Minuteman group leader arrested for double homicide

Saturday, June 13, 2009
Time: 2:03 PM

Surprise, surprise. Shawna Forde [pictured at top right], leader of the Minuteman American Defense group (M.A.D.), a group known for patrolling the border, and is dedicated to "Defending America's Borders" was arrested for home invasion and the double homicide of a 29 year old male and 9 year old girl.

An act of unspeakable violence from a leader of a xenophobic group? Why am I not surprised
Three people have been arrested in connection with last months deadly double homicide in Arivaca that left a nine-year-old and her father dead. One of the people arrested for the homicide is the National Executive Director of the Minuteman American Defense group (M.A.D.), a group known for patrolling the border, and is dedicated to "Defending America's Borders" according to their website - http://minutemenamericandefense.org/
Jason Eugene Bush, 38, Shawna Forde, 42 and Albert Robert Gaxiola, 43, were all taken into custody and charged in connection with the murders of 29-year-old Raul Flores and 8-year-old Brisenia Flores. Both were killed during an alleged home invasion.
According to authorities, Bush, Forde, and Gaxiola broke into the home of the Flores family just after midnight on May 30th. At the time, the mother, father and daughter were home. The invaders reportedly shot the three members of the Flores family, killing the father, Raul, and the daughter, Brisenia. The invaders then left the scene.

The mother survived the shooting, called police, and found a gun. Sheriff Dupnik says the three returned moments later to make sure everyone was dead. At that point, the mother shot and injured Bush, and the three fled the scene.

The trio has been charged with two counts of First Degree Murder, one count of First Degree Burglary, and one count of Aggravated Assault.

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik says, "Jason Bush was in fact the shooter of all three of these people under orders from Ms. Forde."


Sheriff Dupnik adds, "To just kill a 9-year old girl because she could be a potential witness, to me, is one of the most despicable acts I have ever heard of."


"If you look at her history closely, and you know what we know, she is at best a pyschopath," says Sheriff Dupnik referring to Forde during a press conference Friday.

UPDATE: From Arizona, here's local news coverage of the horrible crime.

The website Raw Story also states:
The group's Web site, which does not appear to bear any mention of Jason Bush, places the group as actively involved in the "tea parties" which swept right-wing media around tax day.

Hmm, an anti-immigrant xenophobic, described by police as a pyschopath, was involved in a despicable act of violence AND is a leader of a anti-immigrant group that's actively involved in tea-parties?

Hmm, let me think...didn't an anti-immigrant/hate gorup just hold a "teabagging" party in Danbury this weekend. Well, yeah BUT "those folks" would NEVER EVER advocate any form of violence around here...I mean Elise Marciano, her deranged ilk/supporters are such peace-loving people and all...

HatCityBLOG MUSIC CLUB: A change is gonna come

Time: 9:52 AM

Here's a little Sam Cooke (HatCity style) for your weekend pleasure...

See how the governor's budget proposal will effect you!

Friday, June 12, 2009
Time: 8:38 PM

As Gov. Rowland-Rell and the Republicans continue to spin their ridiculous rhetoric regarding their unlabanced budgets that target the middle-class, today, the Senate Democrats launched a new interactive Google budget map, which highlights how the governor's proposed budget will impact every municipality in the state.

Since MOST people haven't taken the time to actually READ the governor's UNBALANCED proposal, maybe this map will serve as a wake-up call.

Senate President Don Williams had this to say about the new feature:
We need to make cuts, as Democrats already have, but we must also make investments in health care, education, public safety, transportation, and other critical needs for our families,” said Senator Williams. “We are committed to using a balanced approach to balance the budget and we will continue to work with legislative colleague and Gov. Rell to reach a budget agreement.”
Democrats in the legislature have proposed more than $2 billion of spending cuts. Governor Rell is also proposing significant cuts — but a large proportion of these will directly impact children, small businesses, education and public health.

For those who think the governor's plan is so "wonderful" for the city, go to the map, click on Danbury and see what Jodi has in plan for us.

Better yet, I'll just cut to the chase:
Governor Rell's budget cuts would:
  • Reduce many state education grants by 10% from their current funding level

  • Reduce special education service grants by 10% in all municipalities

  • Eliminate state funding for internet access, and filtering of "adult" content in all public libraries and K-12 schools in Connecticut

  • Eliminate or reduce by 40% the amount of state funding given to local health departments and health districts

These cuts would come on top of other cuts in municipal aid or flat-funding of programs that our cities and towns rely on. The Educational Cost Sharing (ECS) grant, which is the largest portion of state aid for local education in Connecticut, would be flat-funded for the two year budget. In addition, other programs such as the PILOT (Payment-In-Lieu-of-Taxes) Grant, which helps cities and towns make up for tax losses for tax exempt properties such as state property, hospitals and universities, have been reduced as well. These cuts, along with elimination of funding for our libraries, will put a strain on our municipalities.

