Archive for the ‘Local Politics’ Category

The Danger of One Party Rule

October 21, 2011

The Middletown mayoral campaign debate last evening at Wesleyan’s Crowell Hall between incumbent Mayor Sebastian Giuliano and challenger Dan Drew attracted an audience of perhaps 100 interested, and I suppose mostly partisan, spectators.  Unfortunately, nothing really new, and nothing that had not been already known through newspaper articles and Facebook postings was discussed.   There was nothing to cheer about; in fact no cheers were heard and the only applause occurred at the conclusion to thank the candidates. The collegiality and respect between the two speakers was apparent and one took from the event some satisfaction that the “old civility” still rules in local politics.

Civility in political discourse is of course a good thing. But when civility devolves into acquiescence, and when the minority party submits to, and is co-opted by the majority party that is not a good thing. We have a one party state in Connecticut and a one party city in Middletown. This condition leads to cronyism and corruption. What sort of response should Republicans offer? Columnist and blogger Don Pesci suggests (Oct 20)

“… a resistance posture. The point of a party surely is to offer resistance to the reigning power. History has not dealt kindly with parties that have cooperated with the prevailing regime. The one party state, like a rolling stone, gathers no moss, but the single party state is an invitation to corruption…Because Republicans have too often cooperated with the prevailing regime. You cannot cooperate without being co-opted… The Republican resistance has been washed away in Connecticut. Here and there, one finds brave blades of grass shooting through the concrete. During the last elections, two Republican conservatives – state senators Len Suzio and Joe Markley — won office, both of whom may be considered part of a resistance vanguard.”

 The February 2011 special election that brought Len Suzio to the Connecticut Senate was an early sign of dissatisfaction with long term Democrat domination in Connecticut. In the case of the district (Senate District 13) won by Suzio it had endured Democrat control for 36 years according to the Hartford Courant’s calculations. At the time of Suzio’s win I wrote;

“One can only hope that Suzio’s election is a harbinger of reform to come. Recent developments in other states suggest that a nationwide retreat from reckless spending, unfunded mandates, and impossible entitlements is in the offing. The turnout for this election was remarkable for a special election and I imagine that taxpayer concerns here and the news from other states spurred voter participation yesterday.”

The hope today among Middletown Republicans is that the movement away from Democrat domination in local politics can continue with the election of a full slate of able candidates on Nov. 8, 2011. The Republican slate for Middletown is headed by incumbent Mayor Seb Giuliano who has been in office for six years during which time he has been faced with a Democrat majority on the Common Council and Board of Education.

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Congratulations Len Suzio – No More Taxes!

February 23, 2011

Len Suzio Victory Speech - New Day for NO More taxes!

One can only hope that Suzio’s election is harbinger of reform to come. Recent developments in other states suggest that a nationwide retreat from reckless spending, unfunded mandates, and impossible entitlements is in the offing. The turnout for this election was remarkable for a special election and I imagine that taxpayer concerns here and the news from other states spurred voter participation yesterday.

Overall, Suzio had 1,627 more total votes, with 6,110 to Bruenn’s 4,483. According to Suzio camp data:

in Middlefield Suzio received 503 votes vs. Bruenn’s 307;
in Meriden, Suzio won 3,083 to Bruenn’s 2,614;
in Middletown he had 950 to Bruenn’s 871; and
in Cheshire, Suzio received a sizeable 1,574 to Bruenn’s 691.

Suzio said he felt that his win of a seat that has been in Democratic hands for so many years (36, according to the Hartford Courant) was a sign for Connecticut politicians in Hartford.

“I hope this sends a message to the governor loud and clear – no more taxes,” he said. “I think this is the beginning of a conservative revolution in Connecticut.”

See Middletown Patch for complete details and video.

Elected Officials Share in Burdens of Constituents? Not!

July 9, 2009

“Nothing so strongly impels a man to regard the interest of his constituents, as the certainty of returning to the general mass of the people, from whence he was taken, where he must participate in their burdens.”

