Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Norwalk Round Up at the Ok Corral

Heading into the final weeks of the campaign season, Norwalk politics continues to make the news. The Hour provides several interesting items.

This Thursday Senate Candidate Fred Wilms hosts a transportation round table.
Wilms said the discussion will begin with a review of positive steps taken by Hartford, and then turn to "new steps ... needed to continue unlocking the gridlock on Interstate 95." The roundtable discussion also will address ways to improve mass transportation, Wilms said.
Invited to participate as panelists in the discussion: State Senate Minority Leader Louis C. DeLuca, R-32; state House Assistant Minority Leader Toni Boucher, R-143; and Eric Brown, associate counsel at The Connecticut Business & Industry Association. Brown is responsible for developing policy positions on environmental, transportation and land-use issues for the association. (source: The Hour)
Wilms has developed a strong command of the many challenges facing regional transportation and is wise to continue holding round tables on these important issues with other regional leaders. The problems facing Norwalk’s gridlock will not be solved by insular thinking.

Where Wilms misses the mark is his position on Super 7.
"While I support a new Super 7, unfortunately the prospects do not look realistic," Wilms said. "As such I support the further enhancements to the existing Route 7 plus support improvements to the Danbury train line. Improving the Danbury line would allow for faster and more frequent train service." (source: The Hour)
Widening route 7, clear cutting trees that once lined the stretch of road leading through Wilton is so bad on so many fronts. State Senator Bob Duff is strongly in favor of Super 7.
Duff stands by the proposed expressway, which he said would alleviate "a bottleneck that stretches from Norwalk to Danbury and beyond." He calls the Route 7 widening now beginning as a "complete waste of taxpayers money."
"I believe that Super 7 is a critical road to be built for the economic prosperity of our area," Duff said. "The land is there to do it and I think the will is there. There's still a lot of fight." (source: The Hour)
In other news state Sen. President Pro Tempore Donald E. Williams, Jr., D-29, appointed Duff to the Property Revaluation Work Group. The work group’s goal is to provide recommendations on streamlining municipal property revaluations.
Duff said the work group will create a master contract for municipalities to use when hiring revaluation vendors and develop a revaluation schedule and implementation procedures.
The group will consider municipal assessment rules to ensure that procedures are clearly defined, that quality assurance is in place, and that inspection requirements clarified, and that phase-in provisions are "clear and workable" for those municipalities that choose to phase in a revaluation, Duff said. Source: The Hour)
Common Council President Michael W. Coffey, defacto leader of the Norwalk Democrats, made the front page with his endorsement of Senator Joe Lieberman.
"Joseph Lieberman is someone who does what he thinks is right for the residents of Norwalk, right for the state of Connecticut and what's right for our country," Coffey said. "I'd like to see him serve six more years as a U.S. senator for the state of Connecticut. He has done an excellent job."
Coffey’s support was echoed by Councilman Herbert A. Grant.
"His experience as a Senator for this area gives him the seniority and the ability to be able to work in a bi-partisan manner to continue to help the state of Connecticut to get its equal share of federal funds, to advance the state as well as its largest municipalities," said Herbert A. Grant, who represents District A on the Common Council.
Democratic Town Committee chairwoman Galen Wells was apparently unhappy.
Reiterating comments made following Lieberman's defeat in the Democratic primary in August, Norwalk Democratic Town Committee Chairwoman Galen Wells urged Democrats to support Lamont as the winner of that primary. She labeled Coffey's endorsement of Lieberman a "mistake for any Democrat." (Source: The Hour)
Wells added that she was unaware of any Democrats other than Coffey supporting Lieberman. An unofficial poll of Norwalk Democratic leaders revealed quite a different result.

