Last Thursday was the Hartford Democratic Town Committee's nominating convention. As far as the "political machine" operation I am pretty new to it and I really don't want to be a part of it. None the less I was told I needed to "play the game" and make the obligatory calls to Town Committee members. I made the calls, although there were a few I just couldn't stomach calling, so I skipped them. No matter how much I want a nomination, I wasn't going to call an alleged child molester to ask for support.
Most of the calls I made didn't have the courtesy to even return my calls. But from those who did,my numbers before the convention was a count of 28 members who committed to supporting me. Well needless to say I am not delusional and I am well aware that integrity and standing by your word is not a strong point of Hartford politics.
The end result were that only two people stayed true to their word, State Representative Doug McCrory and Donna Thompson-Daniels actually voted for me as well as a third person who had never committed, but liked my views, especially on encouraging small business.
The biggest disappointment though was in the third district where the votes promised to me faded away because "they couldn't upset Minnie". The 4th and 6th districts were also disappointing because although many of the members I spoke with admitted that they thought I was one of the best candidates but they had to support some sort of alliance they had built between David McDonald, Sean Arena and rJo Winch to secure voters in the 4th, 6th and 7th Districts.
Not surprising though was that most members of those districts agreed that David McDonald was the least qualified and most considered him the least competent to be on the Council. But a deal was a deal and like the three Musketeer's. all for one and one for all. The arm twisting was on and it looked like they actually might have had the votes at one point.
Then apparently Minnie Gonzalez saw the handwriting on the wall and all of a sudden realized that the deals being cut might actually result in no Hispanics on the slate.Notice I didn't say the most qualified Hispanic, since the most qualified candidate, in my opinion, Ramon Espinosa was shut out by Gonzalez and her supporters.
Apparently Gonzalez was upset with Espinosa because he had signed an affidavit which outlined potential illegal activity by Gonzalez involving voter fraud a couple years earlier. From what sources told me, at the time of the 3rd District interviews, Espinosa received the cold shoulder from the Gonzalez crew because he had cost Minnie $20,000 in legal fees defending her corrupt activity that Espinosa had the audacity to testify truthfully about.
Another district that was wheeling and dealing was the 1st District. For some reason their candidate of choice was Kate Kowalshyn, a Southend resident. Now other than Kyle Anderson, who was also endorsed, Kate, I think would make an excellent Councilperson and would have definitely avoided the criticism lobbed at the HDTC for not having any females on the endorsed slate.
Now back to McDonald. When he saw the vote count becoming precariously close, he apparently forgot the 3 Musketeer's pledge of "all for one and one for all" and he began cutting his own deals with Gonzalez to secure his slot and jettisoned Arena and Winch. Sources tell me that Stae Rep. Kelvin Roldan also played a role in propping up McDonald to cut a deal for his own votes for Treasurer.
Well, McDonald prevailed and got his votes, Winch and Arena were left on the outside looking in. I do have to say though that even though Arena felt that Roldan had stabbed him in the back to get support for McDonald, Arena stayed true to his word and continued supporting Roldan, although his displeasure was more than obvious.
And you might be asking how the solid female candidate supported by the 1st District ended up. Well at the beginning of the night when the "solid" votes that I had began telling me that they had to make deals to get what they want, I was told by the 1st District spokesperson that i didn't understand "how the game was played". He told me that they had to cut a deal with Minnie Gonzalez to accept her two Hispanic candidates in order to get their choice Kate Kowalshyn.
I guess he was right, I don't understand how "the game" is played, and apparently neither did he. At the end of the night, Minnie got her two picks but the 1st District was also left on the outside looking in, like Arena and Winch, as Kate Kowalshyn was overlooked and didn't receive a nomination.
It was an interesting, albeit disgusting, show of how a Democracy should not work. It wasn't about the best candidates, it wasn't about moving Hartford forward it definitely wasn't about integrity. It was all about the "politicians" taking care of themselves and their deals at the expense of the people of Hartford