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Election day LIVEBLOG

ElectionDay09

10:30 AM: Well, that day has finally arrived but unlike 2007, I’ll be reporting on election day activities in both Danbury and Bethel.

If you have any voting stories, please email them to hatcityblog@yahoo.com and we’ll post it for everyone to read. Make sure to tell us the time you voted, whether you’re voting in Danbury or Bethel and which ward your reporting from. Also, if possible, tell us the number of the counter when you insert your voting ballot into the machine.

FieldReports

Here’s the first field report from a reader:

Voted at Danbury High School at 9:40 AM and forgot to look at the number when scanning my ballot but was 71st for my “street starting with location” … steady stream of people … did overhear one woman walking out saying, “I only voted for one Republican”

12:30 PM: I just finished voting at Broadview Middle School.

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Turnout was pretty good for this time in the afternoon. I couple of people forgot that the ballot was two-sided (which is to be expected). Here’s a pic of the ballot before I filled it out.

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Counter on the voting machine was at 1042 when I cast my ballot.

Here’s what the area looked like when I arrived.

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Both Democratic (Barbara Carey, William Tanner) and Republican (Joe Cavo, Jack Knapp) candidates for Common Council (3rd ward) were on hand as well as poll standers for Warren Levy, Lori Kaback, Don Taylor (whose handmade signs are the WORSE I’ve ever seen). Democratic poll standers clearly outnumber Republicans at this point.

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Remember to email me your voting experience. Make sure to include the time you voted, where you voted, and the counter number on the voting machine.

…more field reports later.

1:00 PM At Pembroke School (2nd Ward).

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No sign of any Republican poll standers but Democratic poll standers are around including Common Council candidate Phil McAllister. The other Democratic candidate, Daniel Abrantes, has been non-existent throughout the entire campaign so not seeing him here (or a sign with his name) is not a surprise.

Machine counter is at 1009 as of 1:10 PM.

Found another hand-made sign from Don Taylor…laughable at best.

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…what’s the deal with the Police?

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1:15 PM At Danbury High School (1st ward).

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Phil Curran, Shay Nagarsheth, Phil Colla, and members of the firefighter union are standing around for the Republicans while Barry Rickert, Frank Anders, poll standers for Lori Kaback, William Totten, and Warren Levy are standing for the Democrats.

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Didn’t get a machine count.

1:30 PM At Mill Ridge School (7th ward).

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Eileen Coladarci (City Clerk candidate), Common Council candidates Phil Cervone and Joselyn Cotillo, and large Democratic presence are on hand while the worst City Clerk in the history of Danbury, Jean Natale, and a handful of Republican poll standers are on the scene.

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2:00 PM At the War Memorial (5th ward).

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Talked to Common Councilmen Duane Perkins and Fred Visconti who are in high spirits. Poll standers for the candidates as well as Warren Levy and Lori Kaback are all around. Standers for Derek Roy are also around.

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Received MORE complaints about Derek Roy’s campaign tactics over the last 24 hours. The following picture is from a supporter for Visconti-Perkins who’s irritated to see that someone from the Roy campaign placed a lawn sign on the property. This is the kind of nonsense that’s been going on from Roy’s camp for some time.

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2:30 PM Park Ave School (6th ward). Saw Democratic zoning candidate Al Pena, Common Councilman Ben Chianese, and poll standers for Lori Kaback and Warren Levy on hand. One stander for Mayor Boughton was on hand.

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Went to get a picture inside but my camera died.

2:45 PM Talked to Democratic Town Committee chairman Joe DaSilva who reports that turnout has been low.

3:30 PM: Stopped by Democratic Headquarters to see what’s happening. As in any election, the get out the vote (GOTV) effort is critical. With people predicting that this year’s turnout will equal 2007’s, calling people to remind them to go to the polls is more critical than ever.

4:00 PM: Taking a small break before heading over to Bethel. In the meantime, here’s an interview Gary Goncalves did on local access television.

