Malloy: Ron Paul’s an idiot, Obama signs CT disaster declaration, Shays endorsed even before officially entering race

September 5, 2011
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Here are our political news highlights on news from and about Connecticut.

On Monday, August 29, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Connecticut Department of Economic Development (DECD) Commissioner Catherine Smith announced that businesses affected by Hurricane Irene are eligible for grants, loan guarantees, loans and technical assistance through the DECD. For more information about eligibility, businesses are encouraged to go to DECD.org or by calling 1-860-270-8215.

State Employee Bargaining Agent Commission (SEBAC) reported that the Connecticut General Assembly ratified the new tentative agreement between SEBAC’s leaders and the state government which includes $1.6 billion in concessions from the unions over fiscal years 2012 and 2013, and $21.5 billion over twenty years with the same cost-saving provisions. The new tentative agreement had been approved by 32 out of 34 unions that are part of SEBAC. SEBAC added that as part of the new tentative agreement permanent employees in the 32 unions that passed it who have been laid off “should have already received letters from their agencies returning them to work on Thursday, September 1.

CTNewsJunkie.com reported that state prosecutor Lisa Heskowitz amended her complaint against the concessions agreement between the state government and the SEBAC leaders calling on the Labor Relations Board to invalidate it. About a month ago Ms. Heskowitz reportedly filed a complaint to halt the union revote on the $1.6 billion in labor concessions on the grounds that the SEBAC bylaws limit bargains to “issues concerning the state employees’ retirement system” which apparently does not include wage provisions. SEBAC’s spokesman Matt O’Connor deemed Lisa Heskowitz’ complaint factually inaccurate, according to media reports.

On Wednesday the governor announced that individuals that want to help the Irene relief effort could securely donate money to the National Donations Management Network – Connecticut by going to http://aidmatrixnetwork.org/FEMA/States.aspx?ST=Connecticut.

U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Secretary Ray LaHood and Governor Dannel Malloy announced that the Connecticut Department of Transportation is funded $1 million in quick release emergency funds through the USDOT’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for repairs of bridges, highways and roads from Tropical Storm Irene. According to the FHWA’s website, quick release emergency funds reimburse communities for the cost of these repairs. Earlier, FHWA’s program also funded $5 million to Vermont.

Meanwhile, on Friday, President Barack Obama declared ‘major disaster’ in Connecticut, and ordered federal funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be available to the state government and eligible local governments. He signed a Connecticut Disaster Declaration on Friday night. This means that the entire territory of the state is eligible for individual assistance, public assistance and funds from the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program aimed at long-term risk prevention.

Governor Malloy appointed state Board of Accountancy Chairman David Guay as acting executive administrator of the Office of Government Accountability, starting on Thursday, September 1. The Office of Government Accountability was among the three new agencies proposed by Mr. Malloy as part of his proposal about restructuring state agencies. His proposal decreased the number of agencies by 27 and added 3 new agencies. The other two new agencies were the Department of Construction Services and the Department of Emergency Responder Training.

State Comptroller Kevin Lembo announced that the pre-audited surplus in the General Fund for fiscal year 2011 is $236.9 million. The surplus in the General Fund is apparently due to “temporary financial fixes” without which, Mr. Lembo said, it would have incurred a more than $1 billion deficit. Mr. Lembo sent a letter to Governor Malloy informing him that the fund will be used to pay $14.5 million in obligated future retiree health care and put the beginning of paying $915.8 million in 2009 Economic Recovery Notes. State Comptroller Lembo also noted growth in exports, retail sales compared to a year ago, and in weekly revenue.

Meanwhile, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen extended to 5pm on Tuesday, September 6, a “notice of abnormal market disruption for energy resources” which protects Connecticut consumers from “unconscionably excessive” energy prices due to abnormal market disruption. This regulatory tool, which was announced on Friday, August 26, was used due to the damage done by Tropical Storm Irene. Some parts of Connecticut are reportedly still without power about a week after the hurricane passed through the state. State Attorney General George Jepsen and Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein urged consumers to contact their offices in cases of “unconscionably excessive” energy prices for this period of time.

