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Friday, August 29, 2014

CCDL Endorses Tom Foley, Rest of GOP ticket

By Mark Pazniokas

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League, a gun owners’ group whose membership blossomed in opposition to the post-Newtown gun controls, today endorsed Republican Tom Foley for governor, snubbing one of its activists, petitioning candidate Joe Visconti.

“Gov. Dannel Malloy has a proven track record of supporting anti-rights legislation and has vilified and ostracized Connecticut gun owners throughout his term. It is time for him to be to be replaced,” CCDL says in an endorsement posed on its website. We strongly believe that the team of Tom Foley and Heather Somers will take Connecticut in a new direction that is so desperately needed.”

News of the endorsement was immediately promoted by the campaign of Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, evidence that the Democratic Party, at least, sees advantage in tying Foley to a group that Malloy’s backers are calling “extremist.”

Speaking after a speech to the AFL-CIO in East Hartford, Malloy said Foley’s statement that he would sign a bill repealing the Newtown law is an invitation for the legislature to act.

Click here for more of story

Posted 02:03 PM
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

First Debate: Malloy Apologizes to Teachers, Needles Foley

By Mark Pazniokas

Norwich –- Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Tom Foley spent a fast-paced hour in their first debate tonight straining to make the race for governor turn on questions of each other’s records, Malloy’s as governor and Foley’s as a businessman.

In a sweltering theater at Norwich Free Academy, the Democratic incumbent and Republican challenger played a punishing game of serve and volley, riffing for more than 10 minutes at one point in response to a single question on gun control.

Malloy, who seldom publicly acknowledges regret or mistakes, apologized to teachers, whom he insulted three years ago by saying tenure could be won simply by showing up.

“I should admit that was bad language,” said Malloy, who was greeted before the debate by rallying unions members, including the president of AFT-Connecticut. “I shouldn’t have said it. I apologize for saying it.

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Posted 10:14 PM
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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Advocates to Candidates: Fund CT Transportation Needs

By Keith M. Phaneuf

Transportation advocates today challenged Connecticut gubernatorial candidates to support increased funding to overhaul the state’s aging infrastructure – even if it likely means tax increases or tolls.

The coalition of nearly three dozen—including construction trades and businesses, seven chambers of commerce, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, and numerous regional planning agencies -– also challenged the candidates to participate this fall in a debate on transportation issues.

“Connecticut’s next governor has two choices: provide safe and efficient transportation, or allow our infrastructure to crumble,” Don Shubert, president of the Connecticut Construction Industries Association, said during a late morning press conference at Union Station in Hartford.

“Maintaining the aging system of roads, bridges and rail lines in a state of good repair is critical for the safety and reliability of the system that the vast majority of the traveling public are using every day.”

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Posted 03:10 PM
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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Malloy Pursues the New GOP Nominee

By Mark Pazniokas

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy tonight pushed his idling re-election campaign to full-throttle, aiming in one speech to take down the newly minted Republican nominee and lift up a Democratic base unsettled by a slow economic recovery and their candidate’s tepid poll numbers. Image
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy at the Jefferson Jackson Bailey Dinner tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

On the night after Tom Foley won the GOP nomination, Malloy skewered the Greenwich businessman as unwilling to share an economic vision and tone-deaf to the needs of working families. He spoke before an audience of partisans who paid between $185 and $2,000 to attend the 66th annual Jefferson Jackson Bailey Dinner.

“Let me be very clear. Tom Foley will not tell you what his plan is any detail,” Malloy said, amplifying criticism leveled at Foley during the GOP primary by John P. McKinney, who endorsed Foley earlier in the day. “This is a crafty fellow with a crafty message.”

On Thursday, Malloy will campaign at two diners in East Hartford, not far from Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, a subsidiary of United Technologies, the beneficiary of a economic assistance deal meant to stabilize its employment and deepen its roots in Connecticut.

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Posted 10:20 PM
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Sure, Tom, I’ll Endorse You, But There’s Just One Thing…

By Mark Pazniokas

Trumbull – He allowed that his late mother would have been appalled, but John P. McKinney today dumped a bucket of ice water over the head of Tom Foley, living the dream of every politician who has ever dutifully attended a unity press conference the morning after losing a primary. Image
State Sen. John McKinney drops a bucket of ice water today on GOP gubernatorial nominee Tom Foley. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

Ostensibly, it all was for charity. The ALS “ice bucket challenge” is a social media phenomenon, an old-fashioned chain letter updated for the age of selfies, Facebook and YouTube. The challenged have a choice: It’s either a cold shampoo – or pony up $100.

As McKinney explained it to Foley, who trounced McKinney the previous evening in the Republican primary for governor, the ritual is simple: With video rolling, those dared to take the challenge get to challenge three others.

