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Friday, October 7, 2011


Just a suggestion, but all of this talk about "Occupy Hartford" doesn't really seem to be bringing any of our "horrible" corporations to their knees. In fact, I doubt they even notice.

Some of the points are somewhat valid, even though I will be the first to admit I am really not following the whole non-event. I think there was probably more coverage when Bank of America announced last week that it was going to begin charging a $5.00 monthly fee for using their debit card to spend your money.

If the "Occupy Hartford" people really want to make a difference, pack up the camping equipment and do something that will send a real message. Stop by your local Bank of America branch and close your accounts. Then go to your local Credit Union and open an account. Credit Unions are almost entirely run locally, are much more customer service oriented and don't charge the outrageous fees that the mega banks charge.

In fact, use of ATM cards in most credit union networks is free.

In a city like Hartford, as well as most urban areas, Bank of America has definitely taken their toll through foreclosures, lending practices and what some might call predatory mortgages. I think hitting them where it counts would say much more than any protest or camp outs could ever accomplish.

I wonder how many of the "occupiers" actually have a Bank of America or Citicorp card in their pockets,or how many gladly accept their Aetna or Traveler's benefits when they need them. Dissension is important, but is definitely more effective when it has a real impact

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Actually, the better question is "are there any ethics in Hartford politics?". Is any one's word worth anything in Hartford's political arena? Just ask Shawn Wooden his opinion on that, he might have some interesting thoughts, as someone who has experienced that first hand the last couple of months.

You would think that after just coming through a Grand Jury investigation, the arrest and conviction of Eddie Perez, the arrest of Councilwoman Veronica Airey-Wilson and others, that people in Hartford city government and politics would be walking on eggshells and paying attention to ethical and legal behavior.

Apparently that is not the case. One person that seems to be pushing the limit is Hartford City Treasurer Adam Cloud. Jeff Cohen from WNPR had an interesting story today regarding Cloud's shakedown of City of Hartford vendors to raise money for one of Cloud's political operatives, Andrew Wood. You can read Jeff's story here.

This was another story about Cloud written by Cohen in the last week. Although it has been common knowledge since he took office as Treasurer, Cloud's wife works directly under his supervision in the Treasurer's Office. That is something Cloud should have had the common sense to end immediately after taking office.

The fact that Cloud and his wife, from what I have been told, are the only two people in the Treasurer's Office able to transfer money electronically is troubling. His wife is also apparently responsible for cash reconciliations in the office. I have to ask why anyone would put themselves in a position where this would immediately be called into question at any time a potential problem arose.

It is poor judgement and definitely a poor business practice.

The actions of the Treasurer that Cohen reported on today raise even more questions about the Treasurer's judgement, or more appropriately his lack of judgement. It seems that the Treasurer has been putting the squeeze on various Hartford vendors, including financial institutions, to donate money to a buddy of the Treasurer. Depending on the terms and the content of the conversations, that could cross the threshold and rise to the level of extortion.

Andrew Wood, the Treasurer's buddy and a political operative, was on the dole most of the Perez Administration for years, being paid millions of dollars to operate various "non-profits". The track record of those "non-profits" seem to be a well kept secret though.

According to Cohen's article "Cloud said he decided to raise money for the program because he was inspired by its good work -- not because he was in the middle of a political primary and the organization's executive director, Andrew Woods, is a political supporter."

Mr. Cloud, name something Mr. Wood's has accomplished for the City of Hartford, and it better be good , really good, to account for all the taxpayers dollars he has received over the last ten years.

We really need to demand more from our elected officials he seem to gain some sort of "sense of entitlement" once they cross the threshold into City Hall. They seem to forget what is lawful and ethical and are willing to repay political debts at the taxpayers expense.

The last Treasurer we had seemed to stay so far under the political radar and to the best of my knowledge never had the slightest suggestion of scandal related to her job performance during her years in office. Treasurer Cloud seems to have a much different work ethic, opening himself up to questions of impropriety in less than 9 months on the job.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


If the Hartford Insurance, Traveler's, Bank of America and all of our other major employers announced tomorrow that they were leaving Hartford. Is that the goal of Councilman Cotto and the "Occupy Hartford" organizers? Are they trying to send a message that their "greedy" excess types aren't welcome in Hartford?

In a City like Hartford where Councilman Cotto and his cohorts on the Council have placed an unfair burden on every person and company doing business in Hartford, what is the message they are trying to send? And what is the message being taken away by those same businesses? That they are not welcome here, leave and take your jobs with you?

Hartford and its "leaders" should be working together to strengthen the business climate and encourage job growth and development, not throwing rocks at the employers that employ a large part of the regions stakeholders. How about a business considering a move to Hartford? What kind of message does this send? We'll take your money through taxes, but other than that you aren't welcome?

I really wish the new Council, of which I am a candidate, will start focusing on making Hartford a better place and not use the people of Hartford as a means to grandstand. I use the word "leaders" lightly when I speak of leadership in relation to Hartford. It is something that is sadly lacking and we need to start using some common sense to once again build Hartford and actually create lasting sustainable jobs.

Spitting in the face of our corporate partners, whether you agree with their "profits" or not, does not make for a climate of commitment or future growth. There are plenty of other cities that would welcome some of our corporate neighbors with open arms, not protests.


With a little over a month to go until the municipal election, it seems like hostilities in the Registrar of Voter's Office may be close to the boiling point.

It is no secret that the three Registrars, a Democrat, a Republican and a Working Family Party member seem to have a problem working together. It apparently started when WFP Registrar of Voters Urania Petit successfully won election as the first third party registrar in the state.

The Republican and Democrat registrars had enjoyed the sole control of the Registrars Office for years, and the WFP upset the balance of power.Not just in Hartford, but in most towns the Registrar of Voters Office is considered the last bastion of political patronage.

Since being elected, Petit has considered herself an outsider in the office, and she testified to that at last years budget hearings before the Council. Although technically all three share equal responsibility in power, that is not the case in Hartford.

On several occasions lately the Democratic Registrar, Olga Vazquez, has resorted to calling the Hartford Police to complain about the actions of others in the office, and in most instances her complaints were against Petit. No criminal actions have been found though, and other than political babysitting, no other action has been taken by police in regards to the Democratic registrars complaints.

The Mayor's letter is below:

Mayor's Registrar Letter 0001