Biden Coming to East Hartford Next Week

by Categorized: 2014 Election Date:

Vice President Joe Biden will make another trip to Connecticut next week.

Biden will attend an event on workforce development and skills in East Hartford on Wed., Aug. 20, according to the White House. No additional details were provided.

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Neil Vigdor of Hearst Newspapers is reporting that Biden will also attend a pair of fundraisers in Fairfield County that day. Citing multiple sources, Vigdor says Biden will attend a fundraiser in Greenwich for the Democratic Governors Association and another in Stamford for the Connecticut Democratic Party.


Republicans File Election Complaint Against Malloy, DGA

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The Connecticut Republican party has filed a complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission alleging unlawful coordination between a committee established by the Democratic Governors Association and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s reelection campaign.

Democrats say the allegations are baseless.

The complaint, filed on Wednesday, asserts that $91,255 in expenditures made by Connecticut Forward, a committee established by the Democratic Governors Association, were coordinated with the Malloy campaign, a violation of state election law.

The complaint does not provide any details in support of its claim. However, Zak Sanders, spokesman for the Connecticut Republican party, said the very fact that Malloy is a member of the Democratic governors group is proof of coordination.

“Gov. Malloy sits on their board and has raised money for the organization,” Sanders said. “Now this money is coming back and is being spent on his behalf.”

“When the law gets in the way of Gov. Malloy’s plans for re-election, he either finds a way around it or blatantly ignores it,” said Jerry Labriola, Jr., chairman of the state Republican party. “We saw this first with his pay-to-play shakedown of state contractors for campaign cash, and we’re seeing it again now through his apparent illegal coordination with the Democratic Governors Association and Connecticut Forward.”

Devon Puglia, spokesman for the state Democratic party, said the complaint has no merit and contains no specifics. He dismissed it as a publicity stunt.

“This claim is utterly baseless, totally unsubstantiated, and unbelievably reckless,” Puglia said. “There are fewer specifics in this claim than the GOP’s policy proposals — and that’s next to nothing. If voters want to know why the GOP will take Connecticut backwards, this is it. Rooting for Connecticut to fail and trying to turn back the clock on this state, this is a cheap, paper-thin ploy to generate a headline.”

The Democratic Governors Association, and its Republican counterpart, are expected to big big players in gubernatorial campaign, which pits Malloy against Republican businessman Tom Foley.

Earlier this year, New Jersey Gov. Chris Chrisie, the head of the Republican Governors Association, came to Greenwich and pledged to “commit the resources that are necessary to try to get Tom’s campaign over the finishing line.”

Danny Kanner, spokesman for the Democratic Governors Association, called the Republcians’ complaint “frivolous.”

“While it’s nice to see erratic millionaire Tom Foley is taking time off from blaming workers for losing their jobs and driving his company into bankruptcy, he and his Republican hatchet men should use the opportunity to come clean about the devastating impact his hidden policies would have on middle-class families instead of filing frivolous legal complaints,” Kanner said.

The SEEC is expected to take up the complaint at its next meeting on Tuesday. At that time, it will determine whether the complaint is within the commission’s purview; it if it found to meet that standard, an investigation will be opened, a spokesman for the commission said.

Foley Takes Ice Bucket Challenge

by Categorized: 2014 Election Date:

The day after winning the party primary, Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley accepted a challenge from his former opponent and agreed to have a bucket of ice dumped on his head  as part of a viral campaign to raise money for ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

McKinney, who had a bucket of ice dumped on his head last night, “nominated” Foley – meaning the former ambassador had 24 hours to either participate or donate $100 to an ALS charity. Foley agreed to do both, as did McKinney. McKinney also nominated State Rep. Brenda Kupchick (who accepted the challenge) and Gov. Malloy (who has yet to).

Foley stood outside his Trumbull headquarters after a press conference Wednesday and made his nominations before McKinney dumped ice water on his head. He tapped political foes: Roy Occhiogrosso, a former Malloy adviser who helped to run the governor’s 2010 campaign; Nancy DiNardo, the state Democratic party chairwoman; and Gov. Malloy.

“A good friend of mine,” Foley said when he named Occhiogrosso, causing McKinney to exclaim, “Yes!”

