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Friday, October 24, 2008

How Low Can We Go?

Last night I attended the City Council Budget hearing and once again watched in disbelief as Lee Erdmann bobbed and weaved as he has throughout the hearings. Every effort has been made to avoid information becoming public to answer the question as to how we now find our City in a huge budget deficit at the hands of a corrupt and incompetent administration. Despite Sarah Barr's mantra that the Perez Administration is open and transparent, accurate numbers, if in fact there are any real numbers, are not forthcoming, even to City Council members.

But as I sat there and listened to Erdmann and Jim Keaney, both from the Mayor's Office, I began to think about the pending layoffs coming today, Friday. I wondered how the Mayor could face a laid off employee in the grocery store and explain why a lay-off was necessary, when at the same time the Mayor's staffer, Mr Keaney would be driving home from his $85,000 plus a year job in his $30,000 city provided SUV. How do you explain that Mr. Keaney apparently "negotiated" his SUV as a perk for his hiring contract, when at the same time some of the lowest paid employees are being laid off due to mismanagement by Perez? How do you explain to a laid off employee that their job is being cut, while at the same time positions are being created for Perez's political allies. As an example, former State Representative, Perez political "consultant" and recipient of a lucrative $65,000 consulting contract, Evelyn Mantilla recently landed a $71,000 a year job in the Hartford Health Department. Mantilla also abandoned Hartford a couple years ago and moved to the suburbs. How do you explain these actions to a laid off employee and make any sense out of it?

How do you explain laying off an employee while at the same time the Mayor and a staff member decided that the city should pay almost $3,000 for their airfare to Ireland at the onset of a budget crisis. How can you explain that someones livelihood is being eliminated while at the same time Councilmembers continue to fly around the country on junkets. One councilmember even went so far as to justify these trips claiming that is how she learned that councilpeople in other parts of the country are paid upwards of $80,000, and that is why the Hartford City Council deserves a raise.

As I spoke with a few city hall staffers at the rear entrance of City Hall, laid off employees passed us on their exit from the building carrying boxes and bags of personal belongings that they were forced to clean out of their desks, some under Police supervision. Again, I thought to myself , how could you possibly face these people and justify the layoffs.

When I thought that Eddie had reached an all time low for his actions as Mayor, I received a phone call and was asked if I had read the Hartford Courant yet. I replied no, and the caller told me to read it, quickly. When I picked it up and read about the childish antics and mudslinging on the part of the Mayor and Council President and Perez puppet Cal Torres I was furious and my belief that Hartford suffers from a total lack of leadership was reinforced. Even more so, I was aggravated that the comments regarding Councilman Kennedy's "child out of wedlock" were newsworthy. I have a lot of respect for Jeff Cohen, the reporter writing the article, and was surprised that he would even write an article with those comments in it. By luck, minutes later I crossed paths with Jeff Cohen, and made my opinion known to him. After the conversation was over, I left with a totally different opinion of the article. A cloud that had been hanging over Ken Kennedy was now lifted, and issues that had been rumoured in the community for a couple years were now out in the open. I had expressed my disaapointment to Kennedy almost 2 years ago when he was at a meeting at St. Augustine's Church, and at that time in a private conversation he explained the matter in an honest and candid way and did not try to spin the situation or lie to me about it. He did not owe me any explanation, yet he did explain the situation, and his honesty was refreshing. Ken Kennedy is someone I do not always agree with, but none the less, he is an honest man, and showed that by admitting his errors and apologizing for his actions (not that he owed an apology or explanation to anyone other than his wife and family). But as for Cal Torres and Eddie Perez, they might want to read a chapter in the Ken Kennedy handbook on being a man with integrity and accepting responsibility for your actions. The day is coming when Perez, Torres and many others, men and women, will be answering questions about their actions in regards to corruption in Hartford city government. We will see if they face it like men of integrity and accept responsibility for their actions like Mr. Kennedy did, or will we see more disgusting excuses such as when Perez's house was searched by the State's Attorneys office and he blamed it on being distracted by his wife's aneurysm and poor health.

What this city needs is leadership, not the petty politics and sniping that we have come to accept. Unfortunately we are not going to get that leadership from Eddie Perez or Cal Torres, but there does seem to be hope and promise in Ken Kennedy. Remember Ken, Hartford's motto is "After the clouds, the sun" , your cloud has just been lifted, go for the sun.

Hopefully, Hartford's next round of layoffs will be coming courtesy of the Connecticut Chief States Attorney's Public Integrity Unit, and as Cal Torres says, "What's good for the goose is good for the gander". Eddie, Cal and others, prepare to be goosed.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


At last nights Hartford City Council meeting I brought up the issue of ethics by our Mayor and Councilpeople. The point I was trying to make before Council President Torres, possibly acting through some guilt of his own and nervousness about upcoming arrests, began slamming the gavel, was this.

