Friday, December 29, 2006

Year in Review: 2006 (part two)

A continuation of part one of the year in review.


7/3 - Joe Lieberman, sensing doom, starts collecting signatures for an independent run.

7/6 - The first debate between Lieberman and Lamont. Lieberman comes off as grouchy and combative. Lamont looks like a deer in the headlights. Lamont, however, scores enough points for a win, although he fails to knock Lieberman out. The debate is broadcast live on national news networks. National and international interest in the primary swells.

7/10 - Lieberman comes up with a new party name. It is silly.

7/11 - Then-Republican Diana Urban thinks about jumping into the Senate race. She doesn't collect enough signatures.

7/12 - Questions about gambling nearly force Alan Schlesinger from the race. A lot of the "outrage" seems to be driven by either the governor or Kevin Rennie. Schlesinger hangs in there, but his candidacy is permanently crippled.

7/18 - Malloy and DeStefano debate in New London. Few watch. Malloy does a little better, but the real star of the debate is a refreshingly crusty Mark Davis, who needs to moderate more debates.

7/20 - Lamont pulls ahead with two weeks to go.

7/24 - Bill Clinton comes to Waterbury. Spazeboy has trouble getting in to see him.

7/27 - Nancy Johnson releases an attack ad against Chris Murphy. In July. No wonder she lost.

7/27 - Joe Lieberman announces a bus tour of diners. It doesn't go well.


The conventional wisdom entering August was that Lamont was going to crush Lieberman. Polls showed him ahead by ten points or more. The Malloy campaign claimed to be inching closer and closer to DeStefano. What really mattered, however, came on August 8th:

8/8 - Primary Day. The world comes to Connecticut. I've never seen anything like it.

The day begins with an attack on the Lieberman website. Well, it's called an attack. Lamont's campaign and supporters slowly debunk it throughout the day, but the Lieberman campaign keeps claiming an attack and blames pro-Lamont forces.

Turnout is very high--43% of Dems vote. That's the highest turnout ever for a statewide primary.

Lamont does win by 52%-48%, but Joe Lieberman vows to run as an independent. He promptly fires his staff, and hires old hands.

John DeStefano wins against Dan Malloy in a squeaker--only a few thousand votes separate them.

Oddly, Malloy's running mate Mary Glassman absolutely wrecks Scott Slifka, as Democratic voters send a clear message about having a woman on the ticket. DeStefano orders new lawn signs.

8/13 - Lamont's campaign begins the general election campaign on the wrong foot. Never say bad things about Waterbury. It's not worth it.

8/14 - Jim Amann backs Joe Lieberman, earning him the enmity of pro-Lamont bloggers and others.

8/16 - Garfield's off the hook in Moodygate. Which is still going on.

8/17 - A Quinnipiac Poll shows Lieberman leading Lamont by about 10%, and Rell crushing DeStefano. Which, despite a few wavers here and there, is exactly where it all ends up.

8/25 - Chris Shays endorses a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, neatly stealing Diane Farrell's thunder. A decisive moment for Shays.


I spent September waiting for things to get interesting. They didn't.

9/1 - Three major House races in Connecticut are among those nationally targeted.

9/5 - It's revealed that the White House is funneling money to Lieberman. Surprise.

9/13 - The SOTS releases the list of towns which will use optical scan machines.

9/15 - Lieberman remembers why people liked him in the first place.

9/18 - Nancy Johnson suggests that a vote for Murphy is a vote for terrorists killing adorable children. Whew!

9/19 - Courtney and Simmons debate.

9/22 - Rell and DeStefano agree to two one-on-one debates, infuriating Cliff Thornton of the Green Party.

9/25 - Remember this guy?

9/28 - The House passes the so-called "torture bill." Shays, Simmons and Johnson vote yes. Later, my wife and I will listen to Simmons defend that vote... but he's lost ours because of it.


Yard sign month! I love October--usually. This October, however, seemed like one, long, ceaseless slog through the mud. By the end of the month, I just wanted it all to stop.

10/1 - 1-84 problems.

10/2 - Tax attacks!

10/3 - Lamont donates a ton of money.

10/4 - General Assembly commercials.

10/5 - Farrell/Shays debate.

10/6 - Rell dips into slush funds, Ruth Fahrbach benefits.

10/8 - People notice that Lamont is stuck in neutral.

