InauguRELLgate scandal picks up speed

Saturday, January 06, 2007
Time: 5:58 PM

Wow, who knew the governor was so hardcore?

For those of you who need to get up to speed on the latest Gov. Rell scandal, please click here.

I can't explain how seriousness of this case is folks. Does the governor have a list of political activists and freelance journalists (i.e., bloggers) that she is monitoring? To give you an idea of how damaging this story could become for the governor, read this from today's Hartford Courant.
A Hartford police report released Friday by Krayeske says that state police had given them photographs of activists who might be "possible threats" to Rell, including Krayeske, a free-lance journalist and anti-war protester who managed the Green Party's gubernatorial campaign.


"Are there little circles of law-enforcement officers who have lists of who is naughty and who is nice?" asked Krayeske's lawyer, Norm Pattis. "What is the criteria for inclusion?"

Lt. J. Paul Vance, a spokesman for the state police, declined to comment on how Krayeske came to the attention of the state police intelligence unit or a regional police clearinghouse mentioned in the report, the Connecticut Intelligence Center.

"We share intelligence. We share information," Vance said.

Nancy Mulroy, a Hartford police spokeswoman, played down the list, saying Krayeske was arrested for his actions.

"List or no list, if you rush off a bike and start charging toward the governor during a processional parade, you are going to be arrested," Mulroy said. "In this day and age, when security is a very serious matter, you cannot expect to act like that and not have to face the consequences. Our job was to protect the governor, and we took it seriously."

But one witness to the arrest, Eliot Streim, contradicted the police account.

Streim, a Hartford lawyer who was watching the parade with a colleague, said police did not intercept Krayeske as he ran into the parade route. On the contrary, Krayeske photographed the governor without incident and was detained by police only after Rell had passed by, Streim said.
You can take a look at the photos Krayeske took as well as the timestamp on the images at his site. You can even look at the timestamp on his images as well as take a look at the police report

Something is not making sense.

Here's what WTIC talk show host and blogger Colin McEnroe had to say.
Paz's story today was very helpful, and certainly the emergence of a witness who contradicts the police version of events is a major development. I'm really kind of horrified by Nancy Mulroy's statements, which seem at best baseless and at worst a lie. They don't even square with the arrest report by her own department. There is no mention there of Krayeske "charging" at the parade. An odd thing: the police report also does not mention the fact that Krayeske took a photograph, even though they were obviously watching him the whole time. And he did take a photograph. And that would explain his riding his bike very fast to get in position and also taking a step toward the parade. (I want to know who the guy in the hat is. He's a lot more scary-looking than Krayeske is. Which probably means he's heat.)

Now, I offer some suggestions to the person in the best position to do something about this mess, Gov. M. Jodi Rell. Interrupt the calm of this weekend by calling Commissioner of Public Safety Len Boyle to your office or your home. Tell him to bring every scrap of politics-releated intel that his department has collected. Tell him to bring with him any other state police official who can shed light on this. Stay in the room with them until you have seen everything and have a solid understanding of what has been done. And then, on Monday or Tuesday, call a press conference featuring you and Boyle. Field every question. You may not be able to answer every question but don't stop taking questions about this until there aren't any more. You may not be able to comment on every aspect of Krayeske's case, but you can certainly explain to us what the State Police and Connecticut Intelligence Center have been up to in this regard and what you intend to do about it.

It's odd. We have just been through a long stretch of Connecticut history that marked us as one of the most politically corrupt states in the nation -- a reputation in stark contrast to what had come before. I thought it was over, and perhaps it is. But it would be a bitter irony indeed if we replaced that with a reputation for Nixonian surveillance and repression.

The nicest way to look at this is that our politicians have developed an effete distaste for the rough and tumble of public life in a democracy. Lieberman doesn't want bloggers talking to him, and somebody is protecting Rell from ...what? A shouted question, perhaps.
As I stated before, this story is picking up speed with various newspapers in the state as well as the AP are covering this from different angles. Comments and posts from bloggers (here, here, and here) are coming in pretty fast. Here's what Spazeboy had to say:
So not only is there an enemies list being used to detain Connecticut citizens who are known to disagree with Rell, apparently the internet postings of people on the list are being carefully monitored...unfuckingbelievable.

Genghis from CTLP has some questions...
Here's what I'd like to know: Why was Krayeske on CTIC's list? Who else is on that list? How much did the Rell Administration know about that list? Why was bond set so high?

Governor Jodi "Ma" Rell (aka the "Big Bad Biddy") on her very first day as an elected governor, has asserted her authoriTAY by putting out an "all-points bulletin" on people she deemed "security risks".

Which resulted in a man at the Governor's inaugural parade being arrested for "breach of peace" and held briefly in lieu of $75,000 bail.

It also resulted in the revelation that a branch of the state police called the "Connecticut Intelligence Center" had been provided a list with pictures of known activists to be arrested on sight if seen in the vicinity of the Governor's parade.

Aldon writes to the head of the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Andrew McDonald, about the matter:
Sen. McDonald,

I am not sure if you are aware of the issue surrounding the arrest of Ken Krayeske, a freelance journalist who was photographing the inauguration parade of Gov. M. Jodi Rell.

The arrest raises many important questions concerning our freedoms of press. Perhaps the most important are concerning the Connecticut Intelligence Center. Does the Judicial Committee conduct oversight of this center? Is the center properly protecting us from terrorism, or is it squandering resources by thwarting legitimate political dissent? Who is on the list of possible threats? Does it include other journalists or political activists? Is the list being properly reviewed by an oversight committee?

Another important issue is why was bail set excessively high? Why was he released at 1 AM? Was the fact that the inauguration ball was over make Ken some how less of a threat of not showing up for his hearing?

This entire situation is so bizzare that I'm at a loss for words. I'm frantically attempting to collect more information so stay tuned and/or check out the other sites listed in this post for more details.

UPDATE: The story has spread to The New London Day, New York Newsday, and the Boston Globe. This story WILL be frontpage news in several papers tomorrow.

