Well, that would explain the first stop on next week’s Mystery Tour for Candidate X, who appears to be Ridgefield First Selectman Rudloph P. Marconi, a veteran Democrat who next week is expected to announce his statewide candidacy, in an exploratory way, during a four-stop statewide tour starting in Ridgefield and ending in Mansfield, with stops along the way in Naugatuck and New London. The Blogster can only think of the Marconi lighthouse on Cape Cod, but confining our interest to the Connecticut map, shouldn’t Marconi swing through Winsted and Westport on the way back to Ridgefield, if only to give some props to a couple other little corners of the state?
Archive for September, 2009
Mystic Crystal Revelation! Another Pol Lining Up For Higher Office! But He/She Is Sparing Us Their Name
The Blogster doesn’t know about you, but he thinks that Connecticut needs more nameless Democrats to announce for “higher office.” Newsrooms throughout the state this morning were inundated with mystery releases about an unnamed Democrat who will announce intentions to file an exploratory committee for something high-profile, presumably the governorship that has eluded Ds since Billy O’Neill left in 1991.
Since the Blogster’s interest in announced candidates for governor is entirely preliminary as we approach the fourth anniversary October 14 of Gov. Jodi Rell’s proclaimed candidacy for governor in her own right, the Blogster’s pretty much not paying attention to the 2010 gubernatorial campaign until mid-October at the earliest.
Still, here’s the substance of the mystery release and the planned tour of second-tier cities and suburbs:
“An experienced Connecticut political figure will announce the formation of an exploratory committee for high-level state office on Monday, October 5. A series of four press conferences will take place in locations around the state. Further details with specific times and locations will follow on Friday, October 2.
WHERE AND WHEN
Ridgefield, approx. 10 am
Naugatuck, approx 12:30 pm
New London, approx. 3:30 pm
Mansfield, approx. 6 pm”
Let us count the way we love the General Assembly. After spending about $20,000 last week during a two-day session aimed at implementing the state budget that began July 1, no date has yet been set to resume their work.
Sure, Gov. Jodi Rell vetoed the majority Democrats’ attempts to raise fees by $50 million, sending them scurrying for their offices in the Legislative Office Building. That was worth $20,000 in taxpayer mirth. But for a caucus team that was so set to take care of business over a couple days last week, they now seem thoroughly unmoored. Isn’t it about time for the Ds to pick up the pieces and finish the eight bills they started on? The good news: every day they’re not in saves taxpayers $10,000 in personnel, printing and associated costs, while taking money out of the mouths of the Senate and House caterers.
There’s a loose rumor that they’ll come back Thursday or Friday, while Rell enjoys her family vacation week. If they meet on Friday and finally pass something, Lt. Gov. Mike Fedele could get used to being the big cheese and he could veto some stuff himself.
One of the reasons why the House hemmed and hawed for hours last Thursday night over the controversial bills to implement the budget, might have had something to do with the Phillies-Brewers game. The Phillies are hanging on to first place in the NL East and Speaker of the House Chris Donovan, D-Meriden, is an old Phillie boy, who was entranced with the game. Other members of his caucus were out…ah…eating dinner. That’s it…. they were eating dinner is local restauarants with liquot licenses. Donovan was thoroughly miffed the next afternoon, when Republican Gov. Jodi Rell vetoed the a bill that would raise state fees by $50 million over two years. This morning, the House majority caucus seems flummoxed by the veto. There’s no new date to resurrect the special session on so-called implementers, includng the even-more controversial bill on the Office of Policy and Management. The Blogster is bemused.
The revised Democratic budget hammered through the Senate Thursday afternoon would make it even more expensive to drive and camp in Connecticut. It piles a net $50 million increase in fees, in addition to the $100 million in fees that were included in the $37.6-billion budget that Gov. Rell this month allowed to slide into law without her signature.
In a barometric sign, the House, which was first supposed to meet at 11 a.m. today, then 3 p.m., then 5 p.m. ,was then told to come in at 6 to finish the two-day special session. It’s about 5:50 and there are about 20 people in the 151-member chamber.
Has the Blogster mentioned that taxpayers are coughing up $10,000 a day for this?
The Blogster loves covering the State Capitol Preservation and Restoration Committee, mostly because no other reporters ever bother with it. But the appointed group of history buffs are at least interested in the 1878 pile. They just got word from Eric Connery, facilities administrator for the Joint Office of Legislative Management, that the “Genius” statue is about two weeks from completion at a Tavern Rock, N.Y. art foundry.
Here’s a photo Connery just sent the Blogster, taken during his recent visit. He said the bronze’s patina was that of a new penny, but the foundry threw another patina on it to give it some oldish looks while it develops its own. Of course, it could be a while for that to occur, since the 16-foot-tall piece will be inside, in the Capitol rotunda, until Connecticut comes up with enough cash to hoist it back up on top of the dome. The original winged statue was found to have been loosened by the famous hurricane of 1938 and it was subsequently melted down for the effort in WWII.
