Time: 8:58 AM
HatCityBLOG EXCLUSIVE: Common Council film festival debate
Time: 7:31 PM
In a later post, I'll show how those who supported the film festival either had no idea what the hell they were talking about during the debate, or (more disgracefully) should be roundly criticized for sitting there like a dear in headlights (cue seventh ward Boughton-rubber stamper/racist email contributor Mary Teicholtz) and not speaking in favor or against funding the festival.
NOTE: I've been bombarded with emails from many very angry residents about this issue and asking what could they do to express their displeasure. I'm working on addressing this issue soon.
As a person who's been effected by the rising cost of living in Danbury, I feel your pain and frustration. After viewing this video, and the dismissive nature of Minority Leader Tom Saadi's fiscally responsible amendment, I'm expecting the outrage to rise.
Murphy's latest TV ad
Time: 6:26 PM
Cappiello's minute of fame: Report from inside the convention
Time: 4:44 PM
A dozen Connecticut delegates, including Lt. Gov. Michael C. Fedele, State Chair Chris Healy and Rob Simmons were on hand to congratulate him. About the half the seats in the state delegation, however, were empty.
Yeah, that just about sums things up from the campaign that steals people's work. Now, onto the Galante state court case!
Time: 4:16 PM
Now, the News-Times chimes in and it's not pretty.
School has been open for a week and STA just can't get it right. Buses are late or just don't show up. Students are left waiting for late buses on the street and at schools. Classes are disrupted by late-arriving students. Parents are having their own work schedules disrupted and also are worried about the safety of their children -- with reason.Will parents hold the board and Pascarella accountable?
All STA offers are excuses and promises. Not enough drivers. Unfamiliar routes. We'll get better. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next week.
The superintendent also has indulged in excuses and promises. A contract change, after being with one bus company for 18 years, should have come with concrete performance assurances. Pascarella obviously didn't get them.
The school board voted for the change, except for one member, Joan Hodge, who questioned whether STA could perform as promised.
The board and Pascarella meant well in trying to save money, but meaning well is not enough. In addition, more should have been done to ensure STA was ready for the first day of school. When it wasn't, the board and superintendent should not have been so passive as they watched what was being done to students, parents and teachers.
STA has failed to meet its contractual obligations, disrupted the education of students and endangered their safety. Will STA be held accountable?
Quote of the night
Time: 10:54 PM
Now that he's done, can someone turn to the f*cking Giants game!A bar patron's reaction to David Cappiello's "this is my first time reading from a teleprompter" speech at Cappiello's watch party at Rosy Tomorrows.
I'll give my first-hand account of what happened when I popped up at Cappiello's party at Rosy's later.
HatCityBLOG EXCLUSIVE: Film festival ad-hoc committee meeting
Time: 10:30 PM
Since people have requested that I post the complete video footage of last month's ad-hoc committee meeting, here it is in it's "almost" entirety. I say almost because I missed about 7 minutes of the meeting due to traffic.
Those in attendance included ad-hoc committee chairman Mike Caladrino, ad-hoc committee members Charlie Trombetta and Paul Rotello. Also in attendance was Mayor Mark, Corporation Counsel Les Pinter, Finance Director David St. Hilaire, and ex-officio members (and the only person who asked a real question) Ben Chianese and Mary "didn't utter one question throughout the ENTIRE MEETING" Teicholtz. Public included City Center Danbury director Andrea GArtner, Economic Development Director (and former Publisher of the Danbury News-Times) Wayne Sheppard, and the mind behind the festival...Tom Carruthers.
Now that you know the players in this love fest of a ad-hoc meeting, watch what actually happened and see if you make sense of anything the supporters of the film festival presented in terms of their report.
More to come.
Time: 1:22 PM
[James Galante attorney] Keefe also submitted letters from then-Congresswoman Nancy Johnson and Danbury state Sen. David Capiello, the Republican congressional candidate for the 5th House District, extolling Galante's contributions to the community.
I guess when a mobster bundles contributions to Cappiello's campaign gets you can expect a love letter on top of a boatload of other goodies.
In addition to federal racketeering and tax fraud charges, Galante was charged with three counts of making illegal contributions to politicians and three counts of corrupt practices under state election law. Cappiello was one of the recipients of Galante's generosity.
