Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Open Forum

A quick scan of the headlines makes me glad I don't work in New York. A recent poll shows that a slight majority of people are on the side of the union, however.

In local news, it looks like it will take legislative action to implement same-day voter registration. Don't hold your breath.

What else is happening today?

74 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting poll. How many of the pollees know what's in the MTA's offer? Polls are popular but sometimes meaningless if you are running an operation, which is what the MTA is supposed to do.

Anonymous said...

I guess nobody cares about the eavsdropping story. One of the FISA court judges resigned since the NYT first published the story.

Chris MC said...

It just isn't really local. But you're right, it looks like it could be a very big deal.

Note that they deployed Condi Rice on Sunday. They are running out of bullpen. Cheney's rumored to have lowered his profile - he's hanging on to a slight lead over Saddam in the polls - Rumsfeld is radioactive. And Bush's five-speech effort last week merely left him on life support.

Meanwhile, he may have actually broken the law, not to mention violated the sensibilities of people on both sides of the aisle down the street.

And Counterpunch reports that Rove may be indicted by Fitzgerald shortly.

It can suck, being King.

Blue in CD2 said...

This just popped up on the wire -

DeStefano campaign ordered to pay $4,000 civil penalty

I cant get the link from the AP Newswire site to work, but im sure all the major papers in the state will have the article up in a short time.

Jeffrey B. Garfield, executive director of the State Elections Enforcement Commission, said campaign treasurer Gaylord Bourne committed "serious neglect" by not proofreading campaign finance reports before filing them with the state. But the commission determined the violations were unintentional.

Anonymous said...

Interesting about DeStefano, I was wondering what happened with that story.

Probably not not a huge deal but this doesn't make him look good at all. He was a large supporter of campaign finance reform, so any mistakes like this right now are going to resonate more. Similarly he has been slamming Rell on the fundraising issue, so for DeStefano's group to get nailed for a fundraising infraction themselves takes away from his claims that she was "asleep at the switch". He sounds a little drowsy himself right about now.

DeanFan84 said...

Link here:
DeStefano campaign ordered to pay $4,000 civil penalty.

It's good that they got fined. But the timing could be better. Who appointed Garfield?

I want to point out again that if it was a Federal campaign, DeStefano would have been within bounds. I'm glad are state law are stricter.

New Haven's Switch Watcher said...

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...............

elaine said...

What I don't get is if the DeStefano folks know the rules like they say they do - i.e. sending the donor a letter indicating that they received a donation and need more information - why didn't they do it? And if the state says that this is "serious neglect" why the only $4,000 fine?

We have election rules for a reason - to maintain the integrity of the political campaign system. When people uninentionally "forget" to follow these rules, and when state official acknowledge it was unintentional and don't take action of appropriate magnitude, the public gets slighted and bears the brunt of these mishaps. What do we have to know that this won't happen again?

Independent1 said...

Interesting to note he's not returning the funds. Tough to take it to Rell when he is once again not living up to her standards.

Mr. Reality said...

Ha Ha!! I love your question..."who appointed Garfield?" Of course it must be a conspiracy those darn Republicans!!!!

ct_guy said...

Independent1 -

It's also amusing that he (rightly) blamed Rell completely for something someone who worked for her did, saying she should have known what was going on.

I'm sure John would agree that in this case he is just as responsible for what happened as his treasurer is.

DeanFan84 said...

elaine--

I don't believe there was any intent to deceive the public. At the end of a quarter some checks came in with out the required forms. A low-level staffer was asked to track down the missing info. It never got done.

If you looked up the 32 donors (out of 612) for whom info was missing, I doubt you would find anything eye-raising. This wasn't an attempt to hide anything. It was a mistake. I'm surprised any fines were levelled. But certainly one could not argue that they weren't appropriate.

Where are the Malloy guys? I expect them here any minute.

DeanFan84 said...

Independent1-
Why should DeStefano return the contributions? It isn't tainted money, nor was it illegally raised.

Was this an accidental mistake, or something greater? I just don't think you can argue there was any intent on the part of the DeStefano camp to deceive the public.

DeStefano's team deserves some public embarassment, as well as the fines. But we shouldn't compare this to the Moody scandal where Rell's chief of staff willfully broke the rules.

