Sunday, October 31, 2010

Barack Obama speaks at the Moving America Forward Rally

Dick Blumenthal speaks at the Moving America Forward Rally

Dan Malloy speaks at the Moving America Forward Rally

Jim Himes speaks at the Moving America Forward Rally

Picture perfect

President Obama with Dick Blumenthal and Rep. Jim Himes at the triumphant Bridgeport rally yesterday. Judging from the turnout and the enthusiasm I witnessed, there seems to be a big late push from true Democrats, and I think we'll see a better than expected turnout on Tuesday.

I'm uploading nearly 2GB of videos to Youtube right now, so it'll be a few hours before I have videos of Jim Himes, Dick Blumenthal, Dan Malloy, and of course President Obama on line. Check back towards evening and I'll have all four ready!

A tale of two rallies

There were two political rallies held on Saturday. There was a slight difference between the enthusiasm factor of the two.

First, we have senate candidate Linda McMahon's lackluster gathering of dozens of her supporters in Danbury:

Then, we have President Obama's "Moving America Forward" rally in Bridgeport, with Jim Himes, Dan Malloy, Dick Blumenthal, and Mayor Bill Finch:

Enthusiasm gap? Yeah, maybe.

(photo credits Alfonso Robinson and Gabe Rosenberg)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Obama rally in Bridgeport

I just got back from the big rally in Bridgeport. I have about 90 minutes of footage to transfer and edit, so I probably won't get any video up until tomorrow.

The President is shown on my awesome new LCD video monitor atop my camera. Everyone who sees it is jealous. Makes shooting video much easier!

President Obama speaking to an enthusiastic crowd.

Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows by now that it's always about me!

These guys from the Fuji Television Network interviewed me for broadcast on Japanese TV after talking to this adorable little girl. Hmmm, I wonder which interview will end up on the cutting room floor? (Hint: it probably won't be the kid!)

On the other hand, I did mention my blog's URL several times. If I suddenly start getting tons of hits from the Far East, I'll know I made it on the air.

And if you're visiting from Japan for the first time: Welcome and domo arigato!

Live video from the rally

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Via NBC.

I'm off to tape the Obama rally in Bridgeport shortly. I hope they have their VCRs running today; I'll want to see this later!

Tweets from the Rally To Restore Sanity

Connecticut's own Saramerica is live tweeting from the Rally To Restore Sanity at our nation's capitol today.

Sarah (@realsaramerica), who is the victim of Dan Thieficella's blatant thievery (see previous post) is already on one of the 190 busses (buses? I never get that word right, it looks like it should rhyme with "fuses") that left from Citi Field earlier this morning. You can follow her on Twitter at Sarah has already sent quite a few tweets, and she'll likely have a lot of witty observations today. And photos.

UPDATE: More photos and stuff on Sarah's Facebook Page!

And lastly, because it's the right thing to do:

(the photo above is Copyright (c) 2010 Sarah Littman)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Update: Dan Debicella is still a thief

(artist's conception of a where Dan Debicella belongs)

Just moments ago (7:58PM) I was watching MSNBC, and they ran the very same commercial by Dan Thieficella's campaign which featured copyrighted video footage stolen without permission from a single working mom's Youtube page. Youtube has since removed the ad with the pilfered video.

But Dan Thieficella is unashamedly continuing to run the video on Cablevision here in southern Connecticut.

Read the original article here.

Last minute ploy by Martha Dean = FAIL!

The pathetic attempt by Republican Party Hack Chris Healy to throw a wrench in the works has failed miserably. He didn't have the guts to pull the trigger himself, so he had his sacrificial candidate Martha Dean do it.

A lawsuit brought by AG candidate and psycho gun-nut Martha Dean challenging George Jepsen's law credentials has been shelved by the court. From a campaign press release:
Clearly desperate and behind in the polls, Dean’s lawsuit against George is an attempt to discredit him and delay the Attorney General election.

However, after hearing oral arguments this morning, the court held that it was “unlikely” that they would make any ruling on the motions prior to the election, clearing the way for this election to be decided by you, the voters.

Dean’s suit is a desperate political attack and George has repeatedly offered his extensive legal credentials; which includes over 26 years of representing clients from probate and Superior Courts to the Connecticut Supreme Court.

With less than 100 hours until the election, we need your help to elect an Attorney General who will represent us and not file frivolous political attacks!

By volunteering for your local Democratic Town Committee’s phone-bank, or participating in canvassing efforts, you can ensure that George Jepsen and the entire Democratic team will win this election.

Vote for Row B on Election Day!
Martha Dean is the lovely little whacko who thinks putting firearms in the hands of young children is a darned good idea! Madness!

Hey Chris Healy, don't feel bad. Just to show there's no hard feelings, after the election I'll buy you a vat of Guinness so you can drown your sorrows!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ohio governor blasts Q-Poll

(Doug Schwartz, Quinnipiac Polling Institute)

This is something that's been bothering me for a while.

There is an alarming trend for pollsters to not only just report the results of a poll they themselves have taken, but to comment and put spin on the results. Additionally, the timing of some polls leads to the suspicion that the pollster may be trying to influence the outcome of the election.

