Category Archives: President Obama

Mark Barden to Be Honored for Gun Violence Prevention Efforts

by Categorized: Gun control, Newtown, President Obama Date:

Mark Barden, the Newtown father whose son Daniel was one of 26 people shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School, will be honored by President Obama for his work on behalf of gun control.


Barden, the director of advocacy for Sandy Hook Promise, has traveled the nation since the December, 2012 shooting, promoting tougher gun laws.

He is one of nine grassroots activists working on gun violence prevention to be honored as \”Champions of Change\” by Obama at a ceremony Thursday.

On Minimum Wage Increase in New England, Maine\’s LePage the Odd Man Out

by Categorized: Gov. Dannel Malloy, Minimum Wage, President Obama Date:

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy\’s forceful advocacy for raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour has boosted his national profile. Three of his fellow New England governors — Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island, Deval Patrick of Massachusetts and Peter Shumlin of Vermont — joined President Obama at a rally at Central Connecticut State University today.

\”The governors here today…and a governor who couldn’t be here today, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, all are fighting to give hardworking folks in these great New England states a raise of their own,\’\’ Obama said. \”And they’ve formed a regional coalition to raise the minimum wage.  If they succeed in their efforts, New England will have some of the highest minimum wages in the country.\”


But one New England governor went unmentioned. Paul LePage, the Republican governor of Maine, recently vetoed a bill that would have raised the state\’s current minimum wage of $7.50 an hour to $9 an hour by 2015.

\”It is time to aim higher than the minimum,” LePage wrote in his veto letter. “We must create the environment for well-paying careers, to give hard-working families an opportunity to succeed. Mainers deserve more than the minimum and if we give them the opportunity, they will earn it. Let us refocus on lowering energy costs, continuing to streamline and reform regulations, and reducing our tax burden. It is time to move out of 50th place. Quite simply, it is time to put Maine people before politics.”


New Britain\’s Republican Mayor Getting \”A Lot of Pushback On Social Media\” For Welcoming Obama

by Categorized: President Obama Date:

A presidential visit is a big deal for any mayor. \”I’m honored, as the mayor of my city, that our president is coming,” Erin Stewart, New Britain\’s Republican mayor, told the New Britain Herald.


But Stewart has gotten some criticism on social media for welcoming the President.

\”Mayor Erin Stewart should be cautioned to carefully weigh the role she will play when the President\’s Circus comes to town,\’\’ wrote one anonymous blogger. \”[I]t will be critical for Ms. Stewart, a leading Republican, to avoid getting caught up in the theatrics of the moment, and remind Mr. Obama and Mr. Malloy that Connecticut\’s economy has suffered tremendously as a result of liberal Democrat policies enacted by both of their regime\’s administrations.\”

Republican gubernatorial candidate Joe Visconti of West Hartford expressed a similar sentiment earlier this week. \”Hope @stewartfornb doesn\’t participate in @BarackObama visit to CCSU in New Britain CT. #ctpolitics #bigmistake #ctgop,\’\’ Visconti tweeted.

\”It\’s an honor to have any President in town politics aside I respect the office. Call me if there\’s a problem with that,\’\’ Stewart responded.


On Eve of Presidential Visit, Q Poll Finds Obama with his Lowest Approval Rating in Connecticut

by Categorized: President Obama Date:

President Obama is in negative territory in Blue Connecticut.

A little over a year into Obama\’s second term, the Quinnipiac University poll found 51 percent of voters disapprove of the way the president is doing his job. That\’s a new high for Obama, whose all-time high approval rating in the state reached 71 percent in May of 2009.


Once again, there is a significant gender gap, with 57 percent of men disapproving of his performance and women more evenly divided, with 49 percent approving and 47 percent disapproving.

Obama is scheduled to visit Central Connecticut State University on Wednesday to promote his proposal to raise the minimum wage, an issue that could boost his job-approval ratings in the state. The Q poll found broad support for a higher minimum wage, with 71 percent of Connecticut voters supporting the idea and just 25 percent opposed.


Governors to Obama: Don\’t Cut National Guard

by Categorized: Gov. Dannel Malloy, President Obama Date:

Don\’t downsize the National Guard.

That was the message from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and a bipartisan group of governors who met with President Obama at the White House on Monday.

Malloy said the governors are not protesting the reductions themselves, which are part of the budget deal reached by Congress and the president in December. \”We all accept there have to be cuts,\’\’ said Malloy, a Democrat.

But the governors are concerned about the way the Pentagon is proposing to make the cuts.

\”It would take the number of forces down too dramatically,\’\’ Malloy said in a phone interview after the meeting. \”It would substantially degrade the ability our ability to respond to natural disasters.\”

Malloy said Obama was open to the governors\’ concerns.

\”He indicated he wants to hear more,\’\’ Malloy said.

Malloy is one of 10 governors who serves on bipartisan panel that serves as a liaison between the states and the Department of Defense on military issues.

The governor has been in Washington for the past few days for a series of meetings hosted by the National Governors Association.


