Giving voters more choices…should be as American as the Fourth of July – Ralph Nader

18 Comments

First there was the “social justice” lobbyist who wrote a piece in the Hartford Courant instructing people not to sign a Pelto/Murphy 2014 ballot petition because it might hurt Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy’s re-election chances.

More recently, a Journal Inquirer editorial entitled, Nader, Pelto, and the spoilers in our two-party system, claimed that that running as a 3rd party candidate is “ just another example of the ‘purist’ thinking of many Americans on the political right and left….If they cannot have their own way in implementing their own ideas within the two-party system they move to act as spoilers. Their refusal to accept the two-party system as a reality of American life only makes them ineffective in implementing their ideas.”

And yesterday, in an interview with the New Haven Register Editorial Board, Malloy sought to dismiss the vital issues we’re raising in this year’s election by saying, “Jonathan Pelto has no shot” and adding, “I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about issues until I know that it is a real issue, as opposed to someone’s desire.”

One thing is for sure, Malloy’s propensity for arrogance remains alive and well.

But with perfect timing, Ralph Nader has written a commentary piece in today’s Hartford Courant.  Connecticut voter Ralph Nader takes on the ongoing efforts to dismiss those of us who believe that voters need and deserve more choices than simply Democrat Dannel Malloy and Republican Tom Foley in this year’s gubernatorial election.

Ralph Nader writes,

The word “spoiler,” when applied only to small-party candidates, is an epithet of political bigotry. It says to people who want to enter the electoral arena and talk about ignored but important issues that they should not do so.

It says the two big parties own all the voters, and they should not be taken away by third-party candidates who can’t win. Nor should these candidates be given an opportunity to build voter familiarity and an eventual chance at winning over several elections.

Many Americans, despite their disgust with the behavior of the two major parties, think nothing of telling people not to run because they’ll be “spoilers.” That is equivalent to telling candidates to shut up — a nasty demand that one would not readily use in daily interactions.

Even so, I was surprised that my mere signing of former state legislator Jonathan Pelto’s petition, along with thousands of other Connecticut voters, to get him on the gubernatorial ballot made news. After all, giving voters more choices and voices in an election year should be as American as apple pie and the Fourth of July. Except that it isn’t.

[…]

A freedom-loving democratic view is that everyone has an equal right to run for elective office. Since all candidates are trying to get votes from one another, they are all “spoilers” to each other.

Perpetuating an entrenched two-party politics, marinated in a corporatism that is voraciously driving our country into the ground, while exporting jobs and industries to suppressive fascist and communist regimes abroad, should not go uncontested.

Aren’t we glad that enough voters split away from the Democratic and Whig parties in 1840 to vote for the antislavery Liberty Party? Or that after the Civil War, voters supported third parties pushing for women’s right to vote and Progressive Era regulations of railroads, banks and other industries to protect farmers and workers? Those smaller parties exposed the rot and ruinous policies of the business-driven politics of the day. The major parties eventually got the message. We are the beneficiaries today.

[…]

Those who throw the charge of “spoilers” need to be reminded that running for public office is the consummate use of the First Amendment — namely, to exercise the right to freedom of speech, petition and assembly.

Remember that the words “political parties,” “corporation” and “company” are not even mentioned in our Constitution, raising the central question of why they are ruling “we the people” today

You can read Ralph Nader’s complete commentary piece at: http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/op_ed/hc-op-ralph-nader-let-so-called-spoilers-run-20140814,0,4428452.story

Paid for by Pelto 2014, Ted Strelez, Treasurer, Christine Ladd, Deputy Treasurer, Approved by Jonathan Pelto

The problem is poverty, language barriers and unmet special education needs!

20 Comments

Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy and Tom Foley both claim that they are committed to doing something about Connecticut’s “failing” schools.

Democrat Malloy began his approach by becoming the only Democratic governor in the national to propose doing away with teacher tenure and repealing collective bargaining in the poorest and lowest performing schools which he euphemistically calls “turnaround schools.”   Malloy also proposed massive amounts of new Common Core standardized testing for all public school students and tied his modest funding increases for poor schools to inappropriate privatization strategies.