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland (D), which the Q-poll said was trailing by 10 points to his Republican challenger, had this to say (from an AP story):
"With just two weeks until Election Day, it is our opinion that the Quinnipiac polls are irresponsible, inaccurate and completely removed from the reality of the Ohio governor's race," the campaign said in a statement that noted other private and public surveys were showing a much closer contest.
The director of the Q-Poll, Doug Schwartz, responded with a tepid "We stand by our numbers and our overall record for reliability."

Apparently the simple concept of "self-fulfilling prophecy" has never been adequately explained to the man.

The problem with the way polls are conducted is that the timing of the poll can definitely have an effect on the election. And there are essentially no legal repercussions for falsifying results or outright lying about them.

Not to mention how a polling director will sometimes get in front of the microphones and tell everyone exactly how he thinks the election will go.

The fact is, his opinion shouldn't count for anything at all. The idea that a pollster even has an opinion when they're supposed to be totally impartial is ridiculous and hypocritical.

The article continues:
The flare-up underscored a widely held view among both politicians and pollsters that polls, once used largely to help a candidate shape strategy, increasingly can affect the outcome of political campaigns in the Internet Age. Candidates and their allies instantly disseminate bare-bones results, seizing on those that reflect well on their own prospects, ignoring the rest and generally skipping over details that might caution people about reading too much into them.

"They can affect contributions. They do affect news coverage in a substantial way. They can affect volunteers. They can affect (voter) interest, and through all those things can affect the outcome" of a race said Mark Mellman, a Democratic pollster not involved in the Ohio governor's contest.
And this is what I've always said a pollster should do:

1) compile the numbers
2) report the results honestly
3) shut the fuck up!

Sadly, they never seem to make it to "3" before they open their stupid mouths.

(This blog post is based on a random sampling of my own
disparate thoughts, and has a margin of error of 4.5%)

See President Obama and Bill Clinton this weekend

It's an exciting final week of the 2010 election season, and what a great way to finish it up!

On Saturday, President Barack Obama will be in Bridgeport at the Harbor Yard Arena to support Jim Himes in the 4th CD. This is an afternoon event, details are HERE.

Then on Sunday, President Bill Clinton will be in Connecticut for two events. First, he'll appear in West Hartford at 6PM to campaign for Dan Malloy for Governor (details HERE), and then he'll be at a rally for Jim Himes in South Norwalk at 8:30 (details HERE).

Come out and show your support for our candidates, and also to witness an historic occasion when two presidents visit our state. More details will be posted as they become available.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


This is exactly the America they want.

If they win, we're all screwed.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Live from Indianapolis...

...for now, anyway. Tornado watch with extreme weather expected to hit some time this morning.

The hotel guest services book doesn't say where the storm cellar is. I just walked by the front desk, and I didn't see any hotel staff. Is that a bad sign?

UPDATE: Just spent 20 minutes in the hotel safe room. When I heard the tornado sirens, I suddenly realized it wasn't quite as funny anymore! But I did shoot some video of the sirens blaring outside the front entrance for a few moments, until a hotel employee ordered me back in with a "You do NOT want to be standing there!" The danger is over...for now.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Kim Rose for State Assembly 118th District

Kim Rose is running for the State Assembly seat in the 118th District, here in Milford. The seat was formerly occupied by House Speaker Jim Amann, and is currently held by Barbara Lambert, who is retiring at the end of the term.

Kim, a longtime activist, resident, mother of two, and community leader has lived in the 118th district for over 25 years and has contributed to the city in many ways including: Acting P & Z Member and Jr. Vice President for the VFW Post 7788 Devon Ladies Auxiliary, volunteer and member of such service organizations as the Milford Irish Heritage Society and the Milford Elks. In addition to her civic responsibilities currently Rose holds an executive administrative position in the City of Bridgeport Building Department.
"I will listen to the needs of my community and go to Hartford to work with other legislators toward a resolution."
Voicing the opinion of the public is what jump started Kim Rose’s foray into politics. Kim got her start in politics when she brought a 2,000-name petition of Devon residents before the Planning and Zoning Board in 2004 to stop overdevelopment on Naugatuck Ave. The petition along with the 200+ supporters who showed up at City Hall was not enough to halt the project but they did succeed in reducing the number of units from 28 to 21.

Frustrated with the lack of dissemination of local information, Kim developed the Village of Devon ( website and is currently the owner/webmaster. The website was designed to keep the people in the West Shore /Devon/ Beach Areas abreast of events and local news that may affect them.

Kim ran for Milford’s Planning and Zoning Board in 2007and has been proudly serving the 3rd District of Milford fighting for smart development and conservation. Kim was elected Vice Chairman in 2008 and 2009. While serving Kim was instrumental in getting the meetings televised, she introduced regulation changes to lower the heights of buildings on the beaches, eliminated tandem parking and changed the lot size requirements in her district so that larger lots are required.

Kim also chaired the Historic Committee for the Planning and Zoning board and was appointed by the Mayor to be liaison to the Regional Council of Government. Kim continues to look for ways to help her neighbors.

