Saturday, February 18, 2006

Weekend Open Forum

The House Democrats released their agenda Friday. Better transportation is atop it.

The Clean Up Connecticut campaign is recommending fixes for campaign finance reform. Let's hope legislators at least consider some revisions to the law this session.

The Courant warns Lamont against spending too much of his own money, as that could trigger an increase in donation sizes for Lieberman.

The Legislative Races to Watch page has been slightly updated. Some candidates actually have opponents and websites, now! Sen. Bill Finch (D-Bridgeport) has a blog which is being kept up to date, and is an interesting read.

What else is going on this weekend?


Anonymous said...

well, now the "reformers" don;t like reform.

That's an irony as rich as Mr. Lamont

of course, these bills were all designed to keep rich Republicans from buying elections. Sorry. Mr. Swan, it's hard to write laws to stop just the people you don't agree with

Anonymous said...

I got an email from the people at Chris Murphy's campaign about an event this week with the head of the DCCC, Rep. Emmanuel. It's about time the democrats leadership put some energy into beating Nancy Johnson. If they're going to take over control of the congress, I think she's one of the republicans they have to beat. Murphy is young and he is raising a lot of money, so with a little help from the big guys in Washington he has a real chance.

ctkeith said...

A DumpJoe representative will be at the Murphy Luncheon.

I hope Rahm has figured out what the Unified Dem Message will be if Lieberman is the Dem Senate Nominee because Not one Dem party official or elected official in the Dem party has been able to anwer that Question Yet.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Murphy hopes for more help than Paul Hackett in OH got....does the term "ice floe" mean anything?

MikeCT said...

Courtney and Simmons don't want to talk about the Iraq war, as the Journal Inquirer reports:
Click on "issues" on the campaign Web sites of U.S. Rep. Robert R. Simmons, R-2nd District, and of his challenger, Vernon Democrat Joseph D. Courtney, and look for their positions on the war in Iraq. Keep looking.

This reinforces my sense of Courtney. I went to see him speak and asked about his position on the war before it happened - he said "we" decided not to take a clear position on it one way or the other at the time. Both his use of "we" and his lack of clarity struck me as cowardly. I asked about a timetable for withdrawal and he had none. He had few specifics on most issues and I got little sense of a positive vision. I went there fully intending to make a contribution and perhaps volunteer, and left annoyed and keeping my money. There is little he says, in fact, that would distinguish him from any wishy-washy centrist or conservative Dem. He appears to be a follower, not a leader.

Mark Pazniokas at the Courant also faults DeStefano and Malloy for playing an insider's game - focusing on delegates and comparatively neglecting outreach to a broader public.

This apparent strategy is in contrast with the campaigns of Deval Patrick in Massachusetts and Matt Brown in Rhode Island. These insurgent, underdog campaigns focused on getting broad publicity and building name recognition early on, and both have surged in the polls, matching or beating their primary or general election opponents, even with far less money in the bank. Brown in particular has already spent a chunk of money on TV ads, with some success.

My Left Nutmeg tips us to a profile of Ned Lamont in tomorrow's NY Times.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Cmte has created a "rubber stamp" Web ad (Windows Media) critiquing Nancy Johnson's alliance with Bush on Medicare, energy and the budget. Interesting, but they could really use some better production and some narration in their ads. (Thanks to 5th CD Watch for the link.)

One more Web site for your candidate list - Deborah Heinrich - really her old site, but I imagine she'll update it.

Anonymous said...


Maybe the Dump Joe "representative" will ask Senator Murphy his position on an Iraq withdrawal. I have seen him speak at a DTC and he danced around the question.

Progressive or opportunistic?

Anonymous said...

Must read stuff from "Sanity" on his SaveConnecticut blog.

Excerpts from Sanity's "Damn Liberals" rant:
"To the Liberals, I am less than human and barely worthy of living. Yet I don’t resort to calling them names and I try to present my views or ask my questions in a polite and respectful manner. And these Liberals, .... respond to me with disrespect, insults and name-calling simply because I identify myself as a Republican. Talk about prejudice and intolerance!

More excerpts:
"Liberals have perverted basic Democratic ideals."

"Liberals are a hate-filled, spiteful, nasty bunch of people."

"The problem is society seems to give credibility to the MSM and the Liberals, who themselves have no credibility."

"Liberals have allowed themselves to be so consumed with hate..."

"How can I respect a group of people, the Liberals, who not only feel the need insult and offend those with alternative ideas, they make it an official political strategy to embarrass and to use name-calling? Name-calling?"

