Are the people who helped Lori Kaback win big in November now attempting to take over the Democratic Town Committee?
According to numerous sources, that is exactly what is happening right now.
Ah, fighting within the Democratic party! Well, anyone who knows Danbury politics knows that this is nothing new. The Democrats are well-known for their in-fighting and backstabbing (insert your Board of Education reference here) but now it seems like things within the party are finally reaching a boiling point.
Rival slates will challenge party-endorsed nominees in the city's First and Second wards. The slates, submitted Thursday, indicate a power struggle for Danbury's Democratic Party leadership.
"It's Jimmetta and Joe" against the established leadership, said Town Committee Chairman Bernie Gallo, referring to Common Council Clerk Jimmetta Samaha and former Danbury Democratic chairman Joe Walkovich. "It's a power struggle."
The struggle stems from Democratic losses at the polls in recent years. Danbury traditionally has been a Democratic stronghold, but Republican Mayor Mark Boughton has won three terms and the GOP controls the Common Council.
Samaha and Walkovich are among those Democrats who have had some recent success. After losing their Democratic Town Committee seats in 2002, they helped campaign for Democrat Lori Kaback, who unseated Republican Town Clerk Joe Scozzafava on Nov. 8.
Samaha and Walkovich managed Election Day strategy from Danbury Metal Finishing's headquarters on West Street, not from Democratic Party headquarters on Main Street.
Warren Levy, president of Danbury Metal Finishing and a former Common Council president, is running on a rival slate for a First Ward seat on the town committee. If Levy's slate wins, Gallo is off the town committee. "They've been waiting to take a shot at me. We'll give it a battle, and see who wins," Gallo said.
Levy said taking Gallo out isn't about personalities.
"It's about winning," said Levy, referring to the three consecutive losing mayoral campaigns for the Democrats. "They had ample opportunity to fulfill their duty. They didn't show their stuff."
"I'm not happy with the present leadership of the party," said former Common Council member Paul McAllister, who is running on the Second Ward rival slate.
McAllister said this race isn't about Samaha or Gallo.
"It's not about animosities from the past. It's not about personalities. It's about your ability to lead," McAllister said. "It's time to do something new."
We'll keep a close eye on what happens but for now, it seems like the all hell is going to break loose.
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On September 26, 2007, ten plaintiffs filed suit in response to an arrest of aday laborers at a public park in Danbury, Connecticut. Plaintiffs amended their complaint on November 26, 2007.
The amended complaint states that plaintiffs sought to remedy the continued discriminatory and unauthorized enforcement of federal immigration laws against the Latino residents of the City of Danbury by Danbury's mayor and its police department.
Plaintiffs allege that the arrests violated their Fourth Amendment rights and the Connecticut Constitution because defendants conducted the arrests without valid warrants, in the absence of exigent circumstances, and without probable cause to believe that plaintiffs were engaged in unlawful activity. In addition, plaintiffs allege that defendants improperly stopped, detained, investigated, searched and arrested plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also allege that defendants violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights when they intentionally targeted plaintiffs, and arrested and detained them on the basis of their race, ethnicity and perceived national origin. Plaintiffs raise First Amendment, Due Process and tort claims.
Plaintiffs request declaratory relief, damages and attorneys fees.