<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Connecticut Political News, NY and CT Politics, and More]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/politics http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.com en-us Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:53:44 -0400 Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:53:44 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Foley Won't Be at Gubernatorial Forum]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:36:31 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Decision+2014+generic.jpg

NBC Connecticut will host a gubernatorial forum on Thursday and has invited three candidates to attend.

Gov. Dannel Malloy, Republican challenger, Tom Foley, and unaffiliated candidate, Joe Visconti were invited to participate in Thursday's forum, which will air live on NBC Connecticut at 7 p.m.

Through a spokesperson, Foley said he will not attend the forum.

"We were unable to come to terms with NBC 30 (Connecticut) in a timely manner, so we will not be participating in their forum, said Mark McNulty, communications director for Foley's campaign, in a statement on Monday.

NBC Connecticut released a statement about Foley's decision on Monday:

"All candidates on the ballot have been invited to participate in the NBC Connecticut Gubernatorial Forum on Thursday, October 23 at 7 p.m., including Mr. Foley. Mr. Foley meets all the criteria to participate. We’ve had ongoing discussions with all the candidates on a consistent basis and welcome their participation."

The debate can also be viewed live on NBCConnecticut.com or on the NBC Connecticut News App beginning at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Rival Gets Hands on Campaign Book]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:40:34 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/carl+demaio+scott+peters.JPG

A new bombshell dropped Friday in the race for California’s 52nd Congressional District when both candidates confirmed a Carl DeMaio campaign strategy book, allegedly stolen during an office break-in, found its way into the hands of incumbent Scott Peters’ staff.

It is the latest revelation in an already ugly race peppered with attack ads and sexual harassment allegations.

The two had a chilly meeting Friday morning at a taping of NBC 7’s Politically Speaking, as DeMaio walked right by Peters’ hand outstretched for a handshake.

During the session, DeMaio discussed the burglary and vandalism at his campaign headquarters on May 28. Cords and cables were cut, water was poured over laptops and printers, computer screens were smashed in and one important item was taken: DeMaio’s campaign playbook.

The candidate confronted Peters about the book on “Politically Speaking.”

“And Mr. Peters, I just want to ask a very simple question. Did your campaign come into possession of our strategy book, all of our direct mail pieces in the last five months?” asked DeMaio.

Peters responded with: “In early June, information was forwarded to our campaign which we immediately turned over to the police.”

DeMaio pressed the issue, asking Peters why he did not let his opponent’s campaign know that he had seen DeMaio’s playbook all along.

“I’ve obviously never seen it,” said Peters. “We turned it directly over to the police within 24 hours of getting it because what was contained in it was potentially part of a criminal investigation.”

He added his campaign manager “looked at it enough to know what it was.”

On Friday evening, Peters' Communication Director Alex Roth sent out the following statement about the revelation:

"To clarify, we do not know what a campaign playbook is; nor has our campaign ever received anything that could be characterized as 'a campaign playbook' as Mr. DeMaio called it. To reiterate, our campaign staff received information in early June that we immediately transmitted in its entirety to the police.This is nothing more than an attempt by Mr. DeMaio to divert attention away from the Filner-esque sexual harassment allegations that have been made against him.”

During the show's taping, Peters said he felt as if he had been cast as the perpetrator of the break-in, which was portrayed with Watergate-like overtones when it first happened.

DeMaio told his opponent he does not believe Peters had anything to do with the burglary.

Instead, he blames former aide Todd Bosnich.

Bosnich has publicly accused DeMaio of sexually harassing him while he worked for the former San Diego City Councilman, releasing the results of a polygraph test that he says support his claims.

Called the allegations “outrageous lies,” DeMaio said Bosnich is trying to get revenge for being fired as a suspect in the break-in.

However, the candidate said he will not take a polygraph exam to rebut Bosnich’s allegations.

CNN reports Bosnich's lawyers sent the news outlet the results to a second polygraph test Friday in which Bosnich was asked if he broke into the campaign headquarters last May. The test shows Bosnich's "no" answers were "truthful and found "no deception."

Bosnich confirmed the story to NBC 7 via text message.

DeMaio's spokesman David McCulloch defended the candidate, saying in a statement, "Both Carl DeMaio and Tommy Knepper — named in a series of vile smear attacks — have taken lie detector tests that have shown these smears are baseless. Meanwhile, Mr. Peters admitted on NBC7/39 this morning that his campaign received stolen property from our campaign — begging the question: who provided this sensitive campaign material?"  

McCulloch later clarified that statement that the lie detector test taken by DeMaio was one in August 2013 after a former colleague accused DeMaio of lewd acts in San Diego's City Hall.

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<![CDATA[Decision 2014: The NBC Connecticut Debate Preview]]> Sun, 19 Oct 2014 10:09:15 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/visconti+foley+malloy+decision.jpg

One this week's episode of NBC Connecticut's "Decision 2014," we preview the upcoming NBC Connecticut Gubernatorial Forum.

Moderator of the debate Gerry Brooks discusses what to expect with Max Reiss and Associated Press reporter Susan Haigh. Reiss and Haigh will serve as panelists.

  • Watch: Gerry Brooks, Max Reiss and AP Reporter Susan Haigh analyze the gubernatorial campaigns and what to expect at Thursday's NBC Connecticut debate.

Gov. Dan Malloy, GOP candidate Tom Foley and unaffiliated petitioning candidate Joe Visconti are invited to take part in the one hour debate schedule to air live on NBC Connecticut at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Also on this week's show, write-in candidate for governor Jonathan Pelto breaks down the New London debate.

