Connecticut Congressional delegation: Jan. 2009

Saturday, March 08, 2008
Time: 4:37 PM

(Left to Right): Rep. Chris Murphy, Jim Himes, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Rep. Joe Courtney, Rep. John Larson

Now that's more like it.

For those in the 4th district, don't worry help is on the way as Jim Himes will deliver Chris Shays his long overdue pink slip.

HatCityBLOG EXCLUSIVE FLASHBACK: In her own words...

Friday, March 07, 2008
Time: 8:25 PM

BREAKING NEWS: Pereira wins! Pereira wins!!!!!
A federal judge ruled in favor of the defendant and has stopped deportation proceedings against a Danbury family.

The judge said that deporting Tereza Pereira and Carlos Lima would result in an exceptional hardship on their two American-born sons, one of which is an honor student at Danbury High School.

"Thank God it's over, now we can return to peace," Pereira said immediately after the decision.

About a dozen supporters of Pereira and Lima were in the court room. The room erupted in cheers when the judge ruled in favor of the defendant.
Congratulations to the Pereira family! This post is bump to the top in your honor!

UPDATE: The News-Times Eugene Driscoll did a complete write-up on the case, which can be viewed by clicking here.

This week's edition of the Tribuna includes a follow-up on the case of Tereza Pereira. For those who are not familiar with the story, I strongly encourage you to read Emanuela Lima's piece.

UPDATE: I forgot to recommend that you should read about the Pereira case in the Connecticut Law Tribune, which is noted in the Tribuna's piece.

As a compliment to the portion of the article that describes Pereira speaking about her ordeal with ICE agents at an immigration forum last year, from the HatCityBLOG archives, here's the actual video footage of Pereira's speech.

Posted Originally on Feb. 27 2007.

You read what happened, now you can watch Tereza Pereira describe her ordeal with ICE agents to the audience at Sunday's Stop the Raids forum.

Hi-res format PLEASE SAVE FILE ON HARDDRIVE BEFORE VIEWING: (41.5.meg quicktime).

The rebuttal

Time: 5:35 PM

Following the passage of the ICE ACCESS program, one of the most disgraceful acts from Mayor Boughton, the Republican majority, and the anti-immigrant zombies is the charge that ethnic newspapers and those who were against the implementation of ICE ACCESS spread misinformation and caused the fear in the immigrant community.

The last honest man in Danbury went WAY out of his way to single out Comunidade News of this silly charge.
Meanwhile, the mayor has said the truth about the ICE program is being lost amid hysteria.

"A lot of this hysteria -- and it really is hysteria -- is being generated by the ethnic press that has spread misinformation and by other people who have political points to gain," Boughton said, pointing to Comunidade News specifically.

For now, I'm going to leave the off-hand comment regarding "those who have political points to gain" alone as we all know who he's talking about. For a politician who's known more for his vagueness and his political slight-of-hand, for him to accuse opponents of his anti-immigrant policies or the ethnic media of spreading misinformation could not go unchallenged.

In giving everyone a sneak peek at a scene from my soon-to-be released television show, I caught up with Breno De Mata of Comunidade News and gave him the opportunity to respond to the mayor's accusations.

Wait till you see the full story...

Transfer station is dead in the water

Time: 8:47 AM

Planning commission public hearing on transfer station, 01.30.08
Photo by ctblogger.

If the last planning commission meeting is any indication of things to come, then Joe Putnam's dream of a transfer station is about to be crushed.

Sorry that I couldn't attend the meeting (maybe Danbury Live recorded it) but the News-Times reported on the latest meeting of the planning commission and it wasn't pretty.
If comments from a planning commission meeting are any indication, an application to build a transfer station on Plumtrees Road will be rejected.

"There wasn't one positive thing said in there. How can they pass it?" said Dick Mann, one of just three members of the public who attended a planning commission meeting Wednesday about the transfer station.


Planning commission members Helen Hoffstaetter, Kenneth Keller and Edward Manuel all said the transfer station does not fit into the character of the surrounding neighborhood and they were concerned about odors, noise and truck traffic the transfer station could generate.

Only planning commission member Fil Cerminara had something remotely positive to say about the application.