Accountability and listening to the public is what Kim Rose stands for. She has a proven record to working with and listening to the people of Milford. Kim Rose wants to represent the views and values of the residents of the 118th in Hartford. Visit KimRose2010, and vote for Kim on November 2nd!

Stolen sign update

OK, so today I stopped by our campaign HQ to pick up a couple replacement signs.

Tragically, they were completely out of Blumenthal signs, which I hope is a good thing, meaning they put up so many signs all over town they ran out; rather than, they only had a few hundred signs to start with. I didn't have time to ask which it was.

God knows, there's certainly no shortage of Linda signs out there, but that's what fifty million gets you.

I did notice on my way down to HQ there was a very selfish house with TWO Blummy signs in front of it! Probably home to a hoarder of epic proportions. Someone call A&E and have them visit these people!

So I picked up another Jepsen sign and a Denise Merrill sign.

When I got home, I found our hardworking DTC members had ALREADY put up a Judge Beverly sign in one of the empty spaces ("Judge Beverly" is our popular Probate Judge Beverly Streit-Kefalas). Our DTC members are nothing if not vigilant!

I was able to squeeze Merrill's sign into my very small front yard. I didn't see a Denise Nappier sign at the HQ, but she's a favorite anyway so I'm not too worried.

If those little brats keep messing with my signs, I'm gonna borrow my neighbor's rottweiler and chain him to our Japanese Maple. THEN we'll see if any signs disappear!

(note: I don't want to have to clean up rottweiler poop, so I'm not gonna do this)

Speaking of thieves...

Some little shitbag from my neighborhood thought it was a swell idea to nick my Blumenthal and George Jepsen signs.

I'm sort of pissed, but not majorly, because every day swarms of kids walk by the front sidewalk, and I expect it's simply some mischievous brat showing off for his pimply friends.

And then after that, of course, they ran home and engaged in cyber-bullying on Facebook. Because that's the sort of cowardly activity you would expect from someone who steals lawn signs, right?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dan "Thieficella" steals from single mom writer!

Mr. "Business Supporter" himself, State Sen. Dan Debicella, apparently thinks it's perfectly acceptable to steal anyone's intellectual property for his own purposes, despite being asked to cease and desist by the copyright owner.

Sarah Darer Littman, a journalist, novelist, and a blogger known as "Saramerica", as well as being a single mom, discovered that video footage she personally shot at a Greenwich DTC meeting was lifted without permission and used in a negative ad by Dan Debicella. Ms. Littman notified the campaign and requested they immediately withdraw the ad from the internet and TV.

After no response from the campaign, Ms. Littman took the step of notifying Youtube that the video in question was undeniably hers and being used without permission. Youtube removed the ad and posted a copyright infringement notice within hours.

However, people are reporting that Cablevision is still running the ad today, a full 24 hours since Sarah notified the campaign to stop using her property. This means that although the campaign is fully aware that they are stealing the property of a private citizen and journalist/writer who makes her living from her intellectual property, they chose to ignore that fact.

How is this "pro-small business", Mr. Thieficella?

From My Left Nutmeg (used with permission, all rights reserved):
So someone sent me a link to a new Dan Debicella ad on You Tube this morning and asked me if I knew that my footage from the Greenwich DTC was in it. I was like "???? WTF ?????"

Watched the offending video. Sure enough, there, lifted directly out of my YouTube footage of Jim Himes' speech from the Greenwich DTC picnic in September, were clips included in Debicella's attack ad.

Had Debicella's campaign contacted me, the owner of this material to ask my permission to use it? No.

They'd just lifted it. STOLEN it, as we say in the intellectual property field.

See, as a writer, I make my living from intellectual property, so I take this stuff VERY seriously. I called Debicella's campaign this morning and asked to speak to his campaign manager. He was "unavailable". Sent a "cease and desist" email, just in case the campaign flack who answered the phone didn't pass on my message.

Never got a phone call back.

But what I did do was report the thieving bastard to You Tube, linking to my original video and showing exactly the place where they'd lifted the footage.
That was yesterday. No response from them at all.

This is from Sarah today:
I've called Cablevision to alert them that Debicella is running an ad using my footage for which he doesn't have permission, and that I've already issued him a cease and desist. I am waiting for a call back from their ad person.

Let me know if you see it running anywhere else.

Since Debicella's team has ignored my email & phone call, I'm consulting a lawyer.
You can't ignore this, Dan! This ain't going to go away! Pull the ads now, and apologize to Ms. Littman for your wrongful and thieving ways!

Justice Thomas's wife needs to STFU

I've got the feeling that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas would have simply preferred for his wife to keep her big fat mouth shut. Even a dolt like Thomas would know that the backlash from his wife having the balls to ask Anita Hill to fucking apologize to her poor misunderstood husband would be loud and embarrassing!

And hasn't Clarence already suffered enough? (Answer: NO!)

