Monday roundup

The latest...

  • UPDATE Here's Chris Donovan's interview on Face the State:
  • Here are some of the panels I followed at Netroots Nation 2012:

    1. Latino Vote Matters: Immigration, Power, and an Interactive Look at the Map.

    2. The Inside Game: Progressive Legislative Caucuses at the State and Local Level.

    3. Behind the Camera: Addressing the Underrepresentation of Women in Media and Culture

    4. Promoting People of Color in the Progressive Blogosphere.

    5. That Will Never Work: What Progressives Can Learn from OWS.

    6. What Progressives Can Do to Stop the War on Public Education.

    7. Whose Law Is It Anyway? ALEC's Influence on State Legislatures and What We Can Do About It.

  • What is it with cops in New Haven going after people who videotape them in action?
    Federal agents will prepare a "mirror image" of Jennifer Gondola's iPhone4 to see what happened on a violent night in the Temple Street courtyard.

    Gondola's attorney Friday faxed signed consent forms from Gondola to both the FBI and the New Haven police department's internal affairs division giving them permission to review a video she shot on her cellphone camera before Sgt. Chris Rubino demanded she turn it over. Gondola refused and stashed the cellphone in her bra. Rubino ordered a female officer, Nikki Curry, to snatch the cellphone from Gondola's bra. Then Rubino pocketed the phone and arrested Gondola for "interfering."

    The attorney, Diane Polan, also charged city police with violating her client's Constitutional rights by grabbing her phone from her bra.

  • Chris Powell gives his take on Donovan.
    Maybe the federal arrest of his campaign finance director has so impugned state House Speaker Chris Donovan's campaign for Congress in the 5th District that he'll lose the election in November even if he wins the Democratic primary in August. But amid the parasitism that constitutes most of Connecticut politics, the scandal, such as it is, seems small.

    Donovan's congressional campaign finance director -- since fired -- has been charged with conspiring to conceal the source of $20,000 in contributions of $2,500 each, contributions from people opposed to legislation to tax cigarettes made by customers of shops that house cigarette-manufacturing machines, thereby evading the state's high tobacco taxes. Such legislation failed to come to a vote in the recent session of the General Assembly, where Donovan presided in the House.

    If such contributions had been made directly to Donovan's campaign rather than through intermediaries, there would have been nothing improper about them. While they might have seemed sleazy, they would have been no more so than other contributions from special interests, including other special interests that have donated to Donovan's state legislative campaigns as well as his congressional campaign. Among those special interests are the public employee unions that have sustained Donovan's political career since he was a public employee union official himself.


    Of course Donovan says he didn't know anything about the contribution-masking scheme and he has replaced his campaign manager as well. Should Donovan have known, or at least have expressed some curiosity about the contributions in question? After all, checks for $2,500 don't show up without a reason. Did Donovan have reason not to want to know?

    On the other hand Donovan would not be the first candidate in Connecticut to be betrayed by a campaign aide. Campaigns of Democratic gubernatorial candidate William E. Curry Jr. and former U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays both suffered embezzlements. And the FBI acknowledges that the arrest of Donovan's campaign finance director was a "sting," involving circumstances contrived by the law enforcers themselves, just as most terrorism arrests lately involve plots and mock explosives concocted mainly by government agents.

    Much more will have to come out in the Donovan case before it will be worth getting upset about.

  • Ouch.
    There's never a bronco that can't be rode. There's never a cowboy who can't be throwed.

    The same holds true for bicycling.

    First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker found that out for himself Saturday.

    Knickerbocker, an avid rider for 40 years, had never had a serious accident, other than a cracked rib he got on a mountain bike many years ago.
    "I'm a very safe rider,'' he said Sunday.

    But Saturday morning, while out for a 50-mile ride with one of the cycling clubs he's a member of, he was headed downhill when his bicycle hit a rock.

    "I don't know where it came from,'' Knickerbocker said. "I don't know whether it fell on the road or whether it was hidden in shadows. But I hit it. My bicycle went `boom' and I went flying.''

    Going downhill at 25 mph, flying riders land hard. Knickerbocker broke his collarbone, and suffered some major road burns.

Anything else?

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