CT House in Special Session NOW

You can stream it via CT-N. They are currently discussing their fix including increasing the CEP grant to gubernatorial candidates to $6 Million.<p>Not many tweets about this yet, but Matt Lesser and Gary Holder-Winfield usually do a great job of tweeting about these sessions.</p><p>UPDATE: Also found an article about the earlier Senate Session from CT News Junkie.</p>

A Tale of Two Connecticuts?

A recent Capitol Watch blog entry shares the experiences of House Minority Leader Larry Cafero campaigning door-to-door. He notes that:<blockquote><p>[C]itizens are distracted by any number of issues . . . they’re thinking about everything from getting a root canal to firing up the casserole.</p></blockquote><blockquote>“When they log onto their computers at work,” Cafero said, “They see Lindsay Lohan’s picture in the corner, and she’s doing 90 days in jail. They’re not focused now.’’</blockquote>

This presents a sharp contrast from the daily rush of commercials, blog entries, and other issues that the state’s politicos are currently pre-occupied with. However it also shows a level of disengagement by the Connecticut electorate that is disappointing. Unfortunately when talking with my less politically engaged friends I get a similar reaction. They either are not interested or believe that the politicians are the “same old” ones they’ve been dealing with for years.

I do not know what the secret to getting people excited about a Connecticut politician or just Connecticut in general. However, I think that stimulating that passion and vision in everyone will be key to the future of our state in the coming years. Otherwise jobs and young people will continue to slip away.

Lamonts Position On Paid Sick Leave Is Unclear

layout: post title: Lamont’s Position on Paid Sick Leave is Unclear tags: [] comments: on — Ted Mann in a recent column raises a novel issue about Ned Lamont and his paid sick leave position:

Lamont's position, a key policy difference with his intra-party rival Dan Malloy, is not as clear-cut as it has sometimes sounded. In response to a questionnaire from the Working Families Party, the key backers of the bill for the past several years, Lamont said that he would sign one version of the sick leave proposal, the one that limited the mandate to "service workers." But in many public appearances and interviews, Lamont has seemed to suggest categorical rejection of a state law mandating sick leave for workers, while saying he could support a federal version of the law, which he believes would provide the sick leave without creating competitive disadvantages among individual states.

This has caused some concern for the Working Families Party who has taken up Paid Sick Leave as their issue:

But if Lamont's support has been there, it hasn't seemed very vocal to leaders of the Working Families Party, which has worked for several years to try to convince a deeply opposed business lobby that mandating sick leave for workers will improve worker health and productivity, and that it won't prove an onerous burden on employers. Hours after Lamont's WNPR appearance on Friday, Jon Green, the party's state director, e-mailed some party members about the answer Lamont gave. In the e-mail, obtained by The Day, Green wrote, "Unfortunately, Ned's public statements still differ fairly dramatically with the position he articulated to the WFP on his questionnaire."

Having listened to the NPR interview cited by Mann and having read this article I too was left with the impression that Lamont no longer supports mandated paid sick days. While Ned and I can legitimately disagree on this issue I think it’s important for him to a be a little more clear as to where he stands and whether he has in fact changed his mind about it.

Furthermore I think combining this with other issues such as his discussion of the elimination of the death penalty in the NBC30 debate we see what kind of leader Ned Lamont might be on these progressive issues. While he suggests he might sign legislation to eliminate the death penalty or implement paid sick days he certainly doesn’t sound like he is going to be out there leading the charge on it. Maybe more of a reluctant progressive?

Hartford Metro Map - We Need More Things Like This

Maybe the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time. Original from flickr. HT to Colin McEnroe.

A Map of what a subway or light rail in Hartford, CT would look like.

Ned Lamont Takes a Pass on New London Debate

When I wrote my post about substance marking the gubernatorial campaign I guess I forgot to knock on wood. One of the things I most enjoy about these campaigns are the debates. Getting to see two candidates go face to face matching wits and intelligence. Though some argue that debates are too often press conferences and talking points, they also give us a chance to see how candidates might react to the unexpected. It is also an opportunity for candidates to really lay out and contrast their plans and policy to average voters that are not always paying as much attention to the issues as the process.

So I was rather disappointed to find out Ned Lamont is skipping the traditional New London debate thus leaving us without one this cycle. Now this is not just some avoidance of Dan’s debate challenge by Lamont. I remember going to New London for the debate in 2006 (back when it was Malloy v. DeStefano) and getting to see not just the debate but the huge number of supporters that turned out before the debate to support their candidates. I thought it was a great rallying tool for both campaigns, so I don’t see why Ned Lamont doesn’t want to debate.

However I can come-up with one idea. After the last debate Bob Englehart published this cartoon to describe the outcome:

So maybe Ned Lamont is afraid he won’t do so well against Dan Malloy again? Is he concerned that his momentum is waining? If Ned won’t debate Dan anymore, will he still have the courage to debate Foley in the fall, or will we just be watching TV commercials constantly?

That being said, I think it’s too bad they cancelled it. I think they should “hold” it anyways and if Lamont doesn’t show-up they could just have Dan take questions from the audience and YouTube town hall style.

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