Monthly Archives: October 2010

Clinton draws 2,000 at University of Hartford

Former President Bill Clinton told a partisan audience of 2,000 at the University of Hartford on Sunday night that Republicans have waged “a fact-free campaign” to convince America they are blameless for the recession. At a stop to promote Democrat Dan Malloy’s candidacy for governor, Clinton spent as much time defending embattled congressional Democrats, his own legacy and the man who defeated his wife for president, Barack Obama. “The way Republicans tell it, every Democrat is responsible for everything that happened in the economy from the second our new president took his hand off the Bible,” Clinton said. Clinton never mentioned George W. Bush by name, but he referred to the dramatic slowing of the economy and the explosion of debt after he left office, describing his successor and congressional Republicans as putting America in a deep hole. Bill Clinton and Dan Malloy. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

McMahon claims underdog status as she disputes polls showing her lagging

Republican Linda McMahon called herself the “underdog” on Sunday, even as she disputed recent polls showing her behind Democrat Richard Blumenthal and touted a sophisticated field operation assembled by her $42 million-plus U.S. Senate campaign. Linda McMahon talks with supporter Jayme Stevenson in Darien (Deirdre Shesgreen)
“I like being the underdog,” McMahon told a crowd of several hundred well-heeled voters at a Republican rally in Darien. “We are undaunted.” With 48 hours to go before the polls open, McMahon spent all of Sunday in Fairfield County and only had one public event. She began her day at a church service in New Milford and by late afternoon was headed off for trick-or-treating with her grandchildren. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Foley hopes independent voters carry him to victory

NORWALK — Though somewhat unorthodox, Stephen Tallon’s greeting Sunday to GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley was pretty clear. “Keep that legislature under control,” the local Lions Club member said as Foley entered the dining room at the Norwalk Inn for the club’s annual pre-election pancake breakfast. Tom Foley hears from Jack Jablonski (center) and Stephen Tallon: Control that legislature (Keith M. Phaneuf)
“They spend too much money,” Tallon’s fellow club member, Jack Jablonski, added. “They throw it away. We’re in debt up to our ears.” Continue Reading →

Filed under:

After lengthy wrangling, hospitals reach accord with Anthem

Hartford and Windham hospitals have reached a “long-term” agreement on new contracts with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, averting the possibility that the capital region’s largest hospital would sever ties with the state’s largest insurer. The hospitals’ contract with the insurer was slated to expire today. The contract dispute played out in public in recent weeks, with letters sent to patients and advertisements detailing each side’s claims in The Hartford Courant. Hartford Hospital said Anthem paid less than other insurers, while Anthem said the rates it paid Hartford and Windham hospitals–which share a parent company–were comparable to what it paid other hospitals. The two sides did not release details of the new agreements, which take effect Monday. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Independent expenditures help both sides in the 5th district

They may be the biggest spenders, but the American Action Network, which has been flooding the 5th Congressional District with ads attacking Democratic incumbent Chris Murphy, isn’t the only outside player in the close race. Officials from local labor unions say they are spending thousands of dollars to send out flyers, make phone calls and go door-to-door to support Murphy’s bid for a third term. “We are reminding our members how important this election is and encouraging them to go vote,” said John W. Olsen, president of Connecticut AFL-CIO, which has an estimated 35,000 union members in the fifth district. “If they show up to vote they are most likely voting for our recommended candidates.” But whatever local unions have spent on campaign literature to send their members, Olsen said, isn’t close to the $900,000 the American Action Network has put up to air two commercials against Murphy, who is facing a challenge from Republican state Sen. Sam Caligiuri, R-Waterbury. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

At Fan Appreciation Day, McMahon’s a no-show

Republican Linda McMahon successfully drew a pack of reporters to World Wrestling Entertainment’s “Fan Appreciation Day” Saturday, telling the media she would make an appearance at the controversial event. But while a half-dozen wrestling matches unfolded on stage at Hartford’s XL Center–all as noisy, brutal and messy as Connecticut’s U.S. Senate contest– McMahon herself never show up. Ed Patru, a campaign spokesman, said she was too busy attending other events, although between 1:30 and 8 p.m., nothing else was on her public schedule. Still, it was in some ways a fitting closing moment for a long campaign, in which McMahon, the ex-CEO of WWE and political neophyte, has often made herself hard to find for reporters covering her race. So while the candidate herself managed to stay out of the spotlight, the media and more than 15,000 WWE fans heard her husband, Vince McMahon, urge them to vote on Election Day. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Malloy, Foley rock out the vote

Tom Foley and Dan Malloy may have few similarities, but the gubernatorial contenders found common ground Saturday in an urgent need to rally potential voters — and an appreciation for the rock group Queen. With two polls showing the contest close to a dead heat, the major party candidates criss-crossed the state to ensure their respective efforts to get-out-the vote were ready to go. A few weeks ago, Malloy said, he was “a little nervous” about voter turnout in urban areas. Not Saturday. “In the last two weeks, people have become energized. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Obama tries to rekindle hope

BRIDGEPORT – Barack Obama came to Connecticut on Saturday looking to recapture the magic of 2008, when voters thronged to polls here to help him carry the state and Jim Himes unseat New England’s only Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives. Cameras flash as Barack Obama greets supporters in Bridgeport. (Uma Ramiah)
Now, as a struggling president looking to rev up the Democratic base on the last weekend before election day, Obama fended off a few hecklers and told an enthusiastic crowd to ignore projections of mid-term losses that are expected to cost Democrats their majority in the House. “You’ve heard it all from the pundits. You’ve been hearing it on TV, the wisdom that says you can’t overcome cynicism in politics. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

