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Westport Wash & Wax Annual Good Neighbor Day Car Wash to benefit Homes with Hope, Friday, September 2, 8 am to 6 pm, 791 PRE Westport
Westport Rotary Club's Fifth Annual Lobster Fest will be held Saturday September 17, 2016
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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Despite Sweltering Heat, Trump Draws Thousands, Blasts Malloy

By Kyle Constable

Fairfield – Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump brushed aside skepticism about his decision to campaign in a deep-blue state and drew about 5,000 people to a Fairfild rally tonight on the hottest day of the year. Image
Donald Trump addresses a Fairfield rally tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kyle Constable for

The crowd, tightly packed and drenched in sweat, filled Sacred Heart University’s William H. Pitt Center to hear Trump, who tailored his message to include heavy criticism of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a litany of statistics about the state’s sluggish economy, and the pointed question, “How did you lose General Electric?”

Those waiting in line endured a heat index that registered at more than 100 degrees. The crowd thinned as the speech dragged into the evening and the sound of thunder filled the arena.

Trump’s decision to come to Connecticut raised eyebrows, given the state’s solidly Democratic voting record in recent years. Democrats control the governor’s office, both chambers of the state legislature, all five seats in the U.S. House and both seats in the U.S. Senate. A Republican presidential candidate has not taken the state since George H.W. Bush, who grew up in Greenwich, won it in 1988.

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Friday, August 12, 2016

Trump, Clinton Kick Off Battle for Connecticut

By Ana Radelat

Washington – Donald Trump’s plans to hold a rally in Connecticut this weekend will rev up the campaign season in Connecticut, sharpening the state’s focus on the race for the White House.

Connecticut is not a swing state, having last voted for a Republican in 1988 for former state resident George H. W. Bush. But both parties say spending time and resources in Connecticut will help their presidential candidates in what’s become a bruising national fight.

J.R. Romano, the head of the Connecticut Republican Party, said Trump’s visit to Sacred Heart University in Fairfield on Saturday is aimed at linking Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s “failed” economic policies to those of Hillary Clinton.

“The state of Connecticut is the biggest warning of what Hillary Clinton economic policies will look like,” Romano said

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Opinion: Chris Shays Backs Hillary Clinton

Editor’s note: Christopher Shays, a Republican, represented Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District, including Westport, from 1987 to 2009. This opinion piece first appeared on

By Christopher Shays

During the 34 years I served as a Republican elected official in Connecticut, 13 years in the State House of Representatives, and 21 years in Congress, I always voted for our Republican candidate for governor and our Republican candidate for president. Image
Christopher Shays: “Trump lost me a long time ago.”   File photo

Always, but not this time.

Donald Trump lost me a long time ago.

I know some want to stick it to the so-called establishment, reject the status quo, and they see Trump as their vehicle. And I know some Republicans dislike President Obama, and have such a strong dislike for Hillary Clinton, they are willing to vote for a man they know does not have the temperament, knowledge or experience to be president.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Malloy: ‘I Have Not Been Subpoenaed’

By Kyle Constable

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said today he has not received a subpoena to testify in a federal investigation into the Connecticut Democratic Party’s fundraising efforts during the 2014 elections. Image
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy at news conference today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kyle Constable for

When asked during a press conference at the State Armory if he had been subpoenaed, Malloy said, “I have not.”

“I’m not spending time on it,” Malloy told reporters. “I’m doing my job. I certainly understand that people have the right to look at whatever they want to look at, and to understand, you know, what transpired.”

The U.S. attorney’s office is investigating whether the governor and the state Democratic Party broke the law when soliciting donations from state contractors during Malloy’s 2014 re-election bid.

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Saturday, August 06, 2016

DOJ, Connecticut Settle ‘Motor-Voter’ Registration Complaint

By Mark Pazniokas

The U.S. Department of Justice and Connecticut announced Friday that an enhanced online voter registration system will launch Monday at the Department of Motor Vehicles in response to a civil rights investigation that concluded the state was in violation of the so-called “motor-voter” provisions of the National Voting Rights Act of 1993.

Under a settlement negotiated by the Justice Department, the secretary of the state’s office and the DMV, a voter registration system will be electronically integrated into the licensing system so that every application for a license, renewal or photo ID “shall function as an application to register to vote, unless the customer chooses to opt out.”

“This is a major step toward ensuring that every eligible citizen is registered to vote. It also just represents good customer service to the people of Connecticut, who will be able to register to vote or update their registrations while conducting business with the DMV. It will help them carry out two tasks in a single transaction, removing the need to go to town hall or mail in updated information,” Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said.

