Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Open Forum

What's happening in parts of the state that aren't Enfield?

42 comments:

Independent1 said...

What's up with this story? Is Molloy really agreeing to loosen the ethics rules? http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/local/scn-sa-gifts5nov22,0,4755460.story?coll=stam-news-local-headlines

DeanFan84 said...

You know what's sad? The greatest obstacle between the Democrats and the Governorship is the Ethics issue.

Following Rowland and his fiasco, Dems had every chance to become the Party of Reform. But it ain't happening. Statehouse Dems have there heads up their collective asses, and the State Party is too weak to push them into getting anything done.

When you figure there are also three Congressional seats at stake, it gets just that much sadder.

I'm wondering if it makes sense to give $$$ to any CT candidate in 2006, when we are losing so badly on this key issue.

MikeCT said...

Some miscellaneous items:

Kanevsky speaks up, sort of
Alexander Kanevsky is an obscure Republican candidate for Governor whose artist Web site suggests that he is, at least, colorful (particularly in that dashing pink bathrobe thingee). After his recent interview with CT Conservative, he remains obscure, if not as colorful. Some samples of his cryptic non-answers:

* If you had to pick two or three things, above everything else, what do you stand for?
I stand for spiritual, moral, cultural-intellectual development.

* What are your goals for fundraising?
I offer my art gallery for various fundraising events.

* Would you be interesting in helping to make the the voting system less susceptible to fraud, and if so, how?
A system of respiritualization that I propose yields heightened moral development of every voter. Thus the incidence of fraud/corruption expected to drop.

* Anything else you wanted to add for our readers?
No, nothing else.

What else is there to say, after all? I can only wish for a Republican primary debate. Respiritualize me! His interviewer keeps a surreally straight "face".

Abbate sends his love to Susan
The blogger also had a more substantive interview with Richard Abbate, the Republican candidate for Secretary of the State and a registrar of voters. A favorite moment:

What do you think of Susan Bysiewicz?
I try to think of Susan as little as possible, thank you!

Abbate, like most registrars and the CT Conference of Municipalities, prefers the cheaper and less complex optical scan voting technology to the electronic touch screen voting machines that Bysiewicz obstinately insists that towns use. (She also had been opposed to paper trails on electronic voting machines, but her reversed her position under pressure. More on these issues from True Vote CT.)

Yes, your vote matters
In what must have been a "doh!" moment for the candidates, a recount in the first district council race in Farmington resulted in a tie, as My Left Nutmeg and the Farmington Post report. The score will be settled next Tuesday, and Left Nutmeg says that the DeStefano campaign is helping to organize support for the local Dem.

Genghis Conn said...

Deanfan,

I agree, and I hardly think you're alone among Democrats in thinking that way. Legislative Democrats had every chance to pursue ethics reform and campaign finance reform following their massive victory in 2004, but they didn't. It's a huge failure of leadership.

Genghis Conn said...

MikeCT,

Kanevsky reminds me a little bit of John Hagelin, who ran for president in 1996 and 2000. The major part of his platform was improving the world through mass transcendental meditation. He was still saner than Perot.

John Nussbaum gave a very persuasive argument for optical scan technology in his interview on this site. I'm not sure why Bysiewicz is so intent on touch-screens. Revenge?

There's nothing like an electoral do-over. Should be fun. Thanks as always for collecting all this great stuff.

DeanFan84 said...

My understanding is that Bysiewicz made a commitment to Dodd to use the touch-screens, (and a particular manufacturer.)

This understanding came to me from several conversations with Hartford Greens at a rally at the Statehouse.

Without getting conspiratorial, obvious a great deal of power would lie with those who counted the votes, if the counting could potentially be manipulated.

The way to prevent paranoia is to have as failsafe and transparent a process as possible. Susie, can you hear me?

MikeCT said...

Speaking of Dodd (who, with Bysiewicz's cooperation, killed off a paper trail bill last year, only to reverse his position this year), Political Wire passes along rumors of Dodd's reputed Presidential campaign interests. The rumor at this point is based on a conversation overheard by someone in DC.

Aldon Hynes said...

In terms of voting technology, I would encourage all of you to check out Blondin observes new voting machines.

"There were three machines and two were--in my personal opinion as a former candidate for secretary of the state--really not viable options," Blondin said.

Blue in CD2 said...