10/9 - Gubernatorial debate #1. DeStefano does well, but Rell stays on her feet.

10/10 - Simmons and Courtney in Enfield. Other local candidates, too.

10/11 - Foley follies. Ew.

10/13 - Shays loses his mind on Abu Graib. A "sex ring"? Kinky.

10/16 - Let's have a debate in the middle of the afternoon. Lamont/Lieberman/Schlesinger. Schlesinger makes a great showing.

10/18 - A stealth senate debate, then a live gubernatorial one.

10/21 - The Courant endorses all the Democrats in Congressional races.

10/22 - Petty cash.

10/23 - Final U.S. Senate debate. I spend the afternoon talking to foreign journalists, then watch the debate live. Schlesinger impresses again--especially his response to hecklers sent by LaRouche to bug Lieberman.

10/26 - Johnson releases the drug dealer ad, which shows Chris Murphy being welcomed into the home of a drug dealer. Ouch!

10/27 - Glassman and Fedele debate on the radio. Nice.

10/28 - Lieberman and Bloomberg are friends.

The Courant endorses Lieberman, DeStefano. The New York Times endorses Lamont.

10/30 - NOW endorses DeStefano-Glassman.


At last! Election month.

11/1 - A ton of new voters this year. People are interested.

11/3 - Enfield. Center of the political universe.

11/7 - Election Day!

Rell, Lieberman, Murphy win by a lot. Shays wins by a little. Courtney wins by a very small number, the recount begins.

And that's that.

Democrats gain a supermajority in both chambers of the General Assembly.

11/15 - Simmons concedes after the recount upholds Courtney's win.

11/16 - Larson elected vice caucus chair.

11/21 - Diana Urban leaves the GOP.

11/26 - George Gallo makes ready to step down as head of the state GOP.


It's been quiet around here this month. Expect things to pick up again in January.

12/4 - Newton sentence under review.

12/5 - Simmons thinks about running again.

12/7 - Squabbles over rate hikes.

12/12 - Courtney and Murphy get their committee assignments.

12/14 - More Moodygate. Just what I always wanted!

12/16 - Rell appoints a panel to investigate the State Police after a damning report is released.

12/20 - An investigation finds that Lamont supporters had nothing to do with Lieberman's website troubles.

12/21 - Rell fires people.

12/28 - Rell proposes a health care plan. As usual, I like it but everyone else thinks I'm nuts. Oh, well.

Happy New Year, everyone!!! Here's to another crazy year in Connecticut.


spazeboy said...

I made the list. And there was much rejoicing. Yay!

CT Bob said...

Great recap, GC!

lamontcranston said...

It has been a wild year here in CT. I would like to raise my glass to Nancy Johnson and Rob Simmons for their years of service to the state of CT, and wish them well in whatever they do now.

RedRidden said...

Fine public servants, shame to lose 'em.

Cue massive backlash of ridicule and Republican-bashing from the left-wingers on this site...NOW (cringing in fear)

TrueBlueCT said...


Thanks for last year. I mean it. We had a lot of fun.

But 2006 is over.

2007 is about getting health coverage for every last human living in the Nutmeg State. Period. Get your head in the f*cking game. I mean we need you man. Honestly, if bright people like you won't help hold Rell and our legislature to task when all they want to do is issue press releases?

What makes you think CT can't afford to solve this problem?

Genghis Conn said...


Well, what's the plan, then? What do the Democrats want to do? Rell has something on the table. As with most of her plans, it could use a little work, but it's a place to start.

Maybe what we need is a compromise that includes Rell's plan, but institutes some sort of state-funded care for people who can't afford the $250/month.

What worries me is looming fiscal trouble. If the estimates are accurate, we'll be in the red in two years, despite the surplus we're seeing now. Can we do this without breaking the bank?

Anonymous said...

Breaking News- is reporting that the execution of Saddam Hussein was carried out at 10 PM ET which would be 6 AM Iraq time.

Anonymous said...

I myself would've included Lieberman's editorial in today's WaPo, in which he basically gave lie to everything he said about Iraq during the campaign, but still, nice work.

Happy New Year to all, even TurfGrrl, wherever she may wave.

cgg said...

Turfgrrl has her own blog now.

TrueBlueCT said...


As long as "centrists" like you ascribe to the belief that we can't afford universal coverage, even the Democrats will be reluctant to come forward with a health care solution.

