so on.)

With that, I generally know who is working on behalf of which campaigns. I have a sense of how reputable different people are. It is harder with anonymous posters.

If someone has an opinion, they should at least have the guts to associate a pseudonym with their opinion. If they are working for a campaign and they want their campaign to have credibility, they really need to step forward and at least use a pseudonym and identify who they are working for.

Granted, this isn't perfect. It is still possible to spoof or to present multiple identities here, but I come back to my primary comment. If you have a strength of conviction you should at least present it in terms of a clearly identified persona.

Personally, I would love to see an open forum here where everyone is encouraged to provide information about who they are working for, (even if it is simply as an intern or volunteer), what some of their core beliefs are and any other information that will help us all have a better context to understand what they are saying.

Anonymous said...

So that I am not misinforming anyone, I have no connection to any campaign or candidate. Chris DePino's responsibilities were set forth very cearly here:

http://www.sots.state.ct.us/ElectionsDivision/TCRules/RSCC.PDF

These were the rules and bylaws under which he operated. Yes the treasuer or deputy must file state or federal reports, but they must be approved by the committee first.

Ebpie said...

I like Aldon's idea on having an open forum. I would be nice to know the background of some of the regulars on this site.

Aldon Hynes said...

Not to beat a dead horse, but I do believe it is important for people to read party rules.

The person who refuses to identify himself points us to the rules of the Republican Party claiming that the reports of the Treasurer must be approved by 'the committee' first. However, it isn't clear which committee anonymous is referring to, nor do I find references to the filing with the Secretary of States office in the party rules. (Granted, I only searched the rules briefly, there may be something in there that a person more acquainted with the rules can highlight.)

I do find in section 8, which lists the committees, that 'the state party chair and state party vice-chair shall be ex-officio members of all such committees without power to vote'. (Emphasis added.)

Perhaps the person who refuses to identify himself can provide more information, or maybe it would be better if we just move on and focus on the real issues such as which candidate has worked hardest to bring about public funding of elections.

Anonymous said...

So that I am not misinforming anyone, I have no connection to any campaign or candidate.

If you look on the first page you will note the filing stamp and date.

Sec 8(b)(C)

(C) In addition to any other duties prescribed by the state committee, the
budget and control committee shall: (i) submit the annual budget for the state committee’s
expenses and control expenditures in relation to said budget; (ii) submit Election Campaign
Budgets and control expenditures contained within such budgets; (iii) cause an annual audit
of the accounts of the state committee to be made, and, (iv) shall cause a quarterly financial
report to be rendered etc ...

Now for minutes of the meetings, you'll have to ask the RSCC yourself, though they never asked Rowland or DePino to return any money.

Steve Maher said...

I have to say, I completely agree with Aldon. We should be focusing on the real issues here, and there is no shortage of things to talk about. The state's transportation situation is in shambles. Campaign finance reform is yet to really be enacted. CT is number one in the nation in job stagnation. Scores of things affecting our lives and hurting our state and we bicker amongst ourselves about minutae within the Republican party rules. The bottom line is, DeStefano has taken less lobbyist money than the other candidates. Period. That's it. Discussion over. He also has done more to advance campaign reform, departure from the property tax system, clean air, and a truckload of other progressive initiatives than any public figure in the state. He's an extremely strong candidate, and if he passes the primary, all of us as Democrats would be outright foolish not to support him.