I didn't think I would get to use that picture again after Rosie was terminated by Mayor Segarra on July 9, 2010.It's too bad Hartford Corporation Counsel John Rose won't be around any longer to spar with at FOI hearings.
Today I received another proposed Final Decision from the FOI Commission regarding a complaint I had filed against Councilman Calixto Torres and Rosie. The complaint was filed in September of 2009, heard on January 29, 2010 and finally decided on August 4, 2010 and will go before the full commission on August 23, 2010.
FOI complaints definitely aren't a speedy process, but it is what it is. With a very small staff at FOI, it is a cumbersome process that was made even worse by John Rose and the Perez Administration. I guess when you are running a criminal operation, it makes sense to stall any information you give out that might be damaging.
Rather than recap the entire complaint, you can read the hearing officers report and proposed decision below. Essentially it was over financial reports that I had requested and the City's policy that all FOI requests be funneled through Rosie to make sure they controlled the information being given out.
The hearing officer determined that the policy violated the FOI law and ruled that the policy be "declared null and void".
Although I am hopeful that with Rosie gone the City will now begin to obey the FOI laws, but after trying to obtain the Robles' IAD report, I'm not sure.
I guess all is fair when you decide to enter the dirty, in the gutter game of politics.
An article posted on Courant.com tonight detailed allegations that Hartford Councilperson Matt Ritter received an endorsement from a group called "Voices of Women of Color". click here to read the full story It seems that the same group received payments directly from Ritter's campaign for "consultant" work.
Although I agree that there should be some sort of disclosure to keep everything in the open, but why is Ritter being singled out? Maybe as the perceived front runner it might be an easy shot to take by an opponent trying to regain some ground three days before a primary. Maybe it was a shot taken by another group that wasn't given a "consultant" fee and wants their piece of the CEP pie.
Whether Ritter is right or wrong is up to voters to decide on Tuesday. The problem seems to even more widespread amongst others on the Democratic endorsed Row A. It seems that Ritter might not be the only one wheeling and dealing for endorsements.
Although most people have never heard of the "Voices of Women of Color" (sorry Janice)they do have influence door to door in Ritter's campaign area.
One group that most people have heard of though is Connecticut's "Working Families Party". Their strength is based more in Hartford with the election of Urania Petit as the WFP Registrar of Voters in Hartford, and two Council seats went to the WFP in the last council election. Potentially they may become more of a force to be reckoned with statewide in elections.
If Ritter is being criticized for his lack of candor in his endorsements, it pales in comparison to his fellow Row A Democrats.
According to August 3, 2010 financial campaign filings, three Democratic candidates have paid amounts much larger than Ritters payment to people endorsing them. According to the filings, the largest payment was made by FONFARA 2010 to "Working Families Grassroots Strategies, INC." in the amount of $7,800. Fonfara is listed on the Working Families website as one of their endorsed candidates.
Another individual running for the legislature in the district that abuts Ritter's is Windsor's Leo Canty. Canty is also listed on the Working Families website as one of their endorsed candidates. Canty's campaign made a payment of $5,850 to the Working Families "Grassroots Strategies, Inc" on July 15,2010.
Democratic Row A endorsed candidate for Secretary of State, Denise Merrill apparently also realizes the value of the WFP endorsement. Merrill's campaign paid $3714.69 to the Working Families "Grassroots Strategies, Inc." on August 2, 2010.
That's enough digging for tonight, but it seems pretty clear that Matt Ritter hasn't reinvented the wheel when it comes to "obtaining" endorsements.
And in the interest of full disclosure, it's important to say I have not received any "consultant" fees from the Ritter campaign, we could talk though Matt, you have the number
All of these filings can be viewed on-line at ct.gov/seec and then use "e-cris search" to find a candidate by name
It became official yesterday, Mayor Segarra wants Chief Daryl Roberts to stick around, and the Chief has agreed. Although the Chief had apparently hoped for a longer term, Mayor Segarra could only assure Roberts tenure until the end of his current Mayoral term, December 31, 2011.
By Hartford's Charter, the Chief as well as other Department heads serve at the will of the current Mayor, and a new Mayor taking office January 1, 2012 would be free to retain Roberts or appoint a new Chief. Thanks to Steve Goode for the actual copy, I still don't think Sarah likes me.
My first inclination was to say "what the .....?". I read the attached story on the Courant's website and just had to re-read it, click here to read it for yourself. Apparently the US Navy is bypassing Sikorsky Aircraft, a Connecticut based company. The helicopters for use in Afghanistan, will be purchased from a Russian company.
The explanation from the Navy is that pilots in Afghanistan are familiar with the Russian helicopters, used there in the 1980's. The Navy spokesperson claims that it could take "2 to 5 years" to train new pilots. Here goes another "what the ......?"
What about the machinists at Sikorsky and the small businesses that rely on Sikorsky to survive by building these aircraft? How long will it take to retrain them when they lose their jobs and the small businesses shut down?
Maybe it is time to start worrying about American workers and their jobs, rather than the difficulty of retraining Afghan pilots. So much for that "economic recovery", unless of course you are based in Russia.
Dennis House posted on his blog, "the Hartfordite", the ratings for yesterday's Lamont/Malloy debate.
I'm hoping the numbers were so low because everyone already has their minds made up as to who they are voting for in Tuesday's primary. As much as I want to believe that though, it probably is just a simple reason. People care more about "General Hospital" than taking the time to listen to politicians in what is probably the most important election in recent history.