Yet ublic opinion remains that every hard working person in Connecticut deserves some basics. A living wage, a chance for their kids to advance via public education, and health insurance.

No one is advocating for first-class care for everyone. The rich in America will always receive better care. But no family should live in fear of someone getting sick, simply b/c their employment doesn't come with health coverage.

Rell's plan is a joke. (No insurance company will cover pre-existing conditions at $3,000/yr, --even with the co-pays and high deductibles.) If you can't see through to that....

TrueBlueCT said...

P.S. I challenge you to an online debate. Honestly. I don't think you can really defend the status quo. Bring in one of your Republican colleagues, and I'll invite a Progressive Dem. Should be good for ratings.

P.S.S. Do you really think that Connecticut can't afford to provide all its working citizens with the same minimal health coverage that we extend to our elderly via Medicare, or to the poorest of the poor via Medicaid? Why on earth should a sizable segment of Americans be left out of this basic equation?

TrueBlueCT said...

P.S.S. Just to explain the obvious. Low-risk Nutmeggers will never subscribe to Rell's bogus "Charter Oak Plan". Why would they, when they can get the same coverage via Golden Rule for $800-$1500/yr? (That's all major medical costs for your average 20-35yr. old.)

However, higher risk 40-65yr old Nutmeggers would be glad if their health care costs were capped at $3,000/yr, (even with the deductibles.) But this can't happen via the private market, no matter how much Rell spends on advertising.

The only way to solve this is to mandate basic minimum coverage funded by tax incentives, employers, and employee deductibles. This is not to deny that the mandates will never supersede the the premium and platinum care that will always be reserved for the more fortunate among us. Fact is America's poor will never be entitled to the same health care that the wealthier enjoy.

P.S.S.S. Genghis, what motivates you to be interested in politics? I understand the Progressive agenda, and I understand the machinations of the GOP. What I can't understand is your detachment. Please, just answer me, -- Do you really think CT can't afford to provide all its citizens with minimal health coverage?

ctkeith said...

and I see Turfgirl is getting the attention she's earned and deserves.

Genghis Conn said...

I'm not defending the status quo. We do need to find a way to make sure everyone has access to basic health care. As I said, Rell's plan is a start. And, according to the article I posted on this subject a few days ago, insurers are interested in it. If she can get them on board, will you soften towards the idea? I imagine that we're still going to be looking at some sort of state subsidy, when it's all said and done.

What's wrong with the idea I proposed above, which provides basic, state-funded care for those who can't afford the proposed $250/month?

Democrats may also want to revisit some of the proposals drawn up by Dan Malloy and John DeStefano during the campaign, and take the best pieces of those and work them into a UHC proposal.

...And is it so hard to believe that there is life outside left and right?

Anonymous said...

This would be a much more intellignet discussion if somebody could define who is uninsured - and that includes Rell. When everyone who needs health insurance is well informed: HUSKY covers any kid, Medicaid covers the poor and Medicare takes care of the elderly. So who exctly are these uninsured and why are they uninsured? If I knew that, I might be able to comment on Rell's plan.

cgg said...

Genghis, Rell doesn't have a plan. She's going to ask the insurance companies to accept her proposal, and with no legislation they can pull out at any time. That's not a plan, it's a prayer.

This is our one opportunity to actually accomplish universal healthcare. We need something along the lines of what Malloy or DeStefano were proposing. IMO it's worth spending some serious political capital on.

As for moderates, well I'd take that view more seriously if you organized into a party. If you want a seat at the table, go out and earn one. In CT you certainly have enough moderates and centrists to form a viable party. Go for it.

Anonymous said...

Eighty five % of CT citizens have health insurance and roughly half of those who don't have insurance do so by choice as they are in their 20's and 30's in good health and don't see the need. But let's say we need UHC. What exactly is it? What services will be guaranteed and who will make those decisions?

ctblogger said...

I think a great moment that was missed was the CT Democratic convention. If anything, I think that moment will stand in my mind as the brightest moment this year. After Lamont surprised everyone at the convention center, I knew he would beat Lieberman in August because if Lamont could capture that many votes among that inside club of the DTC, he could capture the attention of the average Democratic voter in the primary.

Also, the battle between Malloy and DeStefano the next day was insane. Remember the high school marching band, to the controversy in Danbury, Waterbury, and Hartford, as well as Malloy jumping on the chairs with a bullhorn.

