Thursday, June 10, 2021

At The Capitol, Lawmakers Engage In Behavior That Would Get Us Fired

My latest column for

Like Fitzgerald's rich, elected officials "are different from you and me." To wit:

House Speaker Matt Ritter scolded some rank-and-file lawmakers for heavy drinking during the marathon legislative discussions typical of the final days of a session. McQuaid and others in the media had been alerted by Kevin Rennie, a former state senator and representative whose blog, Daily Ructions, has a habit of breaking juicy tidbits such as this one.

This should go without saying, but lest we forget: elected officials are a different breed of animal. We report to a boss who can hire, fire and discipline us. Lawmakers report to the voters who elected them. Voters can be remarkably forgiving of naughty behavior if the elected officials bring home the bacon to their districts or can be relied upon to vote the way their constituents want them to.

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Thursday, June 3, 2021

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

‘Insulted and Disgusted,’ Local Office-Seekers Flee CT GOP

My latest column for

In the last couple of weeks, several local Republican officials have bolted the GOP in disgust over the behavior of party leaders. The West Hartford group can't bring themselves to become Democrats (I can relate), but will run for office under Lowell Weicker's defunct A Connecticut Party.

The dismissal of Liz Cheney from her leadership post in the House of Representatives for standing up to Trump was said to be the deciding factor, but their desertion of the GOP signaled a different approach to independence.

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Monday, May 10, 2021

If Lamont Runs, He’ll Be Hard To Beat

My latest column for

I've thought hi-and-lo about this and I cannot envision a scenario -- absent some sort of catastrophe -- in which Gov. Ned Lamont does not win reelection. In the absence of credible challengers -- either Republican or threats to his nomination by the Democratic Party -- he is well positioned to stay in office.

Unfortunately for the Republicans, their bench is a thin one. Businessman Bob Stefanowski, who ran against Lamont in 2018 and came within three percentage points of defeating him, does not appear to be in a stronger position than he was four years ago. Still, Stefanowksi seems to have been in campaign mode since giving his concession speech the day after the election on the zany morning show of a classic rock radio station. Within days, he began issuing statements on Lamont and seemingly appearing on any interview show that would have him.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Two Certainties In Life: Death and Tax Anxieties

My latest column for

To raise taxes or not to raise them? That is the question. I am resisting the urge the raise taxes to address our chronic fiscal woes for the same reason Gov. Lamont is: "Respond to that with just more taxes is not the way I think we should be going as a state."

In all my years of covering government, both as a reporter and pundit, few policy matters rouse the emotions of the electorate more than taxes. Raise taxes and most people object for obvious reasons. Cut taxes and advocates for various causes will complain about programs being starved and innocent people getting hurt.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Haskell: 'This is awesome'

This just in >> Re: My column of March 29 for CTNewsJunkie. 

Sen. Will Haskell tweets that Gov. Ned Lamont has joined 11 other states in calling for a zero-emission future by 2035. Unlike Connecticut, nearly all of those states allow Tesla and other major EV manufacturers to sell new vehicles directly to consumers without paying a protected class of business people -- namely the automobile dealers who want their cut of any transaction.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Apropos of Nothing: Of Migrant Children, Affordable Housing and Teslas

My latest column for

Should Connecticut house migrant children in a former juvenile detention center and should the state be the decider of local land use policies? Yes and no, I say, in that order:

Keeping children in a correction facility when their only offense is crossing the border unlawfully is, of course, less than ideal ... These children have indeed been through a lot of trauma, but I’d argue that whether it’s the Middletown campus, which closed in 2018 after a scandal involving its builder and former Gov. John Rowland, or the Southbury Training Center, the more important factor to consider is how they’re treated once inside the facility.

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Two tweets below. One from a Lamont critic and another one asking me if I had ever visited the Connecticut Juvenile Training School in Middletown. No, I have not but I don't think that means I can't have a valid opinion. I know the Middletown facility was built for children and is secure. I worry about these children's safety if they were housed in a hotel or similar unsecured location. They would make an attractive target for violent extremist xenophobes.