Republican Foley has also proposed more standardized testing.  According to a recent article in the New Haven Register, “Foley also wants a third-grade reading test before children are promoted and a regents’ style exam to test basic skills in order to graduate from high schools.”

However, to his credit, Foley recognizes that state education funding formulas must address the needs and challenges students face.  Foley explains that the school funding grant “’should be variable depending on the needs of the child,” with less money for capable, independent students with a lot of enrichment at home and more for special needs children.’

While both Malloy and Foley lament the large achievement gap that exists in Connecticut, neither appears willing to set aside the nonsense of more testing and focus the state’s resources on the factors that do limit academic success – poverty, language barriers and unmet special education needs.

Malloy and Foley would do well to read the recent CT Newsjunkie commentary piece written by Barth Keck.  Keck’s piece is entitled, “It Doesn’t Take Captain Obvious to Identify A Stacked Deck,” and he explains,

Among the obvious realities of public schools:

1. A disadvantaged family life negatively affects educational Achievement.

“A family’s resources and the doors they open cast a long shadow over children’s life trajectories,” says Johns Hopkins sociologist Karl Alexander , whose research tracked nearly 800 Baltimore schoolchildren for 25 years. “This view is at odds with the popular ethos that we are makers of our own fortune.”

Another recent study  from the Washington University School of Medicine found that “children who are exposed to poverty at a young age often have trouble academically later in life” since poverty “appears to be associated with smaller brain volumes in areas involved in emotion processing and memory.”

Brain scans of 145 children between 6 and 12 showed that “poverty also appears to alter the physical makeup of a child’s brain; those children exposed to poverty at an early age had smaller volumes of white and cortical gray matter, as well as hippocampal and amygdala volumes.”

This is especially bad news for Connecticut, as poverty among children has increased by 50 percent since 1990, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Barth Keck’s latest commentary piece can be found at: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/op-ed_it_doesnt_take_captain_obvious_to_identify_a_stacked_deck/.

His message is clear and concise.

Poverty limits academic achievement and poverty among Connecticut’s children has increased by about 50% in recent years.

When it comes to dealing with Connecticut’s achievement gap, both Malloy and Foley are wrong.  We need less testing and more learning, not the other way around.

We can and must confront Connecticut’s achievement gap…

But the solution is definitely not the anti-teacher, pro-privatization effort being pushed by Governor Malloy, Stefan Pryor and their allies in the corporate education reform industry.

Paid for by Pelto 2014, Ted Strelez, Treasurer, Christine Ladd, Deputy Treasurer, Approved by Jonathan Pelto

State Deficit?  What State Deficit?”

4 Comments

In a recent interview with the CT Mirror, Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy said,

“We really don’t have a deficit.”

However, if the truth be told, according to the non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis, the State of Connecticut continues to face a monumental fiscal crisis.  In fact, here are the projections from the experts for the fiscal years following this November’s election;

Fiscal Year 2016:  A $1.4 billion Connecticut state budget deficit

Fiscal Year 2017:  A $1.6 billion Connecticut state budget deficit

Fiscal Year 2018:  A $1.8 billion Connecticut state budget deficit

Malloy says the Office of Fiscal Analysis is wrong, although he uses their numbers when he complains that he inherited a $3.7 billion state budget deficit from former Governor Rell.

The most recent campaign pitch from Malloy is that he wants to be judged on his record.

And the fact is his record is extremely clear.

As a result of Malloy’s unfair tax package that coddled the rich and disproportionately hit the middle class, along with his constant use of budget gimmicks, the candidate who wins this year’s gubernatorial election will have to deal with a situation in which Connecticut will be at least $4.8 billion short of what would be needed to balance the state budget over the next three years.

Meanwhile, the cornerstone of Malloy’s campaign is his claim that he won’t propose or accept any tax increases during the next four years, he won’t need to renege on his deal with the state employee unions nor will he have to ask for further concessions from state employees and he won’t cut vital services here in Connecticut.

