Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Coming Attraction?

With Hurricane Earl possibly moving in to ruin my weekend boating plans, I figured it was about time to take a trip down memory lane about a storm that roared through Connecticut 25 years ago.

Cliff Clavin Dept:
It's a little known fact that "Gloria" was the most popular name given to newborn girls all throughout southern New England in the weeks following the storm.
(See how I cleverly used a well-known character from a popular 1980s sitcom as a literary device to state a fact about a storm from 1985? Awww yeah! I'm da shit, yo!)

Here's my early camcorder video, with loads of archived TV news footage included:

Is this a "coming attraction"? I hope not!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sunday Night Music Club XIV

One year ago this month marked the passing of guitar legend and multitrack recording pioneer Les Paul. Besides those obvious accomplishments, Les Paul & his wife Mary Ford were talented performers, making their special brand of entertainment available during the early days of television.

There are links to the other segments of this show on Youtube. Worth watching!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Five years ago today

August 29, 2005 - Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana and decimated huge areas, including New Orleans.

But the real tragedy was how poorly the Federal response to the emergency played out. Five years later, they're still trying to get back to normal.

Spazeboy made a trip down there earlier this year, to help out the rebuilding of the city. Be sure to visit LowerNine.org if you'd like to contribute to actual volunteer efforts to rebuild the damaged ward. They do great work and are already making a real difference.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What a tool

Just got this email today. This is a perfect example of what an ego-driven campaign looks like:
U.S. Senate candidate John Mertens attending Burning Man

John Mertens, U.S. Senate candidate in Connecticut, will attend Burning Man, an annual event held in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada next week. The event is described by many participants as an experiment in community, radical self-expression through art, and radical self-reliance. It will be the sixth time Mertens has attended

“This year will be an abbreviated stay, because I don’t want to spend too much time away from the campaign. There’s no cell phone or internet service. It’s going to be a nice break!” Mertens said. “My 22 year-old son and I will arrive in the desert on Wednesday, and depart on Sunday. I brought him for the first time last year, and promised him we would return in 2010. I’m looking forward to the incredible artwork, and camping with a lot of friends I haven’t seen in a long time.”
Now, I'm not suggesting that people who attend Burning Man might be exposed to possibly illegal substances, but I'd guess the candidate will breathe a bit easier in the knowledge there still isn't a requirement for random pee testing for those running for national office.

If case anyone forgot, John Mertens is the guy who hijacked the Connecticut For Lieberman party after the late (and much missed) Dr. John Orman legitimately stole the party to use as an anti-Lieberman vehicle, notably in 2012 should the senator decide to run for reelection. Mertens was given the stewardship of the party by Dr. Orman not long before he passed away with that understanding, and then Mertens turned around and used the ballot line for his own selfish purposes.

If Mertens can't pull enough votes in the general election (which is basically a given he won't) then the CFL will likely lose ballot line access in 2012.

What a tool!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

30 Steps

Less than two months after men using their religion as a justification for murder, the Army Chaplain's Office was planning a chapel in the rebuilt section of the Pentagon. The chapel is open to all and services for Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Hindus, and Muslims are offered.

Not blocks away, this chapel, built for the memory of the people who died on September 11, is a mere 30 steps away from where the nose of the airplane struck the Pentagon almost 9 years ago.

Funny how the people actually fighting the war against Muslim extremists are so accepting of the Muslim women and men serving the U.S. at the Pentagon. I guess they understand that hateful actions of a few don't characterize a whole group of peaceful people.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Don't Ever Forget

Update: This will re-air on MSNBC Friday 8/27 at 10pm. 
I just watched one of the most riveting hours of television I have ever seen -- Dateline NBC with Brian Williams' behind-the-scenes recollections of the first 5 days of Hurricane Katrina.

I've been an NBC News watcher for as long as I can remember once Walter Cronkite retired. But this show encapsulates why I watch -- it is Brian Williams' role as the conscience of the news division as managing editor of Nightly News that resonates with me. Here is a 2-minute clip -- all that's available right now online. I cannot more strongly recommend going to the Dateline NBC Web site to see the whole thing once it's put online.  It should be required viewing for each and every elected official -- to learn and to pledge that this will never, ever happen to a city in the United State again. Ever. Bravo, Brian Williams and the NBC News team.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Olbermann and Dean

While Jon Stewart has done a marvelous job highlighting the outright hypocrisy and bigotry related to the community center in lower Manhattan, I have not seen a more fascinating discussion than the one between Keith Olbermann and Howard Dean last night. Much to the surprise of many, Dean doesn't support the plan, and Olbermann challenged him.

It is not your typical cable news fare -- it lasted about 15 minutes, and was a thoughtful, well-reasoned discussion. I found it riveting.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Friday, August 20, 2010

Rep. Murphy: Buy American

Photo illustration: Alliance for American Manufacturing
I have to give Mr. Kirby credit for this post.  We live in CD 5 here in CT and Mr. K wanted me to write about Chris Murphy's Buy America initiative. Mr. K was in industrial sales covering New England for 20 years until his sales engineering position was downsized away. He is now teaching marketing, vocational and career education in an alternative high school. He knows firsthand how manufacturing has died in New England and is impressed with Murphy's work.

Murphy is chair of the newly formed Buy America Caucus. Here are the sobering [pdf] facts [pdf]:
  • Between 2007 and 2008, waivers to Buy American laws increased by 450 percent
  • In 2007, the Defense Department granted 14,159 waivers worth more than $5.7 billion in taxpayer money...
  • While the nation lost 800,000 manufacturing jobs in that year alone and Connecticut lost 3,000
  • The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included a Buy America clause
  • Each new manufacturing job generates, on average, 4 new jobs in our economy
This bipartisan caucus is supporting laws that have been on the books for 70 years (starting with the Buy American Act of 1933) -- this is not new legislation and regulation. At least 84% of Americans support Buy American initiatives.