Not since Martha Mitchell has a Republican haus frau caused so much consternation among GOP insiders. Well, here's a little pushback for ya, Ginny:
It's been 20 years since Anita Hill courageously spoke truth to power and exposed Clarence Thomas as a stalker and a sexual harasser during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

And now Thomas' wife Virginia Thomas, a right-wing Tea Party advocate, in a move as brazen as it is offensive, has asked Anita Hill to apologize to her abuser. Hill said no. But I say it's long past time for Clarence Thomas to apologize to Anita Hill.

Virginia Thomas' agenda in approaching Anita Hill with her outrageous request is unclear. But it's yet another example the Tea Party adherents brazen attempts to rewrite history and claim victimhood for the powerful even as they launch attack after attack on minority groups -- be they women, gays, African Americans, or immigrants.

We shouldn't ignore this bizarre incident. We should accept Virginia Thomas' challenge and defend history as we know it.

Join me in telling Clarence Thomas he should apologize.

It's easy to do so at the link below.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Jeff Blart, Cash Cop

Jeff Wright, the GOP Mayor of Newington, is running against Denise Nappier for State Treasurer, and he's been making some outrageous claims recently. He calls himself the "Cash Cop", despite the fact he accepted hundreds of thousands in state grants, one of which was used to build a parking lot next to his place of business.

His fumbling attempts at sincerity and bloated sense of self-importance reminds me of another inept "cop":

CT Blogger over at My Left Nutmeg gets it totally right:
Jeff Wright, the Republican candidate for treasurer, has staked his campaign on being Connecticut's "Cash Cop." He has argued that the state bonds too much, and he will refuse to issue bonds if elected (regardless of the law, or the legislature, or the governor).

It turns out, to the surprise of absolutely no one who has been paying attention, that as the Mayor of Newington he asked for, and received, and congratulated himself for, receiving more than $1,300,000 in bonding for his pet parking lot project in downtown Newington (which apparently also abuts his business location).

In fact, according to Governor Rell, Wright and Newington, in addition to a Million dollar state bond, asked for another $500k in state bonding, and received $350k. At the end of the day, the parking lot will be 88% paid for by the state. In bonding. Which he hates. Except this time. For a parking lot.

So I guess Jeff Wright is really, really against bonding (he will POLICE IT LIKE A CASH COP), unless it benefits him, then it's okay. Or something.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Death row exoneree speaks at UNH

Yesterday I attended a talk at University of New Haven given by Juan Melendez, a man who was convicted of murder, sentenced to death, and spent 17 years on death row awaiting execution.

There was just one little problem...he was innocent.

After spending the better part of two decades waiting for the State of Florida to take his life, evidence of prosecural misconduct surfaced, causing a judge to reexamine the case.

Turns out the prosecutor received a taped confession from the real killer about a month before the trial, and he decided to suppress the evidence rather than risk his case. Prosecutors have immunity to misconduct charges in Florida.

Since his exoneration on Jan. 3, 2002, Mr. Meléndez-Colón has been sharing his incredible story about the injustices of the death penalty. He is on the boards of Witness to Innocence and the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, and his story has been the subject of the documentary called "Juan Melendez 6446."

Rep. Mike Lawlor (D-East Haven) is a professor of criminal justice at UNH, and he discussed the current state of the death penalty in Connecticut for a documentary on the topic that I'm involved with. Mike spoke about the reality of the current law, which is basically nobody is likely to be executed in this state unless they want to be executed. Only one person in Connecticut over the last 50 years has been executed, and that was Michael Ross, who fought for 10 years for the right to be executed. Had he fought against it, he'd probably still be alive.

And early next year, the issue will surely be addressed again by the legislature, which is expected to once again pass a repeal bill which will make its way to the new governor's desk. Dan Malloy has already said he'll sign it. Tom Foley stands on the side of the death penalty supporters.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

State Central hits one out of the park

The Democratic State Central committee released a video today that takes aim directly at the heart of Linda McMahon's character. Word is finally getting out that Linda won't talk to the media any more because every time she opens her silly yap, a whole bunch of stupid pours out, and it causes a mess and gets all over everyone's shoes.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Lembo video

I reworked the pre-primary video with a new guest, whose story is especially harrowing yet uplifting. It was such a pleasure meeting and working with the fine people who invited us to tape their very personal stories. This is the sort of trust that Kevin engenders in people.

We need Kevin in Hartford as Comptroller. My only regret is that we'll lose an outstanding public healthcare advocate, but Kevin assures me that his replacement will be up to the task.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Linda McMahon is running scared

As I pointed out in a post several days ago, Wrestling Promoter Linda McMayhem has been dodging reporters since her disastrous off-the-cuff remarks about the minimum wage.

In case you haven't heard, she said she's open to cutting it.

Mark Pazniokas and Deirdre Shesgreen (No she's not! El-Oh-El! I bet she never heard that one before!) of the CT Mirror picked up on this story yesterday.
Press access to Republican Linda McMahon tightened Friday as her Senate campaign ended formal media interviews and continued its policy of limiting information about her campaign schedule.
Wow. Just wow.

I think that's the sort of strategy someone who really isn't sure of herself might take. Compare that to Sen. Lieberman, who would have walked over his mother in the closing weeks of the 2006 campaign to get to a microphone. How does a candidate in this modern era of immediate media access think it's a good idea to shut them out in the critical remaining days of a campaign?