Is Malloy intentionally misleading voters?

Is he straight out lying?

According to that same CT Mirror article, Malloy says he will be able to achieve the un-achievable because, as he puts it, “he’s confident that both the nation’s and Connecticut’s economy are on the cusp of a major surge. 

As Connecticut heads into the last three months of the 2014 gubernatorial election, Governor Malloy may want to remember the famous phrase attributed to President Abraham Lincoln who said, 

“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

 If there is one thing that the 2014 campaign for governor should be about – it is tell the people of Connecticut the truth.

Paid for by Pelto 2014, Ted Strelez, Treasurer, Christine Ladd, Deputy Treasurer, Approved by Jonathan Pelto

Connecticut Primary Day – Just don’t spoil things with your vote!

16 Comments

A recent editorial in Connecticut’s Journal Inquirer newspaper included the headline, Nader, Pelto, and the spoilers in our two-party system.  The JI’s owner-editorial writer pontificated,

The Hartford Courant recently reported that Ralph Nader, the Winsted critic, has signed a petition to place Jonathan Pelto on the gubernatorial ballot.

How ironic.

Nader’s futile attempt to run for president helped George W. Bush beat Al Gore in 2000 by drawing just enough votes to ensure that Gore lost the state of Florida to Bush, thereby guaranteeing — with the Supreme Court’s help — Bush’s election.

Now Nader has encouraged Pelto to do the same thing against Gov. Dannel Malloy.

[…]

This is just another example of the “purist” thinking of many Americans on the political right and left.

If they cannot have their own way in implementing their own ideas within the two-party system they move to act as spoilers. Their refusal to accept the two-party system as a reality of American life only makes them ineffective in implementing their ideas.

Putting aside the “magical thinking” that a two-party system is the best possible form of democracy, let’s take a step back and address the whole “spoiler” concept.

Various political observers, including a select group of high-ranking Democratic Party and union leaders adhere to the notion that Ralph Nader “spoiled” the 2000 presidential election and claim that therefore he is responsible for ushering in eight years of George W. Bush.

The truth is that Al Gore won the national popular vote in the 2000 election but lost the presidency, in part, because he failed to carry the State of Florida.  Florida’s Electoral College votes went to Bush, allowing him to overcome the will of the American People, and take control of the Executive Branch of government.

The Electoral College is an odd and outdated system that should be eliminated, but for now it is required by the United States Constitution.

In any case, to this day, many Democratic leaders swear that but for Ralph Nader, Al Gore would have won Florida and therefore the election.

For them, it is a simple issue of arithmetic…  Case closed.

But their simplistic and anti-democracy statements fail to take into consideration the actual facts surrounding the Florida 2000 election.

Here are the facts;

  • According to the official count, out of more than 6 million votes cast, Al Gore lost Florida to George W. Bush by 537 votes.
  • The exit polls conducted at the time determined that approximately 308,000 Florida Democrats voted for George Bush.  By comparison, Ralph Nader got 24,000 votes from Democrats that fateful day.
  • Those promoting the “spoiler theory” would also have us believe that there were only three candidates on the Florida ballot in 2000 – Al Gore, George W. Bush and Ralph Nader.  However, there were actually ten (10) candidates on the ballot.  Gore lost by 537 votes and ALL EIGHT 3RD PARTY CANDIDATES on the Florida ballot received more than 537 votes each.  Yet you never hear the others being called “spoilers.” Those other 3rd party candidates included the Workers World Party candidate, the Socialist Party candidate, the Socialist Workers Party candidate and five others including Nader.
  • In addition, a major academic study of the 2000 Florida election determined that Gore would probably have won Florida’s Electoral College vote had there been a full statewide recount.  However, the Gore campaign only requested a recount in four of the most Democratic counties….  Al Gore never asked for a statewide recount and the Florida Supreme Court only ordered a recount among an even smaller sub-set of voters.
  • And it certainly wasn’t Ralph Nader’s fault that the United States Supreme Court voted, on partisan lines, to stop the Florida recount altogether, which had the immediate effect of ensuring Bush’s victory.