Cerminara said that while the transfer station could increase traffic, the area had once been home to a city dump and an emmissions testing center. He also said odors are already a problem in the area, due to the city's wastewater treatment plant. However, his fellow planning commission members said they weren't obligated to add to the problems.

"We don't want to make a bad situation worse," said Keller, referring to existing traffic problems on Plumtrees Road.

Common sense and opposition from the public prevails over irresponsible development.

The issue is O-V-E-R-D-E-V-E-L-O-P-M-E-N-T. The answer is to F-I-G-H-T B-A-C-K and that's exactly what the person in the following video clip did when she stood up to Putnam.


Chris Murphy on NRCC's hitlist

Thursday, March 06, 2008
Time: 6:14 PM

Well, well, well...this would explain those push polling phone calls as well as the pollster who's going around to immigrant businesses questioning them about Congressman Murphy and immigration.
The National Republican Congressional Committee is targeting 23 Democratic incumbents, including several freshmen, and one open seat, according a memo obtained by Roll Call that was prepared by the NRCC for a March 5 briefing to political action committee officials.


The memo includes a write-up of the Republican candidates running in each of the targeted seats - all GOP candidates are included if there is a contested primary - as well as a short description of the Democratic incumbent.

"There are multiple pickup opportunities for our Republican challengers in the fall," NRCC spokesman Ken Spain said, when asked to comment on the memo. "With [a Congressional] approval rating hovering around a record low, Democrats sitting in Republican-leaning districts will have a hard time defending their abysmal record of tax hikes and runaway spending in a presidential election year."

According to the memo, the targeted Democratic incumbents are:

Rep. Harry Mitchell in Arizona's 5th district and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona's 8th; Rep. Jerry McNerney in California's 11th; Rep. Christopher Murphy in Connecticut's 5th; Rep. Tim Mahoney in Florida's 16th; Rep. Jim Marshall in Georgia's 8th; Rep. Melissa Bean in Illinois' 8th; Rep. Baron Hill in Indiana's 9th; Rep. Nancy Boyda in Kansas' 2nd and Rep. Dennis Moore in Kansas' 3rd; Rep. John Yarmuth in Kentucky's 3rd; Rep. Tim Walz in Minnesota's 1st; Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in New Hampshire's 1st and Rep. Paul Hodes in New Hampshire's 2nd; Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand in New York's 20th; Rep. Michael Arcuri in New York's 24th; Rep. Jason Altmire in Pennsylvania's 4t, Rep. Patrick Murphy in Pennsylvania's 8th, Rep. Christopher Carney in Pennsylvania's 10th and Rep. Paul Kanjorski in Pennsylvania's 11th; Rep. Nick Lampson in Texas' 22nd and Rep. Ciro Rodriguez in Texas' 23rd; and Rep. Steve Kagen in Wisconsin's 8th.
Now, Chris Murphy losing this election to Tony Nania or David Cappiello is about as remote as Ron Paul becoming President. The awesome CGG gave her thoughts on the GOP's rationale...
What's really going on here? The NRCC is banking on Republican hatred of Chris Murphy. They have no realistic shot at winning the seat back. The only reason Murphy's name (and I suspect this is also true of a few others) is on the memo is to help the NRCC raise some much needed cash from their base.

Follow the money trail: The Boughton files 2001-2008

Time: 4:51 PM

"We get thousands of checks from thousands of people and we just wouldn't have any way of knowing something like that is happening."

Mayor Boughton's response to his acceptance of James Galante alleged bundled campaign contributions

UPDATE: Some of the links to Boughton's PAC reports are no longer good. I'll fix the links later this weekend.

Phew, that was a lot of work

Okay, I think I'm finally finished. If I'm correct, this should be a complete listing of every single one of Mayor Mark Boughton's campaign finance statements. Now I could be missing one or two but I think this is everything.

A big round of thanks foes out to all the people who help make this report a reality. It wasn't easy hunting down all of these reports (trust me) but now that everything is out in the open, we can finally get to the details.

