Monday, April 19, 2010

Bysiewicz hearing

Lawyers are scheduled to give final arguments in the Susan Bysiewicz hearing to determine if she qualifies -- under state alw -- to hold the position of attorney general. The law requires 10 years of "active practice" as a lawyer to qualify. Bysiewicz maintains her role sa secretary of the state meets that qualifications. (However, I'm not sure how you consider a press conference in August 2006 to demonstrate the new voting machines qualifies as the "active" practice of law -- yet that was one of the examples Bysiewicz cited duriing her day and a half onthe witness stand last week.

Anyway, a decision is expected to be rendered by the end of the month -- then we'll see if there will be an appeal which could drag this out at least up until the state conventions next month, and probably longer.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The AG race....

Big Day today for Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz. The Superior Court hearing on her qualifications to serve as attorney general gets under way, and it is expected that Bysiewicz will take the stand for questioning. Personally, I think she'll need to do better today than she did during the depositions....otherwise her best bet for staying in the race may be her second option...having the judge declare the law requiring 10-years of "active practice" unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, the Bysiewicz camp released its fundraising totals for the first quarter, and she did very -- very -- well, raising $214,000....and now giving her $345,000 cash on hand for her campaign -- more than 10 times that of her two Democratic rivals.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The governor's race....

With polls, and delegates to next month's state conventions, indicating that it is still a pretty wide open race for the Democratic and Republican nominations for governor, I want to make you aware of an upcoming debate featuring many -- if not most -- of the contenders.

The Connecticut Daily Newspaper Assocaition and the University of Connecticut will host two debates on April 21 in the Reading Room of the William F. Starr Hall on the UConn Law School campus in Hartford. By a flip of a coin held earlier today at the Capitol, the Republican candidates for governor will go first (3:30-4:15 p.m.) and after a break, Democratic candidates take the stage (from 4:45 to 5:30 p.m)

So far...Republicans Lawrence Denardis, Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele, Tom Foley, R. Nelson "Oz" Griebel and Thomas Nash have accepted the invitation to participate.

On the Democratic side, Juan Figueroa, Mary Glassman, Ned Lamont, Dan Malloy and Rudy Marconi have agreed..

On the offense or making a last stand?

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rob Simmons held a press conference in Hartford Monday to blast his chief rival, former WWE CEO Linda McMahon, over allegations that she tipped off a doctor under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department, and sought to distance the WWE from him.A McMahon memo written years ago at the height of the investigation is the smoking gun -- but the question is, will this help his campaign for the GOP nomination. So far, the allegations of drug use within the WWE have not seemed to make a difference among voters in terms of how they view her candidacy.

Simmons, who was the early front-runner in the race, is now trailing McMahon in polls heading into the May conventions -- a critical point in thyi campaign since Simmons is on the record as saying that he doesn't win the convention endorsement, he's dropping out of the race and will not force a primary against McMahon. In the last Quinnipiac poll, McMahon surged to the front of the pack, and holds a 10-point lead over Simmons among likely Republican voters.

Simmons' candidacy did receive a bit of boost yesterday with a new poll shoing that he fares better against presumptive Democratic nominee Richard Blumenthal compared to the other GOP hopefuls, but still trails in a head-to-head matchup with the attorney general.

Friday, April 09, 2010

East meets West...

It seems Eastern Connecticut is becoming a popular place for political candidates these days, especially those from the Fairfield County area (which is most of them).

Last week, Tom Foley, Republican candidate for govenror, was here at the Buletin for an informal editorial board meeting and mentioned that he plans on spending more time in Eastrern Connecticut over the next month.

Today, Ned Lamont, Democratic candidate for governor, is Stonington touring flood damaged buildings , businesses and areas.

Tomorrow, Dan Malloy, Democratic candidate for govenror, and Linda McMahon, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, will be in the area. Malloy will stop in at an education fourm on regionalization efforts hosted by the Norwich Board of Education and McMahon is attending a Griswold Republican Town Committee forum to discuss her candidacy and recently released jobs plan. (Griswold RTC Chairman Theresa Madonna invited McMahon to one of her fundraisers last year when she was running for first selectman, and now Madonna is returning the favor.)

Next week....Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic is hosting a candidates forum on April 14 that will bring others from the west. Nearly two dozen candidates involved in different races will be attending, including, but not limited to, Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele (GOP candidate for governor) and Vinny Forras (GOP candidate for U.S. Senate) -- both from Fairfield County.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

A strange election year indeed...

Near the end of the taping of a cable television show last week I was asked if I found this year’s election to be the most exciting one I’ve ever seen. I admitted it is certainly the most interesting, primarily because of the wide cast of characters seeking elected office.

But then, just when I thought that I’ve seen it all, along came a press release later in the week that showed me something new.

The press release was from Lisa Wilson-Foley of Simsbury, announcing her plans to seek the Republican nomination for Lt. Governor, and to primary for the number two spot on the GOP ticket.
In the 22 years I've been at the Bulletin, I don't ever recall anyone doing anything like that. First, the Lt. Governor's job is a thankless position — ask anyone who's held it — and I've never seen anyone voluntarily seek it out on their own.

Secondly, Lt. Governor candidates are usually“announced”by gubernatorial candidates who hand pick the individual they’d like to have as their running mates — usually selected because they bring the potential of more general election votes to the ticket. Wilson-Foley has no such affiliation with any of the Republican gubernatorial candidates and is apparently making an independent bid on her own to secure the number two spot.

That should make for interesting primary as she challenges the “preferred” pick(s) of Republican candidates seeking the number one spot.

Not that it can't be done. Four years ago, Mary Glassman, who is now seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, won the Lt. Governor's nomination in a primary. But Glassman was Dan Malloy's pick as his running mate and ended up running with John DeStefano when Democratic voters decided to split their votes in the primary.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Senate Race -- GOP side

The Connecticut Tea Party Patriots are holding a forum for Republican candidates running for U.S. Senate. All GOP candidates have been invited, and all have accepted -- excpet for Linda McMahon, the current front-runner for the GOP nomination.

McMahon declined the invitation and there is some speculation that the format -- allowing folks in the audience to ask questions -- was the reason.

Personally, I think he decision to decline was based on more practical reasons.

First: It's pretty clear that Peter Schiff is the more likely contender to win the support of the Tea Party Patriots, so McMahon has almost nothing to gain at this point in trying to win their support. Obviously, if she were to become the nominee, things will be different -- but right now they aren't.

Second: Tea Party Patriots members are not likely to be a major force at the state convention next month, so there is no benefit to her in that regard. It is to her benefit to focus on convention delegates, not the Tea Party Patriots, few of whom will be delegates.

Third: Why put yourself out as a potential target to your opponents if you don't have to -- and she doesn't. If the majority of Tea Party Patriots are more in tune with Schiff, why would she want to take questions that might allow him to gain publicity and an advantage.

The polls indicate McMahon has the momentum, and she certainly has the resources she needs to win the GOP nomination. The Tea Party Patriots are not likely tovote for the Democrat in the race, so until she is the GOP nominee, it isn't in her best interest to compete for their support at this point.