The truth about Ralph Nader and the 2000 Florida election is pretty simple.

When you hear political and media pundits, particularly those loyal to Connecticut Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy complain that Ralph Nader “spoiled” the 2000 presidential election or that my candidacy for governor in 2014 could “spoil” Malloy’s re-election aspirations, remind them off the following:  “Al Gore lost seven-and-a-half times more Democrats to Bush, than he lost Democrats and Independents combined to Nader.”

Al Gore lost Florida because not enough voters – especially Democrats – cast their vote for him.  Malloy could easily face a similar problem in Connecticut.

Democracy is the system of government in which The People have the opportunity to choose their leaders.  To suggest that a 3rd party candidate “spoils” the notion of democracy by running for office is to reject the most fundamental values and principles our nation is supposed to represent.

Supporters of Governor Malloy, or any other candidate for that matter, would do better spending their time explaining why their candidate deserves to win rather than working to undermine and denigrate the very essence of our democracy.

Their absurd complaints are unbecoming and un-American.

Paid for by Pelto 2014, Ted Strelez, Treasurer, Christine Ladd, Deputy Treasurer, Approved by Jonathan Pelto

Malloy’s PR operation for the Free Park Admission Weekend

11 Comments

File this one under – “How The Connecticut Budget Process Really Works.

A couple of weeks ago, with Election Day in sight, Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy kicked off a public relations campaign to promote the state’s Free Park Admission Weekend.

Malloy told the media,

“To encourage everyone to visit a state park this Centennial year, we are waiving fees at our parks this Saturday and Sunday…We will not charge the usual parking fees, and we will not collect admission fees at state park museums.”

While the free weekend program saved Connecticut residents $120,000 in parking and admission fees, what went unnoticed was how the Malloy administration paid for the associated free weekend marketing program.

It turns out that Section 14 of this year’s State Budget bill quietly moved $40,000 from Connecticut’s Emergency Spill Response program to pay for the “marketing costs for free park admission weekend.”

Connecticut’s Emergency Spill Response Program includes the Emergency Response Unit which, “responds 24 hours per day to emergencies that result from accidental and deliberate discharges and uncontrolled releases of chemicals, hazardous wastes, petroleum products and other hazardous materials.”

Considering the budget bill passed the Connecticut State Senate on May 3, 2014 at 12:04 a.m. we’re left to wonder whether legislators even knew that this transfer of funds was part of the budget or simply didn’t care?

Paid for by Pelto 2014, Ted Strelez, Treasurer, Christine Ladd, Deputy Treasurer, Approved by Jonathan Pelto

Amistad – The quintessential example of failed leadership

10 Comments

Here in Connecticut, the governor is – first and foremost – the state’ chief executive.  He or she is responsible for the operations and performance of the executive branch of state government.  In order to perform that duty they must recruit and supervise a team of commissioners and senior managers.

The operative term is not just to recruit, but to actually supervise, manage and direct a team dedicated to ensuring that state government performs its duties in an efficient and effective manner.

Being governor is not about campaigning 24/7, 365 days a year for four years.

Being governor is not about issuing press releases, cutting ribbons or gallivanting around the country raising money or engaging in political activities.

Being governor is about getting the job done – and done right.

And here is yet another example of what happens when governors decide that playing politics comes before managing the affairs of state.

As the Hartford Courant reports in an article entitled, Audits: As Amistad Finances Collapsed, State Money Kept Flowing

When the cash began running out at the nonprofit Amistad America Inc., officials defaulted on bank loans, skimped on bills, borrowed from employees and used state grant money as a temporary loan against other grants, a series of audits released Friday shows.

They also laid off employees with financial expertise, stopped preparing federal tax returns and got permission from the state, year after year, to delay filing financial audits that would have shown the depth of Amistad America’s troubles.

And while the charity’s finances were collapsing, state grant money kept flowing — more than $1 million from 2009 to 2011, even as the organization’s assets fell below zero, the audits show.

