Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Open Forum

Gov. Rell will be signing the campaign finance reform bill at the Old State House today. There was an excellent article in the Journal Inquirer yesterday about the bill, and the need to fix it next February.

Naval cutbacks are focing Electric Boat to lay off more than 2,400 workers. I guess the Department of Defense had to do something to ruin our economy. An issue for Simmons next year?

All the latest in Weicker gossip! Greenwich Democrats (including Howard Dean's brother Jim Dean) seem enthusiatic about Weicker, although many still support Lieberman.

In the meantime, William F. Buckley of Stamford, a Weicker foe from the '88 race, was amused at the thought of Weicker running against Lieberman again. "I'll have to revive my committee called 'BuckPAC,'" he said. All we need now is Michael Dukakis and Dan Quayle to make it 1988 all over again.

What else is happening today?

Update: Take a look at this story on Daily Kos today, in which a Lieberman staffer encourages her email list to go out there and freep a Courant poll. Wow. Does Weicker worry them that much?


CT_Guy said...

It's a little upsetting that Governor Rell had to step in and help the mayor of New Haven run his city...

Residents left cold by lack of fuel aid

Perhaps if the mayor spent a little less time holding raffles to see who gets to blow up the Coliseum...he'd have more time to run his city?

BlogMasterFlex said...

I heard a statistic that Connecticut is the 'richest state', but has three of the top 20 poorest cities in the nation: Hartford, Bridgeport, and New Haven. Is this true? And if it is true, how is the mayor of New Haven going to defend himself against it?

Aldon Hynes said...

Ct_guy: I would recommend you read the article much more closely. Gov. Rell has asked the state commissioner of social services to review the services of the Community Action Agency of New Haven.

CAA is “a private, nonprofit organization established in New Haven in 1978”. You know, the kind of organizations that Rell was trying to protect when she vetoed the Contract-Reform bill. If you read the article, you will also note that this is a state-funded agency.

I am glad that you think that Mayor DeStefano should be fixing problems with state-funded agencies. The best way to make that happen is to elect him governor.

Anonimity Breeds Contempt said...

Looks like there are a few crossed wires when it comes to New Haven Security as well as fuel distribution/consumption:

New Haven tunnel remains vulnernable, despite years of discussion

Exerpts -

"Four years after federal officials first warned about security in the Pitkin Tunnel and three years after Washington paid to build security gates, nobody has been hired to staff the guard posts, meaning anyone can drive through unchecked."

"U.S. Attorney Kevin O'Connor said. "I think everybody agrees there should be guards down there." "

"John Buturla, the city's chief administrative officer and the state's former homeland security director, said the tunnel is gated at night and police frequently stop there to write reports from their cars. But he acknowledged that the tunnel is too vulnerable."

JD's take -

"He is not troubled by the fact that the guard booths have sat empty for years, he said, because police are assigned to the tunnel when the nation's threat level is raised.

"We are not guarded against every eventuality and it's not, frankly, possible to guard against every eventuality we might face," DeStefano said. "In terms of assessing risk in the city, we have identified this as a risk. It's not a highest-order risk."


"The Anonymous will inherit the Earth"

CT_Guy said...

Aldon -

I did read the article. Firstly, the CAA receives public funding. More importantly - if Governor Rell, an elected official, had to step in and do something, it makes one wonder why the Mayor (another elected official) didn't intercede FIRST.

new world said...

thanks for the link to the Journal Inquirer story, Ghengis. These loopholes will never be closed. There is just no traction on the issue any more. The proponents have all claimed victory, and if it was so hard to get a majority of legislators to vote for something so transparently flawed, what's the chance that any of them will go back and pass more restrictions? The reform groups should be ashamed of themselves for supporting this legislation. Public money on its own does not solve anything without real restrictions on special interests. The trial lawyers and unions will still run this state.

ctblogger said...

I was finally able to upload the Malloy-DeStefano interview from last Sunday's Face the State (boy, that file was big).

You can download it from my site now.

Anonymous said...

O'Connor is playing politics on Homeland Security for Rell, the same way his old boss Ashcroft would do with announcements carefully staged long after the fact. The New Haven tunnel situation is old news but why DeStefano hired fired former CT Homeland Secuirty Chief Buturla is an enigma. DeStefano and Rell are boring and scary with the way they play poiitics with the safety of the people.