  • Watch: Write in candidate for governor and former State Rep. Jonathan Pelto sits down with George Colli to talk about the race for governor.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal talks with Todd Piro about what measures are being taken to prepare Connecticut residents for a potential Ebola outbreak.

  • Watch: Sen. Richard Blumenthal talks with Todd Piro about how the state is preparing for a potential Ebola outbreak.

"Decision 2014" airs Sundays at 10 a.m. on NBC Connecticut.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Connecticut Governor's Race Garners National Attention]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 20:15:50 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/dan+malloy+tom+foley.jpg

The race for governor Connecticut has become one of the most closely watched in the country.

With incumbent Gov. Dan Malloy in a tight political contest, the Republican Governors Association circled the race as a target in 2014.

The cameos to Connecticut alone show how important Connecticut is to political power brokers.

Friday night, Louisiana governor and long-rumored presidential candidate Bobby Jindal will hold a fundraiser for Republican Tom Foley at a private home in West Hartford.

Earlier in the week, Malloy was supposed to welcome President Barack Obama for a campaign visit that was later shelved after the president opted to stay in Washington to work on the government's response to Ebola.

"Coming down the stretch of the race, it's in the interests of both candidates to bring in whatever heavyweights they've got because we've left the persuasion stage of the campaign and entered the rally base, bring out the voters," said Jerold Duquette, a political science professor at Central Connecticut State University.

He said it's telling that Foley would hold a private event with such a major GOP name like Bobby Jindal that places him in a particular political light.

"Even he is going to abandon worries about being pegged as a Republican at this point because three weeks out, people have decided [who they're going to vote for]," Duquette said.

Despite Obama's low approval ratings, in a state like Connecticut, Malloy has more to gain than lose by welcoming a presidential visit, according to Duquette.

"Even if the president isn't particularly popular, it has always been to the governor's advantage to remind folks that this is a race between a Democrat and a Republican, and so whenever he can call attention to the national political dialogue between Democrats and Republicans, it's useful to him," Duquette said.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also cancelled an event with Foley earlier in the week. It's possible, and likely, that both Christie and Obama will return to Connecticut to campaign.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Campaign Ad Featuring James Foley Pulled]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 12:58:35 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/tlmd_james_foley_ejecucion_isis_syria.jpg

A conservative ad campaign that featured James Foley, the New Hampshire journalist slain by ISIS, moments before his execution, will be pulled, the group responsible for the ad said.

Secure America Now President Allen Roth said in a statement that his group didn't intend to upset Foley's family with the ad attacking Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and that they "apologize for any pain we inadvertently caused.“

“It has been brought to our attention that a news report image of American hostage James Foley that appeared in a Secure America Now video has upset his parents, so we have decided to take the video down," the statement continued. “The purpose of the video was to draw attention to Washington’s failure to secure our borders from real threats by terrorists. That remains our objective and we will continue to engage in this public debate.”

Foley, a Rochester native, was beheaded by Islamic State militants in August, nearly two years after he was kidnapped in Syria. His parents say the ad was "deplorable" and told NECN in an emotional interview that they were demanding that the ad be pulled from New Hampshire.

Secure America Now used the image in a 15-second Internet ad attacking Shaheen, who is locked in a tight race against Republican Scott Brown, and other Democratic incumbents in critical Senate races nationwide.

"It makes me very sad that people would use the brutality of our son's death for their own political purposes," Mrs. Foley said.

Shaheen issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon condemning the ad.

"This is a disgraceful ad that dishonors the memory of a respected journalist and New Hampshire native," she said. "It hurts all who loved and knew Jim, and the people behind this ad owe the Foley family and apology."

According to Elizabeth Guyton, communications director for Scott Brown, Brown said, "This is completely inappropriate and disrespectful to the Foley family.”

Roth says the group did not contact the Foley family before making the ad public.

Secure America Now emphasized that the Foley execution video and the image have been used in other campaigns across the country several different times.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Gabby Giffords Campaigns for "Sensible" Gun Policy in West Hartford]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 17:54:51 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Giffordspic00000000.jpg

Former Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who was seriously injured in a 2011 shooting rampage, visited Connecticut on Thursday to help protect women from gun violence.

After a lengthy recovery from serious injuries, Giffords has become an unrelenting advocate for what she calls responsible gun laws. Today her campaign brought her to West Hartford as part of the Protect All Women tour, a national initiative focused on her campaign for stronger gun laws to defend women against gun violence.

“Dangerous people with guns are a threat to women,” Giffords said at a roundtable discussion at West Hartford’s Kingswood Oxford school on Thursday.

She was joined by U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and more than a dozen legislators and leaders in the fields of domestic violence and law enforcement.

“The message is very simple: Enough,” said Blumenthal.

Connecticut was the third stop on Giffords’ tour. The former congresswoman plans to visit nine states in nine days to raise awareness and encourage women to speak up, since the prevalence of domestic violence and the availability of guns often makes for a deadly combination.

“Women can lead the way. We stand for common sense. We stand for responsibility,” Giffords said.

Giffords is a co-founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions, which seeks to reduce gun violence and increase “sensible’ gun control legislation. She encouraged those on hand not to give up the fight, regardless of the setbacks.

“We can change our laws. We can win elections,” she said. “Please join your voice with mine.”

<![CDATA[AFL-CIO Stumps for Malloy]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 21:50:20 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/dan+malloy+5.jpg

The National President of the AFL-CIO, one of the largest organized groups in the United States, visited Connecticut Tuesday to campaign for the state's Democratic Governor in his bid for reelection.

