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Friday, October 1, 2010


I think I was as surprised as anyone as the polls keep coming out showing strong Democratic candidates losing ground and the Republicans surging ahead. I would think all the Democratic "consultants" would be huddled and strategizing and rethinking their game plans. The Republican "consultants" must all be thanking the Democrats and urging them to keep doing what they are doing.

Maybe I just don't understand this political gamesmanship, but most people I talk to are turned off by the way these campaigns work.

I have to say the Malloy/Foley numbers are a huge surprise to me. I really like Malloy and the conversations I have had with him just make you feel that he is genuine and sincere and someone that is willing to listen. I know that the majority of the time that persona can change after the election, but I think with Malloy, what you see is what you get, now and after November 2nd.

I've never met Tom Foley and have never seen him anywhere on the streets of Hartford. Maybe a wise choice on his part to avoid the political arena in Hartford without a good supply of bleach to cleanse with afterward.

Hopefully the upcoming debates will shed some more light on Foley, and Malloy for that matter, and we can see what they are about and their vision for Connecticut. I really don't care how big Dan Malloy's house is or what people in Georgia think about Foley 20 years ago. A newsflash for those that are trying to crucify McMahon and Foley for private business decisions- try to build a business and you will quickly learn that a safe government job living off the taxpayers is definitely the easier way to go.

Even the media has seemed to jump on the crucifixion. Today the Courant(among others) was hyping a story that Linda McMahon had laid off 10% percent of her employees at one point. Would it be better if she shut down and fired them all?

It was ironic that these stories were right along side another headline "Sikorsky Aircraft Eliminates 200 Jobs". Maybe Sikorsky was forced to cut American jobs because our Washington politicians allowed a huge helicopter contract for US forces in Afghanistan to go to a Russian company recently.

And let me ask an honest question here, do you really think Dick Blumenthal knew what the minimum wage amount was before they embarrassed McMahon about it yesterday? I strongly doubt it.

Then tonight I got one of the numerous negative e-mails that are sent out several times a day by "". If I wasn't still laughing over the earlier Hartford DTC e-mail about the fundraiser, I would have been chuckling out loud. The e-mail was entitled "Linda McMahon's Very Bad week".

Are "" reading the same newspapers I am? I don't think Linda McMahon could have had a much better week except if the headlines read "Blumenthal Drops Out". Blumenthal a few months ago was considered the unstoppable "heir apparent" to Dodd's seat. Now the polls show that Blumenthal has slipped so badly that he is in a statistical dead heat with that "awful" Republican wrestling lady. That sure doesn't sound like a "Very Bad Week" to me.

Then the headlines today that "WWE Defends Accepting Tax Credits". How is that bad that WWE, or any business, takes advantage of a government program that they are obviously entitled to? The article did not mention anywhere the millions of dollars that were pumped back into Connecticut's economy as a result of the WWE operations that qualified them for those same credits.I guess we should be prouder of our Financial Institutions and Wall Street that damn near sucked the life out of our economy until they received billions in bail out money, almost bringing our country crashing to its knees.

I just think people are fed up with politics in general and specifically negative campaigning. As one candidate lobs the first negative ad, the opponent retaliates with even more venom until it is totally out of control. In the end we know nothing about the candidates, what they stand for, what is their vision, why are they qualified. All we eventually know is which one can slide lower in the gutter.

I'll avoid any wrestling analogies here, I'm frankly tired of those also. (If wrestling is so bad, why would anyone know what the term "smackdown" meant, unless you were a follower). Maybe the better way to go would be a duel with pistols on the lawn of the Capitol at high noon. It would end the need for term limits and we would know that the candidates really wanted the job in the end.

Lets see some positive ads and learn what the candidates are about, not why their opponents are bad. Hopefully the poll numbers have shown the "consultants" that like politicians, they have lost touch with what is important to voters.


Once Eddie Perez was convicted,resigned and was sentenced I removed a lot of the information and mug shots here thinking that would be the end of the Perez years and we would move on.

I guess not.

It seems that our former Mayor, and now convicted felon, has landed a job with a non-profit that received almost half of its annual operating funds in 2009 from the Perez Administration. The Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition has hired Perez as a "consultant".

In their 2009 IRS form 990, the Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition listed funding from the City of Hartford of at least one grant of $154,268 and another of $498,108.The annual budget for the organization is listed as approximately $1,450,000.

And now back to the title of the posting. What would you do if you were the Executive Director or Board member that had to decide if Eddie Perez should be hired?

As anyone who reads this blog is well aware, I am not a fan of Perez. I am sure that many people will draw the connection between Perez getting his job and John Rowland and his jobs. The big difference is that Rowland had completed his sentence after violating the public's trust. Perez has yet to begin his.

