Thursday, August 30, 2007

More on the IAFF endorsement of Dodd...

In a comment posted by Bill Jenkins, he suggested that since unions no longer carry as much weight as they once did, the fire fighters endorsement of CT Sen. Chris Dodd isn't really that significant.

I would agree with him that unions don't carry as much clout, especially in general elections, but wold disagree with him regarding the significance of this for the Dodd campaign - especially in terms of the early caucus and primary votes in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The Iowa caucuses are a very strange process that depends soley on organization and the ability to get out the vote. Supporters of any candidate need to produce at least 15 percent of the turnout for a candidate to get any credit when it comes time to tally up the votes. If the fire fighters in Iowa, seasoned and very well experienced in how that system works, puts its efforts out to turn out the votes for Dodd, the senator stands a much better chance of doing well than he would without that support.

The same goes for the New Hampshire primary. The fire fighters unions in the Granite State know very well what it takes to win there. If those unions put their efforts behind Dodd, turning out the vote on primary day, the senator's chances improve greatly.

For a second tier candidate, this kind of support is not only significant - it's critical.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dodd's candidacy...

When I was in New Hampshire two weeks ago with U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd as he campaigned for the Democratic nomination for president, I reported on a number of incidents over the four days which led me to believe that our senator may not be wasting his time - although polls would suggest otherwise.

One such example was a conversation I had with Nashua Deputy Fire Chief Mike O'Brien.

O'Brien, who was just elected to the New Hampshire legislature last November, said he had no intentions of jumping on anyone's bandwagon this early in the game. But after receiving phone calls from Connecticut firefighters supporting Dodd's candidacy, he decided to take a closer look at the candidate - and liked what he saw. He not only is chairing Dodd's Nashua campaign committee, O'Brien is also making phone calls to other firefighters throughout the state telling them that Dodd is one of the good guys.

And now appears the senator's campaign is going to get a major boost from that group. Sometime this week, the International Association of Firefighters will formally throw its support behind Dodd's candidacy. The firefighters were the first union to jump on John Kerry's campaign four years ago...and in New Hampshire, firefighting unions take politics very seriously.

That's potentially a very strong army of supporters who could be critical come primary day in turning out the vote.

I came back from New Hampshire and said I wouldn't rule this guy out of the hunt quite yet, despite what the polls may be showing. I think he still has a shot of finishing in the top three in New Hampshire.

Friday, August 24, 2007

End of the week....

NY Sen. Hillary Clinton had some interesting remarks while campaigning in New Hampshire. According to the frontrunner in the Democratic field, if terrorists strike the United States anytime between now and next year's election, it would probably benefit Republicans.

She also said that among the Democrats, she was best suited to deal with just such a situation.

CT Sen. Chris Dodd had this to say about her comments:

"Frankly, I find it tasteless to discuss political implications when talking about a potential terrorist attack on the United States."

On other Hartford the Senate has picked the six among themselves who will investigate Sen. Lou DeLuca and his problems over asking someone under federal investiation to beat up the boyfriend of his granddaughter who he thought was being abused.

No word on any breakthough in negotiations on the state's bonding package - meaning those awaiting state payment for school construction projects will be waiting a bit longer - the check is NOT in the mail...

And an amusing tidbit from one of the national polls. Likely Republican voters win the early voting states (Iowa, NH, Nevada, SC and Florida) were asked how well they understood the health care proposals by the Republican presidential candidates - including the yet-unannounced candidate Fred Thompson. Seemsanywhere from 15 to 29 percent of those responding in each state said they were familiar with Thompson's health care plan.

It's amusing because Thompson hasn't proposed a health care plan yet.

Have a good weekend....

Thursday, August 23, 2007


It remains the single most important issue, and although President Bush is now attempting to cast it in a similar light to the Vietnam War (which it isn't) a new National Intelligence Report issued today that doesn't bode well in assessing the Iraqi government's ability to bring the war torn nation together. Of course, Congress is awaiting the military assessment due on Sept. 15.