“Then I get to have the fun,” McKinney said.

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Posted 04:49 PM
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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Foley Defeats McKinney

By Mark Pazniokas and Keith M. Phaneuf

UPDATE Waterbury—Tom Foley will get a second crack at Dannel P. Malloy.

Foley, 62, who lost to Malloy by half a percentage point in 2010, won the Republican primary for governor today, surviving a late push by state Sen. John P. McKinney of Fairfield, the challenger he ignored until recently.

“Change is on the way!” Foley told supporters at 10 p.m, McKinney conceded 20 minutes earlier, prompting cheers at Foley’s victory party, where the speech was shown live on television.

“Let me tell you, the race does not end tonight. The goal was to elect a new governor. The goal was to make Dan Malloy a one term governor,” McKinney said.

Click here for more of story

Posted 10:20 PM
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Foley: ‘Change is Coming to Connecticut’ Image
Tom Foley addresses supporters tonight in Waterbury after defeating state Sen. John McKinney in the GOP gubernatorial primary. “Malloy had his chance,” Foley said. “Change is coming to Connecticut.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

Posted 10:15 PM
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McKinney Wins in Westport

Though businessman Tom Foley trumped state Sen. John McKinney of Fairfield statewide in today’s Republican primary to run against Democratic incumbent Dannel P. Malloy in November, McKinney took Westport, besting the party favorite by 572 to 285.

David M. Walker who was aligned with McKinney for the lieutenant governor’s spot also won here with 352 votes, trailed by Heather Somers who received 319 votes and Penny Bacchiochi with 157.

For the comptroller’s race, Sharon J. McLaughlin received 465 votes in Westport, beating Angel Cadera who received 244 votes, according to figures released tonight by the Office of the Town Clerk.

Throughout town, only 860 of 4,390 registered Republicans, including those who submitted absentee ballots, voted in today’s primary for a turnout of 19.6 percent.

Posted 10:12 PM
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McKinney Concedes, Vows to Help Oust Malloy Image
State Sen. John McKinney tonight concedes to Tom Foley in the GOP gubernatorial primary. McKinney told supporters at a Fairfield restaurant he will do everything he can to see that Foley defeats Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in November. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

Posted 09:45 PM
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At 7 p.m., Republican Voter Turnout 16 Percent

As of 7 p.m. today and with one hour to go,  703 of Westport’s 4,390 registered Republicans— 16 percent—- turned out at the town’s five polling places to vote in the primary for governor, lieutenant governor and comptroller, according to Republican Registrar of Voters Kevin White.

The polls remain open until 8 p.m.

Four years ago, 1,580 Westport Republicans voted in the primary, a 32.1 percent turnout.

Posted 07:06 PM
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Primary Turnout Moves Up

As of 4 p.m. today, 521 of Westport’s 4,390 registered Republicans— almost 12 percent—- turned out at the town’s five polling places to vote in the primary for governor, lieutenant governor and comptroller, according to Republican Registrar of Voters Kevin White.

The polls remain open until 8 p.m.

Posted 04:34 PM
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Primary Turnout Still Low

As of 1 p.m. today, 339 of Westport’s 4,390 registered Republicans—7.7 percent—had turned out at the town’s five primary polling places, according to Republican Registrar of Voters Kevin White.

White attributed the light turnout to the fact “it’s vacation time” for a lot of people, as well as a work day for others. The polls remain open until 8 p.m.

Posted 01:59 PM
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Checking in to Vote for Her Beau Image
Westporter Kristin Fox, fiancé of John McKinney, a Fairfield resident and Republican gubernatorial candidate, checks in to vote today at Greens Farms Elementary School in the Connecticut Republican primary. Stuart Rogan, checker and monitor, confirms Fox’s Republican voter registration.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 11:31 AM
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Happy Voting Couple Image
State Sen. John McKinney accompanies his fiancé, Westporter Kristin Fox, to the voting place at Greens Farms Elementary School today. McKinney, who had cast his vote in Fairfield early this morning, said that he was about the 56th voter in Fairfield. Fox said she understands she was about the 30th to vote at District 136-5 in Westport. McKinney, son of the late Congressman Stewart McKinney, spent part of his early days growing up in Westport. He is challenging the party-endorsed candidate, Tom Foley of Greenwich, for the right to face off against Democratic incumbent Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in November. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 11:24 AM
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Few Early Voters in Republican Primary Image
There were few early Westport voters today in the Republican primary whose main race pits endorsed gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley of Greenwich against state Sen John McKinney of fairfield. In the first hour of voting at Saugatuck Elementary School (above) two voters had shown up. Westport has 4,390 registered Republicans who can vote at five polling places. Polls close at 8 p.m. Click here for your polling place. Only registered Republicans may vote. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 07:11 AM
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