Download the files and let me know if you see anything that raises your eyebrow. As the Fairfield County noted, we already found some rather interesting donations from April 2003 that look oddly a lot like Galante's bundled donations that were given to the mayor's PAC in October 2003. Our final analysis entitled "The money trail report", will highlight several interesting items including:
• Democratic town committee members who donated to Boughton's campaign,

• An family-owned immigrant newspaper that has donated (along with immediate family members) over 600 dollars in in-kind advertising contributions in late 2005 (NOTE: although the in-kind advertising contribution was received on 10.10.05, Boughton's campaign did not disclose the contribution until after the election against then Democratic mayoral candidate Dean Esposito on 01.10.06). The same business donated over 1,400 to Boughton during the 2007 campaign cycle (including 1,100 after the ICE ACCESS program was introduced in during the October Common Council meeting),

• Massive contributions from developers (including the infamous Dan Bertram of BRT) and finally

• Contribution from the main players who contributed to the worst episode in the history of Danbury: The James Dyer scandal of the 1980s.

Let's work together to expose the ugly truth. Enough reading...get to WORK!

Boughton's PACs (pdf format)

People over Politics PAC

YEAR 2002


YEAR 2003

YEAR 2004

YEAR 2005

Mayor Mark's 21 Century PAC

YEAR 2006
2006a (07.10.06)
2006b (10.10.06)
2006c (11.02.06)

YEAR 2007
2007a (01.12.07)
2007b (04.10.07)
2007c (07.10.07)
2007d (10.10.07)

Boughton SEEC Form 20 Campaign Finance Statements (pdf format)

YEAR 2001

Statement: Termination Report
Date filed: 06.28.01, Period Covered: 04.23.01-06.28.01)

Statement: 2nd Thurs July 2001
Date filed: 07.12.01, Period Covered: 06.28.01-07.12.01)

Statement: 2nd Thurs Oct 2001
Date filed: 10.11.01, Period Covered: 07.13.01-10.04.01)

Statement: 7 days proceeding 2001 election
Date filed: 10.29.01, Period Covered: 10.05.01-10.23.01)

Statement: Within 45 days following election
Date filed: 12.21.01, Period Covered: 10.24.01-12.14.01)

YEAR 2002

Statement: 90 day report (Election 11.06.01)
Date filed: 02.04.02, Period Covered: 12.15.01-02.04.02)

Statement:Termination Report (2001 campaign)
Date filed: 05.07.02, Period Covered: 02.05.02-05.07.02

YEAR 2003

Statement: 2nd Thurs. month April 20th
Date filed: 04.10.03, Period Covered: 01.02.03-04.03.03

Statement: 2nd Thurs. month July 20th
Date filed: 07.07.03, Period Covered: 04.10.03-06.30.03

Statement: 2nd Thurs. month July 20th (Amendment #1 to 07.07.03 report)
Date filed: 07.09.03, Period Covered: 04.10.03-06.30.03

Statement: 2nd Thurs. month July 20th (Amendment #2 to 07.07.03 report)
Date filed: 08.17.05, Period Covered: 04.10.03-06.30.03

Date filed: 10.07.03, Period Covered: 07.01.03-09.30.03 (aprox.)

Statement: 7 days proceeding Election: Nov 4, 2003
Date filed: 10.28.03, Period Covered: 10.01.03-10.21.03 (aprox.)

YEAR 2004

Statement: Termination Report (2003 Campaign)
Date filed: 02.09.04, Period Covered: 01.01.04-02.31.04

YEAR 2005

Statement: April 7th Filing Date
Date filed: 04.07.05, Period Covered: 01.01.05-03.31.05

Statement: July 7th Filing Date
Date filed: 07.07.05, Period Covered: 04.01.05-06.30.05

Statement: Oct 7th Filing Date
Date filed: 10.07.05, Period Covered: 07.01.05-09.30.05

Statement: Oct 7th Filing Date
Date filed: 10.07.05, Period Covered: 07.01.05-09.30.05

Statement: 7 day proceeding report
Date filed: 11.01.05, Period Covered: 10.01.05-10.26.05

YEAR 2006

Statement: Jan 10 2006 report
Date filed: 01.10.06, Period Covered: 10.27.05-12.31.05

Statement: Deficit report
Date filed: 08.07.06, Period Covered: 12.31.05-07.31.06