Here's what CT Sen. Chris Dodd had to say today about the NIE report:

"The reported conclusions of the latest NIE are another sign that, even as American troops continue admirably to serve in Iraq, the Iraqi government has done virtually nothing to put its house in order. With no progress on political reconciliation between the various sects in Iraq, it is clear that President Bush's tactic of troop escalation has failed to achieve its goal of convincing Iraqi leaders that they must take bold steps to promote stability and reconciliation in Iraq. In fact the report confirms that Sunnis and Shia remain deeply suspicious of each other with no sign of reversing that belief anytime soon. Indeed, this report is further evidence that there is a disconnect between military operations to establish security in Iraq and elsewhere in the country and the willingness of an Iraqi political leadership to take advantage of improved security to promote political compromise and reconciliation on behalf of all Iraqis.

"I do not believe that Iraq's political leaders will have any incentive to demonstrate bold leadership and reach a political accord until we begin redeploying American troops and it is clear that finally they must fully assume responsibility for their country."

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Back from Washington....

A few thoughts that gathered during my visit to Washington this past week to help my daughter make the move to college....

I find it interesting that the three top Democratic candidates in the presidential race want to make "experience" a major issue in the campaign. NY Sen. Hillary Clinton, the leader of the pack, has served only one full term in the U.S. Senate - and I'd be hard pressed to name any one specific piece of legislation she authored that had a significant impact on people's lives. She does have White House experience from her eight years as First Lady, something the other candidates don't have. Yet, her major claim in that endeavor was her leading the effort for universal health care more than a decade ago that failed...and failed big time.

As for the other two top tier candidates - Illinois Sen. Barrack Obama and former N.C. Sen. John Edwards...their "experience" is even more limited. Edwards served only one term in the Senate and Obama is just barely half-way through his first term on the national stage. Again...I can't think of a single piece of legislation that is tied directly to them.

I find it interesting also because if "experience" is going to be the issue going into the opening rounds of Iowa, New Hampshire and the like, the three second tier candidates have the upper hand. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Del. Sen. Joe Biden and CT Sen. Chris Dodd not only have some experience to talk about, but proven records of success.

Another note...a bit more local:

There's been a lot of talk about returning toll booths to Connecticut's major highways. Much of that talk has centered on the amount of revenue states around us are scooping in from the booths. Well...I think we need to take a closer look at what that means for motorists - our own and those who might travel through the state. They can cause some pretty significant gridlock.

The trip down to Washington, normally a six hour drive, took more than nine and half hours as we crawled through the Garden State Parkway, NJ Turnpike and across the very small state of Delaware who hits you twice with tolls. Bringing back tolls might increase the state's treasury, but it's not going to make traveling I-95 any easier.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Back to school...

Or in this case, on to the next level in life.

I'm off for a few days while I help my daughter move in to college.

In the meantime, might I suggest you consider catching this weekend's Democratic debate in Iowa. It's starting to approach crunch time. The Iowa caucuses will be held in less than four months. I'd love to say exactly when, but it appears the date will be changing - probably to the first week of January within days after the start of the New Year. (More on the importance of this debate as it relates to the candidates in Sunday's printed version of Hackett on Politics in the Norwich Bulletin and at

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Where are they now...

Former Gov. John G. Rowland has launched his own Web page prompting his new career as a motivational and inspirational speaker for hire by organizations, corporations and universities.

According to the Web page, the former governor is available share his experiences and the lessons learned. This quote from him provides his thought on what experience means:

"Experience is not what happens to you, it is what you do with it that counts. No one learns from success, you really only learn from your mistakes and failures.”

If anyone is interested, the Web page address is:

Monday, August 13, 2007


Mccomma raised a question in response to my blog items from last week while in New Hampshire chasing U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd. He noted in his comment that despite all the items posted, not a single comment was made by anyone from Connecticut. He said he found that "interesting." So do I.

I made my weekly appearance on the Lee Elci radio show this morning, and needless to say the conversation centered on my four-day trek to NH with Dodd. Lee asked me what impression I came away with after spending four-days there watching Dodd interactive with NH voters.

The answer was: There's good news and bad news for the senator.

The good news is that he is making an impression, and people are interested in knowing more about him. There were numerous examples of that, from the private house party in Jackson where the owners invited 87 of their friends to come and meet him - and close to 150 people showed up.

There was the 21-year-old college co-ed who was leaning in favor of Hillary Clinton, but after listening To Dodd's education proposal, told me that she "had to rethink that" because she found his plan to be "remarkable." (Her words). It is a pretty remarkable proposal that if put into place could cut the cost of a college education in half. (You can read more about it on Dodd's Web

There was the Manchester alderman who accompanied Dodd on the events in his city, introducing the senator to everyone he knew - and he knew just about everyone. Some might dismiss the support of a single alderman as significant, but in a city with a population of 108,000 - and a 16-year veteran of the Board of Alderman, you got to figure this guy has friends in order to get elected eight times. I wouldn't term it insignificant.

