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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.