Saturday, March 06, 2004
Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell greets Sen. Barbara Boxer today as Westport Democrats gathered at a private home for a fundraiser for the Californian. State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal looks on. WestportNow.com photo
Friday, March 05, 2004
The Westport Democratic Town Committee met Thursday night to elect officers and appoint district leaders. They included (l to r) Martha Aasen, re-elected DTC chair after serving in that role for eight years, Lynn Hogan, secretary; and Mark Marcus, vice chairman. Not shown is new treasurer Gerald Bodell, who replaced outgoing treasurer Barbara Schwimmer. WestportNow.com photo
Wednesday, March 03, 2004
Workers at the Long Lots Elementary School had plenty of time on their hands Tuesday as Westport Democrats went to the polls in the party’s presidential primary. Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry easily carried the town with 73 percent of the vote. The Town Clerk’s office said 2,105 persons voted, about 43.5 percent of the 4,839 registered Democrats in town double the turnout four years ago. WestportNow.com photo
Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry easily carried Westport today in the state’s Democratic presidential primary, winning 73 percent of the vote. North Carolina Sen. John Edwards was a distant second with 16.5 percent.
The Town Clerk’s office said Kerry had 1,536 votes while Edwards had 347.
It said 2,105 Democrats cast ballots, or about 43.5 percent of the approximately 4,839 registered Democrats in Westport—about double the figure of four years ago.
The final totals were:
1536 John F. Kerry
347 John Edwards
81 Howard Dean
63 Dennis J. Kucinich
30 Joe Lieberman
28 Wesley Clark
15 Al Sharpton
2 Lyndon H. Larouche, Jr.
Tuesday, March 02, 2004
Gov. John G. Rowland and legislative leaders today announced plans to accelerate the purchase of $60 million in rail cars for Metro-North’s New Haven Line.
But a longtime advocate for commuters, Jim Cameron of the Connecticut Rail Commuter Council, said the plan made barely a dent in the problem.
The plan, announced by Rowland and House Speaker Moira Lyons, D-Stamford, includes $35 million in funding previously planned for new rail cars and adds $25 million in additional state bonding.
The money will be used to immediately purchase 20 cars, adding 2,000 seats to the railroad - a project that would not otherwise have been fully funded for 18 months.
“The patient is dying and Doctors Lyons and Rowland slap on a bandage and say ‘we’ve done all we can,’” said Cameron.
Sunday, February 29, 2004
Members of the Greens Farms Academy male a capella group “Beachside Express” provided entertainment at today’s Westport Democratic Party fundraiser in advance of Tuesday’s presidential primary. State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and state party chairman George Jepsen were among those attending. WestportNow.com photo
State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal told a Westport Democratic Party fundraiser today that he is “finding more not less wrongdoing” in his investigation of Gov. John G. Rowland. Federal and state investigators are conducting a simultaneous inquiry into activities of the Republican chief executive. (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE). WestportNow.com photo
Thursday, February 26, 2004
While most eyes are focused on next week’s Connecticut Democratic primary, Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell is quietly trying to get voters to think about the battle for Congress in November.
“Diane Farrell for Congress” stickers have begun circulating among Westport Democrats. WestportNow.com photo
Farrell filed papers Jan. 13 to begin to raise funds to challenge Rep. Christopher Shays, a 16-year Republican veteran, for his 4th District seat.
At the time, she said she planned to make a formal announcement within a month and would be traveling throughout the district listening to and sharing her concerns and hopes with fellow residents.
A source close to Farrell said that announcement has been put off until sometime in March after the March 2 presidential primary.
But the two-term Westport chief executive nevertheless has been busy raising funds and talking with party leaders and voters.
In addition, “Diane Farrell for Congress” bumper and lapel stickers have begun circulating among Westport Democrats.
Update 2/29/04:A fundraiser for the Westport Democratic Town Committee was told the Farrell announcement will be made March 15 at 8 a.m. at Oscar’s Delicatessen in Westport to be followed by appearances elsewhere in the district.