And GC, don't forget the lack of respect State Central gave you as they put you in the far back of the convention while I had the presspass. I freaked out when I saw you back there and told you to demand a press pass. I think at that moment , you realized how that online media should have the same access as the mainstream media because I saw you with the press crew the next day.

Anonymous said...

I think some of you Liberals should run for The Legislature next time.Lets see if you can up with some kind of solution to the health insurance issue.

This is coming from the people who tried to push a millionaire into the US Senate but luckily the Voters in Connecticut saw the light and sent Lieberman back and kept Lamont a Private Citizen.

BTW it is so great to see Turfgrrl have her own blog.

Having competition and opposing viewpoints is a healthy thing.

Anonymous said...

I would like to kick Nancy johnson to the curb and say thanks for nothing for the last 24 years.

New Britain is Calling your name Nancy....enjoy your permanent retirement.

Anonymous said...

RedRidden....Fine Public Servants??? Maybe Simmons was But Nancy Johnson I am so glad the voters in the 5th CD gave her the boot.

The Old hack can retire to New Britain and enjoy her emertius years of Retirement.

Chris Murphy will be our Congressman on 1/4/2007 Thank god for this miracle.

TrueBlueCT said...


I have a friend, "Mike", who is a security guard. He has been with his company for ten plus years, does everything supposed to, and ekes by on $9.00/hour. Mike has his own apartment, but can't afford a car. So he rides his bike five miles to work, even in the winter.

Mike is about to enter his 40's, and is getting increasingly worried because he has no health insurance.

What's wrong with this picture?

P.S. Did I mention that Mike is learning disabled.

What amazes me is the callous attitudes of those who don't think America should join the rest of the civilized world in making sure all our citizens have basic health care available to them.

Anonymous said...

Interesting, two anti-NJ postings under two anti-NJ handles (obviously created for just this purpose) within 3 minutes of each other...

I think it's safe to say that Senator (not an MC just yet) Murphy's attack dogs can call it quits now, almost 2 months after the fact-- it's over and done with, he won, the woman isn't going to run anymore.

It's one thing to begin the mud-slinging well over a year before the election (can we say "robo-call"?), but what's the rationale after it's all said and done?

I think we can safely deduce who of the two is actually the partisan hack.

Matt said...

Rell's proposal is empty enough that one might be able to project some of their ideals onto it (I'm certain there will be state subsidy! Maybe they'll pay for it for people who can't afford it! Private industry might be interested in it!), but don't conflate your own hopes with the actual proposal by Rell.

Connecticut Man1 said...

What you you mean to say is that:

Rell unveiled a plan to fund an advertising campain for useless health care plans.

Well... I am sure that all of those companies are hard up for money with their low profit margins right now and can't afford to pay for their own ad campaigns. How charitable of her! Some might even say: How conservative of her... Many will say: How GOPish of her. :)

Anonymous said...

Anon 856 PM- Nancy Johnson was the old hack and now she is in retirement where she belongs.

Lets give Chris Murphy his two years and see what happens.

Sounds like someone is a former Lamont Supporter who crossed over to Nancy Because he isnt a fan of Murphy.

To me that would make you a RINO.

Anonymous said...

True Blue CT- Sounds like a real crappy Security Company that cant offer him a Health Insurance Plan and he is only making $9 an hour after 10 years.

Employers like that should be REQUIRED to pay Health Benefits.

This person should have benefits and there are thousands more like him.

It is time for our State Reps and Senators to get off their fannys and get it done. Hopefully Governor Rell will pin Amann and Williams up against the wall and say lets get a Health insurance plan done and lets get these energy costs down as well.

Anonymous said...


MoveOn and a whole slew of other nutjob, extremist organizations came to CT-5 over a year before the race began and started wailing away on NJ while "the good senator" stood on the sidelines, feigning ignorance/innocence and painting himself lily white (Murphy would make a GREAT Jeffy in The Family Circus: "Not me!"). So when the old girl pushes back, THAT makes her a partisan hack? I can take "spin" as much as the next guy, but gimme a break on that one...

Yes, let us give Murphy a chance, let us give him his two years of rope -- I am more than confident that's all he'll need.