4:30: I find it laughable that someone like Elmer Palma is running on the Republican slate for the Zoning Commission. Click here to read my write-up on the Palma and the traffic nightmare he’s created with his irresponsible diner location.

5:00 PM Oh the hypocrisy!

Statement from The Tribuna (a family-owned newspaper) dated February 2008:

TRIBUNA WITHDRAWALS ITS SUPPORT FOR MAYOR BOUGHTON

Mayor’s Proposed Partnership with ICE is hurtful to the community and the local immigrant population

Danbury, CT – Since its creation in 2000, TRIBUNA NEWSPAPER has expressed its support to Danbury’s mayors. From Gene Eriquez to Mark Boughton, this multi-cultural publication has worked closely with local leaders covering stories and voicing concerns of the local immigrant community.

After announcing its plans to check the legal status of the city’s immigrants in 2005, TRIBUNA had several conversations with Mayor Mark Boughton expressing its opposition to his plan. Eventually, the mayor set the issue aside. TRIBUNA continued with its support for Boughton on the last election, endorsing him as the candidate with the best overall plans for the city.

[…]

TRIBUNA is a strong voice against Boughton’s proposal since it knows that the recent mayor’s plans of a partnership with ICE are a true harm to the community. It makes sense for authorities to expect that illegal immigrants who committed crimes to be deported. But TRIBUNA will no longer support a mayor who would pass a plan that would also deport immigrant workers, who came to this country legally and don’t have a green card because they are waiting for the conclusion of their legalization process. A plan that could take children away from good parents, divide families and close businesses owned by honest people who have contributed greatly to this city. TRIBUNA once again invites Mayor Mark Boughton to reconsider his support for this measure and its impact in this city.

Tribuna newspaper November 2009:

As an immigrant, I disagree with the way Mayor Mark Boughton addressed the partnership agreement with ICE in 2008. As a member of the Danbury community, however, I cannot judge a mayoral candidate’s platform based only on the issue of immigration.

The reality is that during Boughton’s four terms, the city saw new schools, such as Western Connecticut AIS Magnet School and Ellsworth Avenue Elementary School (formerly Roberts Avenue), newly paved roads, the new Firefighter House Engine 26 on the west side, an upgraded athletic field in Rogers Park, and a modern Police Department. The new station revitalized a sector of the city considered challenging, and lifted the morale of the police officers that today are able to work in a safe, efficient facility. All of these improvements benefit the residents who are citizens, as well as the immigrants in Danbury.

For these reasons, Tribuna is endorsing Mark Boughton for Mayor of the City of Danbury.

So lets see, in 2007, after being criticized by another newspaper for giving numerous campaign contributions to the Boughton administration between 2005 and 2007, the higher ups at The Tribuna comes out with a statement in which they withdrew their support for the mayor.

Okay, fine BUT…

In the time since their statement, the owners of the Tribuna have witnessed:

  • Threats made against organizations that support immigrants rights who were outspoken in their disapproval of the ICE ACCESS program,
  • The mayor and the Common Council withhold their support for the Hispanic Center (based entirely because of the organization’s opposition towards the ICE ACCESS program),
  • Misleading statements from the mayor regarding the city’s role in the raid at Kennedy Park (Danbury 11 case), which were finally revealed in court documents.
  • Know of several people at City Hall who has ties to Elise Marciano’s anti-immigrant hate-group
  • Have heard of numerous reports from store owners on Main Street who were told to remove their Gary Goncalves campaign signs from their windows.
  • People in the immigrant community talk about living in a state of fear in Danbury (due in large part to the tactics of the Boughton administration that goes largely unreported)

Yet, the people at the Tribuna can criticize Gary Goncalves because of the way he answered a immigration-related question, overlook the above matters that happened over the last two year in which the immigrant community were attacked by City Hall (to a point where people refuse to speak out against the mayor due to fear) to not only flip-flop on their word to withhold support for Boughton, but also sponsor the Mayor’s Ball (almost a year to the day in which Boughton and the council approved ICE ACCESS), and, as reported in Boughton’s July 2009 campaign finance statement, also attend one of his fundraiser and, in the case of a high ranking member of the paper, return to the habit of providing campaign contributions?!?