Anonymous said...

df84,

first off, im not a Malloy guy, im undecided as of now. But the fact that it was a "low-level staffer" is no excuse. The blame goes right up the chain of command, but the nature of a political campaign means that the candidate must take ultimate responsibility.

Destefano should bite the head off of the campaign manager (who is that anyway?), who should have been given a draft of the report for a detailed review, and also the press secretary who should have crafted the best spin and release for the filing. Both of them should then rip the Finance Director a new one.

On any day, this is Bush League stuff for a campaign, in this state's current political environment, this is inexcusable.

Just wait until the campaign is really hot - and not a year before the election.

The Devil is truly in the details.

Independent1 said...

Dean Fan 84:

How about instead of "wilfully broke to rules", "knowingly broke the rules." The rules say, if you don't have the info, you have to return the money. I suppose 'knowingly' is better than 'wilfully.'

Anonymous said...

the eavesdropping story is local unless you all haven't been writing about Liberman, Johnson and the rest of them that serve in the Congress. At the end of the day this is not the worst thing Bush did but he certainly did not err on the side of caution.

OK, so locally is Malloy going to come on camera and take credit for the biggest coke bust in modern times in CT? His force did it the lod fashioned way stopping a limo for doing a California stop. Sort of puts the feds and stae cops to shame with all their Shamus shtick...you know they be doing a big WTNH spot.

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

So, if we conjugate the verb "to err" in New Haven ...

I had a tiny slip-up
We made an administrative mistake
He/She willfully violated
They deceived

DeanFan84 said...

Independent1--
I say willfully when referring to Moody because she had been warned previously by Rubin. And she went ahead and did it anyway.

Anon--
DeStefano's campaign manager is Shonu Gandhi.

And look, I'm not making excuses for the DeStefano staff's obvious mistake. I am suggesting that it not be treated as something bigger. There was no intentional effort to break or circumvent state law.

Franks said...

Destefano's creditability takes a bit of a hit here. The judgement to rush their reported fundraising totals is something of a game, seeking to infulence people, but it has backfired in a big way given the timing of "Moodygate".

Rell's returning of money and refusing to name the contributors is also something curious, is she barring these donors or will they just write another check on another date. If it's the later, that would raise Rell's hypocrisy to a new level.

Simply suspending Moody, but not the others who were aware of her efforts and the commissioners who solcitied funds continues to harm her efforts for election.

ThemDems said...

Sadaam was apparently beaten by the Americans while in custody. I will never understand this administration. This country must be above such tactics. The world continues to watch!!

Blue in CD2 said...

Full Disclosure Alert -

A Campaign CANNOT deposit a contribution unless it has COMPLETE identification compliance.

If the campaign claimed these non-compliant contributions on thier quarterly fillings(which they did), that means they were deposited into thier war chest.

That, in and of itself is, ILLEGAL under current state campaign finance laws. The argument that they sent a "low-level staffer" to hunt down info after they deposited the check is completly moot.

All of this information is available and clearly explained in our CT State Campaign Finance Rules/Regulations Book.

Anonymous said...

Saddam is the one saying he was beaten in custody if you lsten/read the press release all the way through and not just the title. I guess since you dems and Joe didn't beleive him when he said he got rid of the WMD's now you beleive him? He wan't beaten!!! Trust me, Chaeney told me.

Anonymous said...

BlueCD@:Moveon, DeStefano is paying a fine for doing it wrong.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone catch the Courant's announcement that they will no lobger write/publish the local editorials in their key markets around the state...

Was there any reaction to speak of to this annoucement?

If a tree falls in Somers or Thompsonville will anyone hear it?

Anonymous said...

DeStefano's campaign manager (Shonu Ghandi) should be fired...She is responsible for the errors by vitue of her job...She has problems returning calls...has no experience running a state-wide effort and now has compounded it by no over-sight over the money...a 1st time manager would have done better....

Blue in CD2 said...

Anon 2:18 -

Move on? This is a story that broke about 2 hours ago. If i was still talking about the Governments mishandling of Katrina relief or Iraq I could hear you say that, but jesus how short is our news cycles these days.

And on top of that I just wanted to help clarify the guidelines of the situation. But I guess some people dont like disclosure.