“They did a wonderful job of matching the pieces,” Connery just told the committee. “Even inside, where we’re going to store her temporarily, it will be hard to find the seams.” With any luck, the winged beast should become the newest Capitol attraction in about six weeks, resting on a new $40,000 seismic-safe base, which will be anchored through the rotunda’s existing base, which is packed earth, by the way. Connery said the current plan is to remove a circular ring of black marble, which is cracked and damaged, as well as a circular center piece, then determine whether an anchor for the base has to be dug down as deep as four feet into the ground. It’s all to meet the earthquake code. Connery said it take 10,000 pounds of pressure to tip over the statue. “The center of gravity is almost perfect,” he said, joking that in event of an earthquake “The statue will be standing and the building will be falling down.”
Just when the state was getting over its legislative hangover, the General Assembly is back today to approve bills that will implement the budget that began on July 1. Yes, reporters will be looking for rats, those furry, sepcial-interest pieces for which the slaient lobbyists make the big buck. Although no bill has been released this mid-afternoon, looks for cities and towns to see a $22-million reduction in town road aid; a $105 reduction in the Clean Water Fund over the biennium; a one-year delay in the planned, controversial in-school-suspension program that state educators say is too expensive; and a phase-in of the planned “raise the age” legislation. That was to raise the age that juveniles are treated as adults in the criminal-justice system from the current 16 to 18 years of age starting next January. But the bill will result in raising the age to 17 next January and 18 in January of 2011.
Nancy DiNardo’s weekend blather over Gov. Rell’s Machiavellian plan to announce she was going to veto $8 million in Democratic “pork” – that her lawyers knew she no power to veto – was nearly over the top. It reminded the Blogster that we’re heading into an election cycle.
But as usual, GOP State Chairman Chris Healy has surpassed DiNardo, his Democratic counterpart from Trumbull, for sheer rhetorical excess. It makes the Blogster wonder whether Bush II ever gave that trillion dollars in tax breaks to the wealthy. Anyway, here’s Healy’s latest screed:
P&W Closing Shows;
Why Democrats Don’t Understand Economics
Democrats who complain about the recent jobs losses at Pratt & Whitney aircraft have only themselves to blame, due to 30 years of promoting anti-business climate of taxes, regulation and high energy costs, according to Republican State Party Chairman Chris Healy Tuesday.
“Democratic leaders have shown themselves to be without shame or a clue as to why more high paying jobs are leaving Connecticut,” said Healy. “Maybe they should read some of the bills they have authored over the years which have made Connecticut too expensive for any business to survive.”
Healy said the appearance of gubernatorial candidate Susan Bysiewicz at a press conference by the United Author Workers crystallized the entire argument as to why Democrats have more than their share of responsibility for the job losses.
“How can anyone take Susan Bysiewicz seriously?” asked Healy. “She and the Democrats think suing a company is economic development. For someone who can barely manage a small bureaucracy, Secretary Bysiewicz has show she has little aptitude or depth for serious issues.”
And where were the Democratic Congressional delegation when it came to the loss of the F-22 work, which was a cause to the announced loss of the P&W jobs?
“Our Congressional delegation was big on press releases, but short on phone calls to the Pentagon and White House,” said Healy. “This is what happens when you have a group that is anti-military unless it suits them for a photo-op.”
The loss of Pratt and Whitney didn’t happen over night or due to the downturn in the economy, Healy argued. It was a result of several factors:
Various cost of living indicators are reflected in higher wage and benefit agreements between the unions and management. The more expensive it is for workers to live in the state, the taller the request for salary increases. The Democratic-controlled Legislature has long sided with unions in all their deliberations, which has a chilling effect on management’s desire to hire replacement workers.
Benefits gained are more expensive since many of the health care mandates originated from the Democratic-legislature. These legacy costs eventually cause management to cut their losses and move elsewhere.
“Democrats didn’t pay attention in the 1970′s when manufacturing jobs were lost, they didn’t pay attention in the 1990′s when insurance and finance jobs were lost and now they are rooted in denial about the loss of more highly skilled jobs,” said Healy. “During each of these setbacks, the Democrats didn’t cut spending or cut taxes – they raised them. They passed an Income Tax and they have now pushed through the largest budget in Connecticut history. Do they think that doesn’t affect business? Guess what? – It does.”
Healy said the most telling moment was the accusation by Democrats that the loss of Pratt & Whitney jobs could be laid at the doorstep of Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell.
“Governor Rell made a generous offer, but the climate for his move has long been established by those who have controlled the rules for working in this state for three decades,” said Healy. “Democrats don’t understand that jobs are not created out of thin air.”