New Britain Democrat

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

23 May 2010

City Democrats Will Complete Endorsements For State Election This Week

New Britain Democrats will complete their endorsements for legislative seats this week at three conventions and a town committee meeting

On Monday, May 24th, 6th District State Senator Donald DeFronzo will be re-nominated for a fifth two-year term at the Trinity On Main Performance Center on Main Street beginning with a 6 p.m. reception and a 7 p.m. convention. DeFronzo, the co-chair of the Legislature's Transportation Committee, represents Berlin, New Britain and a portion of Farmington. He is expected to be re-nominated by acclamation

On Tuesday, 24th District State Representative Tim O'Brien is seeking re-election at a 7 p.m. convention at the Italian Fraternal Society, 131 Monroe Street. The 24th convention will be followed at 7:30 p.m. by a Town Committee meeting at which endorsements are expected for 25th State Rep. John Geragosian and 26th State Rep. Peter Tercyak. Town committee members from those districts endorse legislative candidates without a convention because the districts fall within city boundaries. In Plainville, a separate convention will be held Tuesday at Plainville Town Hall involving State Rep. Betty Boukus of the 22nd District. Boukus' district includes Voting District 15 (DiLoreto School) in the city.

A social hour will follow the endorsements at the Italian Fraternal Society. The event is open to the public.

State Convention Picks Get Nod From New Britain Democrats: Primary Is August 10

The city's 35-member delegation to the Democratic State Convention endorsed candidates for state offices who went on to win endorsement at Hartford's Expo Center on Saturday. The statewide results set the stage for an August 10th primary with contests for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of the State and Comptroller.

Former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy carried 28 of 35 delegates over Ned Lamont in the race for Governor. A group of New Britain and Berlin leaders had endorsed Malloy at the beginning of February and the delegate slates was approved by the Town Committee in March. Nancy Wyman, switching from Comptroller to Lieutenant Governor, received 24 New Britain votes to 11 for Simsbury First Selectwoman and New Britain native Mary Glassman. In the hotly contested Secretary of the State race, Denise Merrill, the House Majority Leader, edged State Senator Jonathan Harris 18 to 17 on a second ballot. In the first ballot for Secretary, Gerry Garcia of New Haven, Merrill and Harris were neck and neck at 12, 13 and 10 votes respectively. State Health Care Advocate Kevin Lembo overwhelmed opponents in the New Britain delegation receiving 31 delegates to four for Waterbury Mayor Michael Jarjura. To qualify for the primary candidates were required to receive 15%.

The New Britain delegation at the Democratic State Convention on Friday, May 21. (Frank Gerratana photo)

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (U.S. Senate), State Treasurer Denise Nappier and former State Party Chair George Jepsen (Attorney General) won their endorsements unopposed. Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, forced from the AG race by a state Supreme Court decision, addressed the convention Saturday and visited with delegates who would have supported her candidacy.

Said Malloy following his endorsement: “As I’ve traveled the state over the past year, I’ve found a common feeling among the people I’ve met with. They share a sense that we can do better. A sense that we must do better. A sense that with the right kind of leadership – we will do better. I’m confident that my experience has left me well prepared to be that leader. I've turned government around before, and I'm prepared to do it again.”

New Britain delegates from left: Alton Brooks, State Rep. Tim O'Brien and Harriet Geragosian. (Frank Gerratana photo)

FY 2011 Municipal Budget Due June 14: Discussions Underway, Council Meetings May 26th, June 9th

Discussions between the Mayor's office and City Council leadership have been under way since the proposed administration budget was presented to the Council and an overflow audience weighed in on possible layoffs in the school system and elsewhere at a May 17th public hearing at New Britain High School.

The Common Council meets Wednesday, May 26th, in the Council Chambers with public participation beginning at 7 p.m. The first regular meeting in June will be on June 9th.