Fare the' well Ms. Jacklin, we will miss your honest approach to CT politics.

http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/op_ed/hc-jacklin1123.artnov23,0,3559995,print.column?coll=hc-headlines-oped

How Solid Is Rell's Support?

some highlights -

Nearly three-quarters of the adults polled recently by the University of Connecticut approve of the job Rell is doing, the highest marks recorded by any Connecticut governor in 25 years, with the exception of John G. Rowland, whose stock plunged when he turned out to be a lying scoundrel.

On Rell's watch, job growth has been anemic, property tax reform hasn't made an appearance on her to-do list and if it wasn't for the Democrats, the poor's safety net would have been ripped to shreds. Sooner or later, voters may begin to get that.

A few other numbers are worth chewing on. Only 9 percent of adults have an unfavorable opinion of Rell. Wow. That's really low. But wait. John DeStefano Jr., the mayor of New Haven and one of two Democrats running against Rell, is viewed unfavorably by 13 percent of those surveyed. The other Democrat, Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy, is viewed unfavorably by only 3 percent.

While Rell has been basking in the glow of her poll ratings, DeStefano and Malloy have engaged in some juvenile sparring. DeStefano, who we can only assume is trying to bluff Malloy out of the race, had the audacity to wag his finger in Malloy's face and brag about his own "overwhelming re-election win" in New Haven two weeks ago.

Never mind that DeStafeno's toughest foe hailed from the Guilty Party and that Democrats outnumber every other party-affiliated voter in the Elm City by about a bazillion to one. The city hasn't elected anyone other than a Democratic mayor in 50 years.


DeStefano's candicacy is headed for trouble if he persists in taking us, and Malloy, for fools.

Anonymous said...

No wonder Michele Jacklin was offered a buyout. She is letting Roy Occiogrosso write all her columms.

Blue in CD2 said...

^

So by that are you also suggesting that Shonu Gandhi is writing for Kevin Rennie?

Pretty sad to think that one of the more highly regarded journalists in the state could be persuaded by a political team. But I guess those are the straws that some people need to grab for.

Or maybe Rennie and Jacklin are simply fake identities assumed by Destef's and Malloy's campaigns?

Makes sense to me.

Anonymous said...

Michelle is right on the money. Job growth is stagnant and nothing has happened on property tax reform.

What she conveniently fails to mention is that there are 99 Democrats and 52 Republicans in the House and 24 Democrats and only 12 Republicans in the Senate. If they wanted to get something done on these issues, THEY COULD DO IT.

The leadership in these chambers has historically had little difficulty strong-arming their rank-and-file members into supporting their legislation and could easily do so on these issues and that other 400 lb gorilla called campaign finance reform. The reality, though, is that the Democrats don't have the stomach to make tough decisions.

Remember, the Governor doesn't propose legislation....the legislature does. If the Democrats, with their massive majorites in the General Assembly, wanted to make a difference, they most certainly could.

Anonymous said...

anywhere 1199 does well, the private sector doesn't

I'm be in upstate NY over the weekend. The last private sector business will need to turn out the lights up there...and that day may not be too far away

Aldon Hynes said...

Personally, I think Michelle Jacklin is one of the best columnists around. I will be sad to see her leave the Courant.

I also agree with her about the campaigns. Democrats are not going to defeat Rell by arguing about minor changes in one candidate or another candidate’s relative political fortunes.

We will win by focusing on how we can do better than Rell in addressing issues like job growth, transportation, health care and education, the way Mayor DeStefano does in his stump speech.

We will win by building up the party, the way DeStefano supporters have in getting out and helping with municipal campaigns both in May and in November, as well as for next week’s special election.

Yes, the Democratic legislature could work together better to bring about change. However the Democrats are not a monolith and there is always the concern that Rell will veto any good legislation as she has already done.

It is also worth noting that contrary to what Anonymous(10:50) suggests, the Governor does in fact propose legislation. As an example, according to the Governor’s website from last January, “Governor said she will also propose legislation making Connecticut a ‘safe-haven’ for embryonic stem cell research and addressing the moral and ethical implications of this research by banning any type of human cloning.”

Anonymous said...

OK, Aldon, you got me there. I admit that there are a few times that the Governor does propose legislation. You are correct.

Now let's move on to the important subject of the day. The Hartford Courant's recent poll indicates that jobs and taxes are on the minds of most Connecticut residents. Knowing this, and knowing that Connecticut ranks highest in local, state and federal tax burden, I have two direct questions to which I hope you will give direct answers:

1. What have legislative Democrats (any legislative Democrats) proposed in the last two years to help retain / creat businesses and jobs?