Mr. Jepsen joined 41 other state attorneys general in their plea to Congress for a wireless bandwidth known as D-Block for law enforcement use in cases of natural disasters.

Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield filed an application with the Connecticut Insurance Department requesting a 12.9 percent increase of their health insurance premiums. Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield owe the reason for this increase to rising prices in hospital care, new technologies, other expensive diagnostic services, and prescription drugs. Per state law, if the CID concludes that this increase is excessive, Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield will not be allowed to raise its health insurance premiums. Last year then acting Connecticut Insurance Department Commissioner Barbara Spear denied a request for medical and prescription drug premium rate increase by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in accordance with that state law.

A total of seventeen insurance companies have either waived deductibles after Tropical Storm Irene, or have not applied them due to having not met their triggers. Connecticut Insurance Department Commissioner Thomas B. Leonardi and Governor Malloy praised their actions.

The Connecticut Insurance Department offered on its website three steps in tips for property owners with flood insurance policies on how to file claims.

Mr. Jepsen’s office announced that “Cigna and its agent American Specialty Health Networks, Inc. have agreed to review and reprocess chiropractic benefit claims dating back to April 1, 2010, that may have been denied improperly under Connecticut law.” Chiropractors and their patients reportedly complained to the office about Cigna on the matter.

U.S. Representative Joe Courtney (D, CT – 2nd District) announced that the U.S. Navy signed a contract worth $23,068,954 with Groton based Electric Boat. According to the contract, as reported by a press release, 880 tradesmen from Electric Boat will make repairs at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard on USS Newport News and USS West Virginia.

President Barack Obama’s Senior Advisor David Plouffe announced that President Obama and his administration are launching a program called We The People anytime soon. We The People, according to a press release sent by Mr. Plouffe, is aimed at making the federal government more accountable and more transparent to its citizens. For more information, go to WhiteHouse.gov/WeThePeople.

In an interview with CNN anchor Christine Romans Governor Malloy called U.S. Representative and current presidential candidate Ron Paul (R, TX – 14th District) an idiot as a reflection on U.S. Representative Paul’s opinion that deems the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) a waste of taxpayers’ money and that it should be terminated. He also suggested that Mr. Paul’s opinion is hypocritical on the grounds that Texas has benefited most from declarations of disasters.

Former U.S. Representative Rob Simmons endorsed former U.S. Representative Chris Shays in his bid for the Republican Party nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman (I – CT). Windsor attorney Brian Keith Hill is the only Republican who is officially in the race, while U.S. Representative Chris Murphy (D, CT – 5th District), former Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, state Representative William Tong (D – Stamford) and former U.S. Senate contender Lisa “Lee” Whitnum. Former WWE corporate officer Linda McMahon and U.S. Representative Shays have not announced their candidacies for the U.S. Senate yet.

Meanwhile, U.S. Representative Murphy expressed his support for the federal Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, also known as the DREAM Act, during a speech that he gave in an informal session at Central Connecticut State University. The DREAM Act, if enacted, would grant eligibility for citizenship to any illegal immigrant who satisfies certain conditions.

U.S. Representative Murphy, former Secretary of the State Bysiewicz and state Representative Tong took part at a forum organized by the Working Families Party on Saturday, as reported by CTNewsJunkie.com. Among the topics that the three candidates discussed were the economy – particularly tax policies and the debt ceiling – the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the entitlement payments Mericaid, Medicare and Social Security.

 

15 Responses to Malloy: Ron Paul’s an idiot, Obama signs CT disaster declaration, Shays endorsed even before officially entering race

  1. Christopher Heward on September 5, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Not really a valid criticism from Malloy of Paul given that Paul is against the wars too. Clearly the guy doesn’t seem to know what Paul stands for.

  2. Julian Alien on September 5, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Malloy is the idiot.Connecticut has little dealings with the corrupt bureaucracy.As a Florida native I wave witnessed firsthand how they use National Guard to keep locals from entering the wealthiest neighborhoods,while escorting FEMA family in with illegal immigrant labor.We are paying for our own robbery.The State should get the money .They know the terrain and needs of the people.