Most people in the city seem to be taking a wait and see attitude regarding the Grand Jury investigation, even though Mayor Perez and Councilperson Airey-Wilson have both admitted publicly that they benefitted from sweetheart home renovations from city contractor Carlos Costa. They both claim now that looking back, it was a mistake. I for one do not believe that Airey-Wilson's house was searched over $300.00 in countertops, or that Perez's house was searched to see if he took out building permits for the work. That is their version and their attempt at damage control. But lets just give Airey-Wilson the benefit of the doubt that it was over $300.00 in granite countertops. If the city contractor charged only $300 for the work, and Airey-Wilson paid the bill, ok, end of story. If all of us in the City that wanted to get the same $300.00 countertops called Costa and received the same deal, end of story. The problem arises when anyone with common sense looks at the claim and realizes that granite countertops can not be purchased for $300.00 , not even by the sharpest do-it-yourselfer on the best sale day at Lowe's or Home Depot. So therefore, any reasonable and prudent person would have to come to the conclusion that because of Airey-Wilson's political connections, she received a deal that is not available to the rest of her constituents. That is called corruption, that is called using your political position for personal gain, in most circles that is called criminal, and at the very least it is called unethical. (the reasonable and prudent person part, that's what is known as a standard for probable cause)

The time to end the wait and see attitude has come. We as citizens of Hartford need to begin removing the cloud over our city and get back to rebuilding a troubled city. Let's get people into leadership positions who actually wanted to lead, and not just benefit from their positions. The time to begin calling for the resignations of corrupt officials is now.

And in the interest of full disclosure, I will be the first to admit that as a small business owner and resident in Hartford, I have had a very difficult time with Hartford's tax structure and carrying the city's budget on the backs of small business. Although all of my taxes are current at this time, I have not always been able to pay on time, and lost a property I owned when the city refused to enter into a payment plan for back taxes. If Airey-Wilson was behind on taxes due to financial hardship, I can appreciate that. If it was not a financial hardship and just irresponsible behavior, that is a totally different story. One needs to look no further than to see the struggle many small businesses and residents are facing as taxes continue to rise, Just as an example, both the Democratic and Republican Town Chairmen have faced their issues over the years with delinquent taxes, and the Republican Town Chairmen continues to be behind over 2 years on his vehicle taxes.

And Veronica, as far as your comments at the council meeting, about glass houses. I am more than willing to be honest with anyone that asks. Can you say the same? I know that at the conclusion of the Grand Jury, I won't be facing any criminal charges. Can you look your constituents in the eye and honestly say the same thing?

The Beginning of the End or "What Hiring Freeze?"

As the end of the corruption investigation at Hartford City Hall seems to be coming closer and closer everyday, there seems to be an effort to take care of certain Perez allies to ensure they have permanent city employment when the ax does fall. One staffer, Evelyn Mantilla, stepped aside from her seat as State Representative in the 4th district when the decision was made that Kelvin Roldan, another Perezite, deserved the seat more. Subsequent to that "step-aside" Mantilla was rewarded with tens of thousandsof dollars in payments from the Perez re-election campaign as a "consultant". After Perez's re-election, Mantilla was again rewarded with a temporay position in the Mayor's Office for approximately $65,000 for a six month gig in Constituent Services. Now that the 6 month position was expiring, Mantilla has landed in the Health and Human Services Department at a salary of approximately $95,000 according to City Hall sources. Phone calls to the Health and Human Services Department today confirmed that Mantilla was in a new position, but none of the staffers there were aware of what her responsibilties were.

Also in a new position is long time Perezite and City contract benefactor Yasha Escalera. Escalera has apparently been hired to fill the position of Bruno Mazzulla, the city's former director of Property Acquisition and Disposition. Should prove interesting to see how Mr. Escalera is going to avoid conflict as his company , Dresca Construction, is apparently still doing business with the City.

And lest we think that the hiring freeze is only circumvented by the Mayor, another position created and filled this week is raising eyebrows. Councilman Pedro Segarra recently closed his law practice at 250 Main Strret in Hartford. As part of that closure, his secretary, Miriam Rodriguez, lost her job. Apparently Segarra felt obligated to keep Ms. Rodriguez gainfully employed , so a position (a new position) was created in the MIS Department of Executive Assistant to Chief Information Officer Erick Jackson. Although I have filed an FOI request to see how this position was filled, was it even posted or advertised, was anyone else even interviewed, and there seems to be many questions surrounding this "hiring freeze hire".

The following is the letter sent to MIS staffers by Eric Jackson introducing Ms. Rodriguez:

From: Jackson, Eric L.
Sent: Sunday, September 07, 2008 4:31 PM
To: Internal MHIS
Subject: Welcome New Hire
Importance: High

Hello everyone. By now many of you have either met or heard from our newest staff member
Miriam Rodriguez. Miriam’s title is Executive Assistant (EA) and she is responsible for ensuring that I complete many of the assignments I have laid out for myself in addition to those required by the Mayor’s office and all of our stakeholders. Miriam will work in concert with our MHIS directors, Dawn Meucci (Principal Analyst), and Monique Rodriguez (Secretary) to perform the financial and administrative tasks that make our department run smoothly and efficiently. In addition, Miriam will focus on internal and external communications such as the MHIS strategic plan, business plan, and annual report. Miriam’s last work assignment was with the legal offices of Pedro Segarra (City Councilman) where she performed in a similar capacity. I am very pleased to have Miriam join us and look forward to your continued support of management’s continuing effort to improve our service to the city of Hartford and the Board of Education.If you have not done so already, please drop by and wish her well in her new assignment. Miriam is located in the office adjacent to mine.

