Friday, May 05, 2006

Blumenthal: Special Session Needed

Legislative Leaders Not Interested

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is calling for a special session to deal with rising energy prices:
“On energy issues, it has been a do-nothing legislative session,” Blumenthal said Thursday.

“Consumers should be appalled and angry that their legislators have failed to debate or vote, let alone approve, a single significant energy proposal. Inertia and inaction are not an option. As gasoline and electricity prices soar, we are driving jobs and businesses out of our state. Nothing will be done to fix this failed energy system until 2007 unless there is a special session. I hope the governor will join in providing leadership to accomplish the goal of energy rate relief and reform,” Blumenthal said. (Stuart)

However, the New Haven Independent is reporting that Senate Democratic leaders Donald Williams and Martin Looney see "no reason" for a special session (Bass). So it looks like nothing will get done on energy issues this year, which is a shame.

I'm forced to wonder why the attorney general is holding press conferences and calling for special legislative sessions. If he really wanted to influence Connecticut's energy policies, he could have, say, run for governor.

In any event, here's a poll on the legislative session. How do you think they did?

How would you rate the job the General Assembly did this session?
Excellent
Good
Fair
Poor
Ugh! Jerks.
Free polls from Pollhost.com

37 comments:

AnonAndOnAndOn said...

"Day After" session politics are always interesting.

Senate Dems are usually first out of the chute, with special effects and posters... and it's just not on the script for Williams to admit a special session is needed when he's desperately trying to say they got the job done.

Plus, to paraphrase Elton John, "I don't know" seems to be the hardest word(s) at the Capitol. None of them know what they'd do. Their only shot on gas prices is to reduce or cut the taxes, but that won't do it. And on the whole deregulation issue, they just have no idea what to do.

Next week, when all their shoulders are reset from patting themselves on the back, and they have their "Summit" on energy, maybe they'll have a better sound bite.

Still, VERY unusual for Blumer to steal their thunder by calling it a do-nothing session in the SAME news day. Then again, Blumer has nowhere to go and is as ossified as the rest of the Democratic underticket. Blumenthal, Bysiewicz, Wyman, Nappier. The only one with a shot at creating excitement is Nappier, who should run for Mayor of Hartford.

disgruntled_republican said...

As a Republican, I can do nothing but thank Dick Blumenthal. What a horrible thing to do to his own party in an election year. How can the most popular Democrat figure in state politics say that about the CGA where his own party hold monsterous majorities??? I LOVE IT!!!

(And I think he is right.)

TSCowperthwait said...

It's called...I want to be Governor...so let me beat Jodi Rell to the punch!

disgruntled_republican said...

TSC-

I think it goes a little more like this...
I want to be Governor but don't want it to be a hard campaign so i will critize them for the Governor and help make her look good so no other Democrat will be able to win so when she doesn't run I can run and win easily.

turfgrrl said...

Or how about ... I've been flogging this issue since 2000, and can't believe nothing got done, so I'm taking it to the people ...

disgruntled_republican said...

turfgrrl-

That works too but why didn't he push HIS party to take a good hard long look at it while they were in session?

TSCowperthwait said...

I'll give you that one too turfgrrl. he has been pushing this issue for a long time.

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

I'm with turfgrrl on this one, but I think DR raises a very reasonable question ... the answer to which may be that Blumer's repeated failures to launch may have ticked some people off, to the point where they're not listening as closely as they once did.

AnonAndOnAndOn said...

He could have had the nomination for Governor or a Black Robe on the Second Circuit from Clinton on a SILVER PLATTER several times, but he's too risk-averse.

Maybe he thinks there's some truth to Lieberman getting an administration seat or Dodd deciding to be a stay at home Dad in the near future... If that's so, then this ginning up of his press machine is all about L.A.M.O.N.T.

turfgrrl said...

dr,

I think the legislature was too busy banning soda from schools, or more to the point, they tackled the easy issues to rack up "activity points." My working theory on why this happens is based on the "squeaky wheel" paradox. These guys check in with their constituents informally and "survey" what the issues are and by nature of the self selection process get the pet peeve issues of various small but vocal factions.

There is no constituency out there clamoring for streamlined, efficient and regulator government. Parts and pieces rise, but the failing of many politicians is to focus on the symptom instead of the larger view. It's easier to pass a law that bans soda instead of tackling suburban sprawl, too much classroom time, and sedentary lifestyle choices that contribute more to rising obesity.