Unlike last year city leaders won't have to worry about state aid amounts which were finalized by the Governor and legislature earlier this month. Despite efforts by Gov. Rell and Republicans to cut municipal aid, the Legislature maintained levels adopted in the biennial budget for the year that begins July 1. During the 12 week legislative session House Speaker Chris Donovan (D-Meriden) also noted other actions to aid cities and towns including a local option to take advantage of the state's plan for prescription drug coverage for employees, allowing municipalities and boards of education to enter into joint employee health insurance plans and joint transportation agreements and RESCs to provide services to multiple boards of education. The enabling legislation touted by Donovan represents an avenue to reduce the property tax burden if cities and towns use the options. "We had an aggressive agenda for a short, 12-week legislative session, and we achieved it," said Donovan. "We know there is much more we can do for our citizens."

The proposed city budget may be found on the city's website under city government section and the Finance Department. The link is

Senator Dodd To Hold Sidewalk Press Conference on Wall Street Reform Monday, May 24th

Senator Chris Dodd, one of the architects of financial regulation reform that passed the U.S. Senate last week, will discuss the legislation at a Monday May 24th press conference at noon at the University of Connecticut’s School of Business Graduate Business Learning Center in Hartford. According to a statement issued by the Connecticut Citizen Action Group (CCAG) Dodd’s bill "will create a sound foundation to grow the economy and create jobs, protect consumers, rein in Wall Street, and prevent another financial crisis."

President Obama and others say it is "the most sweeping reform of the financial industry since the Great Depression." It creates a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to watch out for the average citizen in our country and protect them from potential abuses in the market place; it mandates clearing and exchange trading for transparency and has a provision to prevent another taxpayer bailout of the financial industry. It appears to correct deregulation moves in the last decade including the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act which some analysts say spawned a derivatives racket and led to the financial meltdown of 2008.

Senator Dodd has been working on this legislation for a well over year and he has championed it as one of the landmark pieces of legislation he seeks to enact in his final term in the Senate.

End Quote

"As New Britain Mayor Timothy Stewart walked by, Rowland smiled and loudly announced, "This is the future of the party right here. You can mark that down.""

Former Gov. John Rowland, who left office and was convicted on corruption charges, being quoted at the GOP's Prescott Bush Dinner on May 20th. The quote appeared in a story by Mark Pazniokas in the online Connecticut Mirror.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Vote For Kevin Lembo for Comptroller

Seasoned political observers will recall that the job of State Comptroller carried little weight in terms of governing a generation ago. At state elections it was the office used to balance a ticket based on diversity or geography.

For all of the time Connecticut has had a Constitution (and it is the "Constitution State") the office of Comptroller had been the backroom bean counter and, according to law, provided "accounting and financial services, to administer employee benefits, to develop accounting policy and exercise accounting oversight, and to prepare financial reports for state, federal and municipal governments and the public."

That started to change in 1991 when Democrat Bill Curry, a former state senator, got elected. Curry, an activist and policy wonk, who would become the gubernatorial nominee in 1994, raised the visibility of Comptroller considerably. Incumbent Nancy Wyman took up where Curry left off and has used the office to contribute to fiscal policy ideas, health care reform and the management of the state's finances. Under the Rell administration Wyman has emerged almost as a shadow governor delivering the sober news about state budget deficits and calling attention to the difficult choices Connecticut faces amid recession and dwindling tax bases.

Kevin Lembo, the state Health Care Advocate, is now running for state comptroller having abandoned an exploratory run for Lt. Governor when Nancy Wyman moved on to seek that office.

He gets my vote for the role he's played in helping residents deal with the health care system, especially the insidious practice of insurers denying coverage to people who thought they were insured. He may be the most experienced candidate in the race, having served as assistant State Comptroller for health insurance and implementing GAAP (You can ask your accountant what GAAP stands for). He co-chairs with Nancy Wyman the commission established under the Sustinet Plan to implement universal health care and as the state Comptroller would play a big rule in implementing such reforms as health care pools for local governments and small businesses (Pools = improved benefits at lower costs)

Meeting Kevin Lembo you can sense that this is an individual who believes in making real change in government at many levels. That, along with a hands-on progressive Governor, is what will be needed to, in Lembo's words, "reverse the years of neglect our state has suffered and regain the ground we've lost."