I'll tell you who. Someone who's not entirely sure of her values or beliefs. Someone who doesn't have a good command of the important issues. Someone who's likely to be lost and ineffective if elected.

Is this the way a winner behaves?

Is this how a senator should act?

Funny how someone who was never shy about play-acting in front of thousands of slack-jawed yokels at her stupid wrestling events suddenly finds herself tongue-tied.

But maybe it's because she's already said too much:
McMahon has had some rocky press conferences, which by nature are unpredictable events. Her failure to clearly answer questions about whether she would freeze, cut or eliminate the minimum wage generated a frenzy of bad press.

Another general press availability about an earlier poll turned into a extended back-and-forth on her approach to extending the Bush-era tax cuts. She said she was for an all-or-nothing approach, extending the cuts for everyone or no one.

She since has refused to say how she would vote on a bill that only extended the cuts for all but the richest two percent of taxpayers.
Yeah, she's obviously the sort of senator we don't need speaking for us.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Malloy expands lead in Q-Poll

Because Quinnipiac tries to get as much publicity for their polls as possible, today they released the Governor's race numbers. Of course, yesterday they posted the Senate race poll. In case you're wondering, it's obviously the same poll. Both polls contain this exact disclaimer:
"From October 7 - 11, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,119 Connecticut likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points."
OK, whatever. It's just an observation. Anything that gets Doug Schwartz in front of the cameras yet again is just fine with me.

(...and it also gave me an excuse to write an easy blog post for the second day in a row. So, thanks Doug!)

In this latest poll, former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy has increased his lead with likely voters over his Republican rival Tom Foley to 7 points, 49-42 percent.

Unaffiliated voters appear to still favor Foley by a slim margin, and with 9% undecided, this segment of the voting population may have a big impact on the results.

And there's always a question they didn't ask:
"Are all the negative campaign ads annoying the shit outta you?"
Hey, I just got a brilliant idea! If that Drudge-lite doofus over at Capitol Report can commission his own poll, there's no reason why I can't initiate one of my own!

Introducing "The Connecticut Bob Poll"!

I'll ask all those questions that nobody has the balls to ask! How much does one of those bogus robocall polls cost, anyway? Isn't there some kind of software that allows your PC to VOIP call a list of voter's numbers? There must be.

The Connecticut Bob Poll! Oh boy, this is gonna be great!

Disclaimer: All of the above is pure nonsense. I'm much too lazy and distracted to go through all that work just to ask a few shocking and probably offensive questions of total strangers. But in my opinion, Dudchik is still a doofus.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Blumenthal widens lead over McMayhem

Linda McMahon hasn't had a very good October so far. In the last Q-Poll (Sept. 28th) she appeared to have nearly closed the gap with Dick Blumenthal.

Since then, there have been several televised debates, a rally in Milford that brought out mere dozens of supporters, and a colossal gaff when Linda spoke about the minimum wage laws.

Today the Quinnipiac Poll showed Blumenthal has increased his margin back to double digits with a comfortable 54 - 43 percent likely voter lead.

Doug Schwartz from the Quinnipiac Polling Institute is calling Blumenthal "Mr. October", which is the sort of thing that usually annoys me, the way Doug feels he has to comment on his results and make it about him, but in this case it seems to apply.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Q-Poll examines the Death Penalty

Quinnipiac released a poll about the death penalty this morning. They asked a series of questions, none of which produced any major surprises.

Stephen Hayes, recently found guilty of the Cheshire home invasion murders, is awaiting sentencing for his capital conviction. Responders to the poll want him to suffer the death penalty by an overwhelming margin, 76% to 18% with 6% undecided.

The general question of whether convicted murderers should be given the death penalty or life in prison without any chance of parole resulted in a more even split, 46% for death, 41% for life w/o parole, and 14% undecided. And this was polled during the emotional aftermath of a dramatic trial. I think people generally are fine with the idea of life in prison, as long as there's absolutely no chance of them ever being released.

There is one question I wish they'd asked:
Do you feel that the death penalty is a valid deterrent?
Because obviously, it didn't deter Hayes from perpetrating his crime.

Several months ago Hayes apparently attempted suicide by hording prescription pills and taking them all at once. How is it morally acceptable to demand the state keep someone from taking their own life, only to have the state take that life at a later date if it sees fit?

I understand the emotional need for vengeance, especially for such an horrific crime. But if Hayes thought being in jail was a worse punishment than death, why wouldn't people want life in prison for him?

Another question the poll asked was "If a candidate for governor were to take a stand on the death penalty that was different from your own, would you vote against that candidate on the basis of that issue alone or would you consider other things before deciding who to vote for?" Only 6% responded they'd vote against, meaning the issue isn't a deal breaker for either candidate. People seem to be much more concerned with jobs and taxes than the death penalty.

I'm currently in production of a documentary about the death penalty debate, so this issue is very pertinent to me. Certainly next year we'll revisit this issue at the State Capitol, regardless of who sits in the governor's office.

McMayhem ducks reporters questions...again

If it quacks like a duck, then you can guess it'll act like a duck.

