LOCAL ACCESS VIDEO: Ideas At Work and Beyond 06.24.10 broadcast
Time: 7:03 PM
Sec. of State release primary list
Time: 6:46 PM
World Cup fans show their pride on Main Street
Time: 4:15 PM
Although the final score between the Brazil and Portugal was 0 to 0, that didn't stop fans of two World Cup teams from showing their pride along Main Street this afternoon.
After watching the match at the Atlantic Restaurant on Osborne Street, I went to check the scene on the corner of Main and Keeler Street. There were about 20 cars with people honking their horns and waving flags after the game.
From what I could see from my location, the flow of traffic downtown moved very smoothly downtown although things cleared immediately on Main Street once the police re-opened the side roads (even Chief Al Baker was on hand directing vehicles).
For the most part, people were very respectable on Main Street and had a great time…and then there were the anti-immigrant locals.
Two members of the United States Citizens for Immigration and Law Enforcement parked across the street from the Casa Nova restaurant and showed a complete lack of class. Infamous former Common Council member Pauline Basso and anti-immigrant colleague Patricia Kadet felt the need to "observe" the situation…complete with Kadet receiving a round of boos as she taunted people with her "thumbs down" hand gestures. Happily the two irritants left the scene once they noticed yours truly had a camera pointed directly at them.
Here's a brief video clip of the scene along Main Street.
Time: 10:45 AM
Today, former chief of staff and present State Senator Mike McLachlan is scheduled to be deposed in the Danbury 11 case.
There are two critical reasons why McLachlan is being deposed?
1. Because, as chief of staff, McLachlan has knowledge of the city's affairs which could be of importance to the case.
2. During the time of the raid at Kennedy Park (Sept 19th), Mayor Boughton set to travel to Brazil to attend a conference on immigration and fraud (he landed in Brazil on Sept 20th). McLachlan was running the show in Boughton's absence.
McLachlan's deposition (as well as the mayor's) will be videotaped and a reporter from the media will be present. Since this case has attracted state interest, it shouldn't be long until we learn details of the comments made by the mayor's second in command.
UPDATE: Although the plaintiffs and city were in agreement, the attorneys for the fed government denied a request from the media to attend today's deposition. It will take a little while longer until we have information on what was said today.
LOCAL ACCESS VIDEO: Progressive Soup 06.23.10 broadcast
Time: 7:42 AM
Part 2 of 2 on immigration
Updated Danbury 11 database
Time: 5:57 PM
I've been busy updating the Danbury 11 database on this site. The new listing can be found in the 1st sidebar and hopefully by the end of the week, I'll have a separate site established for the case.
NOTE: If the media has any inquires regarding the case, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The public deserves to know the truth about the Danbury 11 case
Time: 2:19 PM
On September 19 2006, the public was informed that around 6:30 in the morning, agents for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement disguised themselves as contractors and offered work to eleven day laborers at Kennedy Park who were looking for work. Instead of doing a job, the day laborers were arrested.
In at least three separate statements to the media, Boughton insisted that the city of Danbury played no part in the raid.
Hartford Courant 12.14.06:
In an interview Wednesday, Boughton insisted that immigration police acted alone. They notified Danbury police this summer that they'd be making some arrests this fall but offered no other details, he said.
Channel 8, Dec 2006:
Boughton said the city played no part in the September 19th action but didn't think there would be a problem if they did.
Channel 30, Dec 2006
He [Boughton] said the city was not involved in the planing of the raid…
In December 2006, students from Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at the Yale Law School filed a Freedom of Information request with the city and the Office of Homeland Security in order to obtain documents relating to the case.
Here's an interview I did with the students from Yale about their request.
In September 2007 (one year ate the incident), again I interviewed the Yale Law Student Simon Moshenburg in which he revealed new information about Danbury’s role in the raid that was disclosed in court.
Here are excerpts from the interview:
1. Information obtained from the FOI request shows a Danbury police officer as the arresting officer on booking report.
2. According to the Yale Law Students, in a brief to the court by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the federal government stated that a Danbury Police officer disguised himself as a contractor and drove the van used to pick up the day laborers.
The information obtained by the students at Yale, as well as the DHS brief to the court, seems to contradicts Boughton's 2006 statements to the public in which he claimed that Danbury played no part in the raid.
Later that same month, when the Yale Law students announced that they filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city, I attended a press conference that was held by the law students as well as a press conference held by the mayor's office. At both events, the issue of Danbury’s role in the raid was brought up and the mayor's story about Danbury's involvement changed from "no part" to "logistical support."
