Malloy Heading to Nashville for National Governor’s Meeting

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Gov. Dannel Malloy is flying down to Nashville, Tenn., today for a meeting of the “Council of Governors” to talk with nine other state chief executives about stuff like homeland defense, national security and National Guard issues.

The congressionally authorized “Council of Governors” is a perfect chance for an incumbent-who-is-running-for-reelection like Malloy to appear gubernatorial and talk about national issues. Connecticut’s Democratic first-term governor is suffering from low approval ratings and faces what is expected to be a very tough election in November.

Gov. Dannel Malloy

Gov. Dannel Malloy

But today’s event is only the beginning of Malloy’s trip. On Friday and Saturday, he’ll  be attending the National Governors Association summer meeting that is also happening in Nashville.

Which, of course, gives him plenty of additional opportunities to appear gubernatorial and perhaps boost some of his poll numbers.



GOP Senator Says Malloy’s Renters’ Rebate Is Hypocritical

by Categorized: 2014 Election Date:

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy traveled to New Haven on Wednesday to tout the elderly renters’ rebate program, but a high-ranking Republican senator said the appearance was hypocritical because Malloy had previously frozen the program.

Malloy stood with top-ranking Democrats, including Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and New Haven Mayor Toni Harp, to hail the program that helps about 40,000 residents with a partial rebate on their rent and utility costs. The latest state budget, signed by Malloy, included more than $6.5 million in order to help nearly 13,000 additional renters to join the program.

But Sen. Len Fasano of North Haven, the second-ranking Republican senator, said that “the governor touting this expansion as his own achievement is completely inappropriate’’ in an election year.

“The only reason this program needed to be restored is because Governor Malloy phased out the program last year,’’ Fasano said. “When it suited his budget to eliminate the costs of an important elderly assistance system, he axed it. Now, he wants to be the hero. Taking something away from people and then patting yourself on the back for returning it is hypocritical and disingenuous.’’

Fasano said the appearance in New Haven was “a public relations stunt in an election year’’ because Malloy was “simply restoring a program that he himself cut.’’

Malloy, though, said the program would benefit low-income seniors and the disabled who earn up to $34,100 annually for individuals and $41,600 per year for married couples.

“This initiative will help make it possible for thousands of senior citizens and residents with disabilities to afford to stay in their communities and live with dignity, security, and independence,’’ Malloy said. Continue reading

McKinney-Walker Say They Have Qualified for Public Financing

by Categorized: 2014 Election, David Walker, John McKinney Date:

Republican candidate for governor John McKinney and his running mate, David Walker, said Wednesday afternoon they have met the threshold for the state’s public campaign financing system.

The candidates said they were notified by State Elections Enforcement Commission staff that they have provided the necessary documentation to qualify for public financing, though they will have to wait for formal approval until the commission meets on July 16.

The campaign intends to release its first TV ad in coming days. The ad, shot Monday, features just McKinney, though Walker is mentioned. A campaign spokeswoman said she expects it to air soon.

“We are pleased to announce the SEEC has notified us that our campaign has successfully submitted follow-up documentation that will allow us to qualify for citizen election grant funding,” the campaign stated in a press release. The campaign said it secured a total of $250,000 in contributions of $100 or less.

“While we have received notice that we have qualified, staff has informed us that our approval will be delayed until the July 16, 2014 meeting due to internal protocols. We have also received confirmation that we may expend funds immediately, subject to the overall grant cap and the required reimbursement rules. We intend, therefore, to commence our activities this week, as originally planned.”

Joshua Foley, staff attorney for the commission, said McKinney and Walker were informed by staff that their application for public financing is complete. However, Foley added, approval can only be granted by the commission, which decides whether a candidate’s application meets the threshold.

The commission is meeting tomorrow but the application submitted by McKinney and Walker won’t be acted upon until July 16.

McKinney’s Republican opponent in the Aug. 12 primary, Tom Foley, had previously qualified for public financing, as had Democratic incumbent Dannel P. Malloy.

Foley began airing television ads this week.


Chimp Attack Victim Lobbying Congress for Ban on Primate Pet Sales

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In a Congress infamous for legislative gridlock, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal thinks Charla Nash is a major reason why a bill to ban the sale of primates in this nation is likely to cruise to congressional approval with bipartisan backing.

Nash, a woman who was savagely mauled by a pet chimpanzee in 2009, will be in Washington, D.C., this week to urge members of Congress to support the ban on selling or trading primates.

Charla Nash. Hartford Courant photo.

Charla Nash. Hartford Courant photo.

“It has huge traction in the Senate,” Blumenthal said Wednesday. The Connecticut Democrat is a primary sponsor of the legislation in the Senate, and he says there is strong support from both parties in both chambers of Congress.

“Charla Nash will provide a powerful voice and face in support of this bill,” Blumenthal said. “Her extraordinary courage and strength speaks more loudly than anyone’s voice.”

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Boucher May Seek Tougher Penalties for Kids Left in Cars

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After the heartbreaking death of a 15-month-old boy left unattended in a broiling car in Ridgefield Monday, a state Senator is seeking tougher penalties to prevent similar tragedies.

“We need to take a good, hard look at that,” Boucher, R-Wilton, told Patrick Scully, who posted her comments on his blog, The Hanging Shad.

Every year, more than 30 children die in hot cars in the U.S.

But some experts question whether stiffer penalties would actually do any good. For a deeper understanding of how such tragedies can occur, read Washington Post reporter Gene Weingarten’s Pulitzer Prize-winning story, “Fatal Distraction.”