Murphy added these amendments to the House Defense spending bill that has moved to the Senate:
  • No exemption from "buy American" when DOD buys materials to be used overseas (as is currently the case)
  • Require DOD to report on waivers given each year with an analysis of domestic capacity and why a waiver was needed
  • Require DOD to consider waivers' impacts on U.S. jobs
In addition, Murphy has introduced HR 5637, the American Jobs Matter Act. This bill will "allow contracting officers to consider information regarding domestic employment before awarding a Federal contract, and for other purposes."

Nice work, Congressman.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Thank You, Jon Stewart

For making the case so effectively. It would be funnier if it weren't such a brutally accurate portrayal of the hypocrisy on this issue.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Freedom From Religion, Part 2

Yesterday, I wrote about the community center planned for Park Place in lower Manhattan. Contrary to the shorthand used in media reports, it is not "The Mosque at Ground Zero." There are so many people spewing hatred and intolerance and I don't intend to give them more attention. Instead, I turn my attention to two people who have stood out as voices of reason in this debate.

Michael Bloomberg, the Jewish mayor of New York City, offered a stirring speech from Governor's Island while surrounded by leaders of a number of New York religious communities. In his speech, he said,
"Whatever you may think of the proposed mosque and community center, lost in the heat of the debate has been a basic question: Should government attempt to deny private citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their particular religion? That may happen in other countries, but we should never allow it to happen here. This nation was founded on the principle that the government must never choose between religions or favor one over another." 

"Let us not forget that Muslims were among those murdered on 9/11, and that our Muslim neighbors grieved with us as New Yorkers and as Americans. We would betray our values and play into our enemies' hands if we were to treat Muslims differently than anyone else. In fact, to cave to popular sentiment would be to hand a victory to the terrorists, and we should not stand for that." 

Another voice of reason is Fareed Zakaria, host of his own program on CNN and international editor of Newsweek. Mr. Kirby and I have been watching the program on Sunday mornings and have learned much from the rational, thoughtful discussions he encourages from guests who can articulate a vision and disagree without attacking each other. (CNN -- you want to know how to succeed? Put this show on at 8pm instead of Elliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker.)

In 2005, Zakaria received the Hubert Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize from the Anti-Defamation League, an organization that purports to ""fight anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defend democratic ideals and protect civil rights for all."    

Sadly, it seems the head of the ADL, Abe Foxman, has missed the second point of that message as he has publicly come out against the building of the community center and mosque. Zakaria, noting this position goes against the very reason for the ADL's existance, returned the award and the $10,000 honorarium. In his letter to the organization, he wrote,
I was stunned at your decision to publicly side with those urging the relocation of the planned Islamic center in lower Manhattan. You are choosing to use your immense prestige to take a side that is utterly opposed to the animating purpose of your organization. Your own statements subsequently, asserting that we must honor the feelings of victims even if irrational or bigoted, made matters worse.
Thank you, Dr. Zakaria, for showing us that it is possible to add more light than heat by facilitating discussions on cable news and for making such an eloquent statement against bigotry of all forms. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Freedom From Religion

"Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
It is pretty amazing that the first amendment of the constitution of the United States not only provides for freedom from the establishment of a national religion, but also protects freedom of speech for those who would like to see the U.S. become a purely Christian nation.

I know we shouldn't let facts get in the way of a good rant, but here's the story. A community center is planned for Park Place in lower Manhattan. Called Park 51, its developers want to include a fitness center, auditorium, restaurant and culinary school, cultural amenities including exhibitions, education programs, a child care center, a library and art studios along with Holy Day programs and ceremonial meals.

This sounds quite like a New York City landmark, the 92nd Street Y, which has a fitness center, auditorium, cultural performance space, art gallery, art and music studios, education programs, child care, and student housing along with Holy Day programs and ceremonial meals.

The main difference between these community centers? Park 51 celebrates a Muslim community and the 92nd Street Y, a Jewish community. There will be a mosque at Park 51, just as there are religious services at the 92nd Street Y. After that, from my view, it comes down to intolerance and politics.

Matthew Yglesias analyzed recent rants by Newt Gingrich and determined the parameters of the "Mosque Exclusion Zone" in lower Manhattan. It would be funnier if it weren't so sad.

Tomorrow, two voices of reason in this debate.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

An elegant response to the WTC mosque controversy

TV host Greg Gutfeld (Fox News' Red Eye, which isn't a typical Fox show) is apparently serious about his proposal to open a bar that caters to a unique clientele, adjacent to the location of the proposed World Trade Center mosque that has every conservative in America frothing at the mouth.

I firmly believe they have every right to place the mosque anywhere that is legal in our country, just as Gutfeld has the right to do the following (via Mediaite):
“So, the Muslim investors championing the construction of the new mosque near Ground Zero claim it’s all about strengthening the relationship between the Muslim and non-Muslim world.

As an American, I believe they have every right to build the mosque – after all, if they buy the land and they follow the law – who can stop them?

Which is, why, in the spirit of outreach, I’ve decided to do the same thing.

I’m announcing tonight, that I am planning to build and open the first gay bar that caters not only to the West, but also Islamic gay men. To best express my sincere desire for dialogue, the bar will be situated next to the mosque Park51, in an available commercial space.

This is not a joke. I’ve already spoken to a number of investors, who have pledged their support in this bipartisan bid for understanding and tolerance.

As you know, the Muslim faith doesn’t look kindly upon homosexuality, which is why I’m building this bar. It is an effort to break down barriers and reduce deadly homophobia in the Islamic world.