Occhiogrosso, after learning of the challenge, posted a response to his Twitter account: “not until he learns how to pronounce my name. He’s got the “Roy” part down pat.”

Commenting on Foley’s good-natured humor in accepting the challenge, McKinney said, “More people need to see it. He’s a good guy.”

Malloy Kicks Off General Election Campaign With A New Ad

by Categorized: 2014 Election Date:

One day after the Republican primary, with nominee Tom Foley still savoring his victory, Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy launched a new attack ad.

The 30-second spot hits Foley’s business record and also his appearance last month at a factory in Sprague that is laying off workers.


The ad picks up on two lines of attack first aired by Foley’s Republican colleagues. In 2010, Michael Fedele’s campaign produced a devastating ad that accused Foley of profiting from a Georgia textile company that later closed. (Fedele wound up losing the party’s nomination to Foley.)

Just last week, Republican gubernatorial hopeful John McKinney made an ad that featured Foley’s appearance at Fusion Paperboard in Sprague. The visit was supposed to be a photo op and press conference on what Foley has called Malloy’s failed jobs agenda; instead it dissolved into a tense exchange with workers and a Democratic town official that was captured by trackers for rival campaigns.

The Malloy ad seeks to draw parallels between Bibb and Sprague. “Tom Foley knows a thing or two about how to wreck companies, destroy jobs and personally profit from the rubble,” said Mark Bergman, spokesman for the Malloy campaign. “At Bibb Co, Foley laid off hundreds of workers and drove the company into bankruptcy while he and his company made millions. And when his political theater in Sprague was interrupted, he showed who he is really is—blaming workers and local officials instead of the out of state private equity company that was responsible for closing down the factory and costing over 100 Connecticut jobs. The same type of out of state private equity company that Foley ran when he drove Bibb Co into the ground.”

Judge Fitzsimmons to Retire From State Bench

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Holly B. Fitzsimmons, a longtime U.S. Magistrate Judge in Bridgeport, has announced she will retire in April, opening a $183,000 a year judicial position that certain to generate wide interest among state lawyers.

Fitzsimmons has presided over a variety of cases since her appointment in June 1993.

Before taking the federal bench, she was federal prosecutor, leading efforts by the U.S. Attorney’s office against political corruption in the state in the 1990s. Prior to joining the federal government, she worked for the Hartford law firm Robinson and Cole.

Among other things, Fitzsimmons prosecuted former Waterbury Mayor Joseph Santopietro and other members of the city’s government for political crimes in the late 1980s. The U.S. Attorney’s office since has established itself as the state’s chief prosecutor of political corruption.

The retirement of Fitzsimmons, who is known widely among the state bar, is expected to attract numerous applicants to what amounts to a lifetime appointment.

Unlike U.S. District Judges, nominated by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Magistrate Judges are appointed by vote of the federal judges in the state. The position was created by Congress in 1968 to ease the work load of the federal judges.

By law, Magistrate Judges can perform most of the functions of federal judges, with the notable exception of presiding over felony trials.

Applicants for Fitzsimmons’ position should apply to the U.S. District Court clerk. Candidates will be screened by a merit committee. A finalist will be appointed by the judges following background investigations by the FBI and IRS.



Partisan Clash Over Easing Connecticut’s Voting Rules

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Connecticut, Democrats, General Assembly, Republicans, Uncategorized Tagged: , , , Date:

How and when people should be allowed to vote has become a highly partisan issue around the United States in recent years, and Connecticut’s turn is now arriving smack in the middle of a heated political campaign season.

Democratic and Republican state lawmakers squared off Wednesday at a legislative meeting over the seemingly innocuous issue of how to explain to voters a proposed state constitutional amendment that’s on the ballot this November.

Photo courtesy of Connecticut State Government.

Photo courtesy of Connecticut State Government.

The real debate wasn’t about the wording, but about the proposed amendment that would remove current restrictions on the General Assembly’s ability to allow things like early voting or “no excuse” absentee ballots. Republicans insist the change could lead to more voter fraud, but Democrats say all they want to do is to make it easier for people to vote.