A Lamont-supporter, are you nuts or on drugs? Because if it's the latter, you can rest easy knowing that Murphy will vote to lessen penalties for you and your brethren on the federal level just like he did in Hartford.

And FYI, behind closed doors, NOBODY is a fan of Murphy -- NOBODY.

Anonymous said...

Yowser bowser, how's about all the government employees with their government paid for health insurance agree to kick in more out of their paycheck for health insurance thereby lowering the tax burden on everybody else so they can but their own health insurance out of a bigger take home pay!!!

RedRidden said...

good God, sorry i said anything!

"can't we all just get along?"

Anonymous said...

Anon 1233 PM- You are totally wrong about my Politics I did vote for Murphy But Not Lamont.

Nancy Johnson was no innocent at all in this. She played the victim and ran the nastiest ads i have ever seen in any political campaign in 25 years But in 2006 when she ran the drug dealer ad and used a Chris Murphy Lookalike actor It was the biggest mistake of her long career.

Move ran their own ads and Murphy got blamed Yet again another Johnson Blunder.

Nancy johnson had Bozo The Clown advising her along with Sean Williams and Brian Flaherty Two GOP Bastions of idiacy and lunacy.

Nancy lost Because David Boomer and Company had finally pissed enough people off with the negativity and that is why after Jan 4,2007. Nancy is an ex-Congressman and Chris Murphy will be 5th CD Congressman.

Lets admit it Anon Your GOP screwed up and screwed up big.

It is Murphy's turn to shine or sink.

Anonymous said...


First off, Happy New Year.

I wasn't accusing you of being a Lamont supporter...I thought you were accusing ME of being one in your previous post. That said, least we agree on something.

I was not pointing the finger, and I didn't for one second say NJ was innocent -- I was simply positing that Murphy certainly wasn't. It's over and done with, so set aside the spin and level with me -- Murphy played a pretty good victim, too. "Woe is me! The big, bad grandma isn't playing fair because she's educating the public about my ridiculous voting record and making the race about issues instead of my baseless attacks on her integrity! Boo hoo!"

And yes, people everywhere are sick and tired of the negative tone that political campaigns have taken on in recent years, but let's give credit where it's due -- and let's withold it where it ain't...

Chris Murphy is NOT a king-slayer. He did NOT work a miracle. The odds with which he was confronted were NOT insurmountable. Let's be honest, he caught a break, and a big enough one to propel him to victory: take into account the rampant anti-GOP sentiment present in electorates nationwide; take into account the anti-incumbancy sentiment; take into account that NJ is a 70-someodd-year-old white woman in a position of power, prominence, and influence (think about it...what's the first word that comes to mind when people think about Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi? MY POINT EXACTLY) and Murphy is a young, mildly attractive, top-button-always-open-and-sleeves-rolled-up shirt-wearing guy; take into account that a challenger can get away with going negative because their job is to identify what's wrong with the status-quo, no difficult task mind you on either side of the aisle, but when the incumbent goes negative it's not self-defense but rather "bullying". I think I've adequately made my point.

I'm not going to say Murphy ran a mind-blowing campaign of hope and vision, sunshine and lollipops, rainbows and butterflies, because he didn't...I'll simply say that he did everything right, and I can respect that about him and his crew. I am however a firm believer that the circumstances surrounding a situation are just as responsible for a given outcome as an individual's actions. Opportunity after opportunity fell right into Murphy's lap, and he just knew how to make them work in his favor. Chris Murphy is not a political genius, HE IS AN OPPORTUNIST -- he strikes when the iron is hot, he says and does what he needs to in order to get elected, and that just happened to be the case this time. Make no mistake, the guy's a shrewd politician...but he didn't walk on water, and he certainly did not single-handedly serve NJ a 30,000 vote loss -- he had a LOT of help.

You can make the claim that the Repubs dropped the ball on this race, but you and I both know that there was quite a bit more at play than that.

Anonymous said...

Chris Murphy will have to live up to everything he promised if he plans to keep the seat for more than one term.

The GOP Bullpen is already warming up with State Senator Andrew Roraback who would play well in Litchfield County and I would think either Danbury Mayor & Ex-State Rep Mark Boughton, State Senator David Cappiello of Danbury or even Mayor Tim Stewart of New Britain would all be tough opponents for Murphy.

So Murphy hasnt an easy road and will not get a free pass. If he screws up just a little he may be an ex-Congressman in 2 years himself.