Best regards,
Eric L. Jackson Chief Information Officer
City Of Hartford, CT
860-757-9474 Office
860-798-3156 Mobile

Friday, August 29, 2008


The Indepedent Republicans of Hartford and the Hartford Republican Town Committee, 4th District members, will be hosting a local McCain Nation event on Thursday, September 4th at the Hook & Ladder Restaurant located at 207 Main Street in Hartford. The event is being hosted for anyone that would like to gather together to watch Senator McCain deliver his acceptance speech as the Republican nominee for President of the United States, live from the Republican National Convention. The Hook & Ladder has graciously offered the use of the restaurant, lounge and patio for this event, which is open to the public and free of charge.
Voter registration will also be conducted for anyone that wishes to register.
Join the Independent Republicans of Hartford as we gather to offer our support to one of the most Independent Republicans our party has seen, Senator John McCain.
Parking on Main Street or in the large lots directly behind the Hook & Ladder, accessed from either Main Street or John Street
McCain Nation , September 4th, 207 Main Street, Hartford, 8-11PM, speech at approx 10PM


Well, once again the circle of alleged corruption seems to be expanding as Investigators from the Office of the Chief States Attorney executed a search warrant on the home of Councilperson Veronica Airey-Wilson. Although the States Attorneys office would not confirm the activity, Airey-Wilson herself confirmed the activity according to media reports. Although her version alleges it is over $300.00 granite countertops, sources stated that it involves much greater issues. Although ,if in fact she received granite countertops from city contractor Carlos Costa for $300.00, we should be questioning her judgement in voting on contracts for Costa and what the payback was to receive such a sweetheart deal. I'm not a kitchen remodeler, and apparently neither is Costa, but even Eddie Perez ,and his fabricated invoices for renovations on his home, had the sense to make it a somewhat believable amount of $20,000 .

Even greater though is how could someone that had knowledge they were the target of a Grand Jury investigation have the audacity to enter the race for the State Senate. Up until the story finally aired on Channel 3 and was posted on, Airey-Wilson was denying the search warrant to her supporters at City Hall according to sources. It should be interesting to ask other Council members how many of them have been notified they are also targets of the Grand Jury investigating corruption at Hartford City Hall. My sources are telling me that there are at least two others , and possibly three current councilpersons facing prosecution, and maybe at least one former councilperson. The allegations include steering contracts, financial improprieties including misuse of grant money allocated to city nonprofits, illegal tax transactions ,driveways and other construction services paid for by the city at employees homes and much much more.

But most notably, where is the outrage on the part of other officials. Is this expected so we tolerate it? It should be very interesting to see how Republican Town Chairman Michael McGarry covers this story in his "newspaper". By covering this story, will he risk his full page ads paid for by Perez's administration, the Board of education inserts and the lucrative legal notices that appear weekly in his alleged "newspaper"( I say alleged newspaper because I wouldn't want to accuse him of being a journalist if he isn't) How he handles the incident will tell us a lot about his integrity and if we should actually read his paper or continue to use it to line the litter box. McGarry should be as upset about being lied to about this incident as he was that it was initally "leaked" to the media. Yes, I'm sure these recent developments will upset his plans to take over Airey-Wilson's council seat , even if she ever had a chance of being elected to the Senate. As he told the Courant last year, he does need the city benefits.

I know I sound like a broken record, but where is the leadership? Where is the integrity?
A word of advice to those being investigated: don't discredit the messengers , accept what you have done, accept the consequences for your actions and move on. It worked for John Rowland and by most accounts , including John Rowland himself, made him a better person.

Maybe that ex-offender Commission that many have been calling for will get started and be there for you when you all are released and want to get your lives started again.

Friday, July 11, 2008



Eddie A. Perez

(July 3, 2008)--- The City of Hartford is looking forward to celebrating the Independence Day Holiday Weekend with fireworks and family fun and will not tolerate the safety of residents and visitors being jeopardized in any part of the city whether it be through violence or threatening the quality of life in our neighborhoods.

Mayor Eddie A. Perez says, "This must be a secure and welcoming city. We will implement and enforce any and all measures and tools at our disposal to make sure people feel safe and enjoy themselves."

Two such tools are the announcement of the nationally recognized community based crime-solving program "Crime Stoppers" coming to Hartford and the enforcement of a city ordinance for public safety details at places of public amusement and extended hours wherein security and/or safety of patrons are questioned or violated.

Another safety measure and priority is the health and cleanliness of these city establishments. Citations will be issued and establishments will be closed if violations are found and not corrected. The Fire Department will also enforce all fire codes in all public assembly establishments.