Lex Paulson met with The Hour review board to knock Lawrence Cafero’s votes against the against the school nutrition bill and against stem cell research. Cafero responded
Cafero said when it comes to stem cell research and school nutrition, "you have to go beyond the title of the bill."
He opposed a bill devoting $100 million over 10 years to stem cell research in Connecticut only because it did not enforce a ban on human cloning with penalties, Cafero said, adding that, at his urging, fines and prison terms for human cloning were later included in other legislation.
Embryonic stem cell research has been criticized by some social conservatives, who compare the practice to abortion.
And Cafero said the school nutrition bill was insufficient, because it took sugary sodas out of Connecticut high schools without educating students as to proper nutrition or exercise habits. (Source: The Hour)

The Norwalk Hour Wilms to host roundtable discussion on transportation By ROBERT KOCH 10/24/06

The Norwalk Hour, Duff to serve with group studying property revaluation By ROBERT KOCH, 10/24/06

The Norwalk Hour, Council chief bucks party; backs Joe By ROBERT KOCH 10/24/06

The Norwalk Hour Here to stay: Dem challenger discusses platformBy PATRICK R. LINSEY 10/25/06


Anonymous said...

If the debate gets too hot here like it did on TURFGRRL's Negative Campaigning Post will you cut off the comments too? This blog could use a little lesson in sunshime rules.

MikeCT said...

Fred Wilms is an anti-gay (and likely anti-choice) candidate endorsed by the right-wing "Family Institute". Bob Duff and Lex Paulson have been endorsed by Love Makes a Family.

Anonymous said...

Turfgrrl: Please explain to me how Wilms' position on Super 7 "misses the mark." Please re-read Wilms' position that you yourself quoted. Wilms said that he is in favor of Super 7. It is the same position as Duff. Wilms has also said that the prospects of Super 7 becoming a reality "do not look realistic" and therefore has offered alternatives. What is wrong with that position?

It is a fact: there are no plans before DOT to go forward with Super 7. It has been stalled for decades. The legislature did not approve of it in its most recent transportation bills. Moreover, many groups have promised decades long lawsuits to try to stop it. There has been no movement toward Super 7 in decades and that is a fact. Isn't Wilms statement far more realistic and accurate than Duff's? Shouldn't we applaud Wilms for both supporting Super 7 but also offerining alternatives to help alleviate traffic now?

I really would appreciate a response?

turfgrrl said...

anonymous 12:19-- The fact that the DOT has no plans is a reflection of the lack of political pressure to make them happen. Just look at how a simple improvement to the main ave/merrit interchange got derailed because only one side, alarmist tree zealots, brought the project to a halt. Until Norwalk politicians started complaining, DOT was going to let things sit as they were. That, imho, is exactly what happened to Super 7.

I can applaud Wilms for all his other positions, but not Super 7. It's time for Fairfield County politicians to recognize that the information economy is what sustains this state's economy. Transportation overhaul is the top priority. You are not going get trucks off I-95,when there destination is northern Connecticut. And trucks, on the current route 7 is a bad thing. Widening route 7 in Ridgefield led to strip mall development, which changes the character of the road. That is what a wider route 7 will bring. We've seen it in Norwalk already. Duff at least is saying build Super 7 now. That's a refreshing change from the usual hand wringing and doing nothing.

turfgrrl said...

MikeCT: maybe you should actually read what Fred Wilms has to say before slandering him. Wilms: I believe marriage is between one man and one woman, and will vote accordingly. I support the existing civil and anti-discrimination laws on behalf of same-sex couples..

Anonymous said...

Jodi said she'd only support Super 7 if all the towns got behind it. In other words she wasn't going to dirty her little skirt but would rather dumbly widen old 7 little by little. DeStefano would finish it I beleive.

Anonymous said...

Bob Duff is the head of the Norwalk Party and supports Ned Lamont.

Anonymous said...

This question probably needs to be answered by a specialist at the Famliy Institute. But if a single person, say like Sam Caliguiri once wss when he worked for Governor John Rowland, goes out with a married woman is that consistent with defending marriage or should there be a law against that to protect traditional marriage? These issues of morality can get very complex you know.

CommonSenseDem said...


I just read your diary on MLN. In your Democratic Hall of Shame not only do you list the names of the democractic candidates who are endorsed by the Family Institute but you also felt the need to include tid-bits that Democrats like Christel Truglia are "pro-Lieberman."