"For working families of Connecticut, Dan Malloy has the agenda" Richard Trumka said before a group of union members, organizers, and members of the press.

Trumka used the open microphone to criticize Republican Tom Foley in much the same ways Democrats in the state have throughout the campaign.

“Losing looks exactly like Tom Foley" Trumka said. "Tom Foley is the personification of the corporate agenda and that is frankly the last thing the working people of Connecticut need.”

Trumka said Foley's record working with TB Woods in Pennsylvania is something that should concern Connecticut voters.

During a campaign stop just minutes from the AFL-CIO event in Rocky Hill, Tom Foley and Lieutenant Governor candidate Heather Somers toured Fair Weather Acres, a farm and store. Foley defended his record with unions and TB Woods to reporters. He repeatedly said, "We covered this last month" and reiterated that employees at the company received bad advice from their union, which led to some of their dismissals."

Foley said, "Some chose to return to work and some didn’t." He added, "Others lost their jobs and that’s unfortunate but when a union puts their employees at risk by recommending a strike to them, they’re at risk and if things don’t work out for them that’s the union’s fault, not the employer’s fault.”

The Republican candidate for governor reiterated a point he's made throughout the campaign when it comes to unions. "I'm not pro union or anti-union" Foley said. "I'm pro worker."
Trumka with the AFL-CIO said Foley will take his business practices with him if he becomes governor.

“He’s a CEO who sinks companies, destroys jobs, makes war on his employees and walks away with his arms full of money” Trumka said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Malloy Answers Questions About Rental Income]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 07:30:30 -0400

As the campaign for governor heats up, Republican candidate Tom Foley is criticizing Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy for taxes he paid in rental income on his former home in Stamford, which was valued at around $200,000.

According to his tax filings, Malloy only paid $1,795 on the taxable income.

On the seemingly small amount, Malloy said, “These are the same deductions that you claim on your own home when you live in it, for instance, property taxes or a mortgage as well as other expenses that go into the base of your house.”

Foley started laughing when he was asked about the tax issue during an event in Rocky Hill on Tuesday.

“I at least included everything in my summary on my income" Foley told reporters. "He apparently failed to include income on a summary he provided. $180,000.”

Foley released three years worth of tax filings to the press last month, but reporters were only allowed to view the documents and take notes, but were prohibited from making copies.

The Republican said he filed for an extension on his 2013 tax filings and when he was asked about whether he would release them soon he said, "I haven't thought about it."

As for Malloy's rental income, he said he did what any homeowner would have done to limit his tax liability.

“We paid the mortgage. We paid the taxes. The depreciation was a little, and maintenance was the rest of it and that’s what it is" Malloy said.

<![CDATA[NH Lawmaker Calls Congresswoman "Ugly as Sin"]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 19:22:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/Steve+Vaillancourt.jpg

Candidates for New Hampshire's 2nd Congressional District are speaking out after a state lawmaker described one of them as "ugly as sin."

The story has gained national attention and has both candidates denouncing the remarks. Republican state Representative Steven Vaillancourt wrote a blog post on Friday after he says he saw a poll that claimed more attractive candidates have the upper hand with voters.

In the blog, he wrote, "Does anyone not believe that Congressman Annie Kuster is as ugly as sin?"

Vaillancourt then compared her to a drag queen.

"Look, it's rude and offensive," Congresswoman Kuster said. "But I have a thick skin."

Kuster's Republican challenger, Marilinda Garcia, said the post was just plain mean.

"She doesn't deserve to be treated that way," Garcia said.

Congresswoman Kuster said Vaillancourt's comments reflect a broader issue with the Republican Party.

"I am more frustrated with the positions they stand for, and frankly, that leads to an environment where people say disrespectful things," Kuster said.

Garcia said she is frustrated that exactly three weeks before the election, the conversation has turned to this.

"Looks and appearance seem to supersede commentary and observation and the other things that are more important," Garcia said.

In Vaillancourt's blog, he called Garcia, "One of the most attractive women on the political scene anywhere."

Garcia, who has worked with Vaillancourt during her four terms as a state representative, said the comments are not surprising and she is not at all flattered.

"He certainly is an equal opportunity offender," Garcia said.

NECN tried to reach Vaillancourt for comment, but no one answered when crews knocked at his Manchester home. He later sent an email referring NECN to his latest blog entry, which was posted Monday evening. Vaillancourt answers reporters' questions about whether or not he stands by his statements, writing, "Stand by the fact that Ms. Garcia is better looking than Ms. Kuster? If the reporters themselves don't see that, then they should question their own abilities to function."

In that same blog, Vaillancourt makes it clear, none of this is about supporting his party affiliation. In fact, he went on to criticize Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

"Anyone who has followed what I've written (more than 500 posts this past year) knows that neither looks nor race nor sexual orientation nor sex matters a whit to me," Vaillancourt wrote.

As for the 2nd Congressional District Race, the most recent poll shows Kuster with a two point lead over Garcia.

Photo Credit: NECN]]>
<![CDATA[Clinton Stumps for Malloy in Hartford]]> Mon, 13 Oct 2014 23:14:05 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Clinton_Stumps_for_Malloy_in_Hartford_1200x675_341810243970.jpg Former president Bill Clinton was in town to support Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's campaign for governor. ]]> <![CDATA[Treasurer Denise Nappier Defends Record and Campaign]]> Wed, 08 Oct 2014 19:50:35 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/denise+nappier+2014.jpg

In an exclusive sit-down interview Wendesday, state Treasurer Denise Nappier told NBC Connecticut that her campaign has been active and that she has not been avoiding the press or the public.

