No guests this week on the program, just myself, Stan McCauley John Selders and the late Gerry Pleasent. I mean Gerry got there late, not "the late Gerry Pleasent".
We were all over the place in our topics, but it was a pretty spirited discussion of the upcoming Town Committee Primary, the law suits filed related to the primary, the importance of the Town Committee's and why all politics starts with the Town Committee's. We discussed the recent streak of homicides, taxes, the budget, a little bit of everything.
Any suggestions for guests or topics, let us know.
That's Rosie the Riveter in the picture, not Hartford Corporation John "Rosie" Rose.
It has been a bad week for Hartford Corporation Counsel John Rose, and it can still get worse. Sorry Rosie.
Earlier this week the FOI Commission issued a proposed final decision regarding a complaint I had made against Rose. In their sharply worded decision the Commission found against John Rose and in my favor. They also proposed a $1000.00 fine against Rosie personally.
Then the decision looming on the horizon that may likely go against Rose and the city for the 5th District Town Committee petitions. That would potentially curtail the power of the Town Committee and Eddie Perez if the Giles slate is taken off ther ballot.
And finally, another major hit for Rosie. "Rosie the Litigator" that is, not "Rosie the Riveter".
Today the decision was handed down in the Officer Robert Murtha case. Under the leadership of John Rose and his legal skills, the City of Hartford lost and will have to pay out at least half a million dollars to Murtha. In defense of Rose, yes you read that right, last fall when he realized he had started a stinker of a case, he recommended to the City Council that they settle with Murtha. Under the leadership of Council President Torres, the Council dug in their heels and voted NO! to any settlement.
Since I started this blog, I have had a lot of people come to me with information. Some of it I use, some of it I don't. Some I pass on to other media sources who have better resources to do something with the information. Some I pass on to the proper authorities for further scrutiny.
I have to weigh the importance and the value of all the information, and try to verify its authenticity. And then there is some that just gets filed away for use when I think it becomes appropriate.
This post is just such a case.
I woke this morning to someone calling to tell me to read Steve Goode's article in the Hartford Courant. According to the article, Hartford Democratic Town Chairperson Sean Arena has filed four complaints with the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC).
Essentially, in one complaint,Arena is claiming that Bruce Rubenstein is "making unreported corporate donations to the 4th District challenge slate". Although Arena makes the claim, there is virtually no evidence submitted to substantiate the claim, other than Rubenstein's own complaint to the SEEC where he names four individuals he is representing.
Rubenstein claims that the rights of the people he is representing had been violated, as well as possible violations of state and federal laws.
This is where it comes to the point I mentioned earlier about getting information that sometimes I just save for future use .In November I was given documents by a source. I chose not to do anything with the documents because although they were credible, I felt that they were just more mud slinging and more of Hartford's gutter politics.
After reading the Courant this morning, I felt that it was time for Mr. Arena to maybe get a refresher course that the rules also applied to him, not just Rubenstein. Although a source at the SEEC that I spoke with today, speaking on the condition of anonymity, stated that there didn't appear to be much validity to the above allegation against Rubenstein. The source also stated that private practice attorneys are often encouraged to provide "pro-bono" services to individuals that may not have the resources to pay for such services.
On the other hand, a clear cut example of someone making "unreported corporate donations" is Sean Arena himself.
In a mailing sent out in advance of the November Board of Education election, Arena used his employers resources for political purposes. The mailing, attached below, is on Prudential Real Estate stationery, using a Prudential Real Estate mailing permit. The postcard clearly identifies both Prudential Real Estate and bears photographs of Sean Arena on the front and back.
Arena goes on to mention the election and urges people to get out to vote. But when he mentioned the Democratic Slate "Row B" and identified himself as the Democratic Town Committee Chairperson he crossed the line and apparently broke the law.
Urging people to vote can be percieved as a public service, no matter how self serving. Identifying candidates and a specific party makes it a political mailer and is where Arena crossed the line.
Another time both Sean Arena and Hartford Democratic Town Committee Secretary Kathy Evans crossed the line when they used the e-mail resources from Evans' employer, a 501(c)3 nonprofit for political purposes. The e-mail, sent from "firstname.lastname@example.org" was purely used for political purposes announcing a special convention of the Hartford Democratic Town Committee. The email was purported to be sent by "Sean Arena, Chair, Hartford Democratic Town Committee"
The e-mail using OPMAD's resources is below. OPMAD is an acronym for Organized Parents Make A Difference. A major portion of OPMAD's funding comes from the City of Hartford.As a non-profit 501c-3 organization, OPMAD is prohibited from endorsing or advocating for political purposes. Using their resources for Democratic Town Committee purposes could potentially result in their non-profit status being revoked.
At the risk of being accused of falling to Mr. Arena's level of gutter politics, I think it is fair to say that a look in the mirror might be the first step before slinging accusations. Based upon the facts and evidence, I feel confident that if someone filed these complaints against Sean Arena, they would stand a much better chance of prevailing in their SEEC complaints than Arena stands in his against Rubenstein.
Neither Sean Arena or the President or CEO of Prudential Connecticut Realty have responded to my requests for comment on the matter.
What does a Snicker's bar have to do with a courtcase? Read on, you won't believe it.
Hartford's Theater of the bizarre played out another act this morning in Hartford Superior Court before Judge Peck.
In what many had thought would be a session for Judge Peck to announce her ruling, it was instead an opportunity for both sides to respond to more motions filed by Hartford Corporation Counsel John Rose. The motions were apparently additional acts by Rose (aka Rosie) to get the suit thrown out.
One of the issues is Rose's claim that the Court doesn't have jurisdiction over the matter. Judge Peck responded to Rose from the bench that she was not sure a "what your claim of lack of jurisdiction is" and further stated to Rose that "the plaintiff sufficiently established jurisdiction".