When you hear the Republicans in the legislature (and the conservative talking-heads in the local media) LIE to your face about how GREAT their budget proposals are while chastizing Democrats, just keep this in the back of your mind.

HatCityBLOG EXCLUSIVE: Board of Ed chairwoman, school superintendent respond to accusations

Thursday, June 11, 2009
Time: 2:21 PM


It's been over a week since the News-Times' Dirk Perrefort published this astonishing quote from Mayor Boughton in which he states that individuals were "discouraged" from applying for the position of principal at Danbury High School.
Boughton, who was a social studies teacher at the high school for nearly 14 years before entering politics, said he knows for a fact there were “internal candidates who were discouraged from applying” for the job. “That’s a problem,” he said. “I know these individuals and I know they are capable of leading that school.”

As I stated in my initial post, I felt it was irresponsible for any member of the media to allow an elected official to make such an accusation without:

Since it seemed that Perrefort was not going to publish a follow-up to his initial article, I decided to take things into my own hands.

Last night, I attended the Danbury Board of Education meeting and interviewed chairwoman Susan Podhajski and School Superintendent Sal Pascarella. In the following audio clip, I gave Podhajski and Pascarella an opportunity to respond to the mayor's accusation.

Board of Education chairwoman Susan Padhajski::

School Superintendent Sal Pascarella:

HatCityBLOG MUSIC CLUB: Neil Boys Beach Diamond

Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Time: 6:15 PM

For those who say there isn't any good musical talent in Danbury, this new festure of HatCityBLOG is for you.

From time to time, I'll do shameless plug on local musical acts in the area. First up to bat is the group Neil Boys Beach Diamond.

I videotaped these guys at last week's Multiple Sclerosis benefit at Cousin Larry's...

Board of Ed restricts free speech?

Time: 2:08 PM


In advance of tonight's Board of Education meeting, I decided to take a look at the agenda and noticed this small blurb.
The Board welcomes Public Participation and asks that speakers please limit their comments to 3 minutes. Speakers may offer objective comments of school operations and programs that concern them. The Board will not permit any expression of personal complaints or defamatory comments about the Board of Education personnel and students, nor against any person connected with the Danbury Public School System.

This can't be for real. The Board of Ed will NOT allow any form of criticism about the Board of Ed a member(s) of the Board of Ed and/or a member(s) of the school system?

Based on this bizzare wording, I guess any expressions of praise about board personnel, personnel and students, nor against any person connected with the Danbury Public School System WILL be allowed.

In light of recent questionable decisions by the school board, this restriction on free speech doesn't seem right...or legal.

UPDATE: Post has been updated to more accurately reflect my position that the BOE is restricting members of the public from criticizing members of the Board of Ed or anyone connected with the Danbury School system.

Shameless plug

Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Time: 6:39 PM

If you're not doing anything on Tuesday nights, check out the local access show "Spotlight On" at 9 PM.

Hosted by Bob Brought Jr., most of the episodes focuses on historical video footage ranging from the 1940-70s. When it comes to HOW Brought gets his hands on this footage...well, I'm not going to give away his secret. Lets just say that watching his archive of historical stuff as pretty cool.

Here's an episode from 5.13.09 where he shows footage of pre and post flood Danbury.

Once Bob sets up a website, I'll provide everyone with a link where you can watch his past shows...


Time: 11:40 AM

Picture 15

I'm also blogging for the News-Times/Hearst Media Group. Although I'm only posting one or two write-ups a week there, trust me when I say that the postings will be VERY informative.

Make sure to check out my piece of real estate on the News-Times website!

Exposing the incompetence...and a call to action!

Monday, June 08, 2009
Time: 3:35 PM

Exposing the incompetence of City Clerk Jean Natale continues.

As a stated earlier, City Clerk Natale has VIOLATED STATE LAW (as well as WASTED 5,000 of taxpyaer's dollars) by placing a TWO PAGE ad in the May 3rd edition of the News-Times outlining the proposed changes to the city charter...an ad which, according to state statue, was published 30 DAYS LATE. Disregarding state law is nothing new to Natale...which has been well documented on this site in the past...the difference here is that in this case, Natale's incompetence has cost the taxpayers of Danbury thousands of dollars.

Unfortunately, to the anger of many, this latest screw-up from the city clerk has yet to be reported by the News-Times...and trust me, they are well aware of Natale's latest fiasco.

During last month's Democratic Town Committee meeting, Minority Leader Tom Saadi addressed this situation, the News-Times failure to report on the topic, and why the latest act of incompetence from the City Clerk further underscores the fact that the position should be eliminated.