–George Mason, speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 17, 1788

How sad it is to declare that quotation untrue today. Most of our elected representatives at the federal level never return “to the general mass of the people to participate in the burdens” of their former constituents. The cling desperately to their offices and linger there, often for decades, amassing great wealth and influence so that, when they do leave office, they take with them their generous pensions and their riches. Later they find wonderful opportunities as lobbyists and influence peddlers having never more anything to do with the gullible folks who voted them into office time after time.

I have always opposed term limits, finding such limitations opposed to the will of the people. But, I have reconsidered and feel that now is the time to limit all elected representatives at the federal level to two terms. The present downward spiral of the republic towards bankruptcy and chaos makes the 2010 elections so crucial. We must elect everyday people and stop the influx of lawyers in congress. These folks write legislation that only they can understand assuming that they actually read what has been written. Our framers assumed that our representatives would come from the mass of ordinary people; farmers, workers, teachers, clergy, physicians etc.; that these folks would come to Washington, do the people’s business and go home to “share the burdens” of the populace in their districts and states.

It’s Time to Vote Them Out in 2010 and Bring in Fresh Faces!

VOTE THEM OUT! 2010

Grass Roots America Understands and Has Spoken!

April 16, 2009
Revolution is  Brewing by Chris Muir

Revolution is Brewing by Chris Muir

“..Grassroots American Understands You Can’t Simply Spend Yourself into Prosperity…the Average American is Totally Disapproving of What’s Going on out There….Within the Beltway they Really Believe that Spending is the Right Thing to Do…that the Only Reason Roosevelt didn’t End the Great Depression was that He Didn’t Spend Enough..and Now They are Trying so Desperately to Spend so Much So Quickly!”

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD 6th) at a Tea Party in the rain; Frederick MD April 15, 2009

Story and Video from Frederick News-Post

frederick-md-tea-party (audio)

Credit: Bill Green Frederick MD News Post

Credit: Bill Green Frederick MD News Post

The Middletown Press had good coverage of the Hartford Tea Party: (excerpt)

…Durham resident Jay Berardino, a member of the Board of Finance and the chairman of the Republican town committee, said he joined the thousands of tea-party protestors because “there is a limit” to taxation and government spending.

“There’s enormous government waste on the state level,” he said. “Elected officials — and I’m talking about the Democratically-controlled House and Senate — are out of touch with the average citizen. They live in a bubble, and this [tea party] is a way to burst it.”

As a taxpayer, Berardino said he opposes potential increases in sales, income and gas taxes; as a finance board member, he seeks relief from unfunded state mandates that burden towns like Durham.

Hartford Rally: Middletown Press Photo

Hartford Rally: Middletown Press Photo

There were rallies, large and small, in Hartford, New Haven, Norwich, Greenwich and Shelton (video) and…I’m sure I’ve left some out.

Along the harbor in Norwich, nearly 400 people gathered from 3 to 6 p.m. around the gazebo at Howard T. Brown Memorial Park to listen to speakers, talk among themselves and encourage vehicular traffic to honk in support of various messages scrawled across basic poster-board: “I am not your ATM,” “We’re TEAd off (Taxed Enough Already),” “Give me liberty, not debt.” Many of the signs were adorned with tea bags.

The rally began with Rich Curtis, one of the community organizers, reading a portion of the First Amendment, and 8-year-old Kayleigh Ezzell of Lisbon, there with her grandmother, co-organizer Jen Ezell of Canterbury, leading the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Overall, the rally was docile. There was only one chant – Curtis got the crowd to spell out “no pork.” (from The Day-New London)

Greenwich Rally

Greenwich Rally

Friend Laurel from Virginia reports from D.C.:

Washington D.C. was cold, wet all day. We started talking about the rally on the subway, and others joined in and actually decided to come to the Event! We could hardly hear the speakers, because one woman paid for the sound system herself and could only afford what she could afford…but everyone listened intently, from 11am to 3pm, until we could respond with a resounding voice – in unison with the message. Almost 3,000 people spilled into sidewalks surrounding the Lafayette Park – some even walked over to the White House to spell it out for the NYT press. Many gave out free-bees, like a copy of the Constitution, bumper stickers, and yes, I gave out window clings….the poster signs were great….One fellow had a pic of George Washington, labeled as a terrorist! Everyone was polite within very close quarters. Absolutely no violence…lets keep that way!

