Update: Ned Lamont officially declared his candidacy for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination today. From the Lamont campaign:
NED LAMONT ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR GOVERNOR
Calls for “a Connecticut that gets back on offense, invests in our future, expands businesses, creates jobs and puts people back to work.”
HARTFORD, CT — Ned Lamont, successful businessman and Democratic nominee for US Senate in 2006, officially announced his candidacy for Governor this morning in front of family, friends, and supporters gathered at the Old State House in Hartford.
“I see many friends here today who were right here with me in 2006. We stood up and challenged the political establishment, challenged the conventional wisdom–and we made a difference,” Lamont said in remarks prepared for delivery Tuesday morning.
Lamont stressed his business experience and his ability to bring together Connecticut’s business and labor interests to create jobs and spur much needed economic growth.
Speaking to his experience in business, education, and local government, Lamont positioned himself as a successful business executive who can change the way that Hartford operates, stopping the partisan gridlock and focusing on the problems that face the working families of Connecticut–creating good paying jobs, harnessing the state’s educational resources, and bringing growth industries to the state.
“I want to be the governor of a growth state. Politicians spend their lives trying to figure out how to divide up the economic pie into pieces–I’ve spent my life expanding the economic pie. And for twenty years, the economic pie here in Connecticut has been shrinking.”
Read Ned Lamont’s full prepared remarks here: tinyurl.com/LamontAnnouncement
February 16, 2010 – Former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy, potential candidate for Governor, today responded to Ned Lamont’s formal announcement of his candidacy for Governor:
“The contrast between us couldn’t be any sharper, or the choice more clear. I spent 14 years creating thousands of jobs, balancing budgets, making government more efficient, expanding access to health care, lowering crime rates, building affordable housing, investing in clean energy, and improving transportation systems – without ever losing sight of where I came from or the obstacles I’ve overcome to get here.
“Ned seems to think his millions of dollars and his background as a cable executive are why Democrats should choose him over me. I think he’s wrong. I think Democrats want a nominee who has the right kind of experience for the job.”
Hot time on Monday’s webzine in more ways than one. What to do with developer Sal DiNardo’s property, former Remington Arms plant on the East Side that caught fire (again) the other day.
Look, if the city called Donald Trump, Steve Wynn, Bill Gates or General Electric and said we’ll give you this property, ya know what they’d say? No, thank you. Why? Because the clean-up is at least $5 million, a lot more if you want to make it residential. Fact is, the city has a number of properties occupied by the homeless that are vulnerable to the same kind of fires. Guys go in there to stay warm and the next thing you know place is an inferno. Yes, DiNardo must do a better job sealing off the place.
Full disclosure: DiNardo hired me two years ago to produce a media campaign in an effort to shine up his image. Sal is like a sneaker. Hard to shine a sneaker. I wrote and produced a radio and cable campaign called the Best of Bridgeport attaching his business to Bridgeport destination points, and promoting his development now home to United Rentals. Sal scouts properties few others want to develop in the hope he can buy them cheap, fix them and rent or flip them for a profit. Sometimes he absorbs a tax liability. Sometimes he seeks a tax break from the city. And sometimes he ends up his own worst enemy.
What is one of the few private sector developments to occur in the city the past few years? The Housatonic Avenue property owned by DiNardo now occupied by United Rentals. DiNardo spent millions of his own money cleaning a portion of the old Bridgeport Brass, received a tax break from the city, and now Bridgeport actually has a tax generator.
It’s easy to say take the property in court. The city can do that for back taxes. Okay, what does the city do with it? Nothing. Why? Nobody wants it. Better to say look Sal, we don’t expect you to transform this place overnight, but at least start taking portions of it down, bit by bit. That East Side site has been a shithole for years, no doubt. Show us some good will and maybe we can talk.
Governors From Bridgeport
town committee, aka Andy Fardy, has raised a good question the past few days: who was the last governor from Bridgeport? He offered the question in the context of a potential gubernatorial bid by former Republican Congressman Christopher Shays, former Bridgeport resident who has placed a deposit on a condo in Black Rock. Will Shays run for governor? Expect a decision within the next week or so.
Bridgeport has had two residents to serve as governor. The first, Robert Hurley, was the state’s first Roman Catholic governor from 1941-43 who studied engineering at Lehigh University and was appointed the state’s first Public Works Commissioner by Democratic Governor Wilbur Cross in 1937. Construction of the Merritt Parkway had become bogged down in alleged real estate schemes involving state employees. Hurley issued a report detailing improprieties both in land schemes and construction of the suburban parkway.
Hurley leveraged his oversight standing as a candidate for governor and defeated Republican Raymond Baldwin of Stratford. Hurley served one two-year term (it’s now a four-year term) and was defeated by Baldwin in the next election. He left public politics after he again lost the gubernatorial election two years later. He lived his final 30 years in West Hartford.
The second governor from Bridgeport, James Shannon, was actively involved in local politics. He studied law at Yale. His grandfather Patrick Coughlin had been elected a Democratic mayor in 1888. Coughlin appeared in one of P.T. Barnum’s most famous photographs when Barnum tested the strength of the Stratford Avenue Bridge by parading a dozen or so elephants onto the new steel structure. In 1946 Shannon was recruited to run as lieutenant governor on the Republican ticket headed by James McConaughy who died a little more than a year after his inauguration. Shannon became governor and served for 10 months. He sought reelection for a full term but was defeated by Democrat Chester Bowles. He later served on both the Connecticut Superior Court and Supreme Court. He died in 1980.
The last Bridgeport pol to serve as either governor or lieutenant governor was Sam Tedesco who served for three years as lieutenant governor while he also was the city’s chief executive. Sam was a Democrat who defeated Socialist Mayor Jasper McLevy in 1957 snapping Jasper’s 24-year run as mayor. Tedesco did not seek reelection for mayor in 1966 and took a position on the state bench.
From Merrick Alpert:
MERRICK TO DEBATE ATTORNEY GENERAL RICHARD BLUMENTHAL
WTIC Fox61 and The Hartford Courant bring you the first televised debate of the 2010 United States Senate race – between Democratic candidates, Merrick Alpert and Richard Blumenthal.
Hosted at the Lincoln Theater on the campus of the University of Hartford, the debate will be open to the public, and will be aired live on Fox61. A press pool will be provided – technical requirements to follow.
Among the topics to be discussed are the economy, health care, and foreign policy.
Date/Time: Monday, March 1, 2010 @ 7:00pm
Location: Lincoln Theater at the University of Hartford, in West Hartford, CT 06117
Merrick Alpert is a Democratic candidate for the United States Senate. He was recently featured on the evening news with WVIT-NBC Channel 30 and on WNPR’s Where We Live with John Dankosky; and in The Day, the Mystic River Press, and the Hartford Courant.