Monday, October 17, 2005

Open Forum

It's been too long.

Special session tomorrow. Expectations?

The DeStefano ad will hit the air. We'll see what people think. See the previous post below for analysis and URL of the ad.

Congressional candidates are taking in lots and lots of cash. Next year is going to be a real slugfest in the 2nd, 4th and 5th districts. I'm going to unplug my phone.

Municipal elections are only three weeks away.

What else is happening?

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Re: the DeStefano ad.

Did he think about the blowback from incumbent Democratic mayors and first selectmen who are trying to get reelected right now? The ad starts by saying how bad property taxes are!

We know he has a one party system in New Haven, but if I were in a close race I would be more than a little ticked!Thanks for the help, John.

Anonymous said...

Any idea when the next Quinnipiac poll will be released? I figured they'd run one after Rell announced.

Aldon Hynes said...

To the anonymous poster: Considering that most of the Democratic Mayors and First Selectman are negatively affected by the tax structure that Connecticut has and that Mayor DeStefano led the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities Blue Ribbon Commission on Property Tax Burdens and Smart Growth Incentives, I expect that most of them will be glad to see a leader stand up and talk about a difficult and important issue.

Chris MC said...

Oh come on. Blowback? Yeah, folks are sitting at home doing that calculus and getting pissed off and next thing you know - it's off to march on city hall!

If anything, it gives incumbents the opportunity to point out what they have every right to already - that property taxes are up all across the state; that public education funding is a freakin' joke; that under state law muni execs have zero control over the school boards' budgets; that this administration has done nothing for over ten years to address this kitchen table, couldn't-be-more-pocketbook-kids-and-our-future issue; and so on.

But it isn't even an issue this cycle, as anyone who actually participates in the muni's should know. That was last cycle, a reval year, and a lot of incumbents did take it on the chin.

Gimme a break.

Franks said...

Aldon,

Doesn't the state tax structure similiarly affect a city like Norwich, why single out Democratic Mayors and First Selectmen?

Simply identifying issues, like creating a tax structure that levels education spending, is not a proposed solution. Horton v. Meskill sought to address this and clearly this has yet to be achieved in Connecticut.

I would suggest taking a different approach by offering proposals to address needs, not just identifying them like traffic congestion and seeking involvement to create solutions. Rell is already creating more "task forces".

Lon said...

Hi all! I finally made some cosmetic upgrades to the 2nd District Watch.

The new layout should be easier to read especially for folks running at lower screen resolutions.

Quinn said...

Indeed, I don't believe that voters make such connections. When a candidate for Governer runs TV ads, this affects the gubernatorial race, but not local races, which mostly tend to break along party lines. Those people who are aware of local problems and politics and are dissatisfied don't need a TV ad to tell them that, though I suppose it could reinforce such bad feelings.

If that wasn't the way things worked, then we wouldn't have a Democratic legislature (which writes our wonderful tax structure!) because people would realise that it was them, and not the Governer's administration, that are causing all the problems. Governer Rowland just tried, and, true enough, failed, to run damage control.

Aldon Hynes said...

franks, yes, the tax structure does affect Republicans and Democrats a like. The reason I spoke about Democratic Mayors and First Selectmen was in response to the anonymous post suggesting that the DeStefano ad raising concerns about property taxes would generate blowback.

As to coming up with proposals, I would encourage you to read through the reports of the CCM Blue Ribbon commission (see the link above). There is a lot of information there; much more than fits in comments on a blog.

Franks said...

Aldon,

All of those 2003 recommendations required legislative actions, which appear to have been ignored for the past years. This seems to play to Rell's strategy of blaming the democratic legislature for policy failures and shift focus away from executive actions.

Anonymous said...

Apparently New Haven is having a "crime wave". This is today's Register editorial:

10/18/2005
EDITORIAL
Police fail to stem downtown crime
A New Haven Register editorial


A crime wave is rolling over downtown and the Yale campus. So far, the outbreak of lawlessness has defied the efforts of Yale and city police to stem it.
Young thugs riding in groups on bicycles, armed with pistols or pellet guns, are perpetrating much of the mayhem.

The violence is robbing downtown residents of their sense of safety. If it continues, it will set back years of effort to bring downtown back to life. As it now stands, people who once thought nothing of walking down Church Street in the evening are driving their cars to go two blocks. Crossing the Green at night is a doubtful enterprise. Two teenaged girls in the middle of the day last month mugged a woman there.

We first noticed the upsurge at the end of August, when a Yale Drama student was shot in the hand in one robbery. On the same day, bicycling riding marauders robbed three other Yale students. The same week, another Yale student was chased down by five teenagers and beaten near his Prospect Street apartment.