Or maybe a chicken.

Linda McMahon ducked questions following last night's debate with Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. This story comes via My Left Nutmeg.

As Paul Bass reported in the New Haven Independent:
8:33 Republican Rob Simmons is up here in the press room to spin for McMahon-but no McMahon! Blumenthal stops by to spin with reporters. He's relaxed; he get softball questions. McMahon, who showed up to answer questions after the Bushnell debate, is nowhere to be found. She fled. Is that because her handlers felt that last session went off track? Or because they didn't feel she did well tonight? Either way, from her on in, it's all scripted campaigning, all the time...
Rick Green also commented on McMahon's inexplicable behavior following the debate:
After the debate, a beaming Blumenthal met reporters to talk about the debate. McMahon, who lingered after the first two debates, left the building without comment.
A few days ago I commented on Linda's quick exit from the Milford rally, where she stiffed the dozens of supporters who showed up to meet her when she spoke for less than ten minutes and fled without answering questions or even pressing the flesh at the embarrassingly small gathering:
McMahon felt so defensive after her botched answer to the minimum wage question that she refused to talk to reporters after her triumphant totally underwhelming Milford rally Saturday with special guest tea-bagger Mass. Sen. Scott Brown (video here). To pass on the opportunity to talk to the press after an event like that is, quite frankly, shocking!

My guess is that Linda will hunker down as much as possible for the remaining three weeks to avoid having to answer off-the-script questions. She obviously believes it's better for her to keep quiet and have people think she's a fool, than to open her mouth and remove all doubt!
Linda McMahon is hiding from the press, and she hopes she'll somehow eke out a win based solely on her megafunded TV budget. Because lately, every time she opens her mouth to reporters, she's in grave danger of having her remarks blow up in her face.

Much like they did when she failed to answer NO to the question about whether she would consider lowering the minimum wage. But Linda wasn't around last night for anyone to even ask her to clarify her response to the minimum wage question.

That's the big story now...where has Linda McMahon gone?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Krayeske ad published today

Ken Krayeske, the Green Party candidate for Congress in the 1st CD (John Larson's district) has released a web ad today. Here it is:

I like Ken. He's a good guy.

While he doesn't stand a snowflake's chance in Hell of winning this election, his candidacy allows him to act as the conscience of the process. He's sort of like a "Jiminy Cricket" of the political arena.

The web video was funny, especially the part where Jim Calhoun (who's an outstanding basketball coach, but a rather odious fellow in real life) asks Ken "You're not really that stupid, are ya?" and Ken immediately responds "Yeah, I am!"

Normally I'd applaud such naked honesty from a politician; but in Ken's case it simply isn't true. He's actually a fairly bright guy.

And I think he'd make a good leader, if he'd just quit acting as a modern day Don Quixote tilting at windmills like the Democratic Party, and simply JOIN IT and try to make it better!

But maybe guys like Ken who aren't at all afraid to speak their minds wouldn't fit well into our admittedly flawed party (now before you go getting yourself in a snit over that, just know that the GOP is magnitudes more flawed than the Democrats will ever be!)

The fact is, Ken Krayeske won't win this election.

But he will be heard.

Visit to hear more.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Linda gets it wrong...again!

(Blumenthal at a recent parade; Mark Pazniokas, CT Mirror)

After getting severely hammered by the media for her total ignorance of the federal and state minimum wage laws, Linda McMahon's campaign tried a desperation ploy to embarrass Attorney General Dick Blumenthal this weekend.

From the Courant's Capitol Watch:
Apparently, a person shadowing Blumenthal at the Columbus Day parade in New Haven today asked if he knew the state's unemployment rate. The person lobbying (sic) the question was walking with the McMahon campaign's tracker, so perhaps the aim was to get video of Blumenthal caught off guard.

"Blumenthal knew it was someone with McMahon's tracker asking the question and up to no good. So, he brushed him off,'' according to a memo sent to reporters by Blumenthal campaign manager Mindy Myers.
This was the perfect response by Blumenthal to a McMahon campaign-sponsored attack. Linda's people were badly embarrassed by McMahon's clumsy handling of the minimum wage question posed by a local journalist at a press conference (Ted Mann from the New London Day), so they send their own video tracker and a campaign staffer to try to trip up Dick Blumenthal on a question about unemployment.

This is entirely typical of the McMahon campaign's unsubtle ham-fisted tactics. McMahon blew it for herself with her ignorance and her unfocused reply to the simple question "Would you argue for reducing the minimum wage now?" (the only correct answer is a definitive "NO!"). To try to mitigate the colossal damage this has done to her credibility, she sent a couple of paid campaign hacks to harass the AG at a parade. Not very smart.

Some people have mentioned to me that this is somewhat similar to things I've done in the past with Sen. Lieberman. I don't hesitate to point out that as a blogger I'm not paid by any campaign, and regardless of your feelings about bloggers, we are considered to be members of the media.

I've had a lot of issues with paid campaign staffers making themselves part of the story. As in, they shouldn't do it. A tracker's responsibility is to simply record the candidate's words to the public.