2. What, in a nutshell, is DeStefano's plan to retain / create businesses and jobs?

Just the facts, sir.

Proud Moderate Dem said...

very true aldon, but the governor does not actually introduce legislation in the house nor the senate and she is not included in the voting body for such legislation. further, the concern of rell vetoing good legislation as she already has (see junk food ban and state contracting reform) should not deter our democratic friends in the legislature to push through solid, thoughtful and meaningful legislation. as for michelle jacklin. i enjoy her columns but at times they do not show all sides and tend to point out the obviuos quite a bit.

Aldon Hynes said...

Anonymous(12:36),

I won't comment on what Democratic state legislators have done or plan to do to make Connecticut a place where businesses want to create jobs. It isn't an area that I have studied closely.

As to Mayor DeStefano's plan, I would encourage you to come hear him speak instead of relying on my second hand recounting of his stump speech.

That said, key aspects include changing the tax structure to be less of a disincentive to businesses, such as reducing the business equipment taxes.

Another key aspect is focusing on promoting businesses where Connecticut already has a strong advantage such as financial services and life sciences, as opposed to building new convention centers or spending money assisting companies in moving from one town to a neighboring town.

All of this is centered around larger issues, such as property tax reform and how it relates to education and affordable housing. Companies are moving out of Connecticut because they can't find affordable housing for their employees.

This also ties into transportation. Job growth has always taken place along transportation corridors. We need to improve our transportation planning.

I could go on and on with this, but as I noted, it is probably better to hear these sort of discussions with the Mayor instead of as a second hand condensed post in a blog.

Anonymous said...

The FBI released its crime statistics for 2004: http://www.wtnh.com/Global/story.asp?S=4147585

Stamford is the safest city. What I found more interesting though is that New Haven "isnt listed". I asked around, and it turns out New Haven chooses not report their crime statistics to the FBI.

Does anyone know why this is? Aldon maybe?

Gabe said...

Mike CT - Here is a link to ablog by someone who was there when Dodd (allegedly) spoke about his presidential ambitions.

For the record, is there a Democratic Senator who isn't running for President this far out from 2008?

Anonymous said...

Well, Aldon, I guess you get an "A" for effort, and I even agree with some of what you said, incuding transportation being one of our problems. I imagine that you would agree that it is incumbent on Mayor DeStefano to put his proposals out to the public so that we know where he stands.

However, two things I would STRONGLY disagree with you on:

1. Anyone involved in business knows that business taxes, in Connecticut, are a VERY small part of the overall business burden. The major problems facing businesses today are energy costs, healthcare costs, labor costs, and excessive regulations. Certainly I would agree that we need to make sure that we don't further saddle businesses with more and more taxes, but taxes alone are not the problem.

2. Attracting financial services and life sciences, two areas where Connecticut is already very strong, is a great idea. In fact, I would agree that it is more worthy of our energy and attention than building things like a new convention center. However, manufacturing and high-tech markets are the overall producers in our economy and drive our economy. We will never survive if we continue to be a retail economy if we do not manufacture or produce something of substance.

Shopping malls, window-washers, insurance companies, car dealerships, convenience stores, attorneys, pharmaceutical companies, etc are great and integral parts of our economy, but without manufacturing or high-tech markets, the economy is weak.

We need to look at ways to reduce costs and welcome manufacturers and high-tech companies back to Connecticut.

3. Lastly, Aldon, you seem like too intelligent of a person to make the following statement:

"Companies are moving out of Connecticut because they can't find affordable housing for their employees."

That is completely ridiculous. Employees may be moving because they cannot find affordable housing, but to suggest that businesses are moving for this reason is a QUITE a stretch (to say the least). I know plenty of business owners who have left the state or who are contemplating leaving the state, and not a single one of them is leaving the state for that reason. Again, energy costs, healthcare costs, labor costs, regulations. Those are the reasons and the Democrats as a whole haven't done much to address these issues (in many cases they continue to make them much worse) and I don't see many solutions from the Mayor in any of these areas, either. Tell me if I am wrong.

DeanFan84 said...

You know, Anonymous, as a New Haven person, I'd like to dialogue with you about crime in my city.

But I'm not going to. How can I take you seriously when you don't even have a screen-name?

Are you a Republican troll trying to stir the pot? Are you a Malloy staffer, thinking you are being cute? Or are you a genuine poster wanting a real dialogue, or even argument, about DeStefano, crime, and New Haven.

Hell, I don't even know how many of you anonymous losers there are out there. Maybe you're just Genghis Conn trying to build out threads and site traffic!