“I’ve been speaking at churches and other speaking engagements,” Nappier said. “I haven't neglected the electorate, the voters, my fellow citizens. I've been out there.”

Nappier was scheduled to square off Tuesday evening in a debate with Republican Tim Herbst, but contacted the forum’s organizers earlier that day to say she wouldn’t be attending.

“As it was reported, and it was accurate, for personal reasons, I didn't attend,” Nappier said.

“If I was to tell you [the reason], then it would no longer be personal," she added.

Nappier has held the office of state treasurer since 1999 and was the first African American woman ever to hold the office in Connecticut.

During her watch, the state’s pension funds for state employees and teachers have seen their ups and downs. A recent nationwide study by Standard & Poor’s ranks Connecticut second to last when it comes to funding ratios, with the state standing at 49 percent for current pensioners.

Nappier defended her record on Wednesday, saying her office successfully weathered the storms of the Great Recession.

“We have generated $19.8 billion in investments and we did so by taking on less risk by taking on less risk than more than 50 percent of similar pension funds in the country," Nappier said.

Tune in to Sunday morning's episode of "Decision 2014" to watch the full interview with Nappier, who delves further into the fiscal health of the state of Connecticut, and further defends her campaign.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Kennedy, Jr. Faces Campaign Finance Complaint]]> Tue, 07 Oct 2014 22:41:58 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/530PKENEDYSTILL100714MAX00000000.jpg

In a short complaint filed with the State Elections Enforcement Commission, Ted Kennedy, Jr.'s State Senate opponent alleges that the Democrat has skirted campaign finance law.

Thomas Banisch, the campaign manager for GOP candidate Bruce Wilson, filed a complaint Monday alleging that Kennedy, Jr. and his wife and business associates contributed $40,000 to the Connecticut Democratic Party.

Banisch and Kennedy are vying for the Branford State Senate seat.

In the paperwork, Banisch argues that the campaign's later expenditures totaled a similar amount, which prompted him to file a formal complaint.

“My understanding is that there are laws in place where you can’t have a quid pro quo situation," said Rep. Vincent Candelora, a Republican from North Branford.

Republicans allege that not only was the transfer improper, but that the $10,000 in donations exceeded individual contribution limits to campaigns.

Kennedy's campaign denies any wrongdoing, saying the candidate is well-versed in Connecticut campaign finance law.

"There's nothing there" said John Murphy, Kennedy's campaign manager. "He's running as a clean elections candidate. He’s raised money in the past in different years for the state party and he raised money for the state party this year. It’s no different than any other year.”

The campaign hasn't even officially received the complaint and no charges have been filed.

It's possible the SEEC may decide to disregard the complaint after an investigation.

<![CDATA[Obama Returns to Connecticut]]> Tue, 07 Oct 2014 21:50:58 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Obama-NU-2.jpg

President Barack Obama returned to Connecticut on Tuesday to attend a fundraiser in Greenwich where some guests shelled out as much as $32,000 per ticket.

The president's motorcade led him to Conyers Farm Estates on Tuesday evening to support the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, an organization focused on reelecting Democratic incumbents.

The president made two stops in New York City along the way. His helicopter landed at the Greenwich Polo Club just after 5 p.m

Real estate mogul Richard Richman and his wife hosted the event in their exclusive community where the smallest lot spans 10 acres and some homes sell for more than $20 million.

Obama told donors at the fundraiser that the country has more work to do on raising the minimum wage and investing in infrastructure.

His visit came a day after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stopped in Trumbull to help Republican Tom Foley in his campaign for governor.

<![CDATA[Treasurer Nappier Withdraws From Candidate Forum]]> Tue, 07 Oct 2014 18:40:44 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Denise+Nappier.jpg

Democratic state Treasurer Denise Nappier abruptly cancelled a scheduled appearance at a candidate forum Tuesday night citing "personal reasons," according to a campaign spokesperson.

The event at the Hartford Public Library had been scheduled for several weeks.

Her challenger, Republican Tim Herbst, says Nappier has been avoiding the press for months and even if she has personal business to attend to, she has to be open with Connecticut residents.

“I find it incredibly troubling that a sole fiduciary who’s in control of $26 billion in assets and has been in office for 16 years doesn’t think she has to answer for her record and continues to ignore the public and the media at every turn," Herbst said during an interview Tuesday.

Nappier has held her current position since 1998.

NBC Connecticut has made numerous requests to sit down with Denise Nappier for interviews over the past month and she is scheduled to appear on NBC Connecticut's "Decision 2014" this Sunday at 10 a.m.

Nappier's campaign has confirmed that despite her cancellation Tuesday night, she will appear on Decision 2014.

<![CDATA[Decision 2014: Herbst Calls Nappier Out for Avoiding Debates]]> Sun, 05 Oct 2014 10:21:30 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/malloy+foley+herbst.jpg

On this week’s episode of "Decision 2014," we take an in-depth look at the two gubernatorial debates held this week.

The first debate was held Tuesday at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, and the second took place Thursday at the University of Connecticut in Storrs.

Todd Piro breaks down the highlights – and lowlights – from both debates.

  • WATCH: Todd Piro breaks down the two gubernatorial debates from the last week.

Christine Stuart analyzes the debates with George Colli.

  • WATCH: George Colli and Christine Stuart discuss the nasty tone of the gubernatorial campaigns and if the candidates admitting they’ve smoked marijuana matters with voters.