And Lieberman is not going to be in Bush's cabinet anymore than Shays was going to be Homeland Security Director.

Genghis Conn said...

new world,

In the best of all possibilities, I would like to see candidates in favor of fixing the loopholes in campaign finance reform run for the legislature in 2006. However, I know that realistically this isn't likely, and that few of them would win. It may take a decade or more to slowly close those loopholes.

Aldon Hynes said...

ct_guy Again, go back and read the article. You will see that people from the Mayor's office have been working on getting the state-funded private agency to be responsive.

Now, Rell, who has a more direct say over state-funding has gotten involved.

As I noted, if you want someone effective to control state funding, then it is about time we get rid of Rell and elect Mayor DeStefano.

Chris MC said...

From the Stamford Advocate:

"Exhibiting flashes of his trademark sharp wit, Buckley offered snippets on his political and religious views last night during a wide-ranging conversation moderated by Durham Monsma, publisher of The Advocate.

"He asserted, for example, that the Iraq war was not a conservative enterprise but rather a risky impulse to establish democracy in a country that is not willing to embrace it.

"The undertaking is a missionary enterprise," he said. "The impulse can be conservative, but the undertaking is not a conservative enterprise."
[emphasis added]

Grover Nordquist was on Charlie Rose last night and about herniated himself trying to avoid saying exactly the same thing.

If the wanna-be-Hannity-except-lefties ever lift their gaze from their own collective navel, they might realize that herein lies the real opportunity.

DeanFan84 said...

Thanks for the link to the Kos diary. It's great to start off the blogging day with a good laugh.

Tell me I'm wrong, but I'm fairly sure the Lieberman staffer, Sherry Brown, was lying. I tuned into that poll twice yesterday, and both times Lieberman was losing. Early last night it tilted in Joe's favor. (after Sherry's email). And then the Lefties gave everyone a lesson in "freeping".

Doesn't it say something when even among Joe's top-level "supporters", there are people who dislike him enough to forward a secret e-mail to Kos? The Neo-con ship is sinking fast. I only hope Joe gets to Sec. of Defense in time to be the fall guy.

DeanFan84 said...

Chris Mc--

You mean thanks to their Radicalism, the Right is ripe to be wedged? Yep, I gotta agree.

The sad thing is that New England Republicans could establish a real power base within their Party, if only they could find the balls to stand up to the Texas crazies.

Aldon Hynes said...


According to this diary on DailyKos, Lieberman was ahead for about half an hour between about 5:20 and 5:50 last night, when the first thousand votes were cast.

However, since then, it has been all Weicker. With 6771 votes cast, it is 74.8%

DeanFan84 said...


Thanks. I just saw that, and strangely came back to tell everyone I was wrong.

Kossacks hit the poll twice. Once between 5:30-7:30pm, and again when Kos front paged Sherry's email today at lunchtime.

DeanFan84 said...

Is ct-guy really "Malloy_oppo_research_guy"?

Someone is slinging a lot of anonymous mud. How about "blogmasterflex"? He thinks DeStefano should be held responsible for the poverty that exists in CT's cities. Maybe if John were a better Mayor, everyone in New Haven would be rich!

Anonymous said...

Can Lieberman's person be that dumb, I just heard the story in the Captiol - national news.

Anonymous said...

DeStefano's been Mayor for over ten years and New Haven is smaller and poorer than when he took over.

The employee demands a promotion. His resume doesn't justify it

DeanFan84 said...


You don't know crap about New Haven. I've lived here since the late 80's, and the turnaround, under John DeStefano, has been dramatic. Go poll in New Haven. We all give John credit for being a terrific mayor.

But hey, those are facts, and we all know Republicans don't need facts. Not when they can play the race card....

Independent1 said...

