REP. BARAM ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LEGISLATION
State Rep. David Baram praises wide-ranging legislation - perhaps the most comprehensive in more than a decade - that strengthens Connecticut's laws against domestic violence and enhances its assistance to victims.
ON BILL LIMITING LIABILITY
FOR RECREATION USE OF LANDS
Legislation Followed Court Award For Accident On MDC Land
“I am obviously very happy and grateful that this important legislation was passed by the Senate. The bill, passed previously by the House, had more than 100 co-sponsors. Democrats and Republicans from both chambers supported it,” Rep. David Baram (D-Bloomfield, Windsor) said.
“The bill, which I am looking forward to having Governor Malloy sign, will help guarantee the public’s right to use municipal land for recreation. It also will encourage towns to open up more lands for active and passive recreation without having to worry about lawsuits that are not well-grounded,” Baram said.
What the Probate Court means for you and your family
7:00-8:15 p.m., Wednesday, April 20, 2011 Room 306,
Bloomfield Senior Center
All Bloomfield residents are invited to attend this workshop at which Judge Steven Zelman will explain the functions and responsibilities of the Probate Court and the impact its decisions can have on individuals and families. Judge Zelman has been Bloomfield's Probate Judge since 1991. In November, he was elected to serve as the first Probate Judge for the Tobacco Valley Probate Court, the newly formed regional district including Bloomfield, Windsor Locks, East Granby, and Suffield. An attorney, Steven has lived in Bloomfield since 1961 where he also maintains a private law practice.
Light refreshments will be served. For more information, contact: Lois Hager, Irene Pittman, Al LeFebvre, or Dave Baram.
This session is a project of the Bloomfield Democratic Town Committee. It is cosponsored by the Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce and is open to anyone regardless of part affiliation
DiNardo Calls for Complete Audit of Janet Peckinpaugh’s Campaign
Hartford, CT – Following up on her complaint to the Federal Elections Commission, Democratic Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo called today for a full audit of the Peckinpaugh for Congress campaign committee to get answers on the more than $20,000 in debt that is still violation of federal campaign finance disclosure laws.
“Despite Janet Peckinpaugh claiming that she would address these serious issues, the ‘amendment’ to her campaign finance report is half hearted and disingenuous, and scores of questions still remain,” said DiNardo.
The original complaint was filed due to Peckinpaugh’s mismanagement of her campaign committee’s funds. Records show that Peckinpaugh may have concealed $70,000 in expenditures, illegally used campaign funds for personal use, and failed to specify over $20,000 in debt.
Days later, these issues remain unaddressed and DiNardo says voters deserve honest answers.
“Voters in Chester, Deep River, Essex, and Haddam risk electing a state representative who will be clouded in scandal as details on this $20,000 debt emerge,” DiNardo continued. "To whom is this debt owed? Has the campaign accepted illegal contributions to cover this debt? These and many unanswered questions will continue so long as she continues to hide the truth from voters."
“If Janet Peckinpaugh gets to Hartford and manages the state budget like she managed her campaign budget, we’re all in trouble,” continued DiNardo.
Peckinpaugh also made incorrect statements to the press, telling the New London day that all reports were filed "on time" when in fact her year-end report was posted late and only after media started asking questions. Filing a Federal Elections Commission (FEC) report after a deadline is a violation of federal election law.
Anthem's Request Hike Denied
Yesterday, after pressure from consumers, legislators, and elected leaders, acting Insurance Commissioner Barbara Spear Announced that she was denying Anthem's request for a 20% rate hike.
For 48,000 Anthem individual health insurance policy holders in Connecticut, this will certainly be welcomed news. Especially after former Commissioner Sullivan, who rubber-stamped 85% of all insurance increase requests (sometimes without even a public hearing) this is a huge change in philosophy!
This is a big victory for the individual policy holders and CT. consumers. I just wanted to make sure that you knew about this monumental decision. Hopefully this is a precursor to a more aggressive, hands-on approach by the incoming Malloy/Wyman Administration, working to protect consumers and stop unjustified increases.
Dear BTC Members,
By popular demand we have decided to CANCEL the Town Committee Meetings for Wednesday, Nov. 17th and the Executive Committee for Wednesday, Nov. 10th. We did such a fantastic job this election, and worked so long and hard, that I agree, we need a break! I will keep in touch by email if anything arises. Thanks to all of you for all your hard work. The Bloomfield DTC is without question, the best! Many of you inquired about Steve Zelman. Yes, Steve won. The big Bloomfield vote more than compensated for loses in other towns. Once again, the importance of our Bloomfield vote. I believe our turnout was well over 60% and was one of the largest of towns our size. Just an incredible accomplishment!!!!
Best to all and a Happy Thanksgiving.
David Baram, Chair.
Bloomfield wins the
Susan Bysiewicz presented some awards following her farewell address to the two-day registrars' conference. One award, called “Dixie Cup”, was awarded to Bloomfield for the highest Democratic turnout for mid-size towns on Primary Day, August 10. Registrar Ann Wall accepted the award!