*turns on flashlight to shine a beam of truth at an otherwise shady situation*

Genghis Conn said...

No, anonymous, I didn't hear that. Do you have a link?

If it's so (and I wouldn't be surprised), then the Journal Inquirer and other local papers, as well as hyperlocal news websites, will be more than happy to pick up the ball.

Genghis Conn said...

Never mind, found it. Courant Editorial Page Changes

Too bad. None of these moves will improve the paper.

DeanFan84 said...

Yo, Genghis--
I lay odds we get same-day registration this year.

Rell won't get in the way of it, there has been a lot of behind the scenes work with the Registrars, and the Dem gubernatorial candidates want it for November.

You heard it here first.

disgruntled republican said...

Gehngis:

That paper has been a lost cause for some time, not that I need to tell you that. Karen Wagner took a package from them today too.

When will they ever understand what we want?

Idiots...total idiots.

Aldon Hynes said...

Various comments:

I am taking a few moments out of a family Christmas party to address this, which is why I haven’t responded earlier, and I probably won’t get a chance to respond substantially until this evening.

Elaine, if you believe that the violations were intentional, I would urge you to present your evidence to the State Elections Enforcement Commission. The AP stories says, “the commission determined the violations were unintentional.

Likewise, independent1, if you have reason to believe that the money should be returned, I would encourage you to contact the commission. Again, quoting from the AP story, “Garfield said the commission could have ordered DeStefano's campaign to return the $65,000 but decided the violations did not warrant such action.

In terms of who should take responsibility, I believe that Mayor DeStefano, and his Treasurer have taken responsibility the way they should and have properly addressed the issue. As an example, the Commission found that the employer and occupation of those contributors have subsequently been reported.

(As an aside, when I get home, I believe I can retrieve from my own tracking of campaign finance reports off of the CFIS site the people who were not reported on time. I will have to check on that when I get home. I don’t have access to the campaign’s internal fundraising data. I believe the information that wasn’t reported is fairly unremarkable.)

Beyond that, I should note that Finance Director who was in charge at the time has left the campaign. I do not know if her departure was related to this incident, but I do believe that the new Finance Director is a stickler for details and this sort of incident is unlikely to happen again.

Could Shonu do a better job in running the campaign, including better oversight of the money, doing better at returning phone calls, etc? Yes, absolutely. Could I be doing a better job as BlogMaster for the campaign? Yes, absolutely. Everyone can do their own jobs better. However, it is always more fun to second guess what someone else is doing. I would encourage you to walk a mile in Shonu’s moccasins before you start throwing stones at her.

What is the difference between this and the Moody case? I believe there are a couple of very important differences. In the DeStefano case, the violations were done by a low level person who did not know better. It did not involve money that was raised illegally. It was a failure to provide sufficient information about the money that was raised in a timely manner. When the violations were noted, they were addressed and not repeated.

In the Moody case, the violations were done by the Chief of Staff after she had been warned by the ethics czar that her actions were not allowed.

Does this hurt the DeStefano campaign? Yes, I think it does. I know that a lot of the defenders of Rell were quick to suggest that the intentional violations of Rell’s staff wouldn’t really matter but they are now suggesting that the unintentional violations of DeStefano’s staff do matter.

Mayor DeStefano has been trying to get us to focus on the real issues facing our state such as transportation and job growth. His staff has made mistakes and they are being addressed. Rell has been trying to get us to focus on how ethical her campaign is, even though her chief of staff violated policies even after she had been warned by the ethics czar. From a message view point, I believe the past couple weeks hurt Rell more than DeStefano, but we shall see how this continues to develop.

Gene Parmesean said...

Aldon-

I couldn't agree more. Let's stick to the issues.

Maybe this evening or tomorrow you could fill us in on specifically how Mayor DeStefano plans to resolve some of those issues.

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

Umm, Aldon? ...

In the DeStefano case, the violations were done by a low level person who did not know better.

"Governor Rell needs to stop hiding behind her press aides blaming others." - John DeStefano news release, December 15

It did not involve money that was raised illegally.

No, it was deposited illegally. "Campaign contributions ... that are clearly tainted, improper, or possibly illegal and should be immediately given back." - John DeStefano news release, December 15

It was a failure to provide sufficient information about the money that was raised in a timely manner.

