Friday, December 01, 2023



Westport’s State Representative Calls on Rowland to Step Aside Temporarily

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.”

Shays: Rowland Remains Evasive

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.

Hartford Courant: Westporter ‘s Hawaii Home Loan to Rowland Raises Ethical Issues and Maybe More

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?

Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell Calls on Rowland to Resign

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 Named

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:

District 1
    Rick Benson
    Lorna Christophersen
    Virginia Ehrhorn
    Adam Starr
    Judy Starr
District 2
    Michael Calise
    Sen. Judy Freedman
    Joe Sledge
    Sean Timmons

Shays to Hold Hartford News Conference While Governor Travels to Westport

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.”

Farrell: Expect Decision “Within Days” on Congressional Race

Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell said today she expects to make an announcement “within days” whether she intends to challenge Rep. Christopher Shays for his 4th Congressional District seat in November.

Since disclosing on Tuesday that she is seriously considering running against the 16-year Republican congressman, Farrell said she has received many phone calls and messages from friends and even strangers in the district urging her to enter the race.

“I’ve been very gratified by the response to my saying I’m considering running,” she told WestportNow. “I expect to make a decision within days.

“It’s heartwarming to know that there are so many people who feel I can make a difference in Washington.”

Farrell said she has been in contact with Democratic Party and labor leaders throughout the state who also have encouraged her to make the race.

“They all have been very supportive,” she said.

Westport Republicans Elect Town Committee Members

Westport Republicans met Thursday night to elect members of the Republican Town Committee. In District 2, successful candidates included (l to r) Sean Timmins, Michael Calise, state Sen. Judith Freedman and Joe Sledge. Party chair Pete Wolgast said 38 people were elected to the 40-person committee. Two positions in District 9 were not filled. Of the 38 elected, 17 are newcomers and three others elected are in new districts. Wolgast expressed pleasure with the results and said it will be the goal of the new town committee to regain control of town boards and commissions.  Dorrie Harris for

Possible Farrell Candidacy Makes News

Word that Westport’s First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell is considering making a bid for the 4th District House seat held by Rep. Christopher Shays made news around the district and state today.

Three of the district’s four daily newspapers carried front-page stories about the possible Farrell candidacy. Only the Bridgeport-based Connecticut Post ran the story inside.

The Associated Press carried a brief story for the first time today.

The Westport-datelined dispatch said, “First Selectwoman Diane Farrell is considering a possible bid for Congress in a challenge to U.S Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn.

“Farrell will make a final decision in the next several days, she said.”

The story also was carried by several of the state’s television and radio stations.

The widely read Connecticut Political Watch Internet publication also took note of the possible Farrell candidacy and pointed readers seeking more information to coverage by WestportNow and Cablevision News-12.

Carl Leaman Says He’ll Fill Out Farrell Term if Necessary

Speculation has already begun on how Westport is to be governed if First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell decides to challenge Rep. Christopher Shays for his 4th Congressional District seat and ousts the 16-year veteran.

Carl Leaman: I’ll help out. WestportNow. com photo

Carl Leaman, Farrell’s Democratic running mate in her last two races for Westport’s top post, said today that, if necessary, he would be willing to help out by working full-time in running the town while Farrell campaigns for the Shays seat.

The second selectman, who works only part-time for the town, also said he would be willing to be a candidate in any special election to fill out the remainder of her four-year term.

But Leaman, who sits on the Board of Selectmen which would have to set a date for a special election, made clear he had no interest in seeking the Democratic Party nomination to succeed Farrell for a full four-year term beginning in 2005.