Author Archives: Daniela Altimari

Visconti Says He Has More Than 7,000 Signatures

by Categorized: Uncategorized Date:
Photo provided by Visconti campaign

Photo provided by Visconti campaign

Joe Visconti, a former Republican town council member in West Hartford who is now petitioning to get on the November gubernatorial ballot, said Sunday he has collected more than 7,500 signatures.

Viscont need to collect valid signatures from 7,500 registered voters in Connecticut by Aug. 6.

Visconti and his supporters say they have been criss-crossing the state with petitions in hand. This week, they intend to go to Naugatuck on Tuesday, Southington on Wednesday, Torrington on Thursday and Manchester next Sunday.

 

 

McKinney: “We Are Not Leaving This Race.”

by Categorized: 2014 Election, John McKinney, Tom Foley Date:

Republican John McKinney says he is not leaving the governor’s race, despite a call from his GOP rival Tom Foley to drop out.

Foley, who won the endorsement of Republican insiders at the state party convention in May, said McKinney should abandon his quest to win the party’s nomination. “I think the right thing for John to do is to drop out of the race and endorse me, and I hope he does it,” Foley told The Day of New London’s editorial board.

McKinney-Foley

McKinney flatly rejected Foley’s call.

“Obviously, Tom Foley’s polling is telling him the same thing ours is telling us: this race is now competitive,” McKinney said. “After a disastrous debate performance and an unwillingness to give voters a straight answer on any important issue, voters are turning toward our plan for spending reductions and real tax relief.

“I appreciate that having taken over the state party machine, Tom would like to dictate the outcome of this primary instead of engaging me on the issues.

“We are not leaving this race.”

 

NRA Rates Foley a B-

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gun control Date:

The National Rifle Association’s Political Action Committee has given Connecticut gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley a B- rating.

His Republican primary opponent, John McKinney earned an F.

Foley’s grade puts him among the ranks of “generally pro-gun candidate[s],” the NRA said. “However, a “B” candidate may have opposed some pro-gun reform or supported some restrictive legislation in the past.”

Among candidates for lieutenant governor, Penny Bacchiochi, a state representative from Stafford, earns the groups top rating: an A. She is seen by the organization as a “legislator with not only an excellent voting record on all critical NRA issues, but who has also made a vigorous effort to promote and defend the Second Amendment.” In addition, Bacchiochi received the NRA’s endorsement.

Her Republican opponents, Heather Somers, the former mayor of Groton, and former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker both also earned A ratings. Somers was A- and Walker’s was a qualified A, because it is based on his responses to an NRA questionnaire and not a voting record.

The organization only released its rating for candidates involved in primaries. Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who does not face a primary, was not rated, through the NRA and other gun-owners’ groups have been sharply critical of the governor and his policies.

 

“You Don’t Want Two Clones”: McKinney and Walker Diverge on Guns

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

Republicans John McKinney and David Walker forged an alliance based on a strategic need to pool resources as well as a shared vision for strengthening the state’s economy.

But that doesn’t mean the gubernatorial running mates agree on every issue facing Connecticut. In fact, they diverge sharply on gun control, one of the defining controversies of the campaign.

McKinney, a state senator representing Newtown, was a key supporter of the sweeping gun control legislation that passed in the aftermath of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shootings. For that, and for his past support of gun control efforts, the candidate for governor earned an F rating from the NRA

Senate Republican Leader John McKinney. Hartford Courant photo.

Senate Republican Leader John McKinney. Hartford Courant photo.

and was branded “a true enemy of gun owners’ rights.”

Walker, who is running for lieutenant governor, defines himself as “a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment.” He earned a qualified A from the NRA. (The grade is qualified because Walker, who has not held elective office, does not have a voting record on gun-related policies, although the NRA views him as a pro-gun candidate because of his responses to organization’s questionnaire.)

The split on guns could make for some uncomfortable moments on the campaign trail but Walker shrugs it off. “You don’t want two clones,” said Walker, who is not a pistol-permit holder but does own several antique guns that have been in his family for generations.

davidwalker

Still, Walker is taking some precautions. His campaign has two different lawn signs, one reading McKinney/Walker and one with just Walker’s name.

“We’re going to have both because the truth is, there are certain parts of the state where a McKinney/Walker sign might be OK and there are certain parts of the state where it may not be OK,” he told members of the Bridgeport Republican Town Committee last week. “John and I are in strong agreement with regards to most policy issues on fiscal policy. We disagree on a few issues such as the 2nd Amendment. I’m a very strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment [and] that’s a big issue for certain parts of the population.”