Also, The Fairfield Weekly tried to get answers regarding the conflicting statements from Boughton…without much success.
A year ago, eleven Ecuadorian day laborers were sneakily apprehended in Danbury's Kennedy Park by Immigration and Customs Enforcement with help from some men pretending to be contractors. They had some hard hats, a van and, according to recently uncovered information, a few Danbury police badges.
Why were the local cops assisting in a federal sting? Well, according to remarks from Danbury mayor Mark Boughton last December, they weren't. He repeatedly said the city played no role in the ICE raid.
Simon Moshenberg, a Yale Law Student representing the "Danbury 11" in a federal court case that began Monday, received the booking report for the arrests after placing a FOIA request. Under "arresting officer," was the name "Lolli," which turns out to be the name of a Danbury police officer. The Danbury News-Times quotes Chief Al Baker explaining that the arrests were initially made because of complaints about the day laborers' effects on traffic and that Danbury police did drive the van. The department chose not to further comment on their involvement when approached by the Weekly.
Boughton elaborated in an e-mail that "the city provided logistical support to ICE," which is "common" and "does not mean that the Danbury PD planned, organized or carried out the raid." He stands by his comments from December.
Conflicting accounts of Danbury's involvement in the raid is only one example of questionable statements from Boughton in relation to this case. Clearly there is a world of difference between the city playing “no part” in the raid, offering ICE officials "logistical" support, and members of DanburyPD dressing up as contractors and driving the van that was used to pick up the day laborers. Boughton needs to answer for his conflicting statements in regards to this case over the years.
The people of Danbury need to be told the truth about the Danbury 11 case. As the legal price tag of this case continues to escalate, hopefully the sworn depositions of Boughton will provide answers that the residents of Danbury deserve.
New York Times picks up on Boughton's Danbury 11 problem
Time: 10:28 AM
Sometimes the meek get crushed like bugs. Sometimes, long after they should be forgotten, they’re still around to bedevil the mighty.
Consider the Danbury 11 and Mayor Mark D. Boughton. The former were 11 Hispanic day laborers arrested on immigration charges in 2006. Mr. Boughton, in his fifth two-year term, has been endorsed by the Connecticut Republican Party as its nominee for lieutenant governor.
Almost three years after 10 day laborers filed a federal lawsuit challenging the legality of the sting that led to their arrest, the case is still causing problems for Mayor Boughton, who asked that his deposition scheduled for next week be delayed until after the November election. The plaintiffs strenuously objected.
Maybe Mr. Boughton, as he contends, is too busy to testify. Maybe, as the plaintiffs’ brief suggests, he’d prefer that the case disappear until after the election. And does the law grant special “I’m-too-busy-campaigning” exemptions? All, it seems, are sidelights to the case and the policies around immigration, which as Arizona reminds us, remains an issue where it’s still not entirely clear how the politics plays out.
In February, the plaintiffs began seeking depositions from Mr. Boughton and his former top aide, Michael McLachlan, who is now in the State Senate. Mr. McLachlan is scheduled to give his deposition Friday and Mr. Boughton next Wednesday.
In a motion filed June 14, their attorney sought a delay, arguing that “both campaigns, especially, of course, the campaign for lieutenant governor, will require intensive preparation over the next several months.” On Wednesday, the judge denied the motion.
THE plaintiffs, represented by the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale Law School and the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, have presented depositions from local and federal officers meant to dispute the mayor’s contention that the city merely assisted federal officers in a legal sweep. They argue that there’s no support for the notion that the defendants are too busy campaigning to be deposed. Instead, they suggest, the real reason may be political — “so that they will be able to offer the electorate public bravado,” in dismissing the allegations without having to respond under oath.
Mr. Boughton’s immigration stance has many supporters locally, but, post-Arizona, the broader politics seem uncertain. Immigration put the mayor on the map politically, but it’s nowhere on his campaign Web site. As for being too busy, being mayor and campaigning can indeed be taxing though perhaps not as arduous as scrounging for work doing day labor. Mr. Boughton was unavailable for an interview Wednesday; he was playing in the annual Mayor’s Cup Golf Tournament.
Too busy to testify but not busy enough to participate in a golf tournament...or campaign around the state.
Come Wednesday it's time for the
Attempt to delay testifying DENIED
Time: 7:36 PM
A federal magistrate has ruled that the depositions of Mayor Mark Boughton and state Sen. Michael McLachlan as part of the Danbury 11 civil rights lawsuit will go forward.