The first thing is that non-profits must have the public trust and confidence to complete their mission in the community. My feeling is that hiring Perez erodes that trust and confidence and draws the entire organization into question.

In an interview and story posted on Jeff Cohen's blog on WNPR radio (link is on the right)the agency's Executive Director John Merz stated to Cohen "that he hadn’t been in the market for a consultant before he hired the former mayor, Merz says hiring Perez just made sense. He calls him a good strategist, and – given his circumstances – he’s a bargain."

Then why hire a convicted felon and disgraced Mayor as a consultant if you hadn't been in the market to hire one? It just reminds me of that phrase we heard so much during the Perez corruption trial "quid pro quo". It might be hard to say no to a man looking for a job who could have said no when your half a million dollars in grants was on his desk each year.

Situations like this raise more questions than answers and unfortunately cast a dark shadow over an organization that otherwise may be very legitimate and actually doing good work.

So again, what would you do and would you have hired Perez ?

The form 990 for the Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition is below:

Form 990 Connecticut Aids Resource Coalition


Apparently it looks like the Hartford Democratic Town Committee is getting tired of living on life support and is scheduled for a "heart transplant" on October 20, 2010.

The DTC has scheduled a fundraiser to be held at the Connecticut Science Center on October 20th to assist with their "Get out the Vote" (GOTV) efforts. The kickoff for their efforts allows them a whole two weeks before the election to get up to speed and educate and motivate Hartford's voters.

Unfortunately, for most Hartford residents, if you would like to attend it may be necessary to forgo groceries for a week or two. The cost of admission is anywhere from $75.00 to $250.00 according to the flyer. It almost sounds like something the Republicans would do, except they are well beyond a transplant, they have been collecting for their funeral.

Word is that the Connecticut Probation Department will also have a table set up at the event to conduct pre-sentencing interviews for some of the notables that will be in attendance that night.

No word yet if Hartford's former Mayor and now convicted felon Eddie Perez will be in attendance. Now that he has landed a new job as a consultant for the Hartford AIDS Resource Coalition, he can hopefully afford a couple tickets at the top level of $250.00. At the the very least he owes it to the Hartford Democratic Town Committee, many of them made him what he is today.

Hector Robles, listed on the flyer, will be fresh out of his latest hearing October 19th on his charges with the Hartford Police Department that potentially could lead to his termination and arrest. I might also suggest a ticket at the top level also. Political connections can't hurt if you play them right. And if nothing else, maybe another non-profit funded by the taxpayers of Hartford an be called upon to pony up a "consultant" job if needed.

Minnie Gonzalez is also listed as part of the "honorary committee". I would think she will be back from her taxpayer funded junket to Paris in time to attend. Word is she will be greeting those attending with a hearty "bonjour" at the door.

Hartford DTC Secretary Angel Morales will be hosting a second fundraiser at the Hartford Public Library, a youth "GOTV" effort.

For any of the major candidates listed, it might be wise to "mistakenly" double book an event that night about as far south in Fairfield County as you can get. If anyone questions your agreeing to attend, you can just say you "misspoke".


It sometimes seems that as a city we have become desensitized to the violence that plagues our streets day in and day out. People haven't seemed too upset about Hartford's homicide rate this year because up until a couple weeks ago it was half of what it was last year. That seems to have changed quickly over the last few weeks.

Although every shooting and homicide is important, some seem to minimize their effects on the City by claiming they are drug dealers or gang members fighting amongst themselves. Even with that explanation though, we have to wonder what has happened to the value of a human life when young men think nothing of taking another life at the end of a gun barrel.

The saddest part is that lately we have seen bystanders also suffering injury or death from the gunfire.

Recently a pregnant woman and a couple of her friends were shot while standing on her front porch as the bullets began flying. The woman lost the baby she was carrying as a result of the shooting. Another woman got in the way when the shooters were aiming for her sun and she stepped in and the bullet hit her.

Those two women survived but Hartford's latest victim wasn't as lucky.

Last night at the corner of Enfield and Greenfield Streets a 25 year old woman from East Hartford became Hartford's latest homicide victim. From what I am being told, she had gone to the small corner store to purchase candy for some children and as she exited the store she walked into a gunfight that broke out at the same time.

She was hit once and was declared dead shortly thereafter at 10:31PM. Vehicles parked on the street were also hit by the gunfire.

No one should have to live like this or be afraid to exit their homes after dark. Unfortunately though it seems that this violence isn't being confined to take place under the cover of darkness.

Today someone walked into a liquor store on Zion Street and pulled a sawed of shotgun from his pants and robbed the business. All in broad daylight, just before noon time, in the shadows of Trinity College.