Police Chief Daryl K. Roberts adds, "The brave men and women of the Hartford Police Department will uphold the law in all of our neighborhoods. We continue to reach out to our neighborhoods and business community to build positive relationships. A safe and secure Hartford is our number one priority on a holiday and everyday."
This is direct from, do they really expect anyone to believe this? The same night this was issued, at least four people were shot with assault weapons in drive-by shootings.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008



Wednesday, July 2, 2008


On Monday June 26, 2006, Hartford's Tax Collector Donald LeFevere made a decision that would forever affect his career and his future with the City of Hartford. LeFevere, in an e-mail, accused Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez of illegal activity. The incident involved Perez picking up a check for $54,000 from a property owner, Carlos Alvarez, for delinquent taxes on a property at 747 Maple Avenue. In doing so, Perez allegedly told Alvarez that his taxes were paid in full, and apparently "forgave" almost $10,000 in late fees, interest and collection fees. Tax Collector LeFevere felt that Perez's activity was illegal, and took the bold step of putting this in writing in an e-mail he sent to Finance Director Thomas Morrison, copied to Eddie Perez, Tax Assessor Lawrence LaBarbera and Economic Development employee Jose Rodriguez.

Subsequent to LeFevere's accusations of Perez's illegal activity, through documents received through an FOI request, it appears that meetings were held to remove LeFevere and inquiries were made as to if LeFevere's state certification as a Tax Collector could be revoked. Ultimately, in a letter dated October 19, 2006, Hartford's Chief Operating Officer Lee Erdmann notified Donald LeFevere the "City of Hartford has recently received a number of allegations concerning the management and operations of the Tax Collection Unit of the Finance Department" and that "you (LeFevere) are being placed on paid administrative leave until further notice, pending the investigation of these allegations". We have requested documentation of the complaints or allegations against LeFevere referenced in Erdmann's suspension letter through an FOI Act request. As of this date the City has not complied with the request.

In minutes obtained of a January 24, 2007 grievance hearing, through LeFevere's union attorney, he was told that the City's belief "is that he is being paid, think of it as a vaca.. don't sweat it". Apparently, LeFevere didn't agree with that conclusion and pushed forward with his complaint. On August 6, 2007, LeFevere, his union, and the City of Hartford reached a settlement agreement which potentially will cost the taxpayers of Hartford in excess of a quarter million dollars in wages and an unknown amount in health insurance benefits as the City has agreed to pay LeFevere's and his spouses full health insurance benefits until age 65, as well as any supplemental insurance for costs not covered by medicare after age 65. Lefevere was paid almost a years wages from the time of his "paid" suspension until the signing of the settlement agreement, approximately $79,000, a lump sum of almost $35,000 after signing the agreement, another lump sum within 10 days of January 10, 2008 of almost $80,000, and another lump sum payment due after January 1, 2009. (Link to settlement agreement )

When LeFevere was placed on suspension, Lydia Rosario was appointed "acting" Tax Collector. Rosario, a close ally of Mayor Perez, was not a certified tax collector (CCMC, Connecticut certified municipal collector) at the time of her appointment. The CCMC certification process is administered through the State of Connecticut, Office of Policy and Management (OPM). As of this writing, the OPM has confirmed that Rosario is not now, nor has she ever been, a certified Tax Collector in the State of Connecticut. It is important to note that , according to sources, Rosario has been a focus of the Grand Jury investigating alleged corruption in the Perez Administration. Rosario was apparently the author of an internal memorandum that essentially doubled the fees paid by the City to political operative Abe Giles for moving fees for evictions across the City. Although the City has remained elusive as to fees paid to Giles or any contracts or changes outlining such fees, the memo apparently written by Rosario has surfaced during the Grand Jury investigation.

Through our FOI request, the city provided over 1000 pages of requested e-mails detailing the activities in the Tax Collectors Office, actions by the Mayor and his staff, Human Resources Director Santiago Malave, Finance Director Thomas Morrison and others. In an apparent violation of Connecticut FOI Statutes, much of the information was redacted or "blacked out" to avoid identifying persons , addresses, and other detailed information. FOI laws allow for redaction's in very limited instances, such as personal or banking information, social security numbers or information that would compromise ones personal safety.

Through our FOI request, other information was found that details a pattern of potential fraud and wrongdoing on the part of city employees in the Tax Collector's Office and the Finance Department. The City has not provided information as to the outcome of these investigations, and a request to the Hartford Police Department has not been able to provide any verification as to whether any police investigations or arrest were made. The reports do not detail any actions taken against the accused employees or whether they individuals were terminated or still employed by the City. LINK TO AUDIT REPORT

More on this to come as we proceed.


Deputy Chief Dan Nolan, seated, center

"More than two months after Hartford Deputy Fire Chief Daniel Nolan was placed on paid administrative leave amid accusations that he offered leniency to Hartford Fire Department recruits in exchange for charitable contributions, his status remains in limbo." Hartford Courant Article, 7/2/08,0,4971831.story

This is the height of hypocrisy, the City suspends an employee for trying to teach future city employees a sense of community by getting them involved in charitable events and public service. No accusations of Nolan benefiting from the actions, no accusations of pay-offs, just maybe using a tactic that others didn't approve of.
Yet we have a Mayor under Grand Jury investigation, accusations of dirty deals to line the Mayor's, certain Council Members and other city Hall employees pockets, dirty deals for crooked politicians and payoffs for parking lots, dumpster deals and alleged contract steering on school building projects.

