Thursday, October 19, 2006

Open Forum

A remarkable Senate debate quote:
SCHLESINGER: "If you had someone doing a job for 18 years, and after 18 years their record was one of complete failure, what would you do? What do you think should happen with that person?" [turns to Lamont] You're a businessman, what would you say about someone like that?"

LAMONT: "It's time to go."

You can listen to the whole thing courtsey of CTBlogger. Nice going!

The Courant is endorsing local candidates. Check out the complete list here.

What else is happening this morning?

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

Update to the previous State Senate Q3 filing post....

In the 21st district, Chris Jones has only raised $69,000 compared to $130,000 for Debicella.

Jones has cash on hand of $45,000 and Debicella has $80,000.

This race is over. Only way a Democrat can win in this R-leaning district is by outspending and outworking the Republican...and Chris Jones has done neither.

Anonymous said...

sounds like Alan is discussing his career of trying to get elected to higher office

Anonymous said...

Looks like Caligiuri had the better of Zoni at their debate last night

http://www.courant.com/news/local/nb/hc-16debate1019.artoct19,0,6223733.story

Anonymous said...

Rell has gone as far as she will ever go. She may beat DeStefano but her debating skills and her inability to transform her party will not allow her to seek higher office.

Anonymous said...

Who thinks she wants to run for higher office??

BrassBoy said...

Went to the 16th state senate district debate last night between Sam Caligiuri and Dave Zoni. Pretty good stuff and really highlighted the differences between the two candidates.

Caligiuri seemed smoother and more polished while Zoni seemed a little less prepared and struggled at points with the time limits for answers. I've seen one argument made that this exemplifies Zoni's "non-politician" status or something along those lines.

I, for one, don't feel it matters if you're a politician or not. If you have a firm grasp of the issues and are able to articulate your positions in a clear and concise manner (and without resorting to a script) then that's important. Preparedness and an understanding of the issues are qualities that even the most nocive candidate should have if they are going to succeed at any level, let alone if they're elected.

All in all, it was quite a clear contrast between the two.

Anonymous said...

Every Governor thinks of themselves as a potential candidate for President, Vice President, U.S. Senator. If she does not think this way it would show her lack of vision and motivation. To think she may have reached her comfort level with no higher goals in mind would make my vote easy.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:16

That's absurd.

Shadow said...

Ned Lamont gave a speech at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic that I attended, which included a brief Q & A session with the audience.

From that experience, it was plainly obvious that one of the most favored anti-Lamont criticisms among his detractors is not going to stick, that's he's some undisciplined leftist who rattles off fringe positions; despite Lamont's progressivism and straight shooting, the man is no fool as a campaigner, and will not give anyone an opening to smear him.

See, I had felt like I should take the opportunity to ask something substantial during the Q and A, and I ended up asking the last question of the event, throwing Lamont a real hardball: "Most Americans believed, even before we went in Iraq, that there was no historical justification to suggest that regime change could externally impose democracy - and we've seen that play out over the last few years. What we need to hear in this election cycle is are you unequivocally against the use of regime change to externally impose democracy?"

Although he all but said yes in a detailed explanation criticizing Lieberman for backing up Santorum's Iran regime change bill, Lamont was careful not to come out and give the unequivocal rejection I had asked for, using the words "never say never". It took me a moment to absorb this and place it in context, but I realized quickly that an unequivocal answer could easily be twisted by Lieberman into weakness on security and lack of supporting Israel; after all, taking on regime change as a whole and killing it is not yet an argument that has begun, and not a debate that can be won in only three weeks. Reading between the lines, I could see Lamont's point of view for what it was, and I was satisfied that when elected and more free to speak his mind, he would be on the right side of the issue.

Moments later, one of Lamont's chief aides took me aside and essentially verified my assessment. He thanked me for my question (to my surprise), looked me right in the eye, and said our candidate is with you, and that he just has to be careful what he says right now. This kid was no hardened political hack, he was a young guy my age, clearly new to this whole game, and he didn't seem to say it as much to keep my vote as he did as a show of solidarity in the ideals we share, eye to eye and man to man. It was actually a real moment, not a vote grab.

In addition, my observations at this event secondly proved that Lamont supporters can not be characterized as rabid, fringe, die-hards who back their candidate unequivocally. I expected to get some flack from the audience about shooting off such a hardball question, but I was practically mobbed with praise. I was thanked and complemented on my question by people of all demographics; old and young, white and black, male and female (not to mention the AP reporter who grabbed me as soon as Lamont had finished answering my question and began a three minute interview). A young black gentleman who complemented my question even added the words "too bad he didn't answer it"; hardly the words of an extreme Lamontista who follows his candidate blindly and without criticism.