UPDATE: The story has spread to The New London Day, New York Newsday, and the Boston Globe. This WILL be frontpage news tomorrow.

UPDATE 2: Story is now picking up national blogger speed as the DailyKos does a great write up on the matter.
Due to the volume of material regarding this story, local posting will be VERY light so more focus can be placed on this situation as events unfold.

Welcome those of you who came to this site by blog searching or by links from other sites. Since this blog is designed for local reporting from Danbury, I invite you to go to ConnecticutBLOG for more state news. Posts on this story will be shared between the two sites (the governor resides in Brookfield which is next to Danbury which explains the local angle).

FLASHBACK PHOTO: 9/11 Memorial

Time: 3:54 PM

(click image to enlarge)
I'm going back off the grid for a while. In the meantime, I dug this old photo from the vault...I forgot how much I love this picture.

Ah, about that protest...

Time: 1:43 PM

I wish I could have seen the look on the reporters faces when they filed this story.

Too funny...
About 18 people turned out this morning in front of The News-Times building to protest the paper for what they believe is biased reporting on immigration.
18 people folks. 18 people on a SATURDAY (a.k.a., a day in which most people HAVE THE DAY OFF).

18? Although his group was founded here in Danbury, he could only attract 18 people! Oh man, that's rich.

Good grief, I can get at least 20 people to come over my house to play poker (and that's with a two hour notice). This "protest" was just like his senate run...a joke.

Like I stated, the jury is still out on whether or not immigration will play a significant a factor in this year's election. At least these types of silly photo-ops prove that the citizens of Danbury have no love for the moron from Darien.

Hey Paulie, stick to what your good at, like babbling about stupid stuff, pulling garbage from your ass, and quoting from your idiotic "MexDonalds" report... and oh yeah, look out for those pies.

BTW: I wonder who does all the landscaping in Darien...

Okay folks, nothing to see here...everyone move along...thank you.

18 people.

NOTE: Wow, I'm sorry folks. I forgot to thank the reader who emailed me the photo. Here are two others which were sent to me that I forgot to post yesterday.

Freelance journalist arrested

Time: 10:41 AM

As I stated in my earlier post, I'm going to be posting lightly here for a while. An explosive event happened at Gov. Rell's inaugural event which has everyone up in arms. You'll probably here about this on television soon but here are the details:

This is nuts!
A freelance journalist, who has worked on political campaigns, was arrested by Hartford Police Wednesday as he took photos of Gov. M. Jodi Rell's inaugural parade in downtown Hartford.

Ken Krayeske, who worked on Green Party candidate Cliff Thornton's campaign for governor against Rell, was near the corner of Ford and Pearl Street photographing Rell's inaugural parade when, according to the police report, he was identified as a "political activist" and a threat to the governor. Krayeske was arrested and charged with breach of peace and interfering with an officer.

Norman A. Pattis, one of the state's best known criminal defense and civil rights attorney, called the charges "ridiculous." Pattis entered an appearance on Krayeske's behalf Friday in Hartford Community Court where Krayeske was arraigned and entered a “not guilty” plea.

Now the case will automatically be transferred to Hartford Superior Court. Where "we expect it will be nollied or dismissed," Pattis said.

According to the police report, plainclothes Hartford Police Officers recognized Krayeske from a photo they were given by the State Police Central Intelligence Unit that "briefed us on possible threats to Gov. Rell by a political activist."

Krayeske was working as a freelance photojournalist at the time of the arrest Wednesday. He was previously arrested in 2003 for demonstrating against the war. In 2004 Krayeske worked on Ralph Nader’s presidential campaign and in 2005 he traveled to Syria to report on the war. He has also contributed stories and photos to CTNews Junkie.

After he was in custody Wednesday, he was taken to police headquarters where he was put in an interrogation room. Hartford Police Sgt. Andrew Weaver read Krayeske his rights then attempted to interview him.

"The accused refused to be interviewed and asked for his lawyer, so he was taken to booking and charged with breach of peace and interfering with an officer," the report states. Krayeske was given an eyebrow raising $75,000 bond and taken to state lockup on Lafayette Street.

Krayeske didn't make bond, but nonetheless was released at 1 a.m. on a promise to appear in court Friday.
This is now the talk of the state among those in the media as everyone is carefully watching this story.

You can read more about the situation here, here, here, and here.

I can't recall a time where something like this happened in Connecticut and everyone is looking for answers. Krayeske is not a threat, he's a freelance journalist who worked for Cliff Thornton's campaign who was there to take pictures of the governor. This whole incident is very disturbing and will be investigated.

I'm really sorry to be kind of off the grid right now but this is a VERY serious case and it's getting stranger by the second. The AP and Hartford Courant are digging into the case while bloggers are doing what they can to provide information to the public as quickly as possible.

I encourage everyone to keep an eye out for this case.

Light postings

Friday, January 05, 2007
Time: 4:34 PM

Things are many things happening in Washington and Hartford so posting will be light for a while. I'm getting pulled into some really interesting political stuff so I'm jumping off the local grid for a sec...a brief sec.

Don't worry, I'm working on a couple of HOT local developments and I'll post my reports later.

There's a new sheriff in town...

Thursday, January 04, 2007
Time: 6:38 PM

and his name is Congressman Chris Murphy!

Mr. Taborsak goes to Hartford

Time: 8:57 AM

The Danbury News-Times has a great write-up on Joe Taborsak's swearing in as the new State Rep for the 109th. Although the entire article is worth a read, here are some highlights.
Newly elected Joe Taborsak, state representative for the 109th District, who now holds the same seat his mother, Lynn Taborsak, once held, says when he used to come to the state Capitol with his mother he always felt like a "kid in the candy store."

So being sworn in for the same seat Wednesday was exciting, the 31-year-old Danbury resident said.

"What we campaigned so hard for was the opportunity to come up here and do the people's work," Joe Taborsak, a Democrat, said. "I'm taking it in and enjoying it."