Where is the same standard being applied? Shouldn't we also be calling for Perez to be placed on suspension until his investigation is conducted.If the facts are truly as they are laid out here, Dan Nolan should be commended for his actions. In a society where it is all about "me first" Nolan's actions should be encouraged to teach young persons what leadership is about and a sense of community pride.
It will be very interesting when the real cause for this action eventually comes out. Most likely someone politically connected whose toes Nolan stepped on.

Friday, June 20, 2008


This afternoon, our beloved Mayor conducted a "press conference" accusing the Courant of promoting hate speech by allowing readers to post on Like most of us who slow to look at accidents on the highway, I couldn't avoid the chance to view this trainwreck first hand. I wasn't supposed to know about the event, as Sarah Barr has still refused to add me to media notifications. Fortunately, over the years I have built relationships with other media people who are more than willing to forward me the notifications.

Anyway, let me get back to my point. What I saw at the "rally" was something I totally did not expect. I saw a man who was able to see the best in people at a time of crisis, a man that exhibited true leadership at a time that it is sorely needed, a man that refused to use a terrible string of events for his own personal gain, a man that spoke from the heart and not a prepared script. Before anyone thinks that I have lost my mind, no that man was not Eddie Perez. As I was videoing the event for my program, I looked behind me and saw a man standing down the street by himself under the shade of a tree. The man was Angel Arce, who's father was struck and left for dead in the street almost 2 weeks earlier. I approached Angel, who I have known and respected for several years, and asked how his dad was doing. In an emotional voice he said both he and his family were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, and the comments being made by Perez were way off base. Angel stated that they have been inundated by cards and showings of support from across the country wishing his father well. Black, white, hispanic, every ethnicity you could think of, nothing racist about it at all. And when you would expect him to agree with Perez and be bitter after all that his family has been put through, a promising ray of leadership shines through. Angel stated that he's not about embarrassing people, or name-calling, but rather this is a time for the city and its people to come together. Instead of blaming the Courant, blame the individuals who ran his Dad down. Angel said that rather than grandstanding, people should be working to identify the persons who have shown the worst of what Hartford can be if we don't unite and move our city forward. I'm not sure that I could show the same forgiveness and civility that Angel showed if that was a family member of mine lying in a bed paralyzed. In a time when everyone wants to focus on what is wrong with Hartford, Angel Arce, without saying a word, shows what is great about Hartford.

Angel, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Keep being an inspiration to me and others.

And to answer the question, is the Courant promting racism?
my vote is no, they are promoting free speech. No one is forcing any of us to log on, and it seems as though there are more pressing issues for us to focus on.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


If anyone advising our beloved Mayor, King Eddie the 1st, were employed in the private sector as public relations consultants, they would surely be looking for employment elsewhere.

It seems that despite their valiant efforts, the Mayor's spin team can not deflect negative attention away from the obvious incompetence of our city's "leaders". The most recent attempt occurred after several high profile black-eyes the city received in the national media. Once again City Hall was forced to react , because of their failure to act in the first place. The vicious attack on Nick Carbone and the hit and run of Angel Arce-Torres forced many in the city to express their outrage, yet crime against people across the city is nothing new. Ironically, it took City Hall almost a week to acknowledge the hit and run attack on Arce-Torres, and only after national media outlets were knocking on the door for info.The Mayor's response was not to accept or admit any responsibility for the behavior of our city, but instead to accuse the Courant and bloggers at courant .com of racism. King Eddie the 1st went even further and DEMANDED an apology from the Courant for their actions.

Maybe it is time that we as residents of the City of Hartford start demanding apologies from our beloved Mayor for his actions that embarrass and divide us as a City. Let's start with an apology for his actions that have resulted in a grand jury investigation.Let's DEMAND an apology for his "mistakes" that resulted in a search warrant being issued for his home and the resulting investigation by the Office of the Chief State's Attorney. Let's DEMAND an apology for the use of almost $100,000 for private lawyers to represent city staffers before the Grand Jury. The question arises why would they need lawyers to represent them at the city's expense, unless they are concerned about potential criminal charges themselves. In which case, I would think they should be on their own. I'm not aware of any city official being required to commit criminal acts as part of their official job performance. Let's DEMAND an apology for his misuse of funds and the lack of integrity he showed when he used city funds for his own political and personal gain and published the "Hartford Educator" and was eventually fined by the Elections Enforcement Commission. Let's DEMAND an apology for the way he has treated our Governor and soured the relationship between the people of Hartford and the Capitol. The same Governor who always comes through when we need her and help from the state level, most recently through the deployment of state troopers to our city. A deployment that was made necessary because our beloved Mayor continues to keep his head buried in the sand and deny crime problems exist in Hartford. Let's DEMAND an apology for the almost $4 million spent when King Eddie THE 1st decided to forge ahead with his inappropriate plan to build a school at the corner of Farmington and Broad Street. Spending money for site work, steel for the building and other expenses, despite warnings from the State that a school was not an allowed use for that piece of land. Let's DEMAND an apology from the Mayor for providing dumpsters and parking lot privileges to political ally Abe Giles, all at the taxpayers expense for his own political gain. Let's DEMAND an apology from the Mayor for his treatment of the Waterford Group and the Wohlman brothers, developers who were willing to invest in Hartford when others wouldn't. They built the Marriott, renovated the Hilton invested in Hartford, only to be sued by the Mayor to force a union down their (and their employees ) throats. Unions that even the employees didn't want, unions that should be fighting their own legal battles and not at the City's expense.

