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Friday, October 22, 2010


The Hartford Courant is reporting that outgoing Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz is urging a "ban" on WWE clothing at polling places on November 2nd. Due to Republican Linda McMahon's involvement with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) this may prove to be an unfair advantage for McMahon. You can read the Courant story here.

In a surprising move this afternoon, sources are telling me that a ban on any USMC or military clothing will also be put into effect. Apparently the thinking is that any Marine Corp insignia or military clothing may actually remind voters of those who went to war and fought and of Attorney General Blumenthal's "mis-spoke" comments when he lied about serving in Vietnam.

It seems fair, doesn't it?


Hartford, CT.- In a further move today, Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz has moved to place a ban on anyone entering a polling place wearing sneakers. The reasoning is that campaign commercials being aired by Republican candidate for Secretary of the State Jerry Farrell prominently show him lacing up sneakers. The Secretary said this about Farrell's sneakers "Even though it doesn't say his name directly...the sneaker is so ubiquitously associated with Farrell's campaign".

A spokesman for the Secretary, who announced the sneaker ban, acknowledged that any discussion about voter's apparel is a "very, very delicate issue."

"We have a candidate who is very very well known, who is a celebrity to millions of fans throughout the country," he said. "This has been a very contentious, hard-fought campaign but the sanctity of the polling place is sacrosanct."


A couple weeks ago we found out that Former Hartford Mayor, and now convicted felon,Eddie A. Perez had landed a job at the Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition (CARC). During Perez's tenure as Mayor CARC has received millions of dollars in City funding. Last year alone the City provided funding to CARC of over half a million dollars.

This week, WNPR's Jeff Cohen reported that Perez's former Chief of Staff Matthew Hennessy has just received a $58,000 lobbying contract as a result of an agreement with the Hartford Public Schools and Connecticut Public Broadcasting to find federal funding for the Hartford Journalism and Media Academy.

I thought the icing on the cake would be Perez's former Corporation Counsel John Rose landing a job with the Crumbie Law Group. Rose had used the Crumbie Law Group as "outside counsel" while he was in office. WNPR's Jeff Cohen got the actual numbers, and today reported on Crumbie's billing to the taxpayers of Hartford.

In Fiscal year 2009, Crumbie’s firm made $155,599.44; in FY 2010, the firm made $252,580.24; and so far in 2011, the firm has made $22,564.80, according to Cohen.

In Cohen's report he quotes a statement from the Crumbie Law Group touting Rose's expertise. Too bad he didn't have that same expertise before he hired the Crumbie Law Group as outside counsel, he could have saved the taxpayers of Hartford almost a half a million dollars. I guess that is what they call job security on Rose's part though.

Like I said, I thought that would be the icing on the cake. Nope, not in Hartford.

I received several calls today regarding last nights Hartford 2000 meeting. For those not aware, Hartford 2000 is the parent organization that oversees Hartford's neighborhood groups, or "NRZ's". Apparently, the position of Executive Director is open. The position had tentatively been filled by a person from West Hartford. That's a discussion for another day as to why a Hartford resident couldn't be found, but I digress.

The callers were upset that the City of Hartford's COO David Panagore was in attendance at the meeting and was advocating for a potential new Executive Director. Low and behold, "drumroll please", ta daaaaa, Panagore's choice for Executive Director is no other than former Perez Chief of Staff Susan McMullen.

Ok, hopefully by now you have picked yourself up off the floor and are coming out of that fit of laughter or fit of anger. Both of those would be appropriate reactions depending on how much you know about Susan McMullen.

If you aren't familiar with some of McMullen's better efforts on the part of the people of Hartford, one of her best that comes to mind was Eddie Perez's "dyslexia defense". McMullen might have been one of the number one reasons for the conviction of Perez as a crook and a fraud when she tried to convince the jury that Perez suffered from being unable to read properly and that is why committed illegal acts.

I think that helped the jury see him and his staff for what they actually were (and by the actions detailed above, what they still are), a group of ethically and morally challenged people.

Requests for comment from Panagore have not been returned.