"Read the newspaper, visit some liberal blogs and web sites, watch the news programs. Tell me they aren’t an irrational and fanatical group of hateful people."

"Liberals are awful.... They use the same oratory and debating style playbook that Islamic Fundamentalists do, again, to divide people and spread hate.

Sanity, Dude, how can you write such ugly words as those, and then something beautiful like this:
"Insulting each others’ values, using each other as scapegoats and dismissing each others’ beliefs won’t advance us as citizens or make us a better people. Our government, our politicians and we as a people have regressed. We’ve lost respect for each other and our pride, dignity and civility. This is not what those who founded our nation, those who fought and died for our nation and those who came together to make real progress for our nation intended for us. And I am very sad and ashamed for that."

Good Grief sanity, your internal tensions must be ripping you apart!.

My personal advice is that you quit reading Coulter and Bernie Goldberg, quit listening to Rush and Hannity, and take a good bath.

Either that, or quit lecturing us "Damn Liberals" about civility!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the good laugh, (what most certainly must be DeanFan)...

Sanity doesn't resort to calling anyone names? Right-o!

Anonymous said...

Slightly on-topic, rumor has it that Ann Coulter might be going to jail!

As first pointed out by Wonkette:
"When Ann Coulter Commits Voter Fraud, She Commits Voter Fraud, Dammit".

Anonymous said...


How can you link to a website that calls Al Gore a "Traitor to his Country"?

See this ugliness on

Is this the kind of crowd you are encouraging to participate here? I ordinarily wouldn't believe so....

Anonymous said...

anon 7.44, I suppose that rhetoric was over the top, but are you really endorsing Gore's shameful suck up to Saudi zillionaires and bigots?

Perhaps "prostitute" is more accurate than "traitor"

DeanFan84 said...

Someone has to make nice after Abu Ghraib?

Really, are we trying to incite violence, or whatever we can to quell it?

Chris MC said...

Eductation? Anybody? Bueller?

Chris MC said...

If you saw Ann Coulter on the now defunct "Firing Line", you know she is truly a bimbo. Her host, the great-grandaddy of modern conservatism William F. Buckley, tried repeatedly to set her up to win. She was so discombobulated that he was visibly annoyed and threw in the towel. It was a riot to watch.

Honestly, Ann Coulter doing the perp walk would be absolutely iconic, but this was probably just another airhead move on her part. They'll fine her five bucks and urge her to get someone to sew her address into her underwear. What a twit.

Anonymous said...

Chris MC--

You are so dead on the money. I'm just slow to get into that debate, only because I don't think we have any chance of real reform until after this year's elections.

Township government with its inefficiencies, and its inability to lend itself to regional planning-- This is truly the 800lb gorilla in terms of CT politics.

But can anything be done? Gosh, I hope so. But it would be tantamount to Civil War.

Chris MC said...

Yeah, so let everybody weigh in anonymously here. Nice and safe.

Nothing has to get accomplished, just let people say some sh*t they won't say if people know it's them. I mean, what Democratic leader, no, Republican leader (hi Bob) will take this on? Nobody. But they could all chime in here, and nobody'd be able to pin anything on 'em.

Me, I ain't running for anything...

DeanFan84 said...

okay, I'm with you. What regional issues should we begin with? Roads, Airports, tax-sharing?

sanity said...

Anon 5:32 -

It is one thing to attack one's values and another thing to criticize one's behavior. I am criticizing the behavior of "Liberals" - or more correctly, as Genghis pointed out to me, Left Radical/Extremists. And before your start - yes I agree there are Right Radical/Extremists whose behavior deserves to be criticized as well.

Independent1 said...

The only way we will get regional services will be voluntary agreements among municipalities. Statutorily, we already have interlocal agreements. They need to be made easier to achieve and implement. (We see these in various endeavors, police, for example: regional narcotics task forces, dive teams, accident reconstruction teams, etc.). The real challenge will be to implement regional solutions to public works and education. Citizens won't object to regionalization of public works efforts (not sexy, but why should every single town have a separate program to mulch leaves, clear storm sewers, repair curbs, etc.?), but education will be a huge challenge. Throw in the local unions, fighting against any efficiency which results in a loss of membership, and it ain't likely to happen. This is why most of the regionalization occurs in new endeavors (unencumbered by local control) or when the price just gets too high.

Genghis Conn said...

CCROG and other extra-municipal organizations have made some strides towards useful regionalization, but it's very true that no town wants to give up control of school districts. This isn't just a union issue (unions in school districts represent teachers, for the most part, and their membership wouldn't decline, although membership of town employee unions would), but an issue of soverignty. Parents and town officials believe that local control is a good thing: the more local the better.