Lembo has my vote for continuing a more active and useful Comptroller's office and for what he will say and do about fiscal policy and management of state government. He'll make the bean counters in Hartford work in the best interests of citizens.

- John McNamara, Democratic Town Chair, New Britain

Sunday, May 16, 2010

16 May 2010

City Budget Hearing Monday May 17, At High School

A public hearing will be held Monday, May 17th, at 6 p.m. on the 2011 municipal budget for July 1-June 30 fiscal period with the timetable for budget adoption less than 20 days away. The hearing will be held in the Tercyak Lecture Hall at the Mill Street high school.

For a commentary on the need to avoid layoffs in frontline positions go to

Economic Opportunity Group To Present First Laddie Michalowski Award Tuesday, May 18th

Citizens for Economic Opportunity will hold “A Night of Celebration” on Tuesday, May 18th featuring cocktails, an awards ceremony and Stand Up Comedian Linda Belt beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Real Artways, 56 Arbor Street, Hartford.

This year the first annual Laddie Michalowski Workplace Justice Award will be given to UAW Region 9A and the Foxwoods organizers. The award is named in memory of New Britain’s Laddie Michalowski, longtime community and union activist. Tickets are $45 per person. For information or to RSVP: For more information or to RSVP, please contact

State Convention May 21-22; Legislator Nominations To Follow May 24, 25

Democrats will decide endorsements for major state and legislative offices over the next week at conventions to conclude the first phase of the nominating process for the 2010 Election.

The State Convention will convene Friday, May 21, at Hartford's Expo Center, with the nomination for U.S. Senate involving Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Merrick Albert. The Saturday schedule calls for endorsements for state constitutional offices starting with State Treasurer (8:30 am) with incumbent Denise Nappier running unopposed. Nappier's nomination will be followed by votes for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of the State and Comptroller. New Britain sends 35 delegates to this year's convention that will involve roll call votes for Governor and all the state constitutional offices except Treasurer. Send out a search team if we're not home by midnight.

Senate and House

On Monday, May 24th, the State Senate convention will convene at Trinity On Main beginning with a 6 p.m. reception and 7 p.m. convention. State Senator Don DeFronzo is expected to win the nomination for a fifth two-year term.

The 24th State Representative convention will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 25th when Rep. Tim O'Brien is seeking re-election. The convention will be held at the Italian Fraternal Society on 131 Monroe Street. The 24th convention will be immediately followed by a meeting of the Democratic Town Committee, Members from the 25th and 26th State Representative Districts will endorse candidates. Rep. John Geragosian and Rep. Peter Tercyak are seeking re-election. A 22nd State Representative convention will be held the same night at Plainville Town Hall where State Rep. Betty Boukus is seeking a new term.

Kevin Lembo, In Comptroller Race, Gets Nod From Incumbent Wyman

Kevin Lembo, the state's Health Care Advocate, has picked up the support of Comptroller Nancy Wyman to replace her as the state's elected fiscal watchdog as Wyman runs for Lieutenant Governor with Dan Malloy. Lembo, who previously won support of the United Auto Workers and the Connecticut Citizen Action Group in an exploratory campaign for Lieutenant Governor, immediately jumped into the void with incumbent Wyman's decision to seek a new office last week. Lembo may be the most experienced candidate running to replace Wyman. He previously served as Assistant State Comptroller focusing on health insurance for state employees and municipalities and implemented the state's shift to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