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell was among 20 Democratic mayors and first selectmen from across Connecticut endorsing Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry today.
Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez said Kerry is the party’s best shot at taking back the White House and bringing more jobs, education funding and better health care to the state.
“He is the best Democratic candidate that can take on George Bush and get our economy moving again,” Perez said.
Connecticut has lost 48,000 jobs, including 34,000 manufacturing jobs, since George Bush took office, said Perez.
He initially supported Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., but shifted to Kerry after Lieberman dropped out of the nomination race.
Farrell also backed Lieberman initially and was among Connecticut supporters who traveled to New Hampshire to campaign for him there.
Thursday, February 12, 2004
Town Clerk Patricia H. Strauss reminded voters today that absentee ballots are now available for those electors who will be unable to vote in person in the March 2 Democratic presidential preference primary.
She said absentee ballots will be issued because of active service in the armed forces, absence from the town during all hours of voting, illness, physical disability, or religious tenets.
Strauss said only enrolled Democrats may vote in this primary.
“If you are not yet registered to vote, or you are an unaffiliated voter, it is not too late to register or enroll in a party,” she said.
Friday, January 30, 2004
Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell and mayors and selectmen from neighboring communities met today to outline the region’s legislative goals.
Farrell, who is chair of the South Western Region Metropolitan Planning Organization, held a breakfast session with the municipal leaders at Norwalk City Hall.
Among the goals cited by Farrell and Daniel Wilder, chair of the South Western Regional Planning Agency (SWRPA), was continued investment in commuter rail equipment, infrastructure and services, especially for Metro-North’s New Haven Line and its 92,000 daily riders.
The local leaders also asked that state lawmakers integrate funding for critical transit services into the Connecticut Department of Transportations operating budget.
Thursday, January 29, 2004
Two days after campaigning for him in New Hampshire, Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell has urged Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman to take time from his presidential aspirations to boost federal highway spending in the state.
Farrell, as chairwoman of the South Western Region Metropolitan Planning Organization, sent a letter to Lieberman Tuesday urging him to fight for more funding under a proposed spending bill.
Farrell was in New Hampshire Sunday campaigning for Lieberman in the New Hampshire Democratic primary. He came in fifth.
Under the proposed $311 billion highway spending bill, Connecticut, compared to other states, would get the lowest increase over the last transportation bill. Connecticut’s funding increase would be just 10 percent.
Monday, January 26, 2004
Westport First Selectman Diane Goss Farrell, a Democrat who is challenging Republican Rep. Christopher Shays in November for his 4th District congressional seat, got a weekend taste of what it’s like to campaign on the national level she stumped New Hampshire for Sen. Joe Lieberman.
With the New Hampshire primary only two days away, Farrell was among several Connecticut Democrats called on by the Lieberman forces to help bolster the Connecticut senator’s chances in the Democratic primary.
“I’m proud of Joe,” Farrell told WestportNow today. “He’s one of Connecticut’s favorite sons and I was pleased to lend a hand.”
Thursday, January 22, 2004
Lt. Gov. M. Jodi Rell told a Westport audience today she is ready to assume the governorship, if necessary, and is “seriously considering” a run for the office in 2006. Lt. Gov. M. Jodi Rell tells Y’s Men she is ready to assume governorship if necessary.WestportNow
Appearing at meeting of the Y’s Men group at the Saugatuck Congregational Church, Rell, did not comment directly on the problems faced by Gov. John G. Rowland.
But when asked whether she was ready to assume the office, she said she was.
“When any lieutenant governor, whether it is me or any lieutenant governor from any state across the nation, raises their right hand and takes the oath of office, they know what their job is and what their responsibility is,” she said.
“And I’ll be candid with you. No lieutenant governor wants to fill in for their governor under any adverse conditions, no matter what those conditions are.”
But Rell said she was “quite confident” in her ability as lieutenant governor and was ready to serve in any other capacity that might become necessary.
Monday, January 19, 2004
Greenwich Democrats say Westport First Selectwoman Diane Farrell could pull off an upset victory over Rep. Christopher Shays in Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District, and those involved in the party are pledging their full support, according to todays Greenwich Time.