In September, the mayhem continued. A female Yale student was robbed at knife point on Edgewood Avenue. A woman walking home from Yale was mugged on Everit Street. Another downtown robbery victim fled into the Quinnipiac Club to seek help.

In October, the downtown crime spree has continued. Armed robbers stuck up a Yale graduate student on Wall Street. An attempted armed robbery and a purse snatch occurred near Chapel and Howe streets. Four youths, at least two on bikes, beat up a man walking on George Street.

This list is by no means complete. Through the end of September, the number of city robberies was up 17 percent from 2004.

It will take only one sensational crime for the public well beyond downtown to understand what downtown residents already know. The risk of walking the streets has risen dramatically.

The police presence downtown has increased. Some pellet guns have been confiscated. Some of the crimes have resulted in arrests. Unfortunately, the police effort has not been enough. It may need to be doubled again to make downtown a place where a walk, even after dark, prompts no second thoughts.

©New Haven Register 2005

Aldon Hynes said...

frankS

In an editorial in the CT News Business Journal, they comment about Rell and the campaign finance fiasco, "We think a more formidable figure would have been able to leverage the moral authority of her office and her personal popularity to shame her opponents into action."

Rell seems ready to blame others but incapable of providing bold ideas or getting people to act on them. Every time she acts, it seems to be a day late and a dollar short at best.

Franks said...

Aldon,

Am I missing something, isn't that what Rell is doing by refusing PAC and lobbyist money in her own campaign, shaming opponents into action? Even if reform passed, it would not apply in 2006, so she raised the bar for DeStefano and Malloy.

Rell's saying she has done her best to restore pride and confidence in the state and wants to continue the job, yet state oversight of politically active supporters is questionable and placed people at risk.

http://www.norwichbulletin.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051018/NEWS01/510180302/1002

Aldon Hynes said...

Yes, frankS, I do believe you are missing something. The mixed signals of fundraising requests from Gov. Rell to lobbyists has made her efforts ineffective. Instead of being high moral ground, it is being perceived as cynicism.

Beyond that, her efforts at bringing about campaign finance reform have been spotty at best, always seeming to show up at the last minute, toss out a few ideas, but not engage in an open discussion about what really needs to be done or how to get it accomplished.

If she has done her best, perhaps we need someone who can do better.

Aldon Hynes said...

And in other news, The Courant is reporting that "The [New London] city council has voted to sever ties with the quasi-public development authority at the center of a national debate over eminent domain powers."

MHO: This was long overdue.

Franks said...

Aldon,

Editorials in Courant and the CT Post seem to support her and they circulate to a larger area than the CT News Business Journal.

http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/editorials/hc-hogs.artoct11,0,3548588.story?coll=hc-headlines-editorials

http://www.connpost.com/opinion/ci_3103764

DeanFan84 said...

To the Anonymous Sniper gleefully posting about New Haven's "Crime Wave"...

I have lived in Downtown New Haven since the late 1980's and have seen the central part of the city transformed under DeStefano's stewardship.

I could go on about how bad it was in the early 1990's with just an incredible amount of street crime. Since then, however, DeStefano and Yale have worked together to make the area safe, and the results are far beyond what any of us could have hoped or dreamed for way back then.

In terms of what has been going on for the past 4-5 months. Yes, there is an out of control gang of teenagers riding around on bikes, and basically engaging in "wilding". As such, it is no surprise that statistically crime is up by 20% over historic lows.

What I do know is that none of us living downtown are panicking. That is because we have tremendous trust that the authorities will be able to overcome the problem. Two years ago car thefts spiked. In response the police detailed plenty of undercovers, and soon they were on top of it.

This current group of teenage thugs will be dealt with in time. If only it was as easy as snapping your fingers or clicking your heels...

Aldon Hynes said...

frankS The op-eds that you cite are from a week ago, before the special session began and quickly ended. It was before Rell's announcement and the growing discussion about the role lobbyists are playing with the Republican party and her campaign.

As more people look more closely, they will see that Rell delivers rhetoric but not results.

Anonymous said...

''I was amazed by some of the criticisms of the DLC from the Democratic left, who accused us of being closet Republicans, and from some members of the political press. . . . When we didn't fit neatly in their ossified Democratic box, they said we didn't believe in anything. The proof was that we wanted to win national elections, something Democrats apparently weren't supposed to do." Bill Clinton-- "My Life"

Anonymous said...

This is Connecticut - not Arkansas, etc. A DLC-Dem rushing to the center isn't necessary to win an election here...