Grab your scorecards and truth serum.
Tonight in Hartford the Connecticut Convention Center transforms into a political gossip factory for the annual Jefferson Jackson Bailey moolah grab where 1400 great and near-great party regulars hold court about all things political, including the state convention next month.
What’s going on with SuBy? Who will end up as lieutenant governor running mates for guber leaders Ned Lamont and Dan Malloy? Who’s dropping out? What kind of a deal will Bridgeport Dem Party Chair Mario Testa cut for a ticket spot for a bud? Who’s in? Who’s out? “Save some of your delegates for me!” The gossip flows, the paranoia follows and the blackmail photos delight guys like me.
United States Senator Mark Warner of Virginia who grew up in Vernon, Connecticut will deliver the keynote address. It will also mark Chris Dodd’s last dinner hurrah before heading into political retirement (we think).
Anyone catch this “No Bidding? No Kidding” campaign by the Connecticut Daily Newspapers Association? Newspaper chiefs are inked up about a legislative proposal to remove bidding notices from newspapers in favor of government-run websites.
“Bidding notices like public notices are an important tool in assuring an informed citizenry,” argue newspaper publishers. “They have helped develop America into a participatory democracy for hundreds of years and where it counts the most: how your tax dollars are spent, how policy is made and how our futures are chartered.” Yes, yes and Yes.
The media campaign doesn’t tell you the real reason for concern. Millions of dollars in lost revenue. “Newspapers are your watchdogs. Don’t let that role be changed.” Translation: the world has changed, the print business is dying, this is one step closer to a final print funeral.
This is an economic argument, not this phony baloney “fox in charge of the hen house” spin. If newspaper publishers are so concerned about the public impact of losing bidding notices, they can run them for free. I love newspapers, they’ve been good to me, hope they stick around forever, although they seem to be heading the way of the 8-track player. But the publishing hounds are spinning no less than the pols they profess to police. If it’s an economic argument, make that part of the campaign message. This means more revenue loss for us which means more jobs lost. This bill will have a major negative economic impact on the state, yadda, yadda.
Would be nice to practice the pontification.
Budget Meetings This Week
The City Council’s Budget and Appropriations Committee has several key sessions this week to review department budgets such as City Attorney tonight, finance, budget making and chief administrative office on Wednesday, economic development on Thursday and Fire Department on Friday. All meetings will take place 6 p.m. at the Wheeler Rooms, first floor City Hall.
The budget sessions, led by co-chairs Bob Curwen and Angel DePara, will last for several weeks before a committee vote on the budget and then action by the full council. The budget then goes back to Mayor Bill Finch who has strong veto power. This budget cycle is definitely a work in progress. The city needs millions in employee givebacks to balance the mayor’s proposed budget.