This award, without doubt, is due in large part to the efforts of our candidates and our Town Committee, door knocking and the phone calls made at headquarters.
Bloomfield made history, the highest turnout of midsize towns, the highest turnout I believe of any State Rep. race in my District, picking winners for each of the statewide offices, and in showing the State Democrats that we have one of the hardest working, effective Town Committees in Connecticut. Wow, I am proud, hope you are too!!!
David Baram, Chair.
LEGISLATURE SAVES ‘CITIZENS’ ELECTION PROGRAM’ AND REDUCES OVERALL POTENTIAL COST
Clean elections and a lower price tag. By overriding the governor’s veto of the campaign finance fix legislation, Democrats protected the integrity of our elections and reduced the cost of the program – by $2.3 million.
Connecticut’s landmark Citizens’ Election Program (CEP) – public financing of state elections – has proven successful in just the few short years it has been in operation. It removed special interest money from political campaigns, encouraged more candidates to throw their hats in the ring for every office and leveled the financial playing field for all office seekers.
Though last month’s federal appeals court ruling deemed a few aspects of the CEP unconstitutional, the state legislature has been quick to act to ensure that the mission and goals of public financing are not compromised as we head toward Election Day in November.
Legislation passed by the General Assembly, and ironically vetoed by public financing proponent Governor Rell, fixes the court’s concerns with just a few tweaks to the original campaign finance reform law. First off, our bill removed the so-called “severability” clause to ensure that the aspects of the program not ruled unconstitutional continue to have the force of law.
A major decision by the court eliminated “supplemental” grants for candidates participating in the CEP. These grants are allocated when a privately-financed opponent of a CEP candidate exceeds the established spending limits set up by the program.
For example, the initial grant for gubernatorial candidate A, who is participating in CEP, is $3 million. If a self-funded opponent candidate B decided to spend more, candidate A would be eligible for up to an additional $6 million depending on the total campaign expenditures of B. Without such supplemental grants, publicly financed candidate A is at a severe disadvantage to candidate B.
To help avoid this unfair mismatch and also adhere to the court’s decision, the legislature opted to increase the initial gubernatorial grant to $6 million and eliminate the supplemental grant as well as a matching grant for “independent” expenditures.
The program is funded by proceeds from the sale of unclaimed property – a self-sustaining non-tax revenue stream overseen by the state treasurer. Therefore, there is no additional cost to this approach – in fact it costs less than the original formula where candidates for governor could get $9 million ($3 million initially and up to an additional $6 million from a supplemental grant). It also is less than the projected spending from the fund before the court issued its ruling.
In addition, the court ruled that a total ban on lobbyist contributions to campaigns was unconstitutional based on the free speech principle of the First Amendment. In response, the legislature had to let lobbyist money back in the game, but we limited these donations to $100 per candidate. The current prohibition of lobbyist contributions during legislative sessions remains in effect.
Thankfully, the court upheld the ban on campaign contributions from state contractors. Unfortunately though, the court struck down the ban on contractors and lobbyists soliciting others for donations on behalf of candidates. These provisions are very complicated, and with Election Day less than three months away, the legislature decided to limit the solicitations as of January 1, so that this year’s elections could proceed without further litigation, and to prohibit the “bundling” of checks and lobbyist fundraisers immediately.
The CEP helps remove special interest money from campaigns and level the playing field for candidates – and it frees up those running for office to spend less time fundraising and more time talking to voters about the issues.
By overriding the Governor’s veto, the legislature has assured voters that special interest money effectively remains eliminated from the election campaign process and privately-financed candidates cannot simply buy their way into office. Increasing voter confidence in our representative democracy is an ongoing challenge, and the state’s Citizens’ Election Program is an important part of that equation.
15th House District Race*
Incumbent David Baram secured a convincing victory in Tuesday's Democratic primary, overcoming two challengers to secure the party nomination for the district that encompasses portions of Bloomfield and Windsor.
Baram, a former Bloomfield mayor and the town's current Democratic town chairman, captured 60 percent of the vote, easily defeating Windsor Democratic Town Chairman Leo Canty and Bloomfield board of education member James Michel.
"I'm just overwhelmed with gratitude, for the people of Bloomfield who stuck with me and the residents of Windsor, where I understand I won two of three districts and lost the town by only 50 votes. "This was the toughest campaign I've run in years. I didn't anticipate the margin of victory."
Baram will be seeking election to his first full term in November. He won a special election in March 2009 to fill the vacancy created by the death of Faith McMahon.
Baram identified the economy as the overriding issue in this year's election, pledging to work to spur job creation and improve the state's business climate. He will face Republican Howard A. Jubrey Jr., a member of the Windsor school board, in November.