I could continue to list the missteps and embarrassment's created by the Mayor and his staff, but anyone familiar with Hartford knows that Perez will be the first to accept credit, but accepting any blame or uttering the words "I'm sorry" are not possible. The time for an apology is long overdue, unfortunately for Hartford as a city, the handwriting on the wall suggests it may come before a jury of his peers

Friday, June 13, 2008


A few years ago when I reached my boiling point with crime in Hartford, I put together a roundtable discussion on Hartford Public Access Television. Helen Ubinas from the Courant, local activists Andrea Comer and Carl Hardrick and a student from the Hartford School System were part of the panel. Former Police Chief Patrick Harnett had agreed to be on the panel and at the last minute he backed out. According to HPD insiders, Harnett was going to teach me a lesson by not appearing because I had made his life a "living hell" since the day he arrived in Hartford. I wonder who taught who, he bailed on the city after less than two years. Although with the price of gas, his weekend commutes out of the city back to his house in New York would be more costly to the city these days.

Well, let me get back on point. During that panel discussion, Helen Ubinas used a term I had never heard before, "poverty pimps". She explained that many of the so called "leaders" were making a very good living off the problems facing the city. Much money is dumped into the problems facing Hartford, with very little oversight or tracking of results. No one seems to really expect results, but by funding the "poverty pimps" City Hall can at least say they are doing something. The other point was that many people in Hartford are making a very good living off poverty, so there is not a real reason to correct any problems other than making superficial progress so it looks good. It's called job security.

Tonight I watched Channel 3 news and they had a report on Cornell Lewis and his group the "Men of Color Initiative". I was surprised also to hear Mayor Perez mention him at Wednesday's dog and pony show on the steps pf City Hall. Is this the same Cornell Lewis that moved out of Hartford when the going got tough. Or did he move out of Hartford with the salary he was making after the Mayor and the city dumped a couple hundred thousand dollars in his lap for funding his social programs, and to make sure he remained faithful to the Perez regime. For those of you who don't recall or didn't see the event, Lewis was the one standing behind the mayor in the dark shades waving a Perez campaign sign at Rawson School when Perez announced his re-election campaign last summer. I would doubt that anyone ever asked for an accounting or even a report on the accomplishments of Lewis's group. I know some of the funds were spent on yellow windbreakers, but I'm not sure who accounts for the other couple hundred thousand. I doubt it is the Mayor's Office , they have a hard enough time just controlling the costs for Hartford Public High construction.

That's just one example. Let's look at the Keney Park stables. Even though our King, EDDIE THE FIRST, promised throughout the campaign last fall to re-establish the Mounted Police Unit, the week after the election he gave away the rights to stables to the Ebony Horsewomen. The stables were leased to the group, or actually given, free of charge, with the only requirement that they provide insurance on the building. This group was also funded by the City to provide a horse riding program to benefit Hartford's Youth. Recently, Chief Roberts realized the need for use of the stables and was caught in a quandary since Perez had given away the farm. He requested a list of youth served by the program and an example of their results so he could lobby for them and work out some arrangement. No list was available, no list has been made available since and not even a list of program results has been provided. Although it seems that it is very profitable renting out the stalls to private individuals for boarding of their horses, apparently at the city's expense.

And let's not forget our Council President Torres. From what I am being told, activities that he has allegedly been involved with through the Puerto Rican Forum and funded through the City, are believed to be part of the inquiries being conducted by the Grand Jury looking into King Eddie the First and at least 3 City Council members as well as other targets throughout City government. Torres, as a council member apparently voted on financial proposals to benefit himself and others at the Forum or connected with the Forum, and funded by the City. Clearly a conflict of interest obvious to most prudent people.

And so as not to leave the Southend out, when are we going to take HART off life support and pull the plug connected to the City Hall respirator. HART which at one point was a vibrant community organization under Jim Bouchet, has become almost as irrelevant as the Republican Party in Hartford. Their annual bus tour of blighted properties and their annual Congress are pretty much their major claims to fame, and at last check the budget was close to 1 million a year.