And GOP candidate for treasurer Tim Herbst tells George Colli that incumbent Denise Nappier is avoiding him and refusing to take part in any debates.

  • WATCH: GOP treasurer candidate Tim Herbst tells George Colli his opponent, Denise Nappier, is avoiding him and any potential debates.

<![CDATA[Voters Respond to Candidates' Jabs at Debate]]> Fri, 03 Oct 2014 17:50:38 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/malloy+foley+fox+debate.jpg

Forget the gloves – the last 10 minutest of Thursday night’s gubernatorial debate between Gov. Dan Malloy and Republican challenger Tom Foley looked more like a bare-knuckle brawl.

Both candidates threw jabs, even snuck in a sucker punch or two, and it looks like the voters at home were hit the hardest.

“It was different than Tuesday's debate, which was more about policy,” explained CTNewsJunkie’s Christine Stuart. “I think Thursday’s debate got a little personal.”

The discussion Thursday night at the University of Connecticut started with economic issues, but ended with Foley calling for a truce.

That call came almost an hour after Foley dropped a line about Malloy alluding to his time as Stamford mayor.

“He also was investigated for corruption while he was mayor of Stamford, and he leaves that out,” Foley said.

That investigation found no wrongdoing, but Stuart says it set the stage for the fight that followed.

“It hit a nerve and Malloy just unloaded all of Tom Foley’s indiscretions on him at that point,” said Stuart.

Malloy went after Foley over two car crashes, including an arrest in 1981 when Foley was accused of hitting parked cars in Southampton, New York. Foley has been arrested twice but not convicted.

“I’m not the person that got fined $16,000. I’m not the person who failed to disclose to the FBI that he got arrested," Malloy said. "I’m not the person who didn’t tell the full truth about incidents involving women in a car that you struck five different times at rates of speed going as fast as 50 mph.”

NBC Connecticut took it to the voters Friday for their reaction.

“They are getting a tired, a little cranky,” said Michael Dunne, of West Hartford, “almost as tired as I am of all the negative campaigning.”

According to the Wesleyan Media Project, this is the third most negative governor’s race in the country right now.

“The things that disappoints me is that both candidates are spending a huge amount of time on negative campaigning, giving us all the reasons why we should not vote for the other guy,” said Dunne. “What they are not telling us is why we should vote for him.”

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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<![CDATA[Clinton Recommends Grandmotherhood]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 20:39:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/tlmd_hillaryclinton7.jpg

Thousands waited hours in the sun to see Former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Thursday in South Florida.

Clinton was signing copies of her new book "Hard Choices" at Books & Books at 265 Aragon Ave. in Coral Gables.

There, she spoke about her book and about becoming a grandmother just a few days ago, saying, "I highly recommend it!"

Earlier on Thursday, Clinton spoke at the Crew Network Convention & Marketplace at the Loews Hotel in Miami Beach.

Her message for the 1,200 professional women at the event was one of empowerment.

"You can't get tied into knots by what others say and think, because we all know women sometimes get judged by different criteria -- even powerful women in powerful positions," she said.

Karyl Argamasilla, with the Miami Crew chapter, said she took Clinton's message to heart.

"At the end of the day, she's someone who has broken all the glass ceilings," Argamasilla said.

At one point, a woman in the audience shouted out, "2016!" -- the only mention of a possible presidential run during Clinton's Miami stops. But those in attendance said they don't doubt she'll be joining the race.

"She's already been to Iowa," said Steve Sails. "She's running."

<![CDATA[Pelto Sends Message With Write-In Candidacy for Governor]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 19:45:47 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/93014pelto00000000.jpg

Former Democratic state representative Jonathan Pelto failed to collect enough qualifying signatures to earn a spot on the November ballot, but that hasn't stopped him from running for governor.

“My sense is we went up to the gate, we shook the gate, we weren’t able to knock it down but that doesn’t mean it’s not important to say we’re here,” Pelto said during an interview Tuesday.

Pelto is running a write-in campaign for the state’s highest office and has registered with the Secretary of the State to receive votes.

Any Connecticut voter can write in a candidate for office, but the votes will only count if the candidate has registered prior to the election.

He says he wants to use his candidacy as a way to showcase issues that are the most important to him and to Connecticut residents who urged him to run.

“It’s a way to be pushing the envelope,” Pelto said. “It’s a way to be heard and so we’ve learned that we got to use every possible route you can against a system that doesn’t like to hear outsiders.”

Pelto says he’s received hundreds of messages and phone calls urging him to get into the race. The main issue most people have talked to him about is the role of the Common Core Standards in Connecticut public schools.

The standards were developed by governors several years ago and were adopted by nearly every state in the U.S. Pelto says the process by which they’ve been implemented has been anything but transparent.

“The Common Core, the standardized testing, the privatization of our schools, the fact that Gov. Malloy and his education commissioner basically lied to parents about their rights under the common core testing system,” Pelto said, listing his grievances.

Gov. Dan Malloy has continuously defended his record on the education.

Pelto and his running mate Ebony Murphy say their main goal is to keep issues that are important to them and their modest following in the forefront. They pledge to work long after the election to make that happen.

Pelto and Murphy will be getting the word out about their candidacy using a direct mail effort.

“Even if we can only use our limited resources, a subset of the electorate, it’s part of the process,” Pelto said.

<![CDATA[1 Month to Register to Vote in General Election]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 13:22:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Voting-Sign-Generic-Ballot-1.jpg

If you have not registered to vote, you have a month to register to vote in the November general elections.