How do we stem this gun violence in a city that almost seems to have become immune to it? How do we get the young people that are killing each other to realize the value of human life? How do we insist that every resource is being used, State and Federal as well as local to make sure that guns are being removed from our streets?

The answer is not going to be a quick and simple fix but as a community we can not dump the problem on the Police Department. We need to express our outrage and step up to be part of the fix.

I do not want to belittle any homicide or shooting, but take a moment and ask yourself what the level of outrage would be if last nights homicide victim was actually leaving a Cumberland Farms in Avon and was shot dead in the parking lot.It would definitely be more than a voice-over on one channel on the 11 o'clock news or a short blip in the newspaper.

What level of outrage would be shown if a pregnant mother was shot on her porch in Farmington and lost her unborn child?

We need to demand the same level of outrage for our residents as any other resident across the state. First though we have to step up and acknowledge that it is our problem and we need to be part of the solution.

No Lone Ranger type figure is going to ride in to save us from ourselves, we need to save ourselves.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Word is that former Hartford Councilman John Kennelly will be tying the knot in the next couple weeks. Several sources have called with the breaking news.

Details are slim, but a small ceremony is being planned.

The wedding will be held on October 22, 2010 at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church in Hartford,according to John Kennelly

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I usually try to stick to Hartford issues, but this one has been bugging me.

When we saw the "Boston miracle" to fill Senator Ted Kennedy's seat, I think most people were pretty surprised. How does a Democratic candidate in a Democratic state with a comfortable lead in the polls implode and see the Republican surge ahead to win?

Are we headed for a Connecticut miracle November 2nd? Six months ago I doubt there was anyone that thought Richard Blumenthal's decisive lead in the polls would steadily slide to the point that the race is essentially now a dead heat in the polls. The only person who probably would have believed that prediction would have been Linda McMahon herself.

I think there are probably several reasons that have come together for the perfect storm to add wind to McMahon's campaign.

A few that have made a difference to me seem to be bothering others also. The biggest one to me is the number of career politicians who seem to be so out of touch with the average person that they have no grasp on reality. I doubt that Blumenthal has ever wondered where his health insurance is coming from or how he is going to make that payroll for his small business next week.

We know Blumenthal hasn't had major concerns for how he is going to afford the insurance or gas for his car. All of his transportation needs have been taken care of by the people of the State of Connecticut in his government provided vehicle with his driver shuttling him back and forth from his Fairfield County home.

I also find it hard to believe someone who claims to not be a political or "DC" insider, yet the President of the US has no problem jumping on a plane to come campaign for Blumenthal. And former President Bill Clinton is willing to make a quick stop for his buddy on the way to a Barney Frank fundraiser.

I do think one of the biggest things I find offensive though are the claims that Linda McMahon is trying to buy the Senate seat by spending her own money. Can anyone in the Democratic Party flash back to 2004 when the bar was set by another candidate trying to buy the Senate seat? The name Ned Lamont might be familiar to some in his challenge to Joe Lieberman.

I guess it is alright for a Democrat to do it, but when a Republican does it to challenge the "heir apparent" to the seat it somehow becomes unconscionable and disgusting.

The Vietnam issue also bothered me, but I was somewhat surprised by those who didn't see it as a big deal. And the WWE being such a bad thing also is surprising to me. I can understand the issue regarding the use of steroids, but do we now condemn football owners, baseball owners, cyclists and who knows who else.

If the issue with McMahon is that she has put forth a product or entity that harms others, I think those using that against her are two faced and wrong. If I remember correctly, the Kennedy family made their fortunes off of the tariffs for every bottle of Scotch coming into this country. Several southern Senators made their fortunes off of tobacco which I'm pretty sure kills more people everyday than any steroid ever has.

If we could get politicians to focus on issues that directly affect their constituents , we might actually have some interesting campaigns. I actually would tend to vote for someone who has built their own business and has an extra $50 million kicking around to throw at a campaign as opposed to someone who has taken from and lived off the government just about everyday of their adult life.


Pictured above, Bishop Eddie Long

Last week I posted about Bishop Eddie Long's anticipated visit to Bloomfield's First Cathedral. I think he has become distracted by some other issues and I'm not sure if the trip is still on.

In the meantime here is another clergy members thoughts about Bishop Long and his style of preaching which he refers to as "pulpit pimp". Click here to read the story


What a difference a year makes.

A year ago after her arrest, Hartford City Councilperson Veronica Airey-Wilson was supposedly clamoring for her day in court to prove her innocence. Today she had her day in court and rather than proceed to trial to prove her innocence,she is trying to avoid that by taking a form of probation.