Magnet schools are an interesting avenue to explore. Since they draw from (and are funded by) a bunch of different school systems, they are the beginnings of what a big regionalized system could be. Regional districts could lead to more specialization. Vocational schools, science/math focused schools, drama/arts schools... Some big urban districts already do this. Could at least be an argument to use in favor of regionalization: more opportunities for kids.

Independent1 said...

Charter and specialty schools are a perfect example of 'new' services. The only way to get around entrenched interests (both local control and unions) is to re-label the project as something 'new', and therefore not already under local control. With 150 member GA, representing local interests, the only way to get real regionalization is to come up with new labels and new approaches. I rather suspect we will see a lot of new labels in the future.

I once served on a regional water authority, and we looked into various services we could offer the towns we served. Almost universally, each town wanted us to do the work, didn't want to pay for it (rather we collect the fees directly), and didn't want to take on their local unions about 'outsourcing' (even though our workforce was also unionized.)

Chris MC said...

GC quoth:
This isn't just a union issue [...] but an issue of soverignty. Parents and town officials believe that local control is a good thing: the more local the better.
This is kind of what I am pointing at. Take the value judgement out of it, i.e. who "deserves" what and so on, and look at it objectively in the sense of what it is that people really act on? Sovereignty is a very good word for this.

[...] more specialization. [...] more opportunities for kids.
This points to the meta-conversation we need to undertake, IMO. Right now, it is pretty universally "more opportunities for my kids". Specialization is at the heart of quality education. Teachers everywhere struggle with this daily. The structure and measures that frame education today are at odds with this, I suggest.

Ask inner city mothers about vouchers, and they want them. It is about sovereignty and about what is best for their kids. Ask Darien public school mothers about vouchers, as in let's bring Bridgeport's inner city youth into Darien's school system, and these strong Republican districts become notably less vocal on this issue. It is about maintaining their sovereignty over what is best for their kids.

Aldon Hynes said...

I appreciate the recent posts about regionalism. Chris hits an important point. People are driven first and foremost by self-interest. Everyone wants the best school opportunities for their own kids. They want the best roads to drive on, the best trains to ride on, all as cheaply as possible. They believe that this will be achieved by being given choices.

Magnet schools are an example of people being given better choices through regionalism, and New Haven’s Magnet school system is a great example. In 2003, the Department of Education published this article about the New Haven Magnet Schools. It starts:

New Haven, the seventh poorest community in the United States, is typical of many older urban areas. Once a thriving manufacturing center, the city has lost jobs and middle class residents to surrounding suburbs. Despite these economic and demographic trends that have laid waste to many American cities, New Haven has been able to discourage white flight from its schools, through the establishment and expansion of the New Haven Public Schools' magnet schools along with the development and inclusion of other public school choice options.

Mayor DeStefano has been successful in getting disparate parties to recognize their shared common interest. He talks about the number of people coming in from the suburbs to attend the New Haven schools. He talks about working with Yale to get them to realize the importance of working together with the City of New Haven.

Yes, better regionalism. We need leaders that can make regionalism work, because, as Independent1 notes, everyone wants the benefits of regionalism, but don’t want to do the work.

Mayor DeStefano is the leader that has brought success in regionalism around New Haven and can do this our state.

Anonymous said...

"Property tax reform"= sending the bill to the suburbs

"Regionalism" = sending the bill to the suburbs

"Smart Growth" = Keeping the suburbs from growing their tax base, so they can't pay their bills.

Same sour wine, different bottles

Genghis Conn said...


I'd suggest rather that both property tax reform and regionalism will benefit the suburbs in the long run, and actually remove some of the burden from suburban taxpayers. The older suburbs are starting to see big increases in the demand for services. Education spending won't be going down any time soon. We can't just ignore the problem, and regionalism is part of the solution.

As for "smart growth," if you want your town dotted with McMansions, your open space to disappear and your streets lined with strip malls... be my guest. We can, however, do better.

Anonymous said...

GC, I'm not dismissive of good planning and resource ulitization, but the fact is the Dems are just using the aforementioned buzz words to justify another tax raid on the 'burbs, and to prevent suburbs from being able to locate jobs and services where people are choosing to live.

Command economies don't work

sanity said...

On Katrina - I think it has been fairly well demonstrated that there were failures through all levels of government, from local right up through federal.