All in all, the way the race is shaping up now, Lamont is the candidate of moderates and progressives, Schlesinger is the candidate of conservatives, and Lieberman is the candidate of the Washington establishment and Republican strategists in CT hell bent on seeing Lamont lose.

Golden Child said...

Good post Brass Boy.

The only thing I would add is that Zoni agreed with Caligiuri on 5 different issues. I thought that was odd. Caligiuri would say something about sprawl and Zoni would say "I completely agree with my opponent," and would not differentiate himself. I think there are clear differences in this race and Zoni may have just been trying to hop on the bandwagon.

Shadow said...

Ned Lamont gave a speech at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic that I attended, which included a brief Q & A session with the audience. From that experience, it was plainly obvious that one of the most favored Lamont criticisms among his detractors is not going to stick, that's he's some undisciplined leftist who rattles off fringe positions; despite Lamont's progressivism and straight shooting, the man is no fool as a campaigner.

See, I had felt like I should take the opportunity to ask something substantial during the Q and A, and I ended up asking the last question of the event, throwing Lamont a real hardball: "Most Americans believed, even before we went in Iraq, that there was no historical justification to suggest that regime change could externally impose democracy - and we've seen that play out over the last few years. What we need to hear in this election cycle is are you unequivocally against the use of regime change to externally impose democracy?" Although he all but said yes in a detailed explanation criticizing Lieberman for backing up Santorum's Iran regime change bill, Lamont was careful not to come out and give the unequivocal rejection I had asked for, using the words "never say never". It took me a moment to absorb this and place it in context, but I realized quickly that an unequivocal answer could easily be twisted by Lieberman into weakness on security and lack of supporting Israel; after all, taking on regime change as a whole and killing it is not yet an argument that has begun, and not a debate that can be won in only three weeks. Reading between the lines, I could see Lamont's point of view for what it was, and I was satisfied that when elected and more free to speak his mind, he would be on the right side of the issue. Moments later, one of Lamont's chief aides took me aside and essentially verified my assessment; he thanked me for my question (to my surprise), looked me right in the eye, and said our candidate is with you, and that he just has to be careful what he says right now. This kid was no hardened political hack, he was a young guy my age, clearly new to this whole game, and he didn't seem to say it as much to keep my vote as he did as a show of solidarity in the ideals we share; it was actually a real moment, not a vote grab.

In addition, this event secondly proved that Lamont supporters can not be characterized as rabid, fringe, die-hards who back their candidate unequivocally. I expected to get some flack from the audience about shooting off such a hardball question, but I was practically mobbed with praise. I was thanked and complemented on my question by people of all demographics; old and young, white and black, male and female (not to mention the AP reporter who grabbed me as soon as Lamont had finished answering my question and began a three minute interview). A young black student who complemented the question even added the words "too bad he didn't answer it"; hardly the words of an extreme Lamontista who follows his candidate blindly and without criticism.

All in all, the way the race is shaping up now, Lamont is the candidate of moderates and progressives, Schlesinger is the candidate of conservatives, and Lieberman is the candidate of the Washington establishment and Republican strategists in CT hell bent on seeing Lamont lose.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:16 -

I'm not sure I follow your logic? Are you saying that a City Councilperson, State Rep, Congressman, etc. that doesn't seek a higher office lacks motivation or vision? That doesn't really seem like a valid argument.

Anonymous said...

Shadow,

Glad to hear you shared a "moment". How sweet. Not let's get back to reality.

There is no moderate in this election. There is conservative Alan, liberal Joe and ultra-liberal Ned. Period.

Shadow said...

Hey man, some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this.

Ha.

Although now that we've all got that nauseating song in our heads, maybe you'll be lucky and no one will notice which one of us backed up our arguments better.

If you think Lamont is ultra-liberal, then you think the majority of CT voters are ultra-liberal; just look at the polls issue by issue and most CT voters agree with him on Iraq, the economy, pork-barrel earmarks, bought-and-sold politians, etc.

That congruity has never been in dispute in any of non-partisan political analysis;, the question has always been whether or not he'll actually be able to get that message across to moderate voters up against a familiar and politically powerful incumbent who has centrism and bipartisanship as key talking points.

Anonymous said...

http://www.courant.com/news/politics/hc-sendebate1019.artoct19,0,5982440.story?page=1&coll=hc-big-headlines-breaking

Lieberman complaining that his oponents attacks during the campaign show they can't get along to get things done is just plain stupid but some people will buy into it for sure. It's a damn competition for the job, Joe. Get over it. For once there actually are a couple of qualified opponents who aren't scheduled to go to federal jail.

