Morning Update: Hey, I’ve just returned from four days in Pinehurst, NC where Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of Seaside Park, created a New England Village in the south.
It’s a mighty fine place to chase golf balls and pamper yourself in a world-class spa. I posted the past few days from my trusty notepad while I was away, although I really wasn’t away if I posted, was I? I think the 11-hour drive home has turned my brains (what’s left of them) to spaghetti. So I’m playing a little catch-up.
I see Mayor Bill Finch and Steel Point developer Robert Christoph signed the deal designed to overhaul 52 acres into a treasure trove of housing, stores, hotels and other stuff. Let’s hope this time it works. I also note that State Senator Anthony Musto has a Republican opponent and Mark Smith didn’t waste any time poking Anthony for supporting Governor Rell’s juvenile detention center for girls (that Anthony retracted after neighborhood opposition) on the Upper East Side. (See Smith’s letter below.)
Just when you thought Senator Chris Dodd’s standing among the electorate was improving he slips back. Not good for the senior center. All announced GOP candidates run well against him. See Q Poll release below.
Former Connecticut Congressman Rob Simmons has an early lead in the Republican primary race for the 2010 U.S. Senate contest and runs better than any other challenger against Sen. Christopher Dodd, topping the Democratic incumbent 49 – 38 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
Former World Wrestling Entertainment executive Linda McMahon gets 43 percent to Sen. Dodd’s 41 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.
Even potential Republican contenders with almost no name recognition and almost no Republican primary voter support give Dodd a run for his money.
Simmons leads a Republican primary matchup with 28 percent, followed by McMahon with 17 percent. No other contender tops 9 percent and 36 percent are undecided.
Connecticut voters disapprove 54 – 40 percent of the job Dodd is doing, compared to a 49 – 43 percent disapproval September 17, and say 53 – 39 percent that he does not deserve reelection.
“After inching up in the polls for months, Sen. Christopher Dodd is sliding back down again on job approval. He continues to struggle with independent voters as 60 percent disapprove of the way he is handling his job. President Barack Obama is still popular with independents, but voters say that his support of Dodd won’t affect their Senate vote,” said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, PhD.
“Healthcare is an issue that should work for Sen. Dodd. Voters who tell us it’s the most important issue side with him. But voters who care most about the economy say the Republican candidate will be better able to deal with it. If the economy worsens, this will hurt Dodd.”
If McMahon spends millions of her own dollars to be elected U.S. Senator, 61 percent of voters say that means she is free of pressure from lobbyists and other special interests, while 29 percent say this gives her an unfair advantage and looks like she is buying the election.
Connecticut voters say 34 – 25 percent, with 41 percent undecided, that McMahon does not have the right kind of experience to be a U.S. Senator.
In an open-ended question, allowing for any answer, 33 percent of Connecticut voters say the economy is the most important issue in the 2010 Senate race, with another 30 percent who cite health care. No other issue tops 5 percent.
Dodd gets a negative 42 – 49 percent favorability from voters. Simmons gets a positive 40 – 10 percent favorability, with 49 percent who don’t know enough about him to form an opinion. For McMahon, 66 percent don’t know enough about her to form an opinion.
For other Republican contenders, the “don’t know enough” score is 74 percent or higher.
“Linda McMahon made a big splash into the race two months ago and finishes second in the primary to Rob Simmons. She tops Dodd by a couple of points, but it appears that more than 40 percent of voters would vote for anybody but Dodd at this point,” Dr. Schwartz added.
Sen. Joseph Lieberman
By a 51 – 25 percent margin, Connecticut voters say Sen. Joseph Lieberman’s views on issues are closer to the Republican Party than to the Democratic Party. There is agreement on this among voters in all parties.
Voters approve 49 – 44 percent of the job Lieberman is doing. He gets 74 – 20 percent approval from Republicans and 52 – 40 percent approval from independent voters, but Democrats disapprove 62 – 31 percent.
Voters say 64 – 29 percent that Democrats should not strip Lieberman of his committee chairmanship if he joins Republicans in a filibuster against the Democrats’ health care reform.