I have received numerous calls from people asking "Where is the Mayor on these things?" and "Why aren't we hearing anything from the Council on this?". The simple answer is, quite frankly, that I can't figure it out. The underlying acceptance of corruption in Hartford City government has to change. With our so called "leaders" turning a blind eye to these activities it sends a message that business as usual, business as conducted during the Perez years, is OK.

I am sure that is not the message Mayor Segarra wants to send. He has done too many positive things since taking office to be tainted by the stench of these actions. But by remaining silent, he is condoning these actions. A strong statement needs to be made that these fine examples of more cronyism are not acceptable to the Mayor or the people of Hartford.

Do we really think that we need Hennessy to lobby Washington politicians for money? We have the number three or four Congressman in the country representing Hartford. I would hope that a phone call from Congressman Larson would do more than any $58,000 contract given to Hennessy. Not to mention the question, what honest self respecting politician would go anywhere near a "lobbyist" that just came from a stint in what is most likely the most corrupt administration that the City of Hartford has ever seen?

And an open message to Mayor Segarra and even Council President Winch: you have an opportunity to show us and everyone else that Hartford does have a conscience and we are getting back on track. End this nonsense now with prompt and decisive actions. The people of Hartford I'm sure will thank you for cracking down on the political prostitutes leeching off our city.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


How long will the stench of the Perez Administration continue to linger over our City? I know that is a strongly worded statement, but I think it is a fair question.

Eddie Perez leaves office in disgrace after being convicted of 5 felony counts related to his corruption investigation. He promptly lands a job with a non-profit, the Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition. The City of Hartford was ,and still is, a major funder of CARC.

Former Corporation Counsel John Rose was terminated by Perez's successor, Mayor Pedro Segarra. Rose promptly lands a job with a law firm, the Crumbie Law Group. Rose paid tens of thousands of City dollars to the Crumbie Law Group during his time as Corporation Counsel for outside legal advice.

And now, Jeff Cohen from WNPR is reporting that Perez's former Chief of Staff Matt Hennessy has landed a deal for a new Hartford Public Schools project that will pay him at least $58,000.00. Hennessy will be working as a lobbyist for a new Journalism and Media Academy project trying to obtain Federal funding for the project.

I'm just wondering what Washington politician would go near any of the players from the Perez Administration? And when is the City Council and the Mayor going to refuse funding to anything or anyone even remotely connected to Perez and his other corrupt players?

You can read Jeff Cohen's report here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


According to sources, the third day of hearings for Hartford Police Officer Hector Robles has been completed. Today was apparently the third and final day of testimony.

The hearing Officer assigned to the process, Captain Achilles Rethis, will now prepare his synopsis of the hearing and forward that to the departments advocate, Lieutenant James Bernier and Chief Daryl Roberts.

The process may take a week or so depending on the report, at which time Chief Roberts will decide on the action to take. Corrective action can be anywhere from no action up to termination. Lt. Bernier had originally recommended termination if the allegations are upheld.

In the meantime, Inspectors from the Office of the Chief States Attorney's Office are working to prepare a potenttial criminal case against Robles that could result in his arrest.

Robles, who also serves as a State Representative in the Connecticut Legislature for the 6th District is running for re-election on November 2nd.


A couple weeks ago I had a few people call me regarding lighting in Barry Square. One business owner claimed he had had called 311 repeatedly for weeks and the issue had not been resolved. Another resident also claimed to have been calling 311 numerous times to no avail.

I still think 311 is a huge waste of the taxpayers money and I have yet to hear anyone sing the praises of 311. I constantly hear from people that claim they call and call and call with nothing being done. I still firmly believe that 311 was created by the Perez Administration as a data mining operation and used more for political purposes than a service to residents.

I called the Department of Public Works and spoke to Rhonda Carroll regarding the lighting issue and asked if she could look into it. She assured me that she would and actually called back the next day and told me that the bulbs that the people had thought were burned out had been replaced. The day they went out was two Thursday's ago and was a day that we had extremely heavy rain. I was a little surprised that they would be out in that kind of weather, but I was pleasantly surprised at their prompt response.

Rhonda Carroll also told me that replacing the bulbs didn't correct the problem and it appeared to be a wiring issue. She informed me that they had requested the blueprints for the project to trace out the wiring and they were working to correct the problem.