To cast a ballot on Nov. 4, you must register online htpps://voterregistration.ct.gov or by mail by Tuesday Oct. 21 and the final deadline to register to vote in-person at town or city offices is Tuesday, Oct. 28.

This year alone, at least 53,940 new voters have registered, including 15,924 Democrats, 10,303 Republicans and 26,276 unaffiliated voters, according to the Secretary of the State’s Office.

Overall, there are a total of 1,931,880 registered voters in Connecticut, 706,211 of whom are Democrats, 402,840 of whom are Republicans and 803,564 of whom are unaffiliated voters. 

“I strongly encourage any eligible voter with a driver’s license to use our online voter registration system to sign up to vote,” Merrill said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Nov.  4, polls will be open from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Following is the breakdown of voter registrations in Connecticut:

  • A Better Future: 2
  • A Brookfield Party: 3
  • A Connecticut Party: 1
  • A Sentinel Party: 23
  • Canterbury First: 2
  • Chatham Party: 10
  • Democratic: 706,211
  • Enfield Taxpayers Party: 2
  • Friends Of Saybrook: 13
  • Green: 1,641
  • Guilty: 1
  • Independence: 13
  • Independence For Montville: 8
  • Independent: 15,446
  • Independent Choice: 1
  • Libertarian: 1,691
  • Milford Independent Party: 6
  • Norwich for Change: 1
  • Open: 8
  • Pro-Bethel: 2
  • Realistic Balance: 4
  • Reform: 11
  • Republican: 402,840
  • South Windsor Citizens: 1
  • Spring Glen Party: 8
  • Swing: 1
  • The Hampton Party: 1
  • U-It: 6
  • U/i: 1
  • Unaffiliated: 803,564
  • Unaffiliated (Conservative): 1
  • We The People: 44
  • Winsted Independent: 37
  • Working Families: 276
  • ===========
  • TOTAL 1,931,880
  • Democratic 15,924
  • Green 70
  • Independent 1,205
  • Libertarian 138
  • Reform 1
  • Republican 10,303
  • U/i 1
  • Unaffiliated 26,276
  • Winsted Independent 1
  • Working Families 21

Learn more at the Secretary of the State’s office Web site, including if you are registered to vote, how to register to vote, where your polling place is or to download an application for an absentee ballot if you will be out of town or physically unable to be in their polling place on Election Day.

<![CDATA[CA Plastic Bag Ban Approved]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 18:23:45 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/212*120/Plastic+Bag+Ban+Store+Counter+copy.jpg

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags Tuesday.

The measure, first proposed by Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla of Los Angeles, would prohibit single-use plastic bags at grocery stores and large pharmacies in 2015 and at convenience stores in 2016.

It includes $2 million in loans to help manufacturers shift to producing reusable bags and lets grocers charge 10 cents each for paper and reusable bags.

The bill had sparked one of the most contentious debates in the last weeks of the legislative session, with aggressive lobbying by environmentalists and bag manufacturers.

Moments after Brown signed the measure, the American Progressive Bag Alliance called it a “back room deal between grocers and union bosses to scam California consumers out of billions of dollars without providing any public benefit – all under the guise of environmentalism.”

The group plans to launch a referendum effort for the November 2016 ballot to repeal the measure.

San Diegan Laura Quinn-Stalker had mixed feelings about the news.

“Although I reuse my plastic bags constantly and will miss that,” she posted to NBC 7’s Facebook page, “I think this is important to do.”

“Won't see a dime saved in my pocket. Now, I have to buy garbage bags,” Oxnard resident Wade Wilson posted.

For years, a statewide plastic bag ban has been an elusive goal for lawmakers trying to reduce the buildup of plastic waste in oceans and waterways that costs millions of dollars to cleanup.

About 100 local jurisdictions in California already have adopted similar bans, including Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Education Group Backs Malloy]]> Mon, 29 Sep 2014 18:35:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/dan+malloy+5.jpg

One of the state's biggest teachers unions announced Monday that its board believes Gov. Dan Malloy deserves another four years.

"It wasn't a close vote" said Mark Waxenberg, executive director of the Connecticut Education Association, a group that touts a membership of more than 40,000.

The group cited its history with the governor, as well Malloy's priorities of improving public education as its rationale for throwing its support behind the Democrat in the race.

“We examined the facts associated with both candidates based on the interests that were expressed to us by our members, and an examination of those facts shows clearly that the governor is the better candidate for teachers, students and the betterment of public education," Waxenberg added.

Malloy said the endorsement didn't come as a surprise, given the topics that are important to him.

“We know what works," Malloy said following an event in Middletown on Monday. "Good summer programs, more intensive teacher involvement, team teaching, allowing teachers to have time to work together to turn around a school is important.”

Both the CEA and the governor used the platform of the endorsement to slam Republican Tom Foley's education plans that he rolled out last week.

Waxenberg and Malloy called Foley's framework for improving schools a "disaster."

“Up until the last few weeks he had no plan for public education" Waxenberg said. "We did the research on his plan and what we found is that plan is a recipe for disaster.”

Foley's education priorities included creating a new system to allow students in failing schools to transfer into better public schools and allowing the money to follow the child.

Foley also proposed establishing an A-F grading system for all public schools to allow parents to see the quality of school that their child attends.

In a statement, a Foley campaign spokesman responded to the CEA support for Foley saying, "Tom Foley remains committed to real education reform, including addressing the needs of the 100,000 children who are in under-performing schools and closing Connecticut's achievement gap which remains the worst in the nation."