Connecticut voters approve 58 – 35 percent of the job President Barack Obama is doing, but they disapprove 48 – 45 percent of the way he is handling health care.
Congressman Jim Himes visited Bridgeport today. I wonder if Town Committee checked this out:
Himes to Hold Health Care Q&A at Fireside Apartments
Theme: What does health reform mean for me?
BRIDGEPORT, CT—Last weekend, Congressman Himes helped pass the Affordable Health Care for America Act, the most substantial health care reform our country has seen in a generation. He will hold a meeting at Fireside Apartments in Bridgeport to answer questions about how health care reform will affect individuals and families.
Key topics will include:
· Medicare: This bill strengthens Medicare and makes prescription drugs more affordable.
· Young people: New provisions allow young people to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 27.
· Pre-existing conditions: This legislation bans insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
· Rescission: This legislation prohibits insurance companies from taking away your health insurance if you get sick.
WHO: Congressman Jim Himes
WHAT: Health Care Q&A: What does health reform mean for me?
WHEN: Thursday, November 12 10:00 am
Fireside Apartments Community Room
730 Palisade Ave
Walk The Walk
Welcome to Bridgeport David Walker.
The new Black Rock resident who purchased former Congressman Christopher Shay’s waterfront jewel wrote in a letter to the Connecticut Post that he almost didn’t buy it because of the $31,000 price tag for city property taxes. That would be enough the scare the Ben Franklins off just about anyone. (If you missed his letter, you can see it here: 09.11.10 CT Post Letter.)
Walker, president of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation in New York and former comptroller general of the United States (the nation’s chief accountant), also expressed his lament for the lack of information packet for new residents.
Well this got me thinking (always a dangerous thing), what goodies should be included in a Welcome Wagon basket?
Let’s start with a shameless self promotion: a copy of my book Only In Bridgeport. Trouble is I’m down to a few copies, maybe this will provide some incentive to get off my lazy butt and update it for a new edition.
Passes to Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo; The Barnum Museum as well. Maybe the owners of the Bluefish can cast a few tix into the basket. How about the business community stepping up to spread the wealth with some Bridgeport Bucks certificates for downtown eateries: Épernay, Joseph’s Steakhouse, Café Roma, Two Boots, Ralph ‘n’ Rich’s and a bunch more.
A friend of mine suggested a voter registration card. Sounds good to me. If I’m Republican Town Chair Marc Delmonico who’s flock is outnumbered (what it is 8 to 1?), I’d be all over that.
Wait a minute, how about including 10,000 absentee ballots in the welcome basket?
Oh I know, how about a delicious meal at Testo’s owned by that venerable Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa who can enlighten the new resident with a discourse in donkey politics Bridgeport style? My my that would be some education.
How about a tour of the Upper East Side, where Governor Jodi Rell wants to place a new detention center for girls, given by State Rep. Chris Caruso. Davd Walker noted in his letter that the city must work on building the grand list of taxable property. Maybe he can persuade the governor to stick the tax-exempt prison in her hometown of Brookfield.
Okay boys and girls, let me hear your suggestions. By the way, who’s David Walker? 60 Minutes did a piece on him not long ago. Check this out:
News release from Mayor Finch
Citywide Leaf Pickup to Begin Nov. 16
The City of Bridgeport’s Public Facilities Department will begin picking up leaves throughout the entire City beginning Monday, Nov. 16, 2009, weather permitting. New this year: residents are asked to rake leaves into the grassy area between the sidewalk and curb for pick up.
Leaf collection will continue through December 11, 2009. After that time, the City will continue to pick up leaves in brown recyclable bags, placed at the curb on the regular recycling day. Bundled branches, no more than four feet in length, also can be placed at the curb for pick up on recycling day.
The City does not accept plastic bags during leaf pickup. Plastic bags and other containers of leaves may be taken to the Asylum Street Transfer Station during normal operating hours. The Transfer Station is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 12 noon.
For more information, call 576-7124 or 576-7751.