The goal, however, is not simply to open a typical gay bar, but one friendly to men of Islamic faith. An entire floor, for example, will feature non-alcoholic drinks, since booze is forbidden by the faith. The bar will be open all day and night, to accommodate men who would rather keep their sexuality under wraps – but still want to dance.

Bottom line: I hope that the mosque owners will be as open to the bar, as I am to the new mosque. After all, the belief driving them to open up their center near Ground Zero, is no different than mine.

My place, however, will have better music.”
Gutfeld is brilliant for making an argument supporting the mosque's right to exist, while at the same time drawing attention to certain aspects of the religion (their well-known anti-homosexual prejudice) that are at odds with the cultural and legal customs in our country.

And there's more from The Daily Gut, which obviously is Greg's blog.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Social Security!

Social Security celebrates its 75th birthday on August 14th. At age 75, life expectancy is about 12 years according to CDC. What does that mean for Social Security? Here are the facts:
  • Social Security benefits represent about 40% of the income of our seniors
  • Among those who receive benefits, 52% of married couples and 72% of single beneficiaries rely on Social Security for at least 50% of their total income
  • And 20% of those married couples and 41% of single persons rely on benefits for at least 90% of their income
  • Social Security is not limited to seniors -- it also provides a safety net for disabled persons, which is essential since 69% of the private workforce does not have long-term disability insurance 
Having worked in health care my entire life, I have spent lots of time with people whose whole lives depend on that monthly check. Talk of choosing between heat, food and medications is not just cliche -- it is reality for too many Americans and too many people right here in Connecticut.

Privatize Social Security? What a joke -- perpetrated by the same folks who embrace deregulation and the Wild West on Wall Street. Remember when you vote in November that the future of this critical program could hang in the balance. We need to make sure that 12 year life expectancy doesn't apply to Social Security as well.  

Friday, August 13, 2010

Catching up on Comments

I cleaned out the basement for 12 hours Wednesday. I am paying for it today, but it was good therapy -- especially when I can see results from all the work!
Branford Boy got it right over at MLN Wednesday -- replace republicans with democrats and bad democrats with better democrats.

When push comes to shove, we will no doubt come home once we're in the booth come November -- and Ned would be horrified if he knew that his loss had anything to do with democrats withholding a vote for a democratic governor.

The last Republican I voted for was Lowell Weicker -- yes, against Joe LIEberman.

(CT Bob: The only Republican I ever voted for was Phil Giordano, running against Lieberman in 2000 when Joe selfishly ran for Senate AND VP with Al Gore, meaning we would have lost a Senate seat if Al won, because Gov. Rowland would have chosen a Republican to fill Joe's vacated seat. Funny how both Republicans in that sentence are convicted felons. Anyway, I'm supporting Malloy for governor.)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pivot to the Senate Race

Here is where we are in this state, according to Margaret Carlson of Bloomberg (Link fixed):
Has Connecticut turned into Louisiana with foliage? With McMahon’s primary victory, the GOP is moving from the year of the outsider to the year of outside the bounds of normal behavior.
But friends, she sees hope:
When extreme candidates with Tea Party ties won nominations in Nevada (Sharron Angle) and Kentucky (Rand Paul), Republicans saw two once-probable pickups in the Senate become probable losses. If there is an ounce of reason left in the electorate, Connecticut will be the third.
The rest of this must-read analysis is here

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ned Lamont's post-primary speech

Despite last night's disappointing loss, Ned Lamont showed real class by endorsing Dan Malloy for governor during his concession speech. Right out of the box Ned spoke on the importance of electing a Democrat in November.

"We don't look back, we look forward!"

As for me, I'm going to miss seeing the many dedicated staffers and volunteers who worked so hard to help Ned. They are some of the finest people in politics I've ever met. It's been a real pleasure associating with them.

Kirby will continue blogging here, of course. She's got a few topics she's anxious to take up soon. Me too; but first I'm going to take a few days on my boat with my wife. No computers, no video cameras, no politics. I need to recharge my batteries, and there's no better place to do it than on the boat. Sun, wind, and water are the necessary ingredients for a swift recovery!

Thanks everyone, for tagging along on this incredible journey. It's really been something!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Packing up for the night

Politics will always break your heart.

Hunter S. Thompson said that. I kind of get what he was saying now.

It's difficult to lose, especially when the campaign got so contentious toward the end. But as bad as it is to lose, it's worse to lose in November.

And we need to get a Democrat, any Democrat, into the governor's office. Or we won't see anything get accomplished over the next four years.

So, support Dan & Nancy in November. They're going to need all the help they can get against Foley's unlimited budget and typical Republican lack of restraint when it comes to dirty campaigning. If you thought this contest was brutal, just wait for the shitstorm that will descend on the state during the next three months!

I want to thank Ned Lamont for his selfless campaign. He didn't need to run again, but he wanted to contribute and saw this as the best way to do so. I'll sleep well knowing I supported the nobler man in this contest.

And of course, I want to thank my blogging mate Kirby, who has a much longer drive home tonight than I do. She made this fun, despite the outcome.

Lastly, thank you CT Joyce, for everything.

A Good Man Lost an Election

I just stood in the ballroom and listened to a very good man give an amazing concession speech. I know I couldn't have been as magnanimous in defeat as  Ned Lamont was tonight. I respect him more now than I did before, and for those of you who read this blog, you know the high esteem in which I hold him. It is funereal here, but the men behind the scenes of this campaign, particularly Gabe, Joe Abbey and Brian Coy can hold their heads high knowing they worked for a good man.

Could the campaign have thrown sharper elbows? Probably. But, as sad as I am right now, I am proud to have supported a good man. There aren't that many left willing to run. Thank you, Ned.

P.S. And Rose, if you need some buddies to play with, give me a call. I've got 3 that would love to meet you.

