LEGIS. TASK FORCE TO TACKLE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

With incidents increasing amid pressures from the recession and response to the problem compromised by state budget problems, legislative leaders today will announce a new task force to tackle the problem of domestic violence in the state.

Speaker of the House Chris Donovan (D-Meriden) says the task force will be made of a select group of state representative and senators. “Evidence from domestic violence shelters across the state suggests that the need for support services has grown dramatically as the recession has deepened. Incidents are up, and we’re seeing families who are experiencing unexpected job losses and financial pressure,” Donovan said. The task force will chaired by state Rep. Mae Flexer (D-Killingly). Flexer has been in the forefront in finding solutions to the problem. She says her group will look to restore the position of victim advocate (a casualty of a gubernatorial veto) and will fight for 24-7 staffing of shelters among other measures.

Rep. Flexer says individuals and organizations from across the state, including the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV), advocates, service providers, educators and
law enforcement will be consulted as task force recommendations are developed.

The Hartford Courant has been running an eye-opening series on the subject.
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Now that former Democratic US Senate candidate Ned Lamont has profoundly shaken things up by forming an exploratory committee to run for governor, it will be interesting to see whether he participates in the state’s public financing system. Lamont, a multi-millionaire from Greenwich, is the only candidate in the field who can self-finance such a campaign. However, he has long been on record as a big supporter of campaign spending caps and public financing in general. Will he stay true to that or will he, for political expediency, kick public financing to the curb and just reach into his considerably deep pockets.

In 2006, he signed the “Voters First” pledge. The signatories pledged to support a federal Clean Elections public financing system which is similar to the one passed by the Connecticut General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Rell in 2005.

Also in 2006, Lamont said, “…we’ve said publicly on a number of occasions that we widely endorse the idea of a cap on [campaign] spending. I think that is the key campaign finance reform. Longer term, public financing is probably a place we have to end up.”

So we can assume Lamont will play by the state public financing rules like the other candidates, right? Not so fast. Lamont said Wednesday that he had not decided whether to seek public financing, or to self-fund his campaign. Further, the chairman of his 2006 Senatorial campaign says he expects Lamont to use his own money.

The other candidates in the field should seize on this issue and call on Lamont to participate in public financing given he was such a champion of it in the past. Or was he?
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Former Speaker of the House and now candidate for governor Jim Amann is laying the blame for Democrats losing the mayoral seat in Stamford this week squarely at the feet of fellow gubernatorial candidate and current Mayor Dan Malloy.

Republicans haven’t held the mayor’s seat in 14 years and Democrats hold a 2 to 1 advantage in voter registration. Amann says Malloy abandoned Stamford because Malloy himself only squeaked-by in an extremely close race in 2007. Amann faulted Malloy for being in New Britain on election day instead of Stamford. Malloy’s people dismissed Amann’s charges saying he has an “obsession with Dan that is starting to border on the unhealthy.”
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As if the general public isn’t outraged enough by huge bonuses given to Wall Street executives whose companies received taxpayers’ money through federal bailouts, now comes word these firms are receiving the H1N1 vaccine while other at-risk groups are scrambling—may times unsuccessfully—to get it themselves. Local hospitals and doctors are reporting difficulty in getting the vaccine to children and pregnant women.

Sen. Chris Dodd has written to Health and Human Services Secretary Katleen Sebelius about the problem. “Every day, I am receiving phone calls and letters from constituents in Connecticut about the difficulties they are facing with obtaining the H1N1 vaccine. Schools in my state have closed; hospitals and health clinics report wide spread shortages.  It is shocking to think that private firms would be prioritized ahead of hospitals when the vaccine supply cannot meet the demand,” Dodd wrote.
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As Yankees fans prepare for today’s parade down the Canyon of Champions celebrating their 27th World Series championship, this from Red Sox Nation: And be warned, if you are easily nauseated, please read no further. In 2002, after much family in-fighting, the late Red Sox great Ted Williams’ head was cryogenically frozen. The idea was that science would someday figure out how to being Ted back. But an employee at the Arizona lab where Ted’s head currently resides, has revealed some rather troubling goings-on (as if the original freeze-job wasn’t disturbing enough).

In order to keep The Splendid Splinter’s head from sticking to the inside of its storage carton, workers placed the head on an empty Bumble Bee tuna can. But the can itself stuck to the head and had to be whacked with a monkey wrench.(Hartford Advocate). I doubt this is what Teddy Ballgame had in mind when contemplating how it would be when his time came. Sad.