“A robust, inclusive democracy requires ensuring that eligible voters can easily and conveniently register to vote,” said Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “State officials worked cooperatively with the Justice Department to quickly provide eligible Connecticut voters an integrated one-stop opportunity to register through the DMV, as the law requires.”

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Thursday, August 04, 2016

Republicans Seek BOF Candidates

The Westport Republican Town Committee (RTC) announced today it is accepting applications for those interested in filling the vacancy on the Westport Board of Finance (BOF) created by Wednesday’s resignation of Clarissa Moore.

Moore announced she was resigning to move with her husband to Sarasota, Fla., where she said the weather was better and taxes lower. She was serving her first term, having been elected in November 2015.

Speculation centered on the RTC selecting the unsuccessful Republican candidate in the BOF election that year, Iain Bruce.

An announcement said Westport Republicans interested in being considered for the vacancy should contact Westport RTC Chairman Tim Wetmore at 203-650-8463 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Republican Board of Finance Member Resigns Image
Clarissa Moore, a Republican Board of Finance member serving her first term, announced her resignation at tonight’s meeting. Moore, who previously served on the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), said she and her husband have sold their home and are moving to Sarasota, Fla. where the weather is better and taxes are lower. The Republican Town Committee will select a candidate to replace her. Democrats hold a 4-3 majority on the board, taking control after the November 2015 election when Moore was elected. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

08/03/16 08:57 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Malloy Makes Mid-Term Staffing Changes

By Mark Pazniokas

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today named new communications and government affairs directors as his administration announced the mid-term departures of three senior staffers: Mark Bergman, Devon Puglia and Paul Mounds.

Kelly Donnelly will succeed Puglia as the communications chief, while Chris Smith will take over for Mounds as director of policy and government affairs, essentially the administration chief lobbyist with the General Assembly.

Bergman joined the administration after the 2014 campaign to oversee communications, then became the deputy chief of staff under Brian Durand, who is remaining as chief. There are no immediate plans to fill Bergman’s job.

The departures come amid speculation that Malloy would accept a post in a Hillary Clinton administration if one were offered, an unlikely possibility if a federal grand jury does not quickly conclude its investigation of the Democratic Party’s solicitations of state contractors to support the governor’s re-election.

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Friday, July 29, 2016

Celebrity Hangout Image
Oscar’s Deli, whose Monday closing was announced tonight, attacted numerous celebrities over the years. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy stopped by duriing his 2010 gubernatorial campaign and greeted owner Lee Papageorge. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Murphy Raises Gun Control – And His Profile – at Convention

By Ana Radelat

PHILADELPHIA — He started his speech with a standing ovation from members of the Connecticut delegation and ended it bringing the entire convention floor to its feet. Image
Sen. Christopher Murphy addresses the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

Sen. Chris Murphy’s’ impassioned prime time speech on gun control today helped the Democratic Party showcase its commitment on the issue and helped raise a profile that has been elevated since he led a filibuster on the Senate floor to press GOP leaders to hold votes on gun legislation.

“Enough of children dying in classrooms. Enough of nightly bloodshed on our city streets. Enough of our police officers being outgunned, ambushed, and cut down in the line of duty.

“Enough,” Murphy said.

The crowd joined him in chanting “Enough.”

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Westporters Bit Players in DNC WikiLeaks

Westporters were bit players in the 19,000 internal Democratic Party emails released by WikiLeaks. Image
Westporter Marc Lasry (l), mentioned in the WIkiLeaks DNC emails, hosted a Hillary Clinton fundraiser in April at his Westport home with Bill Clinton as featured guest. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The release set off a frenzy on the eve of the party’s Philadelphia nominating convention and forced the resignation of the party chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

A search for “Westport” on the WikiLeaks DNC emails website brought 17 results.

Among them was an exchange of emails seeking advice about a “commuter bicycle” purchase from Jordan Kaplan, finance chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

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Leaving Troubles at Home, Malloy Takes the DNC Stage

By Mark Pazniokas

Philadelphia — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy condemned the Republican ticket of Donald J. Trump and Mike Pence as bullies in a speech tonight to the Democratic National Convention, winning cheers by noting Connecticut welcomed the Syrian refugee family Pence turned away from Indiana. Image
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy addresses the Democratic National Convention tonight in Philadelphia. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Pazniokas for

Trump “has insulted anyone who doesn’t agree with him or doesn’t look like him. Women. Mexican-Americans. Veterans. Muslim-Americans. The LGBT community and people with disabilities. You name ‘em, Donald Trump has bullied them,” Malloy said. “I know something about bullies. And I know why we must stand up to them.”