Statement: Termination report
Date filed: 12.07.06, Period Covered: 07.31.06-11.30.06

YEAR 2007

Statement: January 10 Filing
Date filed: 01.10.07, Period Covered: 11.27.06-12.31.06

Statement: April 10 Filing
Date filed: 04.10.07, Period Covered: 01.01.07-03.31.07

Statement: July 10 Filing
Date filed: 07.05.07, Period Covered: 04.01.07-06.30.07

Statement: October 10 Filing
Date filed: 10.10.07, Period Covered: 07.01.07-09.30.07

Statement: 7th day preceding election report
Date filed: 10.27.07, Period Covered: 10.01.07-10.23.07

YEAR 2008

Statement: January 10th 2008 Report
Date filed: 01.10.08, Period Covered: 10.24.07-12.31.07

HatCityBLOG EXCLUSIVE: Sex offender ad-hoc committee

Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Time: 4:34 PM

As promised, from AUGUST, here is the low-res version of the one time the sex offender ad-hoc committee met in 2007.

The TV-quality hi-res version is available for download by clicking here (VEOH-TV required).

As the approach the next ad-hoc committee meeting, I'll comment on several topics that came about in the committee that should raise alarm bells and make you wonder why this ordinance was passed in it's current form.

NOTE: The following video is raw and unedited.

March Common Council recap

Time: 7:56 AM

March 4, 2008

The meeting will be called to order at 7:30 P.M.



McMahon, Nagarsheth, Johnson, Trombetta, Calandrino, Perkins, Visconti, Chianese, Esposito, Saadi, Cavo, Rotello, Diggs, Teicholz, Arconti, Curran, Knapp, Levy, Riley, Seabury, Stanley

________________PRESENT _______________ABSENT


MINUTES - Minutes of the Common Council Meeting held February 6, 2007


1 – COMMUNICATION - Appointments to the Danbury Museum and Historical Society
2 – COMMUNICATION - Amendment to Ordinances –Illegally Parked Motor Vehicles
3 – COMMUNICATION - Donations to the Department of Elderly Services
4 – COMMUNICATION - Sewer Survey – Butternut Lane
5 – RESOLUTION - WIC – Budget Amendment
6 – RESOLUTION - Danbury Youth Services
7 – RESOLUTION - Still River Greenway
8 – REPORT - Water Extension – 102 Federal Road and Starr Road
9 – REPORT - Water Extension – 22 Shelter Rock Lane
10 – REPORT - Governmental Entities Review Board
11 – EXECUTIVE SESSION - Open Space Acquisition
12 – EXECUTIVE SESSION - Grenier Property
13 - EXECUTIVE SESSION - Metcalf and Eddy
14 – DEPARTMENT REPORTS – Police, Fire, Health-Housing & Welfare, Dream Homes, Elderly Services, Public Works, Unit, Library, Economic Development, Permit Center

Taborsak appointed to the Joint Committee of Judiciary

Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Time: 4:28 PM

Today, it was announced that State Representative Joe Taborsak has been appointment to the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Judiciary. The 2nd year representative of the 109th district issued the following press release regarding his appointment.
Today, State Representative Joe Taborsak (D-109) announced his appointment to the Connecticut General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Judiciary. With broad jurisdiction on all matters relating to the Judicial Department, the Department of Correction and to the commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, the committee is expected to be very active throughout the remainder of the current legislative session.

“I’m absolutely thrilled about the opportunity to serve on this important committee,” remarked Representative Taborsak. “With so many issues before the committee that will impact our community directly, I look forward to weighing in on the debate. I am particularly interested in making sure that criminal justice reforms currently being proposed are firm but also effective.”

Among the proposals the Judiciary Committee will be addressing over the coming months will be possible changes to laws regarding Connecticut’s parole system.

“Bar none our first responsibility is to protect Connecticut families from violent offenders. But we would be foolish if we also did not recognize our need for increased re-entry services, such as half-way housing, substance abuse counseling and job placement help. Study after study shows that these post-release services are critical to reducing recidivism rates and therefore reducing crime” said Taborsak.
Taborsak knew that following in the footsteps of former State Rep. Lew Wallace would be no small task but he's achieved a great deal in his short time in Hartford that would make Wallace proud.