*offical race results to be published when available
reproduced from the Hartford Courant
Bloomfield Democratic Town Committee Press Release
from David Baram, Chair
David Baram, chairman of the Bloomfield Democratic Town Committee, announced that candidates for Statewide office will be appearing at a special Town Committee meeting on February 10, 2010 to introduce themselves and discuss their policy positions.
The meeting is open to the public and will begin at 7pm at the Senior Center at 330 Park Avenue, Bloomfield.
Gubernatorial candidates attending include Dan Malloy former Mayor of Stamford, Mary Glassman 1st Selectwoman of Simsbury, and Ned Lamont former US Senate Candidate. Candidates for Attorney General planning to attend are Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz and George Jepson former chair of the State Democratic Party. Secretary of State Candidates intending to appear are Senator Johnathan Harris and House Majority Leader Denise Merrill. According to David Baram, Bloomfield Democrats have 20 delegates to the State Democratic Convention. This is a sizeable delegation that makes our Town attractive to the candidates. David Baram said, "The Candidate Forum on February 10th will showcase major Statewide Candidates, and allow our Town Committee members and the public to better familiarize themselves with their positions and priorities. There is a lot of excitement in Town, that such a distinguished group of candidates have decided to appear in Bloomfield!" Bloomfield Vice Chair Marc Needelman will introduce the candidates and make sure that they have equal time in speaking to the attendees. Once again, members of the public are welcome.
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Rep. David Baram Appointed to
(Municipal Opportunities&Regional Efficiencies)
State Rep. David Baram (D-Bloomfield) has been named by House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan (D-Meriden) and House Majority Leader Denise Merrill (D-Mansfield) to a new a commission that will seek to identify opportunities for more regional collaborations designed to create efficiencies and save money for municipalities. The Blue Ribbon Commission on Municipal Opportunities and Regional Efficiencies (MORE) will begin its work next Tuesday, January 19th with the goal of recommending legislation during the 2010 session.
“We can be doing more with less,” Speaker Donovan said. “Rep. Baram and MORE will help us find these new ways to help our cities and towns. I am confident we can bring about real property tax reform by regionalizing certain activities that can both save money and improve the economic competitiveness of our state.”
“We’ve talked for a long time about restructuring government at all levels across the state,” said Rep. Merrill. “Now we’re going to take action. I’m excited about the chance to bring some relief to our cities and towns and to bring about the kind of structural change that can deliver benefits for years to come.”
The MORE Commission will be comprised of 45 Democratic members of the House of Representatives and representatives of municipalities, regional organizations, education, business, unions and non-profits.
The Commission will look at a wide spectrum of issues and opportunities facing municipalities: multi-town collaboratives, Board of Education functions, regionally-based organizations, collective bargaining, mandates, revenue sources, health care, and state grants. In each of these areas, commission subcommittees will investigate costs, benefits, resources, legal obstacles and opportunities, potential savings, consolidation, and results-based accountability (RBA) methods for tracking performance.
Rep. Baram represents the 15th Assembly District, which includes Bloomfield and Windsor, and serves on the Committee on Domestic Violence. David Baram was also the Mayor of Bloomfield for 7 years, and was Chairman of the Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG) for two years. He authored the Voluntary Regional Affordable Housing Compact which was adopted by all CRCOG member towns. Rep. Baram was the former President of the Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce and also served as Vice Chair of the Capitol Region Forum for the Future (CRFF).
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Federal Health Care Summary
Andrea Stone Senior Washington Correspondent
WASHINGTON (Dec. 17) – Being naughty or nice has nothing to do with it.
As the Senate prepares to work up to and maybe through Christmas to pass a health care bill, the emerging legislation is shaping up as a veritable gift list of goodies weighed down by more than a few lumps of coal.
The legislation is still far from a done deal. Whatever the Senate passes, if anything, must be reconciled with a House version before it can go to President Obama for his signature. That could take as long as until Easter.
Still, Santa may want to start packing his sled for:
Twentysomethings: They would get to stay on their parents' health care policies after they leave school, a time when many are out of work, don't get insurance at their jobs or can't afford to buy coverage on their own.
People with disabilities: Home care aides, bathtub grab bars, transportation and other nonmedical services would be covered under a long-term care insurance program known as the CLASS Act. Short for Community Living Services and Support, the program was championed by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy. But it also has critics, including Democrats, one of whom called it a Ponzi scheme.
Low-income people without kids: For the first time since Medicaid was created in 1965, poor and low-income people without dependent children will be eligible for the federal health care program for the poor in all states. Until now, only some states covered them and most on Medicaid have been low-income single mothers and their children.
Seniors with high drug costs: A last-minute addition to the Senate bill would close the "doughnut hole" in Medicare prescription drug coverage. That would save seniors who take a lot of medication up to $3,610 next year after their first $2,700 in prescription costs.
Drug companies: They can continue to block cheaper prescription drugs at the Canadian border and from other countries that sell identical medicines for less. True, Big Pharma had to help plug the "doughnut hole" (see above) in order to kill the drug-importation bill. Still, for the industry, this is one gift that will keep on giving.
