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 courant.com. 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