Malloy, in full campaign mode while talking to reporters in Middletown, said Foley's "education plan was horrendous, quite frankly.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Senators Search for Ways to Reduce Veteran Suicide]]> Fri, 26 Sep 2014 17:57:46 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/veteran+suicide+meeting.jpg

U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy met with doctors and mental health professionals with the Veterans Administration on Friday to brainstorm ways to reduce the suicide rate among veterans.

“There has to be more for us to do,” Blumenthal said at the forum in West Haven.

The group of about a dozen spoke for an hour on issues relating to returning veterans and their mental health needs.

“There’s a consensus that if we get them in the [VA] system, then the rate of suicide goes down,” Murphy said during the group discussion.

Doctors who work with veteran patients echoed that sentiment.

“One of the things we need is access to good mental health. If you're going to be treating a much larger veteran population then you need to have adequate mental health services” said Ismene Petrakis, chief of the Mental Health Service Line.

Doctors also said more public awareness about services that are already available would be very helpful.

On average, 22 veterans commit suicide every day according to the VA.

About 18 percent of all suicides in Connecticut from 1999 to 2010 were veterans, according to the VA.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[State Rep. Votes Illegally, Fakes Home Address: Officials]]> Sat, 27 Sep 2014 11:06:20 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/state+rep+christina+ayala.jpg

State Rep. Christina “Tita” Ayala, of Bridgeport, was arrested Friday after violating state election laws and providing authorities with fabricated evidence that she lived at an address other than her own, according to the state Division of Criminal Justice.

According to the DCJ, Ayala, 31, voted in local and state elections in districts other than her own between 2009 and 2012, including Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee elections, a municipal primary election, a state primary election and the 2012 Bridgeport state general election “in districts inconsistent with location of her residence.”

She’s also accused of presenting the Elections Enforcement Commission with false evidence indicating that she lived at an address that was not her own.

Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill called the news of Ayala's voter fraud arrest "a very troubling development."

“Anyone who holds public office takes an oath to uphold the law," Merrill said. "While everyone is entitled to their day in court, voter fraud is a very serious crime for which we have zero tolerance. The punishment is very severe for anyone who gives false information when registering to vote. This arrest underscores the strength of our system in Connecticut for enforcing our election laws, from the State Elections Enforcement Commission to the Chief State’s Attorney’s office who investigate and prosecute these felonies.”

Ayala has been charged with eight counts of fraudulent voting, 10 counts of primary or enrollment violations and count of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.

The State Elections Enforcement Commission notified the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney of the alleged misconduct in October 2013, the DCJ said.

If convicted, Ayala could receive one-to-two years in prison for each count of fraudulent voting, along with up to five years in prison for each count of enrollment violations and tampering with evidence, according to the DCJ.

She could also be fined $300-500 for each count of voting fraud.

Ayala was released on a promise to appear and is due in court Oct. 7.

She faced domestic violence charges following an argument with her boyfriend in 2013, just weeks before taking office, that were subsequently dropped.

Ayala was also fined $350 in connection with a hit and run incident.

Photo Credit: Connecticut House Democrats]]>
<![CDATA[Dems Unimpressed With Foley's Plan for Taxes, Education]]> Wed, 24 Sep 2014 22:16:30 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/tom+foley+in+new+britain.jpg

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Tom Foley laid out his plans for education and taxes in front of New Britain City Hall on Wednesday.

Foley called the outline his "Urban Policy Agenda" and said the plan is specifically designed to improve Connecticut's cities and towns.

"Connecticut's future is no better than the future of our cities," Foley said during a press conference Wednesday.

On taxes, Foley said one of his first goals would be to cap personal property taxes 30 mils, which could help middle- and lower-income families save money, specifically on cars.

“The car tax is simply too high in our cities and distorts markets," Foley said. "People deserve to drive the kind of car they want and can afford and the car they own shouldn't affect where they choose to live.”

Foley's plan to cut car taxes could lead to savings of approximately 60 percent in Hartford and around 30 percent in places like New Britain, Bridgeport and New Haven.

Foley says his plan would cost the state about $30 million in tax revenue.

He said it wouldn't throw any wrenches into his plan to keep spending flat in Connecticut for two years if he's elected, even though the amount of money going in would decrease as a direct result of the tax cut.

"Thirty million dollars is a very very small amount in a $21 billion dollar state budget. I think we can run this state on $21 billion dollars and reimburse cities for the lost revenue by reducing the car tax,” Foley said.

Democrats say the plan doesn't make any fiscal sense.

Rep. Joe Aresimowicz, a Democrat from Berlin who serves as the House Majority Leader, said tax cuts don't pay for themselves.

"What priorities are not important? What is willing to cut?" Aresimowicz asked. "What are the services that our residents need on a day to day basis that he’s going to get rid of to provide these cuts?”

Democrats said any tax plan that doesn't have details on how to pay for reductions is simply empty rhetoric.

On the issue of education, state Democrats came out firing against Foley earlier in the day after the release of a campaign political ad in which Foley says children in failing schools can't find opportunity once they leave.

Once again, Democrats criticized Foley for his lack of specifics in the 30-second ad.

"We need to see the facts and at some point in this election. I hope Tom Foley will start providing facts and not little soundbites that he thinks voters in the state of Connecticut will just buy and vote for him on," said Aresimowicz.

Democrats said they're concerned that a Foley administration could strip resources from urban schools.