With all due respect, the fact that they are pro-Lieberman has nothing to do with why they were endorsed by the Family Institute. Please stop stooping to incredible lows to try to tie Lieberman to anti-gay groups. It's pathetic. Stick to the issue which you present, which is a very important one. You wouldn't want to degrade the validity of your guide by confusing the issues!

Anonymous said...

Allowing a wife to have a boyfriend or a husband to have a mistress is often good for keeping a marriage together.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1253, you say, Jodi said she'd only support Super 7 if all the towns got behind it. In other words she wasn't going to dirty her little skirt but would rather dumbly widen old 7 little by little.

Oh how wrong you are...she is 100% right to do this. It is a local issue and she should support the option the community wants. Don;t we always complain when the state crams thing down our throat? She should be appluaded for not doing that here. She actually sounds like a Republican here...finally!

Anonymous said...

Bob Duff can't stand up to the leadership in the senate when it comes to protecting Norwalk's interests.

turfgrrl said...

anonymous 1:10: You raise a good point about it being a local issue, however, it is also a regional issue and affects the health the state's economy. Were Westchester and Fairfield Counties ever to secede and form a new state, CT would be left with the worst performing economy in the nation. DeStefano has zero credibility when it comes to job growth and solving regional issues.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, President Eisenhower checked with each and every town along the Interstate Highway System before he authorized the funding. Good for Jodi fo following in the General's Republican footsteps!!

GMR said...

It is almost insane that Super 7 has not been built yet. Yet Wilton politicians, including Toni Boucher, repeatedly try to stop any discussion of the issue. Wilton is singlehandedly allowed to block a major artery that would allow economic growth across the region.

Wilton also doesn't allow dense housing. So it doesn't want many people to live there, and it doesn't want many people driving though. Pretty damned difficult to have much in the way of jobs growth with that type of attitude!

Without better roads to Danbury, commuting from that region down to Norwalk / Stamford is almost impossible, which increases the demand for housing down on the coastal towns, and consequently makes housing that much more expensive.

Our infrastructure is terrible, and we want it that way. We stop Super 7 even though we own the land. Geez, we can't even build an interchange between 7 and the Merritt without some environmentalist group stepping in and halting the project. Then we complain when there aren't many new jobs being added or when housing becomes so expensive in Fairfield County (because commuting into Fairfield county is almost impossible due to the state of the roads).

Anonymous said...

Turfgrrl doesn't like John DeStefano.

Anon. 12:19 said...

Turfgrrl said: "Duff at least is saying build Super 7 now. That's a refreshing change from the usual hand wringing and doing nothing."

Turfgrrl, Wilms is saying the same thing. He said - and you quoted him as saying - that he supports Super 7. How else can you interpret that statement? How is that different than Duff? Duff says "build it now" and Wilms agrees.

If you object to Wilms' othe suggestions, fine. It seems to me - and maybe I am missing something here - that Super 7 is not going to be built. Political leaders from Norwalk and Danbury have long been fighting to build Super 7. Duff is not the first Norwalk leader to fight for it nor will he be the last. At the same time, however, the political leaders (and environmental groups) in the towns in between, like State Rep. Toni Boucher and State Sen. Judi Freedman, have been fighting just as hard to stop Super 7 from being built. This has been going on for years. I agree with your comments on transportation. I'm sure Duff and Wilms would agree too. I guess where you and I disagree is that I appreciate Wilms' thinking outside the box and trying to find alternative solutions in lieu of the status quo. I do think your comments are a little unfair to Wilms on this issue.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 1:30 - I'll let you in on a little secret, according to every single poll conducted regarding the CT Governor's race, most people in CT agree with Turfgrrl and don't like JDS either.

disgruntled_republican said...

Anon 143-


Anonymous said...

Galen Wells is truly a terrible political leader. Not only does she lose Mayoral elections, council elections, hearings at the State Democratic Party level, but now she is trying to lose one of the remaining Democratic governmental leaders in Norwalk. What will she do next ? I dare not think of this horrible thought. Many in Norwalk wish that she would just resign and step down. If the Norwalk DTC had no one in place, it would be better than the harmful and inneffectual leadership that she provides.

Anonymous said...

