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Showing posts from June, 2010

The Consultant Campaign

Christine Stuart of CTNewsJunkie continues to turn out prose that is readable and pertinent. In “Lamont’s Latest Ad: Risky Or Smart?” she lifts the covers on some Democratic gubernatorial supporters, which include some old Democratic political hands: Jonathan Pelto, now in the consulting business; Bill Curry, slowly working his way out of the closet as a Ned Lamont groupie; and Roy Occhiogrosso, attached to the Dan Malloy campaign as a consultant. The boys are cutting the cards on a new Ned Lamont ad in which Ned claims the independent mantle and even – the man’s courage knows no bounds – appropriates for himself in the ad a signature adage that once belonged to ex-senator, governor and self described “turd in the Republican Party punch bowl” Lowell Weicker. One of the pledges Ned is making to the people of Connecticut is – “I’m going to be no man but yours.” Not to be overly subtle, the ad is titled “Independent.” It worked for Sen. Joe Lieberman. Good ad? Bad ad? What?

Blumenthal’s Two Hats, Two Heads And Two Faces

Republican Party Chairman Chris Healy, clearly a partisan, has called upon Attorney General and Democratic Party nominee for the U.S. Senate Richard Blumenthal to surrender his position as attorney general, the sooner the better. Healy makes the following points in a press release : 1) “It is clear that Dick Blumenthal wants the taxpayers to subsidize his campaign strategy, thereby hiding from reporters and voters with legitimate questions on his policy positions and record, while issuing press releases from his AG’s office to sue entities that suit politically. If you notice, many of these suits provide him with national and state media exposure.” 2) The attorney general’s office has become something of a shield, protecting the prospective U.S. Senator from exposure to media scrutiny: “A series of missteps, evasions of his record and bad publicity has caused Blumenthal to hunker down in his office, rarely appearing before microphones after nearly 20 years of being a ubiquitous m

Blumenthal Moves To Revoke Perez’s Pension

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has written to Kevin Kane to advise him that Connecticut’s “Pension Revocation Statute” requires him to notify the Chief State’s Attorney of the “possibility that any fine, restitution or any other monetary order of the criminal court” may be paid from the pension of Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez. Blumenthal, according to the attorney general’s press spokesman, both proposed and pressed the legislature to adopt the statute under which pensions could be revoked. “Mr. Perez’s conviction,” Blumenthal noted in his letter dated June 29,2010, “ reflects significant violations of public trust and misuse of office. Accordingly, I intend, at the earliest possible time and in consultation with your office, to seek an order revoking his pension.” Mayor Perez resigned from office after he had been found guilty, according to a Hartford Courant report of “receiving a bribe, fabricating evidence, accessory to the fabrication of evidence, conspiracy to fabricate

Don’t Tread On Dick

According to a report in the Hartford Courant , a group of “former Marines” -- actually, there is no such thing as a “former” Marine -- are attempting to tease Attorney General Dick Blumenthal, formerly called “Richard,” from his hidey-hole, where he has been hanging out since it had been revealed by a New York newspaper that Blumenthal had lied several times concerning his Marine service, or non-service, in Vietnam. "’As a former Marine, and as the Attorney General,” the group declared, “ he had an obligation to direct the Capitol Police to follow existing state policy . The existing state policy allows the Gadsden flag to fly,’’ attorney and activist Deborah G. Stevenson said in an email sent late Sunday. Stevenson is involved in the Connecticut Grassroots Alliance, a group affiliated with the Tea Party movement in the state.” Capitol Police earlier disagreed and banned the flying of the Gadsden flag over the state Capitol. Apparently, the Capitol Police miss-identified the

Perez Falls Down: Blumenthal Falls Up

That racket on the stairs was the body of now former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez tumbling down. There seems to be little doubt that his demise as mayor was a form of suicide rather than manslaughter. Perez’s appointed end had been visible to most political watchers soon after stories began to surface in the press concerning favors done by contractor Carlos Costa for Perez at a time when the memory of similar favors conferred upon former Governor John Rowland were still fresh in the mind of everyone but partisan Democratic politicians who had supported the Hartford mayor over the years. Democratic politicians were a little slow on the uptake. After Perez’s verdict was read out by the jury – the Mayor is facing a possible 50 year sentence – one columnist noted that Attorney General Richard Blumenthal was somewhat laggard in this regard : “I think it's fair to ask Richard Blumenthal, who has announced his intention to use the fairly new pension and benefits law against Perez, why h

Gore Gores Masseuse

The masseuse who was manhandled by Earth Father Al Gore speaks at length about her ordeal. "PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Police Bureau has released an audio recording of the interview between a detective and the massage therapist who accused former Vice President Al Gore of groping her in 2006. The woman spoke with Detective Molly Daul in January 2009 - two years after she canceled three appointments to meet with investigators. During the interview, the massage therapist describes Gore as a "crazed sex poodle" as she details the moves he made during a late-night appointment at a downtown Portland hotel. Police declined to file charges against Gore, saying there was insufficient evidence."