Away fron NH for a minute, I have a question that has been gnawing away at me for a while, but I haven't had a chance to sit down and satisfactorily formulate it. What is the primary issue that so enrages folks about the Iraq War? How we got into it? Why we got into it? How we get out of it? American presumptiousness in going in in the first place? The reason I ask, is I have been thinking about the almost absolute silence regarding the American intervention in, and continuing occupation of, Afghanistan. Is it because there is so much more active resistence in Iraq, and the violence more accessible to US and western media? Also, thinking back to the huge push (especially from the Left) for U.S. led intervention in Rawanda, during the Hutu/Tutsi massacres (a 'purely humanitarian' intervention), Saddam's Iraq wasn't a heck of a lot better. Does the presence of Oil make the intervention less 'honorable'? I suppose this is a longish (for me) post to try and figure out where, if anywhere, there is a consistent theoretical basis for U.S. intervention in foreign countries.

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

Again with the "race card" shit, DeanFan84? You are a sad little man, aren't you?

Anonymous said...

These types of local democratic reactions to Weicker's comments are adding to Lieberman's troubles.

Anonymous said...

As of 2:47PM Weicker was at 77% in the courant poll.

Proud Moderate Dem said...

ummmmm why does anyone really care about an unscientific online poll?

DeanFan84 said...

Yeah, the race card.

An anonymous Republican jabs at DeStefano by referencing crime and poverty in his city?

But did you ever hear that bull-crap applied to Giuliani or Bloomberg? Um, no. It is a racist form of attack.

Genghis Conn said...

proud moderate dem,

I have absolutely no idea. But the Lieberman people obviously cared enough about it to send out a mass email... which prompted the Kossacks to, in their ire, go and freep it back again.

It is a mystery, but more so from the Lieberman side.

Anonymous said...

DeStefano has a little honest Johnny in him. The Colliseum might have been rejuevenated instead of torn down. DeStefano's association with the NLC is a good one but he's not always a preservationist. Some of DeStefano's success in getting stae money helped his budget and all that stuff. None of these politicians are rocket scientists or Nobel Prize winners in economics. Even Jimmy Carter had to lobby hard for several years to get his Peace Prize.

And Republicans are really dumb when it comes to technology. Just look at all the trouble they are having in Derby with the computer files now that the musician has left city Hall. wonder what his files had to say about his dealings with his preferred developer?

Proud Moderate Dem said...

DeanFan, surely you can't be serious? simply because someone references the recent crime in new haven they are either a) a racist or b) a malloy supporter? as a dem looking to pick a candidate for gov, i am neither, so please stop this line of attck which totally defies reason and leads one to believe that your ignorance is only surpassed by your lack of tolerance for viewpoints other than yours.

Anonymous said...

Let's compare the Big Apple with the "Dutch Elm City", why don;t we.

How about the old concept of "voting with your feet"

New Haven lost population as the state of CT was gaining

Population, 2000 NH:123,626
CT: 3,405,565
Population, percent change, 1990 to 2000 NH -5.0%
CT 3.6%

Now for NYC and NY State
Population, 2000 NYC 8,008,278 NY State 18,976,457
Population, percent change, 1990 to 2000
NYC 9.4%
NY State 5.5%

Under Giuliani NYC boomed, Under DeStefano, New Haven shrank.

George Costanza worried about "shrinkage", but it is the New Haven liberals who are running a campaign about "nothing" least as far as comparing DeStefano's performance to the alernatives.

proud moderate dem said...

Genghis, i think the real mystery is that anyone cares this much about an unscientific online poll. at the end of the day, what affect does it have in bettering the lives of the people of connecticut. and as to the big deal about leiberman's staff sedning out an email about it, much ado about nothing. say there is an online poll asking people there favorite seinfeld character. i would send an email out to my friends urging them to vote for my favorite character. people do it every day. not a mystery, nor a big deal. let's talk about real news.

Anonymous said...

Following up on the census figures both NYC and New Haven are about 44% white, but obviously NYC officials don;t use the race card excuse since they made huge progress in the 1990's and 2000's ---even after sustaining the worst attack on US soil since 1941

Want a NYC pol to compare DeStefano to? Try Freddie Ferrer

Anonymous said...

The depth of corruption at the New Haven CAA reflects poorly on too many people.

DeStefano should be joining with Rell to expose these people for the bloodsuckers they are.

DeanFan84 said...

Proud Moderate Dem--

I'm going to stand by my assertions. Fly-by references to crime and poverty in New Haven,-- in the absence of any humanitarian concern, or real debate,-- are simply what I suggest they are. Racist.