No, it was the illegal depositing of checks from donors for whom the campaign lacked the legally necessary information. "Well, as Governor, does Jodi Rell know what is going on in her own Administration?" - John DeStefano news release, December 15

Sauce for the goose, Aldon, don't you think?

Ben Fielding said...

Aldon,

As you should know the Finance Director did not leave because of the reporting.

To be clear, she had been searching for a job long before the quarter ended because the campaign director, Shonu Gandhi, lacks integrity, ethical fortitude and any form of humanity.

Shonu drove the finance director away and is much happier for having left.

Suggesting that you "don't know if they were connected" is a lie. She was gone PRIOR to this incident being investigated.

Aldon, you have crossed a line here and my sitting on the sideline of this discussion and ALL discussions involving DeStefano has ended if you chose to continue this action.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what is going on in DeStefano headquarters?!?

Anonymous said...

Ben--

I don't know if you caught Aldon in a lie, or if you are mistaken. But don't you think you should delete your comment. It reflects poorly on not just John, or Aldon, and Shonu, but also You.

If you do want to delete it, click on the small trash icon at the bottom of your comment.

You are a good guy. I am sorry that your experience in New Haven wasn't a positive one for you.

Best of Luck.

Anonymous said...

Shonu wears moccasins? Forget it, that is that last straw- I am voting Malloy.....

J. Greely said...

And this is the organization that thinks it can run our state? God help us.

Anonymous said...

Moccasins? Where will the madness end? Cats sleeping with dogs? A Democrat in the Governor's Office? Bill Curry not running for office?

Please can we just stop the madness......

Anonymous said...

no; the point here is that DeStefano has surrounded himself with lightweights just like Rell. I had better people on my side when I was running for President of the student council and even then I lost because I ...Malloy should really talk about how his guys made the biggest bust in recent CT history since O'Connor announced one in today's news just to divert attention from his and the state's gendarmes bloated op that couldn't catch a cold in the winter. word has it that Lenoci in Bridgeport is going to use the Vinnie the chin defense .. he's incompetent and can't go to jail, just Testo's, Democratic headquarters in Fabrizi territory.

Aldon Hynes said...

Gene,

As I have commented before, you should come hear Mayor DeStefano speak on the issues. He can do it much more eloquently than my simple rehashing of it. Also, be sure to visit the DeStefano website for some of the discussions we've had about various issues, as well as read some of the excellent posts Julio has written about Mayor DeStefano's positions on the issues. As I noted, I am at a Christmas party with my extended family and won't have much time to respond today, or over the next couple days.

Ben, I do not know any of the details of why the former Finance Director left. You may well be right that it had nothing to do with the investigation. I don't know when the investigation really started. However, the DeStefano campaign does have a different Finance Director now than it did when the incomplete filings were filed and I do believe that such filings are unlikely to occur again. I wish the former Finance Director no ill will. I just feel that is important for people to know that there have been lots of changes in the DeStefano campaign. Every campaign changes as it moves forward.

I have often argued for civility here, and I wish you could be more civil to Shonu.

A different anon: I do believe there is a big difference between money that appears to have been deposited without the depositor knowing whether sufficient information about the donor was gathered and money that appears to be knowingly illegally solicited.

Yes, neither John DeStefano nor Jodi Rell are omniscent about what is going on with their campaigns. However, I believe there is a big difference in how both people approach problems in their organizations when they are discovered. Mayor DeStefano works hard to make sure that the issues are fully addressed. Jodi Rell doesn't appear to make a similar effort.

Anonymous(5:10): I don't know what is going on at Campaign Headquarters. However, where I am at, my middle daughter is playing electric guitar while Jesu Joy of Man's desiring is playing on the CD player. My younger daughter is playing with a ViewMaster, which she says you put a DVD in. (An interesting new perspective on an old toy), and we are getting ready for dinner.

As to the moccasins, I have no further comment.

Aldon Hynes said...

As to the lightweights, at least Rell doesn't have a lightweight BlogMaster the way the DeStefano campaign does.

Dave Mooney said...

For goodness sakes, can we change the subject?

How about, Fairfield County gridlock and lack of affordable housing, among other factors, are undermining our state's economy. Discuss!