The other major issue I have with Hartford's "Poverty Pimps" are how few of them actually reside in Hartford. The city of Hartford should be more than just a paycheck during the day to many of these people. It amazes me that many executive directors of Hartford's non-profits funded through the city, don't even reside in Hartford. Whether it's homeless shelters, the local public access station, consultants for the NRZ's or any other program, do we really need to be guided who flee the city at night. Wouldn't people who work in the communities and reside in the neighborhoods they serve have a much better understanding of the needs facing those neighborhoods. I know this wouldn't work for the Chairman of the Board of Education, since as King Eddie told us, so it must be true, he was the only one qualified to lead the Board. But in the case of our poverty pimps, I'm sure there are many Hartford residents who would be more than qualified to work to improve our city, at the same time re-investing their $65,000 plus salaries into our local economy through home ownership and living and working in Hartford. I don't think that people from Glastonbury or Portland or Enfield or Farmington need to tell us how to fix Hartford. I keep saying that we don't need to keep hiring consultants to tell us how to fix the city, just ask almost any of our city residents and they will gladly offer solutions as well as volunteer to work to fix the problems.
Lets start looking at programs that are making a difference in the City without any government funding. A couple that immediately come to mind are the Greater Hartford African American Alliance, a group that has committed members that meet every Saturday morning and address many issues including Public Safety, Education, Minority employment on government funded projects and numerous other issues with very positive results across the city and at the Capitol, all without a penny from the City. Also, the NRZ program which is top heavy in its funding , has many neighborhood groups that are doing great jobs in their respective neighborhoods without any money from Hartford 2000 (the NRZ parent organization). The one that I attend regularly is the Maple Avenue NRZ. I can assure you that nothing happens in their area without the NRZ taking a stand on it and seeing results from their actions.

It is called leadership, something Hartford is sorely lacking.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


For over thirty years the Republican Party in Hartford has been in a steady decline. The same leadership that has been controlling the destiny of the GOP and the membership of the Republican Town Committee for decades, continues to try to maintain it's stranglehold on it's less than 1900 registered Republican voters left in Hartford,down from a high of almost 30,000, resisting change every step of the way.

Last year's Mayoral run by J. Stan McCauley marked the first time in recent history that a Republican running for mayor was taken seriously in Hartford. Unfortunately, McCauley didn't seem to receive the support and encouragement from the Hartford RTC that one would expect from such an articulate, thoughtful candidate. McCauley was not afraid to raise issues that others , including local Republicans, dare not speak about such as corruption charges against Mayor Perez, fiscally irresponsible spending, Hartford's underground economy, better known as the drug trade, underachieving school system a tax structure that is killing small businesses across the City.

Luckily, the leadership of Connecticut Republican State Central Committee as well as the House Republican's see a quality of leadership in McCauley that the Hartford Town Committee (Jurassic Park Republicans stuck in their dinosaur ways) have failed to embrace. Through the encouragement of State Central and the House Republicans, Mr. McCauley is running for State Representative in the 4th District against Perez puppet Kelvin Roldan. For the Republican Party to survive and begin growing again in Hartford, we need to realize that our new base of voters lies in the minority communities and neighborhoods which make up the City of Hartford. Demographics change, times change and people change. If we as Republicans in Hartford are not willing to change, we will quickly come to the end of the road at which lies our irrelevance as a viable party in Hartford.

A key area to effect change in the voting numbers is through the Registrar of Voters position. Although essentially a non-partisan position, the Republican Registrar of Voters should be playing an instrumental role in motivating and educating potential voters to get them to vote, and hopefully educate voters as to what the Republican party stands for. For far too long, the Republican Registrar of Voters office has been the epitomy of patronage and cronyism and represents everything that is wrong with politics.The "good old boy network" at its best, or worst depending how you look at it. An office that has steadily and strongly resisted any change, and only got rid of its typewriters four years ago when a new Democratic Registrar insisted on computers. A Republican Registrar that told me to "get the f*** out of his office" when I suggested it might be a good idea to attend a candidates forum and try to register voters. His response before he told me to get out was why bother trying, no one registers Republican anyway. The same Republican Registrars office that couldn't even seal voting machines on time for a recent Primary, even though the Secretary of State's Ofiice provided a detailed calendar. The same Republican Registrar of Voters who just lost the funding for the Assistant Registrars position because he failed to fill a position for almost 6 months while it was empty and has now filled it, only to find the funding was cut by a hiring freeze and the new political crony will only have a job until July 1st. Also a political hiring without any job posting, advertisement of the position to find the most qualified candidate, interviews, nothing. More business as usual in the Republican Registrars Office. After watching this for the last few years, watching the incompetence, and watching the party that I enrolled in the first day I was eligible to vote, continue its downward spiral toward irrelevance, I decided to run for Republican Registrar of voters in Hartford. As myself, McCauley and others who believe that the Republican Party in Hartford can grow and be influential again, we are meeting and talking to many voters who have no idea what the GOP stands for, and as we talk about the party, people are actually willing to register and be part of the Republican Party.