The next thing you'll hear is about how New Haven is home to a large concentration of gay people. Nice fact. But what is the intent?

Maybe if someone owned the crap, I would give it the benefit of the doubt. But really the fact that there is crime and poverty in a New England city isn't newsworty, is it?

New Haven's turnaround has been dramatic. We have all worked hard to see it happen. Shame on the cretin trying to debase the reputation of my city with the anonymous hyping of crime fears.

proud moderate dem said...

DeanFan, fly by references???? there was 5 shootings in less than a week? i certainly have humanitarian concern for the victims but we are in a political discussion mostly on this blog and simply stating that the perception of a crime problem bc of recent events would pose a problem for JD is NOT racist. please use credible arguments in the future. you are becoming laughable.

Blue in CD2 said...

But really the fact that there is crime and poverty in a New England city isn't newsworty, is it?

Of course its newsworthy when the leader of that city is running to be the Governor of the State.

Like it or not, your everyday constituent is going to look at the historical and emerging trends of the city the candidate comes from, and is going to apply it to personal experiences/environment of thier own community.

Since when has the crime/econ. development/poverty rates of a High Level Candidate's current city NOT been considered newsworthy?

Anonymous said...


Reading the New Haven CAA comments, Anon 3:31, you would think New Haven is a bad soap opera, except it's wasting tax dollars.

Aldon Hynes said...

Actually, I think all of these statistics do have some significance. Mayor DeStefano often notes that crime has significantly decreased during his administration and graduation rates have gone up. I suspect this is more significant than changes in population. However, Mayor DeStefano often talks about how only Connecticut loses more of it’s 25-34 year olds than any state, other than Alaska.

He attributes this in part to tax policy that is eating away at affordable housing. As a matter of fact, Connecticut is lagging the United States as a whole in population growth by a greater percentage than New Haven is lagging Connecticut. So, it would seem as if the argument would be that getting rid of Rell is what is really needed.

Yes, CAA does seem to be a bit of a state-funded soap opera. There are other areas of New Haven that also seem like soap operas. It seems that there are a lot soap operas in the politics of Connecticut, and for that matter nationally. Mayor DeStefano’s ability in dealing with these soap operas, and his record of cleaning up corruption in New Haven is actually a good illustration of why he will be a great Governor.

Blue in CD2 said...


Wait, I dont get it. On the one hand you say that Destefano handles soap operas well, and on the other hand we are seeing the feds coming in to handle this soap opera.

Are actions speaking louder than words?

BlogMasterFlex said...

I figure I'll jump on the bandwagon in calling you out. Reading through the open forum, you said that I was holding DeStefano accountable for New Haven's poverty when I was simplely asking if New Haven is, in fact, one of America's poorest cities. Then I asked how DeStefano would counter the obvious argument that would surface if the statistic, were in fact true.
I get the feeling you'll call me a rascist, but you're an idiot, so I won't take it seriously if you do. How much is DeStefano paying you? If I were him, I'd pay you to STOP posting, because it's ridiculous at this point
Props to Aldon Hynes, by the way, for actually engaging the issues without slinging mud.

Aldon Hynes said...

blue, Having the capabilities to address difficult problems does not mean that you have authorization to address them.

As an example, as far as I know, Mayor DeStefano does not have the legal authorization to change the way the state allocates funding to a state funded private organization. That is in the purview of state officials.

Granted, people like Al Haig, may claim to be in control when they aren't. At least Mayor DeStefano understands boundaries of authority.

All of that said, it is part of the reason I would like to see Mayor DeStefano elected Governor so that he is given a chance to excercise authority where his skills are sorely needed.

Anonymous said...

If I want someone to fix a soap opera I'd want Susan Lucci to run for Governor

The reality these days in New Haven (depsite DF's polyanna vision) isn;t entertaining at all

as for the young people leaving the state, seems the state pretty much adopted what the left wanted regarding social and fiscal policy over the past decade, with Rowland just preventing the excesses. Evidently young adults prefer such benighted states as TX, GA and NC to put down roots. And state subsidized housing has nothing to do with that.

Aldon Hynes said...