The decision by Magistrate Donna Martinez Wednesday states that the city did not make "the requisite legal showing" necessary to delay the depositions until after the fall election.
The response the plaintiffs filed late last week to the city's request for a delay stated that prior depositions in the case by federal agents indicated that Boughton "put pressure" on the city's police department to do something about the day laborers at Kennedy Park.
The plaintiffs also stated in their response that despite claims by Boughton that the city did not order the raid, agents said they became involved only after several requests were made by the city.
Joel Cohen, a partner with the Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher law firm that is providing pro bono services to the day laborers, said his clients were happy with the court's decision Wednesday that allows the depositions to proceed.
"Our clients are gratified that the court swiftly denied the defendants motion to further delay the case and look forward to deposing Mayor Boughton and Senator McLachlan about their involvement in the events underlying this important civil rights action," Wilson said.
McLachlan is scheduled to be deposed on Friday, while Boughton's deposition is scheduled for Wednesday.
The last of Boughton's stalling tactics have failed and close to four years, the mayor will have to testify UNDER OATH and answer for the statements he made to the press when he stated that the city of Danbury placed NO PART in the raid (something he repeatedly claimed from the time of the arrest (Sept 2006) until it was discovered that DanburyPD drive the van that picked up the eleven day laborers (aprox. 10 months later)).
GUEST POST: Being “Business Friendly” in the Great Recession.
Time: 5:44 PM
I.C...the floor is yours.
Lowell Weicker, Jr. seems to have suffered some confusion, perhaps even a corruption of his democratic values. His speech and answers to questions at the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (News-Times, June 18) mischaracterizes Connecticut officials and politicians. Some, if not many of his complaints are true but the core issue he refers them to is false.
He complains the state is unfriendly for business. The purpose of government, state or otherwise, is to make life friendly for the people not merely corporations. In a democracy, public wellness trumps corporate convenience, or should. We don’t see much of that nowadays because officialdom and the public have so conflated public life with that of corporations as to claim they are one and the same. They are not. The corporate wealthy who claim that they are the means to public well-being are absurd and increasingly ridiculous on their face.
The Supreme Court in its most recent barbaric exercise of grotesque opinion extended the legal fable that corporations are persons. Mr. Weicker should ponder how this ‘business friendly’ court has corrupted the nation. Contrary to the Court’s ‘Fabulous Five,’ corporations are not persons, they are not even close. Corporations seek the least responsibility, the most resource wealth that can be grabbed, and leave the state as soon as their public welfare shrinks or make attempts to manipulate state officials for more. They are what they have always been, merely devices for piling wealth and for the last 30 years, increasingly designed for piling up all wealth. They seek to profit without employees if possible, without factories if need be, and as soon as they can manage it, poof!, they are off to China.
“Business friendliness’ which Mr. Weicker promotes is merely a means of ennabling these gigantic sucking engines called corporations to extract more money out of the state, away from the people who created it. Being “friendly to business” is a manufactured concept, the only manufacturing most corporations do nowadays. They seek a maximum wealth transfer out of the public realm, upward into the hands of the rich. Not surprisingly this leaves the rest of us in an ever increasing impoverished, environmental, employment, and social wasteland.
Does Mr. Weicker not travel the state enough to see the blank factory windows and empty employee parking lots in Danbury, Norwalk, New Haven, Waterbury, Bridgeport and New London to mention a few? The corporations made their money and left us with rubble at worst or ‘Vacancy’ at best.
Weicker characterizes Gov. Jody Rell as being “disinterested.” Gov. Rell has been very interested, even adamant that the wealth conveyor just described remain in place and untouched. Don’t tax the rich is her own private fable. Her fault is her failure to reveal the blackmail involved—“if you tax us we will leave.” By such fear mongering, individuals and companies bully states, municipalities and the people to grant tax rebates, subsidies, weak rules and regulations and favors of every description. They bully even to the extent of demanding that regulator agencies be stuffed with corporate hacks and lobbyists.
The people are asked to make sacrifices for the privilege of having one or another corporate dim nut locate here or there. The political mechanism is visible in its fully evident form in the British Petroleum oil spill. The federal government and the states involved were very ‘business friendly,’ exquisitely so. They helped in every way, watched not at all, questioning nothing.
