Campaign Finance Debate Continues After Citizens United -

An interesting article and perspective on Citizens’ United from the New York Times…

In the year since the Supreme Court handed down its 183-page decision in Citizens United, the liberal objection to it has gradually boiled down to a single sentence: The majority was wrong to grant First Amendment rights to corporations.

via Campaign Finance Debate Continues After Citizens United -

New Traditions

I won a gift certificate to one of the local gyms at our law school’s annual Public Interest Law Group auction last November. In college I enjoyed going to the gym on a daily basis but stopped after I moved home. I finally turned in the gift certificate over my winter break and started going. Working out is relaxing but can also get boring so I have been bringing my iPod and exploring podcasts. My current favorite is MSNBC’s Morning Joe. I have a love-hate relationship with news programming and usually prefer reading my news but Mika and Joe do a great job of summarizing the stories of the day and providing witty banter.

Yankee Institute's Irresponsible "Journalism"

Splashed over CT Capitol Report is a headline about the salaries being paid by the Malloy administration to its employees. They link to an article at the conservative Yankee Institute that analyzes the cost of the pension increases for these employees. However that analysis is misleading. It fails to consider the following:

  1. The pension system was in place before the Malloy administration came into power. You cannot blame him for the actions of previous administrations.
  2. The cost of increased pensions must be viewed as an opportunity cost. The legislators were getting pensions anyways. The only way to minimize the pensions under the formula would be to limit the hiring pool to individuals outside state government. Otherwise any person who has served the state for the same number of years would get a similar pension bump . The cost is unavoidable unless the salaries are lowered, or we restrict hires from working in state government after they work in the administration.
  3. Can the salaries be justified? Are they appropriate for the level of responsibility and work given to the employees, and are they in sync with similar positions and responsibilities elsewhere?
  4. Many of these legislators took a risk by leaving safe seats to serve in administration jobs that might not be theirs in four years. It appears the Yankee Institute is happy to grab headlines without considering all angles of the issues it analyzes.

Ask MLN - How can town committees engage people online?

I know people typically post articles and their own analysis but today I have a question to pose to the community. I am working with my town committee to reach out to people in town that may be wandering the internets. We setup a facebook page and we have a website. However these things should not exist in a vacuum. We’re doing this with the goal of getting people involved. We want more members that will participate and we want people that might consider serving as a commissioner or candidate.

What do you think we should be doing to reach out? Where are Connecticut townspeople hanging out online?

How Data Can Deceive

Torrington Register-Citizen Gubernatorial Results Map 2010 Susan Bigelow Gubernatorial Results Map 2010 Recently the Torrington Register-Citizen published a map of results from the 2010 Connecticut race for governor. This map is for all intents and purposes correct. Each town or city colored red or blue indicates which candidate won the city. The Register-Citizen raises several questions about the conflicting priorities of the cities versus suburban and rural towns. Yet they ignore the fact that Dan Malloy did not win by cities alone. Plenty of suburban voters chose Dan Malloy as well and we can see this in Susan Bigelow’s map. By mapping out the results with percentages Bigelow presents a more accurate representation of the state.

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This work by Matt Zagaja is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.