A few days later I received a voice mail from Rhonda Carroll that I should save to show people how business should be done in Hartford. She left a message that said "Mr. Brookman, this is Rhonda Carroll from Public Works for the City of Hartford. We Have found the wiring problem and the issue has been corrected. Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.".

I was happy and the people who complained to me were thrilled that someone had actually taken action and the issue was resolved. That's not common in Hartford government.

She probably regrets that she asked me to let her know if there was anything else she could help me with. The next request from a resident came a few short days later. A resident complained to me about a dead tree on City property in front of their home. The resident had called 311 and the City repeatedly with little response or results. They felt the tree was in danger of falling and causing injury or damage to vehicles parked on the street.

I was impressed with Rhonda Carroll's response the previous week so I called her again last Wednesday about the tree. She took the information down, called me the next day to verify the address. I spoke to the homeowner today and he was very happy that the tree had been cut down Monday and the problem was addressed. Even though he had tried for a while to get it done, he was impressed with the quick response from Rhonda and the DPW. Three days from the call to problem solved.

Rhonda Carroll is not only a City of Hartford employee, but she is also a City of Hartford resident. I'm not sure what makes her so responsive, but just maybe she gets it and realizes that residents of the City deserve a timely, prompt and most importantly a polite and courteous response. These are her neighbors she is helping, the same neighbors she meets on the street, in the grocery store and at city restaurants.

Maybe we should disband 311 and find a few more Rhonda Carroll's.


Jason Negron was profiled in Sunday's Hartford Courant as a person wanted by the Hartford Police Department for allegedly sexually assaulting a 14 year old family member.

The Courant reported that:

HARTFORD — — Police are looking for a man who they believe raped a 14-year-old family member in the fall of 2009 and is evading arrest.

Police say that Jason Negron, aka "Drops," 30, of Hartford is addicted to crack cocaine and heroin and knows that police have an active felony warrant for his arrest.

Negron is 5-feet-10, 175 pounds and has noticeable teardrops tattooed on his left check, near the corner of his left eye.

Police say that he frequents the Frog Hollow, Barry Square and Bellevue Square neighborhoods to buy drugs, but that he may be in New York, where he has family members.

Negron has suicidal ideations and a history of firearms and drug arrests, according
to police. Extreme caution should be taken by anyone coming into contact with him.

Police ask anyone with information about Negron's whereabouts to call 860-757-4342.

On Monday afternoon, community members called the Hartford Police to report that Negron was walking north on Maple Avenue. Officers responded and according to sources, Negron was located inside a bodega with a hoodie pulled over his head trying to keep himself from being recognized. Apparently that "clever disguise" combined with the teardrop tattoos didn't work too well and officers promptly took him into custody

Another good example of the community and the police working together.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Yesterday I got one of those "chain" type e-mails regarding Congressional reform. Normally I would just have deleted it, but it actually seemed to make sense.

With the approval ratings for Congress at an all time low, and the "anti-incumbent" backlash seeming ready to take its toll November 2nd, these ideas really make sense.

Since this would affect politicians, the same politicians who make our laws, I doubt it would go anywhere, but it just seems to make sense.What do you think?

This is the text of the e-mail below:

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only
take three days for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive the
message. Maybe it is time.




1. Term Limits. 12 years only, one of three possible options below:

A. Two Six-year Senate terms
B. Six Two-year House terms
C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms

2. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in
office and receives no pay when he/she is out of office.

3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social
Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social
Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.

4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all
Americans do.

5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional
pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in
the same health care system as the American people.

7. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the
American people.

8. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective
1/1/11. The American people did not make these contracts with
Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers
envisioned citizen legislators who serve their term(s), then go home
and back to work.


The Hartford Courant and Fox CT have teamed up to help in the fight against breast cancer. You can help out by becoming a fan on their Facebook Pages. For every new Fan that signs up during the month of October the Courant and FoxCT will donate $1 to the Connecticut Chapter of Susan G. Komen. They have increased their maximum donation to $2,000.

Become a Fan and let your friends know about this by sharing the link.

Click here for the Courant's Facebook page

UPDATE: 4:15 pm MONDAY- I tried the link to sign up on Facebook and can't seem to find the usual "send friend request". If anyone can figure how to sign up as a friend on Facebook for the Courant or Fox CT, please feel free to post it here. I tried calling the Courant and couldn't reach a human who answered the phone.