In Memoriam

New Britain Democrats extend sympathy to Ward 5 Alderman Carlo Carlozzi, Jr. on the passing of his father, Carlo Carlozzi, 80, last week. The elder Carlozzi, a registered Democrat for 58 years, immigrated to New Britain in 1952 and worked at Fafnir Bearing for 38 years until his retirement in 1991. He was a native of Campodipietra, Italy, Province of Campobasso (Molise). Memorial donations are invited to Saint Francis Cancer Center 114 Woodland Street, Hartford, Connecticut 06105-1299; Hospital for Special Care Foundation, 2150 Corbin Avenue, New Britain, CT 06053 ( ) or The Italian Welfare League, 8 East 69th Street, New York, NY 10021 (

Muncipal Budget Hearing Monday May 17th; Op-Ed Says Avoid Lay Offs in Frontline Jobs

The City Council will hold a budget hearing for the fiscal year that begins July 1 on Monday, May 17th, at 6 p.m. at New Britain High School about 20 days before the 2011 fiscal plan for municipal government needs to be adopted. This budget cycle arrives with flat funding from state aid, a tax hike proposal from the Mayor's office and the threat of "hundreds" of layoffs in the public schools.

The following article on the municipal budget appeared in part in a recent edition of the Hardware City Journal. This is the full text of the article.

By John McNamara

Don’t Cut Front-Line Jobs

The full weight of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression is falling on the city’s budget makers in shaping a fiscal plan for the year that begins July 1st. Few cities or towns in Connecticut and the nation are exempt. And with Connecticut’s over reliance on property taxes the fiscal crisis falls most heavily on cities such as New Britain.

If there is one item across all city departments and divisions that should not be cut it is jobs – specifically: the frontline jobs that are integral to government functioning effectively. In times like these layoff proposals are inevitable because personnel represents such a huge junk of expenditures.

Maintaining direct service positions, however, should be the priority for the Mayor, the Common Council, department heads and labor unions as all parties look at tough options, including an increase in the mill rate. Maintaining frontline staff is all the harder because state aid won’t grow by much, and not enough federal stimulus dollars have been appropriated to bring local governments through the recession.

Eliminating municipal jobs, including the patrolman on the street, the on-duty fire fighter and the teacher in the classroom, certainly represents the easiest path to save the millions of dollars that will be necessary to hold the line on regressive taxes. But there is a direct correlation between layoffs of direct-service personnel and the reduction of essential services – a prospect that city residents will find untenable and an outcome that will prove more costly to the city over the long term. Cutting teachers means crowded classrooms. Cutting public safety personnel can lead to longer response times in an emergency. Pink slipping inspectors or depriving the city law office of sufficient legal counsel could even mean less revenue because of insufficient enforcement of what is due the city.

It is to be expected that the Mayor and Common Council will implement standard austerity measures for this year: hiring and spending freezes, consolidated purchasing between City Hall and the School District, eliminating the non-essential wherever possible -- ultimately raising the mill rate as the last resort as the Mayor has proposed.

All of these efforts, however, will not be enough to preserve services, avoid lay offs and minimize a tax hike. To implement a no-layoff budget the city and unions will have to strike deals through good-faith bargaining. Temporary furloughs are one option. State employees are in the middle of giving up seven pay days over two years along with other other short-term concessions that turned into job savers.

Municipal employees may be willing to step up, but only if management steps up first for the shared sacrifices that will be needed in fiscal year 2011 to preserve jobs and deliver city services.