Malloy, 61, a second-term governor struggling at home with a 24-percent approval rating and fresh off the disclosure that a federal grand jury is investigating how Democrats financed his re-election, is playing a welcome role this week as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association and as a surrogate for Hillary Clinton.

He shrugged off a question about whether he arrived here under a cloud.

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Friday, July 08, 2016

Amid Democratic Discord, Malloy Takes Reins of Party Platform Committee

By Ana Radelat

Gov. Dannel Malloy presided today over the Democratic Platform Committee meeting in Orlando, Fla., an event held under the pall of the shooting deaths of five police officers the night before in Dallas and the shooting this week by police officers of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana. Image
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy makes opening remarks on the recent shooting deaths at the Democratic Party Platform Committee meeting in Orlando, Fla.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo from C=SPAN

“The events in Dallas twisted a proud American tradition of protest and turned it into a tragedy,” Malloy said in his opening remarks to 187 platform committee members who will approve the final draft of the platform this weekend.

The platform, a document that will be presented to delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia at the end of the month, is a nonbinding document that serves as a guidepost for the party. It usually takes a backseat to the drama of officially nominating candidates for president and vice president at the convention.

But this year, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who challenged former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, has made the platform the final stance of his campaign. He and his supporters on the platform committee are pressing for changes to a draft hammered out by a 15-person drafting committee last month.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Senate Poised to Quash CT GMO Food Labeling Law

By Ana Radelat

Washington – The U.S. Senate is expected to move forward Wednesday on a bill that would pre-empt Connecticut’s genetically modified food labeling law, replacing it with a national food safety standard advocates say would be much weaker and not apply to many foods. Image
A GMO notice on the side of a box of Wheaties. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

Last week the Senate held a procedural vote – approved 68-29 –  on the contentious issue of labeling genetically modified organisms in food, or GMOs. Its sponsors, Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich, call the legislation a compromise.

The Roberts-Stabenow bill would create a mandatory labeling regime for food made with genetically modified organisms. Food makers would be required to either print a text message on the package disclosing whether a product contains GMO ingredients, or print a QR code or an internet link directing customers to GMO information not on the package.

Food safety advocates, who say they were caught off guard by the Senate’s action, have dubbed the bill the “Denying Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act.”

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Friday, July 01, 2016

Some ‘Bright Spots’ Seen in CT Economy

By Keith M.Phaneuf

While confirming that state government’s finances have slipped yet again, Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo also said today that a few “bright spots” show Connecticut’s economy might not be done growing.

And while the state entered a new fiscal year today, Lembo certified a $315.8 million deficit in the the outgoing budget — a shortfall that worsened largely because of further slippage in state income and sales tax receipts.

The deficit for the 2015-16 fiscal year, which is $56.7 million worse than projected one month ago, potentially could leave Connecticut with only about $90 million in its emergency reserve – a level equal to about one-half of 1 percent of annual operating costs.

Lembo, who recommends a reserve of 15 percent, will not formally close the books on 2015-16 until the end of September.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

New State Budget Threatened Before it Starts

By Keith M.Phaneuf

With Connecticut’s new fiscal year set to begin Friday, serious issues — involving both spending and revenue — have arisen in recent weeks that challenge state government’s new spending plan before it’s even begun.

And a major Wall Street credit rating agency questioned Monday whether Connecticut’s fiscal house is in order, If not, the state could face its third consecutive year of deficits.

“With weak tax collections likely to carry over into fiscal 2017, the state has limited flexibility to maintain a balanced budget,” Moody’s Investors Service wrote in its latest Credit Outlook newsletter.

“Budget reductions are especially challenging to achieve in Connecticut, where fixed costs — the sum of pension contributions, retiree health contributions and debt service payments — claimed more than 25 percent of the state’s own-source governmental revenue in fiscal 2014.”