Foley's Campaign Arrested By Reports Of Arrests

Tom Foley, the Republican Party nominee for governor, went to bed on Thursday thinking well of himself and woke up on Friday a near criminal. Two of his Republican primary opponents have called upon him in tones once used by James Cagney to “come clean” and release his arrest records. According to a story written by Jon Lender, a superb digger and investigative reporter at the Hartford Courant, Foley was arrested 29 years ago for having bumped a car with his car. Foley was charged with first-degree attempted assault for having “rammed a vehicle, placing the occupants in fear of serious physical injury,” according to a July 2, 1981 story in the Southampton Press newspaper. The charges were later dropped. The second arrest involved a dispute with his wife during what is described as a messy divorce. In politics, divorces are a dime a dozen, though not always messy. Senator and Governor Lowell Weicker, for instance, shed about half as many wives as Henry VIII, apparently without incid

Mr. Green Breaks Open a Vein

On Friday, June 25, Courant columnist Rick Green shot his bolt at Republican nominee for attorney general Martha Dean . His column was entitled, “Martha Dean, A Candidate Who Shoots From The Hip.” Mr. Green was responding to a speech Mrs. Dean had given to a group of people he doubtless would consider gun-nuts, the members of Connecticut Citizens Defense League. The day was blustery, Mr. Green reports, but not quite as blustery as Mr. Green’s overheated rhetoric. Mr. Green quotes “the heat-seeking Republican missile” – that would be the affable, eminently rational Mrs. Dean – to this effect: “’Our rights,’ the heat-seeking Republican missile told a Connecticut Citizens Defense League rally, ‘… were created by our creator.’ “Dean, now the party-endorsed candidate, marched on, promising she would ‘protect and affirm the individual right to bear arms.’’ Elsewhere in his column the metaphor toting Mr. Green refers to Mrs. Dean as “the blonde gunslinger,” promising to “saddle up” an

McMahon And Blumenthal

Linda McMahon, the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, presents a problem for her opponents, both those within the Blumenthal campaign and their sympathizers in the media. It is very difficult, for various reasons, for them to plot an effective campaign of attack. Politically, McMahon has no past. She is a tabula rossa, unlike Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who has a record in office, a highly flattering account written mostly by himself, with the help and concurrence of much of Connecticut’s media. Lately, Blumenthal has taken some wacks concerning his fictitious and highly romanticized record of service in the Marine Corp. Many of the people writing about Blumenthal more or less concede that the attorney general will weather a storm that has caused other politicians to loose their positions. There is little security in stealing the valor of heroic Marines. But according to the prevailing calculus, Blumenthal has, over a period of 20 years, accumulated favors enough to ove

Real Valor

Looking at the flag around the 4th of July, beer can in hand, we sometimes forget that the red in the flag is a sign of blood. The flag, incidentally, is not, as is commonly thought, a symbol. It is a sign – which is to say it IS the thing it signifies. One stops for a stop sign; one need not stop for a stop symbol. Those who know what the flag signifies will place their hand over their hearts when it passes by in a parade, a sign of affection and respect we do not extend to symbols. Those who have shed blood for the country will understand the difference. It was a sign to the joyful and generally peaceful heart of America when the flag was unfurled at Iwo Jima. The sign signified an impending victory, followed by a long and lasting peace. Tech Sgt. Matthew Slaydon has more than a notional understanding of the flag’s color scheme. "The blast blew off my left arm, crushed my face in, destroyed my left eye completely -- left eye is a prosthetic -- and blinded my right eye. I hon

Weicker’s Clanking Balls

Polls consistently show the media is in disfavor with most Americans. In fact, if the tribunes of the people were to appear in a modern revised Roman Coliseum replete with lions, tigers and bears, most of them would not survive the thumbs down of the attending crowd. The same may be said for the representatives of the people, viewed by many as accomplished smooth talking liars and sycophants.The approval poll of the average congressman is a little bit above that of Satan, and the media is little more than a rung higher. Last week, an aging Lowell Weicker appeared before the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, a lobbying group of town officials gently referred to by their prickly natural enemies as the Conference of Crying Mayors, there to deliver his verdict on state government. Weicker did not disappoint. He said what the group expected him to say and was rewarded by several standing ovations: Politicians were cowards and spendthrifts; the state budget was a mess; Jodi Rell,

Mother Teresa Impaled By Empire State: Can Blumie Help?

A little pillow talk between Attorney General and prospective U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and his lovely wife Cynthia might help. Some Catholics, among them the prickly head of the Catholic League, Bill Donohue, are hoping that a decision made by those who control the iconic Empire State Building is not written in proverbial stone. A rally, Donohue reports in his widely read newsletter Catalyst, is in process . On day 29 of the protest campaign in behalf of Mother Teresa, Donohue dashed off a letter to every Latino lay Catholic group in the New York Tri-State area. “Today I am writing to every Latino lay Catholic group in the New York Tri-State area informing them of our protest demonstration on August 26 outside the Empire State Building on 34th Street and 5th Avenue. “The rally is being held to protest the decision by Anthony Malkin, the owner of the storied building, to deny a tribute to Mother Teresa: our request to have the towers shine blue and white, the colors of he

Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall -- Weicker Is The Fairest Of Them All

