Goncalves blasts Boughton over not agreeing to open debates

Friday, September 25, 2009
Time: 6:55 PM

Gary Goncalves Pressser
Democratic Mayoral candidate Gary Goncalves is joined by City Clerk candidate Eileen Coladarci and 3rd ward candidate Barbara Carey at his afternoon press conference
City Hall 09.25.09

On Friday afternoon, Democratic mayoral candidate Gary Goncalves held a press conference to address Mayor Boughton's refusal to hold open debates recently proposed by the League of Women Voters (LWV).

As stated in an earlier post, Goncalves announced last week that he's accepted the LWV's invitation to a mayoral debate and called upon Boughton to also accept the offer.

Responding in a recent News-Times article, the mayor claimed that fitting a open debate by the LWV would be difficult given his "busy" schedule next month.
As for other debates in the mayoral race, Goncalves said he has agreed to participate in an event sponsored later next month by the League of Women Voters of Danbury.

Boughton, however, said he had not yet received an invitation to the event.

"There are already several events planned for next month," he said. "Anything beyond that may be difficult to fit into our schedule."

Noting that the mayor's comments are reminiscent to the one he gave Helena Abrantes when she made the identical request back in 2007, Goncalves called Boughton's response "unacceptable" and shows a "display of arrogance and power by the Mayor to the voters and taxpayers of Danbury who have a right to hear the opposing views of the candidates in an open and no-cost forum."
...the excuses offered by the Mayor were a flagrant slight to the League of Women voters, a storied organization whose trademark is all about fair play in our Democracy, and to the Portuguese Cultural Center, who has offered their facilities to the voters of Danbury free of charge for the debate.

Citing increases in taxes, increase in long term debt, failing grades in some of the school in the area, and the uncertain status of lawsuits against the city, Goncavles further stated that Boughton is giving the impression that he's afraid to have an open debate regarding issues in the city.

...hmm, I think it's safe to say that we're in campaign season now.

After Goncalves gave his formal remarks, he took a wide range of questions from the media in attendance (WLAD, Tribuna, and yours truly).

Here in its entirety, is video footage from Goncalves' presser at City Hall.

News-Times to Topix: You're FIRED

Thursday, September 24, 2009
Time: 7:26 PM

After years of complaints, the Hearst Newspaper Corporation (Connecticut Post, Danbury News-Times, Greenwich Time, Stamford Advocate) finally pulled the plug on the comment service.
We’ve heard you.

Time and again, the most consistent complaint about our sites we’ve heard from our users has been, to paraphrase, “The comments on your stories are horrible.”

“They’re filled with vile garbage.”

“They do nothing to add to a healthy conversation.”

“They’re extremely offensive.”

Our response has been equally steadfast: “We agree with you.”

Nobody cares more passionately about the freedom of speech than the members of our industry. I wouldn’t be doing what I do today if I didn’t believe strongly in the rights promised in the First Amendment.

In that sense, I’m not alone in thinking that users should be able to post comments on the stories that we write. I also think they should be able to post comments that I personally disagree with.

What I don’t believe, though, is that people should be allowed to anonymously post racist, threatening, homophobic comments on our site on a daily basis. And we’ve never allowed them to. Whenever that kind of garbage has been reported to us, we have deleted it as promptly as we could.

The problem with our story commenting system, which was administrated on a partnership with Topix.com, was that it made such anonymous postings all too easy to write.

I still believe it was an extremely vocal minority that ruined the concept for everyone else. But it’s a moot point: They were way out of hand.

Out of hand is an understatement...for a look back at some of that garbage from the past, click on any of the links below.

Link 1, Link 2, Link 3, Link 4, Link 5, Link 6, Link 7, Link 8

As you know, I've LONG advocated that the News-Times part ways with Topix and establish a new comment system which requires registration (with a valid email address). Thankfully, the paper took the first step in the right direction.

...goodbye TOPIX, trust me, you won't be missed.

UPDATE: What was life like before Topix?

People have emailed me questioning how people commented on the News-Times before Topix.

Well, there were two ways...let me explain (I'm hoping I get this right).

The original way people communicated on the News-Times site was via the Online Forums. Here's a sample of what it looked like back in 2005 (via the Wayback Machine).

With the Online Forum, you had to register in order to post a comment (I think with a valid email address...it's been awhile). You can click here to view a sample of a comment thread from the old Online Forum from 2006 (or just look below).

Unlike the wild world of the Topix service, the Online Forums didn't generate much traffic. This was mainly because back then, the forums were a separate entity on this site and wasn't linked to articles. Think of the old forums as the old school
BBS (Bulletin Board System)
that was popular in the 80s (yes, there was a form of computer communication BEFORE the internet).