Unions Step Up for Eric Coleman

by Categorized: 2014 Election Date:

Veteran Democratic state Sen. Eric Coleman is getting a big boost from organized labor.

Coleman, who faces primary challenges from Hartford city council President Shawn Wooden and former Windsor town council member Len Walker, was endorsed by AFT Connecticut. The labor federation represents 29,000 teachers and school support staff, nurses and healthcare workers, higher education faculty and public service workers from more than 90 local unions throughout the state.

“Sen. Coleman is an advocate for educators and has helped and endorsed teacher concerns during his tenure,” said Andrea Johnson, president of the Hartford Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 1018.

Coleman, who has served in the legislature for 19 years, is co-chairman of the powerful judiciary committee. In a statement, he thanked the AFT for its endorsement.

“I’m proud to stand with AFT and their members,” Coleman said. “Working together we’ve improved the lives of many children across the district, most recently with the passage of Connecticut Smart Start, our comprehensive early childhood education proposal which will expand pre-K opportunities across our state. Every day, I go work for the working families of the 2nd Senate District. I look forward to continuing that work,” he said.

The race could be one of the 2014 election cycle’s most contentious legislative contests.

Coleman represents the 2nd Senatorial district, which consists of parts of Hartford as well as Windsor and Bloomfield.


Esty, House Dems Introduce Legislation In Response to Hobby Lobby

by Categorized: Elizabeth Esty Date:

Democrats in Congress announced Wednesday they are filing legislation in an attempt to undo the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling that certain companies can deny workers’ contraception coverage on religious grounds.

In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the court ruled that the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a law passed by Congress in 1993. Esty, who criticized the Hobby Lobby decision, said Wednesday that she co-authored the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act of 2014.

The bill prohibits for-profit employers from denying federally mandated health services by exempting such services from the RFRA. Houses of worship and religious non-profits who do not wish to provide contraceptives would still be exempt from the mandate.

“I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing and advocating for legislation that will reverse the Supreme Court’s misguided ruling and ensure basic protections for women’s health,” Esty said.

Identical legislation is being introduced in the Senate.

Malloy Says Whole State Is Battleground

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gov. Dannel Malloy Date:


Gov. Dannel Malloy was in Waterbury on Monday, and he talked with reporters about his reelection bid. Malloy was asked almost exclusively about Republican rival Tom Foley, even though Foley must first win a primary battle against Sen. John McKinney of Fairfield on August 12 before having a potential rematch against Malloy.

Longtime state Capitol reporter Paul Hughes asked Malloy how much of a battleground Waterbury will be in this fall’s election.

“Oh hell, the whole state’s a battleground for God’s sake,” Malloy responded. “Come on! We’re going to be all over the state in campaigns. That’s what campaigns are, and it’s a battle for the future of the state of Connecticut. If you believe, as I do, that we need job growth, and certainly I can stake a claim to about 55,000 private-sector jobs having been created as a down payment, then we’re going to have this battle. That’s what campaigns are. They’re conversations about the future. We’re making and we’ll continue to make and have made solid recommendations, and we’re going to continue to do that.”

Malloy was then asked about his prospects in Waterbury, a city where Republicans traditionally receive many more votes than in hard-core Democratic cities like New Haven and Hartford. Continue reading

Tenet To Acquire St. Mary’s Hospital

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gov. Dannel Malloy Date:


Tenet Healthcare Group, a for-profit hospital manager, has reached an agreement to acquire St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury.

The terms of the deal have not yet been released, but reports this morning indicate that Tenet plans to bring a significant monetary commitment to the table, taking care of the hospital’s debt obligations and funding its pension program. The Waterbury Republican-American also reported that the hospital’s charitable foundation will receive significant support from Tenet.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy praised the deal.

“Saint Mary’s Hospital provides a great benefit to the Greater Waterbury region, and it is a top priority to make sure that residents in this area continue to have access to the health care services they need,” Malloy said. “The delivery of health care across our nation has been an extraordinarily complex and multifaceted issue, which only added to the need for everyone involved to be thorough and mindful of the long-term effects of a major transaction such as this.  I am glad to have signed legislation last month that helped today’s announcement come to fruition, and I look forward to working with Tenet and Saint Mary’s to ensure a smooth process that continues to serve the Waterbury community.”

Nearly Two Dozen Legislative Races Will Be Up For a Vote on Aug. 12

by Categorized: 2014 Election Date:


The governor’s and lieutenant governor’s races have gotten most of the attention but there are at least 21 other primaries on Aug. 12.

Included among them are several legislative races where Democrats face a challenge from within their party. One of the higher profile races is unfolding in the 2nd Senatorial District, where longtime state Sen. Eric Coleman will square off against Hartford city council President Shawn Wooden and former Windsor town council member Len Walker. The district includes Hartford, Bloomfield and Windsor.

Another race that has received significant attention features Ernie Newton of Bridgeport, a former state representative and three-time convicted felon who is looking to return to the legislature.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill’s office has compiled a master list of the 23 races to be decided. Depending on where you live and on which side of the aisle you fall, you may well have a handful of votes to cast.

Remember, primaries in Connecticut are closed, meaning 800,000
Connecticut independents must pick a party by August 11th at noon if they want to vote on primary day. The same deadline holds for those who want to register to vote (in person, at the local registrar’s office) for the first time. Online and mail-in registrations
must be received by August 7th.

A complete list is after the jump:

Continue reading