DeanFan84 said...

David--

I'm with you. Variable rate tolls. Do you think they might be a practical solution now that we are in the E-Z pass era?

Charge nothing for 3-4 passenger vehicles. Charge something for a car with only 2 passengers. Tax the hell out of solo drivers during peak hours. (ditto for trucks.)

I bet you could get traffic moving again through aggresive rush hour pricing. It would be revenue positive to the state, and is a lot easier than building bigger and bigger roadways.

Anonymous said...

Affordable housing is a bogus issue driven by the builders and realtors. Good businesses who aren't looking for a handout like ING, RBS and Diageo are what the state needs but who cares about that. There's a couple of guys at UCONN who know what's going with the state's economy on but the big money isn't financing them, just the voters and the legislators don't care about all that do they now. hey, if the stae ever stopped social engineering Bill Finch would be out of work!!!!

Anonymous said...

DF84 - yeah you got it right:EZ Pass counts how many are in a vehicle and if Howard's there they even count twice - get around little doggie.

DeanFan84 said...

For the ignorant among us:

"There are several variable-priced toll lanes operating in the United States; two successful California variable-priced toll facilities, I-15 in San Diego County and SR 91 in Orange County, have been in operation for a few years. These facilities charge tolls to users
that vary by time of day, with the highest rates charged during peak commute periods and lower rates charged during off-peak periods; carpools typically are charged a
reduced rate or allowed in free."

Learn more here.

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

No, let's not change the subject, at least not with such unseemly haste ...

But let us - in our dispassionate search for hypocrisy in all its forms (and so DF84 doesn't have conniptions about anonymous Malloy posters) - ask the equally valid question: Where is Dan Malloy's moral outrage?

"It's incumbent on any executive to establish and enforce ethical standards." - Dan Malloy news release, December 14

"The faster this is resolved, the better it is for Connecticut. But it can only move quickly if the Governor's office seizes the initiative." - Dan Malloy news release, December 16

"And she and whoever else was involved should provide all the information they have, not just what they're asked to provide." - Dan Malloy news release, December 16

Dan Malloy today: "This matter is between the DeStefano campaign and the Elections Enforcement Commission."

Harsh, Dan. Harsh.

DeanFan84 said...

Maybe Malloy didn't attack DeStefano on this because it wasn't that big an issue?

You need to go back and read the actual report from the Election Enforcement Commission. Then come back and tell us that what happened was an intentional breaking of the law.

sheesh!

Anonymous said...

Aldon...the fact remains that Ben Fielding is right Shonu Ghandi is intemperate,short-sighted and lacks the people skills let alone the experience to run the campaign....and..the ultimate responsibility is hers in the office and lastly the candidate...

If the DeStefano campaign cant get the money right who can they run Connecticut?

Fortuneately Malloy's staff and consultants..especialy Global Strategies are even worse...they have never run a race yet ( 0 for 4) and frankly they are stealing Malloy's money.

I expect you to disclaim this comment..i know you and your wife live in Stamford, buddy and hope to have her run in some race real soon. Lets just be upfront for a change

Anonymous said...

DeStefano....HAHAHAHAHA

What a hypocrite. Shows his true colors. Rell will destroy him in November.

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

DF84 -

In other words, IOKIYAD?

Just askin' ...

NoEquivalence said...

There is a difference between a mistake, and a willful violation of the rules. (Moody had been warned by Rubin not to do what she did.)

Plus DeStefano isn't running as Miss Goody-Two-Shoes. Nor did he spend twenty years as the close political partner of our jailed ex-governor.

Gene Parmesean said...

Aldon-

Most of what is being discussed here is inside baseball that the average person doesn't know about or care about. Lets talk about two things:

1. How do you respond to anon 6:59, who argues that DeStefano and Malloy are a little bit hypocritical?

2. I understand that you don't want to talk about specific issues but here's my problem: you invite us to go and hear Mayor DeStefano speak, but most of us have jobs to go to and can't just drive around the state to hear him speak. Your refusal to give us some insight doesn't give us much confidence that you know a whole lot about his positions.

Independent1 said...