I think in either 06 or 07, the News-Times first experimented with allowing readers to post comments along side articles. Click here for a sample of an article with the original comments section from April 2007 (or...just look below).

Unlike the online forums (which were still around at this point), the News-Times' original comment section allowed people to post messages anonymously. Add that with the xenophobia that was on the rise during that time and...well, lets say all hell broke loose and soon comments at the News-Times got out of control.

...and then came the conversion to Topix.

Believe it or now, when it came to posting comments, Topix was a step in the right direction. It gave readers a way to flag offensive comments which would be removed...the problem stemmed mainly from the amount of time an offensive comment would stay on Topix.

Also, another MAJOR problem with Topix was, unlike the original Online Forums, one could post a comment without registering an account. To this day, I don't understand why the owners of Topix resist incorporating a registration feature into their service. With Hearst Newspaper dropping Topix, I'm almost certain the new comment service will include some type of registration (which hopefully will decrease the amount of racist/homophobic nonsense that readers endured for the last two years).

HatCityBLOG (the television show) EPISODE 2

Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Time: 12:16 PM

TOPIC: Health Care reform vigil, highlights from Congressman Chris Murphy open forum.


You can watch HatCityBLOG (the television show) TONIGHT at 6PM and tomorrow morning at 11AM on Comcast 23.

Republican-style vandalism gone wild

Time: 12:01 PM

It seems like the "People over Politics" team is really showing their true colors...and it's not pretty.

Let me explain.

Gary Goncalves placed a 4X8 campaign sign over on Clapboard Ridge Rd (location of the sign is mark in blue on the map).


On Sunday, this sign appeared at the same location...take note of what happened to Goncalves' sign.

Election 007

Election 008Election 009a

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know the people who were behind this bullshit (here's a hint, it wasn't members of the Democratic Town Committee).

Did I mention that this guy was spotted driving his truck and placing 4X8 signs around town this weekend?

...connecting the dots yet?

Look, signs are expensive...and 4X8 professional signs are VERY expensive. Given the fact that this isn't the first 4X8 Goncalves sign that's been damaged in recent days, in my opinion, either the chairman of the Danbury Republican Town Committee should call off his goon squad, or the police should get involved in this matter (which would be rather embarrassing for the last honest man in Danbury).

...like I said, so much for "People over Politics."

The sexual assault case against John McGowan day two: Excuses, excuses…

Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Time: 8:28 PM

Oh where do I begin?

Well day two of the rape trial against John McGowan has concluded and as expected, the former Danbury mayoral candidate, former vice president of the Elise Marciano's anti-immigration hate group, and leading figure in the local xenophobic movement was full of surprises.

For those who aren't following score, McGowan was arrested and charged with first degree sexual assault stemming from a incident last year which the victim (a person McGowan was romantically involved with) accused him of the following:
...Oct. 20, 2008, after attending a meeting at McGowan's church, he assaulted her anally at a house he was building on Juniper Road in New Milford.

The woman told police she said, "What are you doing?" and "Stop," but McGowan instead "put his right arm around her neck and put her in a headlock," according to the affidavit.

Unfortunately, this morning, I was caught in a traffic nightmare on Route 7 so I was late to the courthouse and missed all the festivities but the News-Times John Pirro filled in the blanks:
A Superior Court judge on Tuesday gave former Danbury mayoral candidate John McGowan more time to get a psychiatric examination that will determine whether he is capable of standing trial for first-degree sexual assault.


"If it's not done by the next court date, it's going to be a different story," Ginocchio said.

Ginocchio ordered the exam during McGowan's first appearance in Litchfield Superior Court, on Sept. 1, when the anti-immigration activist and cable television call-in show host refused to enter a plea and made numerous statements indicating he didn't consider himself subject to the court's jurisdiction.

Ginocchio said at the time that McGowan "appeared unable to answer the charges with any semblance of coherence" and that a psychiatric evaluation was needed to determine if McGowan could understand the charge and assist in his own defense.

I don't' know what was more shocking, the fact that McGowan received a three week extension to get a psychiatric examination done, or McGowan's excuse in not getting the examination done when ordered by the court on Sept 1st.

I'll let Pirro explain:
On Tuesday, McGowan claimed lack of transportation and issues involving the health of his father prevented him from getting the exam immediately after that day's court session, as requested by the prosecutor.

Now, lets skip the thing about his father because there's no way to prove if McGowan is LYING or now...but when it comes to his "lack of transportation," well lets just say that I think McGowan is full of shit.