Update: I just had a chance to talk to Ned briefly, and he is upbeat and positive about the process. He said he really believed in the state and that the most important thing he said tonight was his hope that people here in the hall will get involved in the political process. I think that's pretty amazing.  

After the speech

Ned makes his way through the crowd of supporters.

The results tonight were far from what the Q-poll predicted, which proves how useless polls are. Unless their MoE is around 18% or so.

At least it was over early tonight. All the best to Dan and Nancy. Be sure to support them in November.

Fought the Good Fight

It is a sad night here at Bridgeport. As I told WNPR, I don't know if I can even vote for Dan Malloy. Have I voted for politicians I don't respect? Sure. But this one hurts. The turnout was horrible -- and I have to believe that the mud slinging and crap thrown had a lot to do with that. The apolitical people I talked to had had enough, and I don't blame them.

This proves one thing -- that negative campaigning works -- in spades. That's a sorry fact for our state and the people who care about it who will likely hear nothing about a positive vision for Connecticut between now and November.

Congrats to Kevin Lembo -- the challenge being that we could lose an incredibly effective health care advocate

Lamont concedes to Malloy

Via http://twitter.com/ctelections10

The phone call was just made, Ned Lamont congratulated Dan Malloy for winning the Democratic primary.

Latest numbers

Foley down to a 5% lead over Fedele with 33% in. It ain't over yet.

Here in Bridgeport it's looking grim. I guess Dan's strategy of campaigning from the sewer works. I gotta hand it to him. Win at all costs is a damn good strategy.

Governor [Dem Primary] 244 of 742 precincts 33%
Dan Malloy 36,411 (57%)
Ned Lamont 27,225 (43%)

Song playing in the ballroom right now

Percent of What?

Here's the challenge -- if turnout is about 22%, that would be of total registered voters. We have no way to know what the breakdown is between R and D today -- figure probably 2/3 D to 1/3 R. Very, very rough numbers would be about 100 to 110K voted in the D primary. Combine that with not knowing where results are coming from makes it hard to evaluate all the statewide numbers. It is not looking good for Lamont at this point, but I am not quite ready to throw in the towel.

24% in

Let's have a debate!

Dan Malloy 29,067 (58%)
Ned Lamont 21,236 (42%)

19% reporting

Dan Malloy 21,653 (58%)
Ned Lamont 15,837 (42%)

That's my camera toward the left

This is where we'll tape the post-results speech. I'd imagine this will pretty much be over well before 11PM.

13% reporting

Dan Malloy 14,958 (57%)
Ned Lamont 11,179 (43%)

Kirby on NPR

Kirby was interviewed to get her opinion on the primary. It will be broadcast later tonight or tomorrow.

Getting a little worried here...

I won't lie. I'd sure love to see the percentages creep back toward the center.

7% in
Dan Malloy 9,526 (57%)
Ned Lamont 7,238 (43%)

CT Blogger calls it for Lembo

With 5% of the vote in, CT Blogger declares Kevin Lembo the winner in the Comptroller's primary. Congrats Kevin!

5% in

Dan Malloy 6,524 (57%)
Ned Lamont 4,991 (43%)

Results are Slow

This may be a long night -- we have no way of knowing, The challenge is that we don't know where the votes are coming in from -- so the early numbers are not much help. As of now, at 8:29, only 5% in.


Dan Malloy 4,975 (56%)
Ned Lamont 3,835 (44%)
4% reporting

First numbers in

16 of 742 precincts
Lamont 2,305 44%
Malloy 2,889 56%

Turnout is likely to end up in the 25% range.

Kirby Reporting

I'm here and finally blogging. We are streaming CT-N and watching results. Will keep you posted as we learn more here.

8:10 waiting for results

Watching and waiting. We'll have more shortly.

Here's a photo of the blogger's room:

Live at 7:55PM

CT Blogger with Gabe at Lamont HQ. Polls close in 5 minutes.

Buckle up, kids, we're in for a rough ride!

We're here!

Kirby with her Groucho glasses, and me with my Lembo "nerd glasses" are settled into the blogger's room at Testo's in Bpt.

CT Blogger just drove up, so we'll probably have streaming video available shortly!

Setting the stage

Setting up ConnecticutBob.com's media center:

View of the stage at 6:30PM.

My video will be right in the middle of the media riser.

Major network news coverage here tonight.

Waiting for Kirby and Mr. Kirby to show up. CT Joyce is here. Hope to get Lamont photos soon.

Don't let this happen to you!

Now is a good time to vote

I just got back from West Shore, and it was very slow.

Not a single poll stander outside, and the rain stopped but now the sun is lashing down on the landscape.

I'm getting ready to head over to New Haven to tape Lamont greeting voters at Edgewood School around 5:15, then CT Joyce and I are off to Bridgeport for the primary night returns party at Testo's, 1775 Madison Ave.

Live blog at MLN all day

Primary day live-blog going on at My Left Nutmeg all day long. Drop by and check out the on-going thread!

Turnout is spotty across the state

1:30 - Reports are coming in that some polling places are dead, others are as busy as all get go.

(I rarely, if ever, use the phrase "all get go", but it just seemed to fit there.)

I'm heading out to see if things have picked up at West Shore in Milford, and maybe I'll see more than the single forlorn Schiff poll stander out front.

Meanwhile, here's a pair of loyal Lamont supporters with their proud parants from last night's rally. The good news is they'll be old enough to vote for Emily Lamont in 2024!

It's official

My official vote from this morning. Turnout was very light both at West Shore where I voted, and at Harborside where my dad voted. At 8:55AM when the machine took my vote, my wife and I were votes #74 and #75. Not too good considering the polls had been open for nearly three hours.

Regarding my vote, I was undecided on SoS until literally the last minute. I wish I could have voted for both candidates. Whoever wins, I hope they push for same-day registration and early voting, like some other states have successfully implemented. The low turnout today is indicative of a real problem here.