Reporters like Mann are supposed to ask those questions. When a paid campaign tracker invades a candidate's personal space or poses hostile questions directly to a candidate, they cross a line. It's as if Linda McMahon wants to pose the question herself, but she's too chicken to actually do it.

McMahon felt so defensive after her botched answer to the minimum wage question that she refused to talk to reporters after her triumphant totally underwhelming Milford rally Saturday with special guest tea-bagger Mass. Sen. Scott Brown (video here). To pass on the opportunity to talk to the press after an event like that is, quite frankly, shocking!

My guess is that Linda will hunker down as much as possible for the remaining three weeks to avoid having to answer off-the-script questions. She obviously believes it's better for her to keep quiet and have people think she's a fool, than to open her mouth and remove all doubt!

We all know that WWE story lines are carefully scripted...

Unfortunately for Linda, she doesn't have that control over the equally brutal world of politics.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Linda McMahon underwhelms Milford

A weekend day...sunny and warm...plenty of notice...a Tea Party could this event not be a huge smash?

Lots of Milford police got a day's worth of overtime, city public works employees picked up some juicy weekend pay, and they even closed a street to accommodate the expected swarms of tea baggers that would surely descend on our "small city with a big heart" (or "small heart" as a local GOP hack exclaimed) for the joint Linda McMahon and Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown rally.

Sadly for Linda, her big rally was more of a whimper than a big bang. A local reporter said that she estimated there were 600 people in attendance.

This photo was taken right before the slightly delayed start of the rally. Much less than the expected 1000-1500 organizers hoped for. And 600 is being very generous. Take the 100 or so VIPs and party insiders behind the podium on the City Hall steps, then subtract the various media and press people walking around and on the riser, the dozens of police and public works employees, a large field campaign staff, and of course, the counter-protesters holding up anti-Linda signs, and you might end up with 300 or 350. Tops.

But people like to exaggerate results, which is why Linda's website is laughably claiming she won the debate against our next Senator, Dick Blumenthal. The photo above pretty much shows nearly the entire crowd. If there's more than 300 people in that scrum, I'd be shocked.

UPDATE: Fuck!!! I can't believe I misspelled the word "demonstrators" in the opening title of the video! That's what I get for having a couple Murphy's Ales at the Seas before going home and editing the video! Serves me right for drinking Murphy's...I never make spelling errors on Guinness...

UPDATE 2: Sorry about saying the word "fuck" before. I really do need to work on my vocabulary a bit. It's a bad habit that I can't seem to break.

UPDATE 3: Ah, who am I kidding? I love being an grown-up, and having the freedom to use adult words like "fuck" any time I want. I refuse to accept that we're all infants in a nation of children who need to be protected from words like that. It's my blog and I'll "fuck" if I want to! Besides, it obviously works for Rahm Emanuel, right? If you're offended by that, I'm truly sorry...

...and fuck off! ;)

(...well, there goes that potential job as any respectable campaign's communications director!)

Friday, October 08, 2010

Debicella open to closing sub base

Dan Debicella, the GOP/TeaBag challenger to Jim Himes's 4th CD seat, apparently has no qualms about voting to close the Groton sub base. The base is a huge employer in southeast Connecticut, and it's closing would bring about economic chaos to the region.

However, Dan seems to think that it's OK to close it if it'll save the government some money. He states in this video that the Eastern Seaboard only needs two sub bases, and Dan effectively says he won't fight the military commander's wishes if they want Groton shut down.

Yup, that's just what Connecticut needs; a Congressman who WON'T fight for us!

(Video courtesy CT Blogger)

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Linda McMayhem in Milford on Saturday


Teabag Senate hopeful Linda McMahon (sorry about that "McMayhem" gag, but I guess the many dozens of wrestlers who died very young from unnatural causes is just a coincidence!) and Massachusetts Teabag Sen. Scott Brown are holding a Teabag-style rally right here in my beloved home town of Milford this weekend.

I'm not very happy that extremist conservatives are going to invade my peaceful little neck o' the woods, but I understand they have every right to do so. They'll be at Milford City Hall sometime right after noon. Apparently busloads of racist bigot teabaggers are being hauled in from upstate moron depositories.

They have a right to assemble. Just as loyal Democrats have a right to show up and state their opinions in a legal and respectful manner.

But do we really need to shut down a street for the two biggest GOP hacks this side of Sarah Palin's unfulfilled governor's term?
Re: Political Rally on at the Park in front of City Hall.

Good Afternoon,

Mayor Richetelli has asked me to advise you that, as a result of some suggestions we received, the Milford Police Department and the sponsors of the event Saturday have altered plans for the day.

Please be advised that all of River Street will remain open to vehicular and pedestrian traffic this Saturday, October 9th.

Also, all of Darina Place and all other areas of Downtown Milford will remain open Saturday, with the exception of a short section of West River Street between the Parsons Government Center, the courthouse and City Hall from approximately 2 until 3:15 p.m.