Then there were the five people who waited an hour at the Portsmouth Farmer's Market just because they wanted to see and talk to Dodd. Why? They told me they've seen him on TV doing interviews and the debates, and they wanted to see him up close and personal to see if "he's for real." They wanted to size him up.

There were examples like that at almost every stop we made over those four-days.

Now...does that "interest" translate into votes. Who knows at this point. But for those who would say he's simply wasting his time because of his showing in the polls, I would suggest that would be short-sighted.

On the down side...the polls will hurt him, particularly in the money race. He needs to start moving up in the polls or otherwise fundraising is going to become of a problem.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Time to come home...

US Sen. Christopher J. Dodd concluded his visit to New Hampshire with a house party at the home of Joe and Sarah Pace in Exeter, NH - and event that drew about 40 to 50 people.

Prior to the house party, Dodd toured the downtown area of Newmarket, NH with State Rep. Marcia Moody, a key Democratic activist Dodd's hopes to convince to join his campaign. Moddy admitted that Dodd is "among her top three choices," but she's not quite ready yet to commit to anyone - nor would she say who the other two candidates were that are vying for her support.

Dodd and his family - Jackie and the two girls, Gracie, 5, and Christina, 2, fly to Iowa tonight for the start of 10-day visit there.

This was Dodd's 16th visit to New Hampshire...and the 17th visit isn't far behind. He'll be back in the Granite State over the Labor Day weekend.

Retail politicking....

For a second tier presidential candidate, Saturday's stop at the Portmouth Farmer's Market was highly successful. About two dozen residents attended the event specifically to have a chance to see and talk with U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd. And although running a good hour behind schedule, the delay didn't seem to dampen their desire.

"I'm very impressed with his experience and voting record, and I'd like to hear more from him," said Kate Donald, from the William Pond Community Farm in nearby Brentwood.

Dan Carchidi, from Portsmouth but originally from Willimantic - where Dodd was born - wanted an opportunity to talk with the senator about his recently announced education plan.

"I wish the money raising would catch up to him," Carchidi said, "so the rest of the country would know just how good he is."

Dodd spent just over an hour at the market, recieving a warm welcome from people as he strolled past the booths of fresh fruit and vegetables. It was the first of three scheduled stops on the day before he and his family take off for a 10-day visit to Iowa.

A perfect weekend morning...

especially for political candidates hoping to attract the attention of voters.

U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd will spend the final day of his four-day visit doing old-fashioned retail politicking in New Hampshire. His first scheduled stop is the Farmer's Market in Portsmouth, set up in the parking lot of City Hall.

Close to two dozens tents are up, with a variety of fresh fruits and vegatables on display along with jewelery, a locally bottled wine booth and an assortment of other crafts.

Both city parking lots around the municipal building are fairly well filled, providing the senator with the an opportunity meet and greet a wide variety of potential voters in January's primary.

Dodd is expected to arrive here in about 20 minutes, spending an hour mingling with people before heading off to Newmarket.

The final leg of the trip...

I'll be taking off shortly for the one-hour drive up to Portsmouth, NH where Chris Dodd will begin the fourth and final day of this visit at the Portsmouth Farmer's Market. After touring the market, the campaign then moves up to Newmarket where Dodd is scheduled to take a walking tour of the downtown area with supporters.

Both venues play well to the senator's campaign style - informal, relax...and the opportunity to just meet people. Conducting a presidential campaign can be grueling, and there are always those moments when a perfectly planned outing doesn't go according to the script. But Dodd does appear to be enjoying this adventure.

He's serious when he sits down at the table with Democratic activists to talk about the issues that they consider important - and he knows his answers will ultmately make the decision on whether they support him or one of his rivals for the Democratic nomination.

But there is little doubt that he is truly enjoying this experience.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The end of day three...

was certanly better than the beginning.

As noted earlier, the morning's wet weather forced the Dodd campaign to abandon part of its planned agenda. But by afternoon, the sun was out and the campaign was back on track.

US Sen. Chris Dodd had what seemed to be a pretty good meeting in Nashua with half-dozen Democratic activists at Martha's Exchange Restaurant. Health care was the hot item they wanted to talk about, and Dodd gave a quick overview of his proposal for a universal health care program.