Obama claims he wasn’t aware of the Tea Party Events, yet the White House has windows…Nancy Pelosi speaks from her experienced agenda giving credit to millionaires for bringing us out there… and CNN believes that FOX news master-minded it…while HLS labeled us all terrorists…a label now reserved for “tax paying, Christians who believe in working for a living!”

This administration is truly confounded, pointing fingers everywhere and blundering all over each other Their own stories don’t match up… maybe their losing control?

Well, we will see, its a good start, Congrats to all!
This is a grass roots movement because no one is in charge and many are jockeying for position…to be that focal point…I love it!

From the New Haven Register:

The crowd also included about a dozen students who walked to the harbor from Yale University. William Wilson, 22, a senior, said he was there to protest the bank bailout and the federal stimulus plan.

He said the the Yale College Libertarians have a tradition of doing a tax protest every April 15 and the tea party event was a perfect fit. Wilson said he was heartened by the fair number of Libertarians in the crowd, but he questioned some of the sentiments expressed.

“I was a little bit disappointed to see a lot of mainstream Republicans who didn’t complain when Bush was doing this stuff, all of a sudden starting to complain now that Obama is doing it. That was a little bit annoying, sort of felt like they were corrupting our message,” said Wilson.

As for the tea, after it steeped in the sun all day, the bags were removed and the liquid was poured into the harbor, a symbolic reference to the Boston Tea Party.

Much more at Michell Malkin…and at RadioVice Online….And finally a roundup of photos from around the nation; a picture gallery from the Tacoma (WA) News Tribune:

Pleasanton CA

Pleasanton CA

Joe the Plumber in Lansing MI

Joe the Plumber in Lansing MI

Grass Roots America Speaks!

Think Tea Party!

April 13, 2009

A new type of Tea Party Coming April 15th to a Town Near You! Be There at Noon on Tax Day

You mean like this:

Ahh No, Not This Sort of Tea Party

Ahh No, Not This Sort of Tea Party

Oh, Maybe This Sort of Tea party:

Now, That's More Like It!

Now, That's More Like It!

National Tax Day Tea Party

National Tax Day Tea Party

From RadioVice Online:

The Tea Parties planned in Connecticut and around the country have finally caught the attention of the MSM. And why not? They were supposed to fade away after the first round in March. They were supposed to be just a flash in the pan … a momentary blip on the radar screen … a small group of angry right wing nuts that would disappear as soon as they worked off their frustrations with Hope n’ Change. But they haven’t and they won’t…..

From 9.12 Project Connecticut, a list of Connecticut April 15th Tea Parties: (Please note various times of assembly)

This Wednesday there will be Tea Parties state wide and nation wide to wake up our elected officials. We are telling them that raising taxes and spending without end will not get us out of our economic slump. Invite your friends and family to join us for just a little bit of time these days to voice your support and protest. Unless otherwise noted, these parties will take place at NOON on Wednesday These are taken from and http://www.taxdayteaparty.com; and http://www.teapartyday.com :

Hartford : North Steps of the State Capitol 11 am – 2 pm
contact: hartfordteaparty@gmail.com , or mattjackdesign@att.net

Hartford Tea Party info site

New Haven: Long Wharf I-95 exit 46 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
winningathome@yahoo.com , newhaventeaparty@gmail.com There is a Facebook page set up for this one too!

Greenwich: Town Hall on Field Post Rd. 3:00-5:00 pm

New Milford: New Milford Green 12 noon
roger@nmrepublicans.com and there Facebook page set up!

Norwich: Marina Area near the Gazebo 3:00 pm- 6:00 pm
freenorwich@hotmail.com There is a Facebook page!

Shelton : Farmer’s Market in downtown 12 noon
bring a tea bag and $1
mlmadm@aol.com

Vernon: Town Green, 14 Park St. 12- 2 pm
jim.hoover@sbcglobal.net

There is more information at National Tea Party Day site.

Michelle Malkin reports:

As I warned last week, the smear campaign against the Tea Party movement has swung into full gear.

We've Had Enough!

We've Had Enough!

