I’m not sure if I’ll be posting. I’m constitutionally incapable of disconnecting entirely. Yet, I’m going to try. If you need me…
Ok, maybe it doesn’t look good. The CEO and board chairman of Northeast Utilities (NU) asks NU managers to pony up campaign contributions to the Connecticut Democratic Party to support the reelection of Gov. Dannel Malloy. But the bottom line is what Thomas May did and the $46,500 that was subsequently contributed is perfectly legal. There is no evidence Malloy or the state party solicited the money and there is no reason to return it.
Whenever the Hartford Courant’s Jon Lender pens a story as he did in the May case, the inclination is to think something illegal or nefarious is going on. There usually is. That’s simply not the case here. May thinks it would be best for his company if Malloy was reelected. He expressed that to his people and they responded with contributions.
The story is perfect Larry Cafero material. The bloviating state House minority leader let loose with his usual bluster to the Courant. He called May’s request to his managers “an absolute disgrace” and “appalling.” He said May owes everyone in sight an apology. Please. The only hope here is that we don’t have to hear from Cafero every time an issue is raised in the 2014 gubernatorial campaign. He opted not to run. So maybe he shouldn’t go ballistic over every little twist and turn. House members are captives to his rants. Spare the rest of us.
Meanwhile, state Republican Party Chairman Jerry Labriola—a likeable guy if questionably effective party chief—says Democratic Party Chair Nancy DiNardo should give back the money. He likens the situation to the contributions US Rep. Elizabeth Esty returned because there were from employees of companies regulated by her husband, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Dan Esty.
When the Massachusetts state legislature passed a law paving the way for casino gambling resorts in the state, strict rules were put in place. While no one expected the process to be particularly smooth, few could have expected the twists and turns that have occurred even just this week.
As Connecticut watches closely as to what impact casinos in the Bay State would have on its own gaming, a proposal by Mohegan Sun for a Boston-area resort seems to be moving forward. Meanwhile, the head of the Massachusetts gambling commission removed himself from a vote on a plan competing with Mohegan for the only greater Boston license because of a previous business relationship with the owner of the land.
Connecticut’s gaming compact with the Indian tribes operating Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos in the state gives exclusive gambling rights to the tribes in exchange for 25 percent of the revenue from slot machines there. The state gets nothing from casinos the tribes might operate in other states. The casinos—and therefore the state—would lose revenue to Massachusetts gambling resorts.
Just how casinos in neighboring Massachusetts would impact the two Connecticut gambling resorts is in question. However, a report released in September of 2011 by the University of Massachusetts Amherst Center for Policy Analysis spells trouble for Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods.
Earlier this week, the Massachusetts gambling commission seemed to signal the Mohegan proposal for the Suffolk Downs dog racing track in the Boston suburb of Revere could go forward. That would cause major controversy because the original plan for the property that straddled Revere and neighboring East Boston was soundly rejected by the resident of the latter town in a referendum. The state gambling law gives absolute veto power to the towns in which the casinos are proposed. Revere residents approved the plan overwhelmingly.
The commission indicated Tuesday a revamped plan located solely in Revere could move forward. However, the new plan is so different from the one Revere residents approved, it’s barely recognizable. There is no time for a new vote under the timelines established by law.
There is no doubt lesser-known Republican gubernatorial candidates were given an opening by the bumbling, former favorite Tom Foley’s baseless attacks on Gov. Dannel Malloy’s ethics. These candidates have failed, however, to take advantage of it. In fact, state Senate Minority Leader John McKinney pulled a real head-scratcher this week by casting his lot with fifth district congressional candidate Mark Greenberg, a self-described Tea Party sympathizer who didn’t even have the courage—or the decency—to return an endorsement to McKinney. Curious, indeed.
As a political observer, The Shad is at a loss to see what McKinney gains by endorsing Greenberg, who has twice failed to even secure the Republican nomination to run for Congress let alone compete for the seat in the general election.
Greenberg, as the state Democratic Party quickly pointed out, associates himself with the Tea Party. That’s not exactly a recipe for victory in deep-blue Connecticut. “I share a lot of the same ideals as the Tea Party,” Greenberg told the Danbury News-Times in October. State Dems immediately questioned whether McKinney does as well.