In the case of energy, the big view would've required that they focus on regulation (imposing price controls), conservation (reducing consumption) and taxation (revenue for infrastructure and alternative energy investments) all of which require long term thinking and policy debate.

BRubenstein said...

Both parties in Ct are responsible for rising energy prices.In my party( Dems) the elected officials (bent over) for the lobbyists in the 90's when " de-regulation" happened.

what the state needs (besides politicians with intestinal fortitude) is;

1. windfall profits tax
2. Re-regualtion of utilitites and energy'
3. state owned energy and utility companies, who could deliver their product cheaper and better then what's being done now.
4. Increase in the reserves for poor people so they dont freeze to death in the winter.

GMR said...

I'm not really sure what Connecticut's legislature could do to drive down fuel prices. Does Connecticut have any refineries? (I don't think so, but I'm not sure). Anyway, the state has basically no influence on the NY Mercantile Exchange price of unleaded fuel. The only things it can possibly influence are the taxes, and perhaps have some regulation about zone pricing.

It could drop fuel taxes somewhat, and a state as small as Connecticut shouldn't have taxes that are significantly higher than the neighboring states. We aren't Colorado, and a significant chunk of our state lives near the border, and can go over the border. More importantly, people travelling up 95, which is about 100 miles in length, will probably wait to RI to buy gas if they're northbound, or will fill up in RI if they're southbound. (Several truck companies have a policy in place that forbids their drivers from filling up in CT). However, we need taxes to pay for roads, and it seems fair that the drivers of the cars and trucks should pay for the roads...

The zone pricing thing I believe gets significantly more blame than it's probably responsible for. First, if the wholesale price were the same for all stations in the state, stations in lower Fairfield county would almost certainly have to charge more to pay for the higher rent and labor costs. Second, I have not seen any indication that every gasoline company implements zone pricing. Getty often has lower prices than other stations: do they zone price? It would be quite easy for an independent gas station to achieve significant sales in Fairfield county by undercutting the zone pricing biggies.

Some of the other things being advocated on this board have been proven wrong time and time again. Price controls on gasoline? Forget about it. Will never happen, and if it did, and oil companies couldn't make a profit, they wouldn't sell gas in the state. What would prevent people from RI, MA and NY from coming over to buy our cheaper gas? Why would the gas companies keep supplying gas at a loss?

Windfall profits tax. On the state level? Would the local franchises pay this tax? What would prevent the oil companies from raising their prices to compensate? (This would send some over the border, but then those profits wouldn't be subject to the windfall tax).

As far as electric power goes, isn't a substantial portion of this state's energy needs met by our importing power from other states and from Quebec? Do you think that if any power company, state-owned or investor-owned, decided they would build a power plant (natural gas, coal, or nuclear) in Fairfield County, that the locals wouldn't go completely nuts? I mean, they practically went ballistic when CL&P first proposed the Norwalk-Bethel interlink.

Let's face it, CT imports most of its energy needs. That makes it hard for us to really do much.

bluecoat said...

The legislature and the politicians in general has no idea what to do about the energy issue. So why have a special session to confirm that?

Wrath of Conn said...

AP Wire - Rell Choice As Federal Judge Gets 'Not Qualified' Rating

This isn't good news for the Governor, especially in the wake of Zarella debacle.

You can almost feel the Rell press release coming about how "surprised and saddened" she is to learn about the record of the woman she chose.

Chris MC said...

When President Bush nominated Bryant in January, Rell said she was confident the Senate would confirm her. Rell spokesman Judd Everhart had no immediate reaction to the rating Friday.

No official reaction, you mean. The immediate reaction had to be something like "oh, SH*T!"

A judicial appointment? She can't even get a judicial appointment right? Maybe it's because she didn't honor her reliable "process" in making it: appoint a commission to study the matter until somebody else can plausibly be scapegoated if it doesn't work out.

C'mon Repubs, be honest about this. If this were a Democratic Governor you'd be all over it. No, wait, lemme guess. It's the Democratic legislature's fault that Gov. Rell sucks so bad.

FrankS said...

