Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Open Forum

John Rowland was dragged back to Connecticut to testify before a federal grand jury investigating the corruption in his administration. Joy. Can we send him back to Pennsylvania, now?

Former Rowland employee Laurence Cohen predicts a dull governor's race and an easy win for Jodi Rell, going so far as to compare the upcoming race to Rowland vs. Kennelly in 1998. Yeesh, I hope not.

Rep. Chris Shays outraised Diane Farrel by a 2-1 margin last quarter. It's worth pointing out that, according to Steven Levitt's excellent and controversial book Freakonomics, the most likely indicator of losing a congressional election is having lost one before to the same opponent. Ask Ed Munster and Charlotte Koskoff.

House Minority Leader Robert Ward wants a constitutional amendment requiring full funding of teacher pensions. The aim is not bad, but a constitutional amendment seems a little much.

Apparently, the president gave some sort of speech last night. Some Connecticut lawmakers react.

What else is happening today?

32 comments:

the wandererrr said...

The good news out of the President's speech last night was his call for a bi-part commission on entitlements. Better late than never to co-opt what the Democrats called for last year.

Ward (big government Bob) wants what? Just get the state to start to adopt some of the generally accepted accounting principles that corporations are now required to follow.

Anonymous said...

GC-Don't speak ill of Charlotte Koskoff, Chris Murphy touts that he ran one of her "almost there" campaigns as one of his big strengths.

Anon and on said...

If you ever need a bellwether as to where some of the more benighted legislators are going, check out the Office of Legislative Research site.

http://www.cga.ct.gov/olr/OLRNew.asp

Important point: OLR is staffed with some of the best minds in the state, and the legislators get to ask them just about ANYTHING to research... and we have to pay for it.

It used to start with summaries of sessions past: "What did we just do so I can brag on it in my district." Later, for those lacking imagination, that extended to "What are the things we'll do in the upcoming session." You gotta figure that's a perfect roundoff. "Tell me what I should do, and then when it's over, tell me what I just did." (And there are people who think this should be a full-time gig???)

Anyway, here are some of the ideas they're curious about:

Redistricting and Four-Year Legislative Terms (Anything to extend their tenure.)

Motorcycle Noise (Certainly the low-hanging fruit on quality of life issues for those afraid to propose a helmet law.)

Funding for Invasive Plants Programs (a/la Ned Beatty in 1941: "Invaaaaaaaaaaasion!!!")

And my personal favorite: Artificial Weather Modification ("Mommy, why does it rain??")

I guess they're leaving affordable college education and prescription drugs for after the election year.

sanity said...

Rowland will be back in time for Valentine's day.

His unexpected visit to Connecticut yesterday is sure to be the start of another round of very interesting developments. Ellef, Tomasso and Alibozek are unlikely to be the target of this investigation having already plead out on federal charges. I am both cringing and eager at the same time to find out who it is now.

I am all for exposing and expelling corruption from our state government. Just remember, not all Republicans are like John Rowland and not all Democrats are like Ernest Newton. There are still a lot of good people on both sides of the aisle working hard in our state government and trying to do the right thing.

Anonymous said...

The US Atorney (aka Kevin O'Connor) blew the entire Rowland prosecution by leaving him alone for as long as he naively did while spending big bucks going after Rowland's rival Ganim. Now the pros at DOJ are scrambling to beat the statute of limitations.

O'Connor for US Senate

mod.dem.like.jfk said...

DD-

My favorite part of the SOTU was definitly the President calling for the line item veto.

The line item veto? The same one that the Supreme Court said was unconstitutional (Clinton v. City of New York)? That line item veto?

How can some one preach about government responsibility then ask Congress to pass something that the Supreme Court said was unconstitutional? How can someone preach about not legislating from the bench then ask the bench to overturn itself, literally ask them (not to mention that Clinton v. NYC was a 6-3 decision and 5 of the justices that voted it as unconstitutional are still on the Court!)?

