WHEN IN DOUBT, SIT IT OUT (OR WAKE UP IN FRENCH CLASS)

The state Senate has moved to protect high school athletes from possible permanent head injuries by passing a bill dealing with concussions. The bill, championed by Senate Majority Leader Marty Looney and Education Committee Chair Tom Gaffey, would prohibit athletes from participating in their activity following a concussion until they get medical clearance. It also requires training of coaches so they can better recognize head injuries.

This is an important bill to protect high school athletes. There once was a time, say in the mid ’80s, when little was done when an athlete suffered a head injury. As life-long hockey player, The Shad suffered two concussions in one season playing high school hockey—one so bad that in my head, I woke up in French class. My teammates were rightly concerned (I didn’t take French that year). After a trip to the hospital, I was back at practice the next day. Not a good move.

The same happened after a clean but vicious hit to the head in college hockey game. I was back practicing the next day. (Some who know The Shad well would say all this explains a lot.) The bill moves to the House for its consideration.

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A concussion would but doesn’t explain the actions of the attorney for the state Republican party in what has turned into a circus of a court proceeding to determine whether Susan Bysiewicz can run for attorney general.

Reports from the courtroom say attorney Eliot Gersten likened the secretary of state’s lawsuit to a temper tantrum. “Waah, waah, waah! I want to be attorney general, and I’m going to get my way in court” is how the GOP’s lawyer, Eliot Gersten, characterized Bysiewicz according to courtroom reports. On a technical note, Gersten said that Bysiewicz and her lawyers didn’t produce a single witness to demonstrate that anyone would deny her the right to be a candidate. Therefore, he said, she hasn’t been aggrieved legally and had no right to even bring the action.

The judge in the case did not say when he would rule.

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Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has been defended in this space on more than one occasion. He is not, however, going to escape without criticism over this PAC money controversy. The Shad’s friends at CTNewsJunkie.com reported that Blumenthal’s campaign for US Senate accepted about $200,000 in special interest PAC money.

When Blumenthal first announced he would seek the seat now held by Chris Dodd, he appeared on MSNBC and said, “I’ve never taken PAC money and I have rejected all special interest money because I have stood strong and have taken legal action against many of those special interests…”

That doesn’t seem to square with his taking $200,000 from special interest PACS associated with the Phoenix Companies Inc., ING and AFLAC since then. A campaign spokesperson says Blumenthal was talking about what he did as state attorney general, not what he would do as a US Senate candidate.

Reminds one of a famous quote, “It depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is.”

It is true Blumenthal may need every penny he can get to battle the likes of deep-pocketed Linda McMahon or the former Congressman Rob Simmons. If that’s the case, he should just say he will accept PAC money and reiterate that it would never influence him as a senator. Or better yet, return the money.