Sunday, October 13, 2013

New Research Shows Connecticut Signed Bill Of Rights In 1790


It is commonly thought that Connecticut did not ratify the Bill of Rights Amendments until 1939, a pro forma ratification. But in fact, misfiled documents newly discovered in Connecticut’s archives show that Connecticut ratified the first 12 – significantly, not 10 – Amendments to the Constitution, commonly called “the Bill Of Rights,” in 1790.

The ratification document, discovered by researcher Eugene Martin LaVergne and misfiled under “Revolutionary Documents,” has been reported to Connecticut’s archivist. The newly discovered document -- misfiled in the year 1780, rather than in its proper year, 1790 -- is itself revolutionary because the earlier ratification dates of Connecticut and Delaware mean that at least one important long forgotten amendment – a reapportionment amendment, the real “First Amendment” to the Bill of Rights reported out for ratification by Congress – must now be considered an amendment lawfully ratified in 1790. In order to make the amendment operational, it must be reported to the U .S. Congress either by David Ferrierno, the Archivist of the United States, an office delegated with the task of accepting this amendment and presenting it to Congress. Alternatively, the ratification notice may also be presented to congress by a Connecticut U.S. Senator.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Politics By Any Other Name


It was bound to happen sooner or later. In Hartford, Connecticut, a one party town for decades, political favoritism has raised its ugly head – not for the first or last time.

Mayor of Hartford Pedro Segarra and Hartford school officials, we learn from a stinging editorial in a Hartford newspaper, “are dead right in asking city auditors to clear the air on whether city Treasurer Adam Cloud had a conflict of interest in allegedly moving a city insurance policy from one broker to another one, Hybrid Insurance Group.”

The connections between Hartford’s Treasurer, Mr. Cloud, and the insurance group that was awarded a substantial account are, the paper finds, unsavory: “Hybrid is a tenant in a downtown Hartford building owned by Mr. Cloud and family members. Also, treasurer Cloud's brother, Christopher Cloud, is a lobbyist for Hybrid.”

Hartford’s “sharp-eyed chief financial officer,” Paula Altieri, discovered that the insurance policy had been transferred from one broker to the other “without the need to compete” and, in the process, a tidy sum of almost $670,000 had been wired to Hybrid by Mr. Cloud’s office “to cover overdue insurance policy premiums that the broker pays on behalf of the city and school district.”

No one is quite certain at this point where the money is. An audit is necessary to clear up any possible irregularities. “The loose threads of this shocking story,” the editorial concludes, “need to be tied up, and pronto.”

Friday, October 11, 2013

Red Flags Over Connecticut


A little more than a month ago, Jim Powell of Forbes Magazine did us the favor of pulling together in one piece – “How Did Rich Connecticut Morph Into One Of America's Worst Performing Economies? -- a load of data much of which was already in the public stream. It’s useful to have all the festering lilies together in one bunch, so that one might get a good whiff of them.

Before and since the publication of Mr. Powell’s distressing news, some Republican opponents of Connecticut’s progressive governor and his helpmeets in the state’s General Assembly have been energetically flourishing some of Mr. Powell’s little red flags, hoping that the state’s sometimes inattentive media might awaken and take note that Connecticut is teetering on the brink.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

The Stink War


 “The ink war.” That is how Tom Dudchik of Capitol Report styled the controversy between Chis Powell, the icon busting editor of the Journal Inquirer, and, following a rebuttal editorial in the Hartford Courant, pretty much everyone else manning the barricades on the left who ever lifted a pen or pounded a keyboard in defense of the liberal view of the decline of print media.

The controversial pieces are printed here as they appeared, in chronological sequence; first, Mr. Powell’s initial column; then the Courant’s editorial rebuttal; then, an interview with Jim Romenesko; then Mr. Powell’s response to what he regards as the distortions of his critics; and finally a Courant rebuttal accusing Mr. Powell of having defended the indefensible – namely, himself.

Unprinted here are a slew of editorials and commentary pieces, all more or less bearing the same message: that Mr. Powell has attacked all single parent moms; that he is a holdover from those glorious days of yore when print media enjoyed a monopoly on dispensing information; that he has failed to understand properly the regrettable inroads made on the monopoly by the internet and the loss of advertising that has impoverished many newspapers; that he is a closet misogynist who has unjustly denigrated the poor.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Political Corruption And The Media


Real political corruption – the most corrosive kind – involves the use of governmental power to advance private or purely political interests, which is why, come to think of it, Lord Acton said “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” A watchful student of history, Lord Acton added, “Great men are almost always bad men.”

When great republics collapse, “great men” step into the breach. Caesar rose from the ashes of the Roman Republic, and a string of monarchs in Europe was followed by the revolutionary anarchs of France and the guillotine. They, in turn, were supplanted by Napoleon, one of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “great men.” The idea of the republic usually suffers some form of corruption before its ruin.     

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Some Advice For The Loyal Opposition


In the course of writing political columns, a bad habit I’ve been nurturing for more than 30 years, people have sometimes ask me, with a note of desperation in their voice, will things in Connecticut ever change? These people generally are either conservatives or libertarians and therefore immune to the usual political nonsense. The Democratic Party has been in charge of the state roughly since the Mesozoic Era. Will we ever sniff change in the air, they wonder?

It’s a serious question: What will it take to shake people in Connecticut from their lethargy – to wake them up before the plane we’re all traveling in finally crashes into the mountain?

We’re perilously close to that. Only a month ago, the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) released its 12th annual survey of businesses in the state, and the news was bleak. The organization surveyed 377 in state companies and found that 82 percent had a negative or somewhat negative opinion of Connecticut as a place to do business. Only 11 percent of in state businesses said Connecticut was a somewhat or very positive place to do business.

Here are some points that the loyal opposition Republican Party might consider:

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Connecticut’s Charitable Millionaire Politicians


The three Connecticut Democratic millionaires in the state’s all Democratic U.S. Congressional Delegation have decided to forgo their salaries for the duration of the shutdown.

Millionaires Senator Dick Blumenthal and U.S. House members Rosa DeLauro and Jim Himes, will be devoting their salaries to charity, according to a report in the left of center CTMirror.