Aldon---

Help me out. Do you know of many political blogs, of substance, where people aren't required to at least post under a consistent handle?

You know its not as if screennames like independent1, Blue in CD2, mikect, or gabe give away anyone's identity.

Gabe said...

Anon - One of the major problems for business that you didn't mention is actually.... Property taxes! Unsuprisingly, property taxes for businesses are as much of a problem as for residents.

One other point, at my last job, a major direct marketer in Fairfield County, while the company did not move because of housing costs, it became a major problem. The company, at the direction of the then-corporate parent merged with a smaller sister company. In order to take over the sister company's major accounts, the company looked to move many of their account reps up to CT (from the south). When showing them around the area, the head of the account rep department was asked about how much housing costed in the area. His answer, "You can get a decent house in the area for half a million or a million dollars." Needless to say, none of the fairly well-paid account reps were willing to sell their 3000 sq ft houses for $200,000 and move up here. The end result for the company was to hire 20 new people who didn't know the clients or really understand the business all that well and throw them in because the accounts were being transferred immediately. A year later, many of those new people were gone and an unforttunate number of accounts had cut their business as well. Neither here nor there, but an interesting insight into the differences in housing costs here as compared to most of the rest of the country.

Hey DeanFan here you go! said...

DeanFan,

I was anon above. I dont see why you rant about anonymous users when anyone can fill in any gibberish they wish for a name. I am neither a staffer, nor a Republican. I'm someone who saw an article, frequents this site, and was curious. If you don't think it is odd that a city chooses not to report any crime statistics, that's fine for you, but many people would disagree.

Many people don't care to use handles, because their is seemingly no point. Get over it!

DeanFan84 said...

The point is, were you to have a handle, I could identify you as the same asshat who tried to smear DeStefano yesterday.

You might not know me, but at least you know who you are debating with. I post here as DeanFan84.

Anonymous said...

Tried to smear? Grow up. My question was valid, even if you didn't like it. This is the last time I'll waste any effort responding to you. This is a great board, and your laments about user names really do nothing for the discourse.

DeanFan84 said...

In terms of CT losing jobs because of the high cost of housing, the real answer to that is a definitive, "Yes!".

Sure, companies might not be moving wholesale as a result. But that doesn't mean they don't frequently shift jobs and specific operations around.

In some places in the country, a household income of $60-$70K/yr buys you the same size home and lifestyle that $80-100K/yr does in CT.

Together as a state we need to find some means of encouraging the development of affordable starter homes. Cluster housing is a great way to go, but most town zoning and planning boards do ever thing they can to prevent such developments, as they add more to the school bills than they provide in property tax revenue.

Blue in CD2 said...

^

You are a gigantic douch-bag.

A Different Anonymous (No! Really!) said...

Now THERE'S political discourse for you.

But seriously, there ARE some of us who post anonymously for valid reasons, not that it's likely to persuade anyone who feels - uh - strongly.

Some of us don't even know enough about HTML tags to figure out how to italicize.

Gabe said...

Who is a huge douche bag?

Aldon Hynes said...

Various things:

First, I think there has been a great discussion here today (with a few exceptions). As to the ongoing discussion about using a consistent handle, I can understand the desire be anonymous, however, I do believe there is value in presenting a consistent identity, so I am glad to see posts by ‘Hey DeanFan here you go!’ and ‘A Different Anonymous (No! Really!)’. I believe we should be having fun with blogs and building a sense of community as we think through important issues our state faces.

As an aside, use to start italics, to end italics. Use a ‘b’ instead of an ‘i’ for bold.

As to the tax issue, I would like to echo Gabe’s comments. I don’t know enough about different aspects of types of taxes that corporations face, but it is my understanding that there are some equipment or property taxes that businesses have bear in Connecticut that they don’t in other states. These taxes discourage companies that use a lot of equipment such as financial services which are very heavily dependent on computers or life sciences which are dependent on lots of cool technology. (As a former technology executive for financial services firms and the wife of a molecular biologist, I am particularly acquainted with some of these technology issues).

As to Anonymous(3:36)’s comments about manufacturing, I didn’t include them because I was trying to be brief. Mayor DeStefano often talks about manufacturing, and particularly specialty manufacturing as another one of the strengths we need to capitalize on. Here, we are not talking about rolled steel, but instead of high precision technology that helped Connecticut so much in the defense industries and is now being utilized in other areas. For example, he often cites Lacey Manufacturing in Bridgeport which grew up making precision parts for the defense industry but is now making parts for the life sciences industry.