And he reminded the Bridgeport Republicans on the way the system works: “All of you know you vote separately for governor and lt. governor
and while John McKinney and I have formed an alliance, the fact is when people go into the voting booth, they’re going to have to make a separate judgement on governor and lt governor.”

 

 

McKinney Says Foley “Doesn’t Deserve the Opportunity to Lead Our Party Against Dan Malloy”

by Categorized: 2014 Election, John McKinney, Tom Foley Date:

With three weeks to go before the Aug. 12 primary, the two Republican candidates for governor continue to spend advertising dollars attacking one another on fiscal matters

On Monday, John McKinney released a blistering new television ad accusing his rival Tom Foley of twisting his stance on budgets and taxes.

“Tom Foley is just not being honest about my record,” an indignant McKinney says in the 30-second commercial.

“The truth is, it’s Tom Foley who won’t cut spending. I will,” said McKinney, who has served in the state Senate for 16 years.

The ad comes less than a week after the Foley campaign began airing a spot branding McKinney and Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy as “career politicians, insiders…pushing failed policies.”

In particular, Foley’s ad claimed McKinney and Malloy both back “billions in higher taxes.”

McKinney released a detailed statement along with his new ad countering Foley’s assertions. His ad also seeks to turn the tables on Foley and link him to Malloy.

“For Tom Foley to knowingly distort my voting record isn’t honest,” McKinney said. “We deserve a governor who has the highest degree of integrity and who will be truthful with the people of Connecticut. My record of fighting for the taxpayers is clear. I am offering real leadership and a plan to fix the state budget. Tom Foley has no plan. He refuses to engage in debates. He doesn’t deserve the opportunity to lead our Party against Dan Malloy this fall.”

McKinney said 19 general fund budget or budget-related tax bills have come up for a vote during his 16 years in the Senate.

“Of those bills, 4 made no tax changes, 5 were bills that cut taxes and 10 were bills that increased taxes. I voted for 4 of the 5 bills that cut taxes. And I voted against tax increases 9 of 10 times,” he said.

The one time he voted for a budget that included a general fund tax increase? That was in 2007 when the cigarette tax rose from $1.51 to $2.00 per pack, McKinney said.

The same year, McKinney also voted for a bill that authorized $500 million in Special Transportation Obligation bonds for the purchase of 342 new rail cars, plus transit buses, a dial-a-ride program for the elderly and disabled, renovations to the state pier in New London and several municipal airports.

“In order to pay for this infrastructure investment the legislature agreed to a phased-in increase in the Petroleum Gross Receipts Tax from 5.0% in 2005 to 8.1% in 2013,” McKinney said.

“Why Tom Foley is opposed to this vital investment in the infrastructure of the transportation systems in our state is beyond me,” McKinney added.

 

McKinney/Walker Not Attending Christie Event

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

Some supporters of Republican gubernatorial candidate John McKinney are grumbling because their candidate was not invited to attend a campaign stop and fundraiser with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie this afternoon.

Christie, a Republican with presidential aspirations, is coming to Greenwich to attend two separate fundraisers for the Republican Governors Association and the Connecticut Republican party.

Christie will appear with McKinney’s rival, Tom Foley, at both fundraisers. The two men will also make a retail campaign stop in Greenwich. Sources said Foley was instrumental in organizing the fundraisers, securing Christie’s participation and finding a location for the events.

McKinney’s running mate, former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker was also not invited to the fundraisers.

Over the weekend, McKinney was highly critical of the state’s party’s role in the race, telling Susan Haigh of the Associated Press that party leadership is actively helping Foley. The Republican gubernatorial nominee will be decided by a primary on Aug. 12.

Connecticut Republican Chairman Jerry Labiola Jr. said only candidates who won the party’s endorsement at the state convention in May were invited to the fundraisers.

“The purpose of Gov. Christie’s visit is straightforward–to raise money to defeat Dan Malloy so that we can pull Connecticut’s economy out of last place.”

While Foley hob-nobs with Christie, McKinney and Walker will be in Southington attending a Republican Town Committee barbecue. They are also scheduled to travel to Danbury to attend an RTC meeting there.

Sen. Maynard Suffers Serious Injury

by Categorized: Uncategorized Date:

Sen. Andrew Maynard is in a Rhode Island hospital after suffering “severe” and “multiple injuries”, including head injuries, as a result of a fall from an outside staircase at his Stonington home early Monday, according to police.

sen.maynard

Stonington Police Capt. Jerry Desmond said Maynard, 52, fell “from a significant height” onto the sidewalk outside his home. A neighbor was there at the time and called police at 2:39 a.m. Monday morning, Desmond said.