But a key participant that Dodd is hoping to sway wasn't that impressed. State Rep. Cindy Rosenwald, chairman of the legislature's Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee, didn't think his plan went far enough.

At the end of the meeting, Dodd made a point of making a personal appeal for her support, looking her in the eye and saying, "I'm asking."

She nodded - but not a nod of agreement.

Afterwards she said she hadn't made up her mind yet because she hadn't had a chance to talk with all the candidates yet.

His forray into Manchester went better. With Dan O'Neil, a 16-year alderman in the city leading the way, Dodd was introduced to a number of people having dinner at the very popular, and quite packed, Puritan Backroom Restaurant. And most seemed pleased to have a chance to meet him. Joined by his wife Jackie, it was a good "retail" politics opportunity, and Dodd seemed to make the most of it.

The evening, however, called for a bit of break - one that Dodd seemed to enjoy quite a bit. With his two daughters in hand, the senator took his two girls, Gracie, 5, and Christina, 2, to a minor baseball game.

He had two priorities for the evening...enjoy some time out with his family...and most importantly, find the Fisher Cat (mascot) so that his girls could see what a Fisher Cat looks like.

Dodd wraps up his four-day visit with stops in Portmouth, Newmarket and Essex tomorrow.

Taking the campaign to the streets...

Across the street from Martha's Exchange Restaurant on Main Street in Nashua are the offices of U.S. Sens. John Sununu and Judd Gregg. Two storefronts down is another office whose front window is bordered with Dodd for President signs.

Dodd, who began his day in Keene, New Hampshire where he did a phone-in talk radio program and later an editorial board interview, is due to arrive at Martha's within the hour to begin a downtown meet & greet.

Looking to draw differences...

US Sen. Christopher J. Dodd took the opportunity today to draw some differences between himself and one of the leading candidates in the Democratic race for the nomination, Illinois Sen. Barrack Obama.

In a recent interview, Obama conceded that he doesn't know how he would have voted on the measure to go to war in Iraq if he were a senator at the time. In the past, Obama, who was a state senator at the time of the vote, has been quite critical of his opponents who did support the measure.

This is what Dodd said about Obama:

"Senator Obama's position as a state senator rings hollow in light of the fact that he himself says he doesn't know how he would have voted as a U.S. Senator. It's going to take leadership in the U.S. Senate to end the war in Iraq. That's why I led the fight for a firm deadline and clearly and unequivocally stated my opposition to supplemental funding for George Bush's failed policy - something that can't be said of all the candidates."

Dodd also took the opportunity to criticize the Bush Administration for its failure to act more quickly in addressing the crisis in the home mortagage industry. He had this to say:

"The Administration’s response to the continued turmoil in the mortgage market is wholly unsatisfactory. Today’s news that the mess in the subprime lending market has spilled over into European markets is further evidence that this crisis has yet to be contained, as some, including Treasury Secretary Paulson, have suggested. The Federal Reserve, by injecting some liquidity into our markets, has taken, at best, a modest step towards helping to ease the tightening of credit that not only affects our nation’s economy but also impairs the ability of subprime borrowers who seek to salvage their homes through loan refinancing and modifications but cannot do so due to the lack of available credit on fair and affordable terms. But in addition to today’s action by the Fed, more can, and should, be done. It may be appropriate for the Administration to ease the temporary regulatory cap on Fannie and Freddie's mortgage portfolio in a manner consistent with safe and sound practices in order to infuse more liquidity into our markets."

Dodd and his education plan...

With his scheduling changing often and quickly today, U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd took advantage of some down time to pitch his education plan to reporters on a teleconference call at 11 a.m. today.

Dodd unveiled his proposal to revamp the nation's education system by lowering college costs for students and enhancing public education for K-thru-high school, including universal preschool for every four-year-old, during his New Hampshire visit this week.

It has been the key point he's stressed at nearly every stop during the trip.

This is a summary of what he is proposing:

Dodd's K-12 plan would:
* Provide for universal preschool so that every parent has access to high-quality, affordable preschool
* Reform No Child Left Behind by providing states with the flexibility to use multiple measures to calculate student achievement and allowing schools to target resources such as tutoring to the students who need them most.
* Put experienced, quality teachers In Every School by doubling the number of nationally board certified teachers and incentivizing them to go where they are needed most - low performing, high poverty schools.