“Although it is always difficult to run against an entrenched incumbent, Diane Farrell will present a really viable alternative which could captivate people’s imaginations,” former First Selectman Richard Bergstresser said, according to the newspaper.
Greenwich Time said Farrell is running as a fiscally conservative Democrat who opposed going to war in Iraq without broader international support and favors civil unions for gay couples.
Greenwich Democrats said Shays could lose his more liberal and moderate voters to Farrell, the newspaper said.
Saturday, January 17, 2004
Rep. Christopher Shays addresses a community meeting in Westport today. The veteran Republican lawmaker touched on a wide range of issues ranging from the war in Iraq to transportation in Fairfield County. About 100 people attended. (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell exchanges a few words with Rep. Christopher Shays prior to the congressman’s community meeting today in Westport. It was the first meeting between the two since the Democrat Farrell filed a statement of candidacy this week to challenge the veteran Republican in November. Farrell remained at the meeting only a few minutes. WestportNow.com photo
Friday, January 16, 2004
Rep. Christopher Shays said today his race against Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell will be “huge.”
In an interview with Cablevision News-12, Shays was asked about the November election against Democrat Farrell and said: “It’s going to be a huge race and I can’t predict the outcome.”
Earlier, in newspaper interview, Shays called Farrell a “hugely formidable” opponent.
In a meeting Thursday with editors of The Advocate of Stamford and Greenwich Time, Shays spoke on a wide range of topics, including whether he had an interest in—or had been asked about—running for governor in 2006.
“If anyone suggested it, they were not encouraged to pursue it,” the 16-year Republican veteran told the editors.
Thursday, January 15, 2004
Westport Democratic First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell has launched a Web site at www.farrellforcongress.com in her bid to unseat Republican Rep. Christopher Shays in November in Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District. WestportNow.com photo
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
Addressing her weekly brown bag citizens’ lunch, Farrell said she was very excited and proud of her decision, announced Tuesday, to officially file a federal form declaring her candidacy.
“However, I am still running the Town of Westport and that has got to be my primary responsibility,” she said.
Farrell added, though that she will “obviously be actively campaigning for the next 10 months.
The Westport News, one of two weekly newspapers in Westport, today repeated its call for the resignation of Gov. John G. Rowland.
“For the well-being of the state you claim to so dearly love, John G. Rowland have the good grace and enough sense to realize the time to resign is overdue,” the newspaper said in an editorial.
The newspaper, part of the Denver-based MediaNews Group Inc. whose other properties include the Connecticut Post in Bridgeport, had issued a similar call at New Year’s.
Tuesday, January 13, 2004
Westport’s Democaratic First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell filed papers today to form a campaign committee and raise funds to challenge Rep. Christopher Shays, a 16-year Republican veteran, for his 4th District congressional seat.
“I am thrilled to be taking the first step to run for Congress,” said Farrell in a statement.
“It has been years since I have heard such a groundswell of concern that our country is on the wrong track and that our region is underserved.”
Accompanying the announcement was a copy of a letter Farrell sent to Shays informing him of her candidacy.
“Since we have had a respectful working relationship over the years, I wanted to inform you personally of my intentions,” she wrote.
Monday, January 12, 2004
Leonard P. Kaminsky, a former Westport resident who served on the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission and Board of Assessment Appeals, has died in Hawaii, friends said today. He turned 76 last Wednesday.
Kaminsky, who moved to Shelton several years ago, had undergone bypass surgery in the past and his death early Sunday was apparently caused by a heart attack, according to the friends.
Kaminsky, a retired vice president of Cone Mills Marketing Co., was last seen by friends in Westport at a recent Y’s Men meeting.
Rep. Christopher Shays today called on Gov. John G. Rowland to step down “in a gracious manner” and said the sooner the better.
Rep. Christopher Shays calls for Rowland’s resignation at a Hartford news conference today. WTNH.com photo
Shays spoke at a Hartford news conference.