"The truth about Dave Cappiello's relationship with James Galante won't get locked up in the prison cell with the convicted mobster," said Carrie James, regional press secretary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "There's no way to hide the fact that David Cappiello has a close relationship with James Galante. Cappiello bestowed him with honors, took illegal campaign contributions and provided him with gifts in exchange."
* 2007 -- After a story broke about his PAC receiving Galante money, Cappiello lied about when he donated the money to charity. (Hartford Courant, October 13, 2007) (Associated Press State & Local Wire, October 12, 2007) (FEC.gov)
* 2007 -- Cappiello was Against New Plans to Regulate Refuse Industry. After Galante's indictment, Cappiello opposed proposals for licensing trash haulers. (Danbury News-Times, June 12, 2007)
* 2005 -- Cappiello and DeLuca were two of just three senators to oppose a bill to expand the state's bottle bill by also letting water bottles be redeemed for deposit. A massive lobbying effort then killed the bill in the House, led by Sullivan & LeShane. While they represented the beverage industry, they were also representing Galante companies, and this bill would have hurt his bottom line by reducing municipal reliance upon curbside recycling. Sullivan & LeShane have boasted how they have defeated this expansion of the bottle bill, beginning in 1999. (Connecticut Common Cause, September 27, 2005)
* 2004 -- Cappiello Voted Against Reforming "Evergreen" Contracts. One of the abusive features of Galante's company contracts were "evergreen" clauses, which he used in Connecticut even after such contracts had been outlawed in Westchester and New York City. In 2004, Cappiello voted in Judiciary Committee against SB 399, "An Act Concerning... Automatic Renewal of Consumer Contracts." (http://www.cga.ct.gov/2004/jfr/s/2004SB-00399-R00JUD-JFR.htm) (New York Times, August 12, 2001)
* 2002 -- Cappiello solicited James Galante to contribute $100,000 at a Red Cross Fundraiser that raised $117,000. Cappiello and DeLuca repeatedly worked together in soliciting and honoring Galante; both were members of the "Italian-American Legislative Caucus."
* 2002 -- Cappiello took $15,000 in illegally funneled money from Galante for his State Senate PAC. Cappiello spent $202 at Danbury wine & liquor to thank Galante with "bottles of wine or champagne" (Hartford Courant, October 12, 2007) (Politico.com, November 5, 2007) (Hartford Courant, October 12, 2007)
* 2002 -- Italian American Legialtive Caucus, of which Cappiello is Treasurer, gives Galante its highest award. The ceremony was held in a room off the legislative chambers, just over two years after Galante had served time in Prison for tax evasion. (Danbury News-Times, 3/29/02) (Hartford Courant, 9/19/99)
Can't wait for Galante's state/illegal campaign contribution trial to begin...
About those school buses
Time: 12:24 PM
Here's the report on the problem from WTNH.
It's almost ready
Time: 5:57 PM
Comical at best...
Time: 2:21 PM
Ad hoc committee, City Hall
...that's the only term I can use to describe the ad-hoc committee formed to look at the results of the Connecticut Film Festival.
For now, lets just skip over the load of mumbled nonsense that was projected at this meeting and just focus on one critical point THAT WAS NOT REPORTED IN THE MEDIA.
After everyone was just gushing over the festival (while completely ignoring the numerous PROBLEMS with the festival, Councilman Ben Chianese brought up a point with organizer Tom Carruthers that was on my mind from the beginning of the meeting.
B.C.: Last year, according to the numbers, you spent 104 thousand dollars...according to this report, 104,257 dollars. Now the city gave you 75,000 dollars which is about 75 percent of your budget. What other revenues did you receive? Did you make money on the show?
T.C.: There were some ticket sales, some very small sponsorships?
B.C.: Can you give us a listing of what income you had.
T.C.: I don't have that listing of that with me? But I was...
B.C.: Can you provide a copy of that?
T.C.: ...when I was doing this reporting to the ad-hoc committee on the 75,000 spent, so I'm not really prepared for that, and I'm not sure of that part of my reporting to the ad-hoc committee.
Now the defensive tone from the supporters of the festival towards Chianese's question is ridiculous on so many levels that it's laughable.
Remember, The Connecticut Film Festival is a "for profit" venture that's using taxpayer's funds in order to do the event. Since it's using taxpayer dollars for a venture that's not a non-profit enterprise, the public has a right to a full accounting of the film festival activity...PERIOD.