Two innocent women have been murdered as the result of gun violence in Hartford's streets over the last couple weeks. Several other women have been shot as a result of gun violence, one of them resulting in the loss of an unborn child.

If that isn't enough to spark outrage, which it doesn't seem to have done yet, the other end of the spectrum is just as troubling, if not more so.

The number of shooting attempts and people firing at Hartford Police Officers has also seen a large increase. The number of innocent women shot alarms me but the fact that some think nothing of firing at our police officers should really worry us. What does that say about our society that the thugs running our streets with guns are also willing to take the life of a police officer.

Would they think twice about shooting any of us, would they have a second thought about shooting a mother holding a baby in her arms? It seems as though the answer would be no.

I also have to say that I am troubled by the responses to these shootings also.

I realize that under the previous administration any requests for outside assistance were thought to be seen as a sign of weakness. But how much are we willing to tolerate. I would think that the areas experiencing these troubles would be blanketed with a strong police presence and enforcement of every violation seen.

Hartford has gained a reputation as a criminal free for all zone where everything goes. Shooting mothers in the head and slaughtering them in the street on Franklin Avenue to firing on a police officer with a machine gun after a robbery spree. You would think that a random bullet through another mothers heart killing her instantly as she exited a convenience store would demand a strong response from our city.

Anyone that drives in Hartford has to look no further than our city streets to realize that there is obviously little respect for traffic laws as well as gun laws and that lack of respect shows through in the lack of respect for law enforcement officials also.

If only we had some strong political leadership, especially on the State and Federal level, we could start asking for more help. But how do you ask for help when our state legislative delegation is more concerned about traveling to Paris while Hartford is in critical crisis mode. Or maybe they are too worried about saving their own skins because they are caught up in their hearings regarding their own alleged wrongdoing.

The areas of the City generating these gun crimes should be blanketed with a strong law enforcement presence. Local, State and Federal officers should be working hand in hand to take back our city. It involves relationships with the community also, but I am pretty sure that the law abiding residents of the troubled neighborhoods would welcome the police presence.

I am also sure that some would say that a heavy, no nonsense police presence is a violation of their rights. But what about the rights of people like Altanese Walker who was shot through the heart on Enfield Street and died almost instantly. Didn't she have the right to walk to the corner store and make her purchases without fear of death? What about the right of her four year old son to grow up with a mother to teach and help him become an adult?

The leadership of Hartford should be asking for help from anyone and everyone they can solicit. The Firearms Task Force, the Fugitive Task Force, The Narcotics Task Force and any other task forces currently working in Hartford should at the very least be doubled or tripled to make a stronger impact on crime in our streets.

Every effort needs to be made to get every uniformed body on the streets to patrol our streets. Too many supervisors and "white shirts" sit inside the walls of Jennings Road working Monday through Friday typical daytime hours. These people need to be on the streets overseeing what is happening. When is the last time a Deputy Chief or an Assistant Chief has been assigned to an evening or midnight shift or even a weekend shift?

Another novel idea could be implemented by our Governor. The Connecticut State Police can operate anywhere in the state that they wish, providing that they do not establish regular patrols in a city or town without an agreement. Essentially that means that the State Police could blanket Hartford with traffic enforcement and most likely find more weapons. persons with drugs and wanted persons. This makes a lot more sense than pairing troopers with Hartford Officers.

Hartford Officers know the streets and neighborhoods and who the key players are. Let Hartford Officers do what they are good at and clean up our streets. A strong message needs to be sent, but that starts with our City leaders admitting we have a problem and getting help from every corner possible, including its residents.

The outrage needs to be channeled into results, and not wait until after a police officer or another innocent mother is shot.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


According to police sources, a Hispanic male reported last night that he was the victim of a mugging by two "large" black males on Baldwin Street in Hartford. The victim, who apparently didn't wish to co-operate with police or provide much information regarding the incident, also had a finger cut off during the alleged mugging.

Earlier today a resident of Cowles Street, which backs up to Baldwin Street, called the Hartford Police Department to report finding a finger in their yard.

Somehow I tend to think that there is a lot more to this story than just a simple mugging.