Friday, June 14, 2013

Hard To Believe That Six Months Have Passed..

It's been six months since the horrific events took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School. For the residents of Newtown Connecticut, and for the rest of us living in Western Connecticut, the events of 12-14-2012 have been difficult to comprehend.

It is hard not to run in to somebody in the Greater Danbury area that does not have a Sandy Hook connection, a Newtown story.

Western Connecticut is a closely knit part of the state - and the ties run deep. Families and extended families overlap town and city boundaries.

Danbury serves as the economic hub - where people work and shop. Residents and politicians from all over the region participate in the Newtown Labor Day Parade, everybody boats in Candlewood Lake, all of us have been to the Edmond Town Hall for a movie. Many of our children were most likely born at Danbury Hospital.

So when one community is hurting, the region hurts. When a family is faced with tragedy, the region is faced with tragedy. When one family is faced with adversity, we are all faced with adversity - it's what makes living in Western Connecticut such a special place.

As we remember the children lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and as we pray for the families of the victims, today is a reminder that we are one.

We are with you Newtown.

Love always wins. Always.

One Newtown, one Western Connecticut.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

One Party Rule Stomps On Good Government in Connecticut.

As senators debated the bill that would make MMA fights legal in Connectciut, several proponents argued for the bill's economic benefits. The merits of the bill aside, that argument came barely 48 hours after legislators balanced the state's $44 billion budget by legalizing Keno - that's right, Keno - the same idea that was proposed by other administrations and universally panned by the Democrats.

Good grief. These guys are grasping at straws.

The budget is a ticking time bomb. The next governor will come into office with a $1.4 billion deficit waiting on the desk, and that is if most of the silly ideas in this budget work out as planned/hoped. The problem is made worse by Gov. Malloy's end-around of the state's constitutional spending cap. By simply declaring that billions of dollars in spending don't count as well,... (you guessed it) spending, we are set for a disaster that they won't tell us about until well after the the 2014 election.

With the release of a recent study that ranks Connecticut 46th in economic performance, things are set to get significantly worse. In short, we are facing an economic meltdown that has been ignored by this administration and the legislature that will harm us for decades to come.

When you get to the bottom of it all, the problem is balance. Until Hartford restores the balance between the taxpayers who actually pay the bills and the special interests who are clamoring for more state dollars for their pet project or program, we'll never get state spending under control.

The relationship between labor and management is also out of whack. Balance between the employee - employer  relationship must be restored. It doesn't need to be confrontational - and should not be - but, there has to be someone in the room representing the people who actually pay the bills for our state government. The taxpayer.

One party rule stomps on the balance between Republicans and Democrats. Though Republican legislators represent more than 1 million Connecticut residents, GOP leaders were frozen out of the negotiating process on the budget. Good things happen when everyone has a seat at the table and when our problems and challenges are addressed as a team. Bad things happen when duly elected legislators are bullied into submission.

Perhaps most troublesome, being the party in absolute power has revealed Governor Malloy's authoritarian tendencies. Secret negotiations on secrecy laws, attempts to ban opposing political parties, and turning watchdog agencies into lap dogs are not a good way to restore faith and trust in Team Connecticut. It's something we expect from a tin-pot dictatorship. That is what happens without a balance of power at the Capitol.

If this is the best Connecticut's elected officials in Hartford can do, these are desperate times. Desperate times indeed...

PS: The legislature couldn't even get the MMA bill right, a provision inserted in the bill requires MMA to provide insurance for a fighter if injured in the fight - something that the other 47 states who allow MMA fighting don't require.. MMA says they may pass on Connecticut - can't make it up