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Conservation Voters Honor Westporters Image
More than 50 persons gathered today at the Westport home of G. Kenneth Bernhard to honor Westporter Julie Belaga and former Westporter Russ Brenneman for their work in conservation issues in the state. Bernhard, a former state representative, is co-chair of the board of the nonpartisan Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV). The group was founded in 1999 by Belaga, who initiated the procedure of scoring and monitoring legislators on their record of voting on conservation issues. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

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Faces in the Crowd Image
Among attendees at today’s reception by the nonpartisan Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTCLV) honoring Westporter Julie Belaga and former Westporter Russ Brenneman were former U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays (l) and former Senior U.S. District Judge Alan Nevas of Westport. Both are former members of the Connecticut House as is Belaga and G. Kenneth Bernhard, at whose home the reception was held. Bernhard is co-chair of the board of the CTCLV. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

GOP Cuts Off Dems Revolt

By Ana Radelat

UPDATE Washington — House Republicans early today pulled the plug on a revolt by Democrats led by Connecticut Rep. John Larson and civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis by adjourning in the middle of the night for the long July 4th break.

Larson and a group of about 20 Democrats, including all of Connecticut’s House lawmakers, seized control of the chamber Wednesday morning and said they would not relinquish it until GOP House leaders allowed votes on gun safety legislation.

But House Speaker Paul Ryan, who called the Democratic sit-in on the House floor “a publicity stunt,” was not moved. He scheduled key votes on bills that would fund the U.S. response to the Zika virus and military construction next year for 2:30 a.m., then adjourned the House for the holiday two days before it was scheduled.

The move to adjourn the House until July 5 angered the protesting Democrats, who cried out “coward,” “shame, shame,” and continued their chant of “No Bill, No Break.”

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Westport Thanks to U.S. Congressional Delegation Image
A group of Westporters, organized by Melissa Kane, chair of the Westport Democratic Town Committee, gathered for a photo at Compo Beach today to thank U.S. Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, and U.S. Rep. Jim Himes for their action and leadership on gun violence prevention. Kane said the photos will be sent to the representatives on behalf of Westport families. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo by Pam Einarsen

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For First Time, Legislators Override a Malloy Veto

By Mark Pazniokas

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy suffered his first veto overrides today, marking a turning point in the Democratic governor’s six-year partnership with the General Assembly’s Democratic majority.

In an election-year distancing of a governor whose approval rating recently sank to 24 percent, the General Assembly overrode the vetoes of three bills and sustained five others. The House was willing to do four more overrides, but the Senate stood with Malloy on others, including one increasing legislative oversight over tax breaks for economic development.

House voted in rapid succession to override the vetoes of five House and one Senate bills. The Senate overrode vetoes of two Senate and two House bills.

An override requires a two-thirds vote in both chambers.

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Outgoing CT Budget Deficit Swells

By Keith M.Phaneuf

Eroding state income tax receipts identified today by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration not only widened the deficit in the outgoing fiscal year, but threatened to punch a hole in the new state budget 12 days before it begins.

Malloy’s budget office announced the red ink in the 2015-16 finances worsened over the past month by $56.7 million — a problem driven largely by a $75 million drop in projected income tax receipts.

And since prior year’s income tax receipts are a crucial factor used to project likely revenues in the following year, the new forecast raises questions about the stability of the $19.76 billion budget Malloy and legislators approved recently for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

“We’re facing a sustained period of slower-than-normal growth as we adjust to this new economic reality,” Office of Policy and Management Secretary Benjamin Barnes, the governor’s budget chief, wrote in a statement. “… We are committed to making difficult choices to reduce spending throughout the end of this fiscal year and into the next.”

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Murphy Ends Filibuster Saying Two Gun Measures Will Get Votes

By Ana Radelat

Washington – Almost 15 hours after he launched a filibuster to pressure GOP colleagues to allow votes on gun control measures, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy ended his marathon saying there had been an agreement to vote on two measures. Image
Sen. Chris Murphy displays a poster of Newtown shooting victim Dylan Hockley as he comes to the end of his filibuster on the Senate floor early today.. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) C-SPAN photo

One would bar those on a terrorist watch list from purchasing firearms and the other would expand background checks.

“There’s no guarantee that those amendments will pass, but we’ll have some time to take the movement that exsisted before we stared and maybe is a little bit stronger now and try to prevail upon members to take these two measures and turn them into law,” he said.

Murphy took the floor at 11:21 a.m., running down the list of mass shootings that have occurred since Adam Lanza shot 20 first-graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December of 2012. He ended his marathon speech with a tribute to two of the Newtown victims, student Dylan Hockley and teacher aide Anne Marie Murphy, in whose arms Dylan was found after the shooting.

He yielded the floor at 2:11 a.m.