The argument being made in this clip that the city is gave money to Carruthers ONLY to promote the festival is the same argument that was made when the festival was being pitched to the Common Council. Think about it, would ANY city continue to fund a festival that was not successful? Based on the logic in the clip, the city is ONLY interested in whether or not the money given to the festival was used correctly...which again, makes no sense because you KNOW the success of the festival was part of the decision making in funding it for another year.
Think about it, THE CORE OF THE AD-HOC MEETING WAS ON FEEDBACK FROM THE FESTIVAL!!!
Mayor Boughton's equating the funding of the film festival to giving money to a contractor to pave a road doesn't pass the smell test and is insulting to anyone who has a clue.
I'll have more on what happened at the meeting (including video footage of the entire meeting) later.
Now that the federal case is over...
Time: 2:12 PM
Anywhere between September 15th and early October, we'll FINALLY get more details about the illegal bundled campaign contributions Galante made to Mayor Mark "I had no idea" Boughton, Dave "I had no idea" Cappiello and former State Senator Lou DeLuca.
Remember, it's as simple as following the money trail...
HatCityBLOG FLASHBACK: Pitching the festival
Time: 1:52 PM
For those who missed it, here's the show in it's entirety.
HatCityBLOG FLASHBACK: Opening night film festival report
Time: 12:39 PM
This video presentation was originally posted on Friday May 23rd.
Will the 75,000 dollar investment be worth it?
Will there really be over 5,000 people attending the films?
Will the festival bring in the projected revenue for the area as promised?
Since word that the Common Council was prepared to fork over 75,000 to the organizers of the Connecticut Film Festival, I thought it would be important to keep a CLOSE eye on the success of the event.
You see, I have a problem what the media in our area. If you look at the list of organizations sponsoring the festival, you'll notice such media outlets as The News-Times, Fairfield County Weekly, and Tribuna. Now, with that being the case, it's logical to assume that they won't do much in terms of monitoring the success of the festival when it comes to holding the organizers accountable for the promises they gave to the city (i.e., revenue the festival would bring into the city, numbers of people attending the event, etc).
FOR INSTANCE, watch this report on the festival from FOX-61.
Okay, with that in mind and remembering that the city was told that this event would people in aprox. 5,000 over the course of the entire event, which would result in people eating, drinking, and partying downtown (a.k.a. spend money in downtown businesses), take a look at MY footage from opening night. Make sure to check the footage of all the restaurants on Ives, White, and Main Street.
NOTE: The footage of downtown businesses was shot at various times from 8 pm until 11:30 pm.
Get the point (and to note: a good portion of people who were at the Palace that night were affiliated with City Hall, or the event in some capacity). It's almost like the two videos were shot in different cities. Mind you, this was opening night...a night that would probably attract the largest number of people to a screening.
Again, was the 75,000 dollars the city put into this festival a good investment? We'll soon find out as I'm just getting started.
All about the film festival
Time: 10:34 AM
Okay, okay, okay, I'll get back to blogging...
On tonight's common common agenda, the organizers of the Connecticut Film Festival are requesting 65,000 from the city in order to host the event next year.
Today, I'm going to examine everything surrounding the festival that's gone overlooked by the media and supporters of the festival who are currently ignoring the numerous problems with the event as well as the public disapproval of taxpayers money being used in this manner.
From statements made by the organizers towards the common council last year, to the very questionable reporting of the festival in the media, hopefully in shedding light on everything that's been said about this event, people should question why Mayor Boughton and the Republican-controlled Common Council are basically selling the people of Danbury a bag of goods.
...more to come.
Communty Forum 08.29.08 broadcast
Time: 7:33 PM
Guest Joe DaSilva Jr. Chairman Danbury Democratic Town Committee
Chris Shays: out of touch with reality
Time: 12:04 PM
Let's just say that Congressman Shays is completely out of touch with reality...
Back in town
Time: 11:23 AM
Had an amazing time at the US Open but three days of the sun beating down on me has taken it's toll and I'm exhausted.
Playing a bit of catch-up so it's going to take a little while until I start posting again. In the meantime, lets take a quick look back at the Bush Administration's response to the Katrina disaster and how a certain event at the US Open is connected to the whole affair.
I'll be back soon at full throttle.
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