Opening day images

Time: 8:30 AM

Here are a few images from opening day at the State Capitol (via The Hartford Courant).

Police officers march in the inaugural parade.

Members of the Brookfield High School color guard wrap themselves in their flags and huddle together for warmth before the inaugural parade. Facing the camera is Karen Timmerman, 16, of Brookfield.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell greets those lining the streets for her inaugural parade through downtown Hartford.

Rep. William Tong of the 147th District looks up at family members in the visitors' gallery after taking the oath of office. Behind him are State Reps. Jack Malone of the 47th District, left, and Joseph Taborsak of the 109th District.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell is escorted down the red carpet by Major Gen. Thad Martin, the Adjutant General & Commander of the Connecticut National Guard with her husband Louis behind as they make their way to the dance floor for her first dance.

"Bob Godfrey is my detail guy"

Time: 8:20 AM

From the opening day of the State House of Represenatives, here's State Speaker James Amann praising his Deputy Speaker, Danbury's 110th State Rep. Bob Godfrey.

Gov. Rell's oath of office and inaugural speech

Time: 8:00 AM

From yesterday, here's video of Gov. Rell's oath of office and speech. Comments on her speech are still coming in from the traditional and online media. I'll give you my two cents and let you know what people are saying about the speech later.

Governor M. Jodi Rell's Inaugural Address
January 3, 2007

Ladies and gentlemen, family and friends, members of the Executive Branch, the Legislature, and the Judicial Branch. Thank you for joining Lt. Governor Fedele and me on this special occasion.

To the people of Connecticut, thank you for the honor you have bestowed upon me, in electing me to serve as your Governor. It is an honor that I hold deeply within my heart.

And to my fellow Constitutional Officers, who also begin new terms today -- Dick, Susan, Nancy and Denise -- I offer my congratulations.

This is a day of new beginnings, new promise and renewed commitment.

It is a day marked by pageantry and purpose - a day of high spirits and higher expectations.

For it is on this day that those of us honored by holding public office proudly and humbly affirm our acceptance of the public trust.

It is a trust that has been passed down by generations - indeed over three centuries.

A trust that requires us, as the guardians of government, to toil with genuineness of spirit and intention.

The people of Connecticut look to us for understanding and compassion.

They look to us for reasoned action and responsive governing. They look to us for leadership and inspiration: leadership borne of a desire to make things right, to truly make a difference...

And inspiration that flows from the purity of purpose and integrity.

As the people of Connecticut look to us, we must look within ourselves so that we never lose sight of or waver from our purpose: our sincere reason for public service.

Public service is an incredible blessing - and a burden of immense weight: a blessing of great rewards for helping those in need; and a burden of sometimes unrealistic expectations.

But it is a burden made light if we accept our challenge of leadership, mindful that we will be measured by our actions not our words, by our policies not our politics, and by the resoluteness of our commitment.

In many ways, as we begin a new year, a new administration, and a new General Assembly term, we are at a crossroads in Connecticut - a crossroads of needed economic, social, cultural and educational change. A crossroads crying out for our leadership and our inspiration.

Sometimes though, crossroads are met in personal journeys. The day I first decided to run for office - a seat in the state House of Representatives - I was at a personal crossroads.

I had been asked to run and I agonized over my decision. My children were young, my family needs were many. Candidly, I asked myself if I was up to the job of running and serving in the legislature.

I hesitated, but one day as my husband Lou and I were returning home from
a trip, we crossed the Tappan Zee Bridge. It was during the crossing of that long span that Lou convinced me that I could do it - and should do it.

And he committed to helping me, in ways large and small, so that I would do it.

I was fortunate to have someone in my life who enabled me to embrace a new opportunity, to take a new direction. Someone who stood at the crossroads with me, and in this case, who literally helped me cross the bridge to a new future.

All these years later, after serving in the state House and as Lieutenant Governor and now having taken the oath of office as Governor in my own right, I believe that we stand once again at a crossroads.

It will be up to us - those of us who hold the public trust, who share in the blessings and burdens of public service - to help the people of our state cross the bridge to a new future.

But as we stand at our crossroads, we must also recognize that there is a great yearning in our state.

A yearning for change, for improvement and also for greater equality.

And yet there is a yearning for stability for preserving the history, the tradition and the uniqueness of Connecticut. A yearning: a conflict between change and constancy.

A restlessness to address disparities, meet unmet needs and chart a new course.
Yet, a reluctance to let go of aspects of our heritage we have always known.

Yes, we are at a crossroads of great importance and inspiration. This is our call to leadership. This is our time to dream of a Connecticut that is yet to be.

For the responsibility is ours - beginning anew today – as we take the oath of office, to shape the Connecticut that we seek, but is yet to be.

The challenges we will face along our journey will be many. For change, improvement and greater equality are rarely easily won. And the deep-seated problems confronting us in education, energy, health care, taxation and job creation are not easily solved.

There will be many voices and many visions. The din of democracy,
though sweet, is often deafening.

As your Governor, I will forcefully lend my voice, freely share my vision, and help to shape a Connecticut that is yet to be.

I will seek to lead and to inspire. I will guard the public’s trust and continue to do honor to public service. And I will stand hand-in-hand with the people of Connecticut as we embrace new opportunities and take new directions.

For if we are to accomplish anything, we must work together in this time of
great change and great challenge.

And I commit myself to creating that Connecticut that is yet to be -
a Connecticut that must be - a place of opportunity where every person has the chance to chart their own course, by the integrity of their own heart.

Thank you and God bless the Great State of Connecticut.

VIDEO FLASHBACK: Fantasy vs. Reality

Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Time: 12:07 PM

Due to the popular demand, I'm going to bring back videos from the HatCityBLOG vault from time to time.

Here's a great video on the very first 5th Congressional debate between then Congresswoman Nancy Johnson and Chris Murphy. If youdidn't attend this debate, then you're in for a treat!

This video wouldn't have been possible without the help of the great Spazeboy.