Anonymous said...

http://www.journalinquirer.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=17343838&BRD=985&PAG=461&dept_id=161556&rfi=6

if it makes the newspaper, Rell acts.

justavoter said...

Good question at that event for Ned Lamont.

I think Ned after the debate yesterday will now again crush Lieberman .

He's got back on track with what we the voters are concerned about here in Connecticut.

Lieberman voted and supported the Bush detainee Torture bill and Dodd opposed it Lamont supports the Dodd position .Again Lieberman is out of touch with the voters and more in touch with the Right Wing Conservatives within the Bush Regime.

Lieberman did not even stick around to answer questions Lamont did.

I guess Lieberman is to good for the media or just plane running away from his problems

Anonymous said...

CT is liberal!!!

And your list of "issues" is a little suspect.

Economy? Don't even get me started. Go read George Will's column in the Hartford Courant
today. He does the argument much more justice than I ever could.

Pork Barrel Earmarks is an issue that all candidates agree on until they get elected and need to deliver projects for their home state. Lamont is somehow different than everyone else???

Bough and Sold Politicians... right, since Neddy is using all of his own money he's not beholden to anyone but the people. Right. I like to look at it as just another candidate who can't convince anyone other than the DailyKos crowd to donate to his campaign. The point is to convince others that you are a good candidate and they give you money. I'm glad he convinced himself though, that's a start.

Iraq... Blah, blah, blah...

Sorry, Ned is not a moderate. He proved that in the primary and with the company he keeps. Tell him to say hello to Jesse, Al, Lowell and Maxine for me...

The Spin is Fun said...

See, based on my reading of the Rec-Journal this morning, and the Waterbury Rep-Am, I think Zoni did just fine. Sam's a lawyer and no one doubted his ability to debate. Zoni, on the other hand, was a complete underdog and no one even expected him to compete. He held his own and even called Caligiuri to the carpet on his lack of oversight and then blaming everthing on municipal employees, especially the firefighters.

I'll agree with everyone that there are clear differences in the candidates, but to say that either candidate won is either a complete misrepresentation or a failure to recognize that Zoni did a lot better than they - and everyone else - thought he would do.

With that, I think Zoni was the big winner because he held his own and didn't look overmatched and inept.

Above all, though, I doubt anyone is that room didn't know who they were voting for already.

Anonymous said...

The sun moon and stars may align perfectly
for Chris Jones in the coming days. If not then too bad
but not too bad for him but the voters. They will have a big hangover with Debicella.

Public has no clue. CT has been through enough already.

Anonymous said...

FYI...Cathy Cook has had a website up for a while:

www.cathycook06.com

Anonymous said...

Cathy Cook has had a website up for some time
www.cathycook06.com

BrassBoy said...

I read the Rep-Am and the Courant but not the Rec-Journal. I wasn't crazy about the articles, but they are what they are.

I just don't agree with this whole "set the bar low" strategy for Zoni. If he can't compete on the same stage, if he has less of a grasp of the issues and a tenuous hold at best of the key points, then how is he the best man for the job?

THe were several points in the debate where you could tell he was going completely rom a script. Now I understand that most candidates go into debates with scripts and/or outlines, but it is the job of the candidate to have a good enough undestanding of the issues to not need to read straight from the script.

Now, as for "calling Caligiuri to the carpet"... to say that Caligiuri's lack of oversight led to Waterbury's budget mess during the late 90's is way off base, it just undescored Zoni's lack of understanding. People seem to forget that Caligiuri was the Board of Alderman President for only about a year leading up to the Giordano mess. Prior to that he was a young member of the board who was largely pushed to the background until he made his move to become Board Pres. He had virtually no say over those budgets and even less access to the real numbers.

Anyone who knows Waterbury and how the budget process worked would know that. But Zoni and his advisors, including the Wtby fireman apparently do not know that or do not care.

Further, he did not blame everything on the unions, but, once again, anyone knowing anything about the situation in Waterbury knows that the contracts were a huge albatross. There's no way around it. Regardless of who signed them (Bergin, Santopietro, Giordano, whoever) they were a problem. That can't be disputed.

Now, you say that calling a winner is a misrepresentation but in the next sentence you Zoni won because he didn't look inept! Since when is simply not looking inept a plus???