[…]

A year ago, state officials hired the New York accounting firm of CohnReznick to sift through Amistad America’s financial records and prepare the first audits since a March 2008 accounting. CohnReznick’s $78,000 fee was taken out of the state’s annual grant to Amistad America.

In four long-awaited audits released Friday, covering the fiscal years 2009 through 2012, CohnReznick found “material weaknesses” in Amistad America’s internal financial controls and found that the group did not comply with certain reporting requirements related to its state grants…The audits also did not address the day-to-day operation of the nonprofit group, or assign culpability for its financial problems.

The story paints an ugly picture of failed leadership and management.

And perhaps, most interesting of all, the long-awaited audits did not “assign culpability” for the massive waste of public funds.

Connecticut deserves better.

You can read the complete Hartford Courant story at: http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-amistad-audits-0809-20140808,0,3797591.story

 

Paid for by Pelto 2014, Ted Strelez, Treasurer, Christine Ladd, Deputy Treasurer, Approved by Jonathan Pelto

Malloy Tells Voters To Judge Him On His Record – Welcomes Debates

12 Comments

Well, we can now all agree on something!

This year’s gubernatorial campaign is about judging Dannel “Dan” Malloy on his record and choosing a leadership team that will help set the course for the next four years.

To successfully perform that duty, the voters of Connecticut need the truth about Malloy’s record and a series of debates so that they can hear from Malloy and the other candidates seeking to become Connecticut’s governor.

According to a recent story in CT Newsjunkie entitled, Malloy Welcomes Debate, Asks Voters To Judge Him On His Record, Malloy said,

“Listen, you’ve got to look at what elections are,” Malloy said Tuesday. “I have a record. It’s a record I’m proud of, having faced five natural disaster declarations and Sandy Hook. I think people need, or I would ask that they put it all in context.”

While it makes me a little uneasy to think he is bringing the Sandy Hook massacre into his campaign rhetoric, I agree he faced five natural disaster declarations and Sandy hook and that voters should vote based on his entire record.

As the CT Newsjunkie story explained, Malloy also said

“I look forward to having a thorough discussion of the issues in a debate format. Final number to be decided, but certainly I’m going to be accepting a lot of invitations”

As far as our democracy and our state concerned, I certainly hope Governor Malloy means what he says.

Debates will allow us to discuss Malloy’s record and the alternatives to another four years of Malloy’s approach to governance.

Among the many issues to discuss, I especially look forward the following:

  • Actually putting an end to the use of budget gimmicks and coming to grips with the need to adopt fair, honest and balanced state budgets if we are to confront the fiscal crisis that is undermining Connecticut.  Malloy “inherited” a budget deficit of $3.7 billion.  The projected state budget deficit for next year is $1.4 billion and the projected budget deficits for the next 3 years exceed $5 billion.
  • Dramatically revising Connecticut’s tax structure to ensure that the wealthy are paying their fair and the state stops disproportionately dumping the tax burden on the middle class.
  • Putting an end to giving hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer funds to successful corporations currently being supported by Malloy’s “fast five” corporate welfare program. State government should be in the business of supporting Connecticut’s small businesses, not giving away taxpayer funds to pick winners and losers in the free enterprise marketplace.
  • Taking back control of our public education system and repealing Malloy’s corporate education reform industry policies including the Common Core, the unfair, expensive and inappropriate Common Core testing scheme, the unfair allocation of scarce public funds and the massive effort to divert taxpayer money from public schools to charter schools.  Let us not forget that Dannel Malloy is the ONLY Democratic Governor in the nation to propose doing away with teacher tenure and repealing collective bargaining for teachers in so-called “turnaround schools.”
  • Reversing Malloy’s record-breaking cuts to Connecticut’s public colleges and universities.  Shifting the costs on the backs of students and their parents is further undermining Connecticut’s middle class and, along with his inappropriate policies on remedial courses, is creating permanent barriers to a college education for thousands of students.
  • Returning honesty and transparency to government by strengthening Connecticut watch-dog agencies like the Ethics Commission, the Freedom of Information Commission, the State Elections Enforcement Commission and expanding the efforts to locate and eliminate fraud and waste in government.
  • Perhaps most importantly of all, reorienting our government so that it treats all of its citizens fairly and equitably.  Whether it is the Malloy administration’s failure to listen and respect the disability community or the unfair implementation of laws, rules and regulations, the people of Connecticut deserve a government that is dedicated to them – and not to the select few who have the access to get what they want.