After the debate, several people had something to say about Johnson's bizzare statements...

As a sidenote, Chris Murphy had a big send off party last night but due to car problems, I was unable to attend. Luckily My Left Nutmeg and Spazeboy was on the scene and came back with a message from Murphy to the online community.

Finally, one of the best newspapers in the state, The Journal Inquirer has the final figures on the money spent between the two campaigns.
In the 5th District, the longtime Republican incumbent, former Rep. Nancy L. Johnson, spent $5,010,466 - slightly more than twice as much as her successful challenger, Cheshire Democrat Christopher Murphy, who spent $2,414,769.
Just goes to show that money can't always buy you an election and further illustrates the Democrats' great grassroot campaign in the fifth district.

Opening day

Time: 11:20 AM

Connecticut politics is back to business in the State Capitol. From the opening day of the State House of Representatives and State Senate, to the inauguration of Gov. Rell, you can catch all the festivities today on CT-N.

I'll bring to you highlights from Gov Rell's speech later today.

Will (or was) immigration a factor in mayoral election?

Time: 8:52 AM

The News-Times goes out with a bang with their last series of articles on immigration focusing on health care and politics. I encourage everyone to head over to the site and give the reports a read.

I read today's immigration article on Mayor Boughton and noticed something that caught my attention. The article stated that his stance on immigration assisted Boughton's re-election win in the last election.

As someone who watched the 2005 election with interest, I'll offer my two cents and say that the mayor's win in 2005 was more due to a Democratic candidate who simply didn't campaign full-time and a Democratic Party which was bitterly divided at the time.

If you recall, more people thought Democratic Town Clerk nominee Lori Kaback was running for mayor than the actual Democratic candidate Dean Esposito simply because she campaigned harder. The Democratic nominee for mayor ran a terrible campaign and never got his message out to the public. The ineffective campaign of Esposito was mentioned on this site several times in 2005 and I went so far as to conduct several polls asking people on the street if they knew they knew who was the Democratic nominee for mayor was.

Now if you take a close look at the final numbers from 2005's election you'll notice that Kaback (a person who was RUNNING FOR TOWN CLERK) came close to beating Boughton in terms of total votes. She even beat Boughton in the second, fourth, and fifth ward (all areas where Boughton beat Esposito).

Now, I'll beat the house many people don't know the difference between Town Clerk and City Clerk yet, Kaback was able to collect the second highest number of votes and crushed her Republican challenger.

Here's the numbers from 2005. Boughton and Kaback's names are in bold.

Total 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th Abs.

*Mark D. Boughton (R) 7615 1397 759 1383 722 760 902 1142 550
Dean E. Esposito (D) 5714 854 724 989 710 724 687 757 269

*Daniel P. Jowdy (R) 6719 1321 632 1225 653 632 754 995 507
Mike McGetrick(D) 5781 835 744 1013 662 744 721 779 283

*Jean Y. Natale (R) 6124 1183 598 1061 576 624 692 899 491
Eileen S. Coladarci (D) 5921 869 716 1092 700 716 724 800 304

Joseph L. Scozzafava(R) 5414 1007 499 1021 509 499 612 815 452
*Lori A. Kaback (D) 7025 1110 873 1205 796 873 858 973 337
Robert G. Oravetz (I) 143 23 20 16 21 20 15 17 11

Total 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th Abs.

*Robert T. Riley (R) 5395 1009 524 1008 499 521 620 840 374
*Ted A. Cutsumpas (R) 5707 1051 572 1075 522 572 633 866 416
*Pauline Repko Basso (R) 6053 1131 600 1146 550 600 674 883 469
*Gregg W. Seabury (R) 6136 1129 629 1105 590 629 674 930 450
Shailesh Nagarsheth (R) 4975 1018 484 873 460 484 568 763 325
*Mary G. Saracino (R) 5438 1023 524 1037 501 524 606 802 421
*Colleen A. Stanley (R) 5487 1032 550 1014 500 550 638 804 399
Alfred E. Cipriani (D) N/A 834 676 972 667 676 675 755 319
Renata DaSilva Amaral(D) 4975 732 618 853 618 618 630 662 244
Sherri Neptune (D) 4960 711 616 851 597 616 630 684 255
Ingred A. Espinosa (D) 4884 687 575 845 733 575 632 639 198
*Lynn H. Taborsak (D) 6254 938 737 1179 711 737 726 862 364
Adolfo Pena (D) 4909 757 600 849 598 600 609 663 233
Patricia Matta-Wrobel (D) 4766 692 589 811 585 589 598 640 262
Richard J. Leinert (I) 215 23 23 33 27 23 28 33 25
Gary J. Driscoll (I) 457 63 38 87 50 38 51 71 59
John L. Dietter (I) 231 24 20 35 27 20 27 52 26
Margaret A. Dyer (I) 556 78 53 97 67 53 63 80 65
Kevin G. Nolan (I) 519 72 50 85 68 50 48 76 70
Marcia M. Ennis (I) 279 28 31 48 24 31 35 48 34