Aldon:

"As I noted, I am at a Christmas party with my extended family and won't have much time to respond today, or over the next couple days." Man, my family has had some pretty good Christmas parties, but rarely did they go over three days!

But, back on subject,

"Yes, neither John DeStefano nor Jodi Rell are omniscent about what is going on with their campaigns. However, I believe there is a big difference in how both people approach problems in their organizations when they are discovered. " The difference is, Moody reported herself; DeStefano had to have the JI do it for him. Rell moved after three days to suspend Moody. The illegal campaign deposits were reported in the JI on October 13; by my calculation, that's 69 days, and no action.

You're right, there is a difference.

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

There is a difference between a mistake, and a willful violation of the rules. (Moody had been warned by Rubin not to do what she did.)

A newspaper has reported, based on sources, that she was warned. It's become blogosphere gospel, but who really knows?

Plus DeStefano isn't running as Miss Goody-Two-Shoes.

No, but gosh he had a lot of advice for her, didn't he?

Nor did he spend twenty years as the close political partner of our jailed ex-governor.

Nor did she - it was 9 1/2 years. (Getting basic facts wrong hardly lends strength to the case, does it?)

Here's the point: Wasn't it Dire Straits that had a lyric about "When you point a finger ... there are three more fingers pointing back at you?"

Or, more succinctly: Hypocrisy sucks. Lots of folks here take great pleasure in calling Rell a hypocrite (and worse), but no one seems to want to talk about The Day John Farted in Church.

MikeCT said...

On same day voter registration:
As Democracy Works points out, a same day voter registration bill passed "in both the House and Senate with strong bipartisan support" in 2003, but was vetoed by Rowland. I don't know what the track record was in subsequent years, but if public financing of legislative and statewide campaigns could actually pass this year, then same day registration should be the least of our hurdles. Democracy Works argues, "Election Day Registration (EDR) has increased voter participation by 8-15% in six states. The 2000 census showed that Connecticut's voter participation rates dropped from the top third of states to the bottom half. EDR would help to reverse this trend and increase participation in Connecticut's democratic process." Here's a fact sheet from Demos.

On DeStefano's filings:
No one aside from Malloy and Rell fans really cares about this and it is silly to conclude that it was some sort of intentional conspiracy. What could possibly be gained, compared to the hassle it has caused them? What is more disturbing to me is the amateurish nature of the mistake. I would imagine the campaign has learned its lesson.

MikeCT said...

Another thing - Chris Murphy has released a very long list of endorsements, including many Democratic town chairs throughout the district. Between the local endorsements and the fundraising differential (Murphy's $253,000 vs. Vance's $18,000), I doubt Vance will be long for this race.

Anonymous said...

well SF is half right (the broken clock theory)

HOT lanes are good ideas.

They have not been conversions of eixting free lanes. Rather in Cali and VA when freeways were widened the new lanes were toll only (i.e. the 91 freeway in Orange County and the Dulles Toll Road in NO VA).

If you want to widen I-95 with HOT lanes count me in. But the Sierra Club will like that idea about as much as ANWR drilling or clean coal plants

Dave Mooney said...

Alright, fine.

It's pretty clear to me that a clerical error is not in the same category as flauting well-known internal ethics standards and that law in order to raise money.

Anonymous said...

Here here! - Can we get back to talking about issues that matter

Dave Mooney said...

I don't know if hot lanes and variable-rate tolls are the answer. I have a feeling that tolls would have to be $5 - $10/day between Bridgeport and Stamford before people would change their behavior. I don't see how this helps our economy, although it might allow us to control other taxes.

When you look at the options one has to commute across this county, I feel like I've gone back in time. We've got highways, commuter rail, and buses. One word: lame! These are the same options we had in 1955! 50 years and nothing new? I don't think we're trying hard enough. Why haven't we invented something new?

DeanFan84 said...

David--
If your average commuter is worth $25-$40/hour, Fairfield County gridlock is costing the economy more than $5-$10 day.

Really, it should be very expensive to be a solo commuter on I-95 during rush hour. The externalities of spending an extra hour each way are significant.
------------------------------------------
A diff anonyMOUSE--
Rowland and Rell go back to 1984, when Jodi first won state office. They were buds that far back. (no, they didn't meet in 1994, when John picker her as his LT.)

Dave Mooney said...