In his first year in office, Taborsak made open government and fighting for the rights of residents versus developers his top priority. His crowning achievement in his first year in office resulted by Taborsak listening to his residents who were upset with the Terrywile land swap deal of late 2006. From the outpouring of complaints, Taborsak drafted House Bill 5729, which requires municipal governments to give public notification of any sale, lease or transfer of property. To the delight of residents who lived by Terrywile Park, this long-overdue bill was approved by the State House and Senate and signed into law by Gov. Rell.

Not to be outdone, this year Taborsak, along with Minority Leader Tom Saadi, have been extremely active in terms of standing on the side of residents who are are in opposition to the creation of a transfer station at Plumtrees Road, which is currently in the hands of the Planning Commission. He's also doing what former State Rep Lew Wallace did best...staying in touch with his constituents.

This appointment to the Joint Committee of Judiciary is another feather in Taborsak's young political hat and is well deserved.

UPDATE: In case you missed it, from Feb 13th episode of Community Forum, here's an interview with Rep. Taborsak.

Follow the money trail: The presidential primary edition

Monday, March 03, 2008
Time: 3:16 PM

As we approach the Presidential election, with the help of the crew at The Huffington Post, I'm going to make it really easy for everyone to find out who in Danbury is donating to the presidential candidates.

All you want to know is one click away and I'll provide a easy to access link to the donor list in the links section of the site. Here's the Democratic and Republican breakdown.
$70,665 was given by people who identified their city as "Danbury".
$26,005 from 27 people to Republicans
$44,660 from 40 people to Democrats

What's wrong with this photograph

Time: 12:41 PM

Blind Brook Park exposes a problem with the sex offender ordinance.
Blind Brook Park, 02.28.08. Photo by ctblogger

Can you tell what's wrong with this photo (click to enlarge)?

This is a photograph of Blind Brook Park in the city's 6th ward. Now, I posted this photo to bring attention one of the several problems with the city's sex offender ordinance in it's current condition.

Blind Brook Park is one locations where, current sex offender ordinance, child predators are barred from entering. Under the established city ordinance, each child safety zone is required to have a sign in plain sight alerting parents and police that offenders are barred from entering the location. There's only one problem...there's no sign at Blind Brook Park alerting residents that the park is a child safety zone.

Now as I parent, I have a problem with this for obvious reasons as this type of nonsense can lead to uncertainty and confusion. Is this place off limits? If it is, after a year and two months of the passage of the ordinance, where is the sign?

I brought this problem to the attention of Mayor Boughton at last week's town hall meeting and to his credit, he stated that he would look into that particular issue (NOTE: I'll post the video from my encounter with the mayor at the town hall meeting at a later date). Unfortunately, that doesn't negate the underling concern regarding several concerns regarding the ordinance, which were brought up by several council members who attempted to address flaws within the law back in December of 2006.

A year and two months after the ordinance was adopted and one of the popular small neighborhood parks (which is less than a 1/2 mile from City Hall) goes unnoticed is clearly unacceptable for the parents in that section of town.

Trust me, this is the least of the city's concerns when it comes to the flaws in this ordinance which has been in place for over a year. The longer these flaws exist, the longer this current administration will be criticized by those on the council and in the community who wonder why this ordinance was rushed to passage (flaws included) in the first place.

The Charter Revision Commission would be wise to learn from the past

Time: 10:56 AM

For those who are unaware, right now one of the most important documents in Danbury is going through a makeover process.

Many consider the city of Danbury charter the city's constitution and is basically the set of rules in which the city's government is suppose to follow (in theory anyway).

Every once in a while, a mayor will create a charter revision committee to take a look at the charter and propose revisions. This is due in large part because like the constitution, the city charter is a living document that needs to be updated for Danbury's changing landscape.

This bring us to this tidbit about a topic that's been a thorn in the side for decades...the position of City Clerk. During the portion of the charter revision commission where the public could offer their input, several people came forward and requested the the position of City Clerk be eliminated.

I found it ironic that most of the rationale behind the elimination of this useless position was echoed 21 years ago when the charter was under revision consideration.

