BLUMENTHAL PINS McMAHON BY 25 POINTS IN CONNECTICUT, MOST VOTERS SAY VIETNAM ISSUE DOESN’T IMPACT VOTE; FOLEY, LAMONT LEAD GOV PRIMARY RACES;

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal leads former wrestling executive Linda McMahon 56 – 31 percent in the U.S. Senate race and tops the Republican candidate by large margins on every character measure, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. This compares to a 61 – 28 percent Blumenthal lead over McMahon in a March 17 survey by the independent Q-poll.

“It looks like Connecticut voters forgive Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, or feel that there is nothing to forgive in the Vietnam service flap. While he has taken a hit with voters, his poll numbers were so high to begin with that he still maintains a commanding lead over Linda McMahon,” said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, PhD. “What is surprising is that McMahon gets no bounce from her Republican convention victory. Her negatives went up 13 points from 26 percent unfavorable to 39 percent unfavorable. The more voters get to know McMahon the less they like her.”

Former ambassador Tom Foley leads the Republican primary for governor with 37 percent, followed by Lt. Gov. Mike Fedele with 11 percent and businessman Oz Griebel with 5 percent. But 42 percent of Republicans are undecided and the percentage of voters who don’t know enough about the candidates to form an opinion ranges from 58 percent to 88 percent.

In the Democratic primary for governor, former Senate candidate Ned Lamont leads former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy 41 – 24 percent, with 30 percent undecided. Lamont gets a 46 – 12 percent favorability among Democrats, with 39 percent who haven’t heard enough to form an opinion. For Malloy, 65 percent haven’t heard enough.
“In the governor’s race, Ned Lamont leads Dan Malloy because of his advantage in money and name recognition that he built during his 2006 Senate run,” Schwartz said. “Foley dominates the largely unknown Mike Fedele and Oz Griebel.”

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Rob Simmons is not a fan of Linda McMahon. That’s putting it mildly. The former congressman who dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination for US Senate this week told the National Review Online that McMahon can’t win and he’ll find an excuse not to campaign for her if he is asked to.

When asked if he thinks his former rival for the Republican nomination for US Senate can beat Democrat Richard Blumenthal, Simmons said, “No, I don’t think so at all.” And if he is asked to help her out? He says he will say, “I’m preoccupied.” Simmons also told NRO that the simple reason he dropped out of the race is “money.” The Shad is of the opinion that Simmons believes McMahon might implode before the August primary, hence his leaving his name on the ballot while effectively ending his campaign.

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The soap opera that has become the battle between Middletown’s Mayor Sebastian Giuliano and the town’s school board is a colossal waste of time and tax dollars while being a source of embarrassment for the town. Giuliano should stop trying to run the town like his own personal fiefdom and work with the school board to make sure the taxpayers’ money is being spent in the most cost-effective way.

The worst thing either side could do was to bring the matter to court. As soon as that happens, everything is expensive and the taxpayers are on the hook for the bill. Giuliano should have backed off when the judge (once it was brought to court) sided with the schools Superintendent Michael Frechette, rejecting a lawsuit brought by the mayor asking the judge to bar Frechette from destroying documents. A simple pledge by Frechette that such action would not happen was enough for the judge.

Also finally gone is the around-the-clock police presence at the district’s central office. The police investigation about the possible destroying of documents or other actions is over and no one was charged.

Cooler heads have prevailed to a certain extent now that the two sides have pledged to try to settle things out of court—a move that should have happened first. Still unresolved according to the Hartford Courant are requests from the school board:
•That Giuliano not fire the employees he claims the school board hired illegally.

•That Giuliano stop trying to replace Frechette’s name, on school employee paychecks, with that of the city finance director and treasurer. Giuliano issued the order after concluding that the school board has hired people illegally.

•That Giuliano stop prohibiting school workers from talking with the school district’s attorney, Christine Chinni.

From the outside (and The Shad does not live in Middletown), the whole mess makes the town look silly; a sitcom-like story with Giuliano being the main, ridiculous character. The town and its people are much better than this and deserve better from their elected officials.

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State Senator Ed Meyer (D-Guilford) wants Dr. David Carter gone. Carter is the head of the Connecticut State University System and ignited controversy when he dismissed Central Connecticut State University President Cheryl Norton. He apparently did so without the knowledge of the CCSU board of trustees, except the chairman.

After a long and sometimes contentious informational hearing at the legislative office building in Hartford, Sen. Meyer called for replacing Carter because he created “a really bad atmosphere” and that the state university system needs new leadership. More to come on this issue for sure.