Stamford CT Tea Party: March 28, 2009

March 30, 2009
Stamford Tea Party 3/28/09

Stamford Tea Party 3/28/09

Sunday’s Hartford Courant reported in some depth about the growing Tea Party movment that is providing a medium for fed-up citizens to voice their anger at the tyrranical power grab orchestrated from Washington by the Obama gang.

Critics dismiss the phenomenon as little more than a sharply partisan attack on President Barack Obama and the Democrats. But the protesters say their cause represents something bigger: a collective yell of “I’m not going to take it anymore” from the American taxpayer.

The movement takes its name, and much of its imagery, from American history. Participants — including home-schooling moms, Libertarians and Rush Limbaugh Republicans — compare themselves to the 18th century patriots who dumped tea into Boston Harbor to protest taxation without representation.

In Chicago, the protesters included a man with a bullhorn who was dressed as Samuel Adams. In Sacramento, some in the crowd carried signs that read “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death.” And in St. Louis, an estimated 1,000 people stood on the steps of the Gateway Arch and tossed loose tea into the muddy waters of the Mississippi River.

Saturday’s Tea Party in Stamford was a huge success by all accounts; approximately 150 people with signs and costumes attended. Here’s video:


Here is the contributor’s description of the video and the event:

Starting about 9:30 AM EDT a highly motivated contingent of a modern-day legion of the Son’s Of Liberty assembled in downtown Stamford, CT. Their agenda was to make noise. A noise loud enough to be heard in Washington DC.

Perhaps 150 brave citizens can’t shout that loud, but this morning they were heard in Fairfield County.
Unified chants of “It’s Not Your Money” and “Dump Dodd” echoed across the intersection……………Broad Street, Atlantic and Bedford Streets.

The TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party phenomenon is just beginning. April 15 may unleash over a thousand (1000) nation-wide. Small towns in Connecticut are getting involved……

.
Many similar events are scheduled for April 15 (Tax Day) so stay tuned!

Frank Short Photos

Frank Short Photos

Some other resources for news and information about the Tea Party actions:

Radio Vice Online

Thomas Paine Video

Zapem Politics Portal

Glenn Beck Show

Frank Short Photos
Connecticut Tax Day Tea Party News

Ridgefield CT Tea Party

March 22, 2009
Ridgefield Tea Party 006 by jen.booth.

Saturday March 21 saw 300+ people turn out for a Tea Party in Ridgefield Connecticut. This event came on the heels of an initial Connecticut Tea Party in Hartford on Feb 27. Eugene Driscoll at Connecticut Post reports (excerpt)

RIDGEFIELD — They carried signs, chanted slogans, urged motorists to honk horns. There was even a folk singer urging the audience to “take back” the country.

Sounds like your average protest, right?

The difference here: many of the protesters were political conservatives who had never felt it necessary to take to the streets before.

And yet there they were, about 300 strong, lining both sides of Main Street in front of Ballard Park on Saturday for a “Tea Party” protest against President Barack Obama’s $3.5 trillion budget and the government’s effort to “stimulate” the sagging national economy through spending.

“The primary focus is a concern over the direction the policies of the current administration are taking us,” said Andrew “Skip” March, a Ridgefield resident who helped organize the protest, news of which spread like wildfire on the Web…

Michelle Malkin ran nice coverage of this event and some other Tea Parties plus earlier coverage here. Free Republic offers several videos including this one:

Ridgefield Tea Party 005 by jen.booth.

All photos credit Jen Booth. Find these and her other photos of the Tea Party at Flickr..

Also read Pam Geller’s coverage at Atlas Shrugs

Vets Park Community/Senior Center Meeting 3/25

March 24, 2008

Reminder: Meeting on the proposed Community/Senior Center in Veterans Memorial Park. Tues Mar 25 at 7 PM at First Church of Christ, 190 Court St, Middletown.

A Jonah Center bulletin reports:

“Architect Tom Arcari from Quisenberry Arcari Architects in Farmington will discuss conceptual drawings developed over the past two years. The feasibility study committee hopes to have a referendum question on the November 2008 ballot. The total project costs are estimated to be about $25 million.

Veterans Park is located to the west of Washington Street, behind Palmer field. The urban wildlife habitat along the Coginchaug River between Veteran’s Park and the North End Peninsula and the Floating Meadows has been a focus area for the Jonah Center for the past several years.”