The News-Times editorial, June 8 1987:

Portion boxed in blues reads as the following:
If the council members are serious about the need for a staff, they would suggest eliminating the city clerk's job as an elected position. The clerk is supposed to be a functionary of the council, but as an elected official is traditionally loyal to the mayor.

In the place of the city clerk, an administrative aide's position could be created that would be under Civil Service - to endure professionalism - but responsible to the council, not the mayor. This person could do research for council members and keep tabs on council requests for information from the mayor or departments.

Hopefully, the current charter revision commission will learn from the past as the same complaints about this position from twenty years ago still persist today.

Food for thought.

State Capitol hear municipal leaders concerns

Sunday, March 02, 2008
Time: 9:10 PM

As a follow-up to my post regarding first selectmen and mayors expressing their concerns regarding Governor Rell's budget proposal, from CT-N's The Capitol Report, here's a recap of Wednesday's State Appropriations Committee informational forum with municipal leaders.

Trust me, as we enter the city's budget season, you better pay attention to what's happening and pay close attention to the these concerns. Remember, Danbury is the seventh largest city in Connecticut.

HatCityBLOG FLASHBACK: BRT tax deferral press conference

Time: 1:12 PM

(In honor of one of the most irresponsible tax breaks for a residential developers in the history of Danbury, here's a flashback post to an issue that should alarm every taxpayer. Originally posted, Nov. 2 2007.)

(I'm dedicating a majority of this weekend to covering the BRT tax deferral case. If there is anything that symbolizes everything that's wrong with the current administration (irresponsible development, traffic, strain on resources, property taxes, cronyism, partisanship, political dishonesty), it's this project).

From Wednesday, here's the unedited version of the BRT tax deferral press conference featuring Helena Abrantes, Common Council members, and candidates running for office.

Here's a copy of the press release from the Danbury Democrats.
Prominent Danbury Democrats are calling for the repeal of the seven-year tax assessment deferral for the BRT property at 30 Crosby Street. Helena Abrantes, Democratic Candidate for Mayor, said, "Mark Boughton and the Republican controlled Common Council have ignored the opposition of this tax giveaway and the Ad Hoc committee appointed to consider repeal has been delaying any resolution of this issue." Abrantes stated, "I have the signatures of hundreds of Danbury Taxpayers who demand an answer from their elected officials and want a decision from the Republican controlled Ad Hoc Committee so the entire Council can move forward with the repeal."

"This is the FIRST time in the City's history that a tax deferral was offered for any residential development. There is no benefit to the City or its residents that would justify such a windfall to a single corporate real estate condominium developer, especially recognizing BRT went back on its word regarding the marketing of these apartments on Crosby Street," Abrantes concluded.

Tom Saadi, Democratic Council Leader, who opposed these condo tax abatements from the beginning, said, "We are demanding repeal, especially in light of the developer's 'bait and switch' change in use." BRT originally attempted to justify the tax abatement for its Crosby Street project by claiming it would be bring young professionals to downtown and have an overall positive effect on economic development and revenue for the city.

However, this is an unprecedented use of tax deferrals. In contrast, tax deferrals for the recruitment, retention and/or expansion of Cendant Mobility/Cartus, GE Capital, Belimo and MannKind Pharma provide quality jobs and produce a significant economic benefit for the City of Danbury.

Councilwoman Lynn Taborsak stated, "There are no jobs created, no additional businesses started and no benefit that warrants a multi-million dollar giveaway of both tax dollars and reduced hookup fees for sewer and water. Homeowners in my neighborhood on Jackson Drive, Woodbury Drive and Hawley Road had to pay full-freight for their water and sewer hookups. Why couldn't they get a sweetheart deal like BRT?"

Councilman Ben Chianese said, "The original plan for this project was thrown out the window. Now this project has no resemblance to the plan that was approved by the previous Common Council. As a city, we cannot afford these tax giveaways for residential developers. As Democratic officeholders and candidates, we will demand that the Ad Hoc Committee meet to resolve this issue and we will push for repeal."

The Helena Abrantes campaign has a section of their website dedicated to the BRT tax deferral. There you can read the News-Times article, as well as here WLAD's report, on the Democrats proposal and petition to rescind the deferral. All the information you'll ever need from Abrantes and the Democratic team is one click away.

