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Wednesday, May 23, 2012


v. re·formed, re·form·ing, re·forms
1. To improve by alteration, correction of error, or
removal of defects; put into a better form or condition.
a. To abolish abuse or malpractice in: reform the government.
b. To put an end to (a wrong). See Synonyms at correct.
3. To cause (a person) to give up harmful or immoral
practices; persuade to adopt a better way of life.
To change for the better.
1. A change for the better; an improvement.
2. Correction of evils, abuses, or errors.
3. Action to improve social or economic conditions
without radical or revolutionary change.

During the recent Hartford Democratic Town Committee citywide elections, it seemed as though everyone was suddenly a "reformer" with the intent of cleaning up Hartford's political process. Well... as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. And for those that claim to be reformers, look at the definition above if you don't understand what reform actually is.

When I think about the political process, I find the potential encouraging but the reality very disappointing. I read that former State Senator and convicted felon Ernie Newton was endorsed by the Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee to run to regain his seat that he gave up before his journey to a federal prison. I just wonder what runs through a convention delegates mind when they endorse someone that used his elected position, a position of trust, to solicit bribes to benefit himself?

The Hartford Courant posted an editorial this afternoon entitled "What Are Democrats Thinking Endorsing Ernie Newton?". You can read the full editorial here.

The Courant may be able to cut and paste that editorial Friday morning and substitute the word "Bridgeport" with Hartford. Hartford's Democratic convention for the position of State Representative's and Registrar of Voters will be held tomorrow night at Hartford City Hall.

The "reformers" may actually step up in the 6th District as they have to make a choice between the incumbent 6th District Representative Hector Robles or challenger Edwin Vargas. Robles who had promise as a State rep found himself embroiled in a scandal that resulted in his arrest and termination as a Hartford Police officer.

Robles's fellow Democratic legislators seemed to turn a blind eye to his arrest on felony charges and he remained in his seat at the Capitol. Luckily for Robles he wasn't a Republican otherwise he probably would have been forced to a quick exit like Senator DeLuca or John Rowland a few years ago. Robles's "dollar amount" for his alleged thefts was higher than Rowland's and DeLuca's charges were misdemeanors if I remember correctly.

To read more about the Robles investigation and subsequent arrest, click here, or here. Word is that the 6th District delegation is poised to actually bring about "reform" and usher Robles out as they endorse Vargas.

The Democratic Registrar of Voters endorsement will be a real test to see who the real reformers are and who is just putting up a smokescreen.

Hopefully the Hartford Courant's editorial title Friday morning won't be "What are Hartford's Democrats Thinking?".

Most people you speak with will readily agree that overall the top three choices for Democratic Registrar are far from desirable. All three are political, which is where there strength lies. It is not about who is capable, qualified or even who will do the best job. It is purely about who can leverage their political clout the best and garner their votes. It is not about past arrests for soliciting prostitutes, arrests for illegal drug possession or even the number of ethics violations, conflicts of interest or even the law suits filed over incompetence .

Like Ernie Newton in Bridgeport, I guess Hartford's Democrats have the potential to overlook a lot when it comes to returning political favors and payback. Why should anyone question a candidate for Registrar of Voters who was arrested while they were a City employee, soliciting a prostitute in a City vehicle on City time. The only problem was that the "prostitute" was actually an undercover police officer. The video recording of the event pretty much speaks for itself and the intent was pretty clear, it wasn't a case of mistaken intent.

But then again, if Robles, who is accused of stealing from the taxpayers is able to pull it off, why shouldn't others? What does it matter if our elected officials are able to violate the public trust placed in them as long as other politicos are willing to endorse them and the voters remain ignorant on election day.

I wonder if the Hartford Police Department would hire a potential police officer after they were arrested for soliciting a prostitute or Larceny 1st charges? I doubt they would, and the Office of Registrar of Voters requires as much integrity (if not more) than that of a police officer.

Tomorrow night the true "reformers" will be identified as the roll call vote is taken and they will go on the record as to whether they support reform or more political nonsense and patronage. In the meantime, will Hartford and Bridgeport continue to be political jokes or will the "reformers" actually come through on the promises they made to the voters who elected them in March.


The wrangling over the budget may not actually be done yet. It seems that many still have something to say , one of them being Council Minority Leader Dr. Larry Deutsch.

The following statement was received from Dr. Deutsch today:

Letter to City employees, the public, and the press:

Many of us appreciate the Mayor's message to Council and the Public regarding approval of a budget, which for review I quote as follows: "I am pleased that, working with City Council
members and the City Treasurer, we were able to reach a budget agreement that
does exactly what residents and business owners have asked of their elected
officials: reduced spending,... I do, however, have a concern with the
resolutions that require progressive furlough days based on salary. While I
understand and appreciate the sentiment, I am troubled by the adverse impact
that this type of policy would have on our city management systems. Instead, I
intend to focus on payroll direct deposit and limit the impact of any and all
furlough days."We MUST note sharp difference with his final comment.
City Council passed by a good margin, very consciously and deliberately, the
resolution that any furlough days and savings for taxpayers be FAIRLY designed,
with smallest sacrifice from workers and families least able to afford
it.Council was well aware of calculations and consequences of this new
money-saving furlough policy, including how it impacts city management as well
as vital front-line workers and services. Like the public, Council is also aware
of out-of-proportion raises already given to top management, as in big
corporations, but now at taxpayers’ expense. In the past, Mr. Segarra
condemned a previous Chief of Staff for minimizing Council resolutions as only
"advisory". How do we now read a similar remark that "...instead, I intend to focus on..." that is
different from what Council
So, since the
Mayor raised such concern, probably all workers, Hartford families, the press, and City website
should continue attention to these issues of fairness and

Larry Deutsch,
Minority Leader, Hartford City