First Ward
*Louise P. McMahon (R) 1081
*Vincent P. Nolan, Jr. (R) 1207
Jack G. Gillotte (D) 918
Lawrence J. Jansons (D) 739
Second Ward
*James H. Johnson (R) N/A
*Charles J. Trombetta (R) N/A
Henrique Antonio (D) N/A
Zachary S. Rapp (D) N/A
Third Ward
*Joe Cavo (R) 1153
*Michael J. Calandrino (R) 1108
James M. Kelly (D) 1072
Donald R. Hensley (D) 876
Fourth Ward
Mary M. Cronin (R) 429
William Cortese, Jr. (R) 471
*Thomas J. Saadi (D) 909
*John J. Esposito (D) 761
Fifth Ward
Scott L. Demuth (R) 505
Linda J. Ossenfort (R) 563
*Frederick Visconti, Jr. (D) 881
*Duane E. Perkins (D) 761
Sixth Ward
Christopher A. Sanzeni(R) 617
Joel Urice (R) 637
*Paul T. Rotello (D) 770
*Benjamin Chianese (D) 727
Seventh Ward
*Mary Teicholz (R) N/A
*N. Jane Diggs (R) N/A
Ellen K. VanDyke Bell (D) N/A
Christine L. Halfar (D) N/A
Board of Education
Sandra Garcia (R) 4991
*Joel P. Garofalo (R) 5510
Walter Perkowski (R) 4787
*Eileen W. Alberts (R) 5652
Scott A. Clayton (R) 5071
*Kathleen M. Molinaro (D) 6077
*Joan W. Hodge (D) 5465
*Robert J. Taborsak (D) 6270
Catherine V. DiBuono (I) 421
Dustin A. Ziegler (I) 403
Beverly A. Nickerson (I) 442
Rudi Grolich (I) 379
Dawn Christine Nolan (I) 700
Zoning Commission
*Donald E. Kennedy (R) 5234
*Ted Farah (R) 4975
Gary A. Dufel (R) 4552
*Helen Hoffstaetter (R) 5018
Christine E. Cuhsnick (R) 4872
Patrick G. Johnston (R) 4725
*Jack H. Knapp, Jr. (R) 5184
*Robert C. Melillo (R) 5310
Kurt M. Kleis (R) 4601
Juan A. Sanchez (D) 4307
*Theodore Haddad, Jr. (D) 5543
*Anthony G. DiCaprio (D) 5367
Richard Roos, Jr. (D) 4808
*Theresa A. Buzaid (D) 5687
*Richard P. Jowdy (D) 5785
Petros K. Filippakos (I) 335
K.T. Shartouni (I) 295
Michael C. Romano (I) 575
Calvin R. Dow (I) 373
Donald W. Grandieri (I) 468
Michael F. VanTassel (I) 408
Lenore H. Scott (I) 484
George Lubus (I) 497
Winton C. Nickerson (I) 437
Zoning Comm. Alternates
Robert P. Urban (R) 4767
*Victoria A. Hickey (R) 5153
*Joseph Notaro, Jr. (R) 5321
Steven P. Miller (D) 4482
*Jean M. Anderson (D) 4858
Wilton A. Nickerson (I) 357
Ivy B. Handsman (I) 510
Gary Grandieri (I) 483
Michael Safranek (R) 4699
*Dianne C. Zielinski (R) 5057
Robert E. Zarbock (R) 4358
Francis J. Kieras (D) 4710
*Paul D. Estefan (D) 5109
*Michael J. Esposito (D) 5699
Richard J. Gillich (I) 333
Paul W. Woods (I) 486
Question 1
*Yes 3645
No 1726
Question 2
*Yes N/A
No N/A
Question 3
*Yes N/A
No N/A
Question 4
*Yes 4444
No 1346

I think based on the fact that Esposito didn't offer a credible challenge, the jury is still out on whether or not immigration played a role in the mayor's win in 2005 simply because the Democratic nominee was basically a no-show.

Now, lets jump to 2006 and the Democratic victories in the area with Chris Murphy, Bob Godfrey, and Joe Taborsak winning their races. In the congressional race, one of Republican Nancy Johnson's campaign topics, which she and the RNC used against Murphy, was illegal immigration. If you were one of the lucky person's to receive a RNC robocall (every other day), you'll recall that one of those annoying calls was an attack on Murphy's stance on immigration. Johnson was relentless on her immigration attacks on Murphy and the Congresswoman made a big deal earlier this year by meeting with groups on both sides of the immigration issue (which was noting more than a campaign photo-op).

Even with all of Johnson's campaigning on illegal immigration in the area, she still lost to Murphy on every voting machine in Danbury.

In the State Rep race, both Greg Seabury and Pauline Basso jumped on the illegal immigration bandwagon launching attack after attack against Democrats Godfrey and Taborsak. Even with all the attacks (and money poured into the race by State GOP chair George Gallo to Seabury's campaign), Taborsak and Godfrey won their races without a problem based primarily on running a positive issue-oriented campaign and knowing the concerns of the people in their district. Here's what the News-Times had to say when they endorsed the Democratic nominees

On Taborsak:
Democrat Lewis Wallace decided to retire this year after four terms serving this Danbury district that includes the Candlewood Lake area.

He will be a hard act to follow, and neither of the candidates seeking to succeed him measure up to Wallace's standard -- at least at the moment.

The Republican candidate is Gregg Seabury, a teacher at Danbury High School and a member of the Danbury Common Council. Until recently, Seabury lived in another part of Danbury and has previously run unsuccessfully for the legislature from the 110th Assembly District against state Rep. Bob Godfrey.

The Democratic candidate this year in the 109th is Joseph Taborsak. He grew up in the 109th District and is an attorney. His mother, Lynn, represented the 109th for many years.

Seabury makes a point of claiming he is more qualified for this legislative seat because he is older than Taborsak and has held elective office.

But Taborsak actually seems to know more about the district, given his long residency there. And Seabury has made several inaccurate claims about current laws pertaining to immigration and even what the Common Council is allowed to discuss, which shows a lack of preparation.

Joseph Taborsak is the better choice for the 109th District.

On Basso:
Democrat Bob Godfrey has served this district in central Danbury since 1989.

Republican Pauline Basso, a member of the Danbury Common Council, is running against him this year.

Basso is known for her constituent service on the council. But, in running for the legislature, she has made little effort to learn the legislative process.

She has made no case for replacing Godfrey.

Godfrey is a valuable asset for Danbury and the region in the legislature.

He is one of the leaders of the Democratic majority in the House, and uses that influence in a bipartisan manner to benefit his district, his city and western Connecticut.

He is a lawyer and a former employee of the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce, bringing those experiences to his work in Hartford.

Bob Godfrey has earned re-election.

Here's my interview of Godfrey and Taborsak on election night.


