Category Archives: Mark Boughton

Foley Slammed for Skipping Debate

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

Five of the six Republicans running for governor came to the Mark Twain House for a debate Friday.


Tom Foley, who is the frontrunner according to several Quinnipiac University polls, chose not to attend the debate. His spokesman said he is focusing his efforts on delegates at this stage in the campaign. He intends to participate in debates after the Republican nominating convention next month.

But several of Foley’s opponents criticized him for skipping Friday’s forum, the first major televised debate of the 2014 gubernatorial campaign.

“It’s unfortunate one candidate opted not to attend today,” said Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton. “I think that the delegates that go to the convention next month, I think the people of Connecticut and the Republicans of Connecticut ought to be able to hear from all of us…that’s how you lead. You lead from the front, you don’t lead by hiding somewhere else in the state of Connecticut.”

After the debate, Boughton reiterated his point:

“Tom Foley should be here. Look, we have a responsibility as candidates to have a conversation with the public in Connecticut and when you duck your responsibility, when you don’t come…it’s not like he’s doing anything else today but hanging around the estate. The reality is, you have a duty to share with the Republican voters and later the general voters, where you stand on the issues of the day.”

State Sen. John McKinney echoed those comments:

“Listen, ambassador Foley should have been here today. There’s no other way to describe it. When you run for office, you have an obligation to tell the people who are going to hire you what your positions are. You need to listen to them and you need to respond to their questions. Not showing up for a debate I think shirks a fundamental responsible and obligation as a candidate for public office.”


First Major TV Debate In Governor’s Race Friday; To Be Broadcast Sunday Morning

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Greenwich, Joe Visconti, John McKinney, Mark Boughton, Tom Foley Date:

The first major television debate in the governor’s race was held Friday at the Mark Twain House in Hartford.

While Republicans have faced off in various forums across the state, Friday was the first big debate televised statewide. Sponsored by The Hartford Courant and FOX CT, the one-hour debate was taped in front of a live audience in the Twain House auditorium and will be broadcast at 10 a.m. Sunday on FOX CT.

The debate will preempt “The Real Story” and Tom Dudchik’s weekly Capitol Report that combine for the Political Power Hour on Sunday mornings.

The participants were Senate Republican leader John McKinney, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, Avon attorney Martha Dean, Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, and former West Hartford town council member Joe Visconti. Greenwich business executive Tom Foley, who is leading among Republicans in the latest Quinnipiac University poll, did not appear. Continue reading

Daughter of Slain Sandy Hook Principal Feels Betrayed by Boughton’s Decision to Split from Anti Gun Group

by Categorized: Gun control, Mark Boughton, Sandy Hook Date:

Erica Lafferty, the daughter of slain Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal Dawn Hochsprung, said politics prompted Mark Boughton to withdraw from Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

“My mom and my family have strong ties to Danbury – it was where my mother held her first school administration job and I know it is a place that was dear to her heart.  That’s why I feel betrayed to learn that Mayor Boughton is putting his personal political ambitions ahead of the safety of Connecticut families.  In fact, the tagline for his campaign is ‘People over Politics’ – but the only people that this decision serves are gun lobbyists,” Lafferty said in a statement.


“We need leaders who have the courage to stand up to the gun lobby and who support common-sense reforms that respect rights while protecting people – that’s what Mayors Against Illegal Guns supports and fights for,” added Lafferty, who is an outreach associate for Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

“Our state has been devastated by gun violence and we will remind voters of this betrayal of our trust when it comes time to cast votes,” she said.

Boughton Withdraws from Bloomberg Gun Control Group

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gun control, Mark Boughton Date:

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, a Republican running for governor, announced Wednesday that he is withdrawing from Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a national gun control group formed by billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Boughton is well-known for his adept use of social media but, as of early afternoon, there was no mention of his decision on either his mayoral or campaign Twitter feeds. Nor did he mention it on Facebook.

The Boughton campaign tweeted the news Wednesday afternoon:

Boughton initially announced his withdrawal from the group in a brief statement posted on the news page of his campaign website. He later issued a press release.

“As a member of the Connecticut General Assembly, I was a strong supporter of the rights of law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen in Connecticut. This remains my position today,” Boughton said.

“I joined New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) because I believe enforcement of existing gun laws is preferable to creating new gun laws,” Boughton said. “It is clear in recent months however that Bloomberg’s mission has changed from law enforcement to simply increasing gun regulations. As a result, today I have ended my affiliation with Bloomberg’s group.”

Boughton, one of six Republicans running for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, has endured considerable criticism from gun-control opponents for his membership in Bloomberg’s group.

“Gun owners in Connecticut are not going to accept or vote for candidates that support gun control; especially ones seeking the highest of State offices,” Scott Wilson, president of Connecticut Citizens Defense League, said in January.

“Mayor Boughton is a coalition member of an active anti-2nd Amendment organization that claims to support sensible gun reforms,” Wilson added. “In reality the group, ‘Mayors Against Illegal Guns‘ continually works to infringe on the rights of law abiding gun owners. The Mayor’s statements about the recently passed gun laws, are also very troubling to gun owners in Connecticut.”

Asked last year by Christine Stuart of CT News Junkie whether he would have signed the sweeping gun control bill enacted by the legislature after the Newtown school shootings, Boughton hedged.

“I believe and have believed that those people deserved a legislative response,” Boughton told Stuart. “I don’t know if the legislature got it right. I think in many, many ways they didn’t get it right. Particularly when it relates to school safety. To only put $15 million to harden our school sites in the entire state of Connecticut is absolutely bizarre.