Blumenthal is stating the obvious, with rising gas and energy costs, and it's only a matter on time before the legislature dedicates the time to debate, so the sooner the better. He likely pre-empted Rell, an election year ploy that would have berated the same issue.

With the Cross Sound Cable exporting power supply away from our market and adding costs, DeStefano and Malloy should join the call.

disgruntled_republican said...

Porter Goss, director of the CIA has resigns

disgruntled_republican said...

Chris MC-

I admit its bad. I guess I don;t see it as a big issue but it sure doesn;t look good.

Chris MC said...

Porter Goss quit? Another top-down Bush thug bites the dust.

My God, what a capitulation. Republicans cannot govern effectively at the State nor the Federal level. Can't wait to hear the backstory on this one.

Chris MC said...

disgruntled -

I don't expect you guys to stop citing her absurd poll numbers, but just between us you could admit she really sucks. I mean really. On substance. She sucks.

disgruntled_republican said...

I was just looking at the site volume...impresive how GC has grown this site...

And welcome to the person at Columbia University who joined us today...
And the Staffers in Hartford...
And the staffers in Washington...
And the person in Los Angeles...
And Plano Texas...

VERY IMPRESSED

disgruntled_republican said...

Chris MC-

She sucks no more than either Democrat candidate. Do I stand side by side on every issue with her? No. Will I ever...probably not. But she is certainly better than the other options.

Chris MC said...

OK, disgruntled, good enough for me.

She sucks.

'Nuff said (for now).

;-)

Chris MC said...

More from the NYT on the Goss resignation:
When he took over the C.I.A. in September 2004, Mr. Goss vowed to work hard at "breaking some molds" and getting "more and more of our officers out of Washington." [...]

But a year into his tenure, Mr. Goss was presiding over an agency where morale was low and where his leadership was questioned, according to current and former intelligence officials and members of Congress.

ctkeith said...

GC,

Another CT. Kid is Dead Because of the ineptitude of the Republican Administration,Republican Congressional cowardice and the complicity of Democrats like Joe Lieberman and there's not one word about this wonderful 20 yr old kid on this blog.

Seems shameful to me.

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

ctkeith:

For starters, check the previous thread.

Then take your phony piety and cram it up your ass, sideways, with a twist. In light of what you and DeanFan84 had to say to Quinn a few months ago, I'm frankly aghast that you would have the tremendously poor taste to ever even mention military service in any form -- let alone comment on the death of a soldier, salior, Marine or airman in the line of duty.

That you would sink to using it for political purposes, i.e. to criticize Lieberman, speaks volumes about yourself -- far more than, I think, you will ever have the capacity to realize.

BRubenstein said...

CTKEITH...I AGREE WITH YOU THAT THIS WAR IS TERRIBLE AND THAT JOE SOLD US A WAR UNDER FALSE PRETENSES.

CT ANON IS OBVIOUSLY JEALOUS OF YOUR AND DEANFAN'S CONTINUED BRILLIANT POLITICAL DISCOURSE AND CHEAPLY RESORTS TO NAME CALLING BECAUSE THE LAST IDEA HE HAD WAS WHEN HE ASKED HIS MOMMY TO CHANGE HIS DIRTY DIAPER.

ctkeith said...

Bruce,

It's much more than that.Just look at A Different Anonymous (No! Really!) reaction.

He and his ilk were wrong about everything for the last 6 yrs and what really goads him is all those "tree hugging,'Merican hating liberals" were right about every goddam thing they said we were wrong on.

The American people have figured it out and thats why W's newest Diapproval #s are 65%. Republicans Like A Different Anonymous (No! Really!) still hold G Gordan Liddy in Higher esteem than John Dean and have always put loyalty to a man over loyalty to principle and always end up indignant when proven to be foolish and small.

A Different Anonymous (No! Really!) is angry because he doesn't want the Iraq War or the consequences of it discussed here or anywhere else because it shows him for the fool he was and is and I totally undersand that.

DeanFan84 said...

DiffANON--
What did I say to Quinn? That if every rich Republican is lining up behind Bush and this idiotic war, --it'd be nice if some rich Republican kids enlisted? Was that over the line? I DON'T THINK SO.

Maybe I should link to graphic images of the death, violence and destruction that has been wrought in our name?

