2010 SESSION ENDS WITH LAME DUCK/ELECTION YEAR BUDGET

The 2010 session of the Connecticut General Assembly is over. Democrats and Gov. Rell (after ditching fellow Republicans) reached agreement on a $19 billion state budget that does not raise taxes or cut aid to cities and towns. It also does not include an early retirement incentive program or Keno as proposed by the governor.

If it seems too good to be true, it is. The election year/lame duck spending plan borrows $1 billion, uses $366 million in federal stimulus funds and defers $100 million in state pension fund contributions. The problem is none of those funding sources will be available next time around. Much of the problem is simply put off until another day.

In the state Senate, all the Republicans and an interesting mix of four Democrats voted against the bill. State Senators Don DeFronzo, Joan Hartley, Andrew Maynard and Ed Meyer voted no.

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You can see the TV ads now—“We fought the ‘good ol’ boys network and won,” “They tried to take away your right to vote for who you want,” “They pulled out all the stops to keep her off the ballot—but she fought them just like she’ll fight for you as attorney general.” Susan Bysiewicz will be go into the Democratic nominating convention as a candidate for attorney general and will more than likely win. And she will more than likely win the office as well.

When there was question as to whether Bysiewicz had the 10 years of “active practice” of law required by state statute, she went to court and finally was declared eligible to run. And she is now armed with a ready-made issues—the extent to which she had to go to get on the ballot as well as her efforts to give the voters the right to vote for whom they want for the office of attorney general.

It appears to The Shad Bysiewicz has a clear path.

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Former TV news anchor Janet Peckinpaugh is running for Congress from the second district, a seat currently held by Democrat Joe Courtney. Peckinpaugh is running as a Republican. Last seen in political circles touting the candidacy of Republican Lisa Wilson-Foley for lt. governor, Peckinpaugh has worked at Channels 8, 3 and 30 through the years. She recently formed a public relations firm.

Peckinpaugh starts out with better name recognition than many politicians running this year. The Shad knows Peckinpaugh as a personable, likable and intelligent individual but her positions on issues are largely unknown.

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New Haven Mayor John DeStefano and the Democratic Town Committee are backing businessman Ned Lamont for the Democratic nomination for governor. DeStefano defeated Dan Malloy in a primary in 2006 and then was stomped by Jodi Rell with DeStefano mustering only 35% of the vote in the general election. Malloy is now Lamont’s chief rival for the nomination this year. Lamont appeared with his newly-anointed running mate Mary Glassman in accepting the endorsement.