Now look, I know the people at the Tribuna as I’ve reported on the attacks form City Hall towards the immigrant community since late 2004-early 2005. Celia Bacelar and her family are good-hearted people who do care about Danbury. That being said, this editorial, and the fact that they completely went back on the word they gave their own community cannot go overlooked.

The fact that any editorial or senior ranking member of a newspaper giving campaign contributions to a candidate diminishes their editorial writings when it comes to endorsements (without, at the very least, disclosing the campaign contributions to the public), the fact that The Tribuna can, on one hand, criticize a candidate because he didn’t answer to a question regarding immigration to their satisfaction, while completely overlooking the tactics of a mayor who has attacked the very community their paper serves, while endorsing the mayor mainly based on paved roads and new buildings, reeks of hypocrisy.

Funny how time changes things huh?

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6:00 PM: Time to switch gears and go to BETHEL!!!

FieldReports

Here’s a field report from a voter in Bethel.

Just voted at Berry School in Bethel (Dist. 5)….nobody there! No candidates, poll standers, or voters. But my machine had a count of 183, so people had voted earlier. Hopefully the after work hours crowd boosts turnout.

6:55 PM: Okay, a little more than a hour to go until the real fun begins and I can start providing post-election coverage. Hopefully at 8:01, the candidates will start pulling down their lawn signs and things around here can get back to normal.

REMEMBER: Please send your voting experience to hatcityblog@yahoo.com. When you send your email, make sure to tell me where you voted, the time when you voted, and the count on the voting machine.

8:05: Polls are now closed and I went to every polling place in Bethel. I’m now blogging from the Municipal Center (thank goodness for the iPhone). I’ll fill you in on what happened at each poll ASAP but from hitting all the polling places, the word I received regarding the turnout is that it’s VERY VERY high.

8:15 PM: RESULTS from BETHEL are coming in now…

Burke wins district 4, Knickerbocker sins district 2 (and I think 1). I’m running so I’ll update this info with the actual numbers soon.

8:45 PM Here’s better numbers…I’ll update this list as I get more info.

D1:
Knickerbocker/ Straiton: 195/195,
Craybas/Szatkowski: 163/141
Burke/Slifkin: 114/93
D2:
Knickerbocker/Straiton: 533/523,
Craybas/Szatkowski: 511/522
Burke/Slifkin: 279/267
D3:
(not in yet as of 8:45 PM)
D4:
Knickerbocker/Straiton: 364/376,
Craybas/Szatkowski: 296/311
Burke/Slifkin: 392/354
D5: (not in yet as of 8:45 PM)
Abs:
Knickerbocker/Straiton: 50/150
Craybas/Szatkowski: 120/138
Burke/Slifkin: 110/94

TOTALS BETHEL (winners in bold): 9:30 PM

Knickerbocker/Straiton: 1927/1937
Craybas/Szatkowski: 1716/1794
Burke/Swifkin: 1357/1213

9:00 PM RESULTS FROM DANBURY

District 6: Duane Perkins and Fred Visconti easily win re-election over Derek Roy and Linda J. Ossenfort

12:30 AM: Since I was not in Danbury for the results, I don’t have the official totals but here’s the latest.

Boughton easily wins re-election while picking up one seat on the common council.

Warren Levy loses Common Council seat.

Andrew Wittmore is OUT on Zoning.

Complaint is filed against Derek Roy for his campaign tactics.

Still waiting for results on the Board of Ed races.

I’ll update this site with my video coverage from the Bethel race (including my interview with First Selectman-Select Matt Knickerbocker tomorrow morning.

I’ll update this site with my reports from the rest of the wards in Bethel and Danbury, as well as my video coverage from the Bethel race (including my interview with First Selectman-Select Matt Knickerbocker tomorrow morning.

NOTE: Covering the race on the road is getting easier with the advent of 3-g mobile phone technology but it’s REALLY hard to be at all the places at the same time. I promise to fill in the gaps tomorrow morning.