The Democrats won not because their stance on illegal immigration, but because of several factors centering around an effective Democratic get-out-the-vote campaign and a sense among a majority of the public that there was a need for change. Here's a video report from election night from Democratic headquarters.

Now you know the Democratic Party are looking at the results from the 2005 and 2006 elections and are drafting battleplans for a more effective mayoral campaign. In a city where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans, there is reason for the mayor to be worried if the Democrats present a credible candidate who knows the concerns of the public. WSCU political science professor offers the warning sign for those who think illegal immigration will play a significant role in this year's election.
But it likely will be voters who do not represent either extreme that will determine Boughton's political future this year, said Chris Kukk, an associate professor of political science at Western Connecticut State University.

"Boughton is riding the fence, and I don't know if (middle-of-the-road) voters sanction what he's done or what he's doing. But they know that something needs to be done, and they don't know what. They see some action being taken," Kukk said.
The election winner will be the person who really understanding the concerns of the voters and makes a connection with the public. For a three-term mayor who has a record to defend, this could be a easy or hard task and Boughton will be in for a hard fought re-election if the Democrats can get their act together (as in 2006) and provide a candidate who will put in the hard work necessary to win the race.

Off topic subject about the city to the east

Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Time: 8:13 AM

(Crosspost from ConnecticutBLOG)

After the silliness of 2005, who didn't see this coming in Waterbury.

Oh, this should be very interesting. Since Mike Jarjura won in 2005 as a write-in candidate, many pundits forcasted that Waterbury is basically up for grabs. TOday, we should hear that Democrat Paul Vance in throwing his hat into the race while Republicans State Rep. Selim Noujaim (74th) and State Rep. Anthony J. D'Amelio (71st) might jump into the circus also.

There are other people thinking about the race but since it's still pretty early in the campaign season so we'll have to wait and see what happens. If anything, it's REALLY rare to have a Republican primary as they usually get things worked out to avoid things like that while Democrats usually shed blood before a general election.

The Brass City is one of three cities to keep an eye on this year. You'll have to wait a bit until I comment about the other two (it's only January 2nd).

News-Times immigrant series continues

Time: 7:34 AM

I've enjoyed reading The News-Times four-part series on immigration so far. Without question, this is some of their best writing on this topic to date and today's stories are no exception.

In today's paper, reporter Marietta Homayonpour reports on how immigrants businesses are reviving Main Street while Elizabeth Putnam talks about whether or not hiring illegal immigrants hurt businesses and the lack of enforcing laws on contractors who hire illegals.

As I stated on numerous occasions, going after the crooked contractors who hire illegals is the only thing that makes any common sense and I'm glad Putnam tackled this subject although there is MUCH more to the subject. Although my plate is becoming full again with new stories, increased writers, and a major re-design for this site, hopefully I'll be able to follow-up on this topic (which is being overlooked) at a future date.

While I've been critical of the paper in the past (and will probably criticize the paper when needed in the future), I really hope the paper is recognized for the work they put into this series. You can tell that a lot of effort was put into these articles which is refreshing as well as informative. I encourage everyone (especially those of you who read this blog who are from out of state) to give these articles a read as it gives you a rare look into what's happening in Danbury which I haven't seen in other newspapers.

If there is only one critique (and it's a small one), I wish the paper would make a special section on the frontpage of their website and provide links to all the articles on the so people could easily read all the pieces without having to search for them. If your going to do s series, it's better to have the showcase it on the frontpage rather than providing links to the other articles from within the individual stories. It's just a simple difference between print and electronic media and a case where newspapers need to adjust the way they present information online.

We will remember

Monday, January 01, 2007
Time: 5:46 PM

This is a bit off-topic for a local blog but hell, it's a slow day...

Here's a video from the great Ava highlighting the great Republican moments from 2006.


Video highlight feedback and updates

Time: 3:57 PM

Thanks for all the positive responses to the flashback videos during the holiday week. Due to the popularity of the clips, I'll continue to bring back videos from the HatCityBLOG vault from time to time. If I knew this was going to be so popular, I would have reposted videos a long time ago.

I'm currently going through a pretty massive re-design of this site. If you know anything about CSS code, then you know that tweaking code can be a real pain in the ass. Over the next few weeks, you'll see new additions added to this site with more videos, reports from the streets, and interviews with local, state, and federal politicians. As a new feature, I'm also going to bring audio highlights to this site as I finally found a cheap server which will host my files (for cheap).

After archiving and cataloging my mountain of footage from the last three and a half years, I'll be better able to provide you with video footage which will be a great asset as we approach the city-wide election season.



Time: 2:33 PM

On a hot day in August, Ned Lamont surprised the nation with his win over three term incumbent Joe Lieberman. As one of the videobloggers on the front lines during the campaign, I was able to give people across the country a rare peek into Danbury and Connecticut which you're unable to get from the mainstream media.

Videos like the following not only changed the way people received their information, but also changed the way political campaigns operate in terms of giving bloggers the same access as the traditional media.

This first clip is a report from the Broadview School:

This next videoclip is from Lamont headquarters on Primary Night. Many of the well-known progressive bloggers from across Connecticut and the country, which are featured in the documentary "Blog Wars," make several appearances in this clip.

Also in attendance were a number of Lamont supporters from the Danbury area. The amount of work the Chris Murphy and Lamont supporters did in Danbury was nothing short but incredible with everyone working with each other for the common good.

The cooperation among the Democrats in the area reflected in a HUGE Democratic wins in November with Chris Murphy defeating Nancy Johnson ON EVERY VOTING MACHINE IN DANBURY, 109th State Rep. Democrat Joe Taborsak's win over the 107th two time 110th 109th Republican carpetbagging, illegal campaign sign posting candidate Greg Seabury, and 110th State Rep. Democrat Bob Godfrey's win over Republican Pauline Basso whose negative campaigning resulted in less than 1,000 votes.