There’s no guarantee that it’ll work completely, but setting the goal of a no-layoff municipal budget will serve the city and its residents best.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

6 May 2010

Rep. O'Brien Kicks Off Campaign With Friday, May 7th Fund Raiser

State Representative Tim O'Brien, who represents the 24th Assembly District that includes parts of New Britain and Newington, will kick off his re-election campaign at a Friday, May 7th fund raiser, at the Italian Fraternal Society, 131 Monroe Street. The event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Rep. O'Brien is participating in the Citizens Election Program and individuals donations will be accepted from $5 to $100 in accordance with campaign finance law. To connect with Rep. O'Brien's campaign and online community visit

Kevin Murphy and Emma Pierce Re-Elected To State Central Committee

Democrats from Berlin, Farmington and New Britain met at New Britain City Hall on May 4th and re-elected state central committee members from the 6th Senatorial District. Berlin's Kevin Murphy was elected to a first full term having filled the vacancy left by the relocation of Ned Statchen last year. New Britain's Emma Pierce, the state Democratic Party Treasurer, won her re-election.

The Democratic State Central Committee is a 72-member committee comprised of an equal number of men and women from the state's 36 State Senatorial Districts. State Convention delegates elect members every two years. For more information:

In photo from left Berlin delegate Art Powers, Kevin Murphy, Emma Pierce and New Britain Chairman John McNamara at the state central election (photo courtesy of Frank Gerratana)

Let the Conventions Begin

A series of conventions to nominate candidates for state and congressional offices will begin on Monday May 10th when Democrats in Connecticut will hold endorsing conventions for five incumbent Congresspersons.

In the 5th Congressional District, Democrats will meet at Crosby High School in Waterbury where U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy is expected to gain the nod for a third term. A challenger will be nominated at the state convention on May 21-22 by the "Party of No" aka the Republicans at the Connecticut Convention Center.

A Judge of Probate Convention for the district that covers Berlin and New Britain will be held Tuesday May 11th at Crystal Ballroom in New Britain. Judge of Probate Walter Clebowicz is seeking re-election to a four-year term.

Democrats will hold the state convention for Governor, US Senate and the state constitutional offices on Friday May 21 and Saturday May 22 at Hartford's Expo Center. The conventions will wrap up for New Britain Democrats with the State Senate Convention on Monday, May 24th and for the 22nd and 24th conventions on Tuesday, May 25th. The Democratic Town Committee also plans to hold endorsements for state rep districts within city boundaries -- the 25th and 26th -- on Tuesday, May 25th. Whether or not you are a delegate all Democrats are welcome to attend the conventions. For information e-mail

Rell Urged To Sign Energy Reform Bill for Lower Electric Rates

Proponents of electric rate reform, including Connecticut's American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the Connecticut Citizens' Action Group, want you to ask Governor Rell to sign the Nardell-Fonfara bill (SB 493) named "An Act Reducing Electricity Costs and Promoting Renewable Energy". The bill stems from the negative effects of deregulation and sharp spikes in utility bills in recent years.

Supporters say the legislation will reduce electric rates by 15% and provide discount electric and gas rates for seniors and low-income households. It’s urgent that the Governor hears from you now.

Consumer and ratepayer relief provisions in the bill include measures reforming the procurement of electricity that sets a goal of reducing rates by 15%. Streamlining the procurement process will lower rates for all consumers, including those who buy electricity from a competitive, retail supplier. For low-income households, the bill establishes a discount electric rate funded through existing low-income programs. The legislation also protects consumers, who buy electricity from a retail electric supplier, from unscrupulous, aggressive marketing practices.

"Connecticut ratepayers, including seniors on fixed incomes, are tired of paying the highest rates in the continental United States while the gap between Connecticut’s rates and the next highest rates continues to grow," said AARP's John Erlinghauser, "S.B. 493 preserves consumer choice and ensures that the State take concrete steps to lower electricity costs across the board for all Connecticut ratepayers."

To contact Governor Rell's office in the Greater Hartford Area: 860-566-4840 or

Terry Gerratana is guest speaker at League of Women Voters' Annual Meeting, May 24th

Terry Gerratana, a former state representative and state elections enforcement commissioner, will be the guest speaker at the 2010 annual meeting of the Berlin-New Britain League of Women Voters (LWV). The meeting will be held on Monday May 24th at Central Connecticut State University's Memorial Hall, Connecticut Room.