  3. Olash on September 5, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    You’re an idiot. Listen to what Paul says before you call him an idiot. Paul’s all for getting out of those economically-draining wars, and he never said eliminate FEMA immediately, he thinks it should be a gradual process of removing an over-complicated bureaucracy.

  4. Bill Goode on September 5, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Anyone such as Governor Malloy, who apparently understands nothing about economics, would of course think anyone, who does understand economics would be an idiot. Malloy apparently would want to use FEMA to control people and put people in the concentration camps they have built for just that purpose. Mr. Malloy is one to fear, as he would put people in FEMA concentration camps, 97 of which have been built around the country.

  5. 27Reasons on September 5, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Malloy is a tool who is currently KILLING the people of CT. He hasn’t even taken the time to know Ron Paul’s true stance and suggestions for FEMA.

  6. libertynow on September 5, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Maybe if their guardsmen and women and all of their gear were not in Iraq (as Obama not only promised but received a NPP about 3 years ago and has not delivered,) then maybe they would not need additional help from the Feds and more people would be alive today. In the flood zones and the war zones.
    Ron Paul is right on this issue that equipment and resources should be local and ready and that you should not need Federal help via federal agents. FEMA pays $50,000 for one tent. No thanks. Start taking volunteers at the local fire houses and having our National Guard in our nation for once.

  7. jay on September 5, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    I would not call the governer the idiot in response to him calling dr. Paul an idiot. That does no good. Even if he is an idiot, he can learn the positions of Dr. Paul without us participating in name calling. He was probably asked a biased question or given an out of context statement from the cnn reporter and he doesnt understand the negative impacts of fema and the failureof government beuracracy. Hopefully, we can educate him on free markets, charity, voluntaryism, and true compassion. Name calling does nothing. Fema is working with stolen money and it is mismanaged nonetheless.

  8. Brian on September 6, 2011 at 2:36 am

    I don’t know all of the circumstances regarding the comment, but I would hope that the blew it out of proportion. Calling a highly respected Congressman with hundreds of times more experience dealing with FEMA an idiot certainly isn’t the best approach to politics.

  9. Marshall on September 6, 2011 at 2:47 am

    Malloy, who can barely read and write, called a man with a Doctorate from Duke University an idiot. That is pretty funny.

  10. Blue on September 6, 2011 at 8:19 am

    It seems that, as always, Ron Paul’s following is as active as ever. Too bad it’s only a handful of disillusioned people out there who think that he can lead and be a president. At least Malloy doesn’t just talk fiscal responsibility, he acts on it and now Connecticut has balanced books for a first time since Republicans took office 20 something years ago

  11. Wallace on September 6, 2011 at 8:49 am

    From Wikipedia:

    “As a child, Malloy suffered from learning disabilities and difficulties with motor coordination. He did not learn to tie his shoes until the fifth grade and was considered, mentally retarded by his elementary school teachers.”

    I think that says it all.

  12. aha on September 6, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Governor Malloy overcame dyslexia throughout his childhood and even today and made it further than most of you geniuses out there. Calling Dr. Paul an idiot wasn’t Malloy’s greatest act in office, but surely expresses how most of us feel anyway. The proof? Last time I checked, most people talk about the possibility of Michelle Bachman becoming a president (oh my) vs Ron Paul.

  13. IO on September 6, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Anyone who makes these two statements back to back should be considered functionally retarded, and barred from public office.

    “This is a ridiculous conversation,” Malloy said. “I really don’t understand what he’s talking about, and I’m not sure he does.”

    “I think he’s an idiot!”

    So let me get this right….You don’t understand him, so HE is the idiot?

    This man is retarded. I feel sorry for citizens of Connecticut.

  14. IO on September 6, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Blue,

    I’ll take the pepsi challenge with you any day of the week. I’m dying to see how you stack up to such a disillustioned inividual as myself. FAIL!

  15. Um, uh, uhmm on September 9, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Um, er, this is to Governor, um, Danny Malloy and, um, er, I think, um, you need to re-think, uh, appearing on network, er, TV, umm, again. Especially, um, before you, err, take some public, umm, speaking courses.

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