Democracy works best when everyone participates! Let's make it easier for them to do so, please.


Question - Guess what Rick Green did wrong here?

(Answer - He voted Republican!)

Kevin Lembo in Milford this morning

I took my 80 year old dad to vote this morning, and right after we finished we ran into this guy at the polling place:

Kevin brought Dunkin' Munchkins to the poll standers, who consisted of Rep. Dick Roy (D-117th) and super-volunteer Tessa Marquis (below):

I'm going to have to make my own pair of "Nerd Glasses" to wear tonight at Lamont HQ.

Remember we'll be live-blogging around 7PM!

Live blogging from Lamont HQ around 7PM

Kirby and I will be live blogging the results from Lamont HQ at Testo's in Bridgeport tonight. Be sure to tune in around 6:30 or 7:00 for on-the-spot reports and commentary!

Primary Day is Here!

And with it, my latest video, of last evening's Lamont-Glassman rally in New Haven.

This is it, folks. Don't forget to call your family members, friends, co-workers, and neighbors and remind them to vote today. Turnout is going to be the key in this primary; a high turnout of Democrats will ensure a Lamont win. A low turnout of party insiders helps Malloy.

Make those calls now! Remind everyone you know to get out and VOTE!

And don't forget to feel happy that we live in a nation that allows us the freedom to make that choice!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Don't forget

Vote Tuesday!

Poll Press Releases

Regarding the Q Poll released this morning, here are the candidates' press releases:
New Haven, CT - Businessman Ned Lamont's campaign released the following statement after the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute released the results of a statewide poll showing Lamont maintaining his lead in Democratic gubernatorial primary:

"While more than a thousand of our volunteers reached out to voters, Ned and Mary spent the weekend pounding the pavement, asking families to vote for a better future for Connecticut," said Lamont Communications Director Justine Sessions.

"Democrats know that Ned is the only one in this race with a positive vision for our state, the experience to create jobs, and the ability to beat the Republicans in November. When they go to the polls tomorrow, we're confident that they'll choose Ned.
And then there's Dan Malloy:
“The poll reflects what we’re seeing and hearing every day on the campaign trail: Dan’s got the momentum. People increasingly see him as the better qualified candidate, and the person best able to provide the leadership this state desperately needs. People are rejecting Ned’s sleazy and untrue attacks on Dan, and they’re rejecting Ned’s attempt to buy this election.”
And this comment, that came in my Inbox:
Just the press releases say it all. One is all "Whine-One-One", call the Whambulance; and the other, positive and classy.

Does Malloy tracker intimidate voters?

At a country fair yesterday in Lebanon, Ned Lamont walked the grounds and introduced himself to voters and answered their questions.

There was a video tracker from the Dan Malloy campaign following Ned around, and I noticed that he was sticking his camera into basically each conversation that Ned had with the voters.

Now I know that video trackers have been a part of campaigns since before the famous "Macaca" incident four years ago. It's an accepted practice by every campaign, even Lamont's. I've done a bit of it myself on occasion. Never for pay, though.

But the nature of Dan Malloy's tracker seems to intimidate the voters. When Ned Lamont is greeting regular citizens, the tracker inserts the camera uncomfortably close to their personal space. Nobody enjoys being videotaped, especially when the camera is three feet or less from their head! In several of these scenes (and there were many more during the 45 minutes Ned walked around) you can see the citizens nervously eying the tracker's camera.

It's one thing to tape a candidate's public remarks and speeches.

It's quite another to use the excuse of tracking as a way to intimidate voters and scare them away from greeting the candidate.

Dan Malloy is paying this person to do this. You can safely assume that Malloy is entirely aware of these tactics and approves of them.

Where is the media on this issue?

(yes, I added sound effects of mosquitoes and vuvuzelas, but only to highlight how annoying this is!)

Why I'm Voting Lamont

by Kirby

We're in the home stretch now, and I thought I would take a few moments to write down why I am voting for Ned Lamont in the primary and why I want to see a Governor Lamont inaugurated.
  • Lamont doesn't need the job. An apolitical friend of mine asked why Lamont was running. She couldn't imagine that anyone who didn't eat, drink and breathe politics would subject himself to the abuse flying in this contest. That got me thinking. She suggested that he must really feel like he can make a difference to spend all this money and put up with all the attacks on his personal integrity. I think she's on to it. No one has accused Lamont of being ego-driven. 

  • Lamont isn't counting on being reelected in 4 years. He has said that he may only have 4 years to serve, given the tough choices that need to be made. While I am sure he would like at least 8 years to have the opportunity to fully implement his vision for a Connecticut of the 21st century, he won't be making decisions based on how they will affect his reelection chances. He'll be focused on what he believes will be best for Connecticut.

  • Lamont wouldn't owe his election to favors from the high and mighty in Connecticut. He has spoken about appointing strong executives  with experience in key areas to implement best practices from across the nation. I believe he will bring new people into government rather than the typical political cronies and patronage appointments. 

  • I trust Lamont to make decisions that will be in the best interest of Connecticut. We can't know what new challenges the next governor will face. We have lived through the most horrible terrorist attack on our nation, the worst economic crisis since the great depression and a scandal-ridden governor forced to resign and sent to jail. Tornadoes, paralyzing snowstorms, you name it, and a Connecticut governor could find it on his plate. I simply trust Lamont. 