The insurance industry: They will get millions of new customers under health insurance exchanges for people who can't afford coverage now. Plus, as an added stocking stuffer, they won't have to compete with a government-run public option thanks to their home state senator, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who deep-sixed the idea.
For others, the bill before the Senate could be the Grinch who stole Christmas\:
Plastic surgeons and their patients: A 5 percent "botax" on elective cosmetic surgery such as face-lifts and tummy tucks makes it tough to transform this lump of coal into a diamond.
Seniors in Medicare Advantage: Both the House and Senate bills would cut billions in subsidies to private insurers who run these plans, which offer more services than traditional Medicare. Critics say the plans cost 14 percent more per senior than for those in traditional Medicare, who often buy "Medigap" plans to cover out-of-pocket expenses. Medicare Advantage seniors stand to lose such perks as health club memberships and free aspirin.
Union members: The so-called "Cadillac tax" in the current Senate bill would slap an excise tax on middle-class workers whose employers offer high-cost health plans. Many of those belong to unions that bargained away bigger paychecks in exchange for more generous benefits.
Low- and moderate-income workers with employer-paid benefits: Thought you were lucky to have health insurance through your employer? Think again. Under the Senate plan, workers with job-based coverage would get up to thousands of dollars less in subsidies than families with the same income who buy into proposed insurance exchanges.
Baby boomers: Uninsured adults ages 55 to 64 would have been able to "buy in" early to Medicare under a deal proposed after Lieberman opposed the public option. But he didn't like that idea either. So, short of the 60 votes needed to keep it in the bill, Senate leaders dropped it.
Governors: As Medicaid covers more people, governors already trying to cope with recession-depleted state treasuries worry they'll be stuck with spiraling health care costs mandated in the bill but not matched with federal funding.
Howard Dean: The medical doctor who made universal health care a central part of his 2004 presidential campaign won't be getting his wish this Christmas. With a public option stripped from the legislation, he would rather scrap the entire bill than pass a weak substitute. "This is a bigger bailout for the insurance industry than AIG," he said on ABC's "Good Morning America."
No matter what stays or goes in the final bill, there's likely to be little holiday cheer for Senate staffers who may find themselves standing beneath the Capitol Rotunda instead of the mistletoe next week. That's because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has vowed to finish the health care overhaul before voters start thinking about the 2010 elections.
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Gov. Rell Not Seeking Reelection in 2010; Announcement Shocks Capitol; Fedele Says Rell Backs Him For GOP Nod
By Christopher Keating on November 9, 2009 5:24 PM
In a stunning announcement, an emotional Gov. M. Jodi Rell told reporters Monday evening that she is not seeking reelection next year.
Rell did not give any specific reason, other than saying "it's time'' to leave high-level public office after a long career that includes more than five years as governor, 10 years as lieutenant governor, and 10 years as a legislator.
Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele said immediately after Rell's announcement that she has told him privately that she will support him - even if there are other Republican candidates in a potential primary in August 2010. Fedele reiterated his longtime stance that he would run for governor if Rell did not.
In an emotional speech in front of about 25 reporters, camera operators, and staff members in her state Capitol office, Rell said, "After much soul-searching, and discussion with my family, I have decided not to seek re-election next year.''
During the hastily called press conference at 5 p.m. Monday, Rell said it has been "an honor" to serve the state. She cited accomplishments including ethics and campaign finance reform, noting that in 2004 she "came in at a troubling time in our state's history."
That was a reference to her ascension from lieutenant governor on July 1, 2004, after the resignation of former Gov. John G. Rowland during a long-running corruption scandal that later sent him to federal prison for 10 months.
"We had been through much and we needed a new start, a renewed sense of faith in public officials and a recommitment to integrity in our government," Rell said. "Working together, we steadied our state, and we passed landmark ethics reform and campaign finance reform legislation. And I am very, very proud of that."
While many political insiders have been debating for years over whether Rell would run or not in 2010, few actually knew for sure. That small handful included Rell's immediate family. Even they, though, did not know the timing. Rell said she told her daughter only about one hour before the press conference with reporters, and she called her husband from the Capitol to say that Monday would be the day.
Rell, dressed in a black business suit, began the startling news conference that broke the calm of a Monday evening at the Capitol with a typically folksy thank you to those who participated in a Thanksgiving food drive in recent days. She walked into the room with a smile on her face and no one trailing her to the lectern, making it seem that it could be just another announcement. That continued when she talked about the food drive, but then she sharply switched gears.
"The second thing I'd like to do is I want to share with you the news that, after much soul searching and discussion with my family, I have decided not to seek re-election next year,'' Rell said as the room became quiet.
Those few words are already setting off a major scramble among Republican hopefuls including Fedele, who already has said he would seek the governorship if Rell decided against running, House Republican leader Lawrence Cafero of Norwalk, and Senate Republican leader John McKinney of Southport.
