NB Politicus

U.S. Senate: New Britain Didn’t Stiff Merrick Albert

Posted in 2010 Election, U.S. Senate by nbpoliticus on May 13, 2010

He got into the U.S. Senate race as an upstart Democratic challenger to an increasingly vulnerable Chris Dodd. He sent Democratic leaders a self-published and  autographed autobiography and tooled around the state delivering an anti-war message akin to the Lamont campaign of 2006. He appeared to be on a mission to go from political kindergarten to graduate school despite having no higher position than a seat on his own Town Committee.

Sadly, however, Merrick Albert has adopted a Republican line of attack against Blumenthal for going to court too much on behalf of  state residents. It matters  little to Albert that Blumenthal’s litigiousness has to do with challenging utility rate hikes, protecting manufacturing jobs or fighting health insurance hikes. Like the Republicans now running, Albert’s rationale for running — an incumbent Chris Dodd — left the race.

Gaining little traction with Democratic regulars and the rank and file party members around the state,  Albert has issued a pre-convention press release broadly denouncing  town chairpersons for stiffing him when it comes to speaking.

There can be no doubt that Albert has been rudely rebuffed by some Town Chairs. His new release, however, lists the New Britain Democratic Town Committee as having a Town Chair who refused to allow him to speak. That’s not true. I am the Town Chair in New Britain and am relatively easy to reach if you make an effort to try.  That has not been the way the Albert campaign has operated, at least in communicating with New Britain Democrats.  Leaving it to a campaign manager to send a friendly missive or request via letter to people with work, families and community service to balance is rarely sufficient. 

In New Britain Democrats Merrick Albert would have found a respectful group ready to listen had he shown up uninvited. He just didn’t try.

John McNamara

May Day: Lamont-Glassman Ticket Forming In New Britain Monday, May 3rd

Posted in 2010 Election, state government by nbpoliticus on May 1, 2010

Gubernatorial hopefuls Ned Lamont and Mary Glassman are joining forces ahead of the May 21-22 Democratic convention, forming a ticket they hope will stem the growing strength of former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy in delegates and Malloy’s success in meeting the threshold to qualify for funds under the Citizen’s Election Program.

Courant Columnist Kevin Rennie confirmed the speculation in his Daily Ructions blog on Saturday. By Saturday afternoon,  a Lamont robo call was inviting delegates — at least in New Britain — to a Monday morning announcement at the Trinity-On-Main Arts Center to make the marriage official: Lamont for Governor and Glassman for Lt. Governor.  The New Britain venue for this merger points to Glassman’s roots in the Hardware City and the strong progressive support Lamont received from New Britain Democrats in his 2006 challenge of Joe Lieberman.  New Britain delegates, however, are said to heavily favor Malloy for Governor this time as strongly as they endorsed John DeStefano in 2006.

The bold move by Lamont and Glassman camps appears to confirm or concede that Malloy is in the driver’s seat in terms of securing a first-ballot endorsement despite hints that Lamont will get big blocks of delegates from the Democratic machines in New Haven and Bridgeport via hard ball politics on the part of DTC leaders.

The merger of Lamont and Glassman becomes all the more interesting because it appears to pre-empt the candidacies of other aspirants for Lt. Governor, including Health Advocate Kevin Lembo and the Johnny (Rowland) come lately move by Waterbury Mayor Mike Jarjura to put in a claim for the number two spot.

Lembo, speaking to the New Britain Democratic Town Committee last Thursday, left town securing both contributions and some delegate support for his Lt. Governor bid, impressing the committee with his approach to government reform and expertise on the health care issue.

A Lamont and Glassman alliance pre-empts any horse trading that could have been expected among Malloy, Lamont and Glassman nearer to convention time. It disses the candidacy of Lembo who will get a serious hearing from progressive Democrats, including those who have a vote at the state convention.  The move probably took Jarjura by surprise too as he would need a lot of brokering and deal making at the convention to have a spot on the ticket. 

The well-financed Lamont dual strategy is now set: solidify things for the August 10th primary with an early ticket to present to voters; do better than expected at the convention by acquiring a more respectable showing of delegates than would be the case if he were vying with both Glassman and Malloy.

A Vote For Dan Malloy

Posted in 2010 Election, Governor by nbpoliticus on February 7, 2010

In 2010 Democrats need a gubernatorial nominee who has the best chance of winning an office not held by the majority party in 20 years. The open seat for Governor has spawned a number of Democratic hopefuls, all of whom offer impressive credentials from local and state government and the business world. The choice boils down to an individual who can inspire rank and file Democrats and who demonstrates a capacity to govern that will translate into significant support from independent voters in a year when the electorate wants an end to State Capitol gridlock.

Dan Malloy, who led Connecticut’s fourth largest city for 14 years, is a seasoned and capable elected official who has credentials to navigate the state out from under its systemic fiscal problems. A Governor Malloy can restore public confidence in the Governor’s office. He offers an energetic approach to job creation, transportation, education and housing. His record in Stamford in those areas may be the best indication voters have as to what could happen throughout the state.

For months Malloy has been providing compelling reasons for Democrats to support him. A former prosecutor, Malloy is a feisty candidate who will take on the drivel that will come out Foley or whoever the GOP nominates. He favors the Citizen’s Election Program and a fair system of public financing. The suggestion by some that deep pockets are a prerequisite for a Democrat to win is a democracy-killing idea. We don’t need local reinforcement of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to completely turn the country over to the fat cats.

Malloy, as are other Democrats pursuing the office, strongly advocates for health care reform, including the health care partnership pooling bill that would have saved consumers and cities and towns many millions of dollars had it not died by the Governor’s pen in 2009. That’s about a million bucks in savings for New Britain.

On the economy, Malloy has offered sound criticism of a moribund Rell administration with a call for a more expeditious use of federal Recovery Act funds. On job creation, a Governor Malloy would streamline the alphabet soup of state economic development agencies that could use both cost-saving consolidation and marching orders from an engaged Governor.

There is a clarity of purpose to Malloy’s candidacy in 2010. He’s put in the sweat equity to earn the support of Democrats who backed DeStefano in 2006. A testament to the clarity is that he would be in the race whether the heavily-favored Republican incumbent was in it or not. After 20 years out of the corner office, the Democrats need a candidate who can inspire our base and expand support to unaffiliated voters in 2010. Malloy has shown the drive and commitment to be that candidate.

– John McNamara