This was truly a special moment in Connecticut and national politics as Lamont's Primary win made it okay for Democrats to FINALLY talk about the war without the fear of being called unpatriotic. Although Lamont lost to Lieberman in November, his primary challenge and the excitement which was generated by his campaign contributed to on of the biggest upsets in Connecticut political history.

As a sidenote, during the month of August, the combined traffic of ConnecticutBLOG and HatCityBLOG reached aprox. 115,000-120,000 hits with a majority of the traffic occurring during Primary day coverage. It's fair to say that bloggers in Connecticut set the course in terms of following campaigns as you'll see when the Presidential campaigns get into gear.

Happy New Year

Time: 10:59 AM

It's 2007? Oh, I'm getting old. Happy New Year!

First Night update

Sunday, December 31, 2006
Time: 7:14 PM

As a follow-up to my post on the cancellation of First Night in the city, Channel 8 filed a report on First Night festivals across the state. Interviewing various mayors and event organizers on the increasing popularity of family-themed First Night festivals, the report ended with a note on the disappointing situation in Danbury.

As I stated in a earlier post, it's a real shame that First Night was canceled. My wife and I ALWAYS had a great time walking up and down Main Street going from one event to another as well as the parents who enjoyed taking their children out on the town. If you're a parent who went to previous First Night festivals, you know what I'm talking about.

Since this event was on life-support for the last couple of years, the leaders in Danbury should have put their heads together and worked the situation out. It's not like no one knew what the problems were: 1.) lack of volunteers and 2.) a lack of funding.

Since the reasons for the cancellation are based on the same reasons the event was almost canceled in previous years, everyone at City Hall had plenty of time to work out the kinks and get everything worked out. In other words, the cancellation didn't have to happen.

With the popularity among families with other city events such as this summer's Taste of Danbury, there should have been a stronger effort made to make First Night a reality (if my figures are correct, based on Channel 8's report, Danbury had the second longest running First Night (next to Hartford). In the end, it's the families and children who enjoyed the day activities on Main Street and at the ice rink who lose out and that's a real shame.

DANBURY FESTIVAL ROUNDUP: The Santo Cristo edition

Time: 12:17 PM

If there is one thing I LOVE about Danbury, it's gotta be the city's great festivals. Every year, I try to attend as many ethnic festivals as possible and I had an amazing time at each one of them this year. Unfortunately, because of the 2006 campaign season, I was unable to post any of my file footage from the festivals (sorry). Now that the elections are over, I have time to bring everyone up to speed and give people who are rading this site from outside Hat City a peek into Danbury's 2006 festival season.

Kicking things off is footage from the 2006 Santo Cristo Festival which was held back in May. For those who don't know about this famous Portuguese festival, you can find a bit of information on the subject by clicking here.

Pictures from this and other festivals will be available in a special section of this site coming soon.

Gov. Rell's healthcare plan getting trashed online

Time: 11:51 AM

Oh man, this is ugly.

While the online community is ripping Gov Rell's healthcare proposal to shreds, The Hartford Courant published a piece which also notes the numerous flaws in the governor's plan.
A key issue is that the plan would require relatively high deductibles, some high co-pays, and other cost-sharing by consumers. As a result, people with serious health problems could spend more than $2,000 a year on medical bills - on top of the premiums they would pay.

"It doesn't appear to be providing any sort of universal health care coverage," said Beverly Brakeman, director of the labor and community coalition called Citizens for Economic Opportunity. She's glad Rell is "belatedly entering the debate," but she says not everyone can afford $250 monthly premiums.

Michael Starkowski, deputy commissioner of the state Department of Social Services, said the state is striving to keep premiums "reasonable" while protecting benefits, in hopes of attracting enough healthy consumers to make the program viable.

If only sick people bought the Charter Oak policies, claims would be higher than expected and premiums wouldn't be as affordable, he said.

The other out-of-pocket costs for buyers, such as a $1,000 annual per-person deductible, would help keep the premiums down, state officials say.

But the plan is expensive and "as it's presented, doesn't get us where we need to go because there's no investment by the state," said Senate President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn, adding he's glad Rell is talking about health care.

Also, the $1,000 deductible and high co-pays "are not going to encourage people to seek medical treatment unless they're experiencing severe problems," Williams said.
And this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Trust me, as we approach 2007, this proposal will be torn apart from every angle. I can't tell you how many emails I've received on this subject from readers and activists and I'll start to roll out the objections to Rell's proposal later in the week.

This whole archiving and cataloguing my database thing is insane and is consuming most of my time right now and since it's the holiday, I'm putting a semi-hold on any reporting right now.

Youtube honors

Time: 10:44 AM

What a nice way to end the year.

I'm currently ranked 90th in most viewed directors videos for one day on Youtube and its not even noon yet.

Thanks to all my readers! Being ranked 90th out of the thousands upon thousands of directors who post videos on Youtube is a great honor.

All hail People-Powered Media!

Moved up the charts to number 64 in most viewed director videos for today. Wow, going out with a bang!

News-Times starts immigration series

Time: 8:20 AM

As Editor Eric Conrad promised, the News-Times has bugen their series of articles on the role immigration plays in Danbury. The first part of the series deals with the role multilingual churches play in the immigrant community and it's worth a read.

As a side note, The News-Times also rolled out an article on the history of immigration in Danbury which I also recommend.

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The Mercurial (RIP)
Danbury News Times
Danbury Patch
Danbury Hamlet Hub
Danbury Daily Voice
Tribuna Newspaper
CT News Junkie
CT Capitol Report

10.03.18 (PDF):
"Approval of Danbury Prospect Charter School"

10.30.20 (HatCityBLOG VID): Charter School discussion during 2020 interview with Julie Kushner

2018 (RADIO): WLAD
"State Board of Ed signs off on Danbury charter school proposal"

08.20 (VID): CT-LEAD
"Stand up for Education Justice" Rally

08.20.20 (OP-ED): KUSHNER: "Charter schools are not ‘magic bullet’ to improving Danbury schools"

09.13.20 (OP-ED): CHAPMAN
Candidate for state Senate supports charter school for Danbury

01.15.21 (VID): CT-LEAD
Danbury Prospect Charter School press conference

03.19.21 (OP-ED): CT MIRROR
"Danbury leaders do not want a charter school"

04.01.21 (OP-ED): CT-LEAD:
"Why did Sen. Kushner vote against us?"