I wouldn't be so pissed off if the CIA hadn't helped create Saddam in the 1960's, if we hadn't sold him the chemical weapons he used against Iran, -- heck, if we hadn't engineered the Shah's coup against Mossadegh in 1953.

You have to be either stupid, callous, or living in an ahistoric alternate reality, to fall in line behind the assholes.

Neo-Con policy has resulted in the creation of more terrorists, not less. And by occupying one of their countries we are fueling the fires. More death, more destruction.

Republicans and Joe Lieberman love to encourage cultural wars. They derive their political power by pitting one against the other. Me, I don't want to be fighting them throughout the 21st century.

DeanFan84 said...

Question for the group. Who wrote this:

"Did Saddam have a direct hand in the attacks on America that began on Sept. 11? The evidence at our disposal is circumstantial but suggestive. We do know that he has not just the motive and malevolence, but the means. And we also know that Iraqi intelligence officials have met at critical times with members of the al Qaeda network."


Sadly, a month before the Iraq Invasion, 72% of the American population thought Saddam was involved in the 9/11 attacks! The truth is that the Bush administration (with the help of others) used 9/11 as an excuse to launch an elective war which THEY had wanted long before the airplanes smashed into the Twin Towers.

This ain't one issue. It's a fight for the heart and soul of America. In my America we go to war only as a last resort.

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

You know what? Both of you have no f*king clue what I want discussed or debated, or why.

I think Bush was wrong, OK? I wish we hadn't gone to war in Iraq, OK? I wish we were more focused on catching Osama than on catching Saddam, OK?

I think Saddam is a motherf*ker that we're all better off without, and I think now that we're in there, though I wish we hadn't gone in in the first place, we owe it to the world, and especially to the Iraqi people, to do the job right -- and I think we are trying to do just that, despite asshats like yourself who want to use the situation for political gain, rather than face geopolitical reality.

Meanwhile, you and political vermin like BRubenstein are so conusmed with frustrated hatred and bitterness that you absolutely cannot look past it, regardless of even your pathetic party's best interests -- and that's really what amuses me and frightens me most about the Democratic Party at the same time. Because the possibility exists -- however small -- that extremist dipsh*ts like you might actually gain a majority under some fruitbasket like Howard Dean, and then God help this country.

Truly, honestly, deeply: I look forward to November, when everything you stand for is soundly rejected by the people of this state. I hope with all my heart that it shuts you up, though I have no realistic hope that it actually will.

Meanwhile, I have two words for you. They are not happy birthday.

BRubenstein said...

Dear a different anonymous

I love you too !!!

ta ta and have a wonderful weekend!!!

ctkeith said...

Dear A Different Anonymous (No! Really!),

Thanks for admitting you were wrong.It's a good start for your recovery.

The Next step is Admitting that the extremists were the ones who got this country into this mess not the ones who told you what was coming and were proved correct over time.

Senator Harry Reid said...

Dear Mr. CTKeith,

As someone who has been lauded here by you or your allies (I apologize for not having the time to keep up with things here as much as I would like), I must ask you to try to look beyond the difficult truth of our invasion of Iraq, and consider the situation as it stands.

While I wholeheartedly wish we could depart tomorrow, nobody here in Washington believes that we can simply walk away. You are, to paraphrase myself, alone, just really alone out there on this. Even Democrats don't agree with you.

Again, as a Democratic leader, I ask you to focus on what unites us a Party, not what divides us.

Every best wish for a relaxing evening,

U.S. Senator Harry Reid, Democratic Leader

DeanFan84 said...

Do the right job? Like we did in Vietnam?

You said it yourself. We shouldn't be in Iraq. Yet you think we are going to bring the indigents around despite the falsity of our position.

DiffAnon, there is only one thing I wish. That you, or a family member was over there. Not to be killed, I wish that on no American. But that you might learn the true seriousness of that which your guy Lieberman has gotten this country into.

disgruntled_republican said...

DeanFan...

You mean like you have?

Tim White said...

GC... I can't read comments on any of your current blogs. I only got to this one when I googled some old stuff. But it's been this way for a few hours at least... that is... i can get to your home page, but when i click on the "comments," I just get sent to the top of the homepage. I can neither get to read the comments nor post any comments. You may want to check it. By the way... congrats on the grant. You're getting noticed. I got a call from the Wtby Rep-Am tonight. They're doing a story on blogging.