According to Dennis House's numbers, the 3PM airing of the debate was handily beat by General Hospital with a 3.3 rating as opposed to the 2.1 rating for the debate. Add into the ratings the 8PM re-run of the debate on CPTV and the numbers jump to an astonishing 2.7. So if I'm reading the numbers correctly, even after combining the 3PM airing and the 8PM re-run,the long awaited debate still didn't beat General Hospital.
What does it take to awake Connecticut voters from their deep political apathetic slumber? Are people willing to accept corruption, mismanagement, higher taxes, cronyism, businesses fleeing to other states and on and on just as long as they get their "General Hospital".
Our government and the political activity that goes on at the Capitol should rival any soap opera or reality show on television today. Maybe we just aren't marketing it right.
And as a side note, I know I'm a Democrat now, but I love those Linda McMahon/Quinnipiac numbers. We might just end up with a real race for the Senate.
A Federal Judge today overturned California's ban on same sex marriage. My first response to that is why should anyone even care about same sex marriage. And before all the liberals, and other sane people also, start commenting, I mean that in a positive way.
All the groups that claim that same-sex marriage is destroying the moral fiber of our nation seem to be looking at the issue with blinders on. I have yet to hear any logical arguments as to exactly how the destruction of "traditional" marriage is being accomplished by same gender couples.
Maybe some of the "family values" purveyors may want to look at taking a different approach. From what I can see, it isn't same sex marriages that are destroying the institution of marriage, it is divorce that is destroying the institution of marriage. Some of the loudest voices for "traditional" marriage are actually on their second or third marriages themselves.
The Larry Kings, Donald Trumps and Elizabeth Taylor's of the world have done more to destroy the institution of marriage than any same gender couple could ever do. It has become far too easy to just dissolve a union entered into by two adults when the going gets tough. In many cases, children resulting from the marriage become the pawns in the divorce and we wonder why the kids grow up having issues.
I still look at the institution of marriage as a union that means something. I know, that's easy for me to say because I'm single. But I had the luxury of watching my parents who were married for 53 years when my father passed away. I'm sure it wasn't always easy for them, but I think they remembered those vows they took, "for better or worse, til death do us part". I know that sounds corny to some, but as in a marriage or even an agreement between friends, your word is all you have and should mean something.
Even after 53 years my parents were like newlyweds, holding hands whenever they could and being there for each other, right until the last breath was taken by my dad. Who are we to decide who has the right to have a relationship like that?
I'm not going to even get into the rights issues because most likely that battle will go on for years, but in the mean time,the zealots who consistently quote religious reasons for their opposition may want to look at the "good book" a little closer.
I am in no way a biblical scholar, not even close, but it seems that if people are going to use a document to defend a position whether it is the Bible or the US Constitution or even State Statutes, they need to be reviewed in their totality. Using select portions and ignoring the big picture is misleading and wrong.
I found the following letter on the Internet and it was apparently sent to radio crank, I mean personality, Dr. Laura Schlesinger after one of her radio rants. At first I thought it was amusing, but then it proves a very serious point. The Bible, as is also true with our Constitution and Bill of Rights, is a "living" and ever changing document and must be interpreted with intelligence and common sense as our society continues to change.
Here's the letter to Dr. Laura: (please keep the comments civil, this could be the point where I start moderating posts, hopefully not)
Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law.
I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. ... End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Law and how to follow them.
1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.
4. Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
5. I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2. The passage clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?
6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?
7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?
8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die?
9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? - Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.
Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.
Pictured above, New Haven Representative Juan Candelaria, Connecticut Democratic Hispanic Caucus Chairperson Tomas Reyes, 4th District Candidate Angel Morales and former Hartford Deputy Mayor Eugenio Caro on the steps of the Capitol as they announce the "unanimous" endorsement of Morales last Friday
Kelvin Roldan apparently is entering the "battle of the endorsements".
Last week it was announced that Angel Morales was chosen as the "unanimous" choice of the Connecticut Democratic Hispanic Caucus for State Representative Candidate in the 4th District.
Now today Cityline is reporting that Roldan has received key endorsements also. My first instinct is to respond "who cares?" about the endorsements. No offense to anyone, the Courant, the CDHC or anyone else who throws their support into the ring behind a candidate.
The only endorsements that matter on election day are the endorsements of the voters who cast ballots. That the Speaker of the House endorses Kelvin Roldan, or the Courant endorses Rob Simmons or the CDHC endorses Angel Morales doesn't really play into my decision making. As explained by one speaker at the press conference announcing Angel Morales endorsement last week, Angel was endorsed because he took the time and the courtesy to attend their interview session.
Kelvin Roldan did not attend or respond and that was considered a "kick in the teeth" to the Caucus according to former Hartford Deputy Mayor Eugenio Caro, a member of the Caucus, who spoke at the press conference. Even more interesting though is the question of who is actually telling the truth.
The announcement by the CDHC of the choice of Morales was called "unanimous" according to their release. A member of the Connecticut Democratic Hispanic Caucus, New Haven Representative Juan Candelaria apparently voted for Morales. Now Kelvin Roldan is also claiming Candelaria's backing.
We have Candelaria's support in writing, where is the Roldan camps announcement. As is typical of the "Row A" candidates, hopefully Roldan just "misspoke" when he made his announcement.
But if I recall correctly, Torres, Robles and Roldan all supported, and were beholding to, Hartford's former Mayor, now convicted felon, Eddie A. Perez.
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.