So bring on the debates, let’s judge Malloy on his record and let’s choose new leadership for Connecticut.

You can read the complete CT Newsjunkie article at:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/malloy_welcomes_debate_asks_voters_to_judge_him_on_his_record/

Paid for by Pelto 2014, Ted Strelez, Treasurer, Christine Ladd, Deputy Treasurer, Approved by Jonathan Pelto

Are Malloy operatives saying democracy is great, unless they’re challenged?

25 Comments

Democrats claim to love democracy.  The Democratic Party has traditionally fought to make it easier to register and vote and promoted strategies to improve voter turnout such as early voting.  Democrats have also decried efforts to suppress turnout or making it harder for people to cast their vote on Election Day.

But as Democrats (and Republicans) brag about the superiority of our system of governance and seek to spread democracy around the world, one thing is becoming clear…Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy and his political operatives are all for democratic values until they are the ones being challenged.

In a recent Hartford Courant article, “Rosa DeLauro Says Jon Pelto Should Get Out of Race For Governor.  DeLauro, who’ve I’ve known and supported for 34 years added,

“He should not be running for governor…Jonathan Pelto is a very smart young man. We’ve worked together over many years. But this is not his moment.”

Not his moment?

Rather than welcome a full and open debate about his record as governor, here are two more stories revealing that Malloy and his inner-circle would rather resort to insults or bizarre claims that allowing people to vote for the Pelto/Murphy ticket would “spoil” this year’s election for governor.

It is – at its core – a very odd philosophy.

Apparently their belief is that democracy is fine as long as voters don’t have too many choices.

If they spent their time and energy explaining why Connecticut voters should overlook Malloy’s legacy of failure on the state budget, fair taxation, education, corporate welfare and other issues rather than whining about being challenged, they might be able to pick up votes the old fashioned way – by earning them.

Pelto sees Bridgeport as battleground

BRIDGEPORT — A city teacher for 24 years, Kathy Silver is one of the public school educators who helped Jonathan Pelto collect the thousands of signatures needed to get his name onto November’s gubernatorial ballot.

“It’s almost as if it’s a sleeping giant that’s waking up,” Silver said of the Pelto movement, much of it born out of frustration with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s education reforms and a perceived favoritism of anti-union privatization.

“I think people are realizing that their vote has some power and they’re beginning to push back,” Silver said.

Pelto, a left-leaning Democrat and ex-legislator from Storrs, and a second petitioning candidate, tea party Republican Joe Visconti, had until 4 p.m. Wednesday to submit 7,500 valid signatures to town clerks.

Pelto, who was in Bridgeport Wednesday, his seventh stop here in as many weeks, was optimistic he had enough signatures, though it will take time for local elections officials to verify them and forward them to the state.

And if Pelto is a candidate, true-blue Bridgeport may play an even more crucial role in the gubernatorial contest than when the city won Malloy a 7,000-vote victory in 2010 over Republican Tom Foley

“Bridgeport would likely be the single most important battleground,” said Pelto.

Why? Park City voters angry with Malloy’s education agenda have recently flexed muscle at the polls. And Malloy so far appears to again need all the support he can muster in Bridgeport this November.

[…]

“We’ve seen what I would call three major proxy wars (in Bridgeport),” Pelto said, that show the city’s traditional Democratic apparatus might have trouble drumming up enthusiasm for Malloy.

Through it all, Pelto used his blog, Wait What? to criticize the governor’s efforts.