Oil industry drilling standards, industry equipment manufacturing, industry safety equipment, and industry installations were never examined, never questioned and seldom tested. When equipment was tested, the industry-captured Mineral Management Services agency never demanded or stipulated ‘best practice’ compliance. Two-thirds of the operating wells in the Gulf do not have the specific mechanism, a blind sheer ram within the blowout preventer for an effective failsafe in case of a loss of well control. Far fewer have two of them, the present standard, in case of a failure of one.. Even the blowout preventer itself, the one device that was supposed to protect the environment and the work crews from catastrophic failure has worked only six times out of 11 in actual well control incidents.
Deepwater Horizon’s Macondo blowout preventer was never tested. It was deployed without crucial mechanisms, and never was required to contain or tested for effective working backups. The nation, in some sense, got what it deserved for electing and then accepting the flawed re-election of two dyed-in-the-brain oil men. They were and remain, politically corrupt to a fault. Oil may be taken off some birds, separated from some sands and wetlands, but the nation will never be able to take the oil or the contrivances to get it, out of those kinds of men.
Blaming Barack Obama for their thievery is hilarious or would be if it wasn’t a form of mass ignorance. It wasn’t the president’s but the public’s ‘shucking and jiving’ with such thieves which left us the problem. The president can only be faulted like most of the American public itself for holding simple minded beliefs. We insist as a nation on believing in the sincerity, competency and public loyalty of an economic system and its corporate agents that have become corrupt, totally self-centered and unbelievably irresponsible. The president, like Americans generally, want fervently to believe in the sacred market and its sacred cow, the corporation.
When I was a boy, Americans used to laugh at India because its people allowed sacred cows to wander the streets, defecating and menacing as they saw fit . But 60 years later Americans allow ‘sacred cow’ corporate executives to wander the streets and fields of the nation. They direct their enterprises, pollute the land, water, air and public culture. They proclaim their exceptional contributions and demand “favorable treatment by market friendly governments [to allow] the rich to prosper.” That’s Ajay Kapur, Citigroup’s chief strategist propagandizing for more “business friendly” government. How few laugh at these people, let alone complain or challenge their unmitigated audacity in claiming they have lives to live while denying the rights of the rest of us to the means of life.
Lowell Weicker accuses Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s “litigious” officiating as having made the state unfriendly to business. If that is true it is because those business were invariably, crudely dishonest and polluting. They were and some still are polluting not only the environment but our democratic public values of fairness, life safety and economic well being. The number of brownfield sites in the state alone testifies to previous government failures.
The likes of a Pfizer robbing New London of its municipal wealth only to leave in a few short years from a fit of corporate pique, or because a CEO wanted to be closer to his home or live in some other world, as they all inevitably do. Such incidents display the true aspect of modern business and its purposes. It doesn’t have anything to do with a ‘free market.’ It has to do with enslaving the nation. It’s called self-interest.
The problem is not that corporations are policed too much but that they are policed so little. For they have no socially enlightened self control mechanism and absolutely zero interest in developing one.
What Mr. Weicker fails to mention is that major portions of business operate merely as agents of that gigantic wealth pumping engine. But in our indulgent social and political theology, capitalism cannot be criticized. Rather it must be praised as though it were the hand of God, the almighty ‘free market.’ Unfortunately, but true to its design, that market is increasingly ever less free and ever more designed to serve merely itself and no others. How many of us are watching? How fewer still attempt to do something about it?
Quote of the day
Time: 12:27 PM
It’s important for the mayor to explain why so many witnesses who have testified under oath have contradicted his own statement
-Ari Holtzblatt on the need for Mayor Mark Boughton to testify UNDER OATH about his misleading statements to the public regarding the Danbury 11 case.
MEDIA: If you have any inquires regarding the Danbury 11 case, please contact me at email@example.com
Time to put up or shut up
Time: 6:36 PM
Attempts to portray Mayor Mark Boughton and state Sen. Michael McLachlan as being "fearful" of being deposed in Danbury 11 civil rights case couldn't be "further from the truth," according to federal court documents filed Tuesday.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs in the case, a group of day laborers known as the Danbury 11 who were arrested in the city four years ago, filed a response to the delay request that claimed Boughton had been "putting pressure" on local police to do something about day laborers at Kennedy Park, a downtown location where they gathered.
The filing also suggests that depositions from federal immigration agents involved in the raid dispute claims made in the past by Boughton that it was a federal operation and that he had no knowledge of the raid until after it happened.
Dan Casagrande, an attorney representing the city in the case, stressed in his response filed Tuesday that statements from the federal agents were drawn from "inadmissible hearsay deposition testimony" and that the plaintiffs "virtually trip over themselves" in their filing to create another event to draw media attention.
