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

Connecticut’s angry prophet of mass shootings

Over the more than five years since Sandy Hook, the governor of Connecticut has acted as the Cassandra of gun control, the angry prophet destined to be ignored, at least in the ranks of the NRA and Congress. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy first warned America two days after 26 children and staff died in Sandy Hook School that mass shootings were coming to your schools, your children. He was at it again Thursday. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , ,

Merrill proposes privacy protections for voters

Are people wary about registering to vote for fear of identity theft? Do victims of domestic violence refuse to register once they move to escape an abuser? Secretary of the State Denise Merrill raised those concerns Wednesday as she outlined a proposal for narrowing the information available in the state’s electronic voter database, barring its use for commercial purposes, and providing special protections for abuse survivors. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Once reticent, Erin Stewart visits Trump in Oval Office

New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, a Republican who had kept her distance from President Trump, accepted an invitation Wednesday to the Oval Office to publicize the administration’s new “Opportunity Zones.” She quickly found herself attacked by Democrats and sighing loudly as the president delivered a zinger over General Electric moving its headquarters from Fairfield to Boston. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

Connecticut lawmakers seek investigation of casino lobbying

Connecticut’s U.S. senators and two of its congressmen asked Monday that the inspector general of the Department of the Interior investigate the department’s role in blocking the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes from jointly developing a commercial casino in East Windsor to compete with an MGM gaming resort under construction in Springfield. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

The Working Families, pushing Democrats to the left

“I think Democrats have been just afraid of their shadows for a very long time and we’ve seen that in resistance to things like minimum wage increases and paid family leave and fair immigration policies.” But Lindsay Farrell of the Working Families Party says things might be changing. Our Sunday Conversation. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , ,

An unlikely rebuke of the General Assembly over election laws

With a blandly titled “informational forum,” a Democratic state senator choreographed an unusual rebuke of the General Assembly and its leadership Friday, eliciting testimony about the systematic weakening of campaign finance laws in Connecticut, most recently by provisions inserted into the bipartisan budget adopted in special session last fall. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

Malloy opens session with plea for ‘Connecticut fairness’

In his final State of the State address, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proposed a progressive agenda Wednesday to the legislators who shut him out of last year’s budget talks, promising to help fellow Democrats to raise the minimum wage, enhance a paid sick days law, address sexual harassment and take a stand on pay equity as acts of “Connecticut fairness.” For a day at least, the governor succeeded in stepping from beneath the cloud of the state’s chronic fiscal and economic challenges. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Democrats promise boldness in 2018 session and campaign

Connecticut House and Senate Democrats, seemingly adrift in recent years over how to respond to a stagnant economy and electoral losses, signaled Tuesday they have chosen a path for the 2018 session and campaign, releasing a “values agenda” committing to progressive favorites such as pay equity, a livable wage and paid family medical leave. Continue Reading →

Filed under: ,

Interior Department seeks dismissal of CT gaming lawsuit

The U.S. Interior Department told a federal court Monday that Connecticut’s refusal to negotiate a gaming compact with the Mashantucket Pequots nearly 30 years ago creates a fatal flaw in the state’s legal efforts today to help the Pequot and Mohegan tribes compete with MGM Resorts International. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Malloy pushes legislature for election-year budget cuts, tax hikes

Unveiling his final budget proposal two days early, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy challenged legislators Monday to take politically difficult steps to close modest deficits in the current, two-year budget and mitigate larger shortfalls looming after the November elections. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , ,

MGM spends $3.8M lobbying in Hartford, but wins in Washington

MGM Resorts International spent $3.8 million on lobbying in Connecticut last year, more than three times any other interest group, in a vain attempt to stop the General Assembly from authorizing its tribal competitors to build a casino in competition with MGM Springfield. But MGM had another card to play — a friendly relationship with the Trump administration and its Interior secretary, Ryan Zinke. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

State says Millstone will get a final chance to prove it needs relief

State energy officials recommended Thursday that the Millstone nuclear power station be allowed to offer further evidence of financial distress as part of a new procurement process that could enhance the profitability of Connecticut’s biggest source of zero-carbon electricity. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,