Dodd's higher education plan would:
* Reform the student loan system to ensure federal dollars go to student aid instead of corporate profits.
* Raise Pell Grants and reduce the cost of college student loans.
* Provide an opportunity for free community college to every American

Dodd's first public appearence on this third day of his four-day visit to the Granite State is slated for later this afternoon in Nashua.

The word for the day is....fluid

And in more ways than one.

Jackie Clegg-Dodd's visit to the Petersborough to campaign for her husband was canceled this morning after her flight to New Hampshire was delayed because of rain.

Clegg-Dodd, who was going to fill-in for U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd when his scheduled changed, was to have done a walking meet & greet on the downtown streets of this quaint little New Hampshire village. However, it's also raining here this morning, so it probably wouldn't have been a very good walking tour.

So at this point, I'm heading over to Manchester to check in to my third hotel in three days, and then back to Nashua to catch up with Dodd - who is planning to do his own walking meet & greet in that city this afternoon. Hopefully, the rain will subside at that point.

Dodd is also scheduled to make two stops in Manchester later, including taking in the Fisher Cat's ballgame tonight - weather permitting.

Today will be fluid...

Day three with Dodd...and schedule changes..

Sen. Chris Dodd is doing a radio talk show interview this morning. But his planned visit with the Keene Sentinel Editorial Board had to be rescheduled from 10 a.m. to noon, thus forcing some other changes on today's original plan.

The senator's wife, Jackie Clegg Dodd, will fill-in for the senator for a downtown "walk and talk" on the streets in Petersborough and a planned "kicthen table discussion" on college affordability in Nashua has been scraped. Instead, the senator will do a walk and talk in Nashua later in the afternoon.

Then it's off to Manchester where he'll visit yet another popular diner for presidential candidates to mingle with the common folk and cap off his evening by taking in a Fishers Cat's baseball game in Manchester. The governor of New Hampshire was suppose to join him at the ballpark, but that seems to have changed as well - and the governor will not be joining him after all.

Computer problems seem to be dogging me this morning. At this point, I'm capable of receiving e-mails but I can't send e-mails. Now we'll find it if I can post a blog item.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The end of day two with Dodd...

It has not been a good day. Major problems with computers today have caused more problems than what it's worth. It started with the morning and problems simply posting update on the Web page. I had to phone a couple of them into the office to get them posted. It seemed like every time I tried to attach a photo, the system would crash.

Then I lost all ability to access e-mail. And that wasn't a good sign since the campaign schedule for tomorrow was changing...and I had no idea how and where or when things would be going on.

And then finally, the system wouldn't let me access the blog page - thus no updates from today.

But things do appear to be getting better...although everything is moving at much slower pace than what I would like.

It's been a long day, logging more than 260 miles on my car...and I'm tired. We'll try again is, after all, a new day.

Day 2 with Dodd...

I'm in the lobby of the Attitash Grand Summit in Bartlett, NH this morning, an hour and half drive from Campton where I spent the night. It was actually a lovely ride up through the Franconia Notch National Park, despite the warnings that I should drive carefully and keep and eye for Moose. I didn't see any. Maybe they don't get up this early in the morning.

Chris Dodd will be addressing the New Hampshire chapter of the National Education Association convention this morning, unveling his education proposal as it relates to K-thru-high school. He did his college affordability presentation yesterday in Manchester.

New Mexico Gob. Bill Richardson was here yesterday talking to the teachers' organization, and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards sent up a video to make his presentation. New York Sen. Hillary Clinton is not scheduled to attend the convention, but her presence here is quite visible. Her campaign sent up some staffers who have ben manning a table in the cornor of the lobby - filled with Hillary posters and literature.

Dodd only has three events planned today, but it will take all day to get to them. The schedule is most ambitious travel-wise of the four days. From here he heads south to Tilton, NH - a two hour drive - for lunch with Democratic activists at the Tilt'n Diner...and then walking the streets a bit shaking hands and introducing himself.

From there, it's over to Nelson, NH - another hour's drive - for a meeting late this afternoon and into the early evening with Cheshire County voters.

All toll, we'll rack up more than 160 miles traveling today.