Foley says he wants to inject free-market principles into some of the state's lowest performing school districts and would work to institute a student transfer program for some districts.

"We’re going to give them the choice" Foley said. "If they’re in a lousy school, we’re going to give them the ability to go to another school and if that’s hard on the school that’s leaving, that’s not the children, that’s the fault of the adults at that school and maybe other factors.”

Foley said parents would have a good idea about the performance of the schools based on a new A-F grading system he would propose.

He wants state and local education funds to "follow the child" but insists that if students leave failing schools, it's best for everyone, even if money leaves schools where the cash is needed.

Foley said he's not afraid to challenge some of the state's lowest-performing schools with what amount to threats when it comes to student achievement.

"Children will get moved from those schools and they will lose resources and eventually if they aren’t able to recover and fix it they’ll get reconstituted, just like we’ve reconstituted schools in Hartford," Foley said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Chris Christie Stumps for Foley in Stamford]]> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 20:48:10 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/christie+foley.jpg

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appeared alongside Republican candidate for governor Tom Foley in Stamford today.

The two shook hands and made the rounds at Curley's Diner just off Main Street in Stamford on Tuesday afternoon. The New Jersey governor focused on Foley's business credentials ahead of a fundraiser across the street, where he was due to appear with longtime baseball manager Bobby Valentine.

Christie, who serves as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, is tasked with promoting Republican candidates for governor in predominantly left-leaning states. Christie said he's in a unique position to help Foley in his second bid for the governor's office.

"The strategy is to talk more about jobs and more about the economy, more about lower taxes and more about opportunity, and that's the strategy Tom Foley's been following since the day he got into this race," Christie said. "He doesn't need to change. Understand, I'm from New Jersey. I know what it's like to run in a state like this."

Some union groups opposed the visit, alleging that Foley's decision to align with Christie is bad for the state. Gun control advocates also rallied across the street in opposition to Foley and Christie's stances on the issue.

It's Christie's second trip to the state in recent months. In July, he attended a fundraiser in Greenwich alongside Foley. Christie said he plans to return for additional events with Foley prior to the race.

"Tom Foley is a Republican that I support," Christie said.

Christie, who is rumored to be a potential 2016 presidential candidate, said the governor races in Illinois and Connecticut are the closest in the country.

Foley will also receive the support of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who plans to attend a private reception at a home in West Hartford on Oct. 19.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Money From Gun Groups Entering Governor's Race]]> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 23:10:38 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Tom+Foley+Dannel+Malloy+1200.jpg

Groups affiliated with pro- and anti-gun control campaigns have begun pouring money into the political scene over the past month, as Election Day draws near.

According to filings with the State Elections Enforcement Commission, contributors have spent than $130,000 so far during the 2014 race.

Pro-gun groups have contributed more than $63,000, while anti-gun groups have contributed about $75,000.

Groups on both sides of the issue did not returned requests for comment.

Quinnipiac Univerisity Political Science Professor Scott McLean, who focuses on elections and campaigns, says Republican Tom Foley needs to be careful around the issue of gun control because some pro-gun groups may attempt to pull him to the right on an issue to which he hasn't spent much campaign time.

“Foley wants this to be a referendum on Gov. Dannel Malloy," McLean said. "He doesn’t want this to be a referendum on the gun law that Connecticut passed."

McLean said people in Connecticut who are very passionate about the gun issue are simply living up to their promises when it comes to contributions.

"The anti-gun control groups are fulfilling a promise or a threat that they made – 'If Connecticut passes these laws, we’re going to be working hard to defeat Dannel Malloy' – and I think the pro-gun control groups are simply trying to counter that,” McLean explained.

On the other side, McLean acknowledges that the gun issue isn't exactly an issue worth sparring over for either candidate.

“I think all of these groups coming into Connecticut has more to do with what happened before the election than the election we’re in now" McLean said.

<![CDATA[Connecticut Treasurer Candidates Trade Barbs]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 20:35:41 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/tim+herbst+denise+nappier.jpg

The normally mundane race to operate Connecticut's state pension funds, among other duties, has turned into a political war of words between the incumbent Democrat Denise Nappier and Republican challenger Tim Herbst.

Herbst, Trumbull's first selectman, went on the offensive after it was confirmed that Nappier's campaign had been conducting some form of telephone polling across the state.

"She refuses to debate me on the issues of importance to the taxpayers but she does have time for her campaign to conduct polling that is very misleading," Herbst said during an interview Monday. "She's ignoring me and she's ignoring the media."

On the second issue, NBC Connecticut has submitted numerous requests over the past several weeks to interview Nappier in her bid to once again become Connecticut's treasurer.
Nappier has not responded to those requests.

Nappier also has not appeared at a public event during her campaign in quite some time.

Connecticut's Democratic Party did not respond to requests for comment on either issue.

Nappier addressed Herbst's criticisms of her campaign tactics with a statement through her campaign spokesperson, Rose Ryan.

“A number of positive and negative messages were tested—including negative comments that Mr. Herbst has made regarding our campaign. If Mr. Herbst would like to learn the difference between a tracking and push poll, I can put him in touch with the appropriate people," Ryan said in the statement.

Herbst denounced Nappier's decisions, arguing that her public persona is essential to letting pensioners know the state of their funds.

“It’s disconcerting because the treasurer is the second most important position in state government," Herbst said. "You’re responsible for billions of dollars of taxpayer investment. Billions of dollars of taxpayer assetsthat affect the security of tens of thousands of workers."

Denise Nappier has held the position of state treasurer since 1998.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>