From the Hartford Courant :
Rell claimed Perez had turned away the state's helping hand. Perez said no such thing was even close to true. As the day continued, much ink was spilled by the two political rivals as each lobbed explosive letters at one another.
In the midst of it all, the state's top cop said troopers would be on the way to Hartford within two weeks...
At this point let me take a moment to disclose I am against the State Troopers going into Hartford. This has become an annual event for crying out loud. The first time I was OK with it, as I thought it would have an impact and would help them out to getting to where they need to be. It hasn't worked. It's time to ask more questions and figure out why.
I realize that other cities and towns receive the state grants but most do not receive CT State Police assistance with what I consider to be general police work. If the state police are now going into Hartford, on MY DIME I might add, I want them to take work in my community too as it will save my town money on overtime costs and will help reduce crime. At some point someone has to be held accountable and to me, it has to be Perez and Hartford's Police Chief. But that's neither here nor there as this post is about the feud...
Once again, from the Hartford Courant:
The back-and-forth responses put on display a strained relationship between Rell, the Republican governor, and Perez, a Democrat who is strongly supporting Democrat Dannel P. Malloy's efforts to unseat Rell in November.
The exchange started on Wednesday when Perez received a letter from Rell in which she said she had offered, on two occasions this year, to send the state police to help patrol the city's streets. Perez declined both offers, she said.
The media had received a copy of the same letter the day before.
Perez fired back and said the governor's claim was untrue. Perez said he had never declined help from the state. In fact, Perez added, he had been asking for the state's assistance to battle crime in Hartford for nearly two years with no substantive response from Rell.
Perez said that the solution of sending the state police into the city is no more than a "Band-Aid" on a festering wound. Instead, the city needs investigative help getting illegal guns off the streets, tougher gun-trafficking legislation, closer supervision of criminals who are free on probation and parole and more state money to hire local police officers, he said.
Perez also charged that he did not receive Rell's letter until Wednesday - long after reporters had received a copy of the letter Tuesday evening.
"Election year photo opportunities do not constitute a crime fighting strategy," Perez wrote.
In response to Perez's accusations that Rell had made a false statement, Rell's spokesman, Judd Everhart, said Boyle had on several occasions reached out to Hartford Police Chief Patrick J. Harnett.
In a reply letter that was released shortly before 6 p.m. Wednesday, Rell rejected the notion that the state had not helped the Hartford police during the past year.
"Over the past several months the Connecticut State Police have held numerous formal and informal discussions and meetings with the Hartford Police Department to offer additional assistance," Rell wrote. "To that end, the State Police have committed to certain enforcement actions which should not be detailed in writing, but of which you are undoubtedly aware."
The state police, she said, had been asked to back off.
"Furthermore, we had hoped to initiate such actions several months ago, but we were asked to put such actions on hold," Rell wrote.
"Let me remind you that just ten months ago the Connecticut State Police assigned both a contingent of undercover narcotics officers and its traffic squad to work with the Hartford Police Department in combating violent crime and quality of life issues in the north end of Hartford," Rell wrote to Perez.
"To do so, of course, came at the cost of reduced narcotics and traffic enforcement in other parts of the state," she said. "Nevertheless, your request was immediately granted. I might add that the funding for the state police traffic squad also included a $75,000 grant at no cost to the City of Hartford."
As for why Perez received Rell's initial letter a day after Tuesday's press release, Everhart said that the letter was mailed to the mayor.
Perez's response on Wednesday was faxed to the governor. Her reply was sent by e-mail.
By the end of the day, the dispute had not slowed down.
Perez said in a press release he would visit Rell at the Capitol today to make sure that the city and state are doing everything possible to "ensure the safety of the people of Hartford."
But Everhart responded, saying, "The Mayor has not contacted the Governor's office and there is no meeting scheduled. Governor Rell encourages him to call her office and she would be happy to set up a meeting with the Mayor."
What ever happened to not biting the hand that feeds you? This is the second time in the past few months that Perez has gone after the state in one form or another. First it was the legislature when he was crying for help with property taxes, now the Governor offers help and he goes "postal" again.
Perez talks about making "points" to Rell when denying her claims of previous offers..."points" are irrelevant to her point...the offer was there and he didn't accept it. He does not even deny it, just says his points remain. The claims by Perez that this is election year showboating is ridiculous. The help has gone to Hartford EVERY year...if anyone is playing politics it is Perez. God forbid anyone point out an area where he has failed as a leader...this is clearly one of those areas.
When Perez says the state police help is no more than a "bandage" I agree with him but he has to help himself too. He should start by asking why his own police force cannot handle the problems and what he needs to do to fix that. When looking at fixing this problem, he needs to consider that this problem extends far beyond police presence/protection. The state police cannot help him with that. No Governor should either. Once we need Troopers to bring comfort to a political leader it’s far too late to make a difference.
DANIEL E. GOREN and CHRISTOPHER KEATING, "Rell, Perez Trade Shots", Hartford Courant, June 1, 2006