Say what you want about Susan Bysiewicz, she’s relentless. The day before a state judge cleared the way for Secretary of the State Bysiewicz to run for state attorney general she visited Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa in his Madison Avenue restaurant to schmooze support.
SuBy is trying to tighten up her delegate support among Park City Dems against her chief rival former State Senate Majority Leader George Jepsen who has pockets of support in the city. SuBy was emboldened by the superior court decision the other day, but George will be there to poke her: will you commit to serve out your four years as AG if you’re so elected? Answer: never say yes, never say never; I am SuBy, shameless self promoter and don’t ever challenge my motives!
Translation: I want Joe Lieberman’s U.S. Senate seat in 2012.
Dem Storm Clouds
Democratic gubernatorial contenders Ned Lamont and Dan Malloy received good news in the latest www.rasmussenreports.com poll against leading GOP contenders, but Stan Greenberg, prolific Democratic pollster, has distributed a memo sounding a huge storm warning for November. Dems nationally are in trouble with unaffiliated voters and seniors and could fall prey to voter lethargy among its base. Check out a portion of Greenberg’s memo:
How to Survive 2010
A Year-Long Project Tracking the Participation and Preference Among the Rising American Electorate
Democrats need to make substantial political progress in the next six months. The basic problem is math. Currently independent voters prefer Republicans over Democrats by two to one in congressional trial heats. Other groups, such as blue collar whites and white seniors are similarly lopsided in their preferences. More competitive margins are possible with these groups, but that could come too late, and there are more immediate places to make up the numbers.
Good places to start are among unmarried women, young people and people of color. Voters we call the Rising American Electorate (RAE), who make up the majority of the voting age population in the country and voters who drove progressive victories in 2006 and 2008. They remain supportive but not nearly in the same numbers. They can help rescue Democrats from a very forgettable electoral cycle in 2010. Unmarried women alone make up 25 percent of the population and can have the biggest impact.
This joint project by Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund and Democracy Corps highlights distinct opportunities among these voters, but also core problems that need real attention and major political investments to make right.
Voters in the Rising American Electorate are less engaged than other voters. Historically, these voters typically drop out of off-year elections in greater than average numbers. This survey continues to show a turn out problem, which we have tracked all year among these voters.
Rell At UB Graduation
Governor M. Jodi Rell received an honorary degree from the University of Bridgeport at Commencement ceremonies on May 8.
Governor Rell opened the 100th graduation ceremony with greetings to graduates and their families. She received a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.
One of the most popular governors in state history, Rell became Connecticut’s 87th governor in 2004 after John Rowland’s resignation. She was overwhelmingly elected to a full term on November 7, 2006.
University Trustee Mark Fries ’73 received the Distinguished Alumni Award.
Alumnus Shintaro Akatsu ’88 was given the Colin “Ben” Gunn Award for Philanthropy.
New Top Prosecutor
David Fein has been confirmed as U.S. attorney for Connecticut, the state’s chief federal law enforcement officer. One decision Fein could be involved in, if it hasn’t been made already, is deciding whether to pursue federal charges against Shelton Mayor Marc Lauretti who the feds have investigated for many years. The case against Lauretti is thin. Shelton developer James Botti has been convicted on tax charges and trying to influence development decisions in Shelton, but a federal jury was hung on the Lauretti-related charges the government brought against Botti. From Ed Mahony, Hartford Courant:
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday confirmed President Barack Obama’s nomination of David B. Fein, former White House lawyer and federal prosecutor, as Connecticut’s next U.S. attorney.
Fein, whose appointment was widely expected, was confirmed by the full Senate on a voice vote.
It was unclear when Fein would take over the duties of the state’s senior federal law enforcement officer. He could not be reached early Wednesday night following the vote.
Fein, of Greenwich, has been a partner in the law firm of Wiggin and Dana since 1997 and was one of four potential nominees proposed to the White House by U.S. Sens. Christopher Dodd and Joseph Lieberman.
As U.S. attorney, he will supervise a staff of lawyers who prosecute federal crimes and represent the federal government’s interests in Connecticut.
Fein, 49, was an associate White House counsel during President Bill Clinton’s administration. Clinton supported his appointment as Connecticut’s chief federal prosecutor.
He replaces U.S. Attorney Nora Dannehy. Dannehy was named to the position on an interim basis when her predecessor, Kevin O’Connor, took a senior administrative position in the U.S. Department of Justice under the administration of President George W. Bush.
At Wiggin and Dana, Fein is chairman of the firm’s white-collar defense, investigations and corporate compliance group. He represents clients in criminal investigations, leads investigations for corporate clients and advises clients on corporate compliance matters.
Two years ago, Fein defended an executive of the health care retailer CVS Caremark who was charged with 23 felonies in an alleged scheme to bribe a Rhode Island state senator. The executive was acquitted after a monthlong trial at federal district court in Rhode Island.