The Mayor encourages and urges all downtown business owners to capitalize on the economic opportunity created by the many people who will be visiting Milford Saturday from other areas of the State.
Gee, it'll be good to see the teabaggers useful for something other than parroting FoxNews talking points and screaming obscenities at people playing "God Bless America" through a sound system. Come and spend money locally, and maybe help make up for the millions in taxes that Linda McMahon isn't contributing as a result of George Bush's insane tax givebacks.

Anyway, come and enjoy the spectacle of a few Republican bozos making asses of themselves. Afterward, join me for a brewski at the "7 Seas", 16 New Haven Ave.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Foley Dodges Connecticut Taxes

State Democratic Chairperson Nancy DiNardo stated today that GOP candidate Tom Foley should dock his 116' motor yacht "Odalisque" here in Connecticut, rather than in the Marshall Islands, where the foreign-flagged luxury yacht is exempt from state and federal taxes. NBC Connecticut has the story.

For the record, my 30' non-luxury yacht is docked here in Connecticut, where I pay an annual registration/tax fee. Additionally, when the boat needs work I spend money here in town and hire local tax-paying workers to do the work, rather than employing foreign nationals on foreign soil where I could possibly save a few bucks at the expense of putting dollars into the Connecticut economy.

So I definitely pay more in taxes on my humble boat than multi-millionaire Tom Foley does on his multi-million dollar luxury yacht!

Why is it the richest Republicans always do whatever they can to cheat the state/country out of paying their fair share? Why does Linda McMahon want to extend the Bush tax cuts, when the 1990s was a decade of very high economic growth where generally everyone benefited?

In Linda's case, she has about 10,000,000 reasons. That's the amount of money she'll save by paying taxes at the Bush tax rate, rather than the previous rate that was in place during the 1990s. Every year. No wonder she'll spend millions of her own money to try to beat Dick Blumenthal; she'll make her money back with interest if she wins!

By the way, the name "Odalisque" is defined as:
"...a female slave or concubine in a harem, esp. in that of the sultan of Turkey."
Does anyone think for a minute that good ol' Bush-buddy Tom Foley is going to be overly responsive to women's issues when he thinks it's perfectly acceptable to name his yacht after a female sex slave?

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Ned Lamont on debates

(Dan Malloy and Tom Foley debate Oct. 1st)

Ned Lamont has an op-ed piece in today's Hartford Courant about the effectiveness of political debates.
Debate television audiences are usually so tiny that they barely register on a Nielsen meter. Those who tune in have made up their minds and are seeking reinforcement, much like a Sean Hannity or Keith Olbermann viewer. Still, compared to a 30-second TV ad or a direct mail bomb, debates at least offer up a measure of the candidate, mano a mano. It's one more piece of the puzzle, so tune in this week.
On Friday, gubernatorial candidates Dan Malloy and Tom Foley squared off for their first televised debate in Greenwich (see this post). The candidates followed the standard format for modern debates, with each getting a couple minutes to answer a question, then an additional minute to respond. Not exactly a recipe for oratory fireworks.
Wouldn't it be nice to see U.S. Senate candidates Richard Blumenthal and Linda McMahon lighten up, wander off the script and show that they are much more than the sum of their consultants. No Obama references, we know where you stand there, and please, I beg of you, no wrestling metaphors. Connecticut, which is near the bottom in creating jobs and getting money back from the federal government, needs more than the 53rd Democratic senator or the 47th Republican, we need a senator who fights for Connecticut.
You can read the entire op-ed at the Hartford Courant.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Malloy-Foley Debate today

Earlier today I attended the Gubernatorial debate between Dannel Malloy and Tom Foley at the Greenwich Hyatt, sponsored by the Stamford Chamber of Commerce. The debate is being replayed on Cablevision News 12 tonight at 8PM and throughout the weekend. It should also be available through the News 12 website and on-demand Cablevision channel 612.

I was a guest of Ned Lamont's and sat next to him at his table; it was the first time I've seen him since the primary. He was very relaxed and pleasant, and I took this picture of Dan and Ned minutes before the debate:

The debate started with a predictable question, what to do about the huge state deficit? Foley immediately said he wasn't a career politician and has ways to lead the state; and Malloy brought up how Foley ran for Governor only after realizing he wouldn't win the Senate nomination, and how he was rewarded with an ambassadorship after raising money for Bush, making him a career politician too.

The debate ranged between so-so discussions and heated exchanges. At one point Malloy thanked Foley for locating his campaign HQ in Stamford.

It was a luncheon debate, so we were served a meal (pretty much the usual "rubber chicken" you get during these kinds of events) but the coffee and chocolate mousse dessert were yummy!

This was the first televised debate between the two candidates, and I suggest watching it either on Cablevision or through one of the online sources.

We're just over a month away, and we need to educate voters about the differences between these candidates.

Oh, and I saw the ginormous "Foley bus" there...

WTNH solicits questions for Gov. & Sen. debates

WTNH is partnering with YouTube to solicit citizen questions for the upcoming Senate and Gubernatorial debates.

Here's the page for the Senate:
And the Gubernatorial:

You can submit questions via a short Youtube video, or simply text them in. The Senate debate is scheduled for Oct. 12th and the Gubernatorial debate is on Oct. 13th. Deadline for questions is Oct. 11th.