Elaine’s Silver Hammer, Plus: Malloy Endorsement, Give Us The Money, And We’re Having A Blue Martini Party!

Get ready for a mighty state senate race if former Trumbull State Rep. and finance director Elaine Hammers seeks the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic incumbent Anthony Musto.

GOP leaders in Trumbull and Bridgeport are urging her to run. Hammers ran a spirited race against Bill Finch in 2002 when he represented the tri-community senate district that also includes Monroe. Party leaders expect Hammers will get in.

Trumbull Town Councilman David Pia has announced his intention to seek the GOP nomination. Republicans are confident of regaining the seat formerly occupied by Rob Russo who was defeated by Musto in the Barack tsunami in 2008. Democratic turnout in Bridgeport is substantially lower during gubernatorial cycles, and GOP leaders say Hammers would be a compelling candidate against Musto. Russo has resisted party pleas to run for his old seat. He is seeking the GOP nomination to run against Congressman Jim Himes, but is money-challenged against other GOP candidates.

From Dan Malloy:

LGBT Community Leaders Turn Out to Endorse Malloy

Hartford, Conn. – Leaders from the LGBT community gathered today to formally announce their endorsement of Dan Malloy for Governor. In attendance were Anne Stanback, founder and former Executive Director of Love Makes a Family; LGBT and AIDS activist Shawn Lang; State Senator Andrew McDonald; State Representative Mike Lawlor; and others.

“It’s not merely Dan’s extraordinary commitment to ending discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people that led me to support him for Governor,” said Stanback. “From education to health care to job creation, I like the ideas that Dan has put forward. And at a time when our state faces a significant budget crisis, I’m particularly impressed by the fact that he’s led a major Connecticut city, and led it successfully for 14 years.”

“Dan Malloy is a clear leader on LGBT issues and I believe that he has the skills, expertise, and vision to lead Connecticut to a new and better place,” added Lang.

“Dan has been a tireless and passionate voice for progressive issues, including standing up for full marriage rights at a time when many of his peers were not,” said McDonald. “I was proud to work with Dan in that fight, and I’ll be proud to work with him as our next Governor. He has the experience and the voice that Connecticut needs.”

“I have known Dan for eight years. He is a political leader in the traditional sense: he listens to your concerns, takes up your cause, and gets results,” added Lawlor. “He’ll be what recent governors have not been: engaged, decisive and inspirational.”

In recent months, Malloy has been meeting with town committees, community leaders, labor groups, small business owners, and others across Connecticut, hearing their thoughts and concerns about the direction the state is headed, and sharing his own vision getting Connecticut back on track. He has been endorsed by numerous elected officials, community leaders, and town committees. More information is available at www.danmalloy.com

Strings attached to landing federal education moolah, from The Hartford Courant:

Connecticut will receive $25.7 million in stimulus funds to turn around the worst schools in Connecticut, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced today.

The money is aimed at improving 23 of Connecticut’s lowest-performing schools, which are in Hartford, New Haven, New Britain, Bridgeport, Windham and also include the Stamford Academy, a charter school, and Area Cooperative Education Services, a regional education service center serving the New Haven area.

School systems must apply for the money, and each school is eligible for as much as $2 million over three years.

The money, part of $3.5 billion being distributed nationally, requires the schools to take one of the following steps:

Turnaround: Replace the principal, screen existing school staff, and rehire no more than half the teachers.

Restart: Convert a school or close it and re-open it as a charter school or under an education management organization.

Close: Close the school and send the students to higher-achieving schools in the district.

Transform: Replace the principal and improve the school through comprehensive curriculum reform, professional development, extending learning time, and other strategies.

The idea is to force states to act more rigorously to address failing schools, said Sandra Abrevaya, press secretary for department of education.

Blue Martini Party Time

What, ya think I forgot? It’s time for an OIB party, and the sweet new Blue Martini bar at the Holiday Inn downtown is the spot. Mark your calendars for Tuesday May 11 at 5:30. I huddled with proprietor Ernie Trefz and General Manager Bill McGarry on Thursday and they’re looking forward to seeing all the OIB pretty peeps. If you haven’t visited the newly renovated Holiday Inn on Main Street, it’s a sweet treat. Let’s make it a date and tell your friends. First refreshment on OIB plus neat eats. Parking is free. Put your wheels inside the garage right behind the hotel on Middle Street and validate your ticket at the front desk. And yes, OIB will invite candidates in this guber cycle. Never know who will show up for a meet and greet.