I know this is small potatoes compared to...
-the war for democracy
-creating health care saving tax shelters
-getting off our dependency on foreign oil by the time we die -domestic spying...i mean domestic terror prevention
-our incredible growing economy (but only for the top tax bracket)
-more tax cuts for the top 1%,
and
-personal responsibility saving generations to come
-and the rest of the speech, but the call for line item veto stands as a total microcosm for the Bush Administration:
1- Blame (your choice: Washington Establishment/Dems/Liberals/Evil/Enemies to Freedom) for the problem.
2- Pull wool over the eyes of the American people.
3- Come up with a solution that is best for the administration regardless of the (choose one: constitutionality/ethical consequences, environmental impact/ global consequences/ morality).

mod.dem.like.jfk said...

Meant to address that to GC. Cut and pasted that from an email I wrote.

the wandererrr said...

MDlikeJFK: you make a good point about the line item veto. Bush hasn't balked at a spending bill that's been put on his desk yet.

And when he was talking about the veterans back from Iraq, I kept thinking about the dozen or so that are now Democrats challenging House seats this season. What I also noticed is that he's backed off on his rhetoric about 'total victory' there because maybe he never could tell us what the hell that meant.

I expect the anonymous fromer KGB agent who now owes his allegiance to Rovism to respond shortly. It was a risk but I had to make my comment.

mod.dem.like.jfk said...

wandererrr-

excellent point re: iraq. another highlight for me was the equation that came out of last night

(increase health care spending) + (reforming social security) +(investment in math and science for our children) + (permenant tax cuts) + (investment in non-oil energy) + (rebuilding new orleans) + (more HIV education and prevention programs) + (combat missions overseas) - (140 government programs) - (pork spending) = paying off half the debt by 2009.

I'm not great at math...but seriously

the wandererrrr said...

MDlikeJFK: I wasn't totally turned off by his speech..Electronic medical records are a good thing but not if the government is going to pay for them with our taxes. My accountant, my mechanic, many restaraunts and you name it have invested in information technology to serve the consumer better and in accordance with industry standards. It's time the health services people step up to the plate and reinvest their profits in their businesses like others do.

The math and science education does not appear to be a phony issue either since that came out of recommendations by the National Academy of Sciences, which is a pretty straightforward group.

The tax cuts are a good thing in the long run but I'm still having trouble reconciling that with the costs in Iraq. And I wish the hell that Bush had vowed to bring OBL to justice instead of saying he beleives his threats are real.

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

I wasn't turned off completely either ... but shots of the divided Congress, one sided roaring and the other booing - and I don't much care which side it was - just made me sad.

Likewise, shots of Hillary looking like the cat that swallowed the canary, or Rumsfeld smirking. I wanted to slap them both senseless (if that's not utterly redundant).

The whole exercise just left me ineffably ... sad.

the wandererrrr said...

I also enjoyed what I saw as a give and take by the Democrats and who openly jeered at Bush when he said you did't pass my Social Security plan and then his reply asking for the Commission on all entitlements. Let's not forget that Bush and Kennedy had done NCLB even if we don't like how it went in to effect.

mod.dem.like.jfk said...

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

I completely agree. The State of the Union is sad. That is why these upcoming elections are so important and both parties need to find good people to make a difference in this country.

As for the shots of the divided congress, they weren't all bad...for instance the shot of Rosa DeLauro wearing what appeared to be a 17 color scarf was hilarious.

Proud Moderate Dem said...

You guys watched the SOTU? UCONN was on....

mod.dem.like.jfk said...

And i don't dislike the Congresswoman...but 17 colors? I mean wouldn't 6 or 7 do?

Anonymous said...

I saw Joe Lieberman stand and applaud the Pres. a couple of times last night when he was talking about Iran and Iraq. When the speech was over and the President was leaving soemone in that vicinity (where Lieberman was located) gave the President a thumbs up. I thought it was Joe but wasn't certain. Did anyone else see that?

the wandererrr said...

I also enjoyed what I saw as a give and take by the Democrats and who openly jeered at Bush when he said you did't pass my Social Security plan and then his reply asking for the bi-part Commission on all entitlements. Let's not forget that Bush and Kennedy had done NCLB even if we don't like how it went in to effect.

I don't know why I had to post this twice but 10 minutes passed and it didn't show up

mod.dem.like.jfk said...

PMD- Had UCONN muted. Awsome game!

and with that I think I've hit my self imposed post limit for today...

Anonymous said...

Going WAAAY back to the early comments on this one, I dont think anyone was speaking ill of Koskof, it's just a fact that the book points out about 2nd chance races. Also, I think Murphy ran her first race when she almost won, not her second race when she lost bad.