Debating whether or not Duff is right or Wilms is right is a complete waste of time - The race for this Senate seat was over when top ranking Republican office holders stabbed Fred Wilms in the back - without his knowledge - back in April/May/June. Fred will find this out on Nov. 7.

MikeCT said...


I read what Wilms said. Denying marriage equality is anti-gay. He's allied himself with gay-bashing, anti-choice theocratic right fanatics. His opponent is endorsed by Love Makes a Family. Not hard to understand, unless you oppose equality and ally yourself with the likes of Pat Robertson and Brian Brown.


Joe voted for the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, a homophobic bill with the explicit goal of preventing marriage equality. He's anti-gay. That's his record, and I also listed other reasons progressives would not want to support those particular Dems, including their refusal to support the Democratic nominee after the primary.

Wolcottboy said...

I always thought that "anti-gay" was the equivalent of saying "anti-black..."

MIKECT wrote:
I read what Wilms said. Denying marriage equality is anti-gay. He's allied himself with gay-bashing, anti-choice theocratic right fanatics. His opponent is endorsed by Love Makes a Family. Not hard to understand, unless you oppose equality and ally yourself with the likes of Pat Robertson and Brian Brown.

Meaning of course that doing something that would be labeled as "anti-gay" would be racist. In the traditional sense... unless you care to provide a dictionary you would like to see printed in 2050 which none of us have read yet - that would mean denying jobs, forbidding one from entering a business/ public establishment or accomodation and the freedom to vote.

All these things are allowed to gay people without argument.

Of course, MikeCT, you don't stop there. Instead, you slanderized all religious and conservatives as well as Family Institute of Connecticut by suggesting they engage in "gay bashing". Such language would suggest that these organizations - as well as many folks you meet every day - engage further attacks on gay people as occurred in the 50s in this country in the South, beatings, hangings, lynch mobs, persistent name-calling in public places, discrimination and daily humliation. Pardon me, but I've seen none of this taking place. Instead I see an extremist living on a different planet who should apologize for your slander.

Oh, and by the way, wouldn't the pro-gay citizens of this state that desecrated churches and tore up, and graffitied Family Insutite Banners last year fit your definition of religion and family-bashers to a T?

Anonymous said...

Stop criticizing Galen. She's a nice lady, although, I agree in over her head. If people think they can do better they sure haven't shown up. Elections are lost by campaigns, not by the people who serve as town chairs.

MikeCT said...

Wolcott Boy,

Your arguments are infantile. Denying housing to blacks while allowing employment is not generous, it is bigotry. Denying marriage equality to gays while declining to lynch them is still bigotry. As anyone with moral reasoning can recognize, overt violence and name calling is not the only form of bigotry, though gays endure plenty of that. It is not up to straight people to decide how much partial equality to bestow on gay people. And the Family Institute types would certainly not hire gay people in their places of employment or provide them housing. Indeed, they explicitly insist on the right of their religious institutions to deny them employment.

I'd say incessantly equating gay relationships with bestiality (gays = animals - how fascist an argument can they make?), arguing that committed gay relationship undermine all other families and that they are condemned to hell, and the countless other slurs hurled at gay people by pseudo-religious fanatics like Brian Brown and Jesse Helms qualify them as gay-bashers.

I also neglected to point out that Joe Lieberman voted for a Jesse Helms sponsored bill that cut off funding to schools that counseled gay teens that its OK to be gay or referred them to gay support groups. And forgot to mention the higher teen suicide rates among gays. And that I said in my post about the Family Institute that Joe Lieberman would almost certainly qualify for their endorsement, according to their criteria.

turfgrrl said...

anonymous 8:05-- Town parties serve to recruit and organize people interested in politics. Either a party grows under its leadership or it atrophies. Alienating your members has not be proven to be a good party building activity.

turfgrrl said...

mikect-- You can call the defense of marriage act a dumb bill, but making the leap to saying its homophobic is ridiculous. The real issue is about individual rights. Why should one need marriage or a civil union in order to determine what one's property disposition should be? Why should single people, now a majority in America, subsidize couples of any sort?

MikeCT said...


