Thursday roundup

Because it's been a while...

  • Better late than never (I guess).

    Esty's record is not as extensive - she served only a single term as a state representative - but both candidates have changed votes or reassessed their positions on specific issues when push came to shove.

    [...]

    Senior Care

    She says her record demonstrates strong support of seniors, saying on her website, "I believe how we treat our parents and grandparents reflects on our values as a country."

    "I first ran for local office after helping lead a grassroots effort to protect elderly residents from rising property taxes.  I helped design and pass a local budget that ensured strong schools and protected lower-income seniors from untenable increases in their property tax," she says on her website.

    But a 2009 alternative budget championed by Esty, among other Democratic legislators, sought to reduce funding for several senior-focused programs. That alternative budget, according to the state's Office of Fiscal Analysis, would have halted a rate increase for adult day care providers, "require dually eligible clients to be responsible for paying up to $20 per month in Medicare co-pays for Part-D covered drugs," eliminated rate adjustments for nursing homes and eliminate $452,965 for the state Department on Aging.

    Education

    "As the mother of two children who have graduated from public schools in Connecticut, and another who is in high school, I know that our schools and teachers need our full support," Esty writes on her website, but that same alternative budget proposed cuts to two public schools, one in her own House district.

    That budget would have cut additional funding for Meriden's Thomas Edison Middle School and Cheshire's Wintergreen School for a savings of $1.5 million over two years.

    The Democratic alternative budget proposed a total of $119 million in cuts to higher and lower education, including a 10 percent reduction in special education funding, the elimination of funding for Early Reading Success and After School programs, a reduction in the reimbursement for healthy foods in schools, and a reduction in funding for the American School for the Deaf.

    Paid Sick Leave

    Esty has made paid sick leave one of her centerpiece issues under the health care banner. On her website, she says "In Congress I will fight for a national law requiring paid sick leave," and uses Connecticut's 2011 paid sick leave bill as a model.

    But when, as a state representative in 2009, a similar bill came up, Esty voted against it. She has said that the 2011 bill improved on its predecessor by exempting manufacturers, "and many of the manufacturers in central and northwest Connecticut are small businesses."

    It's unfortunate that the media was focused on Donovan 24/7 as opposed to reporting on the candidates' positions versus their record. When it comes to Esty, what the Register-Citizen reported is nothing new for people who read this site.

  • Well that was fast!

    Republican U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon's top spokesman, Tim Murtaugh, left the campaign Tuesday a little more than month after arriving in Connecticut.

    Murtaugh replaced McMahon's first communications director, Erin Isaac, who left McMahon's 2012 campaign in July for family reasons.

    "Tim Murtaugh is no longer with the campaign and we wish him nothing but the best," Corry Bliss, McMahon's campaign manager, said Wednesday.

    The reason for Murtaugh's abrupt departure is uncertain.

    Murtaugh, whose aggressive style rubbed some members of the media the wrong way, was unable to be reached for comment Wednesday.

  • Yet another political stunt from the GOP

    A new rift opened this week in the ongoing partisan dispute over a state program that allows prison inmates to shorten their sentences by participating in education, counseling and other re-entry programs.

    Minority Republicans on the legislature's Judiciary Committee announced they would conduct a Sept. 18 informational meeting at the Legislative Office Building on the risk reduction earned credit program.

    What they will learn at that hearing is in doubt though, since both the committee's Democratic majority and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's administration have opted not to participate.

  • Accurate!

    McMahon's ad focused on Murphy's low attendance rate at committee hearings. In response, Murphy states in his ad that "My voting record is 97 percent." That's true.

    According to GovTrack.us, a non-partisan group that tracks Congressional votes, Murphy missed 131 of the 5,034 votes taken since he joined Congress in 2007. That's a voting record of 97.4 percent, in line with the ad's claim.

    A year ago, Murphy's cumulative record was even higher - 98.5 percent. But that has slipped recently, and in the weeks since the end of the July Fourth recess - which were also the weeks leading up to last week's primary - Murphy missed nearly a quarter of the 105 votes cast, according to GovTrack.us. But for his entire Senate candidacy since his announcement in January 2011, Murphy has maintained a 96 percent voting record.

    In any event, the ad is accurate in saying his overall voting record is 97 percent.

    Most of the ad cites Murphy's work to secure funding to clean up the Waterbury Industrial Commons, a 29-acre site operated for decades by the Chase Brass & Copper Co.

    "I'm focused on creating jobs," Murphy says in the ad. "Like when I convinced Congress to invest in cleaning up this industrial site, putting 75 people to work."

    During World War II, the metals plant operated around the clock manufacturing war munitions, but after the company vacated the property in 1980, Waterbury was left with an environmental mess.

    In 2009, Murphy and Sen. Joseph Lieberman sponsored an earmark to the Defense Authorization bill to include $15 million for the Waterbury Industrial Commons Redevelopment Project. The bill passed with the funding intact and was signed by the president, and Murphy can fairly take credit for it. Of course, one man's "investment" may be another's wasteful earmark, but while the McMahon campaign has suggested the $15 million wasn't worth it, that doesn't change the accuracy of the ad.

    As for the claim of "putting 75 people to work," there is an ample record that the remediation and demolition work has involved that many people and more. These are not permanent positions, but Murphy's language - "putting ... people to work" - is sufficient to make the assertion accurate.

What else is new?

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