It's already very expensive. The IRS says a mile is worth $0.40. The 50 mile round trip from Stratford to Stamford, therefore, is worth $20. That figure probably doesn't take into account the sub-optimal mpg one gets when driving in stop-n-go traffic. My train pass costs me about $5/day if I use it 22 days of the month. The insanity of it is that even with the traffic, my door-to-door commute by foot and train can actually take LONGER! Public transport is already more economical for those who can use it.

I'm just saying that the phsycological effect of a $5 or $10 in-your-face fee for commuting is what would probably be necessary to make people think twice about using their car. However, I don't think it would help the economy because the public-transport alternative are so pathetic that it would actually waste even more of people's time.

And by the way, car-poolers get an automatic individual discount because they can share the cost of a single toll fee among themselves. Car-pooling is not a workable solution. The synchronicity required to arrange it is extremely inconvenient. Easy Street doesn't even offer any Stratford-to-Stamford routes.

Dave Mooney said...

Sorry, that last comment was sort of all over the place. :( I really shoudn't write this late at night!

DeanFan84 said...

David--
Whatever it takes, rush hour traffic needs to flow. Highway gridlock is incredibly unproductive, (please don't dismiss the wastefulness of wasting an hour or two per day, sitting in traffic). Gridlock is also highly destructive on a quality of life basis.

How can you get single passenger vehicles off the road at rush hour without employing economic disincentives? (i.e. taxes). The solo drivers are the problem, however. Increase the average passengers/vehicle from 1.2 to 2.2, and you have accomplished wonders.

What I like about variable rate tolls is that you could tweak the tolls until you reached an equilibrium. The important thing is that you never exceed maximum capacity.

And yes, the extra revenues could go to fund better public transportation. The bus needs to be more attractive, economically, if we are going to solve our traffic woes. Otherwise we get the two hour/30-40 mile commute.

Chris MC said...

I don't have the data at hand, but I was recently told that a (surprising percentage) of I-95 traffic isn't commuter, but through traffic. If someone gets their hands on this information, I think it would be interesting for people to know.

Weicker Liker said...

Other DEMOCRAT endorsements of Murphy endorsements are expected.
There is no news here.

I have doubts he will beat Nancy Johnson.

Dave Mooney said...

DF84:

The problem with buses is they are slow and don't always go where you need them to go. I live 25 miles from work. In the absense of traffic jams, it should take me about 30 minutes to get there if I drive the speed limits. And I might be able to get there is 15 minutes using some hypothetical, futuristic mass transit. (Just trying to think creatively for a minute.)

In Stamford there is a bus that goes directly from the intermodal Stamford Transportation Center righ to my office building! Awesome, right? Nope. It take 20 minutes to make the trip, which is about how long it takes to walk the same distance and about how long it takes to ride to the next train station, Old Greenwich, and walk from there. In addition, I would have to wait 5-10 minutes on average to make the train/bus connection.

Public transit should be able to outpace stop-and-go highway traffic, but the options we have just don't work in a suburban sprawl landscape. We need something new.


Chris:

That wouldn't surprise me. When I do drive to work I take it to exit 6, which is the Westernmost Stamford exit. There are a ton of vehicles that continue onward to Greenwich and beyond.

Another externalalized factor is freight rail cannot effeciently access Southern CT. It has to run all the way up to Albany and then back down to cross the Hudson. Boston isn't the port it once was so most of our goods come from NJ by truck on I-95.

Anonymous said...

Diane Farrell came up with how to solve the grid lock problem years ago but all the pundits who go from issue to issue (the ignorant) are interested in is talking about widening the CT Tpke to be a Cahllifahnya freeway. Once again it all goes to lack of leadership and, as Madeline Albright liked to say, cajones.

Chris MC said...

What is the Farrell idea?

Anonymous said...

Farrell ahd a big sign up on the Tpke that said the congestion problem begins in DC and we should send her there.

Anonymous said...

yo, Genghis--

What's the record for most comments in a thread?

Anonymous said...

State Senate is now 24-12. Where do you see that going in 2006? Will Senate dinosauers who love the power and attention like Gunther, Ciotto and Prague run again? .....what about Fasano? Does he run? I hear Aniskovich takes another shot.