“I believe the time has come for our governor, John Rowland, to step down in a gracious manner, and allow the lieutenant governor, Jodi Rell, to become our new governor,” the 4th District Republican congressman said.
Shays added, “I believe the sooner this happens the better for our state and believe it or not, the better ultimately it will be for John and his family.”
Asked if had personally told the governor of his position, Shays said he tried to call him Friday, but the call was not returned.
“It strikes me as being so obvious (that he ought to step down) but not to him.” Shays said.
Asked if he thought the governor would resign, Shays replied, “I don֒t think he plans to in the near future.”
Shays said the impeachment process “should begin based on what we know but I dont think it necessarily should result in impeachment.”
State Rep G. Kenneth Bernhard said today that Gov. John G. Rowland, a fellow Republican, ought to step aside temporarily while a federal investigation about him proceeds.
“I intend to call him tomorrow (Monday) and tell him he ought to take advantage of the provisions of the state constitution,” Bernhard, who represents the 136th District, told WestportNow.
“The constitution provides that a governor can write a letter saying that he is unable to perform the duties of office and that he is temporarily stepping aside,” he said.
“Usually it is reserved for medical reasons, but it could be applied in this case,” Bernhard said.
“What is readily apparent at this juncture is that guilty or innocent, fair or unfair, the governor cannot perform the duties entrusted to him by the people who elected him to be governor.”
Sunday, January 11, 2004
Rep. Christopher Shays told a Greenwich meeting that he believes Gov. John Rowland still has not adequately explained his actions and statements regarding improvements to his summer cottage, according to todays Greenwich Time.
The Republican congressmanҒs town meeting in Greenwich Saturday was one of four he held in the district during the day. He holds a session in Westport next Saturday.
He told the Greenwich audience that he had advised Rowland during a private meeting in December to “take tangible actions to win back people’s trust. . . (and) answer any and all questions about his conduct,” the newspaper reported.
“John has chosen not to do that,” Shays said. About 100 residents attended the meeting.
Todays Hartford Courant cites a Hawaii visit almost four years ago by Gov. John Rowland to a home loaned to him by a retired Westport advertising executive as an example of a pattern of accepting gifts from friends that raises ethical questions and maybe more.
Rowland and friends stayed at the Mauna Kea Resort home of Barry Blau, 76, of Bayberry Ridge Road, in January 2000, according to the newspaper. It said Blau was not there at the time but that he confirmed he loaned it to Rowland.
The Courant said the trip raises not only ethical issues but perhaps legal ones as well.
The newspaper headlined its story ғRowlands Are No Strangers To Gifts—Hawaii Trip, Other Freebies Raise Question: When Is A Little Help From Friends Too Much?
Saturday, January 10, 2004
Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell today joined a growing list of politicians and newspapers calling on Gov. John Rowland to resign.
“I appeal to Mr. Rowland to step down from his duties as governor effective immediately,” Farrell said in a statement.
“We in lower Fairfield County especially know how disruptive scandals and investigation can be to the function of government and daily lives of our citizens.
“I remind Mr. Rowland that in disturbingly similar circumstances, he urged former Mayor (Joseph) Ganim of Bridgeport to vacate his office.”
Westport Republican Town Committee chair Pete Wolgast today released names of members of the committee who will serve from March 2004 to March 2006.
The 38 members were chosen in distict elections Thursday night. Two vacancies exist in District 9. The new committee:
Sen. Judy Freedman
Rep. Christopher Shays, just back from another trip to the Middle East, has called a Hartford news conference Monday to make a statement regarding Gov. John Rowland and answer questions.
The 1:30 p.m. news conference at the legislative office building will come a half hour before a source said Rowland is expected to attend a 2 p.m. groundbreaking ceremony in Westport for the renovation and expansion of the Westport Country Playhouse.
Rowland is among a number of dignitaries invited to the event, to be held in a tent on the Playhouse grounds.
A notice from the congressman’s Washington office said Shays called the news conference “to make a statement regarding Governor Rowland and answer questions.”