Zoni basically said three things all night: government oversight, universal healthcare and millionaire's tax. It's as simple as that.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1132 says,

"Lieberman complaining that his oponents attacks during the campaign show they can't get along to get things done is just plain stupid..."

Clearly Lamont and Schlesinger can work together as they tag teammed Joe with the quote in this post. Maybe becuase it was against him it doesn't qualify?

Shadow said...

> Anonymous said... CT is liberal!!!


With that first sentence you just proved my point; Lamont represents most CT voters, therefore he is in the center of the political spectrum in CT.

Or if you can't stand the concept of relativity, even for a moment, let's say it your way: CT is liberal and Lamont is liberal; shouldn't CT be represented by someone who shares its values?

Sounds like the whole point of democracy to me.

Anonymous said...

has anyone thought about whether Alan S. or Dick Foley are going to get some business deal from Lamont Digital or Oak Investment after 11/7?

Anonymous said...

Guess Dave Zoni doesn;t use wikipedia , does he?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Giordano
"
During his time as mayor, he claimed to have balanced Waterbury's budget, but prior to his arrest a state oversight board had to intervene as a result of chronic pension underfunding and unaffordable union contracts. Upon Giordano's arrest in 2001, he was forced to step aside, leaving Alderman President Sam Caligiuri as acting mayor"

The Spin is Fun said...

See, SPIN REALLY IS FUN.

Zoni did well in the debate and was the "winner" because no one - not one person - expected him to be able to hold his own against Sam, a trained lawyer and professional pol.

And again, I'll bet that not one person in that room was undecided about who they were going to vote for and nothing could have been said by Sam or Dave to convince the other sides supporters to switch teams.

Anonymous said...

CT should be represented by the best man for the job... regardless of ideology... and it ain't doe-eyed Neddy...

Anonymous said...

You know whats funny.. all the Senate Dem staff fools were chirping about Bill Kiner during the summer and now that his campaign is a disaster and Kissel has been everywhere including tv for about a month.. and gets the Courant endorsement (i know.. it doesn't mean anything really)... i hear nothing. Come on boys...you're boring me.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that Schleshinger would say such a thing about Nancy Johnson!

Anonymous said...

Brassboy in your 2:11 post you said, "He had virtually no say over those budgets and even less access to the real numbers"
If that's your argument, then why did he vote to pass deficit budgets? The independant audits don't lie. As president of the board, $70 million in the red in 2000 was what, a fluke?

Anonymous said...

anon 8:03....obviously the accountants for the city signed off on the previous budgets...and there was a long standing pattern of Mayors putting expenses off beyond the current fiscal year

I don;t recall the Waterbury Dems raising the flag of city deficits at the time since the required medicine (union concessions and property tax hikes) wasn;t part of their agenda any more than Giordano's

Might I make the politically incorrect observation that the crux of Waterbury's problem was a bipartisan effort to shield seniors from property tax hikes by postponing revaluation forever. Of course, this sort of tax shift gimmick is exactly what the Democrats want to enact statewide...and by shifting the burden to the business sector, is likely to yield the same result statewide it yielded Waterbury

Anonymous said...

This is what Giordano was selling in the 1990's...that he had cleared up the red ink HE had inherited


“A lot of good things have happened in Waterbury,” Giordano told BNH. “When I took over we had a $55-million deficit. We cut the budget by $26 million and my first budget should show a $2 million to $3 million surplus.”


http://www.businessnewhaven.com/archive_index/archive_pages/3306_Business_New_Haven.html

So, is Zoni gonna blame Mike Bergin?

Sun on My Shoulders said...

What, wait, Mike Bergin is running again?!??!!

Diversion is a really neat trick. Oh, and never let facts get in the way of a good argument.

Anonymous said...

Zoni wouldn't know what a good argument was anyway.

Fact is the first guy who tried to clean the augean stables of Waterbury was Sammy.

Much of the mess was left by the same people who are backing Zoni now. Priceless

Dem for life said...

Anon 8:18- I'll say just one thing- the Republicans were the MAJORITY party at the time and if Caligiuri is the "great" leader he proports to be, then why did his sell tax liens to a tax collection agency being investigated by the Feds and later went bankrupt? $70 million in debt??? Now that's great leadership!

BrassBoy said...

Hahaha... it's so laughable, the lack of understanding...

"He" did not sell any tax liens. THat was a decision made by the mayor and his staff and backed up by the mayor's office's numbers. Please, PLEASE, take it from me, majority party has nothing to do with it. It's not about party, many people within both major parties in Waterbury do not get along and the same was true then.

