Friday, November 09, 2007

Better late than never....

A pretty impressive showing this past Tuesday in the municipal elections. It would have been nice if the overall voter turnout was higher, but you have to admit that it was pretty strong as voters made their voices heard and went looking for change.

I expected to see a couple of surprises, but I didn't expect to see as many. I think the two biggest surprises may have been in Plainfield where former First Selectman Paul Sweet, running as a petitioning candidate, defeated incumbent Democrat Kevin Cunningham, and in Windham where Green Party candidate Jean de Smet ousted three term Democratic incumbent Mike Paulis. They were surprising because I don't think either Cunningham or Paulis did anything that would have warranted them losing.

Big week in Washington as well as Congress approved the 2008 Defense Appropriations Bill that includes the funding to begin construction of two submarines a year beginning in 2010 or 2011. But...that's still a good two years before the work shows up in the yard at Electric Boat. And the company will face some challengers these next two years in securing enough repair and modification work to keep the waterfront workforce busy waiting for that second sub work.

It should also be noted the Defense bill has an extra $5 million for design work, money that will begin the very preliminary design work on the next generation of Trident subs. That's just as important as the second sub. This is the first time in more than 50 years that EB hasn't had a contract for a new design for the next generation of submarines -- and those designers and engineers are very special. So this should help keep them working until that new contract comes.

And just in case anyone might be wondering....the next election around here is just about 85 days away. The presidential primaries are up next on Feb. 5.


Blogger dweeb said...

You/the Bulletin hosted a series of forums this election season.

What were your impressions of those who attended them?

Did the audiences offer a possible portent for the changes you mentioned, and other changes you didn't (Norwich City Council housecleaning)?

In comparison to other election year outreaches and forums, what were this year's like?

Despite/because of all the headlines and the print coverage across the region of issues great and small, turnout seems to be stuck in a rut.
Any insight as to the causes and any ideas that might help lead to greater participation?

8:14 PM  
Blogger mccommas said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:22 PM  
Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

I believe that there is smaller turnout in local elections because it is harder for the voters to get to know who they are voting for. It takes work to get to know the candidates for the underticket and even, in some cases, the head of the ticket, whether a Mayor, First Selectman, or just the City Council. Candidates have limited funds that they can or desire to spend. The voters have a limited attention span so you can't start campaigning too early or the voter will be turned off by your effort. The month before the election, when voters are starting to pay attention, is just too short to reach all the targeted voters in person, a key in a local election. So the low voter turnout is a combination of voters not knowing who is running and the inability of candidates to introduce themselves to the majority of voters. Turn out is especially low if there are no great controversies in the administration of the town.

12:32 PM  
Blogger mccommas said...

If you think that First Selectman Michael Paulhus did not do anything to warrant him losing than I have to guess you don't pay taxes here. With him it’s been one whopper tax increase after another shoved down our throats. There are no jobs here and our schools are failing.

My taxes went up by well over 500 dollars on my modest condo. The taxes on my inexpensive Chevy were a week’s pay all by itself.

Just how much is enough? Voters acted in self defense by tossing him out. Let that be a lesson to the rest of them.

De Smet defeated Paulhus because she promised tax relief and promised a senior citizen tax freeze ordinance.

I was a Republican candidate for Selectman and I like the rest of my ticket was soundly beaten by thee rest of the Democrats and de Smet’s so called “Bottom Line” party.

I am running again in 2009 because I don’t think de Smet will deliver on her promises. I think she made those promises (which she stole from us by the way) just to get elected. I think de Smet must realize that even the people she ran with under her loose banner (who we Republicans defeated for re-election because they increased taxes this year again) are not too keen on either the freeze or certainly not a tax break.

But hey maybe I am wrong. de Smet has two years to prove me wrong than its election time again.

I would like to know how she is going to stop Board of Education Ken Folan (Bottom Line Party) from jacking up taxes again.

We have failing schools and Folan thinks the way to avoid a state take-over is to throw more money at it.

So what I (and my running mates who I hope all run again) will be running on two years hence is their broken promises. --- That is if I still live in the state. My parents want me to move to Missouri with them to escape the lack of opportunity here like they did, my grandmother did, my sister, my Uncle’s family, my aunt and her two adult children…..

* * *

And I am not one to say "I told you so" because I think its just plain bad manners but in this case I will make an exception.

Rob Simmons got us that 2nd Sub. It was cast in concrete when he left just like he said it was and now we have proof. True, Rob didn’t get it finalized but he laid all the important ground work and convinced all the right brains the USA needed the subs for a strong national defense.

I think the only reason Courtney supports the subs is because it is his district that is going to build them. Let's face it: the man ain't no hawk.

And what’s this? We have a war going on and yet we are still getting that 2nd Sub. Oh my goodness! I guess Speaker Janet Pelosi was a wittle wittle bit wrong about that huh?

I wonder if you can get her on the phone to ask her about that.

What did Janet say about Rob's resolution he got passed committing the government to those two subs in her campaign stop her two years ago?

How did she vote on that resolution by the way? Did you eve look that up?

What were her exact words? I would fish up that article but the Norwich Bulletin internet achieves is wiped out and unavailable to the public.

What ever role the current office holder did getting it finalized pales in comparison to the efforts the best congressman this state has ever had. From now however we can judge Courtney for what he can accomplish all by himself.

Simmons won't win on the politics of course (Courtney will) but the truth of the matter is that it was Congressman Robert Simmons who more than anyone else protected our high paying EB jobs for the foreseeable future.

Way to go Rob. I am very proud of you even if you will never get the credit you deserve. I know that’s not why you did it.

If Courtney asked him to make phone calls on his behalf I will bet you he would do it.

12:36 PM  
Blogger dweeb said...

I'd hope wherever you choose to live, you'll remain engaged in the political process.
All of us would be the poorer for that not happening. And best wishes for your 2009 campaign.

That said, it's Nancy Pelosi, not Janet, and quite frankly in SE CT, submarines are jobs.
If they also happen to have a role in applying military power to further foreign policy objectives, that's great.

Between (among?) us, I don't think any of Kenny Delacruz's guys in the metal workers' union at EB are letting the latter concern drive their primary interest in keeping their jobs.
And I don't blame them.

You've touched a nerve, with me, on education and I agree with the quick fix we've had for too long, despite its failure to work.

Money doesn't fix everything.
When Johnny or Jill can't read, write or do math at the grade-appropriate level, we start an analysis group to sort out 'and how does that make you feel?' instead of fixing the problem.

1:31 PM  
Blogger mccommas said...

Well I will tell you what buddy.

If it wasn't for the USA's war machines you and I would not be free men and the free exchange of ideas would be illegal.

6:02 AM  
Blogger dweeb said...

I'd suggest we are a nation founded on the efforts and blood of those who died defending our creation.

Today, Veterans Day, is a day we purport to honor those who have served and continue to serve.

I spent 8 years in the USAF and used to share with pacifist friends that it is we in uniform who most appreciate peace, not those who posture and pout in public office.

When politics fails, it is we who pay for that failure and defend our nation by sacrificing our lives. We fought for our country but would die for our comrades.
Happy Veterans Day to all who served and serve.

9:26 AM  

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