The Latino vote

Time: 11:00 AM

The Sunday edition of the Hartford Courant has an interesting article on the Latino voting bloc and it's increasing political power in Connecticut as well as across the country.
Anyone who doubts the flexing power of Connecticut's Hispanic vote — for that matter, the Hispanic vote throughout the United States — should spend five minutes with a young man in a hurry named Joseph Rodriguez.

Last fall, Rodriguez, 22, whose parents moved here from Puerto Rico, didn't stop at getting himself elected as a Democratic member of the New Haven Board of Aldermen. Excited about the possibility of changing politics in Washington and transfixed by what promised to be an epic primary battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Rodriguez threw himself at the job of organizing New Haven's Hispanic wards for Obama, an effort that eventually contributed to the Illinois senator's 4-percentage-point win over Clinton in Connecticut's Feb. 5 primary.

"There is no question that, by late last summer, Hillary Clinton was way ahead among the Hispanic community in New Haven," Rodriguez said last week. "The mainstream media kept saying that the Latino population would vote for Hillary because of favorable memories of the presidency of Bill Clinton."

"These so-called political commentators also said that Latinos were Democratic conservatives and would go for Hillary, or that Latinos wouldn't vote for an African American," Rodriguez said. "But I knew that the commentators really didn't understand Latinos."

While simultaneously running for alderman, Rodriguez set up a phone bank for Obama, dispatched teams of canvassers on door-to-door efforts in eight wards, and worked closely with a college group, Yale Students for Obama, educating New Haven residents about their candidate. Rodriguez and his Yalies even organized a "Faith Lit" effort every Sunday morning, canvassing Hispanics as they left church and placing Obama literature on the windshields of cars parked for services.

The result?

"On primary day, New Haven went 2-to-1 for Obama — 12,000 votes for Obama, 6,000 for Hillary — and we demonstrated what the Latino vote can do," Rodriguez said. "We've proven that all of these myths about our voting patterns [across the country] aren't true."

Before this extraordinary election year is out, Americans are going to hear a lot more about the Joseph Rodriguezes of the Hispanic community. And on Tuesday, the powerful Mexican-American vote in Texas will figure prominently in that state's Democratic primary. (Texas' 7 million Hispanics are now one-third of the state's population; they are projected to grow to 15 million, roughly half the state's population, by 2030.)

There's no doubt that the candidates know the importance of the Hispanic vote. Last week, as soon as Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., endorsed him, Obama dispatched Dodd, who is fluent in Spanish, to be his surrogate speaker in Hispanic districts in Texas.

Nationwide, there are 46 million Americans of Spanish-speaking descent, or 15 percent of the total U.S. population, and Hispanics are expected to grow to 102 million, or almost 25 percent of the population, by 2050. Hispanic population growth is dramatic in many critical swing states — Florida, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico — that figure prominently in Electoral College vote counts.

Andres Ramirez, vice president for Hispanic programs at the New Democrat Network, a Washington think tank, has analyzed the Hispanic vote in this year's presidential primaries. He calculated that Hispanic participation increased from 9 percent of the overall Democratic primary electorate in the 2004 primaries to 13 percent this year.

In Connecticut, Ramirez found that the number of Hispanic voters grew from 2,535 in the 2004 presidential primary to 20,236 this year. This swelled the Hispanic vote to 6 percent of the state's primary electorate. It might not sound like a lot, but many elections are decided by just a few percentage points, as occurred in the state primary this year.

This gives Hispanic voters a powerful ability to sway elections.
Here are more tidbits that people in Danbury who are not paying attention to the change in tone and the rise in outright anger towards the Republican Party and the Boughton administration within the city's immigrant community.
Ramirez also found that rising participation among Hispanics is good news for the Democrats — 75 percent of Hispanics who voted in the primaries this year voted Democratic. And in states such as Florida, where Cubans and other Hispanics historically have leaned toward Republicans, Ramirez has concluded that the large turnouts this year showed a substantial shift to the Democrats.