I have not been able to find detailed statistics about poverty rates in Connecticut. I did find a few statistics. The poverty rate in New Haven was 24.4% in 2002. In Hartford it was 30.6% and in Bridgeport it was 18.4%

However, looking at a single point in time isn't really all that informative. What is more useful is to find how poverty rates have changed over time. I suspect, based on anecdotal evidence that the poverty rate in New Haven has not climbed as quickly as it has the state as a whole.

The anecdotal evidence includes the observations that people like DeanFan84 make about how much nicer New Haven is now than it was a decade ago. This is based on the assumption that there is a correlation between poverty rates and urban quality of life, which seems reasonable.

It might be that poverty has continued to grow more quickly in New Haven than it has in other parts of the state. I doubt it. However, the question is, has Mayor DeStefano changed the profile of poverty in New Haven? If it is still outgrowing the rest of the state, has that rate of growth diminished?

One of the things that Mayor DeStefano has done is help break part of the cycle of poverty. When an area gets a reputation as being poor, people start avoiding the area and it reinforces the poverty. Mayor DeStefano has helped put New Haven on the map as a good place to go again. The magnet school program attracts kids from the suburbs. People are returning to New Haven to shop or for the arts.

New Haven is definitely better now than it had been before Mayor DeStefano. Some of that is based on perception, which is why I suspect DeanFan84 who is very interested in seeing the perception of New Haven improve is so sensitive to people denigrating New Haven.

New Haven is doing much better these days, thanks to Mayor DeStefano. If you walk the streets of New Haven you’ll see the difference.

Aldon Hynes said...

Anonymous(6:47) I don't think anyone here, besides you, are talking about state subsidized housing. If you read my post, you will note that I talked about tax structure. The heavy reliance of Connecticut on property tax results in the loss of entry level housing (which is very different from state subsidized housing).

However, I do find it interesting that you mention Georgia. Georgia subsidizes higher education. Any student from Georgia earning a B or better gets free tuition in the state university system in Georgia.

I find it interesting that you mention Texas. On a per capita basis, Texas is spending about twenty times as much money on their transportation infrastructure as Connecticut does.

We should be smart about spending on education and transportation, the way Georgia and Texas are.

Julio Gonzalez said...

On evaluating the DeStefano record, I also agree we shoud look at facts. I am a supporter and used to work for him so I think I have a good handle on his positions and the impact of his policies.

CAA. This is a bizarre accusation. The membership of CAA's board has a set of mayoral appointees. The last few years the mayoral appointed people have been part of the minority coalition at CAA that have wanted change. In this past fall's aldermanic election, the candidates the mayor supported took a "change at CAA" line - their opponents did not. Frankly, CAA is heavily funded by the STATE with the most minimal financial involvement from the city. This is just one of many examples were it would be nice if there was a more active manager at the state level.

CRIME. The overall trend is clear: there has been a lot of progress during the DeStefano tenure. Lately there has been greater media coverage of shooting spates. These are a definitely a challenge for any administration; but to be fair in apportioning the causes of these incidents, one has to consider the impact of the Department of Corrections flooding the city with early releases and perhaps most importantly, a severe reduction in federal dollars for after-school programs. Read the profiles of the shooters and you see the impact of these two trends.

I used to work at a youth program in New Haven, and the federal administration and state have really stopped investing in youth programs, especially those targetting public housing youth. That means that the most at-risk kids have nothing to do and no social development models around. I am sure that local law enforcememnt can do better. But local government can't do anything about how Corrections works or how the federal government allocates resources.

POPULATION. New Haven isn't an island - the region's economy has an impact and our lack of a manufacturing strategy has hurt New Haven. Moreover, some of the population "loss" is probably from the transition of housing stock in some neighborhoods from rental to ownership and the HOPE VI projects. This is good news.

ECONOMICS. Again, judging the leader of an entity of such macroeconomic insignificance as a small city by a blunt statistic such as absolute poverty is not an honest assesment. Federal income supplements like the EITC are a lot more important in those kind of metrics. And we don't even know the standard deviation of the stat.

Instead, look at a metrics linked to factors the local executive can control. For example, "investor confidence" in the city through stats suchs as real estate prices or suburban enrollment in center-city public schools. Or evaluate if the city is adopting policies to attract people with high human capital, such as developing cultural amenities and transportation assets. Finally, if you care about social justice, see if the city has increased economic mobility for the children of low-income people through its public education system - you can tell if more kids are graduating and going to college.