When the Department of Homeland Security was first formed, a whole bunch of agaecies, including FEMA, were merged under the Homeland Security umbrella and there where a whole bunch of questions regarding the resulting impact and efficiencies from such a consolidation. I don't know, either I stopped listening or the questions just sort of went away without ever being answered.

Does anybody have any insight into the effetiveness of FEMA before being brought under Homeland Security versus after? Could consolidating the management of a natural disaster with the management of disasters due to national security threats, i.e. acts of terrorism, be part of the problem? Are the methods of emergency management the same for both types of disasters or are they entirely different animals?

Anonymous said...


I see that you have scrubbed your website, Save Connecticut!

However, I remain confused.

On Saturday, you stated:
"PS - But just so you know, I won't be removing Ann Coulter from my reading list, not because I support her or agree with her, but because I think it is important to understand and experience other points of view."

Yet Sunday's version has no links to Ann Coulter. Have you disavowed her?

And do you retract your "Damn Liberals" diary, in which you echo Coulter, despite your claim to being a moderate Republican?

I'm going to give you a chance to explain yourself....

Don Pesci said...

In case anyone's interested, McCain will be stumping for Rell. See:

sanity said...

Anon 1:19 - I waited 18 hours before making any changes to my web site so that people could see what you were talking about. And please see my comment under 'Rasmussen: Lieberman Ahead, But Numbers Shaky' from Saturday at 3:35 PM. You also chose to ignore the other stuff on the site. Just because I recommended reading a Coulter book or two, doesn't mean I am a proponent of her views. Did you see any Limbaugh, Robertson or Malkin books recommended? Yes, I read two of her books, more for shock value and the fact that I can't believe the sh*t that comes out of her mouth than anything else. Apparently you've read her books too then.

I do not retract the point I was trying to make in 'Damn Liberals', in fact your comment yesterday served as a very good example when you cut out certain quotes in a way that made them sound more inflammatory and then took something else I said and made sure to quote it in its full context.

Ann Coulter attacks Democratic and Liberal values. The difference between what she writes about and what I said in 'Damn Liberals' is that I was criticising a certain type of behavior not a set of values. Please step back for a minute, count to ten, and reread what I wrote, especially the first paragraph.

I have been nothing but respectful on this blog but have been constantly insulted and put down. It seemed pretty much acceptable to you to when I was called lazy and a racist because I am a Republican. But when I say something back, criticizing what I think is very poor behavior from a certain group within the Democratic Party, all of a sudden you have a problem with that? My values have been attacked by people on this blog, including yourself, so please don't lecture me. I was criticising a behavior, not a set of values.

I visit this blog to learn and to expand my point of view and to constantly question and challenge by beliefs - not to have my values attacked or to attack other peoples' values.

And that's about all I'm going to say to you on this, because you've already made up your mind about me. It doesn't matter what I say or do, you've already passed judgement and will interpret my words and actions only in a way that fits your negative perception of me.

DeanFan84 said...


You just crack me up, in-Sanity.

It's been a long time since I laughed as hard as I did while reading your blog. Your hateful screed was so, so easily turned back on you. (and that you remain incapable of seeing your behavior for what it is still puts a smile on my face.)

Finally, for the record, I never called all Republicans racist. Nor did I call all Republican bloggers lazy. Why would you ever believe the comments were meant to include you?

sanity said...

Where did I ever say that you specifically, DeanFan, called all Republicans racist and all Republican bloggers lazy?

Your continued attacks and comments and addressing me as in-sanity like this only serves to prove my point. It's too bad that Democratic values and very valid points and concerns have to get lost in your hateful, spite-filled vitriol. Even you, DeanFan, have brought up valid and well-thoughtout points on occassion that I appreciated, most notably for me, the potential imbalances of the auto tax repeal.

I am not going to continue arguing with you on this. If you want to continue attacking me, that's your choice. I am going to stick to the topics at hand on this blog and continue to participate in a calm, rational and mature manner.

ctkeith said...


Everyones quite sure you're going to continue to participate in a calm, rational and mature manner now that you've been exposed and had your manhood ripped out by the Roots.

Deanfan proved quite convincingly that when you expose a coward they do exacyly what their expected to ,Cower.

DeanFan84 said...


Don't call me hateful.

If you want to see what hate-filled vitriol looks like, go visit your own blog.

It is amazing that you could publish such Rush Limbaugh-like drivel, (i.e. your "Damn Liberals!" diary) and then come here and label me the "hater" in the room.

Look in the mirror, dude. Look in the mirror.

p.s. I'm not arguing with you. I'm laughing at you. How can anyone be so blind?

Anonymous said...

Don't feed the trolls!