Okay, everyone, this is your chance to throw cannoli at your favorite politician. I’m looking forward to Sunday’s Columbus Day parade, sponsored by the Council of Italian-American Societies. The green, white and red, the marine band, the Shriners (the guys in the those crazy little cars), manicotti, sfogliatelle, espresso and sambuca. Careful, not too much.
It starts at 1 p.m. at Wayne and Jewett and heads over to Madison Avenue where you’ll find me. Look for the guy mixing the ricotta and chocolate chips. All the great and near-great pols are expected to be there: Chris Caruso, Lenny Paoletta, Johnny Fabs, Anthony Musto, Rob Russo, Christopher Shays, Jimmy Himes, Bill Finch.
I understand Joel “Speedy” Gonzalez, GOP candidate for state representative, will be there handing out absentee ballots. Could Ralph Mojica and Eze Santiago be far behind? Tony Soprano will be there to calculate ballots. Let the counting begin.
Is it possible that Al Franken could become a United States senator? The latest poll at www.rasmussenreports.com has the comic leading Republican incumbent Norm Coleman in Minnesota by a few points. And you thought the Senate was a joke.
What’s your take on the sewage that John McCain’s dumping on Barack? We’ll find out in the next day or two if it’s working. McCain will probably stick with this for a few more days. If polling shows it working, he’ll continue it. If not, he’ll abandon it. Wouldn’t it be nice if he talked a little about the economy?
Same-sex couples in Connecticut won the right to marry today in a historic ruling by the state Supreme Court. What say you?
Ya think Mayor Bill Finch feels that the city’s departing top cop Bryan Norwood threw him under the bus?
The two were brothers in arms, doing battle against department overtime abuses, plotting police layoffs and enduring hostility from rank-and-file members. Then, after a relatively short time on the job, Norwood says sayonara Bird Man, I’m flapping my wings right outta here. I don’t need this crap.
Can’t blame Norwood for taking the Richmond job. More pay, bigger department, closer to his folks. Norwood was smiling for the Richmond media before he even provided Finch a final courtesy about his departure. Yup, every man for himself. So much for brotherhood.
So, what’s the mayor to do now? He’s got choices to appoint an acting chief while starting a process for a national search. Two of the deputy chiefs are slated for layoff in a couple of weeks, but the mayor says he could reverse that. Captain Lynn Kerwin is also a possibility. I know Lynn a little bit. Having a woman as top cop for a while in a paramilitary organization would be fun.
Appointment of city police chief is part of the J. Edgar Hoover rule passed by voters in a charter revision 19 years ago. The rule allows the mayor to grant no more than two five-year contracts. (FBI director has a fixed 10-year term.) Voters passed the regulation following the long police rule of top cop Joseph A. Walsh. Under the Civil Service structure of the times the top cop could stay forever, with no mayoral appointment. No more. The mayor now can pick from the top finalists.
Thomas Sweeney, appointed by then Mayor Mary Moran in 1990, was the first chief appointed under the current system.
Each ensuing chief (outside of acting positions) did not come from inside the department. What say you? Should Finch select the next termed chief from within the department?
Press release from SEEC following
Joe Borges’ ACORN complaint
State Elections Enforcement Commission Statement concerning inquiries regarding alleged fraudulent registrations
HARTFORD, CT – October 10, 2008 – Jeffrey B. Garfield, Executive Director and General Counsel of the State Elections Enforcement Commission, announced today that the agency has received numerous inquiries from Connecticut citizens concerning allegations of fraudulent registrations, questioning what is being done, and what can be done to protect the integrity of our voter rolls and election process in advance of this important federal presidential election.
The Commission views allegations of voter fraud very seriously, and will pursue criminal prosecutions, by referral to the Connecticut Chief State’s Attorney or U.S. Department of Justice, as the evidence so warrants.
First, the Commission can confirm that it has received a complaint from the Bridgeport Registrar of Voters concerning numerous alleged irregularities. While the Commission cannot comment further on a pending investigation, receipt of a complaint is an important indication that the process is working. The Registrars of Voters receive and process voter registration applications, and are the first line of defense in detecting a fraudulent registration. The public should take solace in the fact that Registrars of Voters are detecting such applications and bringing them to the attention of the Commission.
Secondly, if Registrars of Voters determine that there is an infirmity in the application, the application is not approved. This is also a sign that the process is working.
Third, if a new registration is approved, pursuant to the federal Help America Vote Act, such voter is required to present identification prior to voting. A new voter is similarly required to present a photocopy of his or her identification prior to voting by absentee ballot. Infirmities not detected in the registration process should be detected at this level by the polling place officials and election workers. If a new voter fails to present the required identification, he or she may execute a provisional ballot, which would be counted only when confirmation of the voter’s status is accomplished. The State Elections Enforcement Commission can receive and determine complaints under the Help America Vote Act.
The Commission reminds people that those accused of any violation of law have a right to due process, and an investigation will be conducted and completed before any formal action can be taken against any person or entity, if the same is warranted. In the meantime, we encourage vigilance on the part of local Registrars of Voters, and polling place workers on Election Day, who act as our local eyes and ears. There are checks, balances and procedures in place, which thus far are operating to detect registrations that should not be processed.