The event begins at 5:30 followed by a catered dinner of chicken francaise or vegetable lasagna (6 pm), speaker (7 pm and the annual meeting (8 pm). Reservations are payable in advance to Marjola and Leonard Nelson, 407 Steele Street, New Britain, CT 06052. $25 per person. Parking at CCSU will be available at the Vance Garage accessible via Manafort Drive; walk around Vance Building and use side door to enter Memorial Hall. The Connecticut Room is in the back of the building.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

24 April 2010

Senator DeFronzo's "Best of New Britain" Kick Off Is Sunday, 4/25, 1-4 p.m.
The re-election campaign of State Senator Don DeFronzo, representing Berlin, New Britain and a part of Farmington, will be held tomorrow, Sunday April 25th, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Generale Ameglio Hall, 13 Beaver Street.

The "Best of New Britain" DeFronzo for State Senate event will include ethnic food, ice cream and music as Senator DeFronzo, a former two-term Mayor elected to the Senate in 2002, seeks a fifth two-year term in the 6th Senatorial District.

There is a minimum contribution of $5.00 per adult and children under 12 are free. Maximum allowable individual contribution is $100. Tickets are available by contacting DeFronzo, as are all New Britain legislators, is participating in the Citizens Election Program. A DeFronzo for State Senate event. Suzanne Bielinski, Treasurer.

New Britain Supports State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier at Thursday, 4/29 dinner

New Britain friends and supporters of State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier will hold an April 29th spaghetti dinner fundraiser for the re-election of the trailblazing Nappier who was first elected to state office in 1998. The dinner will be from 5;30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Pride of Connecticut Lodge of Elks I.B.P.O.E., 24 Elm Street in downtown New Britain.

Hosting the dinner will be State Central Committeewoman Emma Pierce, Ward 3 Alderwoman Shirley Black, Gail Crockett and Darlene Clark, among others.

Individuals are asked to support Nappier with qualifying contributions of between $5 and $100 in accordance with campaign finance laws. Contribution information will be available at the door or by e-mailing A Nappier for State Treasurer 2010 event, Bruno W. Mazzulla, Treasurer.

Town Committee Meets Thursday, 4/29, Ahead Of May Endorsing Conventions

The Democratic Town Committee will hold its April meeting on Thursday, April 29th, at 7:30 p.m. (following the Nappier for Treasurer spaghetti supper) at New Britain City Hall, 27 West Main Street, Room 504.

On the agenda will be an update on the 2010 election including May endorsing conventions, the selection of district leaders, several sub-committees and plans for a summer Democratic picnic. Justice of the Peace vacancies will also be filled.

All Democrats and interested citizens are welcome to attend the meeting. For more information contact

Looking Ahead...

O'Brien Sets Kick Off Event
: The campaign for the re-election of State Rep. Tim O'Brien of the 24th District will hold a kick-off fund-raising event on Friday, May 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Italian Fraternal Society, 131 Monroe Street.

May's Convention Schedule

Congressional Convention (U.S. House) – May 10th
Judge of Probate - May 11
State Convention - May 21-22
State Senate Convention – May 24
State House of Representatives Conventions (Multi-Town Districts) – May 25th

If you are a delegate convention information will be sent to you by the Democratic State Central Committee.

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"The difference between Democrats and Republicans has always been measured in courage and confidence. The Republicans believe that the wagon train will not make it to the frontier unless some of the old, some of the young, some of the weak are left behind by the side of the trail...We Democrats believe that we can make it all the way with the whole family intact...." former NY Governor Mario Cuomo, 1984.

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New Britain Democrats

New Britain, Connecticut, United States
New Britain Democrat is a digest of e-newsletters that present news, views and information from the New Britain Democratic Town Committee. John McNamara, the Town Chair, is the editor. Mailing Address: Post Office Box 2112 New Britain, CT 06050 John Valengavich, Treasurer