No, you don't need to be a Democrat just because it's Hartford. Change isn't always easy, but in this case it is long overdue. Some of Hartford's greatest moments came under Republican leadership, and myself and J. Stan McCauley and the other "Independent Republicans" of Hartford look forward to your support to build the GOP in Hartford once again and be a part of the team working to bring about change. For more information, please feel free to watch the "Independent Republican" program Sunday's at 10:00PM on Hartford Public Access Channel 5.


Well, anyone who has followed the illustrious career of our lovable mayor, definitely knows he doesn't deal well with dissent. I could type the names all night of those who have not shared the Mayor's opinion and have suffered his wrath. John Kennelly, who conveniently walked into a mugging and was sent a clear message how differing opinions are viewed, Hyacinth Yennie who didn't agree with Perez's actions and didn't support him for Mayor last year and was "squashed like a bug" at the Mayor's request according to an inside source close to Perez. And lets not forget how he treated Angel Arce, a political rival that Perez removed from the Housing Authority and who he now has the audacity to wrap his arm around him at the Park Street dog and pony show. Does our Mayor forget that he is the one who has played politics with our Police Department and created the environment of lawlessness that is eroding our community day by day and leads to acts such as the savage beating of Nick Carbone and the callous images replaying in all of our minds of a senior citizen struck like a dog in the street, left paralyzed and for all intents and purposes left to die. I find it shameful that Perez has the nerve to stand shoulder to shoulder with Angel and act as though he now cares.

And now lets add another name to the dissentor's list who will surely suffer King Eddie's wrath: Darryl K. Roberts. Over a year ago, myself and J. Stan McCauley met with Chief Robert's as Stan campaigned for Mayor. During that meeting I stated that the Chief was well respected in the community, but not doing any favors to his reputation by reading from the Perez script and standing by and saying "crime really is down in Hartford". About a month ago, during another theater of the bizarre press conference organized by the media wizard Sara Barr, Queen of Spin, (or so she thinks) Chief Roberts went off script and essentially stated in front of the media that despite the best efforts of HPD, violent crime was continuing to rise. What were you thinking Chief ? How dare you tell the truth and be honest with the people of Hartford. We knew then the ax was being sharpened and was being readied for the demise of someone who would dare tell the truth and go against King Eddie the First. While Chief Roberts was being fitted for his muzzle from the Mayor's Office, he again went against the script from El Jefe at the Budget Hearings. While Eddie keeps spouting numbers of new Police Officer's he has hired, many who can add think the Police Department should be close to 700 officers, the 80 he promised during election time, 50 more this year, 30 here, 30 there. Chief Roberts actually had the audacity to testify with integrity and honesty before the hearing that when all is said and done, he will most likely see a net gain of 6, YES ,SIX new officers total !!! After the first show of honesty in defiance of the Mayor, our sources at City Hall in the Mayor's Office said Perez returned furious that the Chief would speak honestly. Then the budget hearings and finally the statement that "we have lost our moral compass". Has the Chief not been reading the City Hall Handbook that requires all department heads to blindly follow, that Eddie is always right and if you have any questions refer back to rule number one, Eddie is always right. Dissentors will be dealt with accordingly. I hear the Chief's phone was burning up with calls from Matt, Sara and Eddie, letting him know the muzzle was ready and he would not speak without their permission. This was clearly obvious in last weeks press conference when the Chief stood by silently until asked a question by Dan Goren from the Courant, and today he stood silently, not a word spoken, during the entire dog and pony show on the steps of City Hall.

Although King Eddie shows that he does not think a lot of his moves out first, and has some of the worst advisors surrounding him, I would like to offer a bit of advice. On your desk phone, hit 9, get an outside line and dial 632-3410, ask for Jeremey Shingleton, he's the First Selectman of Cromwell. He can tell you first hand what a nightmare it can be when you try to remove a very, very popular and well respected Police Chief. You could probably also ask John Rose about the statutes protecting a Police Chief from removal, but do yourself a favor and get a second opinion, John's rulings aren't always the best.


We keep hearing that Hartford City Hall wants to be open and transparent, yet actions seem to speak louder than words. After deciding to produce a program on Hartford Public Access Television titled "We the People", I've found that I apparently have a different definition of "transparent" than our city officials.
After attempting to view documents in conjunction with information received from a source at City Hall for a program, I was inadvertently sent an e-mail from Hartford Corporation Counsel John Rose calling me an "asshole". It has been an uphill battle to get information from our "transparent" Mayor ever since. As recently as last week I attempted to be added to the e-mail list of notifications for press conferences and press releases from the Mayor's Office. The Mayor's Press spokesperson Sara Barr, who landed at City Hall after she was jettisoned from WFSB, CBS Channel 3, is obviously in bunker mentality and has refused to add me to the list. Each time I ask her about it, she replies "I'm working on it". Today at a press conference I attempted to ask the Mayor a question, and he replied ", I'm not talking to you". I guess transparency only applies if you are one of the puppets willing to blindly follow the Perez Express.
In the picture above, Mayor Eddie sings at a Holiday event, while others in City Hall and across the City are busy singing to the Grand Jury investigating Perez and his alleged corrupt activites.

More to come, but it's Red Sox time now.