Gabe said...

Today, I stand with the president, strongly against werewolves.

sanity said...

Every year I become more and more disappointed with the deterioration of behavior in Congress. I don't care if your the Democrats jeering George Bush's SOUT or the Republicans jeering Bill Clinton's SOUT. If you can't respect the man, at least respect the presidency. Set a positive example. Running this country is serious business. Petty, immature behavior has no place in our government - leave the schoolyard politics to the pundits of the extreme radical right and extreme liberal left. Get down to business, respect each other's differences, seek compromise where possible and work through it. Most of all, grow up and set a better example for our children!

Weicker Liker said...

From The Hill

In what some were calling the biggest upset in House leadership elections in recent memory, Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) staged a come-from-behind victory this morning to become vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus.

Larson defeated rival Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) by a margin of 116 to 87 in the second round of balloting after having trailed Crowley in the first ballot, where the New Yorker received 79 votes and Larson garnered 66, and the third candidate, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill) won 56 votes.

Throughout much of the campaign, Larson refused to disclose the names of his supporters, a campaign style that differed markedly from his competitors who routinely touted their numbers in the press. Larson went into the vote with 19 public supporters, a far cry from the public totals for Crowley and Schakowsky, which were 72 and 56, respectively.

Larson called the results a victory for unity among Democrats.
"Never has this Democratic party been as united as it has today," he said after the results had been announced.

Anonymous said...

Larsons Turnaroud on the Bankruptcy Bill was the Beginning of an awakening that is now just starting to reap rewards.

Anonymous said...

Anon--

Koskoff ran at least 3 times, Murphy ran her 2nd race when she came closest. The third time he did not run her campaign. Does Levitt talk about 3 time candidates and their campaign managers?

Genghis Conn said...

I just posted about that, Weicker Liker. How is this a victory for unity, I wonder? Seems like he wasn't really much of a consensus choice.

DeanFan84 said...

Sanity--
So I guess you aren't a Jon Stewart/The Daily Show fan? Ever seen a House of Commons debate?!

But I understand your disappointment with the SOTU address last night. I was embarassed to be an American, and I couldn't believe my eyes as I watched our Congressional "leaders" jump up and down like a bunch of monkeys, (as they gave almost every Bush line a short standing ovation).

This is adult behavior? This is patriotism? I kept thinking that we were just a moment away from a rousing chorus of "Heil Hitlers"!

Proud Moderate Dem said...

any other fundraising numbers out there? and any word on the budget vote?

Proud Moderate Dem said...

just found it, i know that some on this blog think that getting to the bottom of whose thumb was sticking out of a crowd last night at the SOTU is the most important thing, but in my opinion, i wish that more of you were concerned with the following:

The House just passed the Budget Reconciliation bill 216 to 214. It was close and not a single Democrat voted for the bill. For additional details go to: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2006/roll004.xml

this is a terrible bill. johnson and shays deciding votes!!!!!!! now, someone please tell me that taking them out and getting control of the house is not more important than a lieberman primary!

Anonymous said...

Not that it matters (remember Seinfeld) ... but is Murphy gay?

I also heard he lives with his parents?

sanity said...

Anonymous-
No, Chris Murphy is not gay. Last time I saw him socially (last summer) he was with his girlfriend. I don't know if he is still with her today, but it seemed to be a longer-term relationship. She was friendly, attractive and intelligent, by the way. Since I have known him, going back to when he was a young legislative staffer, he has had several girlfriends and not a single boyfriend. So..., I think he is pretty clear on his sexuality. Not that there should be a problem if he was gay. As we know, there are several gay legislators, some more open about it than others.

Anonymous said...

I think it is telling that Murphy seems to wander rootlessly finding a favorable zip code for his political endeavors

He gre up in suburban Hartford and alighted in Southington for the apparent sole purpose of jolting the slumbering Angelo Fusco out of office. Now having lived in town perhaps long enough to get a summons for jury duty, he skiddadles across the line to Cheshire so as to establish a 5th District residence....if DeLauro retires wll he move again to Wallingford?

Wolcottboy said...

Or back to wethersfield if Larson retires. At least they're all close by. Rumor had it that he had a vacant condo in Southington when he was there.