The short video below shows the Coginchaug River where it flows between Palmer Field and Veterans Memorial Park.

This is reprinted from today’s ConservaCity blog.

Our Changing Funeral and Burial Practices (cont.)

February 18, 2008

We reported earlier (10/29/07) on ways in which American funeral and burial practices are changing to accommodate “green” concerns and the wishes of many to simplify the treatment of the deceased. Now Muslims are weighing in with concerns that their traditions and Quranic imperatives run afoul of state and local ordinances regarding funeral and burial practices. The Hartford Courant has an excellent article today about the problems facing Connecticut Muslims when dealing with their dead. The crux of the matter is aptly summarized in the following quote from the Courant:

Muslims bury their dead quickly — within 24 hours. The dead must be interred without a casket, facing the holy city of Mecca.

Before the burial, the body is washed with soap and scented water, then wrapped in a seamless cloth, tied at the head and feet. Cremation and embalming are forbidden.

But the specific burial rites meant to prepare Muslims for the afterlife are in conflict with public health codes and public cemetery regulations, forcing Muslims in the state to compromise the rituals outlined in the Quran.

The Muslim community in Connecticut is addressing the problems with caution and creativity; their intention is to adhere to local laws while obeying as closely as possible their religious laws.

Some mosques are calling for members to enter the funeral industry, while others find creative alternatives that keep with Islamic law.

“We must respect the law of the land in which we live — that’s the essence of Islam,” said Muhammed Ali, the president of the Daar-ul-Ehsaan mosque in Bristol.

A rather complete explanation of Muslim practices can be read here.

On a related note controversy has erupted in London (U.K.) about a plan to dig up 350,000 bodies in a historic cemetery to provide a “21st century burial site. Officially it would be known as a multi-faith cemetery but it is likely that it would principally answer calls for a Muslim graveyard in the largely-Asian East London borough. The Daily Mail reports (12 Oct 2007):

The local newspaper has been bombarded with letters from historians and nature lovers declaring: “There is no way we’ll allow them to dig up our ancestors.”

But the Labour-controlled council’s environment spokesman Abdal Ullah appeared to be in no doubt about the feasibility of the plan when he said: “To preserve the respect and dignity for everyone, I think most of the graves would have to be cleared out and we’d start afresh.”

He said a corner of the cemetery would be reserved for Muslims who are buried in shrouds at a depth of 6ft and on their side facing Mecca.

By law, any graves more than 75 years old can be removed.

The photo below shows part of the historic Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park.

More on woodland and green burials at Brookwood, England’s largest cemetery. Their website describes the cemetery:

Brookwood Cemetery is the largest cemetery in Britain and is probably the largest in Western Europe.

Situated between Woking, Guildford and Aldershot, it is located about 30 miles southwest of London, adjacent to the village of Brookwood.

The cemetery was laid out in 1854 as the London Necropolis and has been in constant use ever since.

The photograph at the top of this page is of one of several Muslim burial plots within Brookwood cemetery.

This article also appears today  as “Muslim Burial Practices vs Local Laws” at ConservaCity.

Alert Middletown Officials Stamp Out Wigwam!

November 6, 2007

Who knows, if wigwam building had spread the homeless would be building these huts all over town. Thankfully, alert police, fire, and sanitation officials recognized the imminent danger and ordered the Harbor Park wigwam destroyed. “It’s a tinderbox” said Deputy Fire Marshal Allen Santostefano. But city Health Department officials were concerned that the structure would attract the homeless; Chief Sanitation Officer Sal Nesci said “It had the makings of an unsafe abode.”  Housing Inspector Dennis Murray said, “It was absolutely beautiful. It was a beautiful structure.”  “They flattened it,” said George Frick, the artist who built the structure.

Source: Middletown Press  (11/06/07)

Middletown Press (10/10/07)

Photos below taken several weeks ago show the offending wigwam and several dugout canoes also part of the interesting project which involved local youth in Native American crafts. Dugout canoes were used in a trip across L.I. Sound to Greenport and a more ambitious Middletown to Florida trip is planed for Spring ’08 . More article about these projects here, here and here.

Tags: george frick,dugout canoes,middletown ct,wigwams,long island sound dugout crossing,