Meanwhile, the race for the Democratic nomination will heat up because now many more Democrats will believe they have a chance to win in 2010. The six Democratic hopefuls include longtime Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz; former U.S. Senate candidate Ned Lamont; former House Speaker James Amann; state Sen. Gary Lebeau of East Hartford, and Ridgefield First Selectman Rudolph Marconi.
"The governor's decision has nothing to do with what my decision will be,'' Malloy told reporters in the Capitol press room at about 6 p.m. Monday. Malloy had been traveling back from a regional conference in Boston and came to see reporters in the press room as he was passing back through Hartford.
LeBeau said, "Gov. Rell and I have had significant differences over policies, but I still want to thank her for the service she has given to the state." He added: "The major issue facing Connecticut is the economy and it is time for the state to move forward."
With Rell's support, Fedele is seen by some insiders as having the advantage for the GOP nomination.
"I am proud to have served these four years coming up with her, and I have learned a lot from her and I'm going to miss her in that role - but we still have a lot of work to do and I look forward to completing this term with her,'' Fedele said.
Asked if he planned to follow through with his expressed intention to run if Rell pulled out, Fedele said, "I made my intentions very known I think that a number of months ago, ... that we would be doing that. ... So in the short term here, you will be hearing an announcement from me."
Asked if he was planning an exploratory committee, which Rell herself had formed, and which Democrats also have been using to test their prospects, Fedele seemed to rule it out, saying, "I'm committed."
"One of the things that I know having done this job for three years, I think I know where I'm going with it, so I don't think there's much to explore at this point,'' Fedele said. "I think what we need to do is take a look at what we've got going and put together an announcement, so that the people Connecticut can see what the future holds for them."
He was asked if Rell had told him explicitly that she will support him over any other Republicans who might declare candidacy for the party's nomination. "Yeah, absolutely," he replied.
The election is still one year away, and Rell's term does not end until January 2011. She said she expects to continue working at the job for the next 14 months.
Rep. Stephen Dargan, a moderate Democrat who served in the legislature with Rell in the early 1990s and is still serving in Hartford, said, "She became the governor in one of the most difficult times in state history. She has always served the state in the best way that she could see. This past budget was, by far, more difficult than the income-tax years. She had some difficult tasks to go forward with this budget. She's been sick. Her husband has been sick. She has a number of grandkids that she probably wants to spend more time with.''
Dargan, who had predicted that Rell would not run, said, "During this legislative session, you could see how difficult it was.''
He added, "She became governor in the toughest, bleakest time in Connecticut history.''
Rell has recovered from breast cancer, and her husband, Lou, has recovered from esophageal cancer. But she told reporters that her health had nothing to do with her decision.
"My health is fine,'' Rell said in response to a question. "My husband's health is fine.''
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Bloomfield: Democrats Retain Control Of Town Council, School Board
By EDMUND H. MAHONY
The Hartford Courant
BLOOMFIELD - Republicans hit the issue of town taxes hard during their campaign, but it proved to be too little Tuesday to shake the hold that Democrats have maintained over town government for 40 years, according to unofficial results that included absentee ballots.
Mayor Sydney T. Shulman led Democrats to another majority on the town council, and Democrats also retained control of the board of education.
Shulman, a lawyer, is poised to begin his fourth two-year term as mayor by again collecting the highest vote total among council candidates. He was first elected mayor in 2003.
Shulman said he believes that town taxes proved to be a non-starter as a campaign issue because both parties were so close to agreement in the last budget-making process. Democrats supported a tax increase of less than one-quarter of a mill while Republicans pushed to keep the rate flat.
All six incumbent council Democrats ran for re-election and all six succeeded. They are, in addition to Shulman, Jonathan C. Colman, Joan A. Gamble, Larry Pleasant, Donald F. Harris Jr. and E. Leon Rivers.
Five Republicans ran for the council. Incuments Joseph P. Merritt and Robert H. Berman won re-election, along with newcomer Mark. L. Jacobs.
Petitioning candidate Douglas J. Sullivan unsuccessfully sought a council seat as an independent.
The top nine vote-getters won council seats. Minority-party candidates — Republicans, independents or third-party candidates — are guaranteed three seats under minority representation law.
Taxes also dominated races for board of education, where candidates debated how a sharper focus on spending could achieve a host of benefits, including raising test scores while reducing disciplinary problems and the dropout rate.
"Some people are questioning whether we are getting the most bang for our buck," said school board Chairman James Michel, a Democrat.
Not all board of education members were up for re-election. Two Democrats and two Republicans competed for three four-year terms on the board. Winning four-year seats were Democrats Dick Dale and Derrick A. Seldon, and Republican Susan T. True.
Democrat Shirley W. Thompson also was elected to the school board after being endorsed by Republicans and running unopposed for a two-year term.
Here are the results: Council Democrats
Jacobs 1311 (beat Sheehan by 23 votes)
Thompson 1972 (plus 1212 Republican line)
Susan True (Republican) 1356
Democrats won all other offices. The high Democratic vote goes to Donna Bank with 2197 (ZBA). The high combined Democratic & Republican vote goes to Shirley Thompson 3184 (1972 + 1212).