McKinney is bright, politically savvy and well-spoken. One has to wonder whether his embracing Greenberg is a political miscalculation. Even the way he did is peculiar. This is a time of year in advance of the 2014 gubernatorial campaign in which there is a dearth of campaign news (other than the big bucks people and paying and donating to Malloy). McKinney called a news conference to make the endorsement and it got extensive coverage. If Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton eventually endorses Greenberg, it’s likely to be quietly and only if it will help Boughton’s chances of securing the GOP gubernatorial nod. Right now, it doesn’t.
The headline on the popular CT Capitol Report blares, “BREAKFAST WITH MALLOY: $10,000 TO $250,000.” The lead in the CT Mirror story reads, “It might be the most expensive hotel buffet ever served in Hartford:…” It’s about the Democratic Governors Association’s Winter Policy Conference kicking off tonight in Hartford. While Malloy raises big bucks for the DGA, a would-be opponent sees an opportunity to raise a little cash of his own. Republican Danbury Republican Mayor Mark Boughton is using the Malloy fundraiser as an appeal to ask for as much as $100 but as little as $35. And it’s clever.
Show Me The Money
They Don’t Call It #GivingTuesday For Nothing
According to a CT Mirror news report, CT Gov. Dan Malloy will play host to “120 executives and lobbyists” at a fundraiser for the Democratic Governors Association over the next two days.
The price tag is staggering: $10,000 for a sponsorship or a company membership of $100,000 or $250,000.
The fact is that despite his chest thumping about economic growth (worst in the nation in 2012), responsible budgeting (largest tax hike in a generation), and education reform (I’m a former high school history teacher – don’t get me started), Dan Malloy been a thoroughly unlikeable governor.
This is why Malloy is feverishly raising as much money as he can. It will take a lot of cash to convince people that the last three years didn’t happen the way they actually did.
I’m exploring a run for governor because I believe Connecticut can do better, but if I’m going to run I’ll need your support.
If you are tired of a governor that raises money $10,000 at a time to cover up his record, I invite you to join Team Boughton with a contribution of $100, $50, or even $35 to set the record straight. Sincerely, @MayorMark
P.S. Join Team Boughton with your contribution to Team Boughton. $35, $50, $100, whatever – I’d be grateful.
Boughton has what is technically an “exploratory committee” but is busy raising money and awareness for a run. He faces 2010 GOP nominee (and Boughton running mate) Tom Foley, state Senate Minority Leader John McKinney and state Sen. Toni Boucher is a potential Republican primary.
Gov. Dannel Malloy has the audacity to put the education of students in Connecticut first—before teachers unions, before obstructionists; before people who are out to get him politically. Backing education reform to increase the quality of public education, to close the nation’s worst achievement gap, and to reduce the troubling drop-out rate is a courageous stand to take with an election year looming.
Malloy was Washington, DC Monday and spoke at a forum put on by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a conservative think tank. Malloy’s presentation was titled, “School Reform ‘do’s and don’ts’: Lesson from Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy.”
Malloy knows from where he speaks. In his efforts to reform education in the state has been opposed at every turn by the teachers unions and their flunkies. Education reform opponents point to the fact that Malloy was speaking to a “conservative” think tank. The fact is, Malloy doesn’t care about political ideologies when it comes to education reform. He simply wants to put the kids first.
Connecticut has the dubious distinction of being the only state in the region that does not have regulations for wind turbines and therefore no turbines. The legislators who are standing in the way are the same people who are the first to squawk about gas prices and gas taxes. Their hypocrisy is an embarrassment.
As CTMirror.org reports, the legislature’s Regulation Review Committee failed for the fourth time in a year to approve rules for wind power. The state now is in danger of missing an end-of-the-year deadline or federal tax credits for wind projects. The credits are an incentive to get wind projects off the ground. Connecticut is a leader in many areas but a failure in this one.
Technically speaking, the regulation review committee refused to act on guidelines for wind turbines submitted by the Connecticut Siting Council. The top Republican on the committee, the usually reasonable state Sen. Len Fasano, says he objects to a waiver process included in the proposed rules. He told CTMirror.org, ““I know I would not want a 427-foot tower one mile away from my property line.” Well, at least he’s honest about his Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) problem with wind power. In his defense, he says he is not opposed to wind power in general.