I probably won't have time after the NEA convention for a quick update as I'll need to jump in my car and make the run to Tilton. I haven't mastered the art of driving a stick shift and blogging at the same time. Besides, I need to keep an eye out for Moose traveling back through the national park. I've never see a Moose up close and personal....and I'm not looking forward to doing that today.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Dodd and education...

I'm literally sitting in the parking lot of the Days Inn in Campton, NH - in the midst of the White Mountains where the only signal for Internet can be found is in the parking lot.

Dodd previewed his major education proposal earlier this afternoon at a roundtable discussion at Manchester Community Technical College - a plan that calls for increasing Pell grants and a bold proposal to provide free college tuition at community coplleges across the country.

He'll unveil the second part of his plan tomorrow at a meeting of the New Hampshire chapter of the National Education Association convention in Bartlett, NH -across from the mountains from where I will be spending the night. That proposal will look specifically at his plan for K-through-high school.

Following his meeting in Manchester, the senator headed over to Concord for a private house party with friends and supporters. And then he, too, made the two hour trek north to the White Mountains.

This maybe my last blog entry for the evening. I've got photos to try and send, stories for tomorrow's paper and my first effort at trying to send video from the Manchester event. But with recption being what it could be a long night.

And the journey begins...

Just arrived in Manchester, New Hampshire where U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd will begin his four-day visit to the state in about an hour or so.

Dodd was in Chicago yesterday addressing the AFL-CIO convention.

The first stop on the New Hampshire trip is Manchester Community Technical College where he'll participate in a roundtable discussion on educatation issues. Education will be the focal point of this trip as Dodd unveils his plans for education tomorrow morning in a speech to the National Education Association-New Hampshire convention in Bartlett, NH - about two and half miles north of Manchester.

Over the next four days, the senator and yours truly will log well over 500 miles criss-crossing the state. Just for the record, a gas station next to the exit off the highway here was advertising a gallon of gas for just $2.69.

More later...

Monday, August 06, 2007

On the second front...

While most of my attention this week will be on Dodd and New Hampshire, the really big news in the presidential hunt will be on Republicans in Iowa. Saturday is the traditional GOP Straw Poll - without the two biggest names participating. Rudy and McCain have both opted out citing money problems - leaving Romney to take home the prize.

But that also puts a bit of pressure on the former Massachusetts governor. He's expected to win, and with the other two not in the hunt, he is expected to win "big." But how "big" is BIG? And who decides whether his victory was "big enough?"

What should happen is...a couple of the second and third teir candidates in the field will be packing up their tents and calling it quits...and maybe someone from the second teir emerges as the "new" guy to be watched.

I did watch the Republican debate on TV Sunday, and the one thing that stuck out the most was how McCain now looks like a second teir candidate. Other than that, there wasn't much more to be said about the 90-minute debate.


I certainly don't mean to make it appear that I'm beating a dead horse, but as you know I will be spending a good portion of this week in New Hampshire with U.S. Sen. and Democratic Presidential hopeful Chris Dodd as he makes his way around the state looking for support.

Today, the Dodd campaign issued a press release noting the support he is getting back here at home. That's nice, and more of a "dog bites man" story. One would expect the senator to win the support of town committees and elected Democratic leaders in his home state. If not....well???

An update on the Jeff Benedict story from yesterday's newspaper. It was announced this morning that Grand CentralPublishing, formerly Warner Books, will publish Benedict's newest indepth look at the New London eminent domain case. The title of the book is "Little Pink House."

Friday, August 03, 2007

End of a busy, busy week...

The last week of July and entering August haven't been slow...

I'm off to New Hampshire next week for four days with U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd, making his 16th visit to the state since announcing his candidacy last January. It's an ambitous schedule at this point, and trying to make arrangements hasn't been easy - or yet completed.

Gov. Rell finally got around to contacting the state's Congressional delegation - but only two of them, U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney. In a letter to both sent Friday, she asked them to file legislation that would allow the Navy to enter into a lease agreement with the state for improvements at the Groton sub base. Of course, Congress is breaking this weekend for its August vacation.

Some big news is expected from Electric Boat on Tuesday. It seems they have continued to streamline the submarine building process - lowering the cost of building those big boats. Part of the Navy's plan to increase sub production is to lower the cost from $2.4 billion to $2 billion each. On Tuesday we should get some hint at how the company is doing in meeting that goal.

When I get back from New Hampshire next weekend, I'm in the office for just a couple of days, and then it's off to Washington.

It's going to be a busy August...