Sorry, I'm at a loss to explain something so obvious. You can choose to ignore the context of homophobia in which the law was passed, but to pretend it doesn't exist requires willful denial. What was racist about miscegenation laws? Why shouldn't they still be on the books? Were they just "dumb" or "racist"? Why shouldn't people of color have "civil unions" rather than "marriages"? Why should the state recognize anyone's marriage? Why should heterosexuals couples have any legal rights? Here's a fact sheet on the importance of the issue and some more.

turfgrrl said...

mikect: sorry but I don't see marriage as a fundamental right granted by the constitution.

Anonymous said...

public education and public funded healthcare like Medicare and medicaid aren't guaranteed by the Constitution either. nor is public financing of campaigns...

Anonymous said...

"turfgrrl said...mikect: sorry but I don't see marriage as a fundamental right granted by the constitution. "
388 U.S. 1
June 12, 1967, Decided
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WARREN delivered the opinion of the Court: .... "Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State."

turfgrrl said...

anonymous 6:38: I can read the constitution thank you, and no where does it state the word marriage. The history of marriage btw, is all about property rights. It wasn't too long ago that a woman was property (chattel) under marriage contracts that solely existed to maintain control over assets such as land. My position on marriage is that it is nothing more than contract law, and as such individual rights matter more. I should be able to grant rights to my person or stuff to whomever I want, without the government sanctioning or outlawing it. Religions can make up whatever covenants they want to , but they should have absolutely no legal or contractual standing.

Wolcottboy said...

MikeCT- I don't know of anyone denying a gay person housing. That wouldn't make sense... except for one exception:

If I were the landlord of a multi-family home with children, I would not want my children to approve of neighbors who have a partnership, and perhaps even more than one partner of the same gender.

Secondly, why would a business or corporation WANT to hire an individual who CLEARLY excercises a lifestyle contrary to that organization's beliefs? In the free world, I certainly can deny the hiring of a person because of that. I should. Why should Pepsi hire a person who used to work for Coke? To do so is absolutly STUPID. And might I add.. infantile.

Anonymous said...

wolcottboy: Here is Connecticut's law. I hope you arent a landlord! Sec. 46a-81e. Sexual orientation discrimination: Housing. (a) It shall be a discriminatory practice in violation of this section:(1) To refuse to sell or rent after the making of a bona fide offer, or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any person because of sexual orientation. (2) To discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of sexual orientation. The ONLY EXCEPTION: (b) The provisions of this section shall not apply to (1) the rental of a room or rooms in a unit in a dwelling if the owner actually maintains and occupies part of such unit as his residence or (2) a unit in a dwelling containing not more than four units if the owner actually maintains and occupies one of such other units as his residence.

And, in case you are an employer, read this too: Sec. 46a-81c. Sexual orientation discrimination: Employment. It shall be a discriminatory practice in violation of this section: (1) For an employer, by himself or his agent, except in the case of a bona fide occupational qualification or need, to refuse to hire or employ or to bar or to discharge from employment any individual or to discriminate against him in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment because of the individual's sexual orientation.

There is a Religious exception, but its pretty narrow: Sec. 46a-81p. Sexual orientation discrimination: Religious organizations. The provisions of sections 4a-60a and 46a-81a to 46a-81o, inclusive, shall not apply to a religious corporation, entity, association, educational institution or society with respect to the employment of individuals to perform work connected with the carrying on by such corporation, entity, association, educational institution or society of its activities, or with respect to matters of discipline, faith, internal organization or ecclesiastical rule, custom or law which are established by such corporation, entity, association, educational institution or society.
And Tuffgrrl, that is in the Constitution. The supreme court has spoken. They have [unanimously] interpreted the equal protection language of the 14th amendment to include marriage: 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Wolcottboy said...


except in the case of a bona fide occupational qualification or need,

This, along with the religious accomodation seems to cover the religious employment part, now doesn't it?

Secondly, what's your point? Looks like CT law MOSTLY agrees with my POV concerning residences. I never said you should deny renting a residence, except when the liklihood of your own children might be exposed to an unapproved lifestyle that would impair their morals.

And back to the ORIGINAL, dependent point- this doesn't seem to occur on the level that was previously alleged by MIkeCT.