As to people moving out of state because of the inability of their workers to afford housing, Mayor DeStefano speaks in his stump speech about an executive in Stamford who told the Mayor he was moving out of Stamford because his employees couldn’t afford houses in the Stamford area and were commuting from Rockland county. Is this an isolated event? I don’t know. Is this part of the ‘labor cost’ that drives other companies out of state? Perhaps. Historically, work has always grown up around available labor pools and housing is an important part of making a labor pool available.

It is worth noting that Salary.com has a Salary Value Index which compares salary costs with living costs. New London was ranked as the most affordable city in their survey and Stamford, came in at 186, or third from last. Hartford came in at 129, and New Haven and many other municipalities in Connecticut weren’t listed. I don’t say this to knock Stamford. I live in Stamford, and I know how expensive it can be.

As to why New Haven isn’t listed in the FBI Crime statistics, I don’t know. Someone brought that up once before, and I need to find out. Perhaps it is because they post their results on the FBI blog under the name Anonymous. (Just joking.)

I may have missed a few other things, but hopefully this helps move the discussion forward. All of this said, I may not be online as much tomorrow and I hope everyone has a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.

Aldon Hynes said...

Gabe,

I am gigantic douch-bag. It is an alias I like to use when I write about Prussian family history.

Blue in CD2 said...

^

I was refering to DeanFan as the gigantic douch-bag.

I just wanted to make sure my remarks hit the target.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Aldon, you're a true believer, I have to give you that.

However, it still remains that we don't know specifically where Mayor DeStefano stands on these issues specifically which is intriguing only because you are on all of these blogs pretty regularly trying to drum up support for him. I would ask you to take some time to learn his positions and then get back to us. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

DeanFan84 said...

Hey, thanks blue in cd2!

You've made my point well for me. The difference between handles and "anonymous" is at least with handles you can identify your attacker.

For the record, I'd rather be a gigantic douche-bag than the sanctimonious butt plug that you are.

Aldon Hynes said...

Anonymous(11:53), I will take your comment about me as a ‘true believer’ as a compliment, independent of whether it was intended to be one or not. However, I would also like to expand on my comments about true belief to illustrate my thoughts about what true belief is.

First, I would like to differentiate it from fanatical devotion to the Pope, or other leaders. I know many Deaniacs that had a fanatical devotion to Gov. Dean. Such devotion was not questioning. I sometimes worry that some of Mayor DeStefano’s supporters are the same way. As I’ve noted elsewhere, I believe Mayor DeStefano is the best candidate for Governor, much the way that I believed that Gov. Dean was the best candidate for President. I agreed with some things and disagreed with others.

What I particularly liked about Gov. Dean’s campaign, and I hope we will see more of in Mayor DeStefano’s campaign is transformational leadership, campaigns about empowering individuals to find their voice in politics and governance and work together to make the state and the country better.

So, when I think of myself as a true believer, what I am a true believer in is this sense of Jeffersonian democracy, democracy that encourages participation where the leader is closer to a facilitator than a dictator. What I believe in is getting people involved in campaigns, in building community around campaigns.

I do not believe that Mayor DeStefano, Gov. Dean, or others have all the answers. I do not believe that their policy wonks have all the answers, and I am certainly not a policy wonk.

So, with that, I have no intentions of spending time getting a deeper knowledge of Mayor DeStefano’s positions. I have outlined them in a broad manner above, and with more breadth and depth than has been outlined by his opponents. If you need to go deeper, come hear Mayor DeStefano speak and spend some time exploring his positions there.

I will not be able to convince everyone to support Mayor DeStefano. To assume otherwise would be foolish. However, I hope that I can provide enough information to get people interested enough to try and find out more.

My ultimate goal is to get people involved in campaigns and building community around campaigns. My goal is to get democracy to be more participatory. Getting people to read thoughts by a staffer of a campaign is a good first step, but it is a very small first step. Please, get out and get involved yourself, and don’t rely on others to do everything for you.

Anonymous said...

OK Aldon when can I listen to the Mayor give me specific answers to my questions? I looked at his website for a calender but only saw that on Dec 2 he will be speaking on his "ten year plan to end homelessness." I am unable to attend on that date because the event appears to be at 1:30 pm and unfortunately I have to be at work.

If you are aware of other times I can listen to him speak on these issues (and where I can get some direct answers about his proposals), I will make every effort to be there.

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