Presidential Commission Releases Recommendations To Improve Voting Experience

by Categorized: 2014 Election, President Obama Date:

A White House commission tasked with finding ways state and local officials can improve election day for voters released a set of recommendations Wednesday that includes early voting – a measure that will be on the ballot in Connecticut next November.

\"white-house-picture\"The task force was created largely in response to long lines at polls that plagued election day in Connecticut and elsewhere. Some state residents had to wait in line for up to two hours to vote for president in 2012, and other states reported wait times of up to five hours. According to the commission\’s report, early voting would help reduce long lines.

The General Assembly last spring approved a measure to enact early voting, pending voter approval of a Nov. 2014 ballot initiative to amend the state constitution\’s voting restrictions.

Other recommendations from the commission included expanding online voter registration, improving access to voting materials for military and overseas voters, and improving voting technology.

Obama To Launch Initiative To Combat Campus Sexual Assault

by Categorized: President Obama, UConn Date:

The Associated Press reports that President Obama on Wednesday will launch a initiative aimed at combating sexual assault on college campuses, three months after several UConn students filed a federal discrimination complaint that accuses the school of inadequately investigating and responding to reported rapes and sexual assaults.

\"whiteThe president is creating a task force that will study how universities can take measures to prevent and respond to sexual assault. The administrative panel also will focus on how each institution has addressed the issue in the past, and develop ways the federal government can hold schools accountable for their track record.

The Title IX complaint filed against UConn last October includes allegations that perpetrators\’ sanctions were lifted and that university police shrugged off complaints and questioned the credibility of victims of sexual assault. A fifth student since has joined the plaintiffs. The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages for the plaintiffs who suffered as a result of UConn\’s \”deliberate indifference\” to the issue, and asks the court to order UConn to revise its policies and procedures.

Sen. Blumenthal praised the president\’s action on the issue, and said in a statement, \”sexual violence is not a women\’s issue; it is a societal issue. Particularly significant in this call to action is engaging men as ‘influencers’ of other men – role models leading by example to discourage and deter sexual assault and violence.\”

Arne Duncan On His Way To Hartford

by Categorized: Education, President Obama Date:

The governor\’s office confirms that Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education, will visit Hartford\’s University High School on Tuesday afternoon at 1:30. Duncan will speak on college accessibility and affordability. According to Duncan\’s office the event will include U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and others.



Moodus Woman Introduces Obama At White House

by Categorized: President Obama Date:

At a White House session today on extending unemployment insurance, President Obama was introduced by Katherine Hackett of Moodus. Hackett wrote to Obama about losing her unemployment after Congress did not act to extend the benefits.

According to the White House, Hackett\’s benefit helps cover her mortgage payment and healthcare. She has two sons serving in the military.

\”I hope our leaders in Washington can find a solution to help families like mine,\’\’ Hackett said before introducing Obama and detailing how she has tried to get by without a job.


CT Delegation Reacts: Give Snowden Clemency?

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Chris Murphy, Congress, Democrats, Elizabeth Esty, John B. Larson, John Larson, D, President Obama, Richard Blumenthal, Rosa DeLauro, U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Washington Date:

A majority of the members of Connecticut\’s congressional delegation say that Edward Snowden should not be given clemency.

This week, a New York Times editorial called for clemency and whistleblower status for Snowden, a former government contractor who has leaked detailed information about the National Security Agency\’s extensive domestic and international spying.

Sen. Chris Murphy and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, along with Rep. Elizabeth Esty, Rep. Joe Courtney, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Rep. Jim Himes and Rep. John Larson all say Snowden must face felony charges. (I am still waiting for a response from Rep. John Larson.)

“Edward Snowden should come back to the United States and be held accountable for his actions,\’\’ Murphy said in a statement released by his office Friday. \”If Snowden truly cared about exposing illegal activity, he should have gone through proper channels using statutory whistleblower protections.  Instead, he stole untold amounts of sensitive, classified information, fled to China and Russia, and made these secrets available to countries with adversarial interests toward the United States.  Snowden\’s revelations have touched off an important debate, but this fact does not absolve him from responsibility for his crimes, especially when he had other avenues through which to raise these issues.”

But U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney suggested that a plea bargain might be a good idea. His spokesperson, Liz Donovan, said:

Congressman Courtney has consistently voted against giving sweeping powers to the NSA—including changes that  weakened FISA warrant standards in 2007 and extension of the Patriot Act without reform—for precisely the reasons that the Snowden revelations have highlighted. Congressman Courtney believes in the integrity America’s courts, and given that Mr. Snowden has been charged by federal prosecutors,  he should return to the U.S., where he can present an argument for his innocence or mitigating circumstances. Given the unique nature of this case, the Justice Department should make a bona fide attempt to negotiate a balanced path forward, which may include a plea bargain process that could reduce the severity of any punishment.

Congressman Courtney continues to support bipartisan efforts to reform our intelligence programs to increase oversight and accountability, strengthen protections for whistleblowers, and rebalance our security activities with the rights afforded to American citizens under the constitution. Continue reading