In honor of former Senator and Governor Lowell Weicker’s recent surfacing at the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities gathering in Cromwell, there to give an address on the state's faltering economy, Connecticut Commentary is reprinting Chris Powell’s review of Weicker’s autobiography,“Maverick," the best single snapshot of the man in full. Weicker, it is said, received numerous standing ovations from an organization called by its critics The Connecticut Conference Of Crying Mayors. Powell’s applause was more circumspect. MISTER BLUSTER SAVES THE WORLD Weicker's Memoir Is Breathtaking for Self-Contradiction and Omission By CHRIS POWELL Legend has it that the ancient Athenian statesman Aristides was stopped in the street by an uneducated man who didn't recognize him and who asked for help in writing Aristides' own name on a ballot in an election to decide who among the nation's leaders would be banished. The man is said to have explained tha

Blumenthal The Artful Dodger

Jack Schaeffer of Slate , generally not a scorpion's nest of Republican firebrands, reports on Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s early 70’s connections: “The resourceful Blumenthal was nothing if not connected: When his student deferment clocked out, he got his draft board to give him a 2-A "occupational deferment" for his work as a special aide to Washington Post Publisher Katharine Graham, whom he met through her son Donald, a classmate at Harvard. The 2-A deferment was for jobs essential to the "national health, safety, and interest." (For the record, Donald Graham joined the Army and served in Vietnam, not that you'll ever hear him brag about it.) “In 2008, Jack Shafer pondered Joe Biden's told grandiose lies. In 2004, Timothy Noah reported Dick Cheney's last ditch effort to duck the draft. Blumenthal's next stop was Richard Nixon's White House, where he secured yet another occupational deferment in 1970. But then Nixon began to

Backing Into The Porcupine: The Times Examines Blumenthal Deferments

In mid-June Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, the nominee of the Democratic Party for the U.S. Senate, popped out of his bunker long enough to give a brief interview to Mark Pazniokas . Formerly a state politics writer for the Hartford Courant who lost his job in a downsizing, Pazniokas, a veteran reporter of 25 years, now writes for the Connecticut Mirror (CTMirror). Pazniokas sought to tease from Blumenthal a rough accounting of the number of times Blumenthal “misspoke” concerning his service in Vietnam. Whether it was five, six or seven, Blumenthal remonstrated, “It was very limited… But whatever the number, I regret the mistakes. I'm sorry for them. I take full responsibility. I have been asked and I have answered questions about my service." Blumenthal strongly suggested in the interview that he had exposed himself to a draft by joining the Marine Reserves: "I could have stayed in the White House and continued the deferment," Blumenthal said. "

Gore Lore

The much respected New York Daily news , relying on a story in Star Magazine, reports that “Al Gore's surprising split from wife Tipper was prompted by an affair he was having with Larry David's environmental activist wife… “David divorced her husband, the "Seinfeld" creator and star of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," in 2007 amid reports that she was cheating with the married caretaker of their Martha's Vineyard summer home…” Speaking through a spokesperson, Gore refuses to comment on the “stream of stories about his separation,” which has opened the door to some wild speculation. Al’s take is that his marriage went flat after four decades. The split with Tipper is amiable and mutually beneficial: Apart from each other, the two can grow; and no one should have to tolerate a flat marriage any more than one should tolerate flat champagne . Unsatisfied with this account, the Globe, a British organ, speculated that Gore has a gay monkey on his back, but y

Blumenthal Hits McMahon, Hides

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, secure in his bunker after it became known that he lied concerning his military service, has since ventured out briefly to attack Republican Party nominee Linda McMahon -- through a spokesperson. McMahon, according to the title of a story written by Hartford Courant reporter Daniela Altimari, is really “Linda McBush”: “Taking a page from the Democratic Party’s 2006 playbook, the Blumenthal campaign is looking to link Republican Linda McMahon with George Bush. "’Linda McMahon paid a Bush economic advisor $20,000 to rewrite Bush's failed economic policies into her Back 2 Bush economic plan,'’ Mindy Myers, Richard Blumenthal's campaign manager, said in a press release this morning. "’That means more runaway deficits, more corporate and special interest loopholes, and more tax breaks for people who don't need them, leaving working families paying the bill. I can tell you for free that there's nothing new about the L

Blumenthal to Courant: Bug Off!

John Lender, the Hartford Courant’s investigative reporter, caught a "mislead" on the part of Attorney General Richard Blumenthal in information he had provided for a biographical listing in the annual Martindale-Hubble Law Directory of attorneys at private law firms. Summarizing his military service, Blumenthal offered: “With USMC [U.S. Marine Corp], active duty and reserve. 1970-1976.” In Lender’s Sunday “Government Watch” column, an opinion on the misstatement was solicited from Randall Collins of Waterford, a Vet whose “active duty” included a stretch in Vietnam in the late 60’s. "’I think [active duty] was probably put in there to be misleading, based on all these other things,’ said Randall H. Collins of Waterford, who served in Vietnam in the late 1960s in the U.S. Army military intelligence division. An unaffiliated voter, Collins, 65, who is Waterford's superintendent of schools, is in the Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame, established in 2005 to honor