05.06.21 (VID): Danbury rally to fully fund public schools

10.07.21 (VID): Danbury City-Wide PTO "Meet the Candidates" education forum

10.07.21 NEWSTIMES
Danbury candidates quarrel over charter school, education funding

01.10.22 NEWSTIMES
"New operator named for Danbury charter school: ‘I’m a huge advocate for parent choice’"

01.10.22 NEWSTIMES
"Some Danbury Democrats ‘open minded’ about charter school after new, CT operator named"

01.21.22 (OP-ED): CT MIRROR
"Lessons from Danbury: Ending the dual process for charter school approval"

02.09.22 NEWSTIMES
"Proposed Danbury charter school won’t open in 2022, governor leaves funding out of budget"

02.18.22 NEWSTIMES:
Danbury residents plead for charter school funds in 9-hour state budget hearing: ‘Just exhausted’

03.05.22 (LTE):
Time has come for Danbury charter school

03.12.22 (OP-ED): TAYLOR
"Why I am excited about the Danbury Charter School"

03.16.22 (LTE):
"Why a Danbury Charter School?"

04.02.22 CT EXAMINER:
"Crowding and a Lack of Options for Danbury Students, But No Agreement on Solutions"

04.04.22 (OP-ED): DCS
"Danbury Charter School plans debut"

04.07.22 (PODCAST): (CEA)

04.18.22 (VID): CT-LEAD
Protest press conference

04.25.22 (RADIO): WSHU
Latino group call on Connecticut lawmakers to open a Danbury charter school

06.03.22 (OP-ED): KUSHNER:
"Career Academy ‘a great deal for Danbury"

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.



Danbury Area Coalition for the Rights of Immigrants v.
U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security
3:06-cv-01992-RNC ( D. Conn. )

(02.25.08) Court docket

(10.24.07) Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Emergency Motion for Protective Order

(09.26.07) Press Release

(12.14.06) Complaint

Barrera v. Boughton, No. 07-01436
(D. Conn. filed Sept. 26, 2007)

(02.25.08) Court Docket

Amended complaint

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss State Law Claims

Plaintiffs' Opposition to Motion to Dismiss

Order on Motion to Dismiss

Defendants' Answer to Amended Complaint

NEW HAVEN REGISTER: Immigrant's 2006 arrest was flawed Danbury mayor testifies

(10.05.07 (VIDEO) Boughton mislead the public about Danbury's involvement in raid

(09.18.07) Yale Law Students expose Danbury involvement in raid

(12.14.06) VIDEO: Interview with Yale Law Students at FOI presser

(12.14.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 FOI complaint media roundup

City Clerk Jean Natale standing next to skinhead sparks outrage

(10.03.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 rally

(09.29.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 case deepens

Word of raid spread across the country

(09/29/06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 protest news conference

(09/29/06) Immigrant newspaper "El Canillita" gives best account of ICE day labor raid at Kennedy Park

trans_button Santos Family Story
VIDEO: Tereza Pereira's ordeal with ICE agents

VIDEO: Danbury Peace Coalition Immigration Forum (April 2006)
featuring Mayor Boughton and Immigration attorney Philip Berns

VIDEO: 2007 Stop the Raids immigration forum at WCSU

2007: Community protest anti-immigration forum

A tribute to Hispanic Center Director and immigrant activist Maria Cinta Lowe



11.15.23 Recanvass return
(Head Moderator Return Format)

11.07.23: Election night returns
(Head Moderator Return Format)

11.07.23: Initial returns

Oct 10 2022
Jan 10 2023
Apr 10 2023
Jul 10 2023
Oct 10 2023

Apr 10 2023
Jul 10 2023
Oct 10 2023

Dem/GOP slate/ballot position

VIDEO: DRTC convention
VIDEO: DDTC conveniton


(VID) DDTC nomination convention
(PDF) DDTC campaign slate flyer

(VID) DRTC nomination convention
(PDF) DRTC campaign slate flyer

(VID) 2021 Danbury City-Wide PTO educational forum

First quarter
Alves Apr 10th SEEC filing

Second quarter
Alves Jul 10th SEEC filing
Esposito Jul 10th SEEC filing

Third quarter
Alves Oct 12th SEEC report
Esposito Oct 12th SEEC report

Alves "Jan 6th" attack mailer 10.21.21
Esposito "you can't trust Alves" attack mailer 10.20.21
Alves mailer 10.20.21
Alves mailer 09.30.21
Esposito mailer 09.28.21
Alves mailer 09.27.21
Esposito mailer 09.27.21


Danbury 2005 election results
Newstimes Dean Esposito profile (10.25.05)

Danbury 2007 election results
(VID) Helana Abrantes TV ad
(VID) BRT tax deferral presser
(VID) Helena Abrantes "Community Forum" interview

Danbury 2009 election results
(VID) 2009 Danbury City-Wide PTO educational forum
(VID) 2009 Danbury Chamber of Commerce mayoral debate
(VID) 2009 DDTC nomination convention

Danbury 2011 election results
(VID) Saadi/Nero campaign kickoff

Danbury 2013 election results
(VID) 2013 DDTC nominaiton convention

Danbury 2015 election results

Danbury 2017 election results
(VID) Al Almeida concession speech
(VID) 2017 Danbury City-Wide PTO educational forum
(VID) Al Almeida nomination acceptance speech

Danbury 2019 election results
(VID) 2019 NewsTimes Editorial Board interview with Mark Boughton and Chris Setaro
(VID) 2019 Danbury City-Wide PTO educational forum
(VID) 2019 Danbury Chamber of Commerce mayoral debate
(VID) 2019 convention endorsement speeches from Mark Boughton and Chris Setaro