"Citing inadmissible hearsay deposition testimony and innuendo references to the mayor's perfectly appropriate acts as mayor -- none of which amounts to a scintilla of relevant or admissible evidence of any wrongdoing -- plaintiffs' counsel attempt to create an impression that the mayor and Sen. McLachlan are fearful of presenting themselves for their depositions," the filing says. "Nothing could be further from the truth."
Casagrande also notes in the filing that "the mayor has maintained from the outset that neither he nor the city engaged in any actionable conduct in this matter," and that both officials look forward to the opportunity to answer questions in the case.
Looks like the mayor's spin machine is at full speed.
Look Mark, after all your attempts to weasel out of giving a deposition in this case, it's time to put up for shut up. A quick look at your comments to the media clearly show that YOU LIED when you said that the city of Danbury played NO PART IN THE RAID at Kennedy Park.
Let me REPEAT...at the time of the raid BOUGHTON STATED that the CITY OF DANBURY PLAYED NO PART IN THE RAID. Boughton didn't say that the city offered "logistic" support until MONTHS LATER when the Yale Law Students disclosed that a Danbury Police officer drove the van used in the raid.
As someone who has followed this case from day one and attended just about every single new conference on the case, without a shadow of a doubt, Boughton LIED to the residents of Danbury regarding the city's involvement in the raid as well as his knowledge of the raid. Bougthton has had PLENTY of time to prepare for this case so his lame excuse in trying to delay his testimony until after the election is a joke.
The time for talk is over Mark...it's time to face the music. If you're so confident that you did nothing wrong, why the continued delaying tactics...it's not like you learned that you were being deposed last week?
Heck, I just want to see if you have the nerve to lie under oath in the same manner that you've lied to the people of Danbury during your tenure as mayor.
Delaying the inevitable
Time: 5:01 PM
Mayor Mark Boughton and state Sen. Michael McLachlan have asked the courts to delay their depositions under oath in the Danbury 11 case until after the fall elections.
Boughton, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, and McLachlan, a Republican who is running for re-election to the legislature, were scheduled to speak under oath about the case later this month.
According to a motion recently filed in federal court, the politicians believe both campaigns will require "intensive preparation over the next several months" and "respectfully ask the courts indulgence to allow Mayor Boughton and Senator McLachlan to be deposed after the election is over."
I call bullshit and this is why.
Boughton and McLachlan scheduled deposition has been well know for months...in fact, the date has been known since late last year. Both lying politicians had PLENTY of time to get their facts together so their latest excuse doesn't even pass the smell test. This whole extension is only a tactic Boughton is using in order to have more time to offer another settlement to the plaintiffs before having to admit to the public that he LIED.
Those who have closely followed this case KNOW that Boughton and McLachlan LIED to the residents of Danbury in regards to several facts in this out besides stating from Dec 2006 to Sept 2007 that Danbury PD played NO PART IN THE RAID. Now that Boughton is attempting to become Lt. Gov, he's doing everything in his power to avoid having this case (and his LIES regarding details of the case) blow up in his face...and that goes DOUBLE for McLachlan.
At this point, this case is beyond money or even the plaintiffs in this case. This whole matter goes beyond Danbury and the state of Connecticut. This case is now a national matter which will pick up national attention as the issue of immigration picks up steam. In short, there is EVERY indication that Boughton overstepped his bounds of mayor in the 2006 raid and his story about Danbury's role in the matter has changed significantly over time. After all of his lip service and tough talking to the Yale Law Students and those who are on the side of the plaintiffs, when it come time for Boughton to face the music, he folds like a cheap suit.
Regardless on how the judge ruled in Boughton's latest delaying tactic, although I know that plaintiffs have been though a lot waiting for justice to be served, I hope they have the patience to reject any offer from the city and force Boughton and McLachlan to be sworn under oath and be forced to finally tell the truth.
Those who know Boughton and his ilk were lying since day one about this case waited over three and a half years for this moment, and regardless of his delaying tactics, if the plaintiffs hold strong, Boughton's lies will eventually be exposed to the public.
UPDATE: The last honest man is at it again:
If I was a Yale law student, I would ask for a refund
Spoken like a man with a Napoleon Complex...
If Boughton is so confident about his day in court, I'm sure he'll be open to allowing the public to see his entire deposition...hell, I sure he wouldn't object to having his deposition videotaped for the city/state/nation to view.
...come on Mark back up your cowboy talk and with something we can believe in for a change and make your deposition public...I dare you tough guy.
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