Boughton’s decision to withdraw from Mayors Against Illegal Guns drew a sharp rebuke from Democratic state Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo.

“After trying to position himself as a moderate, middle of the road guy, Mark Boughton is now so worried about his political future that he’s decided it’s time to pander to the NRA,” DiNardo said in a statement. “Was he spooked by seeing Tom Foley and Martha Dean at last week’s rally? Who knows? Whatever his reasoning – and spare me the rhetoric in his press release; it’s absurd – he’s now shown that when it comes to common sense gun control, Mark Boughton stands against the people of Connecticut.”

McKinney Wants 10 GOP Debates

by Categorized: Joe Visconti, John McKinney, Mark Boughton, Mark Lauretti, Tom Foley, Toni Boucher Date:

State Sen. John McKinney, a Republican running for governor, is calling for 10 debates between now and the state party convention in May.

\”Connecticut Republicans deserve the opportunity to ask questions and hear first-hand from the candidates they will choose between for the Republican nomination,\’\’ McKinney said in a press release. \”The nomination should not be decided by 30-second television ads, three sentence sound bites, and glossy oversized mail pieces. Rather, candidates need to state specifically where they stand on the important issues of the day. This election is too important.\”

McKinney is calling for “a series of issue-oriented debates…to highlight the strengths of the candidates on our side of the aisle [and] also put the Republican message on a more level playing field with a governor who is leveraging, if not exploiting, all the powers of incumbency to campaign for reelection across the state.”

McKinney, who is the Republican leader in the state Senate, is one of at least five candidates seeking the GOP nomination. Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, former West Hartford council member Joe Visconti, Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti and former ambassador Tom Foley have all announced they are running. Also considering a run is state Sen. Toni Boucher of Wilton is also weighing a run.

Minutes after McKinney\’s announcement, Boughton tweeted his response to McKinney\’s challenge:

  • <div class="entities-media-container js-media-container" style="min-height:0px">

    <div class="js-machine-translated-tweet-container"></div>
    <div class="js-tweet-stats-container tweet-stats-container ">

    <div class="client-and-actions">
    <span class="metadata">
    <span>3:52 PM - 18 Feb 2014</span>

    &middot; <a class="permalink-link js-permalink js-nav" href="/MayorMark/status/435879415638405120" tabindex="-1">Details</a>


    \" data-mentions=\"capitolwatch TomFoleyCT JoeVisconti2014 ToniBoucher\" data-you-follow=\"true\" data-you-block=\"false\">

    @capitolwatch @TomFoleyCT @JoeVisconti2014 @ToniBoucher Make it 20. I\’m in.

Lawmakers Ponder New School Security Standards

by Categorized: Education, Mark Boughton, Public Safety, Sandy Hook Date:

\"photoConnecticut lawmakers are considering a bill that would set standards for school security officers.

Senate Bill 98 would require minimum training levels for security personnel who are not current or retired police officers. The standards would be developed in consultation with the state Department of Education and include training on drug detection and gang identification.

\”There\’s no uniform standard,\’\’ Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton told members of the legislature\’s public safety committee, which held a hearing on the proposal this morning. \”Certainly establishing those standards…is something that the state ought to consider.\”

The 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown prompted many school districts to assess their public safety plans. At least one Connecticut town installed armed guards at its schools.

Boughton said many communities chose not to have armed guards and cannot afford to assign a police officer to each of their schools.

Continue reading

GOP Candidates Debate: Big Divide On Guns

by Categorized: 2014 Election, John McKinney, Mark Boughton, Republicans, Tom Foley, Toni Boucher Date:

The money quote from last night\’s GOP debate comes from Joe Visconti, who, with these comments, showed why he will struggle to attract mainstream support:

Visconti said if he had been at Sandy Hook Elementary School, \”the outcome would have been much different.\”

And then:

Later in the debate he said he would not give more money to the state police until they stopped \”confiscating guns.\”

Read Jenny Wilson\’s full account.


Social Savvy Mayor Cancels School On Vine

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Mark Boughton, Republicans Date:

Danbury Mayor Mark  Boughton, a longshot Republican candidate for governor, shows why he could be the surprise challenger this year. Unlike many candidates, he connects. Here, he cancels school via Vine, a social media app. Not bad, Mr. Mayor, even with the dorky shovel. Click on the image if you want to turn on the sound.

Springsteen, State GOP Play Mohegan Sun On Same Day

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Jerry Labriola, John McKinney, Mark Boughton, Tom Foley Date:

\"springsteenWhen the state Republican Party decided last year to hold their convention at the Mohegan Sun, they did it because their costs were cut nearly in half from their last convention in Hartford.

They picked the dates of Friday, May 16 and Saturday, May 17.

But they had no idea that they would be in the same building with Bruce Springsteen, one of the most popular rockers of all time. It was just announced Monday that Springsteen will be playing at the Mohegan Sun Arena on two consecutive nights – \"tomMay 17 and 18.

It looks like it will be a pretty busy weekend in Uncasville as the hotel is booking up very fast with politicians and Springsteen fans.

The GOP will be bringing 1,250 to 1,300 delegates for the annual convention to pick candidates for governor and multiple statewide races. When guests, candidates, and the press are all added in, the crowd could be as many as 2,000 people, said Jerry Labriola, the state party chairman. Continue reading