  • Finally, after volunteering with two campaigns and knowing people who have worked with him on a daily basis, the bottom line is that Lamont is simply one of the good guys. I like that he has a crystal clear knowledge of "the line" over which he is not willing to cross. I like the fact that he not only doesn't have to declare that he hasn't been found guilty of illegalities but that you can't find anything credible that even suggests he has acted unethically. I also like it when he squirms a bit when he has to go on the attack in debates because he's not comfortable with that type of politicking. He would much rather talk about a positive vision of Connecticut's future and that's fine with me. I understand you've gotta do what you've gotta do to win an election, but there is something reassuring to me in seeing he doesn't relish going after opponents. 
Will we ever get back to a quaint style of politics when each person's best ideas are put out there and challenged and the voters decide on whose should be endorsed by their votes? Probably not in my lifetime. But it's encouraging to see a candidate who would prefer it that way, because that's how he'll govern.

And, while we're at it, I'm also voting for
Mary Glassman for Lt. Governor (instead of distancing herself from the Malloy smear machine, Nancy Wyman happily jumped on board)
Gerry Garcia for Secretary of State (because Denise Merrill is relieved to be out of the legislature rather than working to fix things)
Kevin Lembo for Comptroller (Jarjura, you can't be serious - the man who created a job for the convicted felon ex-governor)

Join me in voting on August 10!

by CT Bob

I was thinking about writing a post exactly like this, only to find that Kirby already did it. So rather than have a separate post for my reasons, I simply piggybacked onto the end of her article. Kirby has done her usual great job conveying her reasoning for her choices, and I find it almost completely unnecessary to add anything to it.

Of course, this is ME I'm talking about, so I'll have a cent or two to add. I'm voting along her lines, with the exception of Secretary of State, whom I haven't decided upon yet. There are numerous reasons I can think of for supporting both candidates, as well as some negatives they each seem to carry.

I recently allowed Gerry Garcia to use a bit of my footage of Denise Merrill at our DTC meeting, because I produced a very nice video for Denise some months back, and I never found the time to do Gerry the same favor. So when his campaign borrowed my video, I allowed it with the understanding that this is strictly a one-time deal. I feel I've now been equally fair to both campaigns.

But I'm still not 100% decided on who I'll vote for. I'll probably sleep on it and then decide.

And I'm voting for Kevin Lembo, not chiefly because Mike Jarjura is a conservative dyed-in-the-wool Liebercrat who spoke at a Tea Party Rally, but because Kevin is THAT good of a public servant, and I will rest very comfortably knowing the Comptroller's office is in great hands.

Ned and Mary, of course. Goes without saying. I'll be proud to have Gov. Lamont and Lt. Gov. Glassman in charge come January.

Whoever you wish to vote for tomorrow, just be sure to VOTE!

Q-poll predictably closer; Lamont leads

In a final poll of likely voters before tomorrow's primary, Ned Lamont holds a slim 3-point lead over Dan Malloy.

With the race this close, it's all going to come down to which candidate has the better GOTV operation. Getting out the vote will mean the difference between a small turnout of mostly party insiders, which would help Malloy, and a huge popular vote, which more than likely would benefit Lamont.

Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz has stated that she's expecting a turnout of possibly as much as 50% of the voters due to the many primary contests being decided. In 2006 the contested Democratic senate and gubernatorial nomination races drew a record 43%.

With 12% undecided, the final day and a half of messaging will definitely influence the outcome. It's up to the candidates and their organizations at this point to determine who will win. But Lamont has the lead, and with his positive messaging in the final days of the contest, it's likely he'll prevail over Malloy's relentless negative attacks.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Tom Foley explains the difference

Republican candidate for governor Tom Foley explained the difference between Republicans and Democrats to senate candidate Rob Simmons after the conclusion of today's VJ Day Parade in Moosup.

For the record, Ned Lamont has been traveling around the state in a small sport utility vehicle. No bus or RV needed!

Perhaps Mr. Foley can also explain why Karma is so amazing, because right after laughing at the fact Democrats don't share his spending habits, his bus broke the fuck down!

Apparently Tom Foley possesses Chuck Norris's capacity for awesomeness, because we're supposed to believe he actually fixed it and got it back on the road, according to this tweet!

Four Years Ago Today

August 8, 2006: Ned Lamont pulled off an incredible upset when he defeated three-term incumbent senator Joe Lieberman in the senate primary!

Kirby and I were live-blogging the event, just as we'll do this year on Tuesday from the Lamont Primary Night HQ at Testo's in Bridgeport. We'll post updates throughout the day, and hope to be set up in the media room by 5PM (but probably sooner).

So be sure to check in often to get the latest results, commentary, and photos/video of the event!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Ned Lamont: The Home Stretch

Ned has a few words for Connecticut Democrats as we approach the Primary!

Friday, August 06, 2010

Breaking News: Lamont From Mars!

 In a stunning development today, the latest broadcast press release from the gubernatorial campaign stated evidence had been uncovered that Ned Lamont was placed in Connecticut by aliens from Mars who want to begin their takeover of the earth by infiltrating the governor's seat in Connecticut.

A press secretary noted, "But it was in the Weekly World News! I have it right here -- July of 2006". Actually, I don't have it right here because we're taking pictures of it for our next television ad."

When asked for more information, the press secretary continued, "This confirms what we have been saying all along. You can't let a Martian be governor. He's no different from that other alien life-form, Tom Foley. The crop-circles gave it away."

In summary he said, "But we think Fedele's cool -- he drives a Ferrari."

Negative Dan cries when he gets hit back

It's amazing how someone who's used to bullying people suddenly cries like a baby when they get smacked back!

Rather than talk about the issues facing our state, Malloy chooses to whine about how unfair people are, when they give him a dose of his own medicine.

Waaah, waaah, waaah!!!

Thank You, Maura!

I have to tip my hat to Maura, commenting over at MLN on the governor's race. She has crystallized this race for me. (CT Bob here: I absolutely concur!)

