Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mayor DeStefano and Performance Art in Hew Haven

The New Haven Independent titled its piece, “Showdown in New Haven,” with a tip of the hat to the Showdown at the OK Corall.

The White Hats, Attorney General Dick Blumenthal and New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, were looking for a press opportunity outside the offices of United Illuminated in New Haven, when all of a sudden the bad guys showed up.

This kind of street theatre happens in Venezuela on a daily basis, sometimes on hourly basis, though it must be said that DeStefano still falls short of the anti-capitalist tirades the oil companies in that beleaguered nation, suffering under the administration of socialist Castro wannabe Hugo Chavez, are used to.

Lending moral support to DeStefano, according to the paper, were “Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, New Haven State Sen. Martin Looney, Branford State Rep. Lonnie Reed, Fairfield County’s state Sen. Anthony Musto and members of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment and Fight the Hike. They called the move ‘dumb growth.’”

Keep up the street theatre in New Haven and somewhere down the line the city, and the state as well, will be experiencing “no growth,” dumb or smart.

The expression on Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz’s face just before DeStefano's rant began is priceless: all smiles when the unintended bit players showed up but quickly degenerating into something approaching alarm as DeStefano unfurled his demagoguery.

Blumenthal always wears the same expression on these occasions -- grinning concern.

At the end of the morality play, a lowly worker at the company complains that parking in New Haven cost workers – presumably, not as morally corrupt as corporation managers -- about $190.00 a month.

DeSefano says, “Ah, so it’s all about parking, and the woman replies, “Parking is very expensive for us in New Haven."

In a letter to The Department of Utility Control, UI asked the department to “review the company’s distribution authorized return on equity.” UI suggested the Department could increase the return so that it could use the increased capital to improve its business. “Among other things,” the company wrote in its letter, “the Department could consider whether it would be appropriate, for example, to increase UI’s authorized return on equity and then, on a going forward basis, index its authorized return on equity to the cost of a ten year corporate debt of comparable credit quality (increasing or decreasing the authorized return as the cost of corporate debt increases or decreases.”

UI also suggested that the “Department could incorporate mechanisms such as, for example, return on equity floors and ceilings, or earnings shared mechanism modifications as part of a return on equity adjustment.” These provisions and standards, all very reasonable, would make it less possible for DeStefano and Blumenthal to demagogue the issue.

The company, a fixture in New Haven for more than a century, is considering a move to Orange. Any move by any tax plucked goose away from the wrath of DeStefano causes the mayor to wax eloquent.

Actually, it’s all about Destefano and his acting troupe.

Message to DeStefano/Blumenthal: The whole (business) world is watching.

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