Sunday reading

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Life — and politics in Connecticut — is not necessarily fair

Is all of politics, at their most fundamental, a struggle to make society more fair? Certainly in Connecticut there has been plenty of social inequity to talk about. As the Nov. 6 election approaches, of course, the candidates for governor, U.S. Congress and the state legislature identify all sorts of social and economic disparities that, one way or the other, need to be addressed. Continue Reading →

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Truth or myth, fact or fiction: What is political reality?

At the height of election season, separating truth from lies, fact from fiction, and myth from reality is a challenge.  It’s true in both Connecticut and Washington, D.C., as the November balloting nears. In Washington, the nomination and ultimate confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh as the newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court revealed polar differences in perception of – and portrayal of — the relevant facts. Continue Reading →

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Any way the wind blows, it’s still Connecticut politics

While the residents of the Carolinas struggled against devastating tides, torrential rain and winds from Hurricane Florence, the political wind blew in Connecticut. A lot of it, some would say, was hot air. Florence’s impact here was more political than meteorological as the state’s Puerto Rican community reacted to President Donald Trump’s denial that nearly 3,000 people died as the result of Hurricane Maria last year. The big issue was around the gubernatorial election: What to do about the $4.6 billion in state budget deficits looming over the next two years for whomever is elected in 2018. It may seem counterintuitive that three of the candidates running this season see cutting taxes as the answer to getting Connecticut out from under its enormous debt, but that’s what they were promising last week. Continue Reading →

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A bruising week of rhetoric, confirming nothing

It was a bruising week in national and Connecticut politics, even by recent standards. Most of the bruising, of course, took place in Washington, D.C., where Democrats – Connecticut’s own Sen. Richard Blumenthal in particular – went to considerable efforts to show that the appointment of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh would inflict shift the court hard to the right, imperiling  everything from women’s right to an abortion to state gun-control legislation. Continue Reading →

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As a great man is remembered, events continue to unfold

Connecticut, like the rest of the nation, spent the last week remembering the life of U.S. Sen. John McCain, R- Ariz.,who will be buried today. With one notable exception, Republicans and Democrats alike took part in the public remembrance ceremonies – perhaps for slightly different reasons – and former Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman, McCain’s “amigo,” while mourning in private, was among the speakers. The life of a nation might slow, but does not stop for one great man, of course, and there were plenty of goings-on in the nation’s and state’s political scene last week. Gubernatorial contenders Ned Lamont, a Democrat; and Bob Stefanowski, a Republican, picked up a third competitor last week – independent Oz Griebel, who qualified for the race with the Secretary of State’s office. Whether he and his running mate Monte Frank will get any traction with their take-your-medicine approach to Connecticut’s fiscal problems remains to be seen. Continue Reading →

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The sound and the fury of Connecticut politics

Only two days until the Connecticut primaries — and it shows. The past week has been a series of candidate debates, press conferences, appearances, TV ads and countermeasures all intended to win the hearts and minds of party members across the state. Today will feature plenty of politicking, too, when students from Parkland, Fla., host a rally in Newtown opposing gun violence and encouraging young people to register to vote and support their cause. Continue Reading →

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As primary approaches, everything is political

Politics, politics, politics. As the August 14 primaries approach, just about everything happening in state government is the stuff of political debate. Take, for example, the idea of installing tolls on Connecticut’s highways. Without the support of either State Treasurer Denise Nappier, who abstained, or Comptroller Kevin Lembo, who is running for a third term, the state Bond Commission approved Gov. Dannel Malloy’s request for a $10 million study on highway tolling – a decision that was immediately challenged by House Republicans in a move that may have more political than legislative traction this fall. Oz Griebel, who is running as an independent for governor and was chairman of the former state Transportation Strategy Board, is advocating for a pilot program that would put tolls on the high-occupancy-vehicle lanes of Interstates 84 and 91. Continue Reading →

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Changing public opinion one indictment, one TV commercial, at a time.

While President Donald Trump was off in Europe reshaping the continent’s opinion of the United States, Special Counsel Robert Mueller was reshaping the public’s opinion of Russian President Vladimir Putin by indicting a dozen Russian military intelligence officers for hacking the 2016 election. Connecticut politicians, meanwhile, were at full televised stride in their pursuit of victory in the Aug. 14 primary. Continue Reading →

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