Update: Former Mayor Joe Ganim, after nearly six and one half years in the joint, has been released from a federal prison camp in Pennsylvania to the Watkinson House, a halfway house in Hartford. More on Friday.
Well, 14 days and counting to find a new location for Jodi’s Jail.
The governor announced a few weeks ago that she’d give the city 30 days to find an alternate city site from the juvenile detention center for girls she proposes in a residential area of the Upper East Side. The governor backed off when the neighborhood–led by the Big Wave State Rep. Chris Caruso and a group of activists called Derail The Jail Committee–screamed why us! How firm is the governor’s 30 days? If there’s no logical movement on another location I expect the governor to say sorry boys and girls it’s going on Virginia Avenue.
And then, there will be lots of potential hell to pay locally and I suspect the finger-pointing will begin. Mayor Bill Finch wasn’t so upset when the governor made her initial public announcement about the location and State Senator Anthony Musto, in fact, waved pompoms in a news release calling it an economic development plus. That tells me they didn’t have a problem with the location, and knew about it for some time, but took public positions against as they saw the electorate boil over. The state has now pegged this project at $20 million, up from nearly $16 million. What’s with the increase?
The mayor and Musto can still come out of this okay, depends how it plays out … like what correspondence exists between the mayor’s office and the state regarding the location and how far back does that communication go?
I’ve been checking on Big Mojo Ralph Mojica’s old job as the city’s Sealer of Weights and Measures, the position that makes sure all those gas pumps and store scales are in order. Ralph had the job for several months, appointed by Mayor John Fabrizi, but was ousted when Finch took over. The position has not been filled in an effort to save money although the office is a revenue-generating department. Word is long-time city pol Ramón Larracuente is teed up not for the official sealer’s job but a part-time position in the office. Ray has been told you can have the job but you will not be reappointed to the Police Commission. Tom Lyons, husband of North End City Councilwoman Michelle Lyons, looks like he’ll replace Ray on the civilian board. Tom’s a good guy who can keep the peace more ways than one. He’s strong enough to bench press the entire police headquarters.
No Lock For Ned
If I’m a supporter of former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy, I’d be feeling pretty good about today’s new Q Poll. Ned Lamont, who defeated Joe Lieberman in a U.S. Senate Democratic primary in 2006 only to lose to Joe in the general election when Joe ran as an independent, has a lead on Malloy among Dems. But that’s more a product of name recognition. The bigger question for me is who’d be the stronger general election candidate against the Republican? Ned and his liberal leanings or Dan Malloy who governed Stamford well and better understands the realities of running a government, building budgets, negotiating union contracts, etc. The largest voting bloc in the state unaffiliated voters decide general elections. Ned failed to appeal to unaffiliated voters in 2006. More on that on Friday. And now Ned’s saying I think I’ll bypass public financing when he was a huge supporter of it. See Q Poll below:
LAMONT HAS EARLY NAME EDGE IN CONNECTICUT GOV RACE, QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY POLL FINDS; BYSIEWICZ TOPS DEMS IN ATTORNEY GENERAL RACE
With an edge in name recognition, Connecticut businessman and former U.S. Senate candidate Ned Lamont leads the pack in the Democratic primary race for Governor, where almost half of the voters remain undecided, and has small leads over Republican contenders, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
While 44 percent of Democrats remain undecided, Lamont gets 27 percent, followed by Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy with 11 percent. No other Democrat tops 5 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.
On the Republican side, 59 percent are undecided, with 17 percent for former ambassador Tom Foley and 8 percent for Lt. Gov. Mike Fedele. No other Republican tops 6 percent.
In possible general election matchups:
· Lamont edges Foley 38 – 36 percent;
· Lamont tops Fedele 41 – 32 percent;
· Malloy beats Foley 37 – 33 percent;
· Malloy leads Fedele 37 – 31 percent.
Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz tops the Democratic pack for State Attorney General with 62 percent, with 10 percent for former Democratic State Chairman George Jepson and 24 percent undecided.
“The big winner in the primaries for Governor is ‘Undecided.’ With most of the candidates largely unknown, voters aren’t expressing a preference in the gubernatorial primaries yet,” said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, PhD.
“On the Democratic side, Ned Lamont has taken the ‘lead’ with the exit of Susan Bysiewicz, but much of that is due to his greater name recognition. Malloy is within striking range and it is possible for a lesser known candidate to emerge.
“Two Greenwich millionaires – Foley and Lamont – are leading the pack for the nomination for Governor. At a time when a lot of Connecticut families are hurting because of the tough economy, how will that play?” Dr. Schwartz asked.
By a 49 – 14 percent margin, Connecticut voters have a favorable opinion of Bysiewicz, with 36 percent who don’t know enough about her to form an opinion.
Lamont gets a 35 – 21 percent favorability, as 42 percent don’t know enough about him to form an opinion.
The “don’t know enough” number for other candidates for Governor or Attorney General ranges from 59 percent to 96 percent.
“Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz has to feel good about her poll numbers. Despite the controversy over whether she has been in ‘active practice’ as an attorney for 10 years, which broke as the poll was in the field, she is the clear favorite over the virtually unknown George Jepsen in the Democratic primary. And her favorability numbers have remained high. But if this story doesn’t go away, this could change,” Schwartz said.
Statement from Dan Malloy
“Ned’s used a bunch of different excuses over the past few weeks to explain away his conversion from supporter of campaign finance reform and spending limits to supporter of being able to play by his own set of rules. But the excuses are just that: excuses. If Ned doesn’t want to take the time to raise money in small amounts from hundreds and thousands of people across Connecticut, that’s his business. But he’s said he still wants to adhere to the spirit of the law, and I agree. Which is why he should limit his spending to the $1.5M the rest of us will be spending if we become official candidates.”
“With a lead in name recognition in the latest Quinnipiac Poll, what’s Ned afraid of? That on a level playing field he won’t be able to compete?
“When it comes to campaign finance, Ned has thrown his lot in with Tom Foley and the Republicans. It’s unfortunate because in choosing not to participate in a program that so many state Democrats worked so hard to pass – and which he once claimed to support – Ned is dealing a blow to one of the landmark pieces of progressive legislation in Connecticut’s history. And the Citizens’ Election Program has worked: more than 80 percent of the men and women now serving in the State Capitol were elected under CEP.
“We Democrats should care more about a candidate’s merits than their money. We should care more about the depth of one’s experience, the clarity of one’s vision, the strength of one’s spine, and the compassion in one’s heart than we should about the size of one’s wallet.
“C’mon, Ned. Let’s compete on a level playing field, and may the best candidate win.”
Statement from Ned Lamont:
STATEMENT BY NED LAMONT ON TODAY’S QUINNIPIAC POLL
“Today’s poll results show that we are now the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for governor by a margin of 16 points. While it is early in this process, it is clear that Connecticut voters want an outsider who will be able to lead our state in a new direction, and that our focus on creating jobs, getting our economy back on track, and taking an entrepreneurial approach to governing is resonating with voters across the state.
“I look forward to continuing to talk to voters in every corner of our state about my vision for the state of Connecticut and how we can can get there together. I intend to make an official announcement about my plans in the coming weeks.”