“Jonathan Pelto is a folk hero in educational circles because he is articulating the real needs of urban educators,” said Bryan Ripley Crandall, who, as head of the Connecticut Writing Project at Fairfield University, works with Bridgeport teachers.

And some of those city activists who showed Vallas the door have aided Pelto in his gubernatorial petition drive.

“Listen, Bridgeport delivered for Malloy,” said retired Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez, a Democrat who challenged Vallas’ qualifications in a case ultimately decided in Vallas’ favor by the State Supreme Court. “The first thing Malloy did was come in here and disband an elected Board of Education … So Bridgeport should respond, if anything, to say, `You’ve got to respect us.’ ”

[…]

Pelto said that if he costs Malloy the election, his candidacy would still serve a purpose, and Democrats would still run the Legislature.

“If Malloy loses it will be a very strong signal for the Democratic Party in Connecticut and elsewhere — you can’t walk away from these constituencies and keep on assuming they’ll vote for you,” Pelto said. “If that’s the outcome … then I think I’ve made a pretty positive impact.”

For the full article go to: http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Pelto-sees-Bridgeport-as-battleground-5672984.php

 

Nader Signed Pelto’s Petition To Get On Ballot

Speaking to two reporters, Malloy at first tried to focus on his own candidacy after being asked about Pelto.

“We’re going to talk about issues,” Malloy said. “We’re going to debate issues, as I have said, very actively. What we believe is that there will be a very clear voice to the voters of Connecticut about which direction they want to go, and ultimately I believe they’ll choose me to be the leader for the next four years, but that’s what elections are about.”

Asked again about Pelto, Malloy appeared to throw a veiled jab at the veteran Democratic operative.

“Again, I think what I’ll do is reserve the debate for the candidates who are in the race and have a chance of demonstrating real support,” he said.

Malloy added that he has observed changing motivations among some gubernatorial candidates.

“I think it was pointed out [in a recent article] … that there has been a sliding scale of desire and representations, beginning with somebody will only be a candidate if they have a chance to win and now they want to be candidate for any purpose,” he said.

Malloy never mentioned Pelto’s name, which Pelto said has been done on purpose for months.

“It is their strategy,” Pelto said.  “It’s childish. It’s juvenile. They’re playing politics, and they think it’s their way to ensure that I don’t get name recognition.”

Read the full article at: http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-pelto-visconti-signatures-0807-20140806,0,1157684.story

Paid for by Pelto 2014, Ted Strelez, Treasurer, Christine Ladd, Deputy Treasurer, Approved by Jonathan Pelto

“We need a school that’s going to promote God’s principles”  

25 Comments

The observation comes from a member of the Varick Memorial A.M.E Church community as she explains why the State Board of Education should approve a “revised” charter for the Booker T. Washington Elementary School in New Haven.

The Board of Directors of the new Booker T. Washington School is led by Varick Memorial A.M.E. Church’s pastor, his assistant and his wife.  According to the proposal, his wife will serve on the board until she gets a job once the school is open.

The CT Newsjunkie story explains,

“The state Board of Education expressed skepticism Monday that a new charter school would be able to get up and running before the start of the school year, but nevertheless they unanimously approved the revised plan.”

Commissioner Pryor and the State Board of Education originally approved the Booker T. Washington Charter School based on the fact that it would be run by Jumoke/FUSE, but after the collapse of that company, the proponents of the Booker T. Washington School were allowed to find a new “management” operation.

The CT Newsjunkie story goes on to explain;

The school’s founder, Pastor Eldren Morrison, said they currently have eight board members, but intend to add an additional four members. At least one of the members will be a parent of a child attending the school, which will eventually serve pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade.

Theresa Hopkins-Staten, vice chairwoman of the board, cautioned the Booker T. Washington Academy and urged school officials to include a nepotism clause in its bylaws.

“You indicate that staff members, employees or relatives of staff members, as long as they’re qualified, can work there,” Hopkins-Staten pointed out. “I caution you against that. This board has seen situations where that has not worked out well.”