Connecticut’s constitution doesn’t allow early voting systems like those now used in 33 other states, such as opening the polls on the Saturday before an election. At least 27 states permit registered voters to use “no excuse” absentee ballots – but Connecticut will only allow an absentee ballot if someone is too sick or is out of state at the time of that Election Day.

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Three Organizations to Co-Host September Gubernatorial Debate

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The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, the AARP and the Connecticut Mirror are set to host a gubernatorial debate that’s tentatively scheduled for Sept. 23 at Hamden Middle School, according to CCM officials.

Tom Foley, the easy winner of Tuesday’s Republican primary, will be facing off against the Democratic incumbent governor, Dannel Malloy. A third-party candidate, Jonathan Pelto, is also running for governor.

CT Gun Owners Take a Victory Lap

by Categorized: 2014 Election Date:

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League credits 2nd Amendment supporters for Tom Foley’s victory in Tuesday Republican gubernatorial primary.

“Gun owners and Constitutional rights supporters had a hand in this primary election, and we will continue to work toward removing Governor Malloy from Office in November,” said Scott Wilson. president of the CCDL, which says it has more than 14,000 members.

The group was strongly opposed to Foley’s rival, state Sen. John McKinneym who represents Newtown and voted in favor of a package of new gun control measures drafted after the Sandy Hook school shootings.

“Our first step has been to help Senator John McKinney depart from politics as an elected official. We now have a candidate that is far better positioned to beat Malloy at the next level. Mr. Foley did not specifically seek out our help, but it is certainly our obligation to send Governor Malloy back to private life,” Wilson said.

“While this upcoming general election is about a lot more than just the interests of 2nd Amendment supporters, we know with certainty that we can make a big difference. The hope of CCDL is that more gun owners across the state will become involved in the upcoming general election effort ahead of this November.

“For today, we are thankful that gun owners showed up and voted to protect our rights,” Wilson added.

GOP Chief Labriola Applauds Foley Victory

by Categorized: 2014 Election Date:

Connecticut Republican party Chairman Jerry Labriola Jr. congratulated Greenwich businessman Tom Foley on his primary win Tuesday.

“We are very fortunate to have such a talented candidate leading the Republican ticket in 2014. With Tom’s record of restoring prosperity in the private sector, he has the experience we so desperately need to get Connecticut back on track,” Labriola said.

During the primary campaign, Labriola received some criticism from McKinney backers, who felt he favored Foley. (Labriola noted that Foley won the endorsement at the Republican convention in May.

On Tuesday, Labriola commended McKinney for “running a campaign of which all Republicans can be proud and calling on his supporters to unite behind our Republican team tonight.”

With the primary now behind the party, Labriola turned his attention to Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. “Gov. Malloy’s failed policies have given Connecticut one of the worst economies in the nation. Now he will be forced to run on a record that includes the largest tax hike in state history, a massive increase in state spending, and reckless government over-reach – making him among the most unpopular and vulnerable democrats seeking re-election this year.

“Even though the Democrats will attempt to distort and distract from the day-to-day struggles faced by Connecticut’s hardworking families, we will remain focused on the most important issue in this race, restoring Connecticut’s failing economy,” Labriola said.

The Working Families Party Has a Good Night

by Categorized: 2014 Election Date:

Tuesday was a good night for the Connecticut Working Families Party. The party endorsed seven candidates in the primaries; six of them won.

“I’d like to congratulate Marilyn Moore, Eric Coleman, Betsy Ritter, Linda Orange, Chris Perone, and Bruce Morris for winning their primaries today” said Lindsay Farrell, executive director of the party. “We look forward to working with all of them at the State Capitol.”

Moore took on incumbent Democratic state Sen. Anthony Musto in the 22nd District, which includes Trumbull, Monroe and Bridegport. Coleman, D-Bloomfield, faced a tough challenge from Hartford City Council President Shawn Wooden in the 2nd Senatorial District. Both primaries were hard-fought and close.

“We’re already geared up to keep Eric in the State Senate this November,” Farrell said. “Eric has been a crucial ally on issues like raising the minimum wage and passing paid sick days. We need him in the state Senate, and we’ve got his back.”

Among the candidates endorsed by the Working Families Party, only Matt Waggner, the Democratic registrar of voters in Fairfield, lost his bid to compete for the 133 House District to town selectman Cristin McCarthy Vahey.