To add to the mix, last Thursday, I addressed this topic on the local access show Ideas at Work and Beyond

NOTE: Here's a copy of the state statue I'm talking about in the video clip (note the portion in BOLD):

Connecticut State Statue Sec 7-191(D): Charters, charter amendments and home rule ordinance amendments: Hearings; draft and final report; public notice; referendum; effective date; filing of copies with Secretary of the State; file maintained by State Library.

Not later than fifteen days after receiving the final report, the appointing authority, by a majority vote of its entire membership, shall either approve the proposed charter, charter amendments or home rule ordinance amendments or reject the same or separate provisions thereof. Not later than forty-five days after a vote of the appointing authority to reject such matter, a petition for a referendum thereon, signed by not less than ten per cent of the electors of such municipality, as determined by the last-completed registry list thereof, and filed and certified in accordance with the provisions of section 7-188, may be presented to the appointing authority. Not later than thirty days after approval by the appointing authority or the certification of such a petition (1) the proposed charter shall be published in full at least once in a newspaper having a general circulation in the municipality, or (2) the portion of the charter or home rule ordinance being amended shall be published at least once in a newspaper having a general circulation in the municipality with a notice that a complete copy of the charter or home rule ordinance and amendment is available in the town clerk's office and that a copy shall be mailed to any person who requests a copy. The town clerk shall mail or otherwise provide such copy to any person who requests a copy.

In closing, the News-Times has a responsiblity to report on topics such as this. If everyone is so outraged over the school board's 3,000 dollar trip to Arizona, then people should be just as outraged over the city clerk's screw-up which cost taxpayer's of this city 5,000.

...oh, did I mention that Natale's screw-up violated state law?

The public has a right to know about this subject so TELL THE NEWS-TIMES to stop sitting on this story and INFORM THE PUBLIC.

Dirk Perrefort Danbury Political/General (203) 731-3358 (860) 548-9888 dperrefort@newstimes.com

...and think before you vote this November.

Judge ruled ICE violated immigrants rights

Time: 10:39 AM

Today New Haven, tomorrow Danbury?
A judge has dismissed a case against four immigrants caught up in a controversial Fair Haven raid, saying the feds trampled on their rights.

Judge Michael W. Straus of U.S. Immigration Court in Hartford threw out the cases against four immigrants swept up in the June 2007 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid. He ruled that government agents were in “egregious violation” of the immigrants’ Fourth Amendment rights.

For four individuals, the judge’s decisions marks an end to a two-year legal battle that began when Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents swept into Fair Haven, arresting 30 immigrants on charges of allegedly being in the country illegally. The raids prompted rallies and accusations from New Haven’s mayor on down that the feds were terrorizing the immigrant community and retaliating against the city for its immigrant-friendly policies, a charged the feds denied.

Attorneys from Yale Law School have been representing 17 of those 30 immigrants. The attorneys have argued that ICE agents violated their clients’ rights by entering their homes without permission and questioning them illegally. ICE has denied the allegations.

But Judge Straus agreed.

“In considering all the evidence in the record, this Court finds that the Respondent’s Fourth Amendment rights were egregiously violated,” he wrote.

And for those who say that ICE aren't liars...

In one decision, Straus wrote, “Here, the raid was conducted in the early morning hours while some of the occupants, including a young girl, were sleeping. Agents forcibly entered, without warrant or consent, into a private home and then into a private bedroom. The agents failed to ask preliminary questions that might demonstrate probable cause or at least reasonable suspicion. “

ICE agents told a different story of what had happened. They claimed that they had asked consent to enter, and followed appropriate procedures.

However, the agents submitted their testimony by affidavit only. Government lawyers refused to call them to the stand or make them available for cross-examination.

The government’s decision may have worked against ICE in the end, since Judge Straus found a number of “evidentiary omissions” in the affidavits.

The holes in the affidavits were ultimately less damning than the refusal to put the agents on the stand. “The deficiencies in the Government’s threadbare submission are exacerbated by their categorical and unexplained refusal to offer or make available agents to testify in open court.” wrote Straus.

The respondents were thus unable to confront and cross-examine their accusers. “This due process requires,” Straus wrote. “Functionally, the upshot is that the Court can give but scant, if any, weight to these [affidavit] submissions.”

Straus wrote that the “scant evidence” presented by the government amounted to “unsubstantianted hearsay, and, at points, hearsay upon hearsay.”

“We’re all very happy with the ruling,” Anant Saraswat, a recent Yale Law graduate who has been working on the case, said Sunday.

Yale pursued a difficult strategy in seeking to suppress evidence on the grounds that it was collected in violation of Constitutional rights. This is the first time that Judge Straus has issued a favorable ruling on such an argument, Saraswat said. “It’s pretty rare.”

Hmm, lets see. Yale law students claim the ICE violated immigrants constitutional rights...AND WIN.

Food for thought as the Danbury 11 case continues...

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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