This is a stupid tax, from Ned Lamont:

Lamont to Present New Proposal to Eliminate Tax Burdening Small Businesses

Would End “Business Entity Tax”

New Haven, CT – Democratic candidate for governor Ned Lamont will hold a press conference TOMORROW at 10:30 A.M. to discuss his new proposal to reduce the tax burden on Connecticut small businesses. Lamont will propose eliminating the “Business Entity Tax,” a $250 fee that businesses in the state must pay, regardless of the size or profits of the company. In these tough economic times, it is making it increasingly difficult for small businesses to survive.

Lamont will be joined by Fran Reale, a small business owner whose company, City Fare Catering in Hartford, pays the business entity tax and has been hit hard by the economic downturn. Reale and co-owners Phyllis Reale Risley and Theresa Preziosi started the family-run company, which offers catering services and cooking classes.

Eliminating the $250 fee expands Lamont’s Business Plan for Connecticut. Lamont has been traveling across the state, speaking with business leaders and workers about what Connecticut’s next governor needs to do to improve the business climate and create jobs in the state.

Census reminder from Jodi Rell

Governor Rell Urging Residents To Mail Back Census Forms This Week

Help Available at www.ct.gov/census2010m or toll-free 1-866-872-6868

Governor M. Jodi Rell today is reminding all Connecticut residents that they have just two days remaining to mail back their 2010 U.S. Census forms and ultimately save taxpayers millions of dollars. The Governor said the Census Bureau will begin sending workers door-to-door to those households that have not responded by the end of this week.

“Mailing in the forms is the difference between the price of a stamp or sending a Census worker out into the field, which is more costly for taxpayers,” Governor Rell said. “The bottom line is, however, that we all must stand up and be counted. An accurate Census gives a stronger voice in Washington.

“Each year Connecticut receives billions of dollars of federal aid for education, social services and transportation programs and all of that is tied to our population,” Governor Rell said. “It is estimated that for every person not counted, the state loses over $1,000 a year.”

Every household in America received a short, 10-question form this year. Among the basic questions asked were gender, age, ethnic background and whether the respondent rent or owned his or her home.

The Governor said she has written to mayors and first selectmen this week to ask for their help in urging residents to mail back their forms. She also explained that information and other instructions are available in 60 different languages and can be translated with a link on the state’s Census Web site: www.ct.gov/census20100. “We need everyone’s voice in Connecticut to be heard because we have to live with the results of the Census for the next 10 years,” Governor Rell said. “Please send your forms in this week.”



  1. And the GOP are sure they are going to regain this seat??? Let me ask you this when has a Republican won this seat other than Russo who won it in a freaking special election >>>>>>>>> not even 3000 votes came from Bpt!!! This is a Democratic seat and it will remain so in 2010 whether Musto or some other Democrat runs for it.

    1. donj, Howard Owens, a Democrat, occupied the seat for several terms until he was defeated by Republican Lee Scarpetti in 1984. Owens won back the seat in 1986. Scarpetti won back the seat in 1988 and won reelection handily every cycle until Finch defeated her in 2000. If Hammers gets in, it’s a difficult reelection for Anthony.

  2. Not talked on Fox but in Florida’s 19th district 40% of voters are seniors and the Republican candidate lost the election on Tuesday. First election since Health Care has passed and a victory for the Democrats. Obama poll numbers are up and I am hoping for the best.

  3. donj: Point taken about Florida, but not relevant here.
    That state sen. dist. has (amusingly) driven pols crazy for years.
    Be careful with your North Enders in Bpt. They are Dems who vote Repub. In the ‘burbs they are Repubs who vote Dem. Mix ’em up and you have a lot of fun (if you are not a candidate).
    Local and state issues are important here. Merits and demerits of Obama are not going to matter. He’s not on the ballot.
    The state budget is crap. Advantage Repubs. Musto supported Juvie Jail. Advantage Repubs.
    Dems and Musto supporters have to figure something out around that. And make their guy look good. That’s just how it works.
    You can’t plan for this as a Dem, but you can always hope the Repubs pick up a .357 Magnum, bite down hard on the muzzle, and pull HARD.

  4. enlightened remember I vote in this district too at Black Rock school and I also do not plan to vote for Musto if he is on the ballot and I sure as hell wont vote for the Republican like my friend TC sometimes says I might just skip that race altogether. Moore should give him a primary.

  5. Come on donj I know I have got you thinking. You will vote Republican in this race if the candidate is better than Musto. I don’t see you leaving that spot on the ballot empty.
    Remember Democrat & Republican are just names. You really have to look at the individual and what he or she stands for.


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