Connecticut's current Hispanic population of roughly 450,000, expected to grow to more than 750,000 by 2030, exhibits most of the dynamic factors found nationwide. The diversity of the Hispanic community is growing, as "new Latinos" from Central and South America augment the state's predominantly Puerto Rican base. Young, second- and third-generation Hispanics who have become more culturally assimilated often are willing to split ranks with their parents and vote independently. They are "breaking by age," or education levels, like any other ethnic group.

Although most Hispanic political activists and experts agree that the community does not vote as a bloc, one topic has clearly energized it this year. After three years of repeated efforts by the Bush administration and Senate Republicans to enact tougher immigration laws, a backlash favoring the Democrats has swept through.

Last November, the Pew Hispanic Center polled 2,000 Hispanics nationwide and found that 79 percent of Hispanic registered voters said that the immigration issue has become "extremely" or "very" important to them in the presidential race — up from 63 percent who said the same thing in June 2004. And 41 percent told Pew that the Democrats are doing a better job of dealing with illegal immigration, while 14 percent said that Republicans are doing better.
...and trust me, the anger towards Boughton within the Latino population has spread far beyond Danbury.
Yolanda Castillo is a vocational counselor with the state Department of Social Services who lives in Hartford's South End. She is a member of the Connecticut Hispanic Democratic Caucus and, after carefully studying the websites of the Democratic candidates this year, decided to back Clinton.

Castillo says one of the mistakes that white voters make on the immigration issue is considering it a problem that happens somewhere else — along the borders of far-off Texas, say, or in southern California.

"Well, right now in Connecticut, in Danbury, we have a mayor who is really against illegal immigrants," Castillo said. "He has decided to turn municipal police officers into immigration police. Oh my God. We are in the United States, in 2008, where people are supposed to be free and pursuing opportunity, and this is happening right here in Danbury. And here's why that is significant now. Puerto Ricans like me, who are citizens, or Cubans, who were invited here, might not have cared about this issue before. But I can tell you that I am one totally faithful Democrat who will fight for all Latinos on this issue."

Ramirez said he believes that the immigration issue has galvanized Hispanics to register and vote — one reason that Hispanic turnout rates climbed this year.

"Many Latinos who have been reluctant to engage now have a cause to champion," Ramirez said. "The Republican party has gone to great lengths demonizing immigrants and making this a Latino issue while ignoring immigrants from other regions. Latinos know that there is no hope for them in the GOP."
Food for thought as this country moves forward, comprehensive immigration reform will will eventually become a reality, and the old Danbury political machine that has been in power in one form or another for the last 40 years vanishes. I'll make it a point to republish this post on the 20th anniversary of this site in 2025 so we all can have a laugh. can't stop the inevitable.

About that "taken out of context" excuse

Time: 9:41 AM

Cross post from My Left Nutmeg

Remember when Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) Chairman Harold Ford Jr. uttered these words about his BBF Chris Shays during his visit to Fairfield University.
When Harold Ford, Jr. walked onto the Quick Center stage for his OPEN Visions forum he knew whose district he was standing in.

"There is not a better Congressman in Washington than Chris Shays," said Ford, to a crowd of about 600 Fairfield University students and community members.

When bloggers exposed Ford's love and affection for Shays, the so-called Democrat whipped up this whopper of an excuse.
"Chris Shays is my friend, and I was proud to serve with him in Congress. It's unfortunate he's not a Democrat.

However, I plan on endorsing the Democratic nominee for Congress in Chris's district and everywhere in the country for that matter - as I plan to work for the Democratic nominee for President with all my energy and heart.

My comments were clearly taken out of context.
Let's skip the fact that the quote was taken from his own site and that Ford forget to mention Jim Himes by name (you know, the Democrat who's challenging Shays in the 4th District).

No, lets not get distracted by Ford's silliness and take a look at his quote from another person who was on the scene.
"Democrats are not supposed to say nice things about Republicans and Republicans are not supposed to say nice things about Democrats, but I got to tell you there isn't a better congressman in all of Washington than your Chris Shays, who calls it as it is; when its wrong it's wrong; when it's right, it's right." The audience burst into applause.
So much for being taken out of context huh?

© 2024 Hat City Blog | READ, WATCH, AND LEARN.
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License




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