Maynard was transported initially to Westerly Hospital in Rhode Island and was later transported to another hospital in that state for additional treatment, according to Desmond.

“Our initial investigation indicates an apparent accident,” said Desmond, ” but we will continue to investigate.”

Desmond said Maynard suffered injuries to his head and other parts of his body.

“Family members are with him now, at an area hospital, and are caring for him. His family is asking for privacy while he convalesces,” Senate President Donald Williams and Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney said in a joint statement Monday morning.

Maynard represents the 18th District covering eight towns in the southeastern corner of Connecticut. He is a deputy Senate majority leader and co-chair of the legislature’s Transportation Committee.

Gov. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman also released a statement.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Andy and his loved ones,” Malloy and Wyman said.  “Working with him has been an honor and a privilege.  He is a powerful voice for his district and for the issues he cares about.  We join the rest of our colleagues in wishing him a full and fast recovery.”

Republican leaders in the state Senate also expressed their concern. “The thoughts and prayers of the entire Connecticut State Senate Republican caucus go out to Senator Maynard and his family,” Sens. John McKinney and Len Fasano said in a joint statement. “We wish Sen. Maynard a swift recovery.”

 

Gun Control Activists Will Protest Gov. Christie Visit to Connecticut

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Chris Christie, Gun control, Tom Foley Date:

When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie comes to Connecticut Monday, he will be met by protesters supporting tougher gun control measures.

Christie incurred the anger of gun control advocates last month, when he vetoed a bill that would have limited high capacity magazines to no more than ten rounds. He also refused to meet with families who lost loved ones in the Newtown school shootings.

Christie, a Republican, is coming to Connecticut to attend a fundraiser for Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley of Greenwich. The fundraiser will be held in the exclusive Belle Haven neighborhood of Greenwich.

CT Against Gun Violence is organizing a coalition of groups to participate in the demonstration. The group sent out an email blast to supporters asking them to attend the protest.

“Foley is no friend of common-sense gun laws, having stated ‘If I’m governor, any further attempts and restrictions on law-abiding gun owners by our legislature will stop at the governor’s office,”’ the email stated. “Our response is to be there with as large a group as possible to let them know what the Connecticut Effect looks like.”

McKinney, Foley Spar at Courant-Fox CT Debate

by Categorized: 2014 Election, John McKinney, Republicans, Tom Foley Date:

By Matthew Q. Clarida

The gloves came off as John McKinney and Tom Foley, two Republican hopefuls for governor, squared off on the economy, spending, and Common Core in a debate Thursday.

The hourlong forum was held at the Courant’s offices and moderated by the paper’s Christopher P. Keating and Laurie Perez of Fox CT.

McKinney, a state senator from Fairfield and the Republican leader in the senate, was aggressive from the start, attacking Foley for a spending plan McKinney claimed would offer little change from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s. Foley pledged to hold spending flat, while McKinney has consistently proposed cuts.

“We need to be honest with the people of the state of Connecticut: I have the only plan to reduce spending, in real dollars, in the state of Connecticut,” McKinney said.

McKinney stayed on the offensive when asked about his tax plan. Like Foley, he said that he would cut taxes, but he attacked his opponent for a recent advertisement which said that McKinney has voted with Malloy to raise taxes.

“[Foley] is running as an outsider but his commercial is like that of a typical politician, distorting the facts,” McKinney said.

Foley continued his charge that McKinney, who has served in the state Senate since 1999, is part of a dysfunctional insider’s club in Hartford.

“John McKinney has been in the legislature for 15 years. He’s part of the problem,” Foley said.

 

 

Trinity Prof: Blumethal Need Not Say “Pretty Please” on Contraception Mandate

by Categorized: Richard Blumenthal Date:

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal made headlines earlier this week with his request that Hobby Lobby DEO David Green comply with Connecticut law and provide the company’s employees with contraception coverage–despite a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision saying it did not have to.

But according to Trinity College professor Mark Silk, the state’s senior senator did not need to ask so nicely.

“Connecticut is within its rights to demand that Green provide the full range of contraceptive services to his women employees” in the state, writes Silk, professor of religion in public life and director of Trinity’s Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life.

Read more on Silk’s blog, Spiritual Politics, which appears on the Religion News Service website.