Let me explain.

ITEM 1: What does McGowan do after being slapped with a court order? He hangs out at a bar!

After his September 1st court appearance, in which McGowan acted like a complete nutcase, that night, I went to TKs American Cafe for the usual Tuesday night wings. Now, at some point during the night (somewhere around 10-11) who seen sitting at a booth laughing it up and having a goo lo' time with his friend (and fellow cable access co-host) Kevin Gallagher…no other than McGowan.

Unfortunately, it was too dark in the bar for me to get a picture of the two but here's a pic that shows where they were seated (marked in blue).


Again, this was the same day when, just hours earlier, McGowan was ordered to get a psychiatric examination to determine if he was mentally capable to stand trial.
McGowan and Gallagher are having a great time until they notice that I'm also at the bar looking right at them…at which point, they quickly pay up their tab, bolt out of the place, and drive away.

...oh, did I forget to mention that McGowan was DRIVING A CAR when he left the bar?

How can McGowan find the time to DRIVE to a bar on the same day he was ORDERED get a psychiatric examination?

From what I saw that night, he was mentally capable to have a good time at a bar after his court appearance.

ITEM 2: McGowan's local access show continues without a hitch.

Days after he's ordered by the court to get a psychiatric examination, you'd think the last thing on McGowan's mind would involve planning, producing, and broadcasting a live call-in show.

...guess again.

On Friday September 4th and 11th, McGowan (with Gallagher as his co-host) did his weekly local access show without a hitch (snapshots of the show are below).


Things to take into consideration, 1.) McGowan lives in BETHEL miles away from Comcast Cable studios and 2.) it's known that co-host Gallagher most likely gets a ride to the studio from McGowan because most of the time (if not all of the time) he doesn't drive.

How can McGowan plan, produce, host a cable access show for TWO weeks straight LIVE (as well as get to the studio) and not find the time to get a psychiatric examination and/or have transportation problems?

ITEM 3: The Black Gold Oil encounter

I was on the road the morning on SEPTEMBER19th when I saw John McGowan drive his Black Gold Oil truck down the street (McGowan owns a oil business...how is this possible I have no idea).

While at a red light, I took a moment to snap this quick photo of the back of McGowan's truck.


Now, if McGowan had transportation problems, how is he able to get to and from his business? I hardly think he's walking from his house to his business.

Are you getting the picture?

I think Assistant State's Attorney Dawn Gallo said it best when she said the following:
"He has transportation, and he owns an oil company," Gallo said. "This is merely an attempt to manipulate the court."


To wrap things up, Pirro outlines even more bizarre behavior from Elise Marciano's BFF.
If his courtroom demeanor was low-key, that same description couldn't be applied to the sheaves of bizarre papers he has filed in connection with the case.
The thick stack of documents claim to be "powers of attorney" and attachments on various land records, but according to a court clerk are comprised of "legal terms that are strung together but have no legal meaning."

And to add insult to injury...
In some of the papers, McGowan identifies by name the woman who accused him of rape, as well as giving her address and the names of family members, Gallo said.


Gallo asked the judge for a protective order preventing McGowan from including that information on any documents he files.

Good grief!

Now, remember, if convicted, McGowan is facing up to 20 YEARS in jail and from my point of view, it doesn't seem like this guy is taking the case seriously. I have a feeling that if McGowan keeps screwing around, he'll get a reality check from the judge.

...to be continued.


McGowan arrested, charged with first-degree sexual assault

Court trial day one: Strange behavior, disturbing arrest warrant affidavit

LOCAL ACCESS VIDEO: Progressive Soup Sept 16 2009 broadcast

Time: 8:57 AM

TOPIC: Health care

Gary Goncalves releases new TV ad

Monday, September 21, 2009
Time: 10:46 AM

Today, the Gary Goncalves campaign released a new TV ad which will be broadcasted on Comcast cable...

LOCAL ACCESS VIDEO: Ideas at Work and Beyond 09.17.09 broadcast

Sunday, September 20, 2009
Time: 8:31 PM

GUESTS: Dan Gaita, Bethel First Selectman Robert Burke Treasurer
State Sen./Republican 4th CD candidate Dan Debicella

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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



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(Head Moderator Return Format)

11.07.23: Election night returns
(Head Moderator Return Format)

11.07.23: Initial returns

Oct 10 2022
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Apr 10 2023
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Dem/GOP slate/ballot position

VIDEO: DRTC convention
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(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
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Alves "Jan 6th" attack mailer 10.21.21
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Danbury 2005 election results
Newstimes Dean Esposito profile (10.25.05)

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