Giordano had his insiders and a cadre of supporters who saw him as their ticket to power. What he presented to and told the Board of Aldermen turned out to be great fiction. But without access to the real numbers it's virtually impossible to know this.

If anyone wants to know more about those budgets I suggest they contact Phil Giordano, Tom Ariola and Pat Mangini.

Sorry anon8:03pm, those independent audits were performed after the fact and up until then the mayor's staff included his budget director were presenting balanced numbers to the rest of the administration. I have a hunch you would have voted for them too.

Dem for life said...

Brassboy- the Board of Aldermen had to vote on and pass the sale of the tax liens, which they did-twice. Once to Taxserve, which went bancrupt, and then to Anagram, which also went bancrupt! To say the Board had nothing to do with it is misleading and false.

BrassBoy said...

Where do you seem me saying the Board of Aldermen had nothing to do with it? Those words appear nowhere on this page. Do not put words in my mouth. When it comes to Waterbury and it's government the last several years I know of what I speak and do not need anything attributed to me that I did not say.

Now, as far as Taxserve and Angram... yes, the BofA voted to approve those deals based on the budgetary projections and sales projections provided to them by the mayor's office and approved by the mayor's own financial staff and budget director. The BofA is not full-time and does not have the resources to crunch the numbers independently, so they must rely on the resources provided to them by the MAYOR'S OFFICE. Up until recently, everything flowed from the mayor's office and any hope one had of getting accurate numbers was small.

So, once again, i did not say that the BofA had nothing to do with it. I said, they based their decisions on the information that was provided to them at the time and up to that point, had no reason to disbelieve the numbers, although many in the city were beginning to grow skeptical, as evidenced by Giordano's severe lack of support within his own party for his stupid Senate run.

The magical power of hindsight is fun isn't it? Maybe if everyone knew exactly how bad the numbers actually were and the Taxserve and Angram would eventually go bankrupt (yes, it's with a "k") then the decisions would have different. But to say that Sam Caligiuri, by virtue of his position as an Alderman (he didn't even hold a leadership position until he became board Pres.), is responsible is what is misleading and false.

Honestly, if you don't know the history or have a revisionist view of what went on then it's really not worth discussing.

I Know Budgets; Those Were No Budgets... said...

The fact that BrassBoy needed that much space to "explain" what he believes "really" happened is laughable. Leadership is making things simple and taking a stand. Not explaining things away with overly dense verbiage.

Did Zoni use the Mayor's budgets or the actuarial budgets? If he used the actuarial budgets, he might have a powerful argument.

BrassBoy said...

First of all, cute name, real, creative...

Secondly, we're talking about Caligiuri, not Zoni. I have no idea how little Zoni has accomplished in his short time on the Southington town council...

Third... It's not a belief, it's simple fact. Go ask the members of the state oversight what shape the city's books were in when they got there. Now considering that the mayor's office was the preparing the numbers and working with the actuaries and that Phil Giordano had not hired an internal city auditor for about 3 years after the the last one left, I'd say the numbers coming from the mayor's office and actuarial projections were basically one and the same.

But thanks for the tip... Why don't you tell me what really happened...

Anonymous said...

I recall the Waterbury firefighters loved Phil. Now they love Zoni. Draw your own conclusions about how concerned with balanced budgets either they or Zoni are?

One of Wtby's Bravest said...

ANON 7:16 - No we didn't like Giordano at all. One of our guys knows Zoni, I won't put his name in without prior permission, likes Zoni for what he stands for. Don't say we liked Giordano without asking us first.

Anonymous said...

This guy

1. Liked Giordano
2. Was a Waterbury fireman
3. Was in a position to screw up city finances.

from a federal court document

"The defendant identified CW-1 as Tim Longino, the defendant's former chief of staff when he was the Mayor of Waterbury. The defendant alleged that Longino had misappropriated more than $50,000 in campaign funds and was subsequently discharged by the defendant, and that the Government knew or had reason to know of Longino's discharge. Id"

http://www.nbc30.com/news/3610962/detail.html


Do I need your permission to quote from a a public document...there are some "socialist" countries that believe in that ?

One of Wtby's Bravest said...

Your demented logic only serves your argument, but not the truth. Yeah Longino was COS for Philthy Phil, but he didn't speak for the other 323 members of the FD. You failed to mention that Longino was a staffer in the Senate Republicans office prior to being told by Johnny-boy to take that position to keep an eye on Philly. Ask any FF, if you have the balls, what they thought of the "deal" to allow Longino to be COS and you'll find that no one approved, and resented it. As for the misappropriation of $50,000, he wasn't working on the FD at the time so don't associate him with us.