Congratulations to Syd Schulman and Don Harris on leading the Council slate, and Dick Dale for leading the Board slate on the Democratic vote.
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October 10, 2009,
A hearty congratulations to both Harriette Howard, and Deputy Mayor Don Harris.
Harriette was nominated for a Board position on the Capital Area Substance Abuse Council (CASAC) and we were recently informed that her nomination has been accepted and she will be approved and sworn in at the Annual Meeting of CASAC on Thursday, Oct. 22nd at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield. Refreshments are at 4:30pm, the program begins at 5pm and concludes at 6:30pm
At the same time that Harriette was nominated, , Deputy Mayor Don Harris was also nominated for the CASAC Youth Role Model Award for 2009. Today I was informed that Don was chosen! Don will be honored as the Award recipient at the same Annual Meeting that Harriette Howard is elected!
Comptroller Wyman Recognizes Sacrifice of Veterans and Active Duty Soldiers
November 11, 2009
On this Veteran's Day, I would like us all to take a moment to
recognize the sacrifice of the veterans who have fought to keep us
free, and the military service members who are now serving our country.
We are a fortunate nation to have men and women willing to risk their lives to protect the liberty that all Americans enjoy. Their courage is an important part of the fabric of Connecticut and the nation, and must never be forgotten.
One of my favorite descriptions of a hero goes like this: Heroes are not heroes for how they died, but for the way they lived.
That is why I believe that all veterans and active duty soldiers are our heroes, and deserve our gratitude and support on Veterans Day and every other day.
God Bless America,
COMPTROLLER WYMAN PROJECTS DEFICIT OF $624 MILLION
November 2, 2009
State Comptroller Nancy Wyman today projected the state will end the 2010 fiscal year with a budget deficit of $624 million, mainly due to continued weak receipts of the income tax.
Wyman's estimate puts the deficit at $235.5 million higher than the projection of the Governor's budget office.
"Although I see a slight improvement in revenues occurring toward the end of the fiscal year, my projection takes into account the accelerating job losses, high unemployment and decline in personal income that Connecticut residents are seeing now and can expect to see in the near future," Wyman said.
The steepest drop in the income tax was in tax payments made quarterly by investors and others based on their estimated year-end income, including annual bonuses. Those payments were down 29 percent in September.
Total revenue for the year so far is down by $407.6 million. That is more than double the revenue drop that would trigger the cancellation of a planned one-half percent reduction in the sales tax that was approved by the General Assembly in its 2010 budget.
The Governor's latest estimate put the total revenue shortfall at $172.1 million, which by a margin of $1.6 million would enable the sales tax reduction to take effect in January.
"I wish I had better news about the revenues and the implications for a sales tax cut," Wyman said, "but my projection is based on actual tax collections and underlying economic trends that cannot be ignored."
Beside the revenue shortfall, deficiencies in state agency budgets added another $212.5 million to Wyman’s deficit estimate.
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October 1, 2009
WYMAN SAYS REVENUE TRENDS INDICATE DEFICIT LIKELY FOR 2010
State Comptroller Nancy Wyman today said a preliminary analysis of the recently-enacted 2010 state budget indicates that the state will face a deficit of at least $500 million if current trends continue.
Weak collection of the payroll income tax driven by accelerating job losses is on track to offset an expected bump in revenue from the hike in the income tax rate for upper-income residents, Wyman said. Receipts of the income tax through the third week of September were down nearly 15 percent when compared to last year, and collection of the sales tax was off by 10 percent.
The income and sales taxes contribute about three quarters of non-federal General Fund revenues that make up the $18.6 billion budget for 2010.
"If first quarter trends continue, even after fully incorporating the projected revenue gains enacted as part of the budget, the revenue shortfall in the General Fund would exceed half a billion dollars," Wyman wrote in her monthly report to the Governor. "Because it is early in the fiscal year, there is sufficient time for a reversal in the trend to mitigate the shortfall."
About 70,000 payroll jobs were lost between August 2008 and August 2009, the state’s unemployment rate is at 8.1 percent, and most economists are not projecting a quick recovery in employment.
Wyman said she is also concerned that $473 million in expected state agency savings built into the 2010 budget might be overly ambitious because the budget does not specify how those savings are to be achieved.
"The policy changes required to produce that level of savings are, for the most part, not addressed," in the budget, Wyman said.
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Mike McGarry, Publisher
563 Franklin Ave
Hartford, CT 06114 September 25, 2009
To The Editor,
On behalf of the Bloomfield Democratic Party, I want to object to the unprofessional and offensive Editorial written by Publisher Mike McGarry in the September 18, 2009 edition of The Journal, entitled “It’s a Political Year in Bloomfield”.
I have known Mike McGarry for many years and I was surprised to read such a politically motivated and erroneous column authored by him against the Bloomfield Democratic Party. While I understand that Mr. McGarry is the former Republican Minority Leader on the Hartford City Council, is still heavily involved in Republican politics in the City, and is an active member of the Republican State Central Committee, we had been assured that he and The Journal would not be partisan. Unfortunately that promise has been broken and The Journal’s integrity is at issue.
Mike McGarry’s first partisan attack was to compare Bloomfield politics to “China”, alleging that a “couple of old men pick a few candidates, hold a mock election, and claim Democracy”. Mike’s comments are simply appalling!
Every election cycle the Bloomfield Democratic Town Committee advertises for candidates and publishes it’s Nominating Committee’s interview schedule. We also post a notice in the Clerk’s Office. Our Nominating Committee consisted of 20 members representing all aspects of our Party. It was chaired by Shirley Thompson, a woman, who is respected throughout Town. Shirley was cross-endorsed for re-election by the Bloomfield Republican Town Committee!
The candidates recommended by the Nominating Committee were then presented to the full Democratic Town Committee for endorsement.
After falsely portraying the Democratic process in Bloomfield, Mr. McGarry then admitted that his accusation is “a well based comment from a reliable source”. So, the Publisher of The Journal, makes an outrageous political conclusion, based upon one source whom he doesn’t even disclose.
Mike McGarry continues babbling in political rhetoric by calling for a “real election” and compares Bloomfield Democrats to Hartford politicians based upon his personal frustrations. What may I ask is a “real election”? Is not our local election, run in accordance with Connecticut law, a “real” election?
I do not respond to Mike McGarry’s journalistic faux pas with any glee. I have enjoyed my personal relationship with Mike and only want The Journal to succeed. But when a Publisher makes misstatements to promote his political bias, it is our responsibility to hold him accountable.
The Bloomfield Democratic Party has provided exceptional leadership and vision. Our candidates possess experience, commitment, and insight. We have annually solicited new members and supported new candidates for public office. In the 2007 local election forinstance, we ran three new councilpersons for election: Joan Gamble, Don Harris and Leon Rivers. This year we recruited several new candidates to run for office: Donna Banks – Zoning Board of Appeals, Howard Frydman ( former chairman of the Bloomfield Republican Party). In the last two years we have added over 10 new members to our Town Committee. The Bloomfield Democratic Town Committee has also sponsored five educational seminars for elected officials, and created a new website for community outreach. We campaign door to door for 6 weekends, and personally call every Democratic and Unaffiliated household in Bloomfield.
If Mike McGarry took the time to inquire, he would have learned that Bloomfield Democrats have one of the most open and transparent Town Committees in the State.
Perhaps it’s time for The Journal to set the record straight, apologize, and take steps to ensure that it remains a nonpartisan local paper that is able to maintain journalistic credibility.
Bloomfield Democratic Town Committee
David A. Baram, Chair
David A. Baram
5 Warbler Circle
Bloomfield, Ct. 06002
243-3041 - h
242-5555 - w
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July 29, 2009
DEMOCRATIC BUDGET DRAWS CONTRAST WITH GOVERNOR ON CUTS TO STATE’S MOST VULNERABLE, TAXES ON CONNECTICUT’S WEALTHIEST
Speaker Donovan Says Budget Gap Closing and Encourages Talks to Resume Immediately
Democrats in the General Assembly and Governor M. Jodi Rell today made public contrasting budget proposals designed to erase the state’s $8.55 billion deficit for the next two years.
House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan (D-Meriden) said, “The budgets shared with the public today highlight fundamental differences in values between Democrats and the Republican Governor. Those differences are now very clear.
“Democrats and the Governor agree on 95 percent of the budget. The remaining 5 percent exists because the Governor continues to push for fee and fare increases for buses and trains, cuts to libraries, courthouse closings, cuts to services for blind children and children with severe psychiatric needs, closing technical high schools, cuts to nursing services for the elderly, cuts to job training programs and more. Democrats are trying to protect Connecticut from the Governor’s cuts by asking for a small, 2 percent income tax increase on those who can most afford it, joint filers over $500,000 a year.
“Our differences are less than they were several months ago, and this gives me encouragement that an agreement can be made soon. Democrats have moved significantly by making additional cuts of $260 million and reducing tax increases by $700 million. I hope the Governor will return to the negotiating table with us immediately.”
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2009
DEMOCRATS LEAD WHERE GOVERNOR FAILED
Protect Connecticut Families With Seven Veto Overrides
in Historic Session; Republicans Split With Governor on Several Bills
“By overriding seven of Governor Rell’s vetoes today, legislative Democrats told Connecticut families they are willing to lead on issues of critical importance to them and that on key issues like health care the Governor is out of step with residents of the state as well as with national opinion,” House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan (D-Meriden) said today following the General Assembly’s historic override of vetoes issued by Governor M. Jodi Rell.
The veto overrides provide health protections for working families, landmark health care reform, protection for Long Island Sound, and consensus requirements for state revenue projections. On two bills – one on health and safety protections for corrections facility staff, the other concerning programs and activities of the Department of Transportation – a significant number of House Republicans broke with their colleagues and the Governor to support veto overrides.
“Through her vetoes, Governor Rell turned her back on Connecticut families looking for help, especially with concerns about health care and safety,” said Speaker Donovan.
“These bills are good public policy,” he said. “Our representatives heard from people across this state that these initiatives were important to their quality of life. Democrats in the General Assembly aren’t afraid to take strong leadership positions on these critical issues and will continue to fight for the people of Connecticut, especially those from low and middle income families for whom these bills will provide hope and support.”
Speaker Donovan expressed disappointment with the Senate’s failure to override the Governor’s veto of the Connecticut Healthcare Partnership bill, but vowed to continue to fight for health care reform. “I am confident that the Partnership bill is right for the people of Connecticut. Municipalities, small businesses and non-profits spoke loud and clear of their desire to participate in the state health plan, and I will press on to respond to their pleas.
“I am extremely disappointed in Senator Hartley’s failure to cast a vote on this important piece of legislation. This would have benefitted people in her district, and the municipalities she serves. I am also disappointed that Republicans as a group have come down against health care. Health care is not a partisan issue, and I hope Republicans will come to understand that as we see reforms coming from Washington in the months ahead.”
House Majority Leader Denise Merrill (D-Mansfield) said, “Today really is about leadership. When the people of Connecticut asked for leadership on health care, on assistance for janitors, on protections for one of our most valuable resources, Long Island Sound, the Governor said ‘No,’ ‘No,” and ‘No’ again. In sharp contrast, Democrats today answered with a clear voice, ‘Yes,’ ‘Yes,’ and ‘Yes.’”
Rep. Merrill added, “We are proud to stand up for working families, for small businesses struggling with skyrocketing health care costs, for the safety of corrections workers, and for environmentally smart policy for Long Island Sound. The Governor, for reasons I could not comprehend, chose to abandon these concerns and the people who expressed them to us.”
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McMAHON, P. Faith State Representative P. Faith McMahon passed away on January 27, 2009 at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center after a brief illness. She is survived by her loving husband, Bill Mahoney, of Bloomfield. Faith was born and raised in New Britain, daughter of the late Dr. George and Patricia Mangan McMahon.
She leaves her siblings and their spouses; Maribeth Sheehan Ricketson, Atty. George C. McMahon (Maria), Maggie Kiernan (Jay), Gregory M. McMahon (Mary), Judge Kevin P. McMahon (Patti), as well as stepsister Marita Kennedy (Peter) and stepbrothers Daniel Walsh (Kateri) and Timothy Walsh (Betsy). Faith leaves five stepchildren and four stepgrandchildren. Auntie Faithie was well- loved and respected by her numerous nieces and nephews as well as grandnieces and grandnephews.
A New Britain native, Faith attended local schools. She graduated from Marymount College, earned an MA from Central Connecticut State University, and a Certificate of Advanced Study from the University of Massachusetts. Faith shared her many gifts with children throughout her thirty-five years of teaching in the Windsor Public Schools.
She was first elected to Bloomfield town council in 1987, and, she was elected the first female Mayor of Bloomfield in 1993 where she served until being elected State Representative for the 15th District in 2002.
Included in the numerous committees on which she served are the Commission on Aging, the Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities, the Library Board, the Wintonbury Land Trust, the Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW 992, the Civitan Club, and the Bloomfield Historical Society. Faith's involvement also included serving as President of the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities, membership on the Capital Area Substance Abuse Council, and the CCSU Alumni Board of Directors.
Faith had a lifelong commitment to children and was honored to have recently been named as the Chairperson on the Select Committee on Children in the State Legislature. In addition, she was a member of the Banks Committee, the Human Services Committee, and the Judiciary Committee. Faith was a parishioner and active member of Sacred Heart Church in Bloomfield.
The family would like to express its gratitude to the staff on the Intensive Care Unit, and for the assistance of her nephew, Dr. Gregory Sheehan.
All Funeral Services will be held in the Church at Sacred Heart Parish of Bloomfield, 26 Wintonbury Ave. Bloomfield, beginning with Calling Hours on Friday Jan. 30, from 3-8 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial for Faith will be celebrated Saturday at 10 a.m. Burial will follow in St. Mary Cemetery, New Britain. In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to the Bloomfield Volunteer Ambulance Association, the American Cancer Society, or Operation Fuel. Online remembrances may be made at www.molloyfuneralhome.com
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Statement from Connecticut Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo
Former Lt. Governor Sullivan Named to New Post
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Senator Chris Dodd Successful in Senate Filibuster
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Greetings from the Chair
Message from the Chair
Endorsed Candidates' Biographies
Calendar of Events
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Dave Baram Wins Primary
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Harriette Howard and Don Harris
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Faith McMahon Obituary