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Westport Legislators Report Image
State legislators representing Westport reported to constituents tonight in a sparsely attended session at Westport Town Hall. They included (l-r) state Sens. Tony Hwang and Toni Boucher, and state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

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Himes Won’t Take Part in Silence for Orlando Victims

See video here

Addressing the House of Representatives today, U.S. Rep. Jim Himes said he will not participate in a moment of silence for the Orlando massacre victims. Image
Jim Himes addressing Congress today.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) phto

He denounced what he said was the moral failure of Congress’s continued silence in the face of gun violence.

“Silence, that is how the leadership of the most powerful country in the world will respond to this week’s massacre of its citizens,” said Himes, whose 4th District includes Westport.

“If this Congress had a single moral fiber, we would force ourselves to get to know the slaughtered innocents,” he added, citing a victim.

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Malloy’s Line-Item Budget Vetoes Stand as House, Senate Split

By Mark Pazniokas and Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s line-item vetoes of $22 million in spending, primarily from undisclosed municipal aid accounts, will stand as the House and Senate disagreed today on whether to attempt election year overrides. Image
House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey (l) and House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz brief reporters as their caucus members stand by to show support for an override. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Pazniokas for

Senate President Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, said his caucus concluded that overriding the line-item vetoes would be “largely symbolic,” since Malloy still could make the same cuts under discretionary authority granted him in the recently adopted budget. The Senate Democrats reached that decision knowing House Democrats were eager to override the vetoes and distance themselves from an unpopular Malloy.

The acquiescence by the Senate Democrats, who say they are prepared to override other vetoes not related to the budget, immediately became election-year fodder. Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, tagged them as subservient to Malloy and said the price eventually would be higher property taxes.

“It’s not surprising that they did once again cave to this governor. It speaks to the fact we need a change up here in Hartford,” said Fasano, whose caucus needs a net gain of four seats this fall to take control of the Senate for the first time in two decades.

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Friday, June 10, 2016

Westport Republicans Honor Three Image
The Westport Republican Town Committee (RTC) tonight honored three members it said to “have gone above and beyond the ordinary” to serve Westport. They are (l-r) Jennifer Tooker, Board of Finance member, Rick Towers, RTC treasurer, and Catherine Walsh, Planning and Zoning member. Walsh has been nominated to oppose Democratic state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, who is seeking his fourth, two-year term. The gala took place at Christ & Holy Trinity Church’s Branson Hall. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

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Thursday, June 09, 2016

Westport Democrats Honor Two of Their Own Image
Westport Democrats tonight honored two of their own. Arline Gertzoff (2nd l) received the Martha Aasen Yellow Dog Democrat Award and Keith Stein (2nd r) received the Dora Stuttman Campaign Leadership Award. Both recipients have long been active in Democratic town politics with Stein a former chair of the Westport Democratic Town Committee (DTC). They are pictured with state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, who introduced Gertzoff’s award, and Mellisa Kane, chair of the DTC. The event was held at The Boathouse Restaurant at the Saugatuck Rowing Club. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

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Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Malloy’s Approval Drops to All-Time Low of 24 Percent

By Mark Pazniokas

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s approval rating hit a low of 24 percent today in a new Quinnipiac University poll, reflecting voter dismay over a chronic fiscal crisis that has come to define his six years as governor, most recently requiring service reductions and state employee layoffs.

“Voters feel Connecticut’s economy is going down the drain, and they are sending Gov. Dannel Malloy’s approval ratings right down the same drain. Even Democrats disapprove of the way he is doing his job,” said Douglas Schwartz, the poll’s director.

The poll is an across-the-board repudiation of Malloy, the first Democratic governor in decades, and a vote of no-confidence in the state’s economy, factors Republicans hope will enable them to shrink the Democrats’ majorities in the General Assembly or even capture control of a chamber.

Overall, 68 percent of voters disapprove of his performance, 24 percent approve and 8 percent have no opinion. He was upside down in every subset of voters, including Democrats, whose disapprove/approve split was 47 percent to 40 percent.

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Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Himes Lauds Clinton, Says Focus Now is on Defeating Trump

U.S. Rep Jim Himes tonight lauded Hillary Clinton as she claimed the Democratic nomination for president and said the focus now must be on defeating Donald Trump.

“By winning the national popular vote and the most pledged delegates, Secretary Clinton has shown herself to be the person best poised to lead our country and continue the progress we have made over the past eight years,” said Himes, whose 4th District includes Westport.

“This primary season energized millions of Democratic voters, due in no small part to the efforts of Senator Bernie Sanders.

“Senator Sanders has been a passionate voice for many who have been traditionally underrepresented in our political process and has made valuable contributions to the national debate on inequality and justice.

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