Immediately before joining Wiggin and Dana, Fein worked in the White House counsel’s office from 1995 to 1996, and was involved in Clinton administration anti-crime initiatives and policies on victims’ rights and tobacco use by children.
From 1989 to 1995, he was an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Hey, the mayor loves grilled sardines, anchovy on his pizza, and a strong martini (can you blame him)? Check this out:
Bridgeport Launches Restaurant and Entertainment Week, May 17-23
Bridgeport is proud to announce the first annual “What’s Cooking in Bridgeport” week from May 17 to May 23, 2010. What’s Cooking in Bridgeport is a week long event showcasing the unique range of dining and entertainment options across the Park City. Throughout the week, 35 restaurants and 6 entertainment venues are offering special promotions, providing a great opportunity for people across the region to enjoy food and fun in Connecticut’s largest city. From 2-for-1 prices to free appetizer, drink and dessert specials, What’s Cooking in Bridgeport has something for everyone.
“What’s Cooking in Bridgeport is an opportunity for everyone in Fairfield County and beyond to discover and enjoy all the wonderful restaurant and entertainment venues Bridgeport has to offer,” said Mayor Bill Finch.
Participating restaurants include Amici Miei Café, Angelo’s Restaurant, Ash Creek Saloon, Beverly Pizza House, Brennan’s Shebeen, Café Roma, Café Tavolini, Captain’s Pizza House, El Agave, El Latino Restaurant, Épernay Bistro, The Field, Frankie’s Diner, The Grand Deli, Jerry’s Shakespeare Pizza #2, Jimmy and Maria’s Corporate Deli, Joseph’s Steakhouse, Luigi’s Italian Pastry, Metric Bar & Grill, Panda Chinese Restaurant, Park Luncheonette, People’s Choice Restaurant, Ralph ‘n’ Rich’s, Ramirez Restaurant, Taberna Food and Wine Bar, Taco Loco, Take Time Café, Tatane Restaurant, Testo’s Restaurant, Tiago’s Restaurant and Bar, Tuscany Ristorante, Two Boots of Bridgeport, Uncle Tricky’s Drive-In and Vazzy’s Brick Oven Restaurant.
Participating entertainment venues include The Barnum Museum, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, The Discovery Museum, Downtown Cabaret Theatre, The Klein Memorial Auditorium and Playhouse on the Green.
What’s Cooking in Bridgeport is a collaboration between members of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council’s Leadership Greater Bridgeport program and the City of Bridgeport. Sponsors include TD Bank, The United Illuminating Company, and Greater Bridgeport Transit.
To take advantage of What’s Cooking in Bridgeport specials and track updates on participating restaurants and venues online, visit www.facebook.com/pages/Bridgeport-CT/Whats-Cooking-in-Bridgeport/287627640737 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Dan Malloy:
MALLOY LOOKS BACK ON LEGISLATIVE SESSION
Says Connecticut ‘can’t keep running from its problems’
Former Stamford Mayor and current Democratic candidate for Governor Dan Malloy today released the following statement at the close of the Legislative session:
“These are difficult times. With Connecticut’s budget so far into the red, it’s no secret that expectations were lowered heading into this Legislative session. However, even during tough times we need to expect more than what we got. Once again, the State has put off making tough decisions, choosing instead to delay our problems one more year.
“The budget dominated this session, and rightfully so. The final product was not what most people wanted, even those who voted in favor of it. There are some good aspects – we did not completely decimate the critical social services relied upon by our state’s most needy, it appears we’ve managed to alleviate some of the electric rate burden on consumers, and the Governor’s misguided attempts at another Early Retirement Program were thwarted. However, the budget failed to address the severe structural problems we face or the projected $3 billion deficit for 2011-2012 fiscal years. Instead, it relies on quick fixes – such as once again raiding the state employees’ pension fund – that do nothing but put off our problems until after the next Governor is sworn in.
“In addition to the budget, I was also disappointed that the Legislature failed to take up paid sick leave legislation. As I said numerous times throughout the session, this isn’t just about workers’ rights, it’s about public health. As Governor, I would pursue this issue.
“One highlight that our Legislators should be applauded for was the energy bill. This legislation will help make Connecticut more energy efficient, it will encourage advancement in green technology, and it will reduce air pollution and green house gasses. It’s the kind of bold, forward-thinking initiatives we need to be taking, and it’s my hope that the Governor signs it into law.
“Another positive development was the Legislature’s decision to allow for a special session in the coming months to make any necessary changes to the Citizens’ Election Fund. In doing so, they’ve made clear their intention to protect this program, and to support clean elections in Connecticut. It’s crucial that we show our support for CEP with action, and not just words – the Legislature did just that.
“Like most sessions, we have to take the good with the bad. Some will tell you that during trying times we need to buckle down and ‘just get by.’ I disagree. I think that now more than ever Connecticut residents see what is broken in our Government, and they’re ready to make bold changes for the future. We shouldn’t let anyone tell us it’s not possible.”