At least 5,000 waiting for Obama in Bridgeport

If you want to find the voters who aren’t angry this year, there are at least 5,000 of them in the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, waiting for the arrival of President Barack Obama. The crowd exploded a few moments ago at the announcement, “I just want to let you know, our president is in the building.” Dan Malloy just took to the stage. This is a remarkable moment for those of us in the 4th Congressional District,” Malloy said. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

AIDS protesters briefly disrupt Obama speech in Bridgeport

Protesters demanding more aid for the global fight against AIDS briefly disrupted Barack Obama’s speech in Bridgeport. The protesters, some of whom wore Harvard and Yale sweatshirts, unfurled banners on each side of the arena, drawing boos from the crowd. Obama told them they would be better served protesting Republicans who oppose funding for AIDS. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Campaigning in Connecticut: Obama, Clinton and Triple H

Connecticut Democrats are turning to Barack Obama and Bill Clinton to excite voters this weekend, while the biggest crowd around a Republican candidate is likely to be found at a World Wrestling Entertainment show in Hartford. Connecticut’s status as a potential bulwark against a GOP wave on Tuesday is reflected two presidential visits: Obama’s rally Saturday in Bridgeport and Clinton’s stops Sunday in Hartford and Norwalk. From left: Obama, Clinton, Triple H
“I do think we are going to surprise some folks Tuesday night,” said Tim Kaine, the Democratic national chairman. “I think we’ve got a very good chance of winning some key races in New England.” Obama included Connecticut on a non-stop day of campaigning Saturday because of the chance to reach voters who could turn races for governor, U.S. Senate and the U.S. House, Kaine said. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Pension study panel draws few conclusions

The panel tasked with crafting a specific strategy to stabilize under-funded state retiree benefit programs reached a strange conclusion this week, issuing a laundry list of suggestions, no priorities, and a warning that its seven members – who haven’t met in the past month – aren’t unanimous in their endorsement. The report of Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s Post Employment Benefits Commission also drew immediate criticism from its one state employee union representative, who argued its release during the final week before Election Day was designed to place two Democrats on the state ticket in a political quandary. The report also jettisoned specific proposals from the governor to tighten benefits and boost employee costs to save an estimated $300 million – including a new 401 (k)-style plan for state workers – though the concepts behind some of those proposals were listed in the 58-page document. “We were supposed to weigh the advantages and disadvantages and prioritize” specific solutions, “not just throw a bunch of ideas up against a wall, commission member Salvatore Luciano, a veteran state employee union leader, said Friday, citing the executive order creating the group. State government owes $19.2 billion in pension obligations and has $10 billion in the fund, or about 52 percent of its liability. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Judge unlikely to stop AG election

A Hartford Superior Court judge said today she will have no immediate decision on Martha Dean’s effort to strike George Jepsen’s name from the ballot, virtually guaranteeing that the election of an attorney general will proceed unimpeded by the courts. “There’s no way to have a hearing before Tuesday” on the substance of Dean’s claims, said David Golub, a lawyer for Jepsen. “So the voters will decide.” Dean filed suit Tuesday, arguing that Jepsen does not meet the statutory requirements to be attorney general, as articulated in a recent Connecticut Supreme Court decision. But lawyers for Jepsen, the Democratic nominee to succeed Richard Blumenthal as attorney general, and the secretary of the state’s office told Judge Julia Aurigemma during a hearing today that Dean, the Republican nominee, has no legal standing to bring her challenge. And even if she did and the court found her complaint to have merit, the court has no authority to order Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz to remove anyone from the ballot, the lawyers said. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Working Families gives Democrats another base

With pollsters predicting tight gubernatorial and congressional elections, a cross-endorsement by the Working Families Party could be pivotal for the first time in a high-profile Connecticut race. The labor-backed party, which is trying to transplant New York’s tradition of fusion politics to the state, has cross-endorsed top Democrats, beginning with the gubernatorial nominee, Dan Malloy. In a year when the electorate appears to be tilting right, the left-leaning Working Families hopes to deliver the margin of victory Tuesday for Malloy and other Democratic allies. Malloy is a backer of the minor party’s top legislative priority, a law mandating paid sick days. And with polls showing the tightest gubernatorial election in decades, the cross-endorsement could be decisive. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Foley pumps another $4.6 M into his campaign

Greenwich businessman Tom Foley has lent another $4.6 million of his own funds to his gubernatorial campaign, bringing his total personal investment to $9.85 million, according to a new campaign finance report filed this week with the State Elections Enforcement Commission. Foley, the Republican nominee, has raised nearly $11.39 million in total throughout the campaign, though 86 percent of the funding came from him. “It’s another rich guy trying to buy the election,” Roy Occhiogrosso, senior campaign advisor to Democratic nominee Dan Malloy, said Thursday. “I think he (Foley) is going to find out on Tuesday that democracy’s not for sale in Connecticut.” But Foley has argued that Malloy, who is participating in the state’s public financing program, has received preferential treatment due to a summer vote of the Democrat-controlled General Assembly. Continue Reading →

Filed under: