Tuesday, October 31, 2006

N.O.W. lets Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell know she sucks

Rell is a woman, her opponent is a man. NOW endorses the man.

When former Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland was shot down in flames, sent to the Federal Penn for being "Freebie" and "Bribe Taker Boy", there was a question on whether or not Rell would keep former Connecticut State Police Commissioner and Judge Arthur Spada on as the head of the police in Connecticut.

Spada had demoted a woman in his office out of his office because she was a woman. I contacted Rell and her chief of staff and asked the simple question if she was going to keep a man on that had a problem with women in power. I copied in N.O.W.

Rell is part of Connecticut's corruption and ethics problem, she is not part of the solution. Those involved in helping Rowland cover up misdeeds and crimes are still on with Rell. Rell is part of the cover-up. Rell knowingly appoints judges that have no experience and no qualifications. It is part of the "I'll scratch your back and you better remember to scratch mine," Good Ole Boy Network. Rell's administration has more in common with something out of a How To Mafia Code Book than in anything Constitutional or American.

Just Say NO to RELL come election time. Vote the "C" out.

-Steven G. Erickson a.k.a. blogger Vikingas

click here for videos and post about my core gripes with Official Connecticut

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NOW Chooses Man Over Woman Women's Group Favors DeStefano
October 31, 2006 By CHRISTOPHER KEATING, Capitol Bureau Chief, The Hartford Courant

It's rare when the state chapter of the National Organization for Women fails to endorse the female candidate. But NOW on Monday endorsed New Haven Mayor John DeStefano for governor, choosing the Democrat over a popular woman incumbent.

The endorsement does not bring much money, but it brings help from phone-bankers and name recognition from 5,000 members known to be politically active, said Rosemary Dempsey, Connecticut NOW's president.

"Although Mayor DeStefano's opponent is a woman, it is crystal clear which gubernatorial candidate is best for the women of Connecticut," she said without naming Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell.

One of the reasons for the endorsement was the controversy over a bill that would require all hospitals to provide the "Plan B" emergency contraceptive, the so-called "morning after pill," to rape victims.

Rell opposed the bill this year, saying there is no reason to change state law and that Roman Catholic hospitals should not be forced to provide pills that violate their beliefs. Rell's running mate, former state Rep. Michael Fedele, said in a debate last week that the issue will become "moot" Jan. 1 when Plan B becomes available over the counter.

Fedele's "comments clearly show that he is completely out of touch with reality and victim's rights," according to NOW.

Rell's campaign spokesman, Rich Harris, declined comment on the endorsement, but said that the situation will change next year when the pill will no longer require a prescription.

"A rape crisis counselor could carry the medication," Harris said Monday.

"Anyone could have it and provide it. It is the governor's hope and belief that by making this medication available over the counter ... it will avoid any situation where a rape victim is caught between her needs and any religious conflict."

NOW's endorsement of DeStefano came on the same day that Rell was endorsed by the nonpartisan National Federation of Independent Business, the nation's largest small-business advocacy group.

While serving in the state legislature, Rell received the organization's highest rating - 100 percent.

"It recognizes the work the governor has done to try to make Connecticut a better place to do business and a better place to grow jobs," Harris said.

With one week remaining before Election Day, many of the state's major newspapers have made endorsements. DeStefano has been endorsed by The Courant and the New Haven Register, while Rell received the nod from The New York Times, The Day of New London, the Danbury News Times and the Stamford Advocate/Greenwich Time.

Contact Christopher Keating at ckeating@courant.com

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Small Businesses don’t do well in Sleaze Central.

There is too many officials and too much money being spent. Connecticut is losing population and yet, there is more spending, more judges being appointed, more cops, more officials to officially kidnap kids to defraud Federal Taxpayers and the Rowland Style Corruption Machine is still in business.

If you are not “connected” in Connecticut to the Mafia, the new Connecticut Style Mafia, and all their criminal and corporate raider friends you can become toast.

Eminent Domain is now the national precedent, Thank You Connecticut.

Rell is not addressing the Chief Justice William Sullivan abuse and rape of the Citizenry. The dirty deals and secrets are swept under the rug until after election time.

All 3 Branches of Connecticut Government need a good Hurricane Katrina flushing out of Sleazebags.

Businesses and citizens that want to invest in Connecticut, should just say know until official criminals and their friends are out of power. There is a better quality of life, ethics, fairer courts, and a more American Lifestyle found outside of Connecticut.

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The word on the street is that Enfield Connecticut and Agawam Massachusetts are a common choice for Mafia and other corrupt and criminal figures. Enfield is bribe central for the general area.

Enfield Cops went around banging on doors collecting overdue library fines. There is little pursuit of prostitutes and prostitution, their pimps, underage sex, drug dealing, vandalism, and other crimes, but small business where the owners aren’t white or those that are landlords and that might rent to riffraff, "White Trash", and minorities are targets for fines and property confiscation.

Wave the flag, go ahead, you won’t find anything fair or American is the Corruptikut town of Enfield.


The Battle For Enfield
2nd District Outpost At Heart Of Simmons/Courtney Fray
October 29, 2006, By DANIELA ALTIMARI, Hartford Courant Staff Writer

ENFIELD -- The Country Diner holds down one end of a small business strip on a busy but unremarkable stretch of Hazard Avenue, past the banks, the auto parts stores and the neon bling of the fast-food joints.

Step inside, and you might as well be in Utah or Wyoming or any of those vast, under-populated Republican states where patriotism trumps skepticism every time.

A Support Our Troops banner hangs by the cash register. Police department patches and firetruck photos decorate the dining rooms. Waitresses are prone to folksy pronouncements -

"A clean counter is a happy counter," murmured one as she whisked away the remnants of someone's breakfast.

And American flags are everywhere: big ones on the walls and tiny ones on the cover of each of the laminated menus.

But even here, amid these red-state trappings, dissatisfaction runs deep.

"We need a change," Joe Pych, a retired Connecticut Light & Power Co. lineman, said last week as he dug into a breakfast of eggs and Italian sausage.

"For one, I don't believe we should be in Iraq anymore. ... We should be out of there by now."

Pych, 64, is a former Air National Guard member and political independent who votes the person, not the party. But this year, spurred largely by discontent over the Iraq war, he said he may go all Democratic, "and that hasn't happened in a while."

Democrats are counting on a sour electorate to help them seize the majority in Congress on Election Day. Connecticut's 2nd District, a broad swath that stretches from the doorstep of Massachusetts to the shores of Long Island Sound, could help tip the balance.

And Enfield - a workaday town of 45,567, where Dunkin' Donuts beats Starbucks, 5 to 1 - is the district's most populous community. As in the rest of the state, unaffiliated voters outnumber those aligned with either party. They just may hold the key.

"It will be interesting to see who wins Enfield. ... I think it's kind of a bellwether," said Chris Bigelow, a librarian and political moderate who lives in town and produces a blog, ctlocalpolitics.net.

For nearly six years, the 2nd District has been represented by Republican Rob Simmons, a former state legislator from Stonington who once worked for the CIA. Tall and lean, Simmons, 63, has thinning white hair, a toothy smile and a distinctive nasal inflection, along with a military background and a pragmatic view of the world.

His Democratic opponent is a 53-year-old lawyer and former state legislator from Vernon named Joe Courtney. A diligent campaigner who hews closely to the mainstream Democratic line, Courtney knows the numbers are in his favor:

The 2nd District is the nation's most Democratic congressional district represented by a Republican.Still, Simmons beat Courtney by 8 percentage points in 2002. This time, recent polls show, the race is a dead heat.

In TV spots and speeches, Courtney rarely deviates from a script that casts Simmons as a loyal ally of an unpopular president and a supporter of an unpopular war.

In truth, there isn't a great deal of space between the two candidates on the subject; they occupy different ends of an increasingly crowded middle ground that acknowledges the war's bleak realities and calls for the Iraqis to take control of their own fate.

But Courtney supports a detailed plan put forth by Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., that would decentralize Iraq and give the Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis "breathing room" in their own regions, with the goal of withdrawing most U.S. troops by the end of 2007.

Simmons' ideas are vaguer and lack timelines: He supports "pushing the Iraqi government toward ownership of their own country so American troops can exit without there being wholesale bloodshed and chaos and even more destabilization to the region," said his campaign manager, Chris Healy.

The image of Simmons as Bush's shill is one that Courtney has been pushing across this sprawling district, from the densely packed cities in New London County to the tweedy enclaves around the University of Connecticut to the brawny, blue-collar neighborhoods of Enfield.

The same strategy failed to work for Simmons' 2004 Democratic opponent, Norwich businessman Jim Sullivan, who ran commercials showing Simmons morphing into President Bush. This time, Democrats believe unhappiness over the war makes Bush heavier baggage for Republicans than he was two years ago, especially here.

"Enfield's the kind of town that wants to support the president," said Toby Moffett, a former Connecticut congressman who grew up across the river in Suffield and is now an unpaid adviser to the Courtney campaign.

"It's not Berkeley, California. They start out giving the president the benefit of the doubt. ... It's only because of the disaster of the war that so many of them are looking for a different approach."

Margot and Robert Wark certainly are. The retired Enfield couple, both unaffiliated voters, are profoundly saddened by the rising number of casualties in Iraq, a toll that includes two men from Enfield and one from neighboring Suffield.

"We're losing more and more men over there every day," Robert, a former insurance worker, said as he waited for his meal at the Country Diner.

"The longer we stay, the more we lose. This war is not winnable."

"It's terrible," added Margot, noting that their son is in the military and served in both Somalia and Bosnia.

"When I hear about the troops going over there, it makes me sick."

On Nov. 7, the Warks say, they are likely to vote for Courtney.

It isn't just the war, though the war has become Democratic shorthand for all the perceived shortcomings of the GOP-controlled Congress.

In Enfield, which is on the verge of losing 300 jobs at Lego Systems Inc., economic issues may loom larger here than other parts of the district.

Still, the parking lots of the malls and big-box stores along Elm Street are clogged with cars.

Throughout the campaign, Courtney has hammered Simmons on many fronts, including the economy, health care, Social Security, education and the environment.

But unlike other hotly contested congressional contests around the country, the tone of this race has been relatively tame, at least so far.

There have been no attack ads spewing ugly intimations of sexual indiscretions or financial payoffs.

While the candidates in Connecticut's 5th District bash each other in 30-second campaign spots, some of the harshest barbs in the 2nd involve Republican outrage that Courtney dared to criticize the Medicare prescription plan.

Courtney nevertheless has lashed out in indignation at his GOP critics, taking special umbrage at Republican mailers and TV spots that imply he hasn't been a friend to seniors and that he lacks the authority to deliver for the district.

A devout Catholic who rarely misses Sunday service, Courtney grew up in a large, Irish-American family in West Hartford and graduated from Northwest Catholic High School. He represented Vernon in the legislature from 1987 to 1994, earning a reputation as a quick study, especially on health care policy. In 1998, he ran for lieutenant governor with Barbara Kennelly.

Like Simmons, Courtney is a married father of two who began his political career in the General Assembly. But while Simmons projects the air of a slightly goofy uncle who prefers hugs to handshakes, it has taken Courtney some time to grow comfortable with the up-close realities of retail politics. Arms folded across his chest, he is prone to delving deep into the arcana of public policy, which shows off his intelligence and his easy grasp of complex issues but also causes restlessness among his listeners.

On just about every issue, Courtney's line of attack can be summed up in one sentence - Rob Simmons is Bush's No. 1 supporter in Connecticut. In a district where 63 percent of the voters disapprove of the president, such a message appears to have resonance. Eighty-seven percent of those queried in a University of Connecticut/Hartford Courant poll released 10 days ago said Simmons closely follows the Republican line set by Bush and GOP congressional leaders.

No one is counting Simmons out yet, however. In fact, many supporters in Enfield predict that his visibility in town, his military background and his moderate image will more than offset efforts to link him with Bush. Simmons is, after all, a Connecticut Republican, which means he has parted with the president on abortion, stem cell research and drilling in the Arctic wildlife refuge. It also means he is supported by various labor unions, Planned Parenthood and the nation's largest gay rights group.

"I think people are familiar enough with Rob. They know what he stands for," said John Kissel, a longtime Republican state senator from Enfield.

"They know that he's balanced and that he'll vote his conscience. The people of north-central Connecticut respect that kind of independence. ... That doesn't mean there's not angst out there. ... That doesn't mean people aren't upset about the war."

"But when the chips are down, Rob's going to fight for his constituents," Kissel said.

"Fundamentally, people realize that."

People like Greg Stokes. A Navy veteran, minister and father of three, Stokes is a Detroit-area native who moved to Enfield 11 years ago to be close to his wife's family.

He's a lifelong registered Republican who has dabbled in local politics - a stint as GOP town chairman, an unsuccessful run for state representative - and he voted for Bush twice. But lately, he has become frustrated with his party's standard bearer, largely over the Iraq war.

"I think it's time to figure out an exit strategy," Stokes said.

"Logic says we can't turn this into a Vietnam."

Stokes agrees with many Democrats, including Courtney, that U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld needs to go. He believes that the United States ought to begin reducing troop levels in Iraq. And he's even willing to concede that, when it comes to the economy, President Clinton did a better job than Bush.

But none of that translates into a vote against Simmons, a guy Stokes knows and likes.

"In a year's time, I'll probably attend 10 or 15 events where Rob is there," he said.

For Stokes, and for many in Enfield, it's Simmons' military experience that sets him apart.

"He didn't go into the military to put it on his resume," Stokes said.

"You can't play politics with that."

Simmons enlisted in the Army in 1965 and spent 19 months in Vietnam, earning two Bronze Stars. It's a point he has pressed home in TV ads that tout his record while disparaging Courtney for having no military experience, and therefore "no clout" when it comes to issues such as keeping the submarine base in Groton off the federal base closure list.

Constituent service may be the only thing that keeps Simmons from becoming just another endangered Republican congressman.

"Nationally, things are trending against the Republicans," said Douglas C. Foyle, associate professor of government at Wesleyan University.

"It's really going to come down to how well Groton and some of these other local issues can inoculate Simmons against some of the broader conditions going on in the country."

The Country Diner is a long way from Groton. But even here, far from Simmons' New London County base, nearly everyone has a personal story about their congressman.

He did a lot for the fire department, said a man at the counter.

He opened an office on Pearl Street, said the woman having lunch with her daughter."He came to my school," said Andrew Berube, an 18-year-old student at Asnuntuck Community College, who plans to support Simmons.

"He seemed to know what was going on."

The restaurant is owned by Joe Ravalese, a retired cop who has raised thousands for the children of emergency workers killed in the line of duty. A burly man with a tattoo of the World Trade Center on his forearm, he's also a smart businessman who doesn't take political sides.

Once, two competing candidates nearly crashed into one another when they came to work the lunchtime crowd at his restaurant.

Some people believe the Democrats made a bad trade when they swapped reliably Democratic Middletown for the more politically mercurial Enfield following a census-driven redrawing of Connecticut's congressional boundaries in 2000. Middletown, which is slightly bigger than Enfield, could always be counted on to deliver hefty margins for Rep. Sam Gejdenson, the Democrat unseated by Simmons six years ago.

That was before Enfield became the largest town in the 2nd Congressional District. Whether the dissatisfaction over the war will be enough to turn voters here against an incumbent member of Congress could depend on a lot of unknowns - Election Day turnout, the coattail effect of a popular Republican governor, the news out of Iraq over the next 10 days.Courtney needs to score a victory in Enfield if he is to oust the incumbent, according to some observers.

"He's going to win New London, Norwich and probably the area around UConn," predicted Bigelow, the Enfield-based blogger.

"And maybe a river town like Deep River. But if he wants to go over the top, he has to win Enfield."

The last time he squared off against Simmons, in 2002, Courtney lost the town by 419 votes.

"Even bringing Bill Clinton here didn't help him out," Bigelow said, "and that was our first presidential visit since Kennedy drove through on the highway."

Contact Daniela Altimari at daniela.altimari@courant.com.

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The Keith Oberman, MSNBC show host, speaks out again on Bush lies and the suspension of Habeas Corpus, click here for YouTube Video.

Speaking out about Connecticut Official Corruption took me out of my Classic Corvette (pictured in post) to junky old wrecks (also pictured), click here

Complaining about Crack Cocaine and Heroin being sold off my front yard and near my Stafford Springs, Connecticut, rental properties caused me to lose these fine pets and much more, click here for pictures and post.


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