Accelerated Rehabilitation is a court program that allows first time offenders to avoid entering a plea and avoid trial. The program would put Airey-Wilson on a period of probation to be determined by the Court for a period up to two years. After the term of the probation, her arrest would be erased if she does not commit any more crimes during that period.

Another step to help restore confidence in Hartford government, a Councilperson on probation due to her corruption arrest. I guess only in Hartford.

Monday, September 27, 2010


I get calls almost daily regarding the slow progression of the Robles matter. After two full days of hearings already, the case has now been stalled until at least October 19th, the next scheduled hearing date, a delay of close to a month.

I would think if I was being accused of the type of charges against Robles, I would demand that my name be cleared as soon as possible and any delay would be unacceptable.

In the meantime, most of the calls I get are from people very upset when they see Officer Robles, in uniform, working his shifts. This undermines the trust people have in the Hartford Police and is unfortunate at a critical time when every ounce of that trust is needed to re-build relationships between the community and the Department.

At the rate these hearings are going, Robles will be ready to retire before the hearings are complete.


Perez and Blumenthal at the Arch Street Tavern, most likely after the 2007 Mayoral election (photo from Jeff Cohen's blog)

You can read the filing below, but Connecticut's Attorney General has filed suit to revoke the pension of Hartford's former Mayor Eddie Perez. Perez was convicted on five felony charges related to corrupt activities at Hartford City hall and was sentenced to 3 years in prison.

Perez Pension Suit


Councilwoman Veronica Airey-Wilson will be making an appearance in Hartford Superior Court at 101 Lafayette Street Tuesday morning at 10:00AM. Her appearance will be for her corruption related arrest as part of the Eddie Perez Grand Jury investigation.

Will a plea deal be cut or will Veronica roll the dice like Eddie did? Who knows, only time will tell.Word is that the odds are in favor of cutting the deal.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


After a full day of hearing s Friday, no decision has been reached and testimony is still ongoing in the matter. The hearing has apparently been continued until this week.

Despite the rumours for the last week or so, no "deal" has been cut and no "deal" appears to be on the table.


The following Council agenda preview is courtesy of Hartford 2000 and the Hartford Public Library.



One of the complaints I keep hearing is that no one knows what is going on in Hartford, and far too often they find out after the fact. I'm going to try this as a way for anyone to post events happening on a weekly basis in Hartford.

If you have something going on, feel free to post it as a comment for others to read. Please post any contact info you would like if people reading would like more info. I'm just trying this to gauge the response, and if it works out we can most likely find it a little more formal way to do it.

A couple of events to begin with:

September 29, 2010, 4:30-8:00PM Hartford 2000, the parent organization for Hartford's Neighborhood Revitalization Groups (NRZ's) will be holding its first "Meet your Neighbors" pasta dinner. This will be held at the Holy Trinity Church Hall at the corner of Capitol Avenue and Hudson Street. For more info call 860-547-1663, ext. 21.

September 29, 2010, 7:00- 9:00PM, Community Conversation/Planning meeting, held at Sisson Tavern, 86 Sisson Avenue, Hartford. A discussion of the upcoming elections will be held. Hosted by Ken Krayeske, Dan Malo and David Samuels. For more info contact David Samuels at 860-206-8879.

Monday, September 27, 2010, 7:00PM, Hartford City Council meeting at Hartford City Hall , NOTE: no public comment session at this meeting


With low voter turnout and voter apathy being a chronic problem in Connecticut's capitol city, I think we need to ask our political "leaders" if they really care.

As I drive around through towns much smaller than Hartford the political vibrancy and involvement is a stark contrast to that in Hartford. As I drive around Hartford you would hardly know that we are only a few weeks away from major elections. I haven't been able to locate Hartford's Republican or Democratic Headquarters.
Yet drive through Windsor or Bristol or many smaller towns and the Headquarters are hard not to find.

Do we really care about the apathy in Hartford or is it a way to perpetuate the slim wins by those in charge? Imagine the races we would see if 30 or 40 thousand of Hartford's registered voters actually got stirred up enough to get out and take the ten minutes necessary to vote. And then if those same voters held our elected officials accountable during their terms, I would think we might see some political change in our city.

The other part that is sad is that because of the dysfunctional state of Hartford's two town committees and Hartford politics in general, Hartford has pretty much become irrelevant in the eyes of most candidates. This past Thursday the Malloy campaign set up a meeting to motivate Hartford's Democratic Town Committee since the DTC apparently never contacted them. The reality is that the Working Families Party is doing more for Malloy than his own Democrats in Hartford.

As for the Republicans, that's another lost cause. Hartford would be lucky to deliver five or six hundred Republican votes to any candidate. More Republican votes will most likely be cast in Bolton than in Hartford.

In the meantime, if you can find the local Headquarters, feel free to leave me directions.