On all of these metrics, New Haven does excel.

* * *

Finally, let's be civil. I really like this site and get excited to see folks comments, even when I disagree. But using cuss words or being too gratuitously nasty (a little is OK) are real downers. IMHO, this is the virtual commons, so let's tend to it.

Anonymous said...

well, Alden ,mind explaining all the roadblocks (pun intended) Johnny boy put in the way of the new Q Bridge?

Or why he wants to take the Route 34 ROW and give it real estaste developers, tear down a perfectly good highway and impede access to the hospitals

CT housing prices are high because land is scarce and towns control development. You can't repeal geography, so I suppose zoning laws will go on the block. Welcome to NJ, my friends!

Anonymous said...

more new math from New Haven

TX DOT is spending about $6B/24 million residents ($250/per capita)

TX is growing rapidly:" Drivers in 2002 put 442 million miles a day on Texas highways, a 50 percent increase since 1990 and more than 103 percent since 1980." and is believed by advocates to underfund roads

In January 1997, when the state Transportation Department did the study that is the source of the one-third-of-our-needs assertion, its annual budget was just $3.1 billion. The study concluded that to create an "optimum" highway system, Texas would need to spend $118 billion over 10 years."

The legislature has insisted the persent 20 cent/gallon gas tax not be raised, so, new toll roads are aggressively being built
"Toll roads, they say, are the only feasible option for what is, if not a full-blown crisis, at least a funding problem.

Building toll roads, as the senator said, is state policy."

CTDOT is spending $928M/3.5M residents ($265/per capita). Unlike TX, the state's population has grown at a leisurely pace since 1970.

So, despite what may be the party line, the congestion got to TX before it they started to fix it, so the wide open spaces are not the draw.

Maybe the attitude about taxes is...hmm?

Aldon Hynes said...

When I said, "Texas is spending about twenty times as much money on their transportation infrastructure as Connecticut does", I was talking about the proposals by Rell and Perry. Here are details:

Trans Texas Corridor:
“Plans for the largest engineering project ever are moving forward in Texas in the form of Governor Rick Perry's Trans Texas Corridor proposal.
Introduced in January 2002, the Trans Texas Corridor (TTC) calls for a 4,000-mile system (up to 1,200 feet wide) that incorporates toll and non-toll roads, high-speed freight and commuter rail, water lines, oil and gas pipelines, electric transmission lines, broadband and other telecommunications infrastructure in the same corridors. The massive network, which would pass through 143 of the state's 254 counties, is projected to cost between $145 billion and $183 billion. “

Raising the bar on transportation: “Business leaders applaud the $1.3 billion transportation initiative proposed by Gov. Rell and enacted by state legislators this year to jump-start improvements. But 40% of executives responding to the 2005 Survey of Connecticut Businesses by CBIA and Blum Shapiro also believe the package won’t do enough to meet the needs of the state’s economy.”

According to the Census bureau, Connecticut’s Population is 3,503,604. Texas’ Population is 22,490,022. Jodi Rell is proposing spending $371 per capital to improve our transportation infrastructure and 40% of business executives believe it isn’t enough. Rick Perry is proposing spending between $6,447 and $8,225 per capital to improve Texas’ transportation system.

Aldon Hynes said...

Concerning Route 34: I don’t know the details, and can only guess based on some of the reading I’ve done online. It seems as if this is yet another example of failed state transportation polices.

For example, Connecticut Business News Journal wrote about the State Department of Transportation’s effort to build “a superhighway to cut through downtown New Haven”. They note that “Almost a decade later, in 1984, the state finally admits defeat, blamed on lack of funds (sound familiar?) but doesn't surrender all hope. The project is just being ‘pushed up,’ the state says, to the late 1990s.”

The New Haven Advocate continues the story with “Some activists were disappointed about the plan's death. City traffic czar Brian McGrath says he's disappointed, too, but he faithfully defends the DeStefano administration's support of the Pfizer plan. It turned out, amid this year's budget crisis, that the city couldn't ever count on getting the $32 million from the state to sink the road, he says.

‘We're not going to turn away a taxable development,’ especially for a road not likely to be built, he says."