Mark Smith To Challenge Anthony Musto
From: Mark E Smith
Subject: A run for CT. State Senate in 2010
Date: Tuesday, November 10, 2009, 2:39 PM
Over the past two years as a member of the Trumbull Board of Finance, many of you have come to know me as a strong fiscal conservative during this difficult economic climate. However, over the past few years I come to recognize that our town hall and Hartford run solely by the Democrats have not worked with the taxpayers of Connecticut in mind while in this deep recession. Their “tax and spend” policy has laden us with much debt and a great hole for which to dig out of. It is this type of mismanagement of our tax dollars that got me involved in local politics for the first time on the Trumbull Board of Finance.
While on the Board of Finance, it became evident to me the negative economic impact that the Democrats in Hartford bestows upon our town. Over the past two years, and especially this past year, the Democratic controlled State Legislature and Senate have lost their way and have created a state that is going bankrupt, creating massive debt, chasing out companies and raising more taxes. As a financial professional I see continued financial and economic hardships for years to come because of our economic climate and this financial mismanagement. The Democrats are incorrectly thinking that the economy will come back soon and new revenues will save our budget. I know that they are wrong, and the taxpayers are going to be hurt by this.
This is why I am asking for your support to become the next Republican nominee for State Senator for the 22nd district next November.
This is a position that two years ago was not even in my vocabulary and now I believe a very important job that needs the right person in it. I believe that I am well qualified and motivated for this office and will truly work in the best interest of the citizens of Connecticut and this district. As a former U.S. Marine I have the discipline to do the hard work necessary to make the hard decisions. I have the integrity to my constituents to do what is best for them and not the special interests in Hartford.
My agenda is simple:
· Attract business and jobs back to Connecticut and to this district
· Cut wasteful government spending
· Cut middle class usage taxes such as licenses fees and gas taxes
· Cut and stop unfunded mandates
· Bring our budget back in balance
· Make our state’s Education leaders more accountable
· Tax incentive programs for businesses that invest in Connecticut
In order for this economy to grow again we need to do two things; one is create more jobs in the private sector, and the other is help home values increase. Home values will not increase without more jobs for both blue and white collar workers. Urban economic centers need to be established and companies need to be attracted there with various incentives around investing and hiring locally.
The Democrats, in the worst economy in seventy years still could not make any tangible cuts, and in some cases raised expenses and taxes while many taxpayers lost their jobs and their homes. This past year they would rather put the $900 million deficit on the state credit card that you will have to pay for in the future. How has that helped the people of our state in such economic times?
The state of Connecticut is the largest employer, at the same time the state is broke, with the rainy day fund gone and the unemployment insurance fund gone how can we function on a state job economy?
We need to bring back to Connecticut good paying private jobs in High Tech, Health care, Trades, Finance and other blue and white collar industries now. Right now the businesses fees and taxes are prohibitive to just about any type of business growth in this state and that has to change. Last year 9,200 businesses either left the state or closed completely. We need to get business growing again; we need to give them incentives to invest in Connecticut and its people. This can be done with various tax incentives programs as well as loan guarantees for small and mid-sized companies.
In the case of Bridgeport, I don’t think adding a women’s prison is going to bring new jobs nor make the area attractive for business. We need good paying skilled and unskilled jobs for everyone so that they too can have greater opportunities in the future. We need to attract people back to our retail and commercial areas with viable attractive venues and shops, not prisons.
In education we spend hundreds of millions of dollars on education yet we are still failing in many areas while the rest of the world is passing us by. How will our children compete on the world stage when we are lacking in the basics of math and science? We owe it to our children, parents and taxpayers to make sure that children are getting the necessary support for their success. I believe that every child should have the opportunity for higher education after high school, this is why we need to make sure as much money and resources goes to their education.
I believe that every education system in the state who is receiving 50% or more of their budget from the state should have a financial and operation forensic audit conducted every five years. We need to make sure that the investment in education goes to the children in the classroom and not to bureaucrats.
In these difficult economic times we need better. We need more responsible people representing us in Hartford. These are just a few things I want to accomplish as your State Senator, with your support we can achieve it.
I am asking you for your support so that we can make Connecticut a state where people and business want to come back to.