She said that while there might not be an actual conflict of interest, “perception becomes reality and you don’t want those types of issues early on as you get this school off the ground.”

Taylor told the board that they have not hired any relatives of board members.

[…]

Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now CEO Jennifer Alexander said she supports the revised proposal.

“New Haven’s kids should not be denied the opportunity to attend this school because FUSE apparently proved to be a less-than-honest partner,” Alexander said. “The hundreds of children and parents who have already applied to attend Booker T. Washington Academy (BTWA) should not be negatively impacted by the egregious and possibly illegal activities at FUSE.”

As part of its revised proposal, BTWA will lease space for $100,000 from Achievement First, a public charter school organization. Taylor said Mayo, who recently stepped forward to mentor Taylor , was instrumental in lowering the asking price for the sublease.

He said they are paying less on the lease than what Achievement First is paying the landlord for the space.

“It’s a fraction of what they’re paying,” Taylor said.

As Wait, What? readers know, Achievement First Inc. was co-founded by Stefan Pryor, Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, and the office responsible for reviewing charter school operations is run by Morgan Barth, a former Achievement First, Inc. employee who taught and served as an administrator illegally during 6 of his years at Achievement First, Inc.

The State Board of Education did not address or produce any documentation about the potential conflict of interest now that Booker T Washington is now renting and renovating property owned by Achievement First, Inc.

You can read the full CT Newsjunkie article at: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/board_of_education_approves_new_charter_school/?utm_source=CTNewsJunkie.com&utm_campaign=b40dcb2093-MCP_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_a493d2308d-b40dcb2093-92878945

 

Paid for by Pelto 2014, Ted Strelez, Treasurer, Christine Ladd, Deputy Treasurer, Approved by Jonathan Pelto

All is well in the Land of Oz

No Comments

The scene in which Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy says, “CT budget and economy both poised to take off” In the last of a series of articles written by the CT Mirror’s Keith Phaneuf on how the candidates for governor would deal with Connecticut’s $1.4 billion projected state budget for the year following the November election, Governor Malloy has said,

“We really don’t have a deficit…I know that’s hard to believe.”

Malloy tells the CT Mirror;

  • Connecticut doesn’t have a deficit
  • There will be no cuts to key services
  • There is no need to discuss concessions with state employees
  • He will not propose or accept any tax increase during his four years as governor – even to shift the tax burden by making the wealthy pay their fair share so Connecticut can reduce the disproportionate pressure on the middle class.

And how is Malloy going to achieve this incredible feat of having more services, no additional taxes and no deficits? As the CT Mirror explains,

“The governor said he’s confident that both the nation’s and Connecticut’s economy are on the cusp of a major surge.”

But wait, there is more! Not only do we get all that, but after talking with Malloy, the CT Mirror adds that Malloy says we’ll get even more if we just re-elect him.

“Swelling tax receipts not only will close whatever part of the deficit he can’t close with efficiencies, he says, but will also create opportunities for future tax cuts.”

In response to Malloy’s beyond belief explanation of the crisis facing Connecticut and its state government, the CT Mirror quotes me saying,

“What a sad commentary,” said petitioning candidate Jonathan Pelto, a Mansfield Democrat and former state representative. “He’s not functioning in the same economic world that the rest of us live in.”

The truth is that Connecticut faces a $5 billion revenue shortage over the next five years and Malloy’s reliance on inappropriate borrowing has further undermined the fiscal health of our state. While Malloy claims the problems will all disappear, the CT Mirror correctly notes that,

Pelto is at the other end of the spectrum, insisting that a major tax hike on the wealthy is needed to safeguard public services, public employees’ pensions, and municipal aid.

If you are going to read one article about Governor Malloy’s approach to the problems facing the state, this is the one to read. You can find the whole article at: http://ctmirror.org/malloy-ct-budget-and-economy-both-poised-to-take-off/

Paid for by Pelto 2014, Ted Strelez, Treasurer, Christine Ladd, Deputy Treasurer, Approved by Jonathan Pelto

Older Entries Newer Entries