Here's a taste:
Dan Malloy could have run a great, positive campaign touting his considerable accomplishments, and I think he would have won handily.  He had a FAR better campaign organization in place by the time Ned decided to run, had done far more organizing for it, and he should have run away with this thing.  Instead, his campaign has engaged in an extraordinarily disappointing series of fraudulent attacks, rehashed Lieberman lies, and petty childish crap like his recent contest on Facebook.  It has diminished him, the good people working for him, and the whole party, and it was SO unnecessary.
Thank you, Maura for saying what so many of us feel.  Do yourself a favor and read the whole post

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Photos from my race tonight

Thursday is my sail racing night. I own a 30 year old sailboat and race it weekly. While on the water tonight, I proudly wore my Lamont/Glassman T-shirt, with suitable hot weather modifications. The guy next to me, Lee, is a Lamont supporter as well:

My crew for the night included two newcomers to the boat. Left to right is my nephew Derek (standing), neophyte sailor Jackie, first-timer but experienced crewman Ed, and of course, CT Joyce. Even though we're in the thick of things right now, you should always remember to squeeze in a little fun when you can!

Lamont discusses the issues after the debate

Watch how Ned calmly talks to the press after the debate (well, except for the part when Mark Davis starts talking like a crazy person, but that's Mark for ya!), and compare that to Malloy's petulant exchange with reporters.

Malloy Can't Win in November

OK, it’s no secret that we are pro-Lamont here at CTBob. But above all, we are pro-Democrat. That means we want a Democrat leading the state for the next four years, Democrats in Congress, the Senate, statewide office and the state legislature. We also, in concept, fully support public financing for political campaigns. But, concept and reality are unfortunately, still very far apart in Connecticut. We’re working with the reality in the trenches right now.

Update from today's Q Poll: By 46 percent to 29 percent, Democrats say Lamont has the best chance of winning in November; that's nearly 2 to 1.

Here's why:

• Malloy can’t win because the simple fact is that he won’t be able to compete with Tom Foley’s spending this fall. Malloy will be limited to $3 million. Foley will spend that before Labor Day. You want to know the effect of spending on campaigns? Look at the Senate QPoll of August 4 that shows McMahon gaining against Blumenthal.

• Malloy can’t win because of issues Lamont is too much of a gentleman to touch. Tom Foley is not going to be as kind. Remember, Foley is one of George W. Bush’s major benefactors. That same Bush whose campaign smeared John McCain in 2000, telling people McCain’s adopted daughter from Bangladesh was his illegitimate biracial love child.

• Malloy can’t win because the “pay-to-play” scandal will only grow when a Republican opponent with an endless money supply gets hold of it. While Malloy claims no laws were broken, ethical lapses like this are catnip to a cutthroat opponent.

• Malloy can’t win because he’s flunked basic math. When Bob Englehart makes you the butt of the joke because you claim to be a job creator when, as CEO of the city, 13,000 jobs were lost. Not only that, but Stamford ranked 130th of the 169 towns in Connecticut, and of municipalities with more than 10,000 residents, Stamford ranked 38th out of 50 in job creation.

• Malloy can’t win because there is new whiff of scandal since he has filed suit regarding the Citizens Election Program. Here is the document filed [pdf] on Malloy for Governor’s behalf by Robinson & Cole, but oh, my, there are no legal fees listed on the campaign disclosure forms. Not only does it look like pro bono work, but the firm has donated a little over $13,500 to the campaign. Foley has a big-time election law firm working for him, and will certainly make hay with this in a fall campaign.

Not only will Malloy lose, but think for a minute about what that does to the rest of the Democrats running this fall. Jim Himes will be in a rough match in CD4th, and Chris Murphy won’t exactly have a clear shot in CD5th. McMahon is way up v. Blumenthal in the Q-poll, no doubt because she’s been on TV and he hasn’t – but that’s not going to be a cakewalk either.

Think carefully, fellow Democrats. Don’t be shortsighted and vote for Dan because you feel sorry for him because he’s been running for governor for 6 years and you feel like he’s paid his dues. Maybe that would work for an underticket position, but you want someone strong at the top of the ticket who can financially go toe-to-toe with the Republican opponent and lead Democrats to victory in the fall.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Hello, CT "Reporters" -- Care to Commit Journalism?

Update at end.
I cannot offer enough kudos to MattW over at My Left Nutmeg for his amazing research poring over the very tiny print, voluminous PDFs of the weekly campaign expenditures to write this post about the apparent free legal services being provided to the Malloy campaign by Robinson and Cole. If you have not read his post, stop reading and go look at it now. (But then come back)

This is what journalism looks like. Any MSM reporters in Connecticut willing to follow up on this? Or is it just too easy to be stenographers and write from press releases instead?

I'll make it even easier. Malloy and Fedele are taking public financing; Lamont and Foley are not.
Robinson and Cole areas of practice (the firm representing Malloy on the CEP case)
Rob Russo, specializing in election law (represents Fedele)
McKenna, Long and Aldridge, specializing in election law (represents Foley)
Sandler, Reiff and Young, specializing in election law (represents Lamont)
Which of these is not like the rest?

And, um, here's more from Robinson and Cole about their government experience:
In the world of politics and government, experience is everything. Robinson & Cole, ranked as one of Connecticut’s most successful lobbying firms by the State, has a team of lobbyists with decades of experience in all branches of state and local government.
Update: Kudos to Ted Mann of the New London Day for committing journalism! Thank you, Ted!

Why is Dan Malloy so unhappy?

Ned Lamont agreed to give Dan Malloy one more debate yesterday, even after Malloy has been saturating the public with deceptions and outright lies for the last several weeks. Lamont said he wanted to set the record straight.

After the debate, Malloy immediately complained and ranted to the media about his opponent. Looks like it's "business as usual" for Dan. I guess you can't do anything to make this man happy.

Kevin Lembo video

I'm very proud of how this video turned out, especially considering it was put together rather quickly.

