Mark Pazniokas

Mark, a winner of numerous journalist awards, is the former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and a former contributing writer for The New York Times. In more than 30 years as a reporter, he has covered some of the most compelling stories in the state, including the impeachment inquiry and resignation of Gov. John G. Rowland in 2004 and the nationally watched Senate race won by Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman as an independent in 2006. Mark is a graduate of Boston University. E-mail him at mpazniokas@ctmirror.org.

Recent Posts

Tweet, Facebook post generate blowback at GOP

President Trump retweeted a cartoon image of a train running over a CNN reporter to his 35.9 million Twitter followers. Kyle Reyes, owner of a self-described “outrageous” Manchester marketing company, questioned in a Facebook video seen 36,000 times if the white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va., actually were actors hired by the political left. Both caused problems for the GOP. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Lori Pelletier: ‘Either you respect collective bargaining or you don’t’

These are complicated times for labor, especially for unions representing state workers. Despite the objections of Republican legislators, they just ratified a concession deal with a governor they helped elect, Democrat Dannel P. Malloy, in a move to save the state an estimated $1.57 billion this year. Lori J. Pelletier, the president of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, talks about the labor landscape in our Sunday Conversation. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

With municipal aid on chopping block, a cordial chat

Evidently resigned to a shrinking pool of state aid, leaders of two municipal associations pressed Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Friday about granting Connecticut’s cities and town flexibility in dealing with public employees to achieve off-setting efficiencies, long a politically fraught topic at the State Capitol. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

On Day 41 without a budget: New bus service to UConn

New bus service from Hartford to UConn underscores two things: One, going 41 days without a budget has not created a daily sense of crisis in Connecticut, where state offices, parks and beaches remain open. And two, not all spending is jeopardized by ongoing talks seeking sufficient spending cuts and revenue increases to close a $2.3 billion deficit. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , ,

On CT’s budget, it turns out there may be a nuclear option

Call it a sign of desperation or a mark of creativity. One of the unconventional revenue-raising schemes considered by legislators in pursuit of an overdue budget would have Connecticut extract millions of dollars from Dominion Energy in return for legislation boosting the profitability of electricity generated by the company’s Millstone nuclear power plant. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

GOP quick to define a reticent Wyman as Malloy’s ‘enabler’

Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman passed on trying to spin reporters Monday night after her tie-breaking vote in the Senate to ratify a state-employees concessions deal that Republicans are certain to exploit as a wedge issue in the 2018 campaigns for governor and General Assembly. The GOP was quick to tag her as “Dan Malloy’s chief enabler,” a taste of what Wyman can expect if she runs. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , ,

With 3 still hedging, Senate to vote on concessions today

The trio of Democratic state senators moved as a tight knot through the State Capitol and Legislative Office Building, their mood seeming light when a reporter tried to press them on what comes next should they vote today to reject a state-employee concessions deal worth $1.57 billion to Connecticut’s overdue two-year budget. Yes, they can kill the deal, but then what? Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

A victory on Vine Street amid worries about Trump’s budget

Hattie Harris spoke last, slowly rising off a folding chair after the mayor and governor each said their piece Friday afternoon, warning that President Trump’s budget cuts could undo Connecticut’s elimination of chronic homelessness and Hartford’s smaller victories, like the one on the block where Miss Hattie has lived since the president was Dwight D. Eisenhower. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

DOT valued expertise over price in Hartford rail competition

Connecticut rejected the lowest of five bidders for the contract to operate train service on the new Hartford Line, instead picking the overall top scorer in a ranking system that valued expertise and experience over price, according to scoring sheets released Thursday by the Department of Transportation. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , ,

AG opinion strikes middle ground on cutting wages, benefits

A formal opinion released Thursday by Attorney General George Jepsen warns of legal peril in rewriting state-employee contracts through legislation, but notes the free hand legislators have after contracts expire and the flexibility the courts have granted in some cases in the event of extreme fiscal emergencies. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,