The lawyer for the plaintiff's, Attorney Sweeney, stated during his arguments that the testimony by Democratic Registrar of Voters Olga Vazquez was "incredulous". Sweeney further stated that Vazquez's actions and testimony raised "very large questions of conflict of interest by Vazquez" and also "raises issues of credibility".
The Democratic Registrar of Voters and her Deputy almost seemed unaware that they were in a courtroom. Vazquez sat in the front row, appearing to be texting for a large part of the proceedings oblivious to the testimony. Vazquez's Deputy Registrar Garry Coleman, who also sat in the front row, seemed so bored by the whole process of questioning "Garry's Law". So bored that at one point he pulled a Snickers bar out of his pocket and proceeded to unwrap the candy bar and sit there and eat it, constantly playing with and crackling the wrapper as he ate his mid-morning snack.
Judge Peck assured everyone that her written decision would be rendered by Monday at noon, if not sooner. I hate to see the entertainment end.
For those that want to watch both corruption and incompetence at its best, tomorrow's hearing and expected decision on the Democratic Town Committee 5th District petition issue has been moved from 2:00PM to 10:00AM at 95 Washington Street in Hartford.
THE HEARING WILL BE AT 10:00AM FRIDAY.....NOT 2:00PM AS PREVIOUSLY SCHEDULED
After watching Hartford Corporation Counsel John Rose's performance, I have to seriously ask if we are getting our money's worth out of him. From what I have seen so far I have to answer a definite no. At some points he seemed to be making the case for the other side, rather than defending his side. Although I'm not sure if he knows who "his side" really is. Is he representing the city or the Democratic Town Committee Chairman in his effort to retain control.
I do have to say though, it is a tough job considering what he has to work with.
A Democratic Deputy Registrar who apparently thinks he knows more about the law than the legal staff at the Secretary of the State's office. A deputy Registrar that apparently thinks that "Gary's Law" super cedes state statutes.
And lets not forget the Democratic Registrar who is a candidate for a position in the same election she is over-seeing. Did she handle the documents in question and advise her Deputy how to proceed? Well.... yes, I mean no, well maybe I did your honor, no, I meant no, definitely not, but now that you mention it, I don't recall.
Oh, and that 2004 Elections Enforcement Complaint for the same behavior in question, did you learn from that ? What 2004 complaint, I don't recall any complaint. Oh , that paper, yes that is my signature on there, but I don't recall the complaint or any fine. Oh yes your honor,now that you ask, it is starting to come back to me, now.
I do think it might be time for an FOI request for John Rose's law license, I'm wondering if he really is an attorney. I'm starting to think he may have just played one on TV at some point.
Reminiscent of President Bush after Katrina with his FEMA director, I just want to walk up to John Rose tomorrow in court, pat him on the back and just say "You are doing a heck of a job Rosie"
I usually only focus on Hartford issues, but this one intrigues me as to how it will eventually play out.
The issue of whether Susan Bysiewicz is qualified to run as a candidate for Attorney General will soon be playing out in court and decided by a Superior Court judge, at least to start. Who know how far the appeals will go depending which side wins on the ruling.
It seems that the Republican's have now jumped into the fray and hired their own attorney to make sure their interests are represented.
In the meantime, the Hartford Democratic squabble over primary petition's should conclude tomorrow as Judge Peck is expected to rule on the matter.
In the meantime, feel free to read why Susan Bysiewicz,as an individual, is suing her own party and her own party's chairperson.
Maybe John Rose will be available to "second chair" with the Bysiewicz legal team, he could use the extra money to pay his proposed FOI fines.
In response to an FOIA complaint that I filed against Hartford Corporation Counsel John Rose, the hearing officer has ruled in my favor and has proposed a $1,000 fine against John Rose.
The proposed Final Decision will be presented to the full Freedom of Information Commission for their adoption on April 14, 2010 at 2:00PM at their regularly scheduled meeting.
The complaint was submitted after Rose refused to release documents to me regarding the investigation and termination of Hartford Police Officer Matthew Secore. The documents I was able to obtain through another source can be viewed here on a previous post.
The full decision can be read below. The decision pretty much speaks for itself but it seems clear that the hearing officer and the FOI Commission may have finally reached their boiling point for Mr.Rose and his disregard for the release of public documents. The report also mentions Mr. Rose's disregard for the commission's orders and his refusal to co-operate with them.
The decision even goes so far as to say that Rose "is the individual who is the official who is directly responsible for the denial of the complainant's rights to a fair hearing in this matter. It is further found that the denial of such right was without reasonable grounds." In this matter I am the complainant.
As far as FOI decisions go, this one is quite clear and uses rather strong language detailing Rose's improper and unlawful actions. The assessment of a $1000.00 fine is a huge matter for the Commission. I can't recall a fine that large from FOI. They usually prefer to educate individuals rather than fine them.
I guess educating only goes so far and when you have someone that remains ignorant to the law, getting their attention with hefty fines may be the only recourse. The fines assessed against Rose are paid by him, not the City's taxpayers. It's bad enough we have to pay his salary.
Unfortunately in true John Rose fashion, he will most likely appeal any decision to the Superior Court. If he runs true to fashion, he'll have no trouble spending $100,000 of our money to appeal rather than pay a $1,000 fine.
And if you haven't watched the video clip following the document below, it will tell you everything you need to know about John Rose and his disregard for the public.
After getting fed up with the lack of openness in Hartford City Hall, I decided to begin a program on Hartford Public Access Television called "WE THE PEOPLE". Through tips received we have been able to expose numerous issues that the Perez Administration would prefer to keep quiet.
Any information received is kept in strict confidence, feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com or call me at 860-883-2297 with any information.