But the real reason it works so well is because of who's in it. The three people telling their stories are very easy to relate to. And Kevin Lembo is obviously an advocate who cares about people and knows how to get things done.

I can recommend without hesitation that Kevin will make a superb comptroller, who will work diligently to see that the state gets the most value for it's tax dollars. Having spent six years working under Nancy Wyman, there won't be any expensive learning curve needed.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Post debate: Lamont on jobs creation

During the post debate Q&A, I asked Ned Lamont a question about his opponent's claim that he supposedly created 5,000 jobs during his tenure as mayor of Stamford.

I'll have more post-debate video later. I'm working on a video for Kevin Lembo right now, because I think it's absolutely imperative that we elect him for the state comptroller's office.

Attention to detail

I wonder if this is the same lack of attention to detail that allowed Dan Malloy to overlook the fact that his employees were allegedly skimming over $400,000 from the city of Stamford?

And it took a NEW mayor to actually audit the books and see the crime had even been committed! Otherwise, he'd never have known about it.

I can only wonder what will happen to the state's finances if he ends up in the governor's office. Is this the sort of attention to detail we want from a life-long politician, rather than an experienced CEO who knows about managing a business?

Mary Glassman co-chairs Women For Lamont

Last week I spoke to Lt. Gov. candidate Mary Glassman, and she mentioned how she and Annie Lamont are co-chairs of "Women For Lamont", a group for women who support Ned's fight to get Connecticut winning again.

Click on WomenForLamont.com for more info.

Monday, August 02, 2010

"I'm Dan Malloy, and I approved these lies."

Prologue: This blog is and always has been pro-Democrat. Bob was a State Democratic convention delegate and Kirby can't remember the last time she didn't vote for a Democrat -- she was national co-chair of Nurses for Dean. And that's why Malloy's behavior is particularly reprehensible to us -- because nobody's ambition is more important than the party.

"I'm Dan Malloy, and I approved this message."

This weekend, Dan Malloy reached a new low in negative campaigning with his latest ad, in which he drags out old Lieberman lies (sourced from a SINGLE New York Times article from 2006, which Malloy absolutely KNOWS has been proven inaccurate) and he accuses Lamont of being unable to tell the truth about "anything".

The ad is despicable for the blatant race-baiting, which Malloy started. Dannel is using a single discrimination claim in 25 years of business as some kind of indicator of Ned's character.

And, he has pushed it in two straight television commercials, and in two straight press releases, which tells us about Malloy's lack of character.

Meanwhile, back in the reality-based universe, Malloy has been sued for discrimination left and right as Mayor of Stamford:

55 human rights complaints were filed against the city of Stamford with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) between July 2004 and July 2009 (http://www.greenwichtime.com/news/article/Sunday-print-exclusive-Racism-in-Greenwich-508827.php) 46 civil rights and discrimination cases were filed in the federal District Court of Connecticut against the city of Stamford between 1995 and 2009 (stats from http://www.pacer.gov/). Dannel, you can't pick and choose what you get credit for as mayor. You're the chief executive. The CEO of the city.

During the tough and occasionally bitter Obama-Clinton contest from 2008, neither candidate came even close to the level of bile spewing from Malloy's campaign. Malloy is getting much closer to Palin's approach in the general, which tells you all you need to know.

Malloy is behaving like a mad man with his increasingly bitter and downright misleading ads. If he can't beat Lamont on the issues, maybe he figures he'll damage him enough with outright lies to slither by on primary day.

Is this the character of the person we want to lead Connecticut?

Ned Lamont has been forced to respond to Malloy's relentless, and increasing toxic attacks. Lamont took the high road four years ago, and he allowed Joe Lieberman the chance to control the political dialog. And Dan Malloy didn't bat an eye before hiring the very same disgusting "political consultants" who helped Joe Lieberman defeat the true Democrat in the race. Those of us who worked on that 2006 campaign feel like it's deja vu all over again as the same baseless attacks are leveled at Ned.

This year it has to be different.

Malloy knows this is his last shot at the big office for which he's been running for at least six years. He chose not to run for Mayor of Stamford last year to "focus on the governor's race."

Actually, he barely won reelection in 2007 with not quite 51% of the vote, and there was a very good chance that he'd have lost if he ran again last year. He's running out of options. Either he goes all out to win THIS race, truth be damned, or he's through with politics and he'll have to go out and try to get a real job without the favors of political office to trade.

This is the reason he's dropping all talk of the issues and going full negative. It's a tried and true last ditch tactic, and Lamont is faced with no choice but to have to fight back. Malloy can't beat Lamont on the issues, but thinks maybe he can win by going dirty.

Judging from all Malloys's self-professed jobs expertise, it shouldn't be too hard to find a job. Maybe he can start his own company and get a taste for exactly how difficult it is to make payroll when you don't have the option of raising taxes to close a shortfall.

Hell, a guy who claims he created 5,000 jobs shouldn't have that much trouble finding himself just one. Maybe he could hook up with Mike Jarjura, who has experience in creating jobs for failed politicians?

In the meantime, Malloy is running the most cynical and dishonest campaign I've ever seen. There's no distancing himself from those enormous lies when at the end of every single ad, you hear him say: "I'm Dan Malloy, and I approved this message."

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Perfect day for a picnic

Saturday Ned Lamont visited the "Father Panik Village Reunion", an all-day neighborhood party, celebrating the vibrancy and diversity of the old neighborhood, which was razed about 10 years ago to provide new low-income housing.

But the neighborhood spirit is still strong, with many former residents traveling back to Bridgeport just for the event, to rekindle old acquaintances and neighborhood ties.

Mayor Bill Finch hosted Ned, along with Sheriff W.E. Murphy. The video has a little bit of the mayor showing his awesome dance moves (I sure hope he has a sense of humor!)