Sunday, April 30, 2006

Rell Distances Herself from Sullivan

In an editorial published today in the Hartford Courant, Gov. Rell distanced herself from the growing crisis in the judicial branch of government.
The dramatic events of the past week involving the highest members of Connecticut's judicial branch of government should prompt an overhaul in the way that branch conducts its business. The time has come to subject this separate branch of government to Connecticut's historic freedom of information laws.
The revelations of the last week will, hopefully, provide the impetus for greater accountability and public scrutiny of court operations. These revelations involved a former chief justice, who first told me last December that he was contemplating retiring and then made it official March 15 in a letter to me. He has acknowledged that his delaying the announcement of a court ruling was to help the person I nominated as his successor.
Now the General Assembly's Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing on these revelations. I will take no further action on a nomination for chief justice until all questions are answered. But we need more than a hearing. We need fundamental reforms to ensure that this never happens again. (Rell)
I agree, we need to shine a light on the judicial branch. It's long overdue.

But this doesn't quite get Rell off the hook. Zarella's nomination was extremely quick--happening at the exact same moment as Sullivan's retirement announcement. Rell also seemed to be in a terrible rush to get Zarella through the nomination process. Why?

At the time, the delay over Zarella seemed like a tug-of-war between the legislative and executive branches, but Justice Borden's principled revelation of Sullivan's attempt to grease the wheels changes things. Now we need to ask whether the executive branch was complicit in improperly helping Zarella's nomination along, and denying information to the legislative branch.

And we should. Access to and control of information is at the very heart of both the ruling that Sullivan had delayed and the bungled nomination process. It could absolutely be that Rell had no knowledge of what Sullivan was up to, or knowingly did anything to improperly speed Zarella's nomination along. But we should be sure of that. We should ask--and she should answer.

See also Colin McEnroe's excellent column today.


Rell, M. Jodi. "GOVERNOR: It's Time To Let A Little More Light Shine On Courts." Hartford Courant 30 April, 2006.


ctkeith said...

Now this diary makes me stand up and cheer for you GC.

I'm as partisan as can be but I want my Umpires to protect the Process not abuse their power by trying to influence outcomes.

AnonAndOnAndOn said...

Folks, if you want a peek of the kind of stuff that goes on in Hartford EVERY DAY, then read Kevin Rennie's column today in the Courant.

While Rep. Mike Lawlor and Sen. McDonald will be among those shining the spotlight on Tocco Sullivan's connections and friendships, you will see in Kevin's column the kind of influence that powerful legislators try to exercise, but that almost never makes it to the surface.

Rennie, with this column, has taken a huge step up. Until now, his column could be called THE GRUDGE REPORT... a steady diet of revenge served cold to anyone who ever slighted him (Amann, Tom Ritter, Ellef, McKenzie, Rowland) and others who advanced to positions he coveted (Kevin O'Connor).

If Rennie holds to columns like this, he will bring an edge of political observation that the courant hasn't had since long before Charlie Morse and since Michele Jacklin gave up trying and started mailing it in.

DeanFan84 said...


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DeanFan84 said...

CT Local Politics, one year ago.

Genghis Conn said...

Er, does anyone here have premium access to Rasmussen Reports? There's a CT Senate General and CT Senate Primary poll up there (behind their subscription wall) that I would love to know more about.

Except, of course, that I don't want to pay $349 for it.

MightyMouse1 said...

Jodi Rell is the Mr. Magoo of Connecticut politics, she drives around blindly and never is responsible for anything that happens as a result.

bluecoat said...

Prosecutor denies McDonald influenced